Exam Review:

Unit One - A New Nation and American Puritanism / Romanticism / Dark Romanticism / Transcendentalism

Thinking Critically: Three Poems, Three Speeches, Two Myths, and One Essential Question.


I hope you will choose to study with an internal motivation and passion to comprehend the material,
to make connections with issues discussed on the other side of the wall, and to raise critical questions about the significance
of this material. In other words, take a deep breath and dive in!

Enjoy the discoveries as you swim around in the underground pool deep within the cave of learning!

Background Knowledge -- PowerPoint Presentation Links:

The Puritans: Class PPT Notes

Enlightenment Thinkers: Class PPT Notes - see especially, slides 2 - 10

Thomas Jefferson - Liberty and Slavery: Class PPT Notes

Hawthorne and Poe: Class PPT Notes

Romanticism and Transcendentalism: Class PPT Notes

Do you want to explore further? Check these links out. How does the content in these videos
support and broaden what we have discussed in class?

Check out this six-minute video presentation on Dark Romanticism

Still unclear about Romanticism, check out this four-minute video presentation on Romanticism
(it's a "teaser" because it will only let you freely access a portion of the presentation, but it's worth viewing)

Now, do you want to connect the American Romantic with the Bigger Picture?
This ten-minute video presentaton will help you understand the European (especially the British Romantic Poets): click here

 

THE TEST CONSISTS OF:

THREE POEMS - Do a close reading, line-by-line, study of the poems. Do you recognize themes, images, vlaues, literary devices?

*Ann Bradstreet: "Upon the Burning of Our House"

- For Biographical Info click here (read the first five paragraphs)
- For the poem click here

*William Cullen Bryant: "Inscription for the Entrance to a Wood"

- For Biographical Info click here
- For the poem click here (scroll down)

*Edgar Allan Poe:

- For Biographical Info click here
- For the poem click here

 

THREE SPEECHES:

* Patrick Henry: Speech to the Virginia Convention (click here - text with audio option) or (click here - text only)

**John Winthrop: from A Modell of Christian Charity (handout )

**Ronald Reagan: from Farwell Address (handout)

 

TWO MYTHS (re-read handouts):


Remember to "Think Critically" - Try to anticipate what kind of questions will be asked of you on the test.

** Created Equal: The Myth of the Melting Pot.

**Land of Liberty: American Mythology in a "New World Order"

 

ONE ESSENTIAL QUESTION: How do the times influence the writer and how does the writer influence the times?

**Three Primary Sources from Thomas Jefferson:

From a letter of Thomas Jefferson to his daughter Martha:

"It is your future happiness which interests me and nothing can contribute more to it
(moral rectitude always excepted) than the contracting habit of industry and activity.
Of all the cankers of human happiness, none corroedes it with so silent, yet so baneful
a tooth, as indolence...Exercise and application produce order in our affairs,
health of body, cheerfulness of mind, and these make us precious to our friends...
It is while we are young that the habit of industry is formed...If not then, it never is afterwards."

From "Notes on the State of Virginia" - The question of emancipation and exportation of slaves:

"It will probably be asked, Why not retain and incorporate the blacks into the State,
and thus save the expense of supplying by importation of white settlers, that vacancies
they will leave? Deep-rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections,
by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; the new provocations; the real distinctions
which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us into parties,
and produce convulsions, which will pprobably never end but in the extermination
of the one or the other race."

From the opening lines of "The Declaration of Independence"

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands
which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth,
the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them,
a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.."

** One excerpt from John Ferling's book entitled: Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry that Forged a Nation (See handout)

This excerpt from Professor Ferling's book examines Jefferson's struggle with slavery. While in no way a justificaiton of his views
about white superiority and his ultimate silence about slavery; nevertheless, Ferling discuss the pressures Jefferson faced during
this time in the newly formed Republic of the Unitec States of America.

 

* Literary works included on DAY ONE of the Test

** Literary works included on DAY TWO of the Test

***BE SURE YOU READ THE INTRO ON THE MEANING OF AN AMERICAN JEREMIAD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Transcendental Observation Spot -
Sitting on a smooth, small "boulder" in my backyard (near "the buddha).
(Did you know, did you read that Emerson "turned to the East" for some of his inspiration?)

Sept. 22nd: I see a squirrel nosing its way in the yard. He comes close too me, but pays me or the buddha no attention. He's busy.

Sept. 23rd: Birds are swooping in and out of the yard. Their target, the bird feeder. I notice that the sparrows are bolder than the chickadees.

(Am I a sparrow or a chickadee?)

Sept. 24th: I observed the contrast of sunlight and shadow upon the leaves. I delight in the changing colors of fall from my spot.

(What change is taking place in me at this time of year?)

Sept 25th: (Early morning.) It is very still. All I hear is the hum of traffic a few blocks away on Brown Deer Rd.

Sept 25th: (A few hours later.) The birds are back having thistle and sunflowers for breakfast. The smell of burning leaves or wood is in the air.

Sept 26th: Everything looks and feels so fresh this morning. The sun's rays upon the buddha accent shadows and light, while the dew drops glisten on the grass.

Sept 28th: Brown curled up leaves on the green grass: The young maple tree readies itself for winter. The sedum leans towards earth. A cool, crisp morning.

(What must I do to prepare for the changing of the seasons? What must fall to the ground? What must I give back to the earth?)