Monday, September 28, 2009

Welcome to the American Literature Blog

Welcome! We'll use these threads for announcements, discussions questions.

In this thread, tell us about your first essay: what have you discovered in the course of writing it?
What are you struggling with?

If you wish, post a paragraph or section of your essay and ask for responses.


  1. I am just struggling with trying to connect the reader-response with the questions asked in the essay prompt. I'm so used to doing an analysis of lit. and I'm just finding it hard to incorporating my views and feelings in with what is asked of me.

  2. Hi Jaida -

    Yes, I'm asking you to do something a little different in this essay - much more worthwhile than continuing to do what you're used to. Think of it as an experiment on a continuum with creative writing. All writing is creative, even critical essays.

  3. I'm wondering how this sounds:
    Another instance where extreme violence was used to hold power was when Douglass lived across the street from a slave master, Thomas Hamilton. The two slaves he owned, Mary and Henrietta, were ages fourteen and twenty-two. I found it surprising how Hamilton’s wife used extreme violence to keep control over his two slaves. The two girls had been whipped on their heads and necks so many times Douglass thought they were severe examples of “…mangled and emaciated creatures…”(2087). An instance like this shows us the darker side of human nature, seeing as how Hamilton’s wife would whip them with no real motivation to do so while the girls were also half starved. “…scarce an hour passed during the day but was marked by the blood of one of these slaves… They seldom knew what it was to eat a full meal. I have seen Mary contending with the pigs for the offal thrown into the street.”(2087). This is an attempt to dehumanize slaves to the fullest, not only are they abused unreasonably, they stand a better chance of getting full from beating the pigs to their meal too.

  4. Nice writing and ideas, esantanga9. I'm wondering: do you think Douglass agree that the cruelty of slavery reflects something about human nature? Or does he have another analysis?

  5. The type of history that William Bradford was writing about was one that documented the journey of those that wanted to have religious freedom, which was separate from the England’s national church. Their reason for wanting this is because any type of religious practice outside of this is against the law and seen as treason. Bradford wants to show that the action that he and other followers are taking are justified he says that those that did not conform to the idea of a national church were picked and sent to prison and had their house set on fire.

  6. The readings that we had to read by J. Edwards, is very interesting I really had to read it more than once. The bible verse is something that if you are not familiar with it you would have a very hard time understanding and connecting with it. What I noticed I about Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God by J. Edwards is that it seems to have been written for the historical period genre. This is because of biblical accounts that Edwards makes about Gods chosen ones the Israelites “who were Gods visible people “(Edwards 425) and the step by step analyzes that he gives regarding Deuteronomy 32.25 and other verse such as Luke 11.12, John 3.18 etc. The subject matter that Edwards writes about is showing and or telling people that no man is more powerful than god and those that try to challenge him or his words can or would be and can be sent to burn in the devils hot furnace.