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American Literature

Early European Images of America – Part 1 Due by Thursday Instructions: Part of

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Early European Images of America – Part 1 Due by Thursday
Instructions:
Part of the nature of travel writing, especially writing about far-away or unknown places in an age before rapid long-distance communication, is that the veracity of accounts can hardly be proven. Other types of “factual” accounts (histories, reports, etc.) likewise rely on the audience’s perception of the credibility of the writer and the facts presented to establish their authority, particularly when the number of eyewitness accounts is limited. Certainly the representations of American encounters in the texts from Week 1 are presented from the points of view of their authors, who have filtered their experiences through their own worldviews.
Also, the accounts of various interactions present vastly differing impressions of the character of the various groups of individuals populating the pre-1700s American scene: there are good Christian and sinful ones, friendly native tribes or individuals and terrifying ones, peace-seeking Europeans and those who sought war, atrocities committed by natives and atrocities committed by newcomers. Think about the impressions that these accounts would have had on European readers, and what images of the “new world” were formed in the minds of Europeans by accounts like these.
Initial Post:
Choose TWO (2) of the following three items to answer. Use direct quotations from the texts as supporting evidence for your answer.
Pick ONE of the Week One writers. Describe the ways the writer’s credibility is established.
AND/OR
In-credibility would be the opposite of credibility. Which account from the Week One readings do you find most lacking in credibility (or might 17th Century readers have found most incredible), and why?
AND/OR
Pick ONE account and explain the impression it gives of America. Why do you think the writer described the “New World” and its inhabitants in this way?
Consult the Rubric for this assignment, to understand the criteria on which assessment will be made.
Make initial post
250-300 words

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