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    American lit Essay (1051 words)

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    When did American Literature begin? – with the Native Americans. Three dominant characteristics/themes of Native American Literature are:

    Relationship with the land, belief in the Great Manito, and use of natural images are important themes in Native American literature. Columbus described the New World as astonishing, colorful, and marvelous, with speedy canoes and a paradise-like quality. The Bay Psalm Book was the first book published in America, while the Walum Olum was a painted record. Allusion is a reference to something, while concrete language is short, forceful, and cleaner. A conceit is a controlling image, while analogy is a comparison using like or as. A simile is a direct comparison using like or as, while a metaphor is saying something is something it’s not. Antonyms are two opposite words, while irony is the opposite of what’s supposed to happen. Sarcasm is a low form of irony. The Great Awakening was a fervent revival of religious dedication, while pictographs are word pictures. When comparing and contrasting the literature of Puritans and the southern colonies, Puritans were simple, religious, practical, and examined their spiritual selves, while southerners were flashy, flowery, ornate, complicated, and decorative. The purpose of A Description of New England was to get people to move to New England by exaggerating the good and not mentioning the bad. TULIP stands for Total Depravity/inability, Unconditional election/selection, Limited Atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance/preservation for the saints. The conceit of In Reference to Her Children and Huswifery is chickens and birds, and a spinning wheel, respectively. Huswifery was not published for 210 years because the author told his family it was too flashy and didn’t want it published. William Byrd’s background reveals itself in A progress to the Mines as well-educated and French-speaking. He was writing to the upper class and well-educated. William Byrd visits various places, and the events are summarized. Examples of imagery in Jonathan Edwards’ Sinners include the wrath of God, the fiery pit, and the bow of God’s wrath.

    What was the purpose of Sinners? How does he go about meeting his end? – To get people to convert/come to Christ and scare people about Hell so much that they figure there’s no other way than to go to Heaven. What was the shot heard round the world? – The first shot of the Revolutionary War at Concord Lexington. Define Stamp Act – Colonists had to buy stamps for newspapers, licenses, pamphlets, and other documents. Quartering Act – Colonists were made to house British soldiers in homes. Townshend Acts – Tea, glass, lead, and paper were taxed. Common Sense when published – January 1776, by Thomas Paine. Epitaph – Writing on the grave. Allusion – Referring to a past known circumstance. Oratory – The study of speech. Parallelism – Repetition. Loaded word. Tone – Emotion on paper. What effect did Noah Webster have on spelling and American Literature? – He made it independent of England and other outer influences and made a truly American speech. What are two elements of an American book? How are they particularly American? – Natural wilderness (setting) and revolution (great human experience). Study the aphorisms from Poor Richard’s Almanack. What does each mean? How does Henry use allusions in his speech? What effect does it have? – Biblical (meaningful), flattering for them to be compared to the Israelites. Define and identify the value of each: Repetition – Saying some things over and over; memorable, force. Rhetorical question – Assumes the audience knows the answer; confidence, show sarcasm, connect with the audience. Improvisation – A speech with no previous thought; forceful. Explain the connection between the location and the roles each tribe and the image of a long house.

    What is the connection between the Social Contract Theory and the Declaration of Independence? Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence based on the idea of the Social Contract theory. Where was Bartram from? Where does the example from Travels take place? Bartram was from Philadelphia, and the example from Travels takes place in eastern Florida. What value does a reading like Travels have for us today? It has historical value for the history of science, but no real value as science itself. It is entertaining reading. What is the difference between subjective and objective? Subjective refers to emotions, while objective refers to facts. What does Crevecoeur think is so great about America? He thinks it is a place of enlightened ideas. Identify six characteristics of Romanticism in literature: a profound love of nature, focus on self/individual, fascination with dark, supernatural, gothic, mysterious side, yearning for picturesque and exotic, deep-rooted idealism, and passionate nationalism. Explain the major shift in literature during this period. It changed from being written for political purposes or as a business to being written for art’s sake. Match the following characters with their description and place the characters in their stories:

    • Rip Van Winkle: easygoing, with an aversion to work for himself
    • Nicholas Vedder: smoker in front of tavern
    • Dame Van Winkle: married to Rip, a nagging shrew-like wife
    • Wolf(dog): Rip’s dog, whipped by Dame Winkle
    • Peter Vanderdonk: old sage
    • Diedrich Knickerbocker: made-up author who traveled to hidden Dutch coves to find old stories
    • Major Andre:
    • Ichabod Crane: tall, skinny, gangly schoolteacher
    • Katrina Van Tassel: beautiful girl that Ichabod likes, her father is rich
    • Baltus Van Tassel: Katrina’s father who is rich
    • Brom Bones: other guy who likes Katrina
    • Gunpowder(horse): the horse Ichabod borrows to go to the dance
    • Galloping Hessian: old ghost story, headless horseman who wanders around looking for his head
    • Daredevil(horse): Brom’s half-wild horse
    • Tom Walker: sells his soul to the devil for Kidd’s $
    • Deacon Peabody: owns the swamp, got his money from killing Indians, deep cuts in the tree with his name on it
    • Kidd the Pirate: hid his stolen gold and the devil is guarding it
    • Henry March:
    • Natty Bumpo:
    • Lenore: woman the poet from Raven who died or left him
    • Pluto: first black cat
    • Luchesi:
    • Fortunato:
    • Montresor:

    Who was Diedrich Knickerbocker? Washington Irving created a romantic guy who listens to old wives’ tales and writes them down. Characterize Rip Van Winkle as easygoing, unambitious, cheerful, followed by children and dogs, with an aversion to profitable labor, and likes squirrel hunting and fishing with his dog.

    Where does The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” take place? It takes place in Tarry Town, where men would linger around the tavern and the wives named it that.

    Describe Ichabod Crane. He is a teacher who is long, skinny, has a big nose, low forehead, and is strict with children. He believes in the saying, “spare the rod, spoil the child.”

    Why did Irving choose Puritan New England as the setting for “Devil and Tom Walker?” He chose it because they had a great fear of damnation.

    Describe the initial encounter with the Devil, the wife’s involvement, terms of Tom’s deal, occupation, and Tom’s fate.

    Translate “Thanatopsis.” It means “view of death.” Bryant’s view was that death is one with nature and that we should be with other great people who have gone before us.

    Define “meter.” It is a regular rhythm in poetry. A unit of meter is a foot of poetry, which consists of stressed and unstressed syllables (one stressed and two unstressed syllables).

    How is “The Black Cat” an example of Romantic Literature? It focuses on the self and individual, has a fascination with the supernatural, and is gothic.

    Compare and contrast the following views on the dark side of humanity:

    • Death Instinct/Spirit of Perverseness: Freud and Poe – The dark side is constantly present.
    • Sinful Nature: Christianity – There is a way out.

    According to Montressor, what are the two requirements of meaningful revenge? The two requirements are that you can’t be consumed by it and once you’ve taken your revenge, you should drop it. Also, you shouldn’t let the person know you’re upset with them and seeking revenge.

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