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Free Example of American Literature: Colonial America Essay

Journal Entry One: How would you describe the tone of Christopher Columbus' letters? Is it positive or negative? Optimistic or cynical? Support this by providing examples of diction from the text.

Christpher Columbus is posed as an outstanding explorer whose life was an exploratory journey itself. His letters deployed the ups and downs which he had experienced while travelling to different places. These journals cannot be qualified having a constant tone throughout the whole plotline, but as the experiences lived through by the author, also have different connotation. While the beginning of his journey was filled with excitement and positive experiences, his fourth work can be noted as having a rather sad and almost hopeless coloring. Filled with positive mood, excitement, and full of hopes the first letter to Luis de Santagel reads almost as another story on “how I spent my summer”, with a bright light of enjoyable memories and happinessm having a lot of adjectives with positive connotation, also emphasizing on the vast number of new discoveries “be rejoiced”, “glorious success”, or “wonderful pine woods”, “very extensive ranges of meadow land”, “many kinds of birds, and a great variety of fruits, “numerous mines of metals and innumerable people”… His fourth journey differs drastically in the tone, depicting the negative experience he has gained and the disappointment : “The storm was terrible”, “near the island the Gallega lost her boat, and all lost a great part of their provisions”, etc. In this letter, Columbus talks a lot about grief, disappointment and sad feelings. Such analysis of Columbus’s letters is useful, as one can see and note the dynamic of the effect of new experiences through time and space.

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Journal Entry Two: Is John Smith a reliable narrator? Do you trust the way he describes the events that occurred? Why does he write in the third person point of view? Isn't he describing his experience? What does he accomplish by this?

John Smith can be distinguished as an author with a unique, picturesque manner of descriptive writing. He does not define the facts in his writing, as opposed to many other writers, but adds a creative approach. I suppose that we should not rely on the historical aspect of John Smith’s writing. Therefore, his work embodies merely the self-conscious of the hero, rather than what has happened. Not only his unique styles differs in such approach, but also it mirrors the history in somewhat brightened colors.

Along with his theatrical manner of writing is accounted to re-living the seen inside his head for many years, and expressed on paper as a drammatical depiction of events, with a strong emphasis on the feelings and behaviors of the character; the author uses the literary approach of hyperbolization: “ […] behold the strangled canopie of heaven […]”, attribution: “[…], the embroidered carpet of the earth, and the earth the Corne and Oile […]”, and similie: to depict the truth, embedded in an adventurous manner.

Unike many other authors of this époque, who used journals or short narratives to portray the reality, he becomes an almost epic hero in a third person recollections. In such a way the author accomplishes the effect of making the main hero of the story stand out on the timeline as a character in a play. Therefore, as opposed to mere descriptive approach, John Smith leads us through an amazing journey filled with amazing challenges and occurring events.

Journal Entry Three: What is the point of "Rip Van Winkle?" Is it only a funny story or is there something else going on? Can this story be read as being symbolic of the struggle between America and England with Rip representing America and Dame Van Winkle representing England? Are there any similarities between the conflict between these two and the conflict between the two nations?

Knowing the historical facts about the formation of America as a separate free country with a unique identity, one can take into consideration the reason behind the need of migrating from England to the whole another continent. The story is a comic depiction of a conflict between an amiable Mr. Rip a descendant of Dutch heritage in a British-American village, who has a free spirit and an open mind, enjoying solitarity and wilderness with his wife Mrs. Van Winkle, who has a strict, reserved type of character. The story symbolizes the embodiement of America through Rip’s outgoing character, who likes isolation, enjoying dreamy and solitary occupations, yet has an open mind and spreads an extraverted energy to all people, somewhat being a bit lazy and self-centered, and England through the character of a closed, a bit cold and very structured and altogether Mrs. Van Winkle. Mrs. Van Winkles demanding needs to structure, hard work and keep order and her nagging about it makes Rip escape, just like the English government has made people who were lacking “their air to breath” migrate to America. The similarities between the two conflict of these two people and two nations are very explicitly described in the story. In addition, the events that happen on the background of the story also portay the position of the two countries on the historical plotline. He fact, that Mr. Winkle appears twenty years later after war and I strying to fit back into life of the villagers comically point out the position of America in this event.

Code: writers15

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