Revolutionary Women: Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley

 

Throughout our study of the literature of the American Revolution we have been primarily reading the texts of the founding fathers and other men of the period. However, women played an important role in the founding of our country and contributed greatly to its literature and political texts. One woman that made significant contributions to the arts was Phillis Wheatley.

 

Brought from Africa on the slave trade, Phillis Wheatley was given a formal education by her masters, and went on to write some of the most beautiful poetry of early America. Hidden in her poems were a celebration of her faith and a criticism of the institution of slavery in America.

In class today we began analyzing her poem ‘On Being Brought from Africa to America’. Please watch the video below of this analysis if you need to review!

Click here to access the poem.

 

We will be exploring the following questions about Wheatley’s poem in class – remember, our ‘how’ and ‘why‘ questions are the important ones to consider!

  • What is her overall tone in the poem?
  • How does she establish that tone?
  • What symbols and/or metaphors did she use throughout the poem?
  • How did she use symbols and/or metaphors effectively to give her poem multiple meanings or ‘layers’?
  • How would you describe the theme of the poem?

This is the fourth poem we have analyzed and annotated together or in small group – you will have to work with a poem on your own for this unit test. Please make sure you are practicing and becoming comfortable with close reading and analysis!

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

The Declaration of Independence

We are examining our founding document – an amazing piece of text that brought us to where we are today, and inspired other nations to declare those own free and independent states.

The original Declaration of Independence, ink on parchment. It has been damaged by light and improper storage, and the text has almost faded completely over the past 241 years.

A facsimile copy of The Declaration of Independence, struck in the 19th century. Copies, posters and prints of the document are made from this copy, not the original.

 

Click here to view the real Declaration of Independence at the National Archive.

As we read, analyze and discuss this document please remember that we are looking at not only its importance historically but also its use of effective syntax, and its rhetorical appeals.

Please see the videos below over the history of the document and a performance of the Declaration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we also learned how to take DoodleNotes, using The Declaration as an example. Please click here to access the notes.

As we analyze the text, remember to look for the appeals to rhetoric and be able to explain how the syntax of the document make its more effective.

The text of the Declaration can be divided into four sections–the introduction, the preamble, the list of grievances, and the conclusion.  Please see the resources below to help you as we analyze this document in small groups, including the declaration itself, vocabulary from the document that may give you trouble, and your instructions for analysis with your group. 

Please see the breakdown you complete of the DOI as a class in the images below – you can click on them to open the full size image:

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

Revolutionary Literature

As we transition from literature of the Puritan period to literature of the American Revolution, it is important for you to understand that history and its accompanying literature transition SLOWLY – the colonist did not simply wake up one day and realize ‘Hey, we’re in a new literary time period! Let’s change our writing style and beliefs overnight!’. We began to see the slow shift from theocratic colonies obsessed with religion to a more secular, democratic society. Below you will find our notes from class outlining what exactly happened to transition the ideas of the Puritan period to the ideas of the Revolutionary period. Additionally, you will also find a complete list of ideas, concepts, beliefs and characteristics of the Revolutionary period that you may refer to throughout this unit.

IMG_20150914_164048

Common Beliefs

  1. Faith in natural goodness – a human is born without taint or sin
  2. Perfectibility of a human being – it is possible to improve situations of birth, economy, society, and religion
  3. The power of reason – e
  4. The attitude of helping everyone
  5. Outdated social institutions cause unsociable behavior – religious, social, economic, and political institutions, which have not modernized, force individuals into unacceptable behavior (in response to the Great Awakening and the Salem Witch trials)

Functions of the Writers of this Period

  1. A searching inquiry in all aspects of the world around
  2. Interest in the classics as well as in the Bible
  3. Interest in nature – the “absentee landlord” phenomenon
  4. Interest in science and scientific experiments
  5. Optimism – experiments in utopian communities
  6. Sense of a person’s duty to succeed
  7. Constant search of the self – emphasis on individualism in: a. personal religion. b. study of the Bible for personal interpretation

 

(*note: the end of the above video covers Revolutionary literature)

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

Revolutionary Women: Phyllis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley

 

Throughout our study of the literature of the American Revolution we have been primarily reading the texts of the founding fathers and other men of the period. However, women played an important role in the founding of our country and contributed greatly to its literature and political texts. Two women that made significant contributions to the arts and politics are Phyllis Wheatley and Abigail Adams.

 

Brought from Africa on the slave trade, Phyllis Wheatley was given a formal education by her masters, and went on to write some of the most beautiful poetry of early America. Hidden in her poems were a celebration of her faith and a criticism of the institution of slavery in America.

In class today we began analyzing her poem ‘On Being Brought from Africa to America’. Please watch the video below of this analysis if you need to review!

 

 

 

We will be exploring the following questions about Wheatley’s poem in class – remember, our ‘how’ and ‘why‘ questions are the important ones to consider!

  • What is her overall tone in the poem?
  • How does she establish that tone?
  • What metaphors did she use throughout the poem?
  • How did she use metaphors effectively to give her poem multiple meanings or ‘layers’.

This is the fourth poem we have analyzed and annotated together or in small group – you will have to work with a poem on your own for this unit test. Please make sure you are practicing and becoming comfortable with close reading and analysis!

11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018

The Declaration of Independence

We are examining our founding document – an amazing piece of text that brought us to where we are today, and inspired other nations to declare those own free and independent states.

The original Declaration of Independence, ink on parchment. It has been damaged by light and improper storage, and the text has almost faded completely over the past 241 years.

A facsimile copy of The Declaration of Independence, struck in the 19th century. Copies, posters and prints of the document are made from this copy, not the original.

 

Click here to view the real Declaration of Independence at the National Archive.

As we read, analyze and discuss this document please remember that we are looking at not only its importance historically but also its use of effective syntax, its appeals to rhetoric, and even the flaws of 18th century bias that it includes. Many of the ideals exposed in our founding document are held dear to us, but know the irony in that these ideals as we see them today were not extended to all people living in the new United States.

Please see the videos below over the history of the document and a performance of the Declaration.

Today we also learned how to take DoodleNotes, using The Declaration as an example. Please click here to access the notes.

As we analyze the text, remember to look for the appeals to rhetoric and be able to explain how the syntax of the document make its more effective. Be sure to read The National Archive’s analysis of The Declaration of Independence to inform your own analysis and understanding of the text:

“The text of the Declaration can be divided into five sections–the introduction, the preamble, the indictment of George III, the denunciation of the British people, and the conclusion. Because space does not permit us to explicate each section in full detail, we shall select features from each that illustrate the stylistic artistry of the Declaration as a whole.3

 

11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018

Revolutionary Literature

As we transition from literature of the Puritan period to literature of the American Revolution, it is important for you to understand that history and its accompanying literature transition SLOWLY – the colonist did not simply wake up one day and realize ‘Hey, we’re in a new literary time period! Let’s change our writing style and beliefs overnight!’. We began to see the slow shift from theocratic colonies obsessed with religion to a more secular, democratic society as we read The Crucible and discussed the real life events of the Salem Witch Trails. Below you will find our notes from class outlining what exactly happened to transition the ideas of the Puritan period to the ideas of the Revolutionary period. Additionally, you will also find a complete list of ideas, concepts, beliefs and characteristics of the Revolutionary period that you may refer to throughout this unit.

IMG_20150914_164048

Common Beliefs

  1. Faith in natural goodness – a human is born without taint or sin; the concept of tabula rasa or blank slate
  2. Perfectibility of a human being – it is possible to improve situations of birth, economy, society, and religion
  3. The sovereignty of reason – echoes of Rene Descartes’ cogito ergo sum or “I think, therefore, I am” (as the first certitude in resolving universal doubt)
  4. Universal benevolence – the attitude of helping everyone
  5. Outdated social institutions cause unsociable behavior – religious, social, economic, and political institutions, which have not modernized, force individuals into unacceptable behavior

Functions of the Writers of this Period

  1. A searching inquiry in all aspects of the world around
  2. Interest in the classics as well as in the Bible
  3. Interest in nature – the “absentee landlord” phenomenon
  4. Interest in science and scientific experiments
  5. Optimism – experiments in utopian communities
  6. Sense of a person’s duty to succeed
  7. Constant search of the self – emphasis on individualism in: a. personal religion. b. study of the Bible for personal interpretation

Characteristics of the 18th Century

Dawn of liberalism: freedom from restraint; age of revolutions in America and in France (1789); experimentation in science; economic concept of laissez-faire; the presence of the frontier; the development of rational religion known as deism; scientific curiosity; growth in nationalism; growth in materialism; the age of the gifted amateur; and belief in progressivism

(*note: the end of the above video covers Revolutionary literature)

11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018

Revolutionary Women: Phyllis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley

 

Throughout our study of the literature of the American Revolution we have been primarily reading the texts of the founding fathers and other men of the period. However, women played an important role in the founding of our country and contributed greatly to its literature and political texts. Two women that made significant contributions to the arts and politics are Phyllis Wheatley and Abigail Adams.

 

Brought from Africa on the slave trade, Phyllis Wheatley was given a formal education by her masters, and went on to write some of the most beautiful poetry of early America. Hidden in her poems were criticism of race, religion, and the institution of slavery in America.

In class today we began analyzing her poem ‘On Being Brought from Africa to America’. Please watch the video below of this analysis if you need to review!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017