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AMERICAN LITERATURE Pre-Colonialism to Modern. PRE-COLONIALISM Begins with settling of Jamestown in 1607 Puritans searching for religious freedom Plymouth.

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Presentation on theme: "AMERICAN LITERATURE Pre-Colonialism to Modern. PRE-COLONIALISM Begins with settling of Jamestown in 1607 Puritans searching for religious freedom Plymouth."— Presentation transcript:

1 AMERICAN LITERATURE Pre-Colonialism to Modern

2 PRE-COLONIALISM Begins with settling of Jamestown in 1607 Puritans searching for religious freedom Plymouth Rock -1620 Others searching for freedom from tyranny of the European monarchs Others searching for adventure, etc. Large displacement of native populations Bring with them slaughter, slavery & disease

3 3 distinct colonial groups Southern – West Indies to Virginia most prosperous until Civil War due to slavery Middle – Chesapeake to Massachusetts most ethnically and religiously diverse New England slow to develop due to bitter winters

4 Puritans Wanted to establish a colony based on Bible Law Dedicated to self determination, independence & freedom Sermons most popular literary form Read the Geneva Bible was first mass-produced Bible translated directly from Hebrew scriptures included textual references and notes for reference Decline by the end of the period in favor of diversity

5 Pre-Colonial Literature & Authors William Bradford arrived on Mayflower in 1620 2 nd governor of Plymouth Colony began writing history of the Plymouth Colony in 1630 published in 1856 Roger Williams spoke against Puritan leadership banished from Plymouth Colony for heresy fled to wilderness and founded Rhode Island’s Providence Plantation protected Native American rights valued freedom more than harmony & liberty more than order political ancestor of Thomas Jefferson

6 John Smith Rescued by Pochahontas Wrote of his time with the Powhatan people A True Relation of Such Occurrences and Accidents of Noate as Hath Hapned in Virginia Also wrote to England to encourage settlers to come to the New World A Description of New England Anne Bradstreet First poet of English-speaking North America Father, Thomas Dunlap, governor of Mass. Colony Devoted Puritan and mother of 8 The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in American or Several Poems, Compiled with a Great Variety of Wit and Learning, Full of Delight…by a Gentlewoman of Those Parts =

7 Cotton Mather Grandfathers founders of New England Graduated from Harvard @ 15 Strongly believed in witchcraft Memorable Providences basis for convictions in Salem Witchcraft Trials Father of 15, only 2 survived past childhood 3 wives, last wife went insane Viewed New England as a theocratic Eden Mary Rowlandson Colonial woman captured by Native Americans and held hostage for 11 weeks 3 children also captured-youngest died while in captivity Published her narrative after her return to society The Sovereignty and Goodness of God: Being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson Began tradition of the captivity narrative

8 COLONIALISM Age of Reason scientific discoveries signal a break away from church authority Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Edmund Halley, Henry Cavendish along with science, philosophy and political thought become the common language of the day John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson Deism – humanitarianism, natural philosophy, scientific observation push for social reforms

9 Colonial Literature & Authors Jonathan Edwards helped destroy religions like Puritanism straddled old ideals of Puritanism and Deism Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Olaudah Equiano first narrative (first-hand) account of slavery one of the earliest abolitionists The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

10 Benjamin Franklin started first American magazine – General Magazine promoted secular ideals opened hospitals, schools, libraries, post office wrote political satire as Silence DoGood master of diplomacy only American to sign all 4 documents that started America Declaration of Independence, Treaty of Alliance with France, Treaty of Peace with England & US Constitution autobiography set form of autobiography created cult of self-reliance beginnings of transcendentalism Poor Richard’s Almanack

11 Thomas Paine declared bankruptcy at 37 after failing a variety of professions given letter of introduction by Ben Franklin after meeting him in London charged with sedition & spent 10 months in jail body exhumed 10 years after death and lost preached natural rights, equality of men & social contracts Common Sense rhetoric for revolution 100,000 copies distributed within 5 months Crisis Papers all argued for revolution and independence

12 Thomas Jefferson man of encyclopedic knowledge & accomplishments selected to draft the Declaration of Independence brilliant writer of political prose Notes on the State of Virginia most important political and scientific book of its age explains his views on science, education, slavery, art & nature

13 Phillis Wheatley first African American female poet her mistress, Susanna Wheatley sent her poems to London for publishing became free but chose to stay with Wheatleys, and married upon their death died penniless and alone viewed as something of a “sideshow” Sojourner Truth born into slavery in New York claimed to have a revelation from God which caused her to change her name and begin preaching member of Northampton Association utopian society based on equality and justice never learned to read or write Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave

14 The Federalist Began at the Constitutional Convention, 1787 Alexander Hamilton wanted to generate popular support for a strong central government wanted to create a series of essays for newspaper publication James Madison 4 th president of the United States John Jay president of the Continental Congress 77 essays appeared in New York papers 3 or 4 times a week 85 essays total Discusses concepts of John Locke, social contract & the natural rights of man Instrumental in ratification of the US Constitution

15 Romanticism Movement from rationality to emotionality Romantics believed in the 5 “I”s Imagination Intuition Idealism Inspiration Individuality

16 Romantic Literature & Authors Washington Irving considered father of American Literature gifted at creating comic narrators did not sign his name to his work until he was 50 Rip Van Winkle The Legend of Sleepy Hollow The Devil and Tom Walker James Fenimore Cooper considered father of the American novel created the new American hero virtuous, distrustful of city life, superhuman, one with nature, brave, moral & intuitive Last of the Mohicans

17 Edgar Allen Poe father of the American short story & detective story ushered in the “gothic” style of writing dark, mysterious, designed to scare watched all the women he loved die of tuberculosis at 26, married his 13 year old cousin died penniless and under mysterious circumstances in Boston The Tell-Tale Heart Murders in the Rue Morgue Fall of the House of Usher The Raven

18 William Cullen Bryant father of American poetry began writing at 13 founded the Republican party pushed for abolition of slavery and free speech died a millionaire Thanatopsis Henry Wadsworth Longfellow retold American legends in poetry form lost his first wife due to a miscarriage, and his second wife to fire most popular American poet, next to Robert Frost first American to be honored in the Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey The Song of Hiawatha

19 Nathanial Hawthorne although close friends with members of the transcendental movement, did not fit in with their lofty ideals obsessed with the darkness of the human heart grandfather was Judge John Hathorne, key player in the Salem Witchcraft Trials The Scarlet Letter House of the Seven Gables Herman Melville spent much of his early life traveling rumored to be insane Typee Moby Dick Billy Budd

20 Transcendentalism Core Beliefs spiritual state that transcends the physical and empirical was is only realized by the individual, not through doctrines of the church Loosely connection to socialism Tried to create a utopian society Communes set up to test utopian ideals Failed miserably Published a journal – The Dial

21 Key Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson Nature Self-Reliance Henry David Thoreau Walden Civil Disobedience Louisa May Alcott Little Women Margaret Fuller

22 Realism Moving from the emotional state of romanticism into reality of the world Disillusionment Focus on tragedy

23 Realistic Literature & Authors Frederick Douglass born into slavery in Maryland tricked white children into teaching him to read key abolitionist prior to the Civil War Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Harriet Jacobs born into slavery in North Carolina 1 st master treated her nicely, 2 nd master forced into her hard labor for refusing his sexual advances ran away from her 2 nd master and hid in her grandmother’s attic for 7 years Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

24 Stephen Crane pioneer of naturalism looking at how society affects humanity also pioneer of impressionism filtering real events through the eyes of one character’s impression Maggie, Girl of the Streets The Red Badge of Courage Mark Twain most gifted American humorist failed soldier and gold miner first author to effectively use colloquial language for his main characters The Adventures of Tom Sawyer The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

25 Jack London spent his youth and teen years adventuring shared real and fictional adventures with the world became an alcoholic when his home burned down overdosed at age 40 Call of the Wild To Build a Fire Kate Chopin wrote of French Creole society and the repression of women in the Victorian era became a pariah and her books were removed from circulation The Awakening

26 Modernism World filled with ups and downs WWI, WWII, Great Depression Focus on search for the American dream Search for self and self-actualization Great experimentation

27 Modern Literature & Authors T.S. Eliot believed poetry was art of suggestion rather than statement believed poetry needed to be complex followed the patterns of French 19 th century poets believed himself more English than American The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock The Waste Lands Ernest Hemingway ambulance driver & foreign correspondent in WWI & WWII, respectively used real life adventures as basis for fiction wished to write “the truest sentence ever known” killed himself in 1961 won Nobel Prize A Farewell to Arms Old Man and the Sea For Whom the Bell Tolls

28 F. Scott Fitzgerald novels reflected a release from Victorian ideals worked to support his money-hungry wife Zelda spent the last years of her life in and out of asylums voice of the Jazz Age The Great Gatsby Tender is the Night The Last Tycoon William Faulkner viewed the American South as a microcosm of universal themes time, passions of the heart, destruction of the wilderness manipulated point of view and stream of consciousness writing The Sound and the Fury As I Lay Dying Absalom!

29 John Steinbeck believed political fiction could also be art traveled with the Oakies for two years Grapes of Wrath Of Mice and Men Robert Frost first poet laureate of the United States spoke of New England and simple people The Road Not Taken Death of the Hired Man

30 Harlem Renaissance “It was the period when the Negro was in vogue” Great migration to ethnically diverse Harlem, post WWI Touched all sides of art Blues – Ma Rainey Jazz – Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith Art – Aaron Douglas Poets – Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen Writers – Zora Neal Hurston, Maya Angelou

31 Contemporary Good times vs. bad times Promise and peril of technology

32 Contemporary Literature & Authors Elie Wiesel survived Auschwitz and wrote of his ordeal Night Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote “magical realism” Love in the Time of Cholera One Hundred Years of Solitude Tim O’Brien provided a real view of Vietnam The Things They Carried

33 Richard Wright first writer to expose Americans to true racism didn’t feel a part of America registered Communist self-imposed exile to France Native Son Black Boy Alice Walker celebrated strength and creativity of African-American women a childhood accident blinded her in one eye, causing her to feel an outcast, which pushed her into poetry The Color Purple

34 James Baldwin heavily inspired by Richard Wright “This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that which is art” Notes on a Native Son Sylvia Plath started writing upon her father’s death @ 8 was rejected 47 times from Seventeen magazine before finally published although widely successful, suffered from severe depression suffered from bipolar disorder committed suicide at 32


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