discussion question for american lit

For D1, choose only one of the prompts below and respond in two to three well-developed paragraphs.

  • How did the image of America as a “vast and unpeopled country” shape European immigrants’ attitudes and ideals? How did they deal with the fact that millions of Native Americans already inhabited the land that they had come over to claim?
  • How do Puritan (Winthrop) and Quaker (Penn) texts work to form enduring myths about America’s status as a chosen nation? About its inclusiveness and tolerance? About its role as a “City on a Hill” that should serve as an example to the rest of the world?
  • Why are the Puritans, more than any other early immigrant group, considered such an important starting point for American national culture?
  • How do the selected poems by Anne Bradstreet reflect the Puritan theological doctrine of “weaned affections”?

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