Chapter Two (I) Edwards, Franklin, and Crevecoeur 1. The Intellectual Backgrounds for the 18th Century: A. American Puritanism (still dominating) B. The Great Awakening in 1730s and 1740s Jonathan Edwards as one of the leading advocates C. Deism: a Compromise between Science and Religion Newton and his “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica” (in which he put forward his famous principle of universal gravitation) D. The Influence of The Enlightenment Movement (in France: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire) (in England: Alexander Pope, Daniel Defoe) Chapter Two (2) Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) Man of God Chapter Two (2) Jonathan Edwards II. Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) 1. Status: a puritan writer, theologian, colonial American preacher and missionary to Native Americans 2. Comments: Edwards “is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian". He is known as one of the greatest and most profound of American theologians and revivalists. (born for religion and died for science) 3. Works: The Freedom of the Will (1954); The Great Doctrine of Original Sin Defended (1758); The Nature of True Virtue (1765) “Personal Narrative” and “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” are his frequently anthologized pieces. Chapter Two (2) Jonathan Edwards 4. Criticism: His work is very broad in scope, but he is often associated with his defense of Calvinist theology, the metaphysics of theological determinism, and the Puritan heritage. His famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” emphasized the just wrath of God against sin and contrasted it with the provision of God for salvation; the intensity of his preaching sometimes resulted in members of the audience fainting, swooning, and other more obtrusive reactions. Chapter Two (3) Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) Man of Action Chapter Two (3) Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) III. Benjamin Franklin A. Status: one of the greatest founding fathers of the American Nation a rare genius in human history Jack of all trades: essayist, autobiographical writer, printer, scientist, postmaster, almanac maker, orator, statesman, philosopher, political economist, ambassador, parlor man, almost everything Chapter Two (3) Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) B. Life and Career (Early Years): 1.Calvinist background in Boston 2.Candle-maker’s family – “poor and obscure” 3.Little formal education Self-taught and self-made 4.Apprentice to his half brother – composer His maiden writing in the pseudo-name Silence Dogood A runaway boy from Boston to Philadelphia to make his own fortune Chapter Two (3) Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) B. Life and Career (A Story of Success) 5.A successful printer who retired at 42 6. He founded the Pennsylvania Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania, the American Philosophical Society, a subscription library, volunteer fire departments 7. He invented a musical instrument called glass harmonica, the effective street lighting, the Franklin stove, bifocal glasses, efficient heating system, and lightning-rod for which he was praised as “the new Prometheus who had stolen fire from heaven by Immanuel Kant” Chapter Two (3) Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) B. Life and Career (Public Career) 8. A member of the Pennsylvania Assembly The Deputy Postmaster-General for the colonies Representative of the colonies in London for 18 years; Minister to France; Minister to Sweden A delegate to the Continental Congress 9. Member of the Committee of Five to draft the Declaration of Independence 10. The only American to sign the four documents that created the United States: the Declaration of Independence, the treaty of alliance with France, the constitution Chapter Two (3) Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) C. His Major Writings: Poor Richard’s Almanac 1. Time: almost a quarter of century 2. Content: Literary pieces such as poems and essays, a good many adages, commensense witticisms 3. Sources: he borrowed them from such famous writers such as Rabelais, Defoe, Swift and Pope and tried to simplify these quotations 4. Examples: Famous sayings such as “Lost time is never found again”, “God help them that help themselves”, “Fish and visitors stink in three days”, etc.. 5. Function: practical, instructive, and amusing Chapter Two (3) Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) C. His Major Writings: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin 1. Nature: Probably the first of its kind in literature. A simple yet fascinating record of a man’s success. A faithful account of the colorful career of America’s first self-made man. 1. TEMPERANCE. 2. SILENCE. 2. Structure: The book consists of four parts, written at 3. ORDER. different times. Franklin was 65 when he began to write. 4. RESOLUTION. 3. Content: 5. FRUGALITY. 6. INDUSTRY. (a) Puritanism: It is first of all a Puritan document, a record of 7. SINCERITY. self-examination and self-improvement, a meticulous chart of 8. JUSTICE. 13 virtues to cultivate. 9. MODERATION. (b) Enlightenment: It embodies the new order of the 18th 10. CLEANLINESS. century Enlightenment. (Order and Moderation) 11.TRANQUILLITY. 12. CHASTITY. 13. HUMILITY. Chapter Two (3) Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) C. His Major Writings: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin 4. Style: This work is written in the pattern of Puritan simplicity, directness, and concision. The most salient features are such as the plainness of its style, the homeliness of imagery, the simplicity of diction, syntax, and expression. 5. Tone: Optimism The American dream began with the settlement of the American continent – the promised land – the Garden of Eden – optimistic about the future Chapter Two (4) Hector St. John de Crevecoeur IV. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur A. Birth: born in a French noble family B. Settlement: Settled in America and hoped that the New World man would be able to shake off the shackles of the old and live the way mankind should. C. Works: Letters from an American Farmer (1775) He wrote 12 letters back to Europe, explaining the meaning of America to the outside world. The first 8 letters reveal the pride of a man being an American, and, thereupon, optimistic. Starting from his ninth letter, he began to speak with the voice of a disillusioned man, rendering the last 4 letters pessimistic.
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