11A Unit Two Packet

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					11A American Literature
Unit Two: Revolutionary Literature
from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and Poor Richard’s Almanack

*Read: Pages 130-135 (pay close attention to page 130)


Indentured: adj. bound by contract to serve another person for a period of time
Ingenious: adj. exhibiting creative ability; inventive
Infidel: n. an unbeliever
Mortification: n. feeling of shame, humiliation, or embarrassment

*Create four original sentences using each of the vocabulary words above.

   1) Indentured: _____________________________________________________________
   2) Ingenious: ______________________________________________________________
   3) Infidel: ________________________________________________________________
   4) Mortification: ____________________________________________________________


Almanacs were one of the earliest types of publication and were forerunners to today’s
magazines. Modern almanacs are useful reference materials. They are a good source for
current facts and statistics.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with starting the first public library and fire department in

Quakers are members of the Religious Society of Friends, a faith that emerged as a new
Christian denomination in England during a period of religious turmoil in the mid-1600s, and is

practiced today around the world. “Quaker” and “Friend” are terms used interchangeably to
indicate a member of this faith.

An autobiography is the story of a person’s life, written by that person. Here are some
characteristics of a biography:
       First person: The author of the autobiography usually writes from the first-person point
       of view.
       Dual perspective: Often the author of an autobiography writes as an older person
       looking back on himself as a younger person, providing opportunities for reflection.
       Significant moments: Autobiographies may vary from straightforward chronological
       accounts to impressionistic narratives. In either case, especially important events and
       people in the author’s life are highlighted.

An idiom is a saying or group of words that takes on a special meaning, different from the usual
meaning of the words that make it up. An example would be “I am leading a hand-to-mouth
existence” which means “I don’t have much money.” Franklin uses idioms throughout his

An aphorism is a short, pointed statement that expresses a wise or clever observation about
human experience.

*Answer questions below in complete sentences.


   1) What are some of the things that Franklin invented? Other than his inventions, what is he

       known for?

   2) What characteristics of an autobiography do you find in this selection?

   3) What does Franklin do during the Quakers’ meeting? What do you think the last sentence of

       this selection of his autobiography reveals about Franklin?

4) Franklin often illustrates his point by using metaphors. Identify and explain the metaphor he

   uses in the aphorism: “The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise.”

5) Using your own words, rewrite three of Franklin’s aphorisms.

6) In your opinion, which of Franklin’s aphorisms gives the most valuable advice? Explain your


11A American Literature
Unit Two: Revolutionary Literature
“Speech to the Second Virginia Convention”
*Read: Pages 146-149 (pay close attention to page 146)


Subjugation: n. act of bringing under control; domination
Spurn: v. to reject with disdain
Insidious: adj. slyly treacherous and deceitful; deceptive
Arduous: adj. requiring great exertion or endurance; difficult

*Create four original sentences using each of the vocabulary words above.

   1) Subjugation: _____________________________________________________________
   2) Spurn: ______________________________________________________________
   3) Insidious: _______________________________________________________________
   4) Arduous: ____________________________________________________________


Patrick Henry delivered this speech to an audience of Virginia delegates who met to decide
whether to revolt against Britain. Henry begins by saying that he must speak out or consider
himself guilty of treason. He argues that Britain is preparing for war against the colonies and
that the colonists have tried peaceful arguments for a decade. Peace is no longer an option. If
the colonists wish to be free, they must fight.

Historical note: Henry believed the colonists should make their own laws and control their own
taxes. In March of 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act to raise revenue to
support the British military on American soil. Although the Stamp Act was repealed in 1766,
the Townshend Acts later imposed taxes on glass, tea, paint, paper, and lead. This angered the
colonists even more.

Rhetoric is the art or study of using language effectively and persuasively. Rhetorical devices
are structures within language that help communicate ideas. Examples include:
        A rhetorical question is a question to which no answer is expected.
        Antithesis expresses contrasting ideas in parallel grammatical structures. (ex. “Give me
        liberty, or give me death!”)
        Repetition is the recurrence of words, phrases, or lines.
        Parallelism is a kind of repetition in which words or phrases in the same grammatical
        form connect ideas. (ex. “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet…”)

An allusion is a reference in a work of literature to a character, a place, or a situation from
history or from music, art, or another work of literature.

Connotation refers to the suggested or implied meanings associated with a word beyond its
dictionary definition, or denotation.

*Answer questions below in complete sentences.


   1) To what two choices facing the colonists does Patrick Henry refer in his opening lines? How

       does he defend his need to speak about them?

   2) Identify the rhetorical device used by Henry in the following quote: “This is no time for

       ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own

       part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the

       magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of debate.”

   3) Identify one rhetorical device that Henry uses in the paragraph beginning, “Mr. President”.

       Explain what purpose the device serves.

4) In the section at the bottom of page 148 that begins, “Sir, we have done everything…” Henry

    lists several actions the colonists have taken to protest their treatment by the British. How do

    these actions show that Henry is speaking at a decisive moment in American history?

5) Henry repeats the word “sir” often in the paragraph beginning “They tell us, sir, that we are

    weak …” Why does he do this? Explain the likely effect of this repetition as well as that of the

    phrase “let it come!”

6) List one example of allusion found in this speech. List the allusion and explain the connection.

11A American Literature
Unit Two: Revolutionary Literature
from The Crisis

*Read: Pages 154-157 (pay close attention to page 154)


Tyranny: n. cruel use of authority
Hypocrisy: n. an expression of feelings or beliefs not actually possessed or held
Exploit: n. notable, heroic deed; feat
Ardor: n. intensity of emotion, passion; enthusiasm

*Create four original sentences using each of the vocabulary words above.

   1) Tyranny: _____________________________________________________________
   2) Hypocrisy: ______________________________________________________________
   3) Exploit: _______________________________________________________________
   4) Ardor: ____________________________________________________________


In 1776, Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense. This publication formed the backdrop for the
publication of The Crisis. Paine’s call for independence in Common Sense was an act of high
treason and was punishable by death. Paine’s Common Sense reached more people than any
other political publication of that time.

Historical note: at the time that Paine is writing, there was a long-standing animosity between
England and France. The French and Indian War against Britain (1754-1763) resulted in
France’s loss of territory in both North America and India, making Britain the preeminent power
in the Western Hemisphere and on the seas.

Thomas Paine used a number of persuasive techniques in The Crisis to persuade Americans to
join the cause. Examples of persuasive techniques include:
        Emotional appeals: attempt to persuade by eliciting strong feelings, such as pity or
        Ethical appeals: call upon readers’ sense of right and wrong.
        Appeals to association: imply that one will gain acceptance or prestige by taking the
        writer’s position.
        Appeals to authority: call upon experts or others who warrant respect.

*Answer questions below in complete sentences.


   1) What was the name of the pamphlet that Thomas Paine published in 1776 that is considered the

        first cry for complete independence from Britain?

   2) How is this selection connected to George Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware River?

   3) What does Paine mean by “the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot”? How are the summer

        soldiers different from the soldiers that Paine calls out for?

   4)   To whom does Paine compare the English king in the third paragraph?

5) Find two examples of hyperbole in Paine’s speech and explain how Paine is exaggerating in


6) In the last paragraph, what does Paine want everyone to do?

11A American Literature
Unit Two: Revolutionary Literature
“Declaration of Independence”

*Read: Pages 168-172 (pay close attention to page 168)


Endeavor: v. to make an effort to; to try
Acquiesce: v. to consent or agree silently, without objections; to comply passively
Perfidy: n. a deliberate betrayal of trust
Usurpation: n. act of seizing power without legal right or authority

*Create four original sentences using each of the vocabulary words above.

   1) Endeavor: _____________________________________________________________
   2) Acquiesce: ______________________________________________________________
   3) Perfidy: _______________________________________________________________
   4) Usurpation: ____________________________________________________________


The Enlightenment was a burst of intellectual energy taking place in Europe during the 1700s.
Enlightenment thinkers had begun to question previously accepted truths about who would
hold the power in government. Their thinking pointed the way to a government by the people.
American colonists adapted Enlightenment ideas to their own environment. The political
writings of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson shaped the American
Enlightenment and began to eclipse even the most brilliant European thought.

On July 4, 1776 the Second Continental Congress officially approved “The Declaration of
Independence.” This day is celebrated every year but not everyone understands the courage
needed to sign the original document. The 56 men who signed the document put their lives on

the line. They knew that if Britain prevailed, they would be hanged for treason. The odds were
heavily in Great Britain’s favor because of their navy, wealth and power.

“The Declaration of Independence” has four main parts:
      The preamble, or forward, that announces the reason for the document
      A declaration of people’s natural rights and relationship to government
      A long list of complaints against George III, the British king
      A conclusion that formally states American’s independence

Jefferson’s emphasis in “The Declaration of Independence” was on the logical argument to be
made for independence. An argument expresses an opinion on an issue and supports it with
reasons and evidence. Three important parts of an argument are:
        The claim: the writer’s position on an issue or problem
        Support: reasons and evidence provided to prove a claim
        Counterargument: arguments to answer opposing views

*Answer questions below in complete sentences.


1) Identify words in the following passage that have negative connotations. Explain the connotation of

    each. “He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of

    our people.”

2) What accusations does Jefferson make against the British king? In a statement, summarize the

    complaints against their king.

3) In listing the grievances, Jefferson uses the literary technique of repetition, beginning each item with

    the phrase he has. How does this technique help make the document clear?

4) What counterargument does Jefferson anticipate with the lines beginning, “Prudence, indeed, will

   dictate that…”?

5) What purpose does the final paragraph serve?

6) Jefferson’s famous statement, “All men are created equal” only applied to white men at the time.

   How has the meaning of Jefferson’s statement changed over time? How has it stayed the same?


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