Utopian Canvas: Visionary Aspects of Early English-American Literature, 1497-1705

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195859
Title:
Utopian Canvas: Visionary Aspects of Early English-American Literature, 1497-1705
Author:
Aragona, Jared Lane
Issue Date:
2005
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation applies the concept of utopia to literature surrounding the English exploration and colonization of America. The term "utopia" refers to both a literary form and to that concept in human consciousness which catalyzes change in physical reality. Authors express utopia in the visionary aspects of their written representations. Visionary representations produce expectations of what the future may hold, and in this way they helped bring European civilization to America. Studying these representations is valuable for historical clarity and because these representations reveal utopia's function in affecting the course of the future.The study of early English-American literature requires terminology that the current reservoir of utopian terminology does not provide. I offer new terminology. This study defines four broad types of utopian vision specifically applicable to the English exploration and colonization of America. Active Complex visions prioritize maximum manipulation of the landscape to accommodate all the needs of a large and diverse population. Active Simple visions center on one staple venture, like sheepherding, to accommodate the needs of a small population. Divine Patent visions prioritize conformity to values inscribed in theistic religious literature. Natural Primitive visions prioritize the elimination of social infrastructure to achieve harmony with nature. These four types of utopian vision correspond to myths of the past that authors projected as hope for an ideal future.The four types of utopian vision appear throughout the narratives collected by Richard Hakluyt. Voyages by explorers like Sir John Hawkins, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, and Sir Walter Raleigh generated representations of America that expressed Active Complex, Active Simple, or Divine Patent visions. These representations also provided imagery that led to Natural Primitive visions of America. Captain John Smith's narratives about Virginia and New England reveal visions of Active Complex utopias. Puritan authors like William Bradford, Edward Winslow, John Winthrop, and Cotton Mather represented New England with Divine Patent visions. All of these utopian representations influenced later authors, including Thomas Jefferson, Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, and Timothy Dwight. They also continue to influence the way we imagine the United States of America today.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
utopia; Virginia; New England; Richard Hakluyt; Captain John Smith; Puritans
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
English; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Scruggs, Charles
Committee Chair:
Kolodny, Annette

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleUtopian Canvas: Visionary Aspects of Early English-American Literature, 1497-1705en_US
dc.creatorAragona, Jared Laneen_US
dc.contributor.authorAragona, Jared Laneen_US
dc.date.issued2005en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation applies the concept of utopia to literature surrounding the English exploration and colonization of America. The term "utopia" refers to both a literary form and to that concept in human consciousness which catalyzes change in physical reality. Authors express utopia in the visionary aspects of their written representations. Visionary representations produce expectations of what the future may hold, and in this way they helped bring European civilization to America. Studying these representations is valuable for historical clarity and because these representations reveal utopia's function in affecting the course of the future.The study of early English-American literature requires terminology that the current reservoir of utopian terminology does not provide. I offer new terminology. This study defines four broad types of utopian vision specifically applicable to the English exploration and colonization of America. Active Complex visions prioritize maximum manipulation of the landscape to accommodate all the needs of a large and diverse population. Active Simple visions center on one staple venture, like sheepherding, to accommodate the needs of a small population. Divine Patent visions prioritize conformity to values inscribed in theistic religious literature. Natural Primitive visions prioritize the elimination of social infrastructure to achieve harmony with nature. These four types of utopian vision correspond to myths of the past that authors projected as hope for an ideal future.The four types of utopian vision appear throughout the narratives collected by Richard Hakluyt. Voyages by explorers like Sir John Hawkins, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, and Sir Walter Raleigh generated representations of America that expressed Active Complex, Active Simple, or Divine Patent visions. These representations also provided imagery that led to Natural Primitive visions of America. Captain John Smith's narratives about Virginia and New England reveal visions of Active Complex utopias. Puritan authors like William Bradford, Edward Winslow, John Winthrop, and Cotton Mather represented New England with Divine Patent visions. All of these utopian representations influenced later authors, including Thomas Jefferson, Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, and Timothy Dwight. They also continue to influence the way we imagine the United States of America today.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectutopiaen_US
dc.subjectVirginiaen_US
dc.subjectNew Englanden_US
dc.subjectRichard Hakluyten_US
dc.subjectCaptain John Smithen_US
dc.subjectPuritansen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorScruggs, Charlesen_US
dc.contributor.chairKolodny, Annetteen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberScruggs, Charlesen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWillard, Tomen_US
dc.identifier.proquest1049en_US
dc.identifier.oclc137353688en_US
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