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Eng 265 – American Literature Essay

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Why did early American settlers write?
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1. Communication 2. Political documents 3. Investment documents 4. Patriotism 5. Documents views as moneymakers
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American Writing Influences
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1. Search for Riches 2. Spirituality 3. Humanity’s second chance of Eden
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Savagism
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any native population that lives below the standard of European civilization are savages (less than human).
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Hobson’s Choice
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the illusion of choice. (My way or the highway)
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Cosmology
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1. Create a sense of Aw. 2. Give a group something to believe in 3. Hold and explain the existing nature of things 4. Initiate the listener into the current social reality
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Neoclassicism
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a literary period from 1660-1798
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8 characteristics of Neoclassicism
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1. The diction used is fairly conventional 2. Interest in intellect 3. Prefer the more pleasant aspects of the natural world. Beaucalic natural world 4. Realistic as possible with relationship with humans 5. Interest in exactness 6. Value of the classics (greek – roman literature) 7. Did not care for their literary peers 8. Loved the rhymed couplet (a two-lined rhyme)
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Theological Points of Calvanism
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1. Absolute sovereignty of God 2. Belief in pre-destination/only a handful of people are saved 3. Belief in God’s providence – God’s direct hand in life 4. Natural depravity – people are born evil; original sin 5. Election – through God’s mercy, a few people are saved and go to heaven 6. Evil is inner – all humans are evil, Institutions are good and moderating forces – we all have watchers and we are watching 7. God is revealed in the Bible
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Characteristics of Puritan writing
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1. Transform a mysterious God 2. Make God relevant 3. Glorify God 4. Supports the natural order of things.
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Why did people write captivity narratives?
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1. They offer a platform for religious expression. 2. They serve as a justification of manifest destiny, God’s will to expand west. 3. Make money (they were often embellished to make more money). 4. The Native Americans were seen as evil and the Europeans were good. 5. The fear of sexual assault, cannibalism, and the captive going native (Going native was a refutation of Christianity). 6. The captive serves as a connection between the Natives and the Europeans. 7. The savagery idea is maintained. 8. The idea of captives being sold into slavery.
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Deism
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A secular way to faith
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Beliefs of Deism
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1. God operates by natural law, not divine intervention. 2. God is benevolent. 3. God is not revealed in the Bible, but in the natural world. 4. Freedom of will. 5. Man and woman are naturally altruistic. 6. Man are equal. 7. Evil is the result of corrupt institutions, not natural depravity. 8. Man is perfected by education. 9. Humanitarian need to the best service to God. 10. Distrust of organized religion.
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Themes of “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”
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1. Man and woman cannot be God or godly. Your name is either in the book or not. 2. An angry God and the covenant of grace. 3. The explication and the application. 4. You cannot outwit God. 5. God is angry, but there is hope and he is sympathetic. 6. The chance is dependent on you (Armenian notion) 7. Enlightened Compassion
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What were the aims for “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God?”
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1. To scare adults. 2. To scare the younger population. 3. Conviction and salvation.
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What is the irony in “A Way to Wealth”
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In the end after Father Abraham’s speech, the sale starts and they buy things they don’t need.
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What is wealth according to Benjamin Franklin?
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Happy, stable, successful
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Why was Franklin’s “Autobiography” so popular?
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1. Considered to be clearly written and accessible (for non-educated readers), an approachable style. 2. If you play your cards right, you can also be successful. Hard work and discipline, rags to riches story.
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What are the arguments presented in “On the American Immigration?”
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1. If you are in Europe, and you are not an aristocrat, then you should look west. 2. Europe has their own interests at heart, they don’t care about you. 3. America has endless resources and opportunities. 4. The “Unsocial Indians” need to get out of the way. – Slavery is evil, but the Indians need to get out of the way. – He imagines what will happen to slavery. – Reason will abolish slavery. 5. What is happening is different than anything else on the planet. Once America is established, we will be the best in the world.