AmLit Midterm Review – The Timeline


Captivity Narratives (Dustan, Rowlandson) – Rowlandson: 1680’s (Published 1682) and Dustan’s is after – 1697

Rowlandson: 1682 | Dustan: 1697

  • Shows rapidly growing change in tone and style between Rowlandson and Cotton Mather. Much more objective where Rowlandson is didactic and moral.
  • Overall view of right & wrong remains essentially the same though. Dustan’s recollection is more objective but thats b/c Rowlandson is a memoir
  • Stylistically, Rowlandson’s writing is much more stern and ‘preach-y’ which makes sense b/c it was orated after a sermon and she’s a preacher’s wife.
  • Also….Dustan’s narrative makes violent female characters much more okay. In Rowlandson, when she has outbursts of defiance and violence, it is so because she is becoming more depraved. In Dustan’s narrative, those characteristics are admirable and desired.
  • Dustan’s is MUCH MUCH shorter too. Less hindsight I guess.


Covenant of Works (?): John Winthrop, William Bradford, Thomas Morton, Trial of Anne Hutchinson (Transcript)

Winthrop: 1630
Bradford: 1606-1647
: 1637
Hutchinson: 1637

  • Winthrop’s “A Model of Christian Charity” was probably given as a sermon before or on the Mayflower, before they got to and created the Massachusetts Bay colony that Hutchinson was a part of.
  • Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation” is a history of the colony over the years. Read, try to discover what the passage of time does to the style and POV of the piece
  • Haven’t read Morton yet…do it. done! See review for that section to read stuff about it.
  • Trial of Anne Hutchinson – Ties into crucible, scarlet letter, etc. Really interesting to see her so outspoken and then see how those signs of females speaking out against wrongs is so despised in 1637 during the Salem Witch Trials, but then see it much more acceptable when Cotton Mathers publishes his narrative about Dustan’s story later, in 1697. Big change in how females are viewed over these 60 years, but ultimately, that underlying tone of disapproval remains.
  • Stylistically speaking – Winthrop’s argument is situated VERY logical. Form mirrors argument here – His argument is that the people are parts, Christ is the love and the ligament, and together, we make a whole community that must help one another to the best of their abilities. Form of paper reflects the logical thought b/c it is broken up into parts clearly by transitions, etc (There are two reasons for this. Firstly, this, and secondly, that. This shows three things: this, this, and this. Etc. Very easy to pick apart the logic of his argument but the beauty is that you need all those parts to make the whole of his thesis on Christian Charity.


Puritan Poetics: Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Bay Psalm Book

Bradstreet: 1660’s(ish)
Taylor: ???? (around the same time)

  • Bradstreet was the US’s first published poet. Tie/transition from Old World to the New and accepted by both
  • Her work looks toward God and the assurance of heaven as consolation, BUT there are times where she questions that authority or at least, the basis of that authority
    • Cool link to English literature here; George Herbert, The Collar. Questioning faith and there’s sort of a hesitant/uneasy reconciliation with that faith at the end.
  • Had to downplay the knowledge that her poems would be published. Tried to publicly deny the fact b/c the public would not receive her work properly and she would look unwomanly if she showed it off too much
    • Authored as “The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, by a Gentlewoman of those Parts
  • Edward Taylor now; Taylor writes a lot of elegies. His choice of verse form varies, has psalm paraphrases, etc
  • Taylor never published his poetry, although he carefully transcribedmany poems in the manuscript “Poetical Works.” A considerationof audience must, therefore, take account of the fact that the elegiesand perhaps Gods Determinations were written in a more public mode,but that the majority of his Occasional Poems, the Preparatory Meditations,and the later “Valediction” and “A Fig for thee Oh! Death”are intensely personal, written it would seem for an audience of God orChrist alone, or as meditative self-examinations of Taylor’s soul. As readers,we eavesdrop on Taylor, but we are not easily invited into the poems, exceptinsofar as we identify with the Elect soul in its struggles or with Tayloras a representative pilgrim in his journey toward salvation.
  • Both authors talk about struggles as pilgrims toward journey of salvation. Try to re-read Edwards and differentiate their styles.
  • Bradstreet’s author to her book will probably be in the ID. I wouldn’t be surprised…
  • Read this for more insight on Edward Tayllor –

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s