Early American Literature

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Last updated: April 29, 2019
Why study American literature?
1. Shape our goals2. Develops perspectives on events locally and globally3. Shapes influence of life4.

Stimulates imagination5. National voice

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Characteristics of Early Americans
1. Diverse ethnicities2. Little to no connection to country of origin3. Have dignity, not oppression or poverty4. Substistince farmers5. “Mild government”6.

Industrious(no factories though)7. No nobility8. Smaller gap between rich and poor

Puritans- What they were called
Called Puritans, Seperatists, and troublemakers.

They called themselves Saints.

Puritans- Their beliefs
1. Total depravity- every human born sinful2. The Doctrine of Election- God would chose who would go to heaven and hell.3. Predestination- Only few would be saved4. Limited atonment- Jesus died for the chosen only5. Irresistable grace- God’s grace can’t be earned or denied6.

Preseverance of the “Saints”- Those elected by God have full power to interpret.preach the will of God

Why William Bradford was famous
He showed American life and Puritan religion in Plymouth

Details of Anne bradstreet’s life
-Brought up in England-Married to Simon bradstreet at 16-Moved to America age 18-Family was influential in Mass. Bay Colony(Harvard University)-She was very feministic and she proved women could write just as well as men could.

What Anne Bradstreet wrote about in her poetry
She wrote about her faith, her love, and her experiences in the New World

Characteristics of Edward Taylor’s poetry
He wrote about individual relationship to God using elaborate comparisons to 2 different things(conceits)

Edward Taylor’s success as published poet
He is now considered the finest Puritan writer

Cotton Mather- Why he is famous and important
-He is famous because his writing could be realted to at the time and it was educational about teh Bible so it interested people.-He is influential because it reveals important information about history and society at the time.

Changes in early short fiction from Puritan era to Age of Reason
Puritan literature emphasized God’s works in the world and his presence whereas lieterature from the Age of Reason was based on people’s freedom to make their own decisions and their responsiblitly for those decisions.

Moral Code/Native American/Slavery literature similarities
-Love and compassion-Violation of rights-Equality for all-Valued family

Washington Irving- Details of life
-He tried to run away to sea as a kid-Passed the bar exam to become a lawyer-He didn’t take his writing seriously till he was forced to make a profit from it-First internationally known American writer

Washignton Irving- Inspirations
He got ideas from his life in new York and Spain, and from myths and legends.

Washington Irving- Characteristics of writing
He wrote satires, he used “local color” and he was the first to use an anti-hero

“Rip Van Winkle”- Basic details/analysis
-“Hen-pecked husband”-Showed casual, slow-paced life before the Revolution; After the Revolution it was a busy, bustling, and disputatious life.-Rip goes into woods, finds stranger who takes him to a weird party in the mountains, he drinks and wakes up 20 years later, he returns home to find life is different.

Moral Code literature characteristics
-Loyalty to spouse-Forming new rules for behavior-Marriage issues-Monogomous marraige

Native American literature characteristics
-Showed trustworthiness-Showed increasing intolerance of Native Americans-Showed courage, kindness, and compassion

Slavery literature charactersitics
-Slavery breaks up families-Slavery is theft/wrong/frowned upon-Slavery is worse than death

Moral Code/Slavery literature characteristics
-Pro-minorities(women/African-Americans)-Boteh changing-Betrayal

Moral Code/Native Americans literature characteristics
-All set in America-Loyalty-Explored new problems

Native Americans/Slavery literature characteristics
-Native Americans/African-Americans are HUMAN-Value life

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