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1 History and Anthology of American Literature

1 History and Anthology of American Literature

History and Anthology of American Literature

Part I. The Literature of Colonial America (约1607 - 1765) 约 Part II. The Literature of Reason and Revolution (1765 -1800) Part III. The Literature of Romanticism (1800 1865) Part Ⅳ. The Literature of Realism (1865 - 1914) Part Ⅴ. The Literature of Modernism (1914 1945) Part Ⅵ. The Contemporary Literature (1945 – the present)

Part I. The Literature of Colonial America (约1607 - 1765)
Historical Introduction Early American writers and Poets Puritan Puritanism

Historical Introduction
1. The native American and their culture – Indians
When Christopher Columbus reached the continent of North America in 1492, there were more than two thousand independent tribes of about one million natives. They were Asian in origin, living there for about two thousand years already. As Columbus mistook them for Indians, they have been called American Indians since then. They spoke five hundred different languages from fifty different languages groups that existed in North America before the first Europeans arrived there

Native American Literature Because no Indian tribe had a written language until Sequoyah invented a syllabary(音节文字表) for the Cherokees(切罗基族) in 1821, it is wildly assumed that the Indians had no literature. In fact, all Indian tribes had a rich store of oral literature in the forms of songs, prayers, spells, charms, omens, riddles, and stories. Different tribes had different literary tastes. 1) war tales 2) stories about sex 3) tales of supernatural Their stories range from origin myth through trickster and hero tales to prophecy.

2. The historical background of the colonial Time
Christopher Columbus discovered the American continent in 1492. After that, many European settlers came to American continent. The earliest settlers included Dutch, Swedes, Germans, French, Spaniard, Italians, and Portuguese. Captain Christopher Newport reached Virginia in 1607. the first colony Jamestown Puritans came the New England area, by Mayflower in 1619. The first settlement was established in Plymouth in 1620.

Early American Writers and Poets
“The first American literature was neither American nor really literature. It was not American because it was the work mainly of immigrants from England. It was not literature as we know it – in the form of poetry, essay, or fiction – but rather an interesting mixture of travel accounts and religious writings”. ------Bode

South, Jamestown, Virginia: Captain John Smith
His Life: A real adventurer, he had fought the Turks in Hungary, where he was wounded and taken prisoner. He was sold as a slave and escaped by killing his master. In 1607, he helped to set up Jamestown, the first English colony in America.

His Works: Smith sent a letter to the Virginia Company in London, defending the handling of the settlement and proclaiming the merits of the new land. In 1608, most part of his letter was published, under the title A True Relation of Such Occurrences and Accidents of Note as Hath Happened in Virginia Since the First Planting of That Colony. 《关于弗吉尼亚的真实叙述》 Thus, Captain John Smith became the first American writer. Smith published eight in all. His Contributions: His description of America were filled with themes, myths, images, scenes, characters and events that were a foundation for the nation’s literature. He lured the Pilgrims into fleeing here and creating a New land.

North, New England, Puritan Writers William Bradford: first governor of Plymouth, The History of Plymouth Plantation,《普利茅斯种植 园史》 simplicity, earnestness, direct reporting, readable, moving. John Winthrop: first governor of Boston, The History of New England, 《新英格兰史》 candid simplicity, honesty Two Poets: Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor

Anne Bradstreet (1612----1672) (1612----1672)
Her Life: Born in 1612 into a prosperous English family, Anne Dudley was given a wide education uncommon for girls at that time. In 1628 she married Simon Bradstreet, and two years later the couple migrated to North America along with others of the Puritan outlook. The Bradstreets were an influential family in Massachusetts Bay; Simon became judge, legislator, and eventually governor of the colony. Meanwhile Anne Bradstreet cared for her husband and growing family, and wrote poetry. Her extensive literary production was managed along with the task of being a wilderness wife and the mother of eight children.

Subjects of her poems: Some of Anne Bradstreet’s poetic ventures were over ambitious, but she wrote well when she dealt with the simple events of her daily life. long, religious poems on conventional subjects such as the seasons, the witty poems on subjects from daily life and her warm and loving poems to her husband and children.

The Complete Works of Anne Bradstreet
Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up In America (1650) Several Poems Compiled with Great Wit and Learning (1678). Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up In America contained the first New World poems published in England, which shows the influence of Edmund Spenser, Philip Sidney and other English poets as well.

Edward Taylor (1645----1729) (1645----1729)
His Life: Like Anne Bradstreet, the intense, brilliant poet and minister Edward Taylor was born in England. The son of a yeoman farmer ---- an independent farmer who owned his own land ---- Taylor was a teacher who sailed to New England in 1668 rather than took an oath of loyalty to the Church of England. He studied at Harvard College, and, like most Harvardtrained ministers, he knew Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. A selfless and pious man, Taylor acted as a missionary to the settlers when he accepted his lifelong job as a minister in the frontier town of Westfield, Massachusetts, 160 kilometers into the thickly forested, wild interior. Taylor was the best-educated man in the area, and he put his knowledge to use, working as the town minister, doctor, and civic leader.

His Works: Taylor did not publish any of his work. His poems were found in manuscript in 1937, more than two hundred years after his death. This discovery brought Taylor to immediate prominence in the colonial literary history, and enriched American poetic heritage. A complete edition of Taylor’s poems appeared in 1960. Taylor wrote a variety of verse: funeral elegies, lyrics, a medieval "debate," and a 500-page Metrical History of Christianity (mainly a history of martyrs). His best works, according to modern critics, are the series of short Preparatory Meditations. The Poetical Works (1939) Edited by Thomas Johnson. Poems of Edward Taylor Edited by Donald E. Stanford. Yale, 1960.

The Main Features of the literature of this period

2) 3) 4)

American literature grew out of humble origins. Diaries, histories, journals, letters, commonplace books, travel books, sermons, in short, personal literature in its various forms, occupy a major position in the literature of the early colonial period. In content these early writings served either God or colonial expansion or both. In form, if there was any form at all, English literary traditions were faithfully imitated and transplanted. The Puritanism formed in this period was one of the most enduring shaping influences in American thought and American literature.

One division of English Protestant. They regarded the reformation of the church under Elizabeth as incomplete, and called for further purification from what they considered to be unscriptural and corrupt forms and ceremonies retained from the unreformed church. Their Religious Doctrines: original sin, total depravity, predestination and limited atonement through a special infusion of grace from God.

Basic Puritan Beliefs
Total Depravity - through Adam and Eve's fall, every person is born sinful - concept of Original Sin. Unconditional Election - God "saves" those he wishes - only a few are selected for salvation concept of predestination. Limited Atonement - Jesus died for the chosen only, not for everyone. Irresistible Grace - God's grace is freely given, it cannot be earned or denied. Grace is defined as the saving and transfiguring power of God.

Perseverance of the "saints" - those elected by
God have full power to interpret the will of God, and to live uprightly. If anyone rejects grace after feeling its power in his life, he will be going against the will of God - something impossible in Puritanism.

Puritan values (creeds):
Hard work, thrift, piety, sobriety, simple tastes. joy and laughter are symptoms of sin.

Puritan personality:
Puritans are more practical, tougher, to be ever ready for any misfortune and tragic failure and optimistic.

基督教认为,人类始祖亚当因违命偷吃禁果而犯下 了“原罪”。 “原罪”代代相传,于是世人天生都带有罪性而且 无法自我拯救。只有万能的上帝才能拯救人的灵魂。 然而,并不是人人都可以得救,也不是通过个人努 力可以得救,只有上帝的“选民”才能得救。 可是,人们可以在唯一最高权威的《圣经》中寻找 提示,按照上帝的圣意,一丝不苟的实践《圣经》 上的教诲。否则,人们将受到严厉惩罚,在地狱中 煎熬。 要义 :1.彻底的堕落;2.无条件的挑选;3.有限的 赎罪;4.不可抗拒的恩典;5.圣人的坚韧 。

A religious and political movement. Simply speaking, American Puritanism just refers to the spirit and ideal of puritans who settled in the North American continent in the early part of the seventeenth century because of religious persecutions. In content it means scrupulous moral rigor, especially hostility to social pleasures and indulgences, that is strictness, sternness and austerity in conduct and religion. Through it, one sees emerging the right of the individual to political and religious independence. a state of mind, a part of the national culture, rather than a set of tenets

Influence on American Literature
America literature is in good measure a literary expression of the pious idealism of the American Puritanism bequest. 1. All literature is based on a myth of garden of Eden. 2. Symbolism: the American puritan’s metaphorical mode of perception was chiefly instrumental in calling into being a literary symbolism which is distinctly American. Symbolism as a technique has become a common practice in American literature. 3. With regard to their writing, the style is fresh, simple and direct; the rhetoric is plain and honest, not without a touch of nobility often traceable to the direct influence of the Bible.

Part II. The Literature of Reason and Revolution
Historical Introduction Major Writers and Literary Works 1. Benjamin Franklin 2. Thomas Paine 3. Thomas Jefferson 4. Philip Freneau

Historical Introduction
Industrial Revolution: spurred the economy in American colonies. Independence War: the industrial growth led to intense strain with Britain. The British government tried to suppress their growth economically, and ruled them from abroad politically and levied heavy tax on them. these aroused bitter resentment in colonies. Constant conflicts resulted in American revolutionary war.

Spiritual life of the colonies—Enlightenment.
Philosophical and intellectual movement. – The 18th-century American enlightenment as a movement marked by an emphasis on rationality rather than tradition, scientific inquiry instead of unquestioning religious dogma, and representative government in place of monarchy. – Enlightenment thinkers and writers, such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine, were devoted to the ideals of justice, liberty, and equality as the natural rights of man.

In these period with the exception of outstanding political writing, such as Common sense, Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers and so on, few works of note appeared. Even if there appeared poetry and fiction, they were full of imitativeness and vague universality. So most Americans were painfully aware of their excessive dependence on English literary models. The search for a native literature became a national obsession.

Benjamin Franklin

Thomas Jefferson

Major Writers and Literary Works

Thomas Paine

Philip Freneau

Benjamin Franklin

His Life
He was a rare genius in human history. Everything seems to meet in this one man, mind and will, talent and art, strength and ease, wit and grace. he became almost everything: a printer, postmaster, citizen, almanac maker, essayist, scientist, inventor, orator, statesman, philosopher, political economist, ambassador, musician and parlor man.





Benjamin Franklin - Printer
As a child, He loved to read, write, and collect books; so when it came time to choose a trade, his father wanted him to become a printer. At the age of twelve, he started as an apprentice with his older brother James. At the age of twenty-two, he opened his own printing shop. His newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette became very popular and profitable. A few years later, Poor Richard’s Almanac was released and soon became the best selling book in the colonies, selling over 10,000 copies a year. Soon, he became the most active printer in the colonies and was appointed the official printer of Pennsylvania.

His duties included printing money, laws, and documents for the colony. He then became the public printer for Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland. He also helped establish newspapers in New York, Connecticut, and two islands in the West Indies.

Benjamin Franklin - Librarian Books were very expensive during his time and therefore not everyone was able to afford them. Some fellow printers and Benjamin Franklin, known as the Leather Apron Club (because most of us wore leather aprons) discussed ways they could help the community. Through his suggestion, they started a lending library that was open to everyone. They would pool their money and buy books, which people could borrow. So, in 1731, the first lending library in America opened. Soon, other towns began to imitate the library, until reading became fashionable even among the less educated.

Benjamin Franklin - Inventor
At the age of forty-two, Benjamin Franklin retired from printing to explore his other interests. He devoted this time to inventing. During his life, he had invented many things, including: Swim fins, bifocals, a glass armonica, watertight bulkheads for ships, the lightning rod, an odometer, and the wood stove (called the Franklin stove). In addition to inventing, he enjoyed experimenting. One thing that always fascinated his was electricity. So, one stormy night Franklin and his son William were experimenting with lightning. He attached a pointed metal piece on the top of his kite and a metal key to the base of the string. Lightning struck the kite and traveled down the kite string to the key. When he touched the key with his knuckle, there was a spark! It's a good thing he didn't electrocute himself ,but he did prove that lightning is electricity! Afterwards, he invented the lightning rod to protect buildings and ships from lightning damage.

Benjamin Franklin - Statesman
When Franklin was born, America was made up of thirteen colonies that were ruled by England. Trouble between England and the thirteen colonies started to unfold following the French and Indian War. The imposition of the Stamp, Townshend, and Intolerable Acts angered the colonists to rebel against Mother England. On April 19, 1775, the colonists went to war for their freedom. During the fight for independence, he was sent to Europe to represent the colonies. In 1776, he signed the Declaration of Independence and. In 1778, the Treaty of Alliance with France. In addition, he negotiated with the French to help the colonists and became the first United States minister to France. he helped secure guns, ammunition, and other provisions for the army as well as volunteer troops. When the colonists won their independence in 1781, Franklin helped negotiate the peace with England and signed what ultimately became known as Treaty of Peace with Great Britain (1782).

The constitution

Benjamin Franklin - Writer
Benjamin Franklin’s major works:

Poor Richard’s Almanac
It contains many proverbs

the first real autobiography in English

Major Works Poor Richard’s Almanac
a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h) i) j)

Maxims(谚语,格言) and axioms(哲理,格言) (谚语,格言) (哲理,格言) Lost time is never found again. A penny saved is a penny earned. God help them that help themselves. Fish and visitors stink in three days. After three days, they both become
offensive and must be thrown out.

Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Ale in, truth out. Eat not to dullness. Drink not to elevation. Diligence is the Mother of Good Luck. One Today is worth two tomorrow. Industry pays debts. Despair encreaseth them.勤劳替你还债,绝望添

Autobiography: inspiring account of a poor boy’s rise to a high position. It is a how-to-do-it book, one on the art of self-improvement. Contents: It covered Franklin’s life only until 1757 when he was 51 years old. It described his life as a shrewd and industrious businessman and narrates how he owned the constant felicity of his life, his longcontinued health and acquisition of fortune. Significance: It presents a prototype of American success which inspired generations of Americans. It is an embodiment of Puritanism and enlightening spirits.

Analysis of Selected Parts
A. 3 paras a. He was interested in reading as a child. b. Being an apprentice to his brother, he began writing. c. How he improved his argumentation. Summary: Franklin was thirsty for knowledge and improved his writing with practical methods. How he gained success through one’s consistent effort and hard working. (self-improvement/education) B. 5 paras a. The way of learning language. b. Practice makes perfect---a piece of advice on how to teach language. c/d. Relations with his relatives. Life experience. e. Learning Club: devoted on the improvement of young man, influence public opinion. Summary: Franklin was a practical, diligent man. In learning language, he had a great power of endurance and clever mind. He always tried his best to achieve his goal, no matter in life or study. (self-reliance)

Franklin's 13 virtues
1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. 节制:食不可过饱,饮不得过量。 2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. 缄默:避免无聊闲扯,言谈必须对人有益。 3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. 秩序:何处放何物,何时做何事。 4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve. 决心:要做之事就下决心去做,决心做的事一定要完成。 5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing. 节俭:不得浪费,任何花费都要有益,不论是于人于已。

Franklin's 13 virtues
6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
真诚:不损害他人,不使用欺骗挺手段。考虑事情要公正合理, 说话要依据真实情况。

8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

Franklin's 13 virtues
10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation. 清洁:身体、衣着和居所要力求清洁。 11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. 平静:戒除不必要的烦恼。也就是指那些琐事、常见的和不可 避免的不顺利的事情。 12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation. 贞节:少行房事,决不使身体虚弱,生活贫乏,除非为了健康 或后代的需要。不可损坏自已或他人的声誉或者安宁。 13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates. 谦逊:以耶稣和苏格拉底为榜样。

a. It is perhaps the first real post-revolutionary American writing as well as the first real autobiography in English. b. It gives us the simple yet immensely fascinating record of a man rising to wealth and fame from a state of poverty and obscurity into which he was born, the faithful account of the colorful career of America’s first selfmade man. c. First of all, it is a puritan document. The most famous section describes his scientific scheme of self-examination and self-improvement.

e. It is also an eloquent elucidation of the fact that Franklin was spokesman for the new order of eighteenth century enlightenment, and that he represented in America all its ideas, that man is basically good and free, by nature endowed by God with certain inalienable rights of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. f. It is the pattern of Puritan simplicity, directness, and concision. The plainness of its style, the homeliness of imagery, the simplicity of diction, syntax and expression are some of the salient features we cannot mistake.

1 He was a rare genius in human history. Nature seemed particularly lavish and happy when he was shaped. Everything seems to meet in this one man, mind and will, talent and art, strength and ease, wit and grace, and he became almost everything: a printer, postmaster, citizen, almanac maker, essayist, scientist, inventor, orator, statesman, philosopher, political economist, ambassador, musician and parlor man. He was the first great self-made man in America, a poor democrat born in an aristocratic age that his fine example helped to liberalize.





Politically he brought the colonial era to a close. For quite some time he was regarded as the father of all Yankees, even more than Washington was. He was the only American to sign the four documents that created the United States: the declaration of Independence, the treaty of alliance with France, the treaty of peace with England, and the constitution. Scientifically, as the symbol of America in the Age of Enlightenment, he invented a lot of useful implements. His research on electricity, his famous experiment with his kite line and many others made him the preeminent scientist of his day. Literally, he really opened the story of American literature. D. H. Lawrence agreed that Franklin was everything but a poet. In the Scottish philosopher David Hume’s eyes he was America’s “first great man of letters”.

Why Franklin is admired and read widely? He is a typical American, model of the self-made man, a cultural hero whose life exemplified the American dream of the poor boy who made good. He stressed the importance of working hard to make money, happiness depending in the first place on economic success and optimistically believed that every American could do so. He was convinced that no man could be virtuous or happy unless he did his best to improve the life of his society and his own life.

Why say Franklin is the representative of American Enlightenment? 1.He believed in reason or rationality, the scientific method, equality and human beings’ ability to perfect themselves and their society. 2. He opposed intolerance, restraint, spiritual authority and revealed religion. Deist 3. He favored the education. Self-education, educating and disseminating knowledge among people by his newspaper and Autobiography, establishing learning club, college and library. 4. He favored freedom of thoughts. He set up the ideas of democracy in the USA.

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