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Of Plymouth Plantation
- voyage on the ship
- when they landed in dawnland
A Model of Christian Charity
His greatness, His Wisdom… etc.
- The Prologue
- -not a good writer
- The Author to Her Book
- A Letter to Her Husband
- Here Follows Some Verses
- -house burning
The Declaration of Independence
- What Is an American OR
- Letters from an American Farmer
- On Being Brought from Africa to America
- To the Right Honourable William
- Philosophy of Composition
- The Raven
The Yellow Wallpaper
No Name Woman
What was America first called?
- Settled by Native Americans and visited by Europeans.
- Puritans met a Native American who had traveled to England and then come back
- Indians and Puritans used/helped each other
- Native American Early Contact Stories
- Writing of Bradford and Winthrop
How did Bradford describe Dawnland
- Wild Chaotic
- Savage (eye of the beholder)
Orature vs. Literature
- Orature: stories that are spoken, exists in the mind of the culture
- Literature: Written stories, goes on to tell a story
- Want to purify Church of England
- They survived and thrived
- They were anxious, Intolerant, and Hierarchical
- They believed in:
- -absolute sovereign God
- -Constant Providential Intervention
- -Their own "election" or "exceptionalism"
Why did the puritans write?
- To record an example for future generations, ensuring the continuity of Puritan community or beliefs
- To instruct current generation, importance of community
- English people but not Americans
- Interpreted world entirely through a strict protestant/calvinist framework
- Tried to reform church and create own group.
- Puritans head over and founded Plimith foundation
Two waves that came to "America"
- 1. Pilgrams (100) were separatists of Plymouth Plantation. Believed church was beyond repair
- 2. Others (1000) came were Massachusetts Bay Colony. Were not separatists and believed the church just needed to be cleansed
Colonial Puritans Beliefs
- Religious Tolerance
- Political Structure (Authoritarian)
- Exceptionalism (believed they were chosen by God to go to Heaven and had to make themselves worthy
- Natural Depravity (believed all humans are born naturally corrupt and Jesus is the only one who can same them
Three kinds of Puritan Writing
- 1. History (William Bradford)
- 2. Sermon (John Winthrop)
- 3. Familiar-peoms, diaries, etc. (Anne Bradstreet)
- Was in the second group of Puritans to come
- Merchants and Not Separatist
- Purpose: was to promote charity and community in a "New World"
- Found on principal of charity, community,and balance
City on a Hill
If achieve what God want's they shall become a city on a hill, all eyes upon them expecting them to do good
- A proactive puritan
- Poetry included long meditative and philosophical poems, but is remembered one for personal "familial" poetry
- In story about fire in keeping with puritan values, she turns immediately to God
- She begins with predictable Puritan humility
- Broken Muse=her poetry is not good
- But writes in perfect iambic pentameter
- She is an early feminist
A Letter to Her Husband
- Drawing attention to her body
- Metaphor to characterize her marriage
- -she is earth he is sun and he made her cold (winter)
- Fruits are children
- Poem serves to remind us that affection and emotional depth could be hallmarks of Puritan relationships
What happened to the Puritans?
- Disperse, communities split
- Indian Wars
- Emergence of competing protestant religions
- Time: as time goes on, harder to endure for puritans
- Values and Reason
- Promotes skepticism
- Education for all is good
- Mind not soul
- Puritans always believed things happened because of God, Enlightenment leads to practical explanation (germs=illness)
- God is rational and Benevolent
Thomas Jefferson and "The Declaration of Independence"
- Denunciation of tyranny
- Logically organized complaint
- Sense of "threat"
- Using Preface as a form of Revenge
- Wanted to get rid of slavery but South Carolina and Georgia wouldn't sign
Key Points of Dec. of Indp.
- All men are created equal
- -only men not women
- Gov are instituted, get power from people
- Excised slavery clause
Crevecoeur: What is an American
- colonial propaganda
- Most perfect society in the world?
- -Social compression (no aristocracy)
- -Hard work=proportional reward
- -Diversity, but with some major oversights
- -True citizenship
- -Lack of prejudice
- -Religious Indifference
- -To sum it all up
- African American literary tradition
- 1st African American to publish a book of poetry
- rationalized slavery by saying they didn't have the ability to reason
- Bought be a quaker and Quakers believed everyone should be educated
- Had to have white elders sign off before publishing
- Her kidnapping was an act of mercy to save her from Africa
- writing to a white audience
To the Right Honourable William
- Governor in Colonies
- Hopes he will treat colonies fairly
- Feelings about slavery change and she hates it
- Revisits Africa and the sorrow her parents feel
American Gothic Literature: Poe, Hawthorne, and Gilman
- Origins (abusive Britain) trade blocks
- Precipitous rise in nationalism
- To create terror and tangibly scare readers by stressing the irrational and the unknown
- Narrator/Main Character: almost always the same; nervous, on edge
- Setting: is withdrawn and remote, dark, indoors; readers often feel insane
- Plot: narrator is being chased, pursued, haunted or otherwise bothered
- The Double: a character or figure who in some way mirrors the narrator; often, pursuing/haunting/bothering
- Conclusion: lack of resolution, no way out, trapped
- Gothic=reaction to Enlightenment
- emphasizes the irrational and supernatural
Edgar Allan Poe "The Raven"
- indoors at midnight, in "Bleak December" with books
- Lost a beautiful loved one
- Trying to heal himself through books
- The Bird: considered bird of ill-omen
- -Speaks only one word and refuses explanation
- -It will not answer because nothing can adequately answer-life's "big" questions
Poe's "Philosophy of Composition"
- Enlightenment can't answer every question
- Their writings didn't make you feel it, it made you think
- wants to produce and affect
- no poem was an accident
- There must be a reason for everything
- This essay may be a satire/mockery of Enlightenment; faith in reason, process and progress
Charlotte Perkins Gilman "The Yellow Wallpaper"
- Old "secluded" mansion= Gothic
- -may have previously housed the insane
- Character: new mother, postpartum depression
- -wandering womb syndrome
- married to a "man of science" whose cold "reason" prevents him from listening.
- Theme: the limits and dangers of science
- narrator sees a double; she implies several times that things might be different if her husband/doctors listened
- -husband doesn't believe she is sick
- Solution: none, continuously circling the room
Hawthorne's "The Birthmark"
- Revolutionary-era Enlightenment
- secluded apartment/laboratory
- science has replaced love
- Character: Aylmer; cannot stand imperfection and is practical to remove birthmark
- symbol of Enlightenment arrogance and reason
- Laboratory=Hell b/c of fire, heat, torment
- Celestial represents Georgiana; she was already and angel
- Transcendentalism is a religious movement of sorts, but it believes that God is inside rather than above
- We are Divine
- Best avenue to God is not via Bible, but via knowledge and cultivation of self - understand yourself
- Transcendentalists support Enlightenment
Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Most central figure in American literary history: everyone responds (via imitation, rejection) to his ideas
- inspires, frustrates, and infuriates
- Celebrity in his own times
- helped launch Thoreau and Hawthorne
Emerson's "Self Reliance"
- Deliberate Repitition (meant to leave an "impression")
- Essay to inspire individuals, artists, and nation
- believe he can contribute to a stronger and noble America through writing
Problem to Self Reliance
- we are ashamed of our own divinity
- We all have a little piece of God in us but are ashamed to let it out.
- we are "afraid of truth"
Solution to Self Reliance
How to achieve Self Reliance
- Living wholly from within
- Intuition over reason
- A new respect for the divinity of man
- 1.True for you in your private heart
- 2.Act like a child
- 3. Speak the rude truth in all ways
- 4. Practice "solitude"
- 5. Prepare to be misunderstood
- 6. Live in the present
How Do I know I'm not Self-Reliant?
- You care what others think
- Dole out compassion
- Care about "property"
- Quote others
Points of Controversy with Self-Reliance
- Us (coming to class because we have to)
Maxine Hong Kingston "No Name Woman"
- Famous in our time
- Tells as cautionary tale
- -small, impoverished agricultural community
- -Aunt is married then abandoned
- -Aunt is victim of society
- -Aunt drowns self and baby in well
- - Pregnancy is result of potion or rape
- - Attack was assertion of community over individual