American Literature 2011 Colonial Extracts Mrs. Strasser

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American Literature 2011
Colonial Extracts Mrs. Strasser

Abigail Adams

  1. What best explains Abigail Adams writing this letter the way she has written it? What style and tone does she adopt and why? What was her motivation for writing the letter?

  2. What kind of person is Abigail Adams? What can you tell from the text? Cite key lines. What opinions does she express. What have you found out from research?

  3. Abigail Adams tells details about what she sees in Braintree, and how people are behaving and thinking. Project two scenes she may have witnessed from the details she gives. Why does she tell John about these things?

  4. What was in John’s last few letters? Project from her response. Can you find the actual letters from research? Compare them with what you projected. Write a response to the letter. Compare it with the actual response.

  5. How does the experience of a revolutionary wives and husbands differ?

  6. What is Abigail’s position on this difference? Cite the text. Find out what John’s reaction to this was? What provisions for including women in the government were included in the Constitution?

  7. You are a spy for the British and intercept this letter. What do you do with it and what are your recommendations based on what it contains?

  8. Decide on what you believe Abigail Adam’s primary AIM is in writing the letter, and build evidence for this claim based both on the text and your research.

  9. Imagine the telephone existed in 1776. Role play a conversation Abigail and John might have had. Write down what is said and revise it into a dialogue scene.

  10. She includes a maxim of state in quotations: “...power and liberty are like heat and moisture; where they are well mixed everything prospers, where they are single, they are destructive.” What does this mean? Who said it? What are the implications with regard to historical context? Why does she include it?

  11. You are a citizen of evacuated Boston, and Abigail Adams has agreed to send a letter of yours along with her own to John. What do you tell him?

  12. What have you found out about the historical context of this piece of writing and who Abigail Adams was that sheds further light on how and why it was written?

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