ESSAY 1: COLONIAL PERIOD INSTRUCTIONS
Choose ONE of the following topics and write a polished essay of about 750 words (3-4 double spaced typed pages). The essay requires not less than 2 secondary sources. Before writing your essay, reread your notes and assigned textbook reading(s) just to refresh your memory. Also, it might be useful to reread a composition textbook to remind yourself of the guidelines on how to write a clearly-defined thesis statement, well-developed paragraph(s), and an essay using the MLA or APA or Turabian parenthetical method of documentation for your quotations and any secondary sources you cite. To let your instructor know which style of documentation you are using, write MLA, APA, or Turabian in the title of your essay as follows: Title – Citation style (e.g., “Christians and the Study of Colonial American Literature-APA”).
NOTE: To receive an excellent grade, a student must demonstrate a reasonable competence in organizing an essay on a set topic; developing ideas logically and systematically; supporting these ideas with the necessary evidence, quotations or examples; organizing a paragraph; documenting essays (using MLA, APA, or Turabian) style; spelling the commoner words of the English language correctly; punctuating correctly; and writing grammatical sentences, avoiding such common mistakes as comma splices, run-on sentences, sentence fragments, faulty agreements, faulty references, shifts in person, number, or tense.
1. Choose any ONE of the works/authors of the Colonial period studied in this course and write a literary analysis of the chosen work. The focus of the essay should be three-fold: to discuss the theme of the author/work, the major characteristics of the period that are evident in the work, and major narrative devices the author uses to communicate his or her message. Your essay must have a clearly-defined thesis statement, well-developed paragraph(s), and fitting conclusion.
2. William Bradford described the American wilderness as “hideous and desolate,” full of “wild beasts and wild men.” He believed the wilderness as a place of trial and testing rather than a place of ease and plenty – or of social and economic opportunity. Compare and contrast Bradford’s and John Smith’s views of the American wilderness. Why, in your opinion, will two pioneers perceive the land so differently?
3. Compare and contrast John Smith, William Bradford, and John Winthrop as historians and as literary writers.
4. Bradstreet’s collection was published without her knowledge under the title The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung up in America or Several Poems, Compiled With a Great Variety of Wit and Learning, Full of Delight … By a Gentlewoman of Those Parts. Cite and discuss examples of
1) Great Variety / Themes
2) Evidence of Learning and
3) Delightful subjects.
Do you find the poetry “delightful”? Explain your answer. Use at least three (3) poems to illustrate your points.
5. Critically discuss the poetic idea of the divided self (body and soul) in Edward Taylor’s “A Fig for Thee oh! Death.” Also discuss this idea of the divided self (flesh and spirit) in Anne Bradstreet’s “The Flesh and the Spirit.” How is Bradstreet’s representation different from, or similar to that of Taylor’s?
6. Critically discuss Bradstreet’s “To My Dear and Loving Husband” with Taylor’s “Huswifery” to demonstrate the contrasts and similarities between the two poets.
7. Critically discuss Michael Wigglesworth’s “The Day of Doom” and Jonathan Edwards’s “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” as “salvific works” of literature. What literary and rhetorical strategies account for their wide popularity at the time? What factors, in your opinion, account for their diminished reputation in the 20th and 21st centuries?
Your outline is due by 11:59pm (ET) Monday of module/week 2.
Your essay is due by 11:59pm (ET) Monday of module/week 3.