Scribe: 11.05.2013

Today’s Objectives:
1. Discussion of common themes
2. Review detail and imagery
3. Syntax 5
4. The Crisis No.1
We began with a oral vocab check, which was humiliating as always. A notable one missed by many was “cosmopolitan”, which means “familiar with or accepting of many cultures”.
Then, we discussed themes common to the pieces which we have read (Winthrop, Donne, etc.)  that served as precursors to American literature.
– emphasis on community
– charity / love for all
– emphasis on nature
– emphasis on the influence of God
– advocacy for justice or fairness
– concept of “city upon a hill”, with America as the exemplary model for the world.
and the main ones, which forms a cycle:
the desire for purity -> sense self-righteousness -> American exceptionalism, which holds the nation to be superior to others (a la city upon a hill) -> a self-imposed position of America as a missionary spreading American values -> more desire for purity (repeats)
With the exception of the Revolutionary War period, these themes served as common underlying trends in American literature.
“Canada is just a dorkier version of America.”  *looks at Jason*   – Mr. Eldridge
Finally, we went over Syntax 5, yesterday’s homework.
*Syntax always supports the meaning*
Notice in the passage, the colon is both the “bridge” and the “chasm”, as it splits and connects the two clauses simultaneously. Also, the number of words in the clauses match exactly. This creates a perfect symmetry and opposition between the two competing theses.
Writers never reveal their true purposes because
1. it limits the discourse on the work and
2. it allows criticism by others over imperfections in the author’s execution of the purpose.
– Syntax 6, including a purpose statement.
– Read first 2 pages of The Crisis No. 2.

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