What is the relationship between place and literature? What is the relationship between place and literature?




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What is the relationship between place and literature?

  • What is the relationship between place and literature?

  • How does literature shape or reflect society?

  • What makes American literature American?


Focus on the earliest American literature. Puritanism and issues of settlement are the main focus of this unit.

  • Focus on the earliest American literature. Puritanism and issues of settlement are the main focus of this unit.

  • Objectives

  • Identify emerging themes in early American literature

  • Explain the First Great Awakening and how it affected religious belief in Colonial America

  • Identify and explain elements of Puritan literature

  • Compare and contrast the experiences of America’s earliest settlers

  • Explain the role of religion in early American life



Reflecting on the reading…

  • Reflecting on the reading…

  • Identification & Significance: Puritans, Pilgrims, Planters, Enlightenment, The Great Awakening, Revolution, Native Americans, African Americans

  • Themes: Creating a Nation, Wilderness, Community, Individualism



A few ideas to consider…

  • A few ideas to consider…

  • “The ‘Puritan ethic’ of hard work and self discipline remained a basic American value” (Wiggins). Is it still an American value?

  • How did Native, European, and African cultures intersect in the new world? How did this intersection affect literature?

  • What are the emerging themes in American literature? Why these themes—in other words what is the stimulus for these ideas? Consider the idea of a “new Eden” and the “American dream.”



b.1612 - d.1672

  • b.1612 - d.1672

  • 1630 left England with husband and parents for Massachusets Bay Colony

  • father became Governor of the colony

  • 1650 her brother-in-law published her poetry in England without her knowledge—first published volume of literature written by a colonist

  • later work was published posthumously in 1678



Reflects the Puritan’s knowledge of the Bible and their concern for the relationship between earthly and heavenly life

  • Reflects the Puritan’s knowledge of the Bible and their concern for the relationship between earthly and heavenly life

  • Later works, such as “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” are considered her best and most personal works

  • Written in the Puritan Plain Style

    • Characterized by short words and direct statements


from “The Prologue”

  • from “The Prologue”

  • I am obnoxious to each carping tongue

  • Who says my hand a needle better fits,

  • A poet’s pen all scorn I should thus wrong,

  • For such despite* they cast on female wits:

  • If what I do prove well, it won’t advance,

  • They’ll say it’s stol’n, or else it was by chance.

  • *contempt



“To My Dear and Loving Husband” (76)

  • “To My Dear and Loving Husband” (76)

  • Discuss Puritan Plain Style as it applies to this poem.

  • Discuss the poetic aspects of the poem—how do these relate to the tone, mood, and theme of the poem?

  • What does this poem reveal about Bradstreet? What does it reveal about Puritan beliefs?



“Huswifery” by Edward Taylor

  • Taylor is considered the best of the North American colonial poets

  • Poems express “joyouness and delight in sensory experience” which runs counter to Puritan attitudes

  • Analyze the metaphors Taylor uses in “Huswifery”—how do they illustrate puritan beliefs?

  • What ideas in the poem run counter to Puritan ideals?

  • Why the title?



b.1754? – d.1784

  • b.1754? – d.1784

  • 1761 she was taken from West Africa and brought to America where she was sold to the Wheatley family of Boston

  • converted to Christianity

  • although a slave, she was taught to read the Bible and classic literature, also encouraged to write

  • her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral were published in England in 1773—most likely the first book ever published by a black American

  • gained freedom and married John Peters



Influenced by Bible and Classical Mythology

  • Influenced by Bible and Classical Mythology

    • Allusions to mythological characters/gods & goddesses
    • Creates characters in the image of mythological gods & goddesses
  • Wrote in Heroic Couplets

    • Sequence of rhyming couplets (pairs of lines)
    • Each couplet is a complete thought
    • Written in Iambic Pentameter (5 pairs of stressed and unstressed syllables)


“To His Excellency, General Washington” (125)

  • “To His Excellency, General Washington” (125)

  • Discuss the poem as a heroic couplet. How does this poetic form help you read and understand the poem?

  • Discuss the qualities Wheatley attributes to Washington. Are these qualities representative of typical American values? Explain.



Consider other poems by these remarkable women poets…be sure to relate the poems to your prior knowledge of these poets and the essential questions.

  • Consider other poems by these remarkable women poets…be sure to relate the poems to your prior knowledge of these poets and the essential questions.

  • What is the relationship between place and literature?

  • How does literature shape or reflect society?

  • What makes American literature American?



Reading Quiz!

  • Reading Quiz!

  • What is his purpose?

  • What is revealed about the Pilgrims through this description?

  • How can we describe and analyze Bradford’s writing style?

  • Consider the essential questions. (next slide)



What is the relationship between place and literature?

  • What is the relationship between place and literature?

  • How does literature shape or reflect society?

  • What makes American literature American?



Native American Origin Stories:

  • Native American Origin Stories:

  • “The Earth on Turtle’s Back” (p.20)

  • “When Grizzlies Walked Upright” (p.24)

  • “The Navajo Origin Legend” (p. 27)

  • *In groups:

  • -Find a creative way to tell the story to your class

  • -Identify the purpose of this story

  • -Lead the class in a discussion of the story’s purpose and significance



Identify Similarities among the Origin Stories

  • Identify Similarities among the Origin Stories

  • Do you think the patterns, symbols, or character types are archetypes common to all three cultures? Explain.



Journal Topic Native American Origin Stories

  • Based on your reading of the Native American origin stories in your literature text, describe the basic beliefs of the native people. How do the native beliefs differ from those of the Puritans? Speculate on how these different belief systems influenced the relations between the natives and Puritans.



Journal Topic: Argument Before “Sinners…Angry God”

  • Take a moment and think about speeches, sermons, debates, and other argumentative orations you have heard or seen. What are the characteristics of an effective argument (not a shouting match).



Sermon as an example of oratory

  • Sermon as an example of oratory

  • Example of a “fire and brimstone” sermon

  • Sermons…

    • Are persuasive
    • Address the needs and concerns of the audience
    • Appeal to emotion
    • Include expressive or rhythmic language
    • Allude to the Bible (and sometimes mythology, history, and other archetypes)


Rhetoric is defined as the art of using words to persuade

  • Rhetoric is defined as the art of using words to persuade

  • Rhetorical Triangle



What is Edward’s purpose?

  • What is Edward’s purpose?

  • Who is his audience?

  • How does he appeal to logos (What are his logical appeals)?

  • How does he appeal to pathos (What are his emotional appeals)?

  • How does he appeal to ethos (What gives him credibility)?

  • What modes of discourse does he use?—description, narration, exposition (comparison, cause & effect, contrast, classification, division, definition)

  • What other rhetorical devises are used?—parallelism, restatement, repetition, analogy



Read the background:

  • Read the background:

    • Author: pages 1118-1119
    • In the author’s own words: pages 1120-1121
    • The play: pages 1124-1125


Drama Terms to Know

  • Drama

  • Play

  • Plot

  • Acts

  • Scenes

  • Characters

  • Actors

  • Dialogue

  • Stage Directions

  • Soliloquy



Research to make the connections!

  • Research to make the connections!

  • How do the following names and terms apply?

  • Joseph McCarthy Marilyn Monroe

  • McCarthyism The Misfits

  • All My Sons “witch hunts”

  • Death of a Salesman Communism

  • Salem, Massachusetts Witch Trials



Journal Before Act 1 of The Crucible

  • What does it mean to do the right thing? Does it mean to be moral, ethical, and honorable at all times? Are there circumstances when doing the right thing is wrong? Think about and explain your thoughts in a brief journal (about half a page).



Now that you have done some research…

  • Now that you have done some research…

  • What are the connections?

  • Joseph McCarthy Marilyn Monroe

  • McCarthyism The Misfits

  • All My Sons “witch hunts”

  • Death of a Salesman Communism

  • Salem, Massachusetts Witch Trials



Is it an allegory?

  • Is it an allegory?

    • “There were, as far as on can tell, no actual witches or devil-worshipers in Salem. However, there were certainly Communists in 1950s America.” Some victims of McCarthyism were in the pay of the Soviet Union, but many who were accused suffered false accusations. So, no it isn’t an allegory.
  • Is it historical?

  • No, it’s not entirely historically factual. Events correspond to the happenings in 1962 Salem, but the characters are composites. And, the affair between proctor and Abigail is fictitious. All for dramatic purpose.



What seem to be the motivating factors Miller presents in Act 1? How does he establish the hysteria at the root of the Salem Witch Trials? As an audience how do you relate to the characters—hate any? sympathize with any? love any? If you have any other thoughts on Act 1, you may address those as well.

  • What seem to be the motivating factors Miller presents in Act 1? How does he establish the hysteria at the root of the Salem Witch Trials? As an audience how do you relate to the characters—hate any? sympathize with any? love any? If you have any other thoughts on Act 1, you may address those as well.



“The crucible introduces a community full of underlying personal grudges. Religion pervades every aspect of life, but it is a religion that lacks a ritual outlet to manage emotions such as anger, jealousy, or resentment.”

  • “The crucible introduces a community full of underlying personal grudges. Religion pervades every aspect of life, but it is a religion that lacks a ritual outlet to manage emotions such as anger, jealousy, or resentment.”

  • Do you agree or disagree with this assessment?



Overture (a piece of music played before the curtain goes up—introduces melodies to be heard later)

  • Overture (a piece of music played before the curtain goes up—introduces melodies to be heard later)

    • What might Miller be suggesting by this reference?
    • What does Miller suggest about the people of Salem and their religion and politics in the Overture?
    • What reasons does Miller suggest for why the “witch hunts” began and developed into the mass hysteria we associate with Salem today?


“The Crucible is best read outside its historical context…as a powerful and timeless depiction of how intolerance and hysteria can intersect and tear a community apart.”—Close reading is necessary to fully interpret the play’s nuances!

  • “The Crucible is best read outside its historical context…as a powerful and timeless depiction of how intolerance and hysteria can intersect and tear a community apart.”—Close reading is necessary to fully interpret the play’s nuances!

  • *What can be learned from these fundamental ideas explored in The Crucible?

  • Intolerance

  • Hysteria

  • Reputation



How are these motifs developed and used in The Crucible?

  • How are these motifs developed and used in The Crucible?

  • Empowerment

  • Accusations (guilt by association)

  • Confessions

  • Legal Proceedings

  • Vengeance



So, what do these symbols represent?

  • So, what do these symbols represent?

  • Crucible

  • Witch Trials

  • Forest



Theocracy: form of government by God (or through a priestly order)

  • Theocracy: form of government by God (or through a priestly order)

  • “In a theocracy, part of the state’s role is policing belief. Therefore, there is a good deal of pressure on the average citizen to inform on the blasphemous speech [and actions] of his or her neighbors in the name of Christian duty.”



What are the conflicts that exist in the play? From where do these conflicts stem? Do you believe these conflicts can be resolved? Who has the ability to influence the community to solve its problems?

  • What are the conflicts that exist in the play? From where do these conflicts stem? Do you believe these conflicts can be resolved? Who has the ability to influence the community to solve its problems?

  • Also, what are your reactions to the events in Act 2?



Close Reading

  • When we practice close reading, we look to the text for our answers. We examine the diction, rhetoric, and structure of the text to find meaning.

  • As you read Act 3, think about what occurs—what are the main ideas and arguments that Miller is making?

  • Locate 3 textual examples that illustrate the main ideas, claims, and/or themes Miller is illustrating.



Close Reading Journal

  • Choose one of the three texts you marked in Act 3. Identify it in your journal—page and speakers. Examine the text and write an exposition of its importance and relationship to the themes and motifs that exist in the play.



Themes: intolerance, hysteria, reputation, hypocrisy

  • Themes: intolerance, hysteria, reputation, hypocrisy

  • Motifs: empowerment, accusations, confessions, legal proceedings, vengeance

  • Symbols: crucible, witch trials/court, forest, Abigail, Elizabeth



Act 3 is filled with arguments. Consider who is arguing what. Make a list of the characters, their arguments, their evidence, and their motivations. Prepare to analyze these arguments.

  • Act 3 is filled with arguments. Consider who is arguing what. Make a list of the characters, their arguments, their evidence, and their motivations. Prepare to analyze these arguments.



In your groups, identify examples of each of the following from Act 3—cite the exact lines!

  • In your groups, identify examples of each of the following from Act 3—cite the exact lines!

  • Situational Irony

  • Verbal Irony

  • Dramatic Irony

  • Logos—appeal to logic

  • Pathos—appeal to emotion

  • Ethos—ethical appeal (credibility)

  • Logical Fallacy (2 examples)

  • Be prepared to discuss your findings and defend your answers.



What evidence of theocracy do you see in Act 3?

  • What evidence of theocracy do you see in Act 3?

  • How are Danforth’s claims based on theocratic governmental practices?

  • How does Proctor challenge this?



“[Proctor] mistakes the [court] proceedings for an actual search for the guilty, when, in fact, the proceedings are better described as a power struggle.”

  • “[Proctor] mistakes the [court] proceedings for an actual search for the guilty, when, in fact, the proceedings are better described as a power struggle.”



Analyze the ending of the The Crucible. What effect does the “witch hunt” have on Salem and its people? Are you satisfied with the ending? Do you think Miller makes his point (identify his argumentative claim)? Explain.

  • Analyze the ending of the The Crucible. What effect does the “witch hunt” have on Salem and its people? Are you satisfied with the ending? Do you think Miller makes his point (identify his argumentative claim)? Explain.



Miller’s Argument

  • What is the purpose of The Crucible?

  • What political and/or religious argument is Miller making?

  • How does Miller develop and support this argument?



“flawed figure who finds his moral center just as everything is falling to pieces around him”

  • “flawed figure who finds his moral center just as everything is falling to pieces around him”

  • His downfall is usually due to excessive pride (hubris)

  • He is doomed from the start, he bears no responsibility for possessing his tragic flaw, but bears responsibility for his actions.

  • He has discovered fate by his own actions, and not by things happening to him

  • He is usually a king, a leader of men – his fate affects the welfare of a whole nation or number of people. Peasants do not inspire pity and fear as great men do. The sudden fall from greatness to nothing provides a sense of contrast.

  • The suffering of the hero must not be senseless: it must have meaning!

  • The hero of classical tragedies is almost always male



  • Is John Proctor a tragic hero?

  • Is The Crucible a tragic drama?

  • Where is the evidence?



Is this true?

  • Is this true?

  • “Clearly, the most important issue for the officials of the court is the preservation of their reputations and the integrity of the court. As a theocratic institution, the court represents divine, as well as secular, justice. To admit to twelve mistaken hangings would be to question divine justice and the very foundation of the state and of human life.”



Themes: intolerance, hysteria, reputation, hypocrisy, justice, theocracy, personal responsibility, fear, jealousy…

  • Themes: intolerance, hysteria, reputation, hypocrisy, justice, theocracy, personal responsibility, fear, jealousy…

  • How are these developed?

  • Motifs: empowerment, accusations, confessions, legal proceedings

  • Symbols: crucible, witch trials, forest, poppet, yellow bird, Proctor



What defines this play as a tragedy?

  • What defines this play as a tragedy?

  • Is it a social or personal tragedy?



What is an allegory?

  • What is an allegory?

  • What characteristics define it as allegory?



“flawed figure who finds his moral center just as everything is falling to pieces around him”

  • “flawed figure who finds his moral center just as everything is falling to pieces around him”

  • His downfall is usually due to excessive pride (hubris)

  • He is doomed from the start, he bears no responsibility for possessing his tragic flaw, but bears responsibility for his actions.

  • He has discovered fate by his own actions, and not by things happening to him

  • He is usually a king, a leader of men – his fate affects the welfare of a whole nation or number of people. Peasants do not inspire pity and fear as great men do. The sudden fall from greatness to nothing provides a sense of contrast.

  • The suffering of the hero must not be senseless: it must have meaning!

  • The hero of classical tragedies is almost always male



Is Proctor a tragic hero?

  • Is Proctor a tragic hero?

  • Is he prideful? Is his downfall due to his pride?

  • What is his tragic flaw?

  • Is he doomed from the start?

  • Is he a noble man? A man of nobility?

  • What is his fate? How did he reach this fate?

  • What is the purpose of his suffering?



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