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Part II. The Literature of Reason and Revolution

Part II. The Literature of Reason and Revolution
I. Fill in the blanks.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Benjamin Franklin' s best writing is found in his masterpiece ________ . Thomas Paine, with his natural gift for pamphleteering and rebellion, was appropriately born into an age of____________ . On January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine's famous pamphlet ________ appeared. A series of sixteen pamphlets by Thomas Paine was entitled _____________ . Philip Freneau' s famous poem____________ was written about his imprisoned experience. ___________ was considered as the " poet of the American Revolution. " _________ has been called the "Father of American Poetry. " In American literature, the eighteenth century was an Age of _________ and Revolution.

II. Decide whether the statements are true or false.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

7. 8.

The War of Independence lasted for eight years and ended in the formation of a Federative bourgeois democratic republic, that is, the United States of America. Benjamin Franklin was a prose stylist whose writing reflected the neoclassic ideals of clarity, restraint, simplicity and balance. Benjamin Franklin was the epitome of the Enlightenment, the versatile, practical embodiment of rational man in the 18th century. American poetry of the eighteenth century has an imitative character, imitating the reigning English models of the eighteenth century. Philip Freneau was once captured by the British and spent some time on a prison ship. Philip Freneau was noteworthy first because of the nature of his poems. They were truly American and very patriotic. In this aspect, he reflected the spirit of his age. Philip Freneau was neoclassical by training and taste yet romantic in essential spirit. Most American literature in the eighteenth century was political.

III. Make multiple choices. 1. At the age of reason and revolution, Americans were influenced by the European movement called the ________. A. Chartist Movement B. Romanticist Movement

C. Enlightenment Movement

D. Modernist Movement

2. In American literature, the Enlighteners were opposed to ________ . A. the colonial order B. religious obscurantism C. the Puritan tradition D. the secular literature 3. The English colonies in North America rose in arms against their parent country and the Continental Congress adopted____________ in 1776. A. the Declaration of Independence B. the Sugar Act C. the Stamp Act D. the Mayflower Compact 4. A. B. C. D. Which statement about Benjamin Franklin is not true? He instructed his countrymen as a printer. He was a scientist. He was a master of diplomacy. He was a Puritan.

5. The secular ideals of the American Enlightenment were exemplified in the life and career of___________ . A. Thomas Hood B. Benjamin Franklin C. Thomas Jefferson D. George Washington Benjamin Franklin was the epitome of the____________ . A. American Enlightenment B. Sugar Act C. Chartist movement D. Romanticist

7. From 1732 to 1758, Benjamin Franklin wrote and published his famous __________ , an annual collection of proverbs. A. The Autobiography B. Poor Richard's Almanac C. Common Sense D. The General Magazine

8. "These are the times that try men' s souls", these words were once read to George Washington' s troops and did much to shore up the spirits of the revolutionary soldiers. Who is the author of these words? A. Benjamin Franklin B. Thomas Jefferson C. Thomas Paine D. George Washington

Which poem is not written by Philip Freneau? A. The British Prison Ship B. The Wild Honey Suckle C. The Indian Burying Ground D. The Day of Doom 10. Who was considered as the "Poet of American Revolution"? A. Michael Wigglesworth B. Edward Taylor C. Anne Bradstreet D. Philip Freneau 11. Thomas Jefferson' s attitude, that is, a firm belief in progress, and the pursuit of happiness, is typical of the period we now call _________ . A. Age of Evolution B. Age of Reason C. Age of Romanticism D. Age of Regionalism 12. __________ carries the voice not of an individual but of a whole people. It is more than writing of the Revolutionary period, it defined the meaning of the American Revolution. A. Common Sense B. The American Crisis C. Declaration of Independence D. Defence of the English People

IV. Identify the fragments. Passage One

These are the times that try men' s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more

glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly— This dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods. Questions:
1. 2. 3. 4.

Which book is this passage taken from? Who is the author of this book? Whom is the author praising? Whom is the author criticizing? What do you think of the language? Passage Two



When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature' s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness? That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.

1. 2.

Which work is this passage taken from? What truths are self-evident? What is the purpose of government, and when should a government be replaced? Passage Three

From morning suns and evening dews At first thy little being came: If nothing once, you nothing lose, For when you die you are the same; The space between, is but an hour, The frail duration of a flower. Questions:


1. Which work is the selection taken from? Who is the author of this selection? 2. What’s the central image of the poem? What’s the theme of this poem? V. Analyze the main works.

Analyze The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Analyze “The Wild Honey Suckle” from the following aspects: the central image, the rhyme scheme, the theme and tone.


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