Ўзбекистон республикаси олий ва ўрта махсус таълим

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2.3.1 About William Brockden Brown’s Gothic Tale “Wieland”
Brown’s gothic tale “Wieland” of infanticide and patricide, “Wieland” of infanticide and patricide, aided by religious fanaticism and the practiced arts of a rogue, is in many ways a meditation on the unforeseen impact that people’s actions can have on others. [23]

Told retrospectively from the diary of Wieland’s sister, Clara, this novel is an American gothic tale of extraordinary events that befall one family after its encounters with Carwin. The novel opens with a tale of the patriarch, who is nearly maniacally taken up with his own sense of sin and desire for constant study of Scriptures. Although the father does not belong to any organized religion, he does remain faithful to his own form of worship, which involves spending the Sabbath in an outdoor church of sorts. It is this outdoor site that proves a source of mysterious power and ultimate madness and death for the family. While he is attending his own private worship, members of the family see a bright light, hear the discharge of a gun or cannon, and hear the moans of their father. He appears mangled, somewhat in shock, and delivers what seems to be a half-truth of the source of his injuries. A few days later, he dies. [14]

Wieland himself hears the voice of his wife, Catherine, telling him that he is wanted back at home. Wieland’s dear friend and brother-in-law Pleyel also learns from the disembodied voice of his sister that his beloved, Baroness Theresa de Stolberg from Germany, has died. Wieland’s sister hears voices, too, that sound like murderers plotting her death from her nearby closet. Wieland and Pleyel, however, are awakened from their slumber and rush to her aid not because of anything that she said or did, but because they hear a voice warning them to awake and aid one of their own who is dying. [14]

The same voice of the murderer who suggested running her through with his sword awakens her as she sleeps outdoors near a stream on the family designs for her murder and warns her to stay away from the exact location for fear of death. The voice intimates that her fate, should she divulge this warning to anyone else or should it be unheeded, will be similar to her father’s.

A bedraggled stranger, whom Clara spots wandering near her home, produces an uncommon reaction in her. She finds herself crying and unable to keep the man’s face out of her mind. Indeed, she feels compelled to commit it to memory by drawing a portrait of him. Even the portrait seems to exude some unexplained power over her. When she shows it to Pleyel, he playfully promises to discover who this man whom Clara has clearly fallen in love with is. While in a coffeehouse in town, Pleyel espies Carwin, having known him previously when the two met in Spain. Although a native of England, Carwin had taken a Spanish surname, converted to Catholicism, and declared that he would live out his days in his newly adopted country. [14]

Carwin assiduously defl ects all of Pleyel’s inquiries into Carwin’s current habiliment as a rustic and his return to America. Carwin quickly becomes a frequent visitor to Wieland’s house, and once they feel comfortable enough in his presence, they begin to recite the tales of disembodied voices heard by Wieland, Pleyel, and Clara. To their surprise, Carwin does not appear disjointed or shocked by their tales; rather, he becomes an animated and gifted storyteller, weaving tale after tale of similar extraordinary events eventually attributed to human agency rather than to God or some supernatural phenomenon.

When Carwin appears in Clara’s closet near midnight and vaguely threatens to rob her of her virtue, Pleyel believes Carwin and Clara are lovers. As he approaches the house at night, he hears what he takes to be the voices of Carwin and Clara, which are really just a trick of Carwin’s ventriloquism. The next morning, Pleyel upbraids Clara for what he imagines to be the loss of her virginity to such a fiend as Carwin and informs her that he is known to be a thief and a murderer. While Clara goes into town to plead her innocence to Pleyel, Wieland goes to Clara’s abandoned house and is visited by a veiled specter, who orders him to take his wife to the house in order to kill her. When his servant gives him a packet of letters, Pleyel flies for Europe. Only after the deaths of Catherine and her children does Clara learn from her uncle that Pleyel fled to Europe in search of his love, Baroness Theresa de Stolberg, who had reported her own death in order to conceal herself in her pursuit of Pleyel in America. [14]

The novel reaches its dramatic peak when Wieland, hearing voices that he believes to be divine, agrees to take his wife to Clara’s empty house and murder her. Their children soon follow as victims of Wieland’s madness. In courtroom testimony, Wieland calmly relays the tale of bloody murders by characterizing his actions as sanctioned by God. While confi ned, Wieland twice breaks out of his shackles and travels to the houses of Clara and Pleyel, intent on completing his sacrifi ces to God. Wieland escapes from custody and arrives at his sister’s house, intent on fulfi lling his “divine calling” and adding her to the list of the dead. Just prior to his arrival, Carwin confesses to Clara his powers of ventriloquism and his morbid curiosity in determining how virtuous and brave she was, as well as plumbing the depths of Wieland’s religious fanaticism. When Wieland threatens Carwin, he makes a hasty retreat, and Clara is left alone with her mad brother. Carwin returns to the house and hurries upstairs, where he speaks to Wieland as if he were the disembodied celestial voice who first bid him to sacrifice his family. Carwin commands Wieland to return to a rational state, recognize that he alone is responsible for the murders of his family members, and desist in his current plans of killing his own sister. Briefl y restored to himself, Wieland grabs the penknife that Clara had recently been holding and stabs himself in the neck. The novel concludes after a three-year break in which Clara and her uncle have moved to Montpellier and been joined by Pleyel, after the death of his wife, the baroness. Clara also relates the story of how Louisa Conway was orphaned. As Carwin affected her own family, Louisa’s parents, the Stuarts, were likewise unduly influenced by a malevolent character named Maxwell, who, failing in a duel against Louisa’s father, contrived his revenge by attempting to seduce his wife, Louisa’s mother.

In order to flee Maxwell’s influence, and the loss of her reputation, Louisa’s mother disguises herself and travels with her daughter to America. Clara concludes that people should be cautious about the amount of influence they allow another person to exercise over them; had this admonition been heeded, she argues, Wieland, his wife and children, and both of Louisa’s parents might all be alive.

My qualification paper is dedicated to the study of early colonial period of American literature which is special in its own way.

In doing my research work I analyzed and overviewed many related literature on the history of American literature, especially, early history of American literature.

According to the results of the qualification paper we may conclude with the below given statements:

Owing to the large immigration to Boston in the 1630s, the high articulation of Puritan cultural ideals, and the early establishment of a college and a printing press in Cambridge, the New England colonies have often been regarded as the center of early American literature.

During the colonial period, the printing press was active in many areas, from Cambridge and Boston to New YorkPhiladelphia, and Annapolis. The dominance of the English language was hardly inevitable. 

We are now aware of the wealth of oral literary traditions already existing on the continent among the numerous different Native American groups.

Back then, some of the American literature were pamphlets and writings extolling the benefits of the colonies to both a European and colonist audience. Captain John Smith could be considered the first American author with his works: A True Relation of Such Occurrences and Accidents of Noate as Hath Happened in Virginia... (1608) and The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles (1624). Other writers of this manner included Daniel DentonThomas AsheWilliam PennGeorge PercyWilliam StracheyDaniel Coxe, Gabriel Thomas, and John Lawson.

Poetry also developed in colonial period. One type of the poetry which was famous during the period was puritan poetry. Puritan poetry was highly religious in nature, and one of the earliest books of poetry published was the Bay Psalm Book, a set of translations of the biblical Psalms; however, the translators' intention was not to create great literature but to create hymns that could be used in worship. Among lyric poets, the most important figures are Anne Bradstreet, who wrote personal poems about her family and homelife; pastor Edward Taylor, whose best poems, the Preparatory Meditations, were written to help him prepare for leading worship; and Michael Wigglesworth, whose best-selling poem, The Day of Doom, describes the time of judgment. Nicholas Noyes was also known for his doggerel verse.

Other late writings described conflicts and interaction with the Indians, as seen in writings by Daniel GookinAlexander WhitakerJohn MasonBenjamin Church, and Mary RowlandsonJohn Eliottranslated the Bible into the Algonquin language.

Of the second generation of New England settlers, Cotton Mather stands out as a theologian and historian, who wrote the history of the colonies with a view to God's activity in their midst and to connecting the Puritan leaders with the great heroes of the Christian faith. His best-known works include the Magnalia Christi Americana, the Wonders of the Invisible World and The Biblia Americana.

Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield represented the Great Awakening, a religious revival in the early 18th century that asserted strict Calvinism. Other Puritan and religious writers include Thomas HookerThomas ShepardJohn Wise, and Samuel Willard. Less strict and serious writers included Samuel Sewall (who wrote a diary revealing the daily life of the late 17th century), and Sarah Kemble Knight.

As the colonies moved towards their break with England, perhaps one of the most important discussions of American culture and identity came from the French immigrant J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur, whose Letters from an American Farmer addresses the question what is an American by moving between praise for the opportunities and peace offered in the new society and recognition that the solid life of the farmer must rest uneasily between the oppressive aspects of the urban life (with its luxuries built on slavery) and the lawless aspects of the frontier, where the lack of social structures leads to the loss of civilized living.

This same period saw the birth of African American literature, through the poetry of Phillis Wheatley and, shortly after the Revolution, the slave narrative of Olaudah EquianoThe Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. This era also saw the birth of Native American literature, through the two published works of Samson OccomA Sermon Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul and a popular hymnbook, Collection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs, "the first Indian best-seller".

The revolutionary period also contained political writings, including those by colonists Samuel AdamsJosiah QuincyJohn Dickinson, and Joseph Galloway, a loyalist to the crown. Two key figures were Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine. Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin are esteemed works with their wit and influence toward the formation of a budding American identity. Paine's pamphlet Common Sense and The American Crisis writings are seen as playing a key role in influencing the political tone of the period.

During the 18th century, writing shifted focus from the Puritanical ideals of Winthrop and Bradford to the power of the human mind and rational thought. The belief that human and natural occurrences were messages from God no longer fit with the new human centered world. Many intellectuals believed that the human mind could comprehend the universe through the laws of physics as described by Isaac Newton. The enormous scientific, economic, social, and philosophical, changes of the 18th century, called the Enlightenment, impacted the authority of clergyman and scripture, making way for democratic principles. The increase in population helped account for the greater diversity of opinion in religious and political life as seen in the literature of this time.


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