Notes Quiz – Question 1

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Notes Quiz – Question 1

  • Which of the following is NOT a name associated with the literary era?
    • The Age of Reason
    • The Enlightened Period
    • The Era of Nobility
    • The Revolutionary Period

Notes Quiz – Question 2

  • Which of the following does NOT correctly describe the writings literary era?
    • The genres included essays, speeches, pamphlets, and letters.
    • The persuasive purposes often adhered to strict religious beliefs.
    • The writings tended to focus on practicality and realism.
    • The writing styles tended to use clear, concise prose.

Notes Quiz – Question 3

  • What is pragmatism?
    • Morality measured by the bible.
    • Morality measured by leadership.
    • Truth measured by experience.
    • Truth measured by religion.

Notes Quiz – Question 4

  • What is rationalism?
    • The belief that we can arrive at truth by using our reason rather than relying on authority.
    • The belief that we can arrive at truth by relying upon the populace and majority.
    • The belief that we can prosper as a society by adhering to the concepts of predestination.
    • The belief that we can prosper as a society by following our imaginations towards endless possibilities.

Notes Quiz – Question 5

  • Which of the following is NOT a significant difference between the Puritan Society and the Revolutionary Society?
    • Freedom: Puritans denounced speaking out against the Theocracy, while the Revolutionary Period promoted freedom of speech.
    • Morality: Puritans believed in the Original Sin, while the Revolutionary Period based morality on the concept that everyone is capable of good.
    • Religion: Puritans believed that God was an almighty power, while the Revolutionary Period rejected Christian religious values.
    • Literature: Puritanical writing primarily focused on religion and the afterlife, while the Revolutionary Period focused on politics and logic.

Period of Enlightenment or Revolutionary Period or The Age of Reason

  • 1750s-1800

I. The Revolutionary Period (The New America)

1773 Boston Tea Party

  • 1773 Boston Tea Party
  • 1775 Beginning of American Revolution
  • 1776 Declaration of Independence
  • 1789 American Constitution

Political Pamphlets

  • Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
    • “The Autobiography”
    • “Sayings of Poor Richard”
  • Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
    • “Common Sense”
    • “The Crisis”
  • Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
    • “The Declaration of Independence”
    • Patrick Henry
    • “Speech to the Virginia Convention”
  • The most common forms of literature in the Age of Reason include:
    • Pamphlets
    • Speeches
    • Essays
    • Letters
    • Some poems and ballads (but are used to urge Americans into political action)
  • American Literature in the
  • Revolutionary Period:
  • Most of the literature is rooted in REALITY rather than IMAGINATION
  • Best minds are concentrating on SOCIAL, POLITICAL, and SCIENTIFIC improvements
  • What then is the American,
  • this new man?
  • -- Crevecoeur
  • Letters From An American Farmer
  • by J. Hector St. John De Crevecoeur
  • What then is the American, this new man?...He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds. He has become an American by being received in the broad lap of our great Alma Mater. Here individuals of all races are melted into a new race of man, whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world. Americans are the western pilgrims. (from "Letter III," 1782)

II. The Age of Reason (Science)

  • Science in the New World:
  • What resulted from the period of
  • Enlightenment?
  • The attitude that all knowledge can be gained by the power of our reason
  • What is reason?
  • The ability to think in an ordered, logical way


  • Realistic rather than religious
  • Practical and political
  • Social, political, and scientific improvement
  • Clear, direct, concise prose (sentences not poetry)


  • Rational approach to the world
  • Belief in progress—the world is constantly improving


  • Truth measured by practical experience
  • Began to value reason and logic over faith
  • Discarded ideas that could not be logically proven


  • The belief that we can arrive at truth by using our reason rather than relying on authority (examples of authority: God, preachers, Bible)
  • Emphasized scientific and mathematical research and discoveries
  • God gave people a faculty of reason to discover natural laws
  • A Case Study:
  • Cotton Mather
  • and the
  • Smallpox Vaccine
  • (1663 – 1725)
  • In 1721, a ship from the
  • West Indies docked in Boston.
  • In addition to bringing sugar and molasses, this ship carried smallpox.
  • Cotton Mather (1663 – 1721) was a puritan minister, an old style Puritan.
  • But Mather was also interested in science and medicine.
  • When the smallpox epidemic occurred,
  • Mather was working on the first American
  • medical scholarly essay.
  • Mather had heard of a method for dealing with smallpox called inoculation.
  • What is inoculation? Doctors infect people with fluid containing the virus, giving them a mild case of the disease. This made them immune to later outbreaks.
  • Boston’s medical community was opposed to such an experiment. They felt human beings were daring to do the work of God.
  • The clergy supported Mather.
  • Mather’s house was bombed.
  • Mather inoculated 300 people. Only six died.
  • What does Cotton Mather exemplify about the early Americans?
  • They had to make do with
  • what they had,
  • and
  • they had
  • to get results.
  • The Age of Reason in America:
  • Rationalism is the belief that we can arrive at truth by using our reason.
  • Remember the definition of reason?
    • - The ability to THINK in an ordered, logical way.
      • “I think, therefore I am.”- Descartes

III. Characteristics of Enlightenment (Religion)

The Clockmaker Theory

  • Newtons’ view of God
  • God created a well-ordered universe controlled by absolute laws that operate independently from Him
  • Rationalists view God as “a clockmaker who, having created the perfect mechanism of the universe, then left his creation to run on its own.” – Sir Isaac Newton
  • God set the world in motion and no longer interferes


  • The belief in the existence of God on purely rational grounds without reliance on past authority.
      • God made the world, then stepped back.
      • God has no influence on human lives
      • God gave man the ability to think
      • Man is inherently good
      • God’s objective was the happiness of his creatures
  • Worship meant to serve others
  • Souls are immortal
  • Punishment and reward in the afterlife
  • Perfection is possible through reason
  • Puritanism vs. Rationalism: Attitudes towards Freedom
    • Puritanism
  • Sin to speak out against Theocracy
  • Rationalism
  • Strong desire for freedom of speech
  • Freedom to experiment, question laws and institutions
  • Puritanism vs. Rationalism: Literature and Writing
  • Puritanism
  • Religious Subjects – concerned with the afterlife
  • Rationalism
  • Writing based on science, ethics, government, happenings; social and political improvements
  • Intended to serve practical and political ends
  • Puritanism vs. Rationalism: Philosophy
  • Puritanism
  • Theocracy
  • Original Sin
  • Rationalism
  • Humans can manage themselves and society without depending on authorities of the past or religion
  • Humans are basically good
  • Puritanism vs. Rationalism:
  • Excerpt from Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almaanac
  • Courteous Reader:
  • I might in this place attempt to gain thy favor by declaring that I write almanacs with no other view than that of the public good, but in this I should not be sincere; and men are now adays too wise to be deceived by pretenses, how specious soever. The plain truth of the matter is, I am excessively poor, and my wife, good woman, is, I tell her excessive proud; she cannot bear, she says, to sit spinning in her shift and tow, while I do nothing but gaze at the stars; and has (as she
  • calls my instruments) if I do not make some profitable use of them for the good of my family. The printer has offered me some considerable share of profits, and I have thus begun to comply with my dame’s desire.
  • “The people heard it, and approve the doctrine, and immediately practiced the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon.”

IV. Persuasive Rhetoric

Purpose of Persuasion

  • To convince people to adopt an opinion, perform an action, or both
  • Rhetorical Devices vs Literary Devices
    • Rhetoric—the art of communicating ideas
    • Literary Devices – artistic use of writing used to create an image.
  • Persuasive rhetoric—consists of reasoned arguments in favor of or against particular beliefs or courses of action
  • Should engage both the mind and the emotions of its audience

Styles of Persuasion

  • Elevated language—formal words and phrases that create a serious tone
  • Rhetorical question—questions that do not require answers; make the answers obvious
  • Repetition—repeating a point for emphasis
  • Parallelism—a type of repetition in which sentences have a similar structure

Emotional Appeals

  • Often based on specific examples of suffering or potential threats
  • Can include “loaded language”—language that is rich in connotations (emotions) and vivid images


  • Appeals to any emotion, including anger, sorrow, joy, and hilarity.
  • Who do you cite? THE UNDERDOG! Emotion, senses, memory, common experiences.
  • Pathos can display the emotions of the author OR play on the emotions of the reader.
  • Often uses the story of the individual.
  • Author must be careful to not overdo Pathos. This could alienate the reader.
  • Establishes sympathy and understanding, where the readers cares about the author and or the author’s subject.
  • Pathos
  • Click below to view video….
  • Homework Question #1:
  • Explain how the video uses pathos to further its goal. To do this you will need to:
  • identify the goal/purpose of the video,
  • explain how Pathos is used, referring directly back to the notes, and
  • explaining how that use of Pathos furthers the goal/purpose.

Ethical Appeals

  • Based on shared moral values
  • Call forth the audience’s sense of right, justice, and virtue
  • Often refers to God’s authority


  • Appeals to a sense of what is morally right. Connects the speaker to the audience by stressing the values that they share.
  • CREDIBILITY: Use only credible, reliable sources to build your argument and cite those sources properly.
  • Who do you cite? AUTHORITY!
  • Respect the reader by stating the opposing position accurately.
  • Establish common ground with your audience, often this can be done by acknowledging values and beliefs shared by those on both sides of the argument.
  • Homework Question #2:
  • Explain how the video uses ethos to further its goal. To do this you will need to:
  • identify the goal/purpose of the video,
  • explain how ethos is used, referring directly back to the notes, and
  • explaining how that use of ethos furthers the goal/purpose.
  • Read the following excerpt & explain in your journals how it establishes ETHOS…
  • “While confined here in Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely."...Since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable in terms.”
  • - Martin Luther King, Jr. "Letter from Birmingham Jail”
  • Homework Question #3:
  • Explain how the quote uses ethos to further its goal. To do this you will need to:
  • identify the goal/purpose of the quote,
  • explain how ethos is used, referring directly back to the notes, and
  • explaining how that use of ethos furthers the goal/purpose.

Logical Appeals

  • Who do you cite? FACTS!
  • Rational arguments that are supported with objective evidence
  • Charts, Graphs, Data

Development of Logical Appeals

  • Deductive: beginning with a generalization or premise and proceeding to examples and facts
  • Inductive: beginning with examples or facts and proceeding to draw a conclusion from them

Pathos vs Ethos vs Logos

  • Don’t feed puppies to lions.
  • Eating too much broccoli will lead to obesity.
  • Watching 90210 will undermine your ability to complete thoughts.
  • The color magenta is unacceptable.
  • We should all be friends.

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