James's Letters From An American Farmer

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Summary: Letters from an American Farmer is a collection of twelve letters written by a fictional farmer named James to an English gentleman whom he is acquainted with. The collection does not contain the responses of this English gentleman. His letters cover a wide variety of topics including life on his farm to the issue of slavery. An important thing he addresses is what makes an American and the sentiment of one. At the end of his letters, James expresses his anxiety pertaining to the inevitable revolution. He feels that he is stuck between three groups; the Native Americans, the American Revolutionaries, and the British. James feels conflicted in trying to decide which side to take. Characters James: uneducated, modest, idealistic, naïve…show more content…
He goes on to tell of what an American is and immigrants’ sentiments in coming to America. What is your definition of what an American is? Does it conflict with James’ definition? What do you believe embodies the sentiment of Americans, natural born or naturalized? Each letter in the collection covers a certain topic, issue, or part of James’ life. Through the order in which the letters were arranged, it would seem that they are not linked by their relevancy to each other, (excluding the Nantucket Sequence.) Through your analysis of the letters, do you see an underlying cause for the way they are ordered? Is there deeper meaning to some of the letters that isn’t readily presented by the text? If so, does this deeper meaning link the letters together? Although the collection contains James’ letters, it contains none of the English gentleman’s replies. Why is this? Would there have been a conflict of interest or opinion? What might James’ and the English gentleman have conflicting opinions on? What would justify each side? Key Passage, from Letter III, p. 282-283 & p.

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