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Introduction to American Literature

Sophomore American Literature, TKCS

Susan Bowman

on 3 October 2018

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Transcript of Introduction to American Literature

Writing that reflects a particular culture, especially imaginative, creative and of artistic value.
Who has a Worldview?
Introduction to American Literature
Answer these questions:
What is Literature?
What makes Literature CLASSIC?
Why do we study Literature?
World Views
“a worldview is a set of presuppositions or assumptions
[which may be true, partially true or entirely false]
which we hold (consciously or subconsciously) about the basic makeup of the world
(Sire, 17.)
A set of beliefs that tell a person
how to think or act.
What is a Worldview?
An author’s world view will affect everything he writes
Why are Worldviews important?
Elements of a World View
What man believes about…
Timeline of
American Literature
1650- 1750
1750 - 1800
The Age of Reason
1800 - 1850
1855 - 1900
1900 - 1950
1950 - Present
1840 - 1860
How to Read Literature
Artistic Value
Makes Emotional Connections
Stimulates Change
What is Literature?
Literature and Art have historically been the agents
of changing worldviews.
Reality: the totality of all things, structures (actual and conceptual), events (past and present) and phenomena, whether observable or not (Wikipedia).
Reality: What really exists?
Who or what is God?
Is He in control of the universe?
Did he Create the universe?
Where did we come from?
What is the nature of man?
Is he basically good or basically evil?
Does man have value?
What is right and wrong?
Who determines what is right or wrong?
What happens after man dies?
Is there life after death?
Heaven or Hell?
What is the source of knowledge?
What is truth?
Is truth the same for all people?
Is anything true?
2. GOD
3. MAN
Early American:
Colonial American
Why Study?
A. To Understand human experience
B. To View life from a different perspective
C. To open your mind to greater knowledge ...
About history, geography, culture and science
About other people
About yourself
About God and the universe
D. To make you THINK
E. To relax and enjoy
Day 1 lecture
A. With your eyes OPEN:
1. Look for Truth
TRUTH exists
God is the author of all Truth
Not all literature presents truth
2. Look for Excellence
Don't be limited by personal preference
Don't be limited by personal opinion
B. With your Mind Engaged
1. Every author has a message that you need to be aware of
2. You will not always agree with an author's message
3. Evaluate the author's message
5. Pay attention to how the literature affects you
If what you read causes you to sin (in thought or action) avoid it!
4. Evaluate "Morality"
Puritan World view
is based in God because God is the center of everything;
Is the sovereign controller of the universe
basically evil; totally dependent on God
Determined by the Bible
The beginning of another life
God, (the Bible) is the source of all truth;
Non Fiction LIterature -- Part 2
Shifting Views

Philosophical background
A. Time of the American Revolution -- the Birth of a new nation.
3. people were optimistic about the present and the future
1. characterized by emphasis on rational thought
2. people believed truths about the world and human existence could be discovered through scientific observation and human reasoning
World View of The Age of Reason
is discovered through scientific observation and reasoning
Is determined by the mind and by science; a rational, logical approach to life.
is a distant, impersonal force, Deism
is basically good, and a perfect society is possible
is determined by Society
is the end of life, end of reasoning
D. We can know the universe, and we can
determine what God is like by studying it.

A. God created the universe, but then left it to run on its own.
God is not personal and not sovereign over human affairs. God is distant

C. Humans are a part of the clockwork
of the universe.

B. Known as "The Enlightenment" or the Age of Reason.
Shifting World Views
1770 - 1800

B. The world (cosmos) God created can be described
as a uniformity of cause and effect.
Full transcript