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The Outline of American Literature
I Colonial Period (1607—1765)
 Colonial Part: American Puritanism
II Revolutionary Period (1765—1800)
1 The Great Awakening
2 The Enlightenment
III The Age of Romanticism (1800—1865)
1 American Romanticism
2 New England Transcendentalism 新英格兰超验主义
IV The Age of Realism (1865—1918)
1 Beginning
2 Local Colorism 乡土文学
3 American Naturalism (1908—1918)
V American Modernism (1918—1945)
(I)Modern Poetry
American Modernism first began in poetry.
3 types of poems:
A: Chicago Poets
B: Leading figures in the poetic revolution
---Imagism and New-poetry Movement
C: in-between poets
1 Great playwright of the 1920s
2 playwrights of the 1930s
(II) Modern Novels
1 Lost Generation----Ernest Hemingway
2 The Age of Jazz----F. Scott Fitzgerald
3 Literature of Depression
4 Literature of the South / the Southern Renaissance
5 Other famous novelists in the 1920s
6 Female Writers
7 Literary critics: New Criticism“新批评派”
8 Black Literature: Harlem Renaissance哈莱姆文艺复兴
(III) American Drama
VI Contemporary Literature (1945--    )
(I) Postwar Novels
(II) Postwar Dramas
(III) Postwar Poetry
(IV) Multiethnic Literature

American Literature
I Colonial Period (1607—1800)
The period stretches roughly from the settlement of Americans in the early seventeenth century through the end of the eighteenth. The major topic is about American Puritanism, the one enduring influence in American literature.
II American Puritanism
English religious and political reformers who fled their native land in search of religious freedom, and settled and colonized New England in the 17th century. They at first wished to reform or “purify” their religious beliefs and practices. To them, religion should be a matter of personal faith rather than a ritual.
Puritanism is the practices and beliefs of puritans.
American Puritanism
The Puritans established their own religious and moral principles known as American Puritanism which became one of the enduring influences in American thought and American literature. American Puritanism stressed predestination, original sin, total depravity, and limited atonement (or the salvation of a selected few)from God's grace. With such doctrines in their minds, Puritans left Europe for America in order to establish a theocracy in the New World. Over the years in the new homeland they built a way of life that stressed hard work, thrift, piety, and sobriety.
The main doctrines of American Puritanism
1 They accepted the doctrine of predestination, original sin and total depravity. They considered that man was born sinful, was a sinner and could note redeem his original sin.
“In Adam’s fall, we all sin.”
2 Man did not know whether they could be God’s chosen people, but should live a saint-like life at ordinary times according to God’s will. The Holy Bible was the guidebook to man’s behaviors.
3 Puritanism encouraged people to struggle in their career. If one’s business was booming, it proved that he had gained god’s providence. Puritans meant to prove that they were God’s chosen people, enjoying his blessing on this earth as in heaven.
4 Puritans dreamed of living under a perfect order and worked with indomitable courage and confident hope toward building a new Garden of Eden in America, where man could at long last live the way he should.
5 Puritans stressed hard work, thrift, piety and sobriety. In people’s daily life, religious activities were a matter of first importance and all others should serve the religion. Their lives were disciplined and hard.
Significant change in the character of American Puritans
Practical idealist, doctrinaire opportunist
Comparison between American Puritanism and Chinese Confucianism
Influence of Puritanism on American literature
1 the spirit of optimism bustles out of the pages of many American authors
2 symbolism as a technique has become a common practice in the writing of many American authors
3 simplicity has left an indelible imprint on American writing
Puritan style of writing
The style is fresh, simple and direct; the rhetoric is plain and honest, with a touch of nobility often traceable to the direct influence of the Bible.
III Literary Scene in Colonial Period
(I) form, content and writing style in the literature of the early colonial period
form: personal literature in its various forms;
content: served either God or colonial expansion or both;
writing style: imitated and transplanted English literary traditions
(II)Two sorts of literary figures in Colonial Period
A write for religion
(1) Captain John Smith (1580—1631) 约翰.史密斯船长
Led the first group of immigrants in 1607
Settled down and established the first British colony—Jamestown Colony
A Description of New England 《新英格兰介绍》
The General History of Virginia <弗吉尼亚通史>
(2) William Bradford (1590—1675) 威廉.布雷福德
Led Mayflower in 1620 and arrived at Cape Cod
Established the Plymouth Colony
Of Plymouth Plantation <普利茅斯开发史>
Chapter IV: Showing the Reasons and Causes of their Removal
4 reasons and causes:
①Escape religious persecution
②For wealth
③For a new and better life
④Having “a great hope and inward zeal” to do the spadework for disseminating “the gospel of the kingdom of Christ” in the new world
(3) John Winthrop (1588—1649) 约翰.温思罗普
Led the first group of Puritans in the Great Immigration in 1630
Captain of Abra
The first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
A Model of Christian Charity <基督教博爱的典范>
--manifested the purpose and intention of their journey
(4) Anne Bradstreet (1612—1672) 安妮.布雷特兹里特
Passenger on Abra
On the Burning of My House
To My Dear and Loving Husband
In Reference to My Children
As Weary Pilgrim <疲乏的朝圣者>
The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America <美洲最近出现的第十
Several Poems Compiled with a Great Variety of Wit and Learning, Full of Delight <一些风格各异,充满机智和学识的诗歌>
Contemplation <沉思>
(5) Edward Taylor (1642—1729) 爱德华.泰勒
Metrical History of Christianity <基督教史>
God’s Determinations Touching His Elect: and the Elect’s Combat in Their Conversation, and Coming up to God in Christ Together with the Comfortable Effects Thereof <上帝的决心>
Preparatory Meditations 217首<受领圣餐前的自省录>
B write for civil and religious freedom
(1) Roger Williams (1603-1683) 罗杰.威廉斯
The Bloody Tenet of Persecution for the Cause of Conscience
(2) John Woolman (1720-1772) 约翰.乌尔曼
Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes
A Plea for the Poor
The Journal
(3) Thomas Paine (1737—1809) 托马斯.潘恩
Common Sense (<常识>1776);
The American Crisis (<美国危机>Dec. 1776—April 1783);
The Rights of Man (<人的权利>1791—92);
The Age of Reason (<理智时代>1794—95);
(4)Philip Freneau (1752—1832) 菲利普.弗瑞诺
The British Prison ship <英国囚船>
The Rising Glory of America <美洲光辉的兴起>
The Indian Burying Ground <印地安人墓地>
The Wild Honey suckle <野金银花>
(5) Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810) 查尔斯.布罗克丹.布朗
Wieland (or The Transformation: An American Tale
Edgar Huntly
Arthur Mervyn
2 The 18th Century:
Enlightenment and the Great Awakening


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