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American Literature A Year in Review. Unit 1: Colonial Period (Native Americans, Explorers, and Puritans) Time Period: Beginnings – 1750 Time Period:

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Presentation on theme: "American Literature A Year in Review. Unit 1: Colonial Period (Native Americans, Explorers, and Puritans) Time Period: Beginnings – 1750 Time Period:"— Presentation transcript:

1 American Literature A Year in Review

2 Unit 1: Colonial Period (Native Americans, Explorers, and Puritans) Time Period: Beginnings – 1750 Time Period: Beginnings – 1750 Basics of Literary Time Period Basics of Literary Time Period Native Americans were the first settlers in North America Native Americans were the first settlers in North America Colonists from Europe did not begin arriving until the late 1500s Colonists from Europe did not begin arriving until the late 1500s Religious reformers called Puritans sailed from England on the Mayflower in 1620 Religious reformers called Puritans sailed from England on the Mayflower in 1620

3 Background on Native Americans Native American Myths Native American Myths Explain customs, institutions, or religious rites Explain customs, institutions, or religious rites Natural landmarks Natural landmarks Events beyond Events beyond peoples control peoples control Use oral tradition Use oral tradition

4 Background on Puritans Puritans Puritans Pilgrims, or Separatists, wanted to withdraw from the Church of England Pilgrims, or Separatists, wanted to withdraw from the Church of England Puritans wanted to reform or purify the church from within; they wanted to create a theocracy Puritans wanted to reform or purify the church from within; they wanted to create a theocracy Human beings exist for the glory of God Human beings exist for the glory of God Predestination (John Calvin)- Gods elect vs. the damned Predestination (John Calvin)- Gods elect vs. the damned Thought they could accomplish good only through continual hard work and self-discipline Thought they could accomplish good only through continual hard work and self-discipline Great Awakening-series of religious revivals Great Awakening-series of religious revivals Early 1700s, Puritanism was in a decline Early 1700s, Puritanism was in a decline In 1720, religious revivals, known as The Great Awakening, were led by ministers, such as Jonathan Edwards In 1720, religious revivals, known as The Great Awakening, were led by ministers, such as Jonathan Edwards This was done in hopes of reviving the Puritan ways and beliefs This was done in hopes of reviving the Puritan ways and beliefs It did little to revive old-fashioned Puritanism It did little to revive old-fashioned Puritanism

5 Literature of the Time Period Native American Tradition: myths, folktales, etc. Native American Tradition: myths, folktales, etc. Explorers Accounts Explorers Accounts Slave Narratives Slave Narratives Religious writings Religious writings Southern Writers Southern Writers

6 Writers and Works of the Period Native Americans Native Americans The Earth on Turtles Back The Earth on Turtles Back When Grizzlies Walked Upright When Grizzlies Walked Upright Explorers Explorers Christopher Columbus – Journal of the First Voyage to America Christopher Columbus – Journal of the First Voyage to America William Bradford – Of Plymouth Plantation William Bradford – Of Plymouth Plantation Puritans Puritans Edward Taylor – Huswifery Edward Taylor – Huswifery Anne Bradstreet – To My Dear and Loving Husband Anne Bradstreet – To My Dear and Loving Husband Jonathan Edwards – Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Jonathan Edwards – Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God The Crucible (written in the 1950s, but about Puritans in the 1600s) The Crucible (written in the 1950s, but about Puritans in the 1600s)

7 Unit 2: Revolutionary Period (Age of Reason-Rationalists) Time Period: Time Period: Basics of Literary Time Period Basics of Literary Time Period Deists-believed God created the world and set it up to run without Him on a daily basis Deists-believed God created the world and set it up to run without Him on a daily basis Valued logic and reason over faith Valued logic and reason over faith Science will further human progress Science will further human progress Unlike Puritans, little care was given to the afterlife or cleansing of sins Unlike Puritans, little care was given to the afterlife or cleansing of sins Believed that people are by nature good, not evil. Could become perfect Believed that people are by nature good, not evil. Could become perfect Values rationality, order, and balance Values rationality, order, and balance Believes the universe is orderly and good Believes the universe is orderly and good

8 Writers and Works of the Period Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin The Autobiography The Autobiography Poor Richards Almanack Poor Richards Almanack Speech in the Convention Speech in the Convention Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson Declaration of Independence Declaration of Independence Thomas Paine Thomas Paine The Crisis, Number 1 The Crisis, Number 1 Patrick Henry Patrick Henry Speech in the Virginia Speech in the VirginiaConvention

9 Persuasive Techniques (Rhetorical Devices) Literary TermDefinition RepetitionRestating an idea using the same words Rhetorical question Asking a question whose answer is self-evident ParallelismRepeating grammatical structure AllusionReference to a well-known/existing piece of literature, history, etc. AlliterationRepetition of initial consonant sounds SimileComparison of two unlike items by using like or as

10 Common Universal Themes in American Literature American Individualism- the colonists who first arrived in America were seeking freedom to practice their individual religions American Dream-the idea that anyone in America can achieve prosperity through hard work, perseverance, and determination Cultural Diversity-individuals of diverse backgrounds are accepted in the U.S. (melting pot) Tolerance-acceptance of others beliefs (religious beliefs are often illustrated with American literature)

11 Unit 3: Romantic Period (Romantics, Transcendentalists, and Dark Romantics) Time Period: Time Period: Basics of the Literary Time Period Basics of the Literary Time Period Emphasized imagination, feeling, and intuition Emphasized imagination, feeling, and intuition over reason (fiction popularized as opposed to non- over reason (fiction popularized as opposed to non- fiction of the Revolutionary period) fiction of the Revolutionary period) The 5 Characteristics of the Literature (Stories, Poems, and Novels) The 5 Characteristics of the Literature (Stories, Poems, and Novels) 1. Imagination and Escapism 2. Individuality 3. Nature was seen as a source of spirituality 4. Looked to the past for wisdom 5. Emphasized common man as a hero

12 Background on Romanticism Characteristics of the American Romantic hero: Characteristics of the American Romantic hero: young, or possesses youthful qualities young, or possesses youthful qualities Innocent and pure of purpose Innocent and pure of purpose Sense of honor Sense of honor Knowledge of people and life Knowledge of people and life Loves nature Loves nature Quests for some higher truth Quests for some higher truth

13 Fireside Poets Couplet: 2 line poem Couplet: 2 line poem Quatrain: 4 line poem Quatrain: 4 line poem Cinquain: 5 line poem Cinquain: 5 line poem Characterization: reveals personality traits of a character (Direct and Indirect) Characterization: reveals personality traits of a character (Direct and Indirect) Represented a literary coming of age with the first generation of acclaimed American poets Represented a literary coming of age with the first generation of acclaimed American poets Used American settings Used American settings Some of the most read and most beloved poets Some of the most read and most beloved poets Wrote poems that were usually told around the fire Wrote poems that were usually told around the fire

14 Transcendentalism Background Everything in the world and God are 1 Everything in the world and God are 1 So… God is in everything So… God is in everything So… Everything in the world (nature) contains laws and meanings of existence So… Everything in the world (nature) contains laws and meanings of existence So… each soul also contains the soul of the world and all the world is connected to God (the over soul connects us all) So… each soul also contains the soul of the world and all the world is connected to God (the over soul connects us all)

15 Dark Romanticism Background Can be referred to as anti-transcendentalism Can be referred to as anti-transcendentalism Thought transcendentalists were too optimistic Thought transcendentalists were too optimistic Focused on the perceived darkness of the human soul Focused on the perceived darkness of the human soul Felt humans were inherently selfish Felt humans were inherently selfish Began the gothic movement Began the gothic movement Imagery: use of language to evoke a picture or concrete sensation of a person, thing, place, or experience Imagery: use of language to evoke a picture or concrete sensation of a person, thing, place, or experience Gothic Style: (Poe) remote settings, violent acts, tormented characters, and often supernatural elements Gothic Style: (Poe) remote settings, violent acts, tormented characters, and often supernatural elements Allegory: story/poem that can be read on one level for its literal meaning and on a second level for its symbolic meaning Allegory: story/poem that can be read on one level for its literal meaning and on a second level for its symbolic meaning Paradox: statement that appears self-contradictory, but that reveals a kind of truth Paradox: statement that appears self-contradictory, but that reveals a kind of truth

16 Writers and Works of the Period Romantics Romantics Washington Irving (A.K.A. the father of American literature - Washington Irving (A.K.A. the father of American literature - Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and The Devil and Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and The Devil and Tom Walker Tom Walker James Fennimore Cooper – First American novelist; wrote about Natty Bumppo (character was considered the first American hero) James Fennimore Cooper – First American novelist; wrote about Natty Bumppo (character was considered the first American hero) Herman Melville – Moby Dick Herman Melville – Moby Dick William Cullen Bryant - Thanatopsis William Cullen Bryant - Thanatopsis Dark Romantics-Reflected the darker side of life Dark Romantics-Reflected the darker side of life Edgar Allen Poe - The Raven and The Fall of the House of Usher Edgar Allen Poe - The Raven and The Fall of the House of Usher Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter and The Ministers Black Veil Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter and The Ministers Black Veil Emily Dickinson – Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died Emily Dickinson – Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died

17 Writers and Works of the Period (Continued) Transcendentalism – Reflected spirituality and optimism Ralph Waldo Emerson – Nature and Self- Reliance Ralph Waldo Emerson – Nature and Self- Reliance Henry David Thoreau – Walden and Civil Disobedience Henry David Thoreau – Walden and Civil Disobedience Walt Whitman - I Hear America Singing Walt Whitman - I Hear America Singing

18 Unit 4: Realism Time Period: Time Period: Basics of the Literary Time Period Basics of the Literary Time Period Style of writing developed in the 19 th century Style of writing developed in the 19 th century Depicts life accurately without idealizing, romanticizing, or filtering it through personal feelings Depicts life accurately without idealizing, romanticizing, or filtering it through personal feelings Focuses on ordinary people suffering the harsh realities of everyday life our common course Focuses on ordinary people suffering the harsh realities of everyday life our common course Subjects include poor factory workers and corrupt politicians Subjects include poor factory workers and corrupt politicians

19 Writing Techniques Objective Point of View- reader follows the action without understanding any characters thoughts about the events Objective Point of View- reader follows the action without understanding any characters thoughts about the events Third-Person Limited- the narrator relates the inner thoughts and feelings of a single character Third-Person Limited- the narrator relates the inner thoughts and feelings of a single character Flashback-interrupts chronological presentation of events to relate to an earlier time Flashback-interrupts chronological presentation of events to relate to an earlier time Situational Irony- outcome of an action or situation is very different from what one expects Situational Irony- outcome of an action or situation is very different from what one expects

20 Background Regionalism Regionalism Emphasizes a specific geographical setting Emphasizes a specific geographical setting Reproduces a speech of people in a certain area Reproduces a speech of people in a certain area Also shows behavior and attitudes of people living in a certain area Also shows behavior and attitudes of people living in a certain area Naturalism Naturalism Humans are subject to the laws of nature and controlled by instinct Humans are subject to the laws of nature and controlled by instinct Fate determined by environment, heredity, chance, or by uncontrollable forces Fate determined by environment, heredity, chance, or by uncontrollable forces Characters have limited choices and motivations Characters have limited choices and motivations we are all fighting a losing battle we are all fighting a losing battle Dissected human behavior with complete objectivity (like scientists) Dissected human behavior with complete objectivity (like scientists)

21 Writers and Works of the Period Mark Twain – Huck Finn Mark Twain – Huck Finn Stephan Crane – An Episode of War Stephan Crane – An Episode of War Kate Chopin – The Story of an Hour, Desirees Baby Kate Chopin – The Story of an Hour, Desirees Baby Owl Creek Bridge Bret Harte – The Outcasts of Poker Flat Bret Harte – The Outcasts of Poker Flat Jack London – To Build a Fire Jack London – To Build a Fire Abraham Lincoln – The Gettysburg Address Abraham Lincoln – The Gettysburg Address Paul Laurence Dunbar – Douglass, We Wear the Mask Paul Laurence Dunbar – Douglass, We Wear the Mask

22 Unit 5: Modernism Time Period: Time Period: Basics of the Literary Time Period Basics of the Literary Time Period Two World Wars and a Great Depression marked this era. Two World Wars and a Great Depression marked this era. The devastation of WWI brought an end to optimism. People were left feeling uncertain and disillusioned; they did not trust the ideas and values that once characterized our country. The devastation of WWI brought an end to optimism. People were left feeling uncertain and disillusioned; they did not trust the ideas and values that once characterized our country. The quest for new ideas occurred in the world of literature, and modernism was born. The quest for new ideas occurred in the world of literature, and modernism was born.

23 Modernism Key Points (Cont.) Modernist authors sought to capture the essence of modern life in both the form and the content of their work. Modernist authors sought to capture the essence of modern life in both the form and the content of their work. Modernists constructed their works out of fragments. Poets abandoned traditional forms and meters, in favor of free verse. Modernists constructed their works out of fragments. Poets abandoned traditional forms and meters, in favor of free verse. Themes of their works were usually implied, rather than directly stated, making readers draw upon their own conclusions. Themes of their works were usually implied, rather than directly stated, making readers draw upon their own conclusions. Modernist works demanded more from readers. Modernist works demanded more from readers.

24 Imagism ( ): demanded hard, clear expression, concrete images, and the language of everyday speech; their models came from the Greek and Roman classics, Chinese and Japanese poetry, and the free verse of the French poets. (Poets: H.D., Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams) Imagism ( ): demanded hard, clear expression, concrete images, and the language of everyday speech; their models came from the Greek and Roman classics, Chinese and Japanese poetry, and the free verse of the French poets. (Poets: H.D., Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams) Expatriates: writers who settled in Paris after WWI, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway Expatriates: writers who settled in Paris after WWI, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway Writer Gertrude Stein created the phrase lost generation to describe those who were disillusioned by WWI; she influenced the ideas of those writers who had settled in Paris. Writer Gertrude Stein created the phrase lost generation to describe those who were disillusioned by WWI; she influenced the ideas of those writers who had settled in Paris. Writers began using stream of consciousness attempting to recreate the natural flow of a characters thoughts. (William Faulkner and Katherine Anne Porter were known for this.) Writers began using stream of consciousness attempting to recreate the natural flow of a characters thoughts. (William Faulkner and Katherine Anne Porter were known for this.)

25 Modernism Key Points (Cont.) Poets also sought to stretch old boundaries – E.E. Cummings, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, etc. Poets also sought to stretch old boundaries – E.E. Cummings, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, etc. Harlem Renaissance: African Americans from the South created their own renaissance in Harlem; it began in 1921 (Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston Harlem Renaissance: African Americans from the South created their own renaissance in Harlem; it began in 1921 (Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston Claude McKay, and Jean Toomer) Claude McKay, and Jean Toomer) Major themes in the early 20th century: loss of innocence in people and pursuit of the American Dream Major themes in the early 20th century: loss of innocence in people and pursuit of the American Dream

26 Writers and Works of the Period F. Scott Fitzgerald – Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald – Great Gatsby T.S. Elliot – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock T.S. Elliot – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Earnest Hemingway – In Another Country Earnest Hemingway – In Another Country Eudora Welty – A Worn Path Eudora Welty – A Worn Path Poets: Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, E.E. Cummings, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, and Langston Hughes Poets: Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, E.E. Cummings, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, and Langston Hughes

27 Unit 6: Postmodernism Time Period: 1946 – Present Time Period: 1946 – Present Basics of the Literary Time Period Basics of the Literary Time Period WWII and Holocaust was hurting the meaning of life WWII and Holocaust was hurting the meaning of life Influenced by the growth of informational technology Influenced by the growth of informational technology Loss of trust in authors irrational thoughts Loss of trust in authors irrational thoughts Less confidence that work is unique – culture continually copies itself Less confidence that work is unique – culture continually copies itself Interest in work as process and how it evolves Interest in work as process and how it evolves Loss of belief that work is immortal Loss of belief that work is immortal Belief that fine art can be a cartoon Belief that fine art can be a cartoon Works consisting of dialogue alone Works consisting of dialogue alone Works that blend fiction and non-fiction Works that blend fiction and non-fiction Experimentation of the physical appearance of a work Experimentation of the physical appearance of a work Essence of contemporary life in works Essence of contemporary life in works Impersonal and commercial nature of todays work Impersonal and commercial nature of todays work

28 Writers and Works of the Period Arthur Miller – The Crucible Arthur Miller – The Crucible J.D. Salinger – Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger – Catcher in the Rye Flannery OConnor – The Life You Save May Be Your Own Flannery OConnor – The Life You Save May Be Your Own Naomi Shihab Nye – Mint Snowball Naomi Shihab Nye – Mint Snowball Alice Walker – Everyday Use Alice Walker – Everyday Use Carson McCullers – The Mortgaged Heart Carson McCullers – The Mortgaged Heart Sylvia Plath – Mirror Sylvia Plath – Mirror Gwendolyn Brooks – The Explorer Gwendolyn Brooks – The Explorer Tim OBrien – Ambush Tim OBrien – Ambush

29 The End! I hope youve learned plenty about American Literature, and perhaps, you can now reflect upon the significance of this history and how it continues to shape the ideas, culture, and literature of today.


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