About This Chapter
American Literature Foundations - Chapter Summary
This chapter analyzes and interprets the foundations of American literature through an exploration of American authors like Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper. After completing this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
- Explain the difference between Native American and colonial literature
- Discuss the works of early American writers, such as John Smith, John Winthrop, and Roger Williams
- Recount the life of Benjamin Franklin using his autobiography
- Explain the Romantic period in American literature and art
- Discuss American Enlightenment literature
- Use the biographies and works of Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper to describe their different styles
Each video has an available transcription for those who are more comfortable reading the lessons. The convenient dashboard helps you keep track of where you are, and the timeline allows you to jump through the videos at your discretion.
1. Native American and Colonial Literature
What types of writing were popular during the early days of the United States? In this lesson, we'll look at three major categories of 17th and 18th century American writing in more detail: Native American oral stories, Puritan writing, and early American political writing.
2. Early American Writers: John Smith, John Winthrop & Roger Williams
John Smith, John Winthrop, and Roger Williams were early American settlers who influenced the politics and literature of the colonies. In this lesson, we'll look closer at each of these men and their important writings.
3. Benjamin Franklin: Quotes and Autobiography
Everyone knows Benjamin Franklin flew a kite in a storm and that he signed the Declaration of Independence. But how much do you know about his writing? In this lesson, we'll look at two of his most famous works and how they influenced American literature.
4. James Fenimore Cooper: Biography & Books
James Fenimore Cooper was one of America's earliest and most famous writers, but was he a great writer? In this lesson, explore Cooper's unlikely writing career and his swift rise to fame, and determine the significance of his role in American literature.
5. American Enlightenment Literature
Some of the greatest ideas of the American consciousness come from the American Enlightenment period. This lesson introduces the writings of the American Enlightenment and some of its major themes.
6. The Romantic Period in American Literature and Art
This video introduces American Romanticism, a movement where literature focused on intuition, imagination and individualism. Authors such as Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow contributed to what became known as the American identity, as the new country did its best to distance itself from European tradition.
7. Washington Irving: Biography, Works, and Style
This video introduces Washington Irving, the father of American literature. Through his works, like 'Rip Van Winkle' and 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,' Irving developed a sophisticated yet satirical style while helping establish the American identity.
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Other chapters within the CLEP Analyzing & Interpreting Literature: Study Guide & Test Prep course
- Improving Reading Comprehension
- Types of Poetry
- Principles of Prose
- Dramatic Literature
- Elements of Literature
- Romantic British Literature
- Romantic British Poetry
- Victorian Era British Literature
- Modern Era British Literature
- American Romantic Literature
- American Literary Developments
- Modern Era American Literature
- Modern American Poetry
- Overview of 20th Century American Literature
- Literary Works in Translation
- Basics of Writing Essays
- CLEP Analyzing & Interpreting Literature Flashcards
- Additional CLEP Analyzing & Interpreting Literature Flashcards