What are these letters essentially?
Crèvecœur wrote Letters during a period of seven years prior to the American Revolutionary War. It is told from the viewpoint of a fictional narrator in correspondence with an English gentleman, and each letter concerns a different aspect of life or location in the British colonies of America.
Plot summary of story
Twelve Letters:
1. Introduction
2. American model of societies vs. European, description of the farm owned by the character James
3. Comparisons of American environments, societies, and citizen identities
4-8. Describe the Quaker society
9. Argues that slavery in the South is evil
10. Description and cultural practices of snakes, and discussion of hummingbirds.
11. Improvements of farming with fertilization and irrigation and use of plants
12. Debate over if he is American or British during the American Revolutionary War
Structure of story
A fictional correspondence via letters between James (an American farmer living in the Quaker town of PA) and an English gentleman, Mr F. B. but only James letters are shown.
Genre of story
Ranges from documentary on local agricultural practices to sociological observations of the places visited and their inhabitants
Themes in the story
Shift of tone: begins optimistic but becomes more pessimistic as the letters go on
Relationship with the environment: human growth, development, and activities are controlled by the physical environment.
How is this story is considered to be in the Early American Lit. Era?
-colonial american time period
-discusses the exploration of surroundings
-letters are like journal entries or reports because they show observations and opinions on surroundings
-land of nourishment and redemption due to farming improvements and being on a farm
-promise and opportunity by being a colonist
-discuss difference between America and Europe
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