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American Literature – Unit 1: Puritan Writers

forms of writing among Puritans
diaries, spiritual autobiographies, histories, poetry

Of Plymouth Plantation
1630s-1640s; memoirs of William Bradford

Bay Psalm Book
1640; first book published in America; a translation of the Biblical book of psalms; written in plain style

The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America
1650; the first book of poetry by an American

“Day of Doom”
1662; popular poem of its time describing the events of eternal damnation

The Great Works of Christ in America
1702; written by Cotton Mather

“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”
1740s; sermon marking the revival of Puritanism known as “The Great Awakening”

Puritan values that influenced life and writing
grace, plainness, divine mission

grace
salvation, cleasing themselves of envy, lust and vanity; predistinaiton

plainnes
in writing, work and places of worship

divine mission
God approves of all that is done; believed they were carrying to America true Christianity as decreed by God

instruction and inspiration
what was the purpose of Puritan writings?

Bradford had a providential view of history; pervaded by a vision of America as a nation dedicated and sustained by God
What kind of view did Bradford have on society?

Williams Bradford
1590-1657; author of Plymouth Plantation; Separatist

Anne Bradstreet
1612-1672; sails to Massachusettes Bay Colony in 1630 w/ husband, father; first American poet, first female poet writing in the English language

one must not become too attached to things of this world
humility as a woman
grace makes everyone equal
Puritan Beliefs of Bradstreet

plain stlye
Style of Bradstreet’s writing

domestic life
Subject of Bradstreet’s poems

faith in and love of God
Theme of Bradstreet’s poems

simple diction; iambic pantameter; rhyme; series of couplets
Characteristics of “To my Dear and Loving Husband”

descrption narration exposition persuasion
four forms of discourse

description
shows how something strikes the senses

narration
tells the events of a story

exposition
explains how something is done/the facts

persuasion
attempts to make the reader/listener adopt an opinon/take action

prose
writing in snetences and paragraphs

poetry
writing in lines and stanzas

stanza
a unit of a poem that is longer that a single line

rhyme
the repitition of sounds in two or more words or phrases that appear close to each other in a poem

rhythm
the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables in a pattern

imagery
words or phrases of stressed and unstressed syllables in apattern

figure of speech
a word of expression that is not meant to be interpreted literally

iamb
a poetic foot consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable

iambic pentameter
the most common verse line in English and American poetry

foot
a unit used to measure the meter or rhythmic pattern of a line or poetry (either two or three sylllables per foot)

couplet
two rhyming lines

metaphor
a figure of speech that makes a comparison between 2 things which are basically dissimilar

simile
a figure of speech comparint 2 essentially unlike things through the uses of a specific word of comparison, such as “as” “like” “than” “resembles”

hyperbole
a figure of speech using exaggeration or overstatement for special effect

alliteration
the repition of similar sounds, usually consonants, in a group of words

personification
a figure of speech in which something nonhuman is givne human qualities

rhetorical question
a questionsuggesting its own answer and not requiring an answer

parallel structure
the use of phrases, clauses, or sentences that are similar or complementary in structure or meaning

allusion
a reference to a person, place, event, or literary work that a writer expects a reader to recognize

plain language
a simple/clear style of writing which began as a revolt against ornate style

ornate style
a highly elaborate style of writing popular in England and America in the 17th and 18th centuries

prosaic
work that is ordinary, commonplace, or dull

poetic/lyrical
work that is rich with imagery, figurative language and/or rhythm

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