Part I I will give the people once someone decided they can help me.
Read the following question and write a medium length (approximately 600 words) response to it. Be sure that your response includes a clearly stated main idea, quotes or examples from literature we have read, and a connection to other literature or commentary. This question is worth up to ten (10) points.
You may refer to our course texts this way: (McMichael, p. XX). You may also use other sources to complete your exam; please list them at the end and use parenthetical citation to show where you have quoted your sources or used information from them.
Choose three (3) of the authors we have read in our anthology thus far this semester and fit them into the list of Course Units listed below. Use examples from the authors’ writings to show how they fit into the unit. If you believe it is possible to fit an author into more than one unit, or if you feel that additional Unit categories are needed, you may make that case as well.
Our work for this semester can be viewed in eight units. The Course Schedule details the reading assignments for each unit, but here is a description of each unit as it relates to the period and themes of our course.
Unit 1. Native American Traditions. Before Europeans or Africans came to this continent, complex societies existed from the east coast all the way to the west coast. While we possess only fragments of the stories, poems, legends, and myths these cultures embraced, they give us a fascinating glimpse of a world (and a tradition) quite different from those which came later.
Unit 2. Explorers and early colonists. While explorers may have come from Africa or Northern Europe as early as the eleventh century, earnest exploration began in the late fifteenth century. By the early sixteenth century, settlements with Europeans (and some Africans brought as slaves) began to appear. Many of the themes that dominate the first flowerings of truly “American” literature in the nineteenth century begin to emerge here.
Unit 3. Colonial literature. Early literature took its forms (and often its contents and themes) from the literatures of France, Spain, and particularly England. Narratives of slaves, based on their experiences being taken from African to the Americas, also began to appear.
Unit 4. Transition to uniquely American literature. The Revolutionary War did not completely sever cultural ties with England. In fact, much American literature strongly resembled English literature: in fact, many late-eighteenth century “best sellers” were reprints of books originally written and published in England. However, in the waning days of the eighteenth century and the early days of the nineteenth, American writers began to turn to American themes and to experiment with unique forms for expressing them.
Unit 5. Transcendentalism. While it is possible to see transcendentalism as another European transplant to our shores, it is equally possible to see the flowering of a uniquely American variety. The works of the writers loosely known as American Transcendentalists continued to have influence long after their era, in the works of poets, novelists, playwrights, and even social movements such as feminism, women’s suffrage, temperance, and perhaps most importantly, the anti-slavery movement that grew up almost in tandem with it.
Unit 6. Women’s Rights and Images of Women. Many people think of the “women’s movement” as a distinctly twentieth century phenomenon. Actually, its roots go back to the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. From the beginnings, there were also intricate connections between the women?s movement and the anti-slavery movement.
Unit 7. Perspectives on Slavery. Even today, the aftermath of slavery still haunts our society. In this unit, we will cover a variety of texts on slavery which give us multiple perspectives. Santayana wrote that “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it” (Columbia World of Quotations, 1996, available online at http://www.bartleby.com/66/29/48129.html). I believe we need no further reason to study the literature of one of the most terrible episodes in our history.
Unit 8. The Emergence of American Poetic Voices. By the middle of the nineteenth century, writers who found new forms to give voice to the distinctly American themes and concerns began to appear in numbers. In one glorious five-year period (1850-1855), the phrase “American Literature” grew to become the sibling of English, French and Spanish literature, rather than a timid colonial child. Two poets, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, well represent this trend. Although Whitman continued to publish until his death in 1892, and Dickinson’s verse did not become well-known until after death in 1886, their works were known to some discriminating readers by the middle of the century.