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Assignments - American Literature/Composition(Archived)
Unit 2 Exam Study Guide
Due Date: 2/13/2018
Subject: American Literature/Composition

Rationalism Test Study Guide

Test Format: Multiple choice

Test Date: February 9th

Terminology: Please define the following key terms. Also, ensure that you can accurately identify them.

Ethical appeal (what is right/wrong-credible), logical appeal (based on evidence and reasoning), emotional appeal (appeals to your emotions-happiness, sadness, anger), repetition (the action of repeating something that has already been said or written), restatement (an act of stating something again or differently, especially more clearly or convincingly), parallelism (the use of successive verbal constructions in poetry or prose that correspond in grammatical structure, sound, meter, meaning, etc.), rhetorical question (a question asked in order to create a dramatic effect or to make a point), antithesis (a contrast or opposition between two things), reason (the Rationalist definition) [the philosophical stance according to which reason is the ultimate source of human knowledge], Rationalism –The Age of Reason

Authors: Please explain who the following authors are, and what Rationalist text they are responsible for writing.

Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine

Key Principles of Rationalist: Please answer the following questions that relate to key principles and concepts of Rationalism.

·        What are the dates of the Rationalist time? 1750-1800

·         What are the forms of Rationalist Literature? Political pamphlets, essays, travel writing, speeches, documents

·         What did the Rationalist believe was God’s gift to humanity? Logical Reasoning

·         What are the key historical events that occurred during the Rationalist time? Revolutionary War, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and The Declaration of Independence were created. 

·        How is Rationalist a reaction against Puritanism? 1)Determined “truth” by using logic (deductive reasoning), rather than relying on the authority of the past, on religious faith, or intuition 2)Viewed God as a “clockmaker” who created the universe but does not interfere with its workings 3) Believed human beings are basically good and perfectible (self-made man)

Literature: Please answer the following questions that relate to the literature of the Rationalist time Period

“Speech in Virginia Convention” Author- Patrick Henry                                              Form of Literature-Speech                            :

·        What was the author’s purpose for writing this speech, and what occasion prompted the author to write? To urge the colonists to fight for independence; The Stamp Act

·        What tone does the author use throughout the speech? Diplomatic and Demanding

·         Who is the speaker’s intended audience? The colonists and men of Virginia

·         How does the speaker establish credibility with his audience?  He addresses the president of the convention.

·        How does the author use logical appeals to demonstrate that the only way the colonist can gain freedom is through waging war against Britain?  Henry explained by using facts how the English were treating the colonists by enforcing taxes and not responding to written communication.

·        How does the author use emotional appeals to make the audience feel a sense of urgency, and to make the audience more confident in their ability to go to war? He appeals to the sense of anger by explaining how tough the English were being on the colonists.

·        Why is the antithesis “give me liberty or give me death” significant to the author’s purpose for writing? He was willing to die for freedom, so he was hoping that his fellow colonists would feel the same way about freedom from Britain.

·        Provide an example of the following from the speech: repetition, parallelism, antithesis, and rhetorical question 

Repetition-"...we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight!" 

Parallelism-"Give me liberty or give me death" we have petitioned, we have remonstrated, we have supplicated, and we have prostrated ourselves before the throne..."

Antithesis-“give me liberty or give me death”

Rhetorical Question-Is this the part of wise men, engaged in great and arduous struggle for liberty?

“The American Crisis No. 1” Author-Thomas Paine                                       Form of Literature-Pamphlet/Motivational Speech                               :

·        What is the author’s purpose for writing “The American Crisis No. 1”? To encourage the colonists to fight for their freedom from Britain.

·        How does the author use emotional appeals to support his purpose for writing through his retelling of a story about father in a tavern?  He describes the father and son holding hands.  He also talks about the father’s wishes for peace in his time not his sons.

·         How the author does uses a series of logical appeals to convince the audience to support and participate in the American Revolution?  Paine describes that freedom has many costs associated with it.

·        Which rhetorical device is used the statement “I call not upon a few, but upon all; not on this state or that state, but on every state…?” –Pathos (pity or sadness)

o   What purpose does this phrase serve in relation to the author’s overall argument? Paine wants the colonists to realize how things will be if Britain takes complete control over the colonies.

·        How does the author establish credibility throughout the essay? He reflects back on being a man and reflecting back on his time as a man in the army.

·        What is the overall tone of the essay? Paine uses a serious tone throughout this work.

Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Primary Author-Ben Franklin                             Form of Literature-Book/Almanac                                  :

·        Why does Benjamin Franklin write his autobiography?  He wanted to share his earlier life with his son.  Franklin also wanted to share his life to show others how to live a life that focused on being a good person.

·         What goal did Benjamin Franklin wish to achieve? He wanted to be able to express himself and his ideas freely.  He also had a plan to live by. (13 virtues)

·        What was his plan for achieving his goal? His goal was to live his days and weeks without having to put any marks on his chart.

·        What issues did Franklin encounter when initially attempting to pursue this goal? He realized that he was adding a lot of marks to his book in the beginning.  As time passed, the marks became fewer until they were completely gone.

·        How does his writing reflect principles of Rationalism?  Ben Franklin was a very logical thinker.  He was able to research and find the truth in life.  He also used science.



Unit 1 Exam Study Guide
Due Date: 1/9/2018
Subject: American Literature/Composition

Unit 1 American Literature Study Guide Answers

Vocabulary Terms

Creation mythA myth describing or explaining the creation of the world

Historical narrative – a narrative story of events that actually happened

Poem – a piece of writing that usually has figurative language and that is written in separate lines that often have a repeated rhythm and sometimes rhyme

Sermon - a speech that is usually based on a scriptural text and is intended to provide religious instruction

Article – a piece of writing usually found in a newspaper or magazine

Drama – a story written to be performed by actors

Characterization – the act of creating and developing a character

Plot – the sequence of events in a literary work or story

Climax – the high point of interest or suspense in a literary work or story

Resolution – the end of the central conflict in a story

Author’s purposethe reason an author decides to write about a specific topic

Occasiona particular time or instance of an even

Subjecta person or thing that is being discussed, described, or dealt with

Audiencespectators or listeners at a public event, such as a play, movie, concert, or meeting

Speakera person who delivers a speech or lecture

Tonethe writer’s attitude toward his or her subject, characters, or audience

Mood – the feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passage

Main idea – the most important thought of a section of text that tells the reader what the text is about

Theme – central message or insight into life revealed by a literary work

Pathos (emotional appeal) - a quality that evokes pity or sadness

Metaphor – a figure of speech where one thing is spoken of as if it were something else

Simile – a figure of speech that makes a direct comparison between to subjects, using either “like” or “as”

Imagery – the descriptive language used to create word pictures for the reader

Protagonist – the main character in a literary work

Antagonist – a character or force in conflict with a main character

Internal conflict – the struggle or conflict a character has with in

External conflict – the struggle or conflict a character has with an outside force or another character

Indirect characterization – the character's personality is shown through speech, actions and appearance

Verbal irony – a word or phrase is used to suggest the opposite of its usual meaning

Dramatic irony – a contradiction between what a character thinks and what the audience knows

Situational irony – an event occurs that contradicts the expectations of the characters

Tragic hero – the main character of a tragedy

Allegory – a story or tale with two or more levels of meaning, a literal level and one or more symbolic levels

Claim - a statement that asserts something to be true

Textual evidence - evidence from a text that you can use to illustrate your ideas and support your arguments

Topic sentence - a sentence that expresses the main idea of the paragraph in which it occurs

Analyze – how plot/structure, character, setting, and many other techniques are used by the author to create meaning

Pre-colonial – Native American time period in literature that arrived between 40,000 B.C. – 20,000 B.C. where stories are told by word of mouth

Colonial – Puritanism time period in literature from 1600 – 1800, the focus is on religion, simple living, and living by faith

Pilgrim – a person who travels somewhere for religious reasons

Puritanmember of a group of Protestants that arose in the 16th century within the Church of England, demanding the simplification of doctrine and worship, and greater strictness in religious discipline

Plain style – a type of writing in which uncomplicated sentences and ordinary words are used to make simple, direct statements

“Fire and Brimstone” – a phrase symbolizing the torments of hell endured by sinners


Literature Texts

“The Earth on Turtle’s Back”

*The story is a creation myth that explains how the Earth was found by a muskrat and is being held on the back of a turtle.

*A creation myth tells how something comes into existence.

*Several animals attempt to dive deep enough to retrieve some earth. As they take these actions, the animals exhibit concern, kindness, generosity, and heroism. None of the animals are selfish or fearful.

*Never give up; everyone can accomplish something great no matter what size or ability you have.

* “There is a Skyland with a tree attached by four white roots.”

Of Plymouth Plantation

*His purpose for writing the text is to share the journey from England to the New World and to document historical events.

*He shows how they never give up. Their faith keeps them going through the winter, disease, Native Americans, lack of justice, and lack of rules.

*Squanto “could speak better English than them. He came back several times to help.” He is a special instrument.

*They could have protection and learn survival skills from the Native Americans.

*Life is better for them.

“To My Dear and Loving Husband” and “Upon the Burning of Our House”

*Both poems were written by Anne Bradstreet. She as a Puritan and a female writer.

*The first poem was a love letter to her husband. This poem demonstrated her fleshly love for her for her husband.

*The second poem describes the tragic event of Anne losing her house in a fire. Her family lost everything except their lives. She talks a lot about her selfishness at first, but then she realizes that God was the one that blessed her with all of her possessions. She realizes that she needs to put those wants aside and focus on things of God that have eternal results.

“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

*Edward’s purpose for writing this sermon was to persuade his listeners into pursuing a life of humility and righteousness in the hope of achieving salvation.

*Puritan members of a congregation in Connecticut.

*Metaphor-“The God that holds you over the pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider….”

*Simile-“The wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present”

*Imagery-“The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string….”

*He is appealing to the emotions of wrath, anger, violence, intimidation, and scaring the congregation members into believing a certain way or be punished forever.

The Crucible

*Protagonist-John Proctor

*Antagonist-Abigail Williams and the girls of Salem

*Refer to notes from constructed response

Abigail-master mind behind the hysteria; still in love with John Proctor

John Proctor-he wants to do right; town sacrifice to end the hysteria

Elizabeth Proctor-quite; reserved; has faith in God; wants to protect her husband

Rev. Parris-Salem’s minister; disliked by many; all about himself and how others see him

Rev. Hale-an expert on witchcraft; changes his mind about the situation as things go out of control in Salem

*Climax-when John Proctor is found guilty after he admits his affair with Abigail

*Resolution-When Proctor tears up his confession and then is hanged.

*Themes-Intolerance; Hysteria; Reputation

*Dramatic Irony-Abigail fakes the voodoo.

*Verbal Irony-John Proctor forgetting the 10 Commandments about adultery. He committed adultery.

*Situational Irony-The judges forcing the Puritans to confess. It is a sin to lie.

EOC List #2 Vocabulary
Due Date: 11/14/2017
Subject: American Literature/Composition

1. Innocuous (adj) Harmless

2. Lethargic (adj) drowsy

3. Obstinate (adj) stubborn

4. Miser (adj) Stingy person

5. Piety (N) religious devotion

6. Rectify (V) to correct

7. Substantiate (v) Verify

8. Taciturn (adj) talking little

9. Unwarranted (adj) not justified

10. Vacillate (v) to fluctuate