August 25, 2016
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Data Visualization for Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation.
I thought this paragraph was really interesting because Bradford attributes the finding of the seeds for corn and beans to divine sponsorship from God, but in reality, the colonists just followed the Native Americans and stumbled upon the Native’s food supply. The seeds didn’t magically appear on the ground for the colonists due to God’s support, but the colonists just took these supplies from the Native Americans. Even though it says that they meant to “give them full satisfaction” for the corn and beans when they were harvested, I still found it interesting that their vision of superiority to the Native Americans led them to stealing supplies. It also made me think about conceptions about the first Thanksgiving and the idea that Native Americans gave the colonists food and supplies, when the colonists actually took these from the Native Americans when they first arrived in Plymouth.
I had a harder time understanding this text. However, I believe this paragraph is exploring how there was a lot of strife in Europe, particularly England. Because of this, many decided to travel to what would be America. On the other hand, it mentions that some would rather be in prison in England rather than go to Holland to escape religious persecution or head to the Americas and endure the hardships they would find there. This makes me wonder why some would travel across seas to escape the hardships in England, when many others were traveling to Holland to escape the same hardships in England.
I also struggled to understand the text, but I agree. I believe the text has a lot to do with escaping hardships as a whole. Whether it be the hardships of England, Holland, or what would be America. From what I took away the governours are trying to “foresee ye future” and by doing so are urging people to travel. Perhaps due to lack of food or something of sorts. And in hopes with people traveling to Holland and what will be America will be able to survive and help Englands remaining people survive with fewer hardships. As you stated many would rather be locked up in England than risk religious persecution in Holland. At the end it says “their pastor would often say, that many of those wo both wrate & preached now against them if they were in a place wher they might libertie and live comfortably, they would then practise as they did”. This makes me believe the people who did travel to Holland were hiding their religion while the ones traveling to would be America would once again practice their faith because nobody would stop or question them in the new land.
Reading this paragraph makes me curious as to how the beliefs and practices of Christianity then differ from the beliefs and practices of Christianity now. Here, it seems like they believe God condoned the killing of the Indians, as it says, “Thus it pleased God to vanquish their enemies, and give them deliverance…” (Paragraph 35). In Paragraph 17 as well, it almost seems as if God is condoning death. In this paragraph, Bradford introduces a young seaman man who is “…proud & very profane…” They then say that, “…it plased God before they came halfe seas over, to smite this yong man with a greeveous disease, of which he dyed in a desperate manner and so it was him selfe ye first yt was throwne overboard” (Paragraph 17). It’s ironic, yes that this young man was the first to be thrown overboard when he “hoped to help to cast halfe of them overboard before they cam eto their jurneys end…” (Paragraph 17) but it seems strange to me that God was pleased by this young mans death, just as he is pleased in this paragraph to vanquish his enemies. In Christianity today, it is the belief that God does not seek to punish for sins, but rather is merciful and forgiving of those who have sinned, where here, it seems to me that God is pleased to punish those who have sinned or those who are not Christians. Seeing these beliefs in here makes me curious as to what other differences there are between modern Christianity and Christianity then.
I interpreted this in a similar way, it does appear that God is condoning their actions of killing. That raises a question in my head, If they couldn’t convert the Natives to their religion was the only answer to kill them? Was thats gods plan for these people and did they truly believe that they were doing his work in that mannor? Te comparison made between Christianity as talked about in this essay and christianity as it is viewed in modern day was very insightful as I to agree with the comparison that was made.
[ It is recorded in scripture as a mercie to ye apostle & his shipwraked company, yt the barbarians shewed them no smale kindnes in refreshing them, but these savage barbarians, when they mette with them (as after will appeare) were readier to fill their sids full of arrows then otherwise. ]
Truthfully I question the validity and truthfulness of Bradford’s claim here and I can elaborate as to why. As described in the handout, the Puritans believed in a cyclical nature of events. In reference to this specific passage a footnote of our texts refers to the biblical passage Acts 28.1-2 of men landing on the island of Melita only to be met with hostility. So I counter here that if the Puritans were so reliant on focusing on the repetitive nature of biblical events then it is very well possible that this perceived hostility of the Native American’s was just that, a mere perception as opposed to a real threat. In connection with this passage and the following excerpts I also thought, “wait, what about the supposed Thanksgiving feast that we learned so much about”.
Either way the point I am trying to make in this post is to expose how the Puritan typological belief system could have worked as more of a hindrance than a benefit when it came to forging relationships with the Native Americans.
You make a good point Denise. Your comment on Thanksgiving reminded me about the section that Bradford writes about the first Thanksgiving. There is no mention of the natives other than when he mentions “Indian corn” (pg. 154). I would think that this would be the time to mention how the natives and the settlers could get along without strife, especially because the unity between the two groups is something that is commonly known to us. I wonder if Bradford just thought it wasn’t important to mention, or if he didn’t want people to know that they could all get along.
Having read both this piece and Morton’s account of the events before, I find it just as interesting as I did before how different the perspectives are. This works as a perfect example of what happens when one party has the power and technology to pass down written texts. In Morton’s case he is able to offer rebuttal to Bradford’s claims. Whereas, with the indigenous people of the region, written documentation wasn’t a practiced mode of record keeping. Which means people of European decent in Bradford’s time and later were forced, or more likely, to rely on the man’s account of how things had transpired. Making the saying that the victors write the history books that much more troubling to consider.
This paragraph really strikes home how important the Bible and the word of God was to the colonists. They really felt that by sharing the world of God, converting the Native Americans, and that it was God’s will. They are showing what, in their minds, is love and forgiveness by being forgiving of what to them was a “sinful” or “evil” choice in life, as they bring out, and that through God’s will they can share Bible truths and gain the favor of God. The Native Americans too had higher powers that they looked up to, and so between the two beliefs it is easy to see how myths or confusion could develop regarding each perspective groups’ belief in their perspective higher powers of belief.
I agree with your statement here. They truly believed it was their duty to spread Christianity with the natives and use their higher knowledge and power to enforce it upon them. They disregard that the Native Americans are content with their lives and own beliefs and try to convert them to how they believe is the right way to live.
After reading Bradford’s accounts of certain events compared to Morton’s accounts of the same events, it’s very clear that history is often skewed to reflect well upon the people writing it. This understanding makes me consider what the Native Americans’ history would have looked like had they written it down. Bradford often depicts the Native Americans in a poor light, leaving me to wonder how much truth there is to his portrayal of them.
In this instance during the Pequot War, Bradford offers a few motives for why the Narragansett Indians stopped helping the English; all of these motives imply that the Narragansett were greedy and wanted the victory for themselves. Was this the real reason they stopped helping the English or was it possible their motive was less selfish? Maybe they were appalled at the brutality of the English towards the Pequots and simply didn’t want to help them inflict more damage on these people?
I agree with you that Bradford’s account of these events are skewed due to his own personal experiences and background during the time period. It is important to keep this in mind while reading through the text. The example that you bring up here is pretty good, and I have another strong example of Bradford’s questionable “truths”. In paragraph sixty six Bradford discusses the imprisonment of someone by the Native Americans. He either tries intentionally to make the Native Americans look bad by saying they did not free the man even though he kept with their deal and did all that they wanted or it was a mistake on Bradford’s part. It is likely that this man told his story to Bradford and lied to him, which in tern caused Bradford to bring this false information to the reader. It is also important to say that it is possible that the Native Americans did do this, but judging by the way Bradford discusses them through the rest of the text I am unsure how likely this is.
This paragraph is quite full of important themes and motifs from the reading guide. Notice it is a direct appeal to the second and third generations removed from the original colonists (“May not & ought not the children . . .”)–an admonition that their children and grandchildren should revere their example and attempt to emulate their holiness of purpose. He’s also quoting from the ordeals of the Israelites in the Old Testament, and he is engaging in the Puritan historiographical process of typology. Notions of Absolute Sovereignty and Providence also inform the paragraph. Owing to their concept of innate human depravity and original sin, the Puritans considered themselves to be completely dependent for their well-being in this world–and for their prospects of salvation in the next–on God’s direct involvement with his creation.
I had some trouble with this text. Going from the sense of religion one could see this paragraph about the trails God gives his followers. Whether to see if they are worthy or if they are true believers who will stick with their god through everything. In keeping their faith, God answered their prays and gave them the tools or the way they need to fix things. At the will of God they were allowed to overcome and proceed.
I agree that they believed it was their duty to spread the word of Christianity. Even though the native americans had their own religion they were content and happy with, their duty as a christian would be to “enlighten” them to the truth of God and the bible. They were chosen by the lord to have a zeal for the lord and spread, as the author sees it.
I disagree with your comment that the natives and the settlers got along without strife. To be fair not all of their encounters resulted in death and, in some instances, there was actually a positive interaction. While it is commonly taught that the first Thanksgiving was a joint effort at bringing together the natives and the settlers, this text very blatantly shows that to be a false idea. Someone mentioned in a previous comment something along the lines of “those who actually wrote about historical events (as opposed to telling) might have had a larger influence in how those events were portrayed and that portrayal can clearly differ greatly from the actuality of the event itself”. I’m paraphrasing, but I hope you get where I’m going with this.
I actually wrote some notes about this as I was reading it. I find his interpretation of how they acquired the corn and seeds to be indicative of that superiority you mention. I also kept thinking about the lecture from last week and the idea of ‘Divine Sponsorship’ and its constant presence in this writing. Bradford clearly felt that though God had put them through a series of trying experiences, they were now being rewarded for their faith and effort.
This whole section stands out to me for reasons other than its center topic: bestiality. Here, Bradford is trying to find reasoning as to how someone who is a part of the New England community could commit bestiality. To me, Bradford is suggesting that one fault is that of greed. The main idea throughout Of Plymouth Plantation, is that to survive in New England, one must remain faithful. So here, when New England’s people are committing such sin, there has to be a reason. That reason stems from greed, which is shown by Bradford to be an non-Christian value. I’d also like to point out the use of the word “unworthy”, for the boy who committed bestiality was also a servant. I wonder if there is a connection there.
At this paragraph, I realized that it was not only the themes of the bible that permeated the text, but the way it is written mimics the cadence of the bible, especially within the much referenced Deuteronomy. I had to look to Deuteronomy to recall what it entailed, and it seems that the plights of Moses and his people are told as a story with many prescriptions of how to be a servant of God. It seems that Bradford utilizes this style (though, with less prescription) to tell the story of the people of the Mayflower and the following events of colonization to demonstrate a past that was formative, like Moses and his people, and necessary to remember if you are to stay the way of piety. See especially pg. 168 for a direct reference to Moses, for an example. I would assume that Bradford enacts a biblical style to demonstrate for the people who have swayed from Puritan ways, how past generations have formed the world they now live in.
This paragraph is one of many that highlights the early English spelling but also offers us much more. This paragraph tells us the trials they went through to get to the new land. Over the furious ocean amidst all their hardships, once they landed on solid ground everything was “affirmed” and made itself clear that this is where they were meant to thrive.
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January 15, 2018 at 11:52 pm
See in context
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April 30, 2018 at 10:35 pm
In Charles Brockden Brown’s article, “The Difference between History and Romance” he writes about the novel, Wieland, and the relationship that the novel has between history and romance. He explains how history and romance are intertwined and how imperfections of man are part of our future, present, and past. In this paragraph, Clara is overtaken by her senses of this man, “I count among the most extraordinary incidents of my life”. Clara is an irrational character taken over by romantic ideas. Her history and her future are based on her emotional decisions. There is no separation between the two. Brockden Brown writes, “when busy in assigning motives to actions, are not historians but romancers.” Which relates directly to what is happening to Clara in this passage. When talking about history, it is the “noting and recording of the actions of men” which I think is very important because mankind is often if not always driven by passion and emotion. This also plays well with the strong theme of passion and emotion that is current throughout Wieland and all the characters.
Barnard, Philip, and Stephen Shapiro, editors. “The Difference Between History and Romance.” Wieland or the Transformation, with Related Texts, by Charles Brockden Brown, Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2009, pp. 195–198.
April 27, 2018 at 11:10 pm
This passage is very focused on individualism, Franklin seems to be looking at the better things in his life instead of focusing on the negative. He doesn’t dwell on the idea that he wish he lived life without committing fault instead he touches on it and shifts into how he’s basically glad with how he’s lived life. In “Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the Education of America.” Steven Forde presents the idea that Franklin Autobiography should be used as a model of developing good character and morals. Franklin states, “conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection”, but soon realizes that he had, “undertaken a task of more difficulty than he had imagined.” Forde believes, “each of the loopholes… is deliberate”. The loopholes represent another idea, that being that when striving for greater morality the individual must also take all aspects of life in consideration and be reasonable. Forbes introduces another idea, “If Franklin had viewed virtue more strictly, he might have been forced to give up on it”.
Forde, Steven. “Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the Education of America.” The American Political Science Review, vol. 86, no. 2, 1992, pp. 357–368. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1964225.
April 27, 2018 at 4:40 pm
In her article “What’s Wrong With Charlotte Temple” Marion Rust addresses Charlotte’s passions as well as her inability to make decisions and relates it to her overall fall from her position in society. Rust uses this paragraph as an example of Charlotte’s indecisiveness. Here it is exemplified that Charlotte can’t even make a simple decision on her own. She has to reach out to her mentor in order to decide what to even do with something as simple as a written letter. Rust catapults off this point by claiming that Charlotte’s future will continue to be unguided and spiral downward farther than she already has. Rust bases this claim on the idea that Charlotte will not be able to support herself because she is always looking to some one outside herself to guide her through obstacles.
Rust, Marion. “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple?”.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1, 2003, pp. 99–118. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3491497.
April 27, 2018 at 4:16 pm
Andrew Scheiber’s article “The Arm Lifted against Me”: Love, Terror and the Construction of Gender in “Wieland” explores Clara’s gendered role in Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland. Scheiber points to patterns of Clara’s marginalization and enclosure throughout the story, specifically in relation to her role in the context of the familial structure of the story’s plot. Scheiber explains that, “though the Age of Reason invites her to identify herself with the life of the mind, Clara is barred by her womanhood from fully achieving such an identification, since the gender ideology of the times defines the intellect as secondary rather than primary, to the essence of “feminine” nature” (Schieber 178) which is an interesting perspective considering the emphasis on reason and intellect throughout the story, and the fact that Clara is the primary protagonist of the story. Schieber claims that when Clara questions the audience, “was I not likewise transformed from rational and human into a creature of nameless and fearful attributes” (Brown 137) that she is exposing her “self-condemnation” that is born out of the gendered system that relates “rational” and “human” on the masculine side of gender axis, and the negation of those qualities to the feminine side of the axis.
Brown, Charles Brockden, Philip Barnard, and Stephen Shapiro. Wieland ; or the Transformation. An American Tale with Related Texts. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2009. Print.
Scheiber, Andrew J. “‘The Arm Lifted against Me’: Love, Terror, and the Construction of Gender in ‘Wieland.’” Early American Literature, vol. 26, no. 2, 1991, pp. 173–194.
April 27, 2018 at 4:07 pm
In his article, entitled ‘Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture’, scholar Robert A. Ferguson examines the character of Rip Van Winkle in depth and identifies some of the key flaws that keep this iconic figure of early American Folklore in conversation to this day. One of the flaws identified in Ferguson’s article is the issue of drink, which is brought up in the selected paragraph. Ferguson argues that Rip’s problems with being a “naturally thirsty soul” can be attributed to and explain his lack of success in life: “Habitual drinking keeps him from the steady application that every good farm requires” (533). This explanation of Rip’s tendency to ‘bum around’ aligns to the events of the story, as well as illuminating a reason why he continues to be a influential character in American literature. According to Ferguson, “We value Rip most of all because we find something of our own foibles in him, not because we worry about drink or because we fear an encounter with Heinrich Hudson when we enter the Kaatskill Mountains. Rip’s faults…are our own bad habits carried to extremes. Irving keeps to the lighter side of these extremes” (533-534). Through the relatable aspects and complexities of Rip’s character, readers throughout the years are enabled, through Irving’s lighthearted storytelling, to return to this original American folktale with as timeless a perspective as the readers who scanned the first print-warmed lines of this work.
Ferguson, Robert A. “Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture.” Early American Literature, vol. 40, no. 3, 2005, pp. 529–544. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25057421.
April 27, 2018 at 3:46 pm
In “Charlotte Temple and the End of Epistolarity” by Blythe Forcey, it is said that the motherly affection of the narrator is what really makes this story relatable. I found this article to be interesting because I think that it very true. I think the way that the narrator acts in a motherly way really helps the story along. Forcey states, “Early American readers were able, as they read this novel, to live through a nightmare of dislocation, alienation, and abandonment that mapped their worst fears. But, guided by the careful and caring narrative of Mrs. Rowson, they emerged safe and unscathed, with all troubling ambiguities and terrors temporarily put to rest” (227-228). I think this is a very important quote because it makes you, as the reader, realize just how good of an author Susana Rowson truly was. To be able to make her readers feel safe even during a scary time, all due to the way this story is narrated. Forcey also states, “The motherly character of Rowson’s narrative voice is evident from her first addresses to the reader… Thus she offers, quite explicitly, to stand in for those ‘natural friends’ that the reader might have lost and to protect them from the horrors of the world” (228). I think this is a very important statement as well. Forcey makes it clear that even from the very first sentence of this story, Susana Rowson manages to take our hand and make us feel safe.
Forcey, Blythe. “Charlotte Temple and the End of Epistolarity.” American Literature, vol. 63, no. 2, 1991, pp. 225–241. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2927163.
April 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm
I also really loved this line. The Earth is the beginning and the end of the cycle of life, and that gets so overlooked in our day to day struggles. Nature and death are like you said, both important parts of the cycle of life. The connection being made in these two lines applies to most of what we have studied through the semester in this class. Even the puritans had themes of nature as a part of their beliefs. Nature and death are the two things that connect humanity because no human on Earth can avoid either one of these things. We will all die and become a part of nature once more, because that is how we began the cycle.
April 27, 2018 at 3:12 pm
Within this passage, we witness the first instance of Charlotte beginning to distrust her own instincts. While at the party she was led to believe would be fun and entertaining, she realizes that being obedient and staying home would have been better than sneaking out with La Rue. As the story progresses we see Charlotte trust those instincts less and, according to Marion Rust’s article “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple'”, her behavior becomes increasingly described as some “form of collapse, in which her future direction is determined by nothing more deliberate than her center of gravity.” This continual falling down that Charlotte experiences effectively acts to demonstrate Rowson’s commentary on the unreliability of young women’s own moral character and how they are insufficiently able to stand up to the force of external moral corruption.
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Rust, Marion. “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple?”.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1, 2003, pp. 99–118.
April 27, 2018 at 2:25 pm
Throughout her essay, “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself”, Cath N. Davidson expresses the aspects which make the text so significant. She explains the strength of emotion that is brought because the narrative is told from Equiano himself. She also expresses that the non-traditional storytelling is what makes it interesting and evokes emotion throughout. Davidson ultimately points out that, “Many aspects of the text make it significant, but especially impressive is it expansive reach” (19). His story is told in many parts of the world and allows readers to feel this narrative from place to place based on his narrating abilities. For example, Equiano himself states “in the preceding chapter I have set before the reader a few of those many instances of oppression, extortion, and cruelty, which I have been a witness to in the West Indies”. As readers have been taken from place to place Equiano stops to show the places he’s been and the things he’s seen. Davidson also points out the emotion-evoking tones and voice used by Equiano. Addressing the many aspects of the text Davidson writes, The text combines (in unequal parts) slave narrative, sea yarn, military adventure, ethnographic reportage, historical fiction, travelogue, picaresque saga, sentimental novel, allegory, tall tale, pastoral origins myth, gothic romance, conversion tale, and abolitionist tract, with different features coming to the fore at different times, and the mood vacillating accordingly” (20). His slave trade journey was terrible and cruel; as readers see Equiano journey from place to place they empathize with him more and begin to realize the terrible conditions in which he was under. The narrative of Equiano become more and more effective for readers because of the places Equiano takes us and the voice he uses to evoke that emotion out of readers.
Davidson, Cathy N. “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, vol. 40, no. 1/2, 2006, pp. 18–51. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/40267683.
April 27, 2018 at 1:26 pm
According to William Pencak, author of “Benjamin Franklin’s Biography, Cotton Mather, and a Puritan God,” in this paragraph, Franklin is defending the stakes on which he wrote his autobiography, as well as defending his own morality. Franklin was very dedicated to his moral standing with himself and God and went through extreme measures to ensure that he would end up on the ‘right’ side of things. This particular passage is about the ‘justification of his book’ which ‘illustrates an important philosophical point: the need for ideal principles, realized in practice, to subdue “Natural Inclination,” as well as the bad effects of, “Custom and Company” (Pencak 8). The ‘artifice’ that Franklin describes represents the civilization of people that he is surrounded by and he believes that they should be informed of his knowledge, life, and commitment to God. Franklin didn’t believe that being religious meant attending church, donating to pastors, or things alike. It was about believing in God, Praying honestly, and being virtuous. Throughout this autobiography, Franklin defends and justifies his beliefs and morality.
Pencak, William. “BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY, COTTON MATHER, AND A PURITAN GOD.” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, vol. 53, no. 1, 1986, pp. 1–25. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/27773087.
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