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Native American and Colonial Period


Native American and Colonial Period Early American Literature Native American Literature The Native Americans spoke hundreds of languages and lived in incredibly ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Native American and Colonial Period

Native American and Colonial Period
  • Early American Literature

Native American Literature
  • The earliest American Literature was composed by
    Native Americans.
  • Much of the literature was passed down orally.
  • Native American tales were often mythological
    and/or folktales.

Native American Literature
  • The Native Americans spoke hundreds of languages
    and lived in incredibly diverse societies with
    varied mythological beliefs. Despite their
    differences, their cultures and literary
    traditions had the following common elements

Characteristics of Native American Literature
  • they believed in the power of words and they
    relied on memory, rather than writing to preserve
    their texts
  • in this regard, these stories are not defined by
    the boundaries of written language there are no
    ending pages and they are not contained within a
    limited, concrete, physical source.
  • these stories are open to personal interpretation
  • these stories belong to the collective people/the
  • the oral tradition was a performance and is
    offered to the audience as dramatic events in
  • yet, the audience is not passive and has a role
    in bringing out the story
  • the storyteller is very important to culture and
    is one of the most honored and respected members
    of the tribe/society
  • there is no known original author

Exploration Literature
  • Once explorers began to travel to the New World,
    they chronicled their experiences in the form of
    diaries and letters home.
  • Often, the diaries and letters were propaganda
    designed to increase settlers interest in the

The Puritans
  • The term Puritan was applied to two groups of
    people who believed that
  • 1) They should separate themselves from the
    corrupt Church of England or
  • 2) The Church of England needed reform

Puritan Beliefs
  • Predestination
  • Covenant of Works
  • Covenant of Grace
  • Covenant of Redemption

  • God has chosen certain few of the elect for
  • Unlike other Christians, they believed faith
    alone was not enough.
  • Whether or not you were saved could be
    determined by your behaviorif you acted in a
    holy manner, it was assumed you were saved.

Covenant of Works
  • God promised Adam and his progeny eternal life if
    they obeyed moral law.
  • Adam broke this covenant.
  • Punishment for sins is considered a proper
    response to disobedience.
  • Therefore, it was up to them to uphold a strict
    moral code in order to have salvation.

Covenant of Grace
  • Once Adam broke the Covenant with God, He created
    a new covenant with Abraham.
  • Puritans believed that eternal life will reward
    all who are saved.

Covenant of Redemption
  • Puritans believed that Jesus freely offered
    himself as a sacrifice on behalf of all people.

Lets Review
  • Puritans believed
  • They were elected to go to heaven.
  • Bad deeds must be punished.
  • Heaven awaits all who
  • deserve it.
  • Jesus sacrifice made
  • them able to get into heaven.

What the Puritans Did
  • Established settlements in Massachusetts,
    including Plymouth and Boston.
  • Influenced Americas system of laws and morals.
  • Wrote in plain stylewriting unadorned with
    figurative language.

What about the Pilgrims?
  • The Puritans ARE the Pilgrims!
  • The Puritans left England because they disagreed
    with the church and were treated badly.
  • They went to America for religious freedom. They
    felt like God had meant for them to create a
    perfect society there.
  • People who travel for religious freedom or
    worship are called pilgrims.

Pilgrim Style
  • Pilgrims wore simple clothes. They were modest
    and focused on religious aspects of life rather
    than vanity.
  • They were also in a new world that was a very
    difficult place to live. They worried more about
    food and survival than style!

Salem Witch Trials
  • In 1692, Salem, MA. experienced the witchcraft
    hysteria, which had been plaguing Europe for some
  • Before the Salem Witch Trials ended, 185 people
    would be accused of the sin of witchcraft.
  • Of those accused, 20 were executed.
  • Arthur Miller wrote an account of the trials
    called The Crucible.

Puritan Literature
  • Histories William Bradfords Of Plymouth
  • Poetry Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor
  • Sermons Jonathan Edwards
  • Biographies Mary Rowlandsons kidnapping account
  • Tracts Increase Mather, Cotton Mather

The Scarlet Letter
  • Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, published in
  • Hawthorne descended from Salem Witch Trials judge
    John Hathorne.
  • A sense of guilt over the actions of his
    ancestors compelled him to write many times on
    Puritan themes.
  • The Scarlet Letter is set in the mid-1600s,
    during the Puritan era in Boston.