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American Literature Introduction. Historical Background 1.Early history: 1) In 1542, Christopher Columbus found the new continent called America. 2) In.

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Presentation on theme: "American Literature Introduction. Historical Background 1.Early history: 1) In 1542, Christopher Columbus found the new continent called America. 2) In."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Literature Introduction

2 Historical Background 1.Early history: 1) In 1542, Christopher Columbus found the new continent called America. 2) In 1607, Captain John Smith led some Englishmen across the ocean. 3) In 1620, 102 passengers sailed on the ship Mayflower across the sea and settled on the new continent New England. What do you know about American early history?

3 Historical Background 2. People: native inhabitants: Indians Immigrants mostly from Europe: Spanish; Dutch; French English immigrants, Jamestown, Virginia, 1607 Puritans a group of religious people advocated religious &moral principles

4 Historical Background 3. Belief---Puritanism Puritans wanted to purify the church to its original state, because they thought the church was corrupted and had too many rituals a code of values a philosophy of life a point of view Calvinists took roots in the New World

5 Doctrines of Puritans taking religion as the most important thing; living for glorifying God; believing predestination, original sin, total depravi, & limited atonement

6 American Puritanism Features of American Puritan idealistdream they would build the new land to an Eden on earth. more practical, tougher the severe conditions struggle for survival preoccupied with business and profits

7 American Puritanism Enduring shaping influence on literature Basis of American literature went into the making of American literature dreamed of living under a perfect order worked with courage hoped to build an Eden of Garden on earth faced the worst of life with optimism All literature is based on a myth – garden of Eden.

8 American Puritanism Contributing to the development of Symbolism: a technique, widely used Puritans thought that all the simple objects existing in the world connoted deep meaning. Symbolism means using symbols in literary works. The symbol means something that represents or stands for abstract deep meaning.

9 American Puritanism Influencing the style of literature: simple, fresh and direct (just as the style of the Authorized Version of Holy Bible) Without understanding of Puritanism, there can be no good understanding of American culture and literature.

10 Brief Outline of American Literature 1. Colonial period and Revolutionary period 2.Romanticism 3.The age of Realism 4. The Modern period 5. After the WWII

11 Time: 1607 the Independence War the settlement of North America 1783 Major topic:American Puritanism Colonial period and Revolutionary period

12 Benjamin Franklin Jonathan Edwards

13 Romanticism Time: 1783 the Civil War the Independence War 1861 American ideal of democracy & equality, industrialization, westward expansion, foreign influences literary expansion & expression possible & inevitable

14 Romanticism ( ) Washington Irving James Fenimore Cooper

15 Summit of Romanticism-Transcendentalism (American Renaissance) Ralph Waldo Emerson Henry DavidThoreau

16 Late Romanticism Nathaniel HawthorneHerman Melville not optimistic

17 Romantic Poets Walt Whitman Emily Dickinson

18 Romanticism Edgar Allen Poe the most controversial & the most misunderstood

19 The age of Realism Time: 1861 the First World War the Civil War 1914 concern for the common-place offer an objective view

20 The Age of Realism ( ) Mark Twain Henry James

21 Naturalism Stephen Crane Theodore Dreiser

22 Conclusion Early Romanticism The age of Realism Colonial period and Revolutionary period Irving Franklin Cooper Emerson Hawthorne Poe Whitman Dickenson Twain James Dreiser Melville Thoreau Transcendentalism Late Romanticism poets


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