Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

American Literature A Year in Review.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "American Literature A Year in Review."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Literature A Year in Review

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

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

4 Background on Puritans
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 Human beings exist for the glory of God Predestination (John Calvin)- God’s elect vs. the damned Thought they could accomplish good only through continual hard work and self-discipline Great Awakening-series of religious revivals Early 1700s, Puritanism was in a decline 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 It did little to revive old-fashioned Puritanism

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

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

7 Unit 2: Revolutionary Period (Age of Reason-Rationalists)
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 Valued logic and reason over faith Science will further human progress 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 Values rationality, order, and balance Believes the universe is orderly and good

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

9 Persuasive Techniques (Rhetorical Devices)
Literary Term Definition Repetition Restating an idea using the same words Rhetorical question Asking a question whose answer is self-evident Parallelism Repeating grammatical structure Allusion Reference to a well-known/existing piece of literature, history, etc. Alliteration Repetition of initial consonant sounds Simile Comparison 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: Basics of the Literary Time Period Emphasized imagination, feeling, and intuition over reason (fiction popularized as opposed to non- fiction of the Revolutionary period) The 5 Characteristics of the Literature (Stories, Poems, and Novels) Imagination and Escapism Individuality Nature was seen as a source of spirituality Looked to the past for wisdom Emphasized common man as a hero

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

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

14 Transcendentalism Background
Everything in the world and God are 1 So… God is in everything 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)

15 Dark Romanticism Background
Can be referred to as anti-transcendentalism Thought transcendentalists were too optimistic Focused on the perceived darkness of the human soul Felt humans were inherently selfish Began the gothic movement 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 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

16 Writers and Works of the Period
Romantics Washington Irving (A.K.A. the father of American literature - Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and “The Devil and Tom Walker” James Fennimore Cooper – First American novelist; wrote about Natty Bumppo (character was considered the first American hero) Herman Melville – Moby Dick William Cullen Bryant - “Thanatopsis” Dark Romantics-Reflected the darker side of life Edgar Allen Poe - “The Raven” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter and “The Minister’s Black Veil” 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” Henry David Thoreau – “Walden” and “Civil Disobedience” Walt Whitman - “I Hear America Singing”

18 Unit 4: Realism Time Period: 1850-1914
Basics of the Literary Time Period Style of writing developed in the 19th century 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” Subjects include poor factory workers and corrupt politicians

19 Writing Techniques Objective Point of View- reader follows the action without understanding any character’s thoughts about the events 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 Situational Irony- outcome of an action or situation is very different from what one expects

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

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

22 Unit 5: Modernism Time Period: 1914-1946
Basics of the Literary Time Period 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 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. 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. 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) 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. Writers began using stream of consciousness attempting to recreate the natural flow of a character’s 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. 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) 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 T.S. Elliot – “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” Earnest Hemingway – “In Another Country” Eudora Welty – “A Worn Path” Poets: Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, E.E. Cummings, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, and Langston Hughes

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

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

29 The End! I hope you’ve 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.

Download ppt "American Literature A Year in Review."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google