Presentation on theme: "Early American Literature"— Presentation transcript:
1 Early American Literature Colonial PeriodEarly American Literature
2 Native American Literature The earliest American Literature was composed by Native Americans.Much of Native American Literature was passed down orally.Native American tales were often mythological and/or folktales, such as Trickster tales.
3 Exploration Literature Once explorers began to travel to the New World, they chronicled their experiences in the form of diaries and letters home.Often, the diaries and letters were propaganda designed to increase settlers’ interest in the land.
4 The PuritansThe term “Puritan” was applied to two groups of people who believed that:1) They should separate themselves from the “corrupt” Church of England” or2) The Church of England needed reform
5 Puritan Beliefs Predestination Covenant of Works Covenant of Grace Covenant of Redemption
6 PredestinationGod has chosen certain few of the “elect” for salvation.Unlike other Christians, they believed faith alone was not enough.Whether or not you were “saved” could be determined by your behavior—if you acted in a holy manner, it was assumed you were saved.
7 Covenant of WorksGod promised Adam and his progeny eternal life if they obeyed moral law.Adam broke this covenant.
8 Covenant of GraceOnce Adam broke the Covenant with God, He created a new covenant with Abraham.Punishment for sins is considered a proper response to disobedience.
9 Covenant of Redemption Puritans believed that Jesus freely offered himself as a sacrifice on behalf of all people.God must accept Jesus’s sacrifice as a representative for all people.
10 What the Puritans DidEstablished settlements in Massachusetts, including Plymouth and Boston.Influenced America’s system of laws and morals.Wrote in “plain style”—writing unadorned with figurative language.
11 Salem Witch TrialsIn 1692, Salem, MA. experienced the witchcraft hysteria, which had been plaguing Europe for some time.Before the Salem Witch Trials ended, 185 people would be accused of the sin of witchcraft.Of those accused, 20 were executed.Arthur Miller wrote an account of the trials called The Crucible.
12 Puritan LiteratureHistories: William Bradford’s Of Plymouth PlantationPoetry: Anne Bradstreet and Edward TaylorSermons: Jonathan EdwardsBiographies: Mary Rowlandson’s kidnapping account“Tracts”: Increase Mather, Cotton Mather
13 The Scarlet Letter Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, published in 1850. Hawthorne descended from Salem Witch Trials judge John Hathorne (N. Hawthorne added the “w” for clarification in pronunciation).A sense of guilt over the actions of his ancestors compelled him to write many times on Puritan themes.The Scarlet Letter is set in the mid-1600’s, during the Puritan era in Boston.