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Early american literature research paper

It also values the wildness of nature over human-made order. Romanticism as a worldview took hold in western Europe in the late 18th century, and American writers embraced it in the early 19th century. Edgar Allan Poe most vividly depicted, and inhabited, the role of the Romantic individual—a genius, often tormented and always struggling against convention—during the s and up to his mysterious death in Its eeriness is intensified by its meter and rhyme scheme.

In New England, several different groups of writers and thinkers emerged after , each exploring the experiences of individuals in different segments of American society. James Russell Lowell was among those who used humor and dialect in verse and prose to depict everyday life in the Northeast. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes were the most prominent of the upper-class Brahmins , who filtered their depiction of America through European models and sensibilities. The Transcendentalists developed an elaborate philosophy that saw in all of creation a unified whole.

Margaret Fuller was editor of The Dial , an important Transcendentalist magazine. Three men— Nathaniel Hawthorne , Herman Melville , and Walt Whitman —began publishing novels, short stories, and poetry during the Romantic period that became some of the most-enduring works of American literature. In the s he crossed paths with the Transcendentalists before he started writing his two most significant novels— The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables Walt Whitman wrote poetry that described his home, New York City.

He refused the traditional constraints of rhyme and meter in favor of free verse in Leaves of Grass , and his frankness in subject matter and tone repelled some critics. But the book, which went through many subsequent editions , became a landmark in American poetry, and it epitomized the ethos of the Romantic period.

During the s, as the United States headed toward civil war, more and more stories by and about enslaved and free African Americans were written. William Wells Brown published what is considered the first black American novel, Clotel , in He also wrote the first African American play to be published, The Escape Wilson became the first black women to publish fiction in the United States.

Emily Dickinson lived a life quite unlike other writers of the Romantic period: she lived largely in seclusion; only a handful of her poems were published before her death in ; and she was a woman working at a time when men dominated the literary scene. They are sharp-edged and emotionally intense. Five of her notable poems are.


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The human cost of the Civil War in the United States was immense: more than 2. This was the essence of realism. Naturalism was an intensified form of realism. Samuel Clemens was a typesetter, a journalist, a riverboat captain, and an itinerant laborer before he became, in at age 27, Mark Twain. He first used that name while reporting on politics in the Nevada Territory. Twain deployed this combination of humor and realism throughout his writing.

Some of his notable works include. Naturalism, like realism, was a literary movement that drew inspiration from French authors of the 19th century who sought to document, through fiction, the reality that they saw around them, particularly among the middle and working classes living in cities.


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Theodore Dreiser was foremost among American writers who embraced naturalism. His Sister Carrie is the most important American naturalist novel. Henry James shared the view of the realists and naturalists that literature ought to present reality, but his writing style and use of literary form sought to also create an aesthetic experience, not simply document truth. He was preoccupied with the clash in values between the United States and Europe.

His writing shows features of both 19th-century realism and naturalism and 20th-century modernism. Some of his notable novels are. Advances in science and technology in Western countries rapidly intensified at the start of the 20th century and brought about a sense of unprecedented progress. These contradictory impulses can be found swirling within modernism , a movement in the arts defined first and foremost as a radical break from the past.

But this break was often an act of destruction, and it caused a loss of faith in traditional structures and beliefs.

The Romantic Period (1830 to 1870)

Despite, or perhaps because of, these contradictory impulses, the modernist period proved to be one of the richest and most productive in American literature. A sense of disillusionment and loss pervades much American modernist fiction. That sense may be centered on specific individuals, or it may be directed toward American society or toward civilization generally.

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It may generate a nihilistic, destructive impulse, or it may express hope at the prospect of change. Richard Wright exposed and attacked American racism in Native Son William Faulkner used stream-of-consciousness monologues and other formal techniques to break from past literary practice in The Sound and the Fury Eliot was an American by birth and, as of , a British subject by choice.

His fragmentary, multivoiced The Waste Land is the quintessential modernist poem, but his was not the dominant voice among American modernist poets. Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg evocatively described the regions—New England and the Midwest, respectively—in which they lived.

Harriet Monroe founded Poetry magazine in Chicago in and made it the most important organ for poetry not just in the United States but for the English-speaking world. During the s Edna St. Vincent Millay , Marianne Moore , and E. Cummings expressed a spirit of revolution and experimentation in their poetry. Shiftlet, sees an old car that he wants. The old woman, Lucynell, is also. Authors use morbidly dark and eccentric characters combined with southern charm and the ever-present gender divide to tell stories that represent a writing style known as southern gothic literature.

Elements of a Gothic treatment of the South were apparent in the 19th century, ante- and post-bellum, in the grotesques of Henry Clay Lewis and the de-idealized visions of Mark. Twain was born on November. In , the Clemens family moved 35 miles east to the town of Hannibal, in Mississippi. Mark kept to himself and in doors in his early years because of poor health and sickness.

That was the case until he became years of age. He recovered from his illness and started playing outside with the rest of the children. Growing up his Father was a judge and worked a lot. He also attended. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by the pseudonym Mark Twain, has been central to American literature for over a century. From his early experiences in journalism to his most famous fictional works, Twain has remained relevant to American writing as well as pop culture.

His iconic works are timeless and have given inspiration the youth of America for decades. He distanced himself from formal writing and. The history of American Literature starts well before this land was even called America. It has been a great evolution to come from tribal symbols and drawings to today's Stephen King and Danielle Steele.

American Literature Essay

Literature has gone through many phases and was impacted by great events and ideas in American history. The earliest form of literature in what would one day be known as America were far from what modern day people would consider "Literature". The Natives who inhabited this land first had unwritten. Jack London was born in , and died in When he was a child, he would sometimes living with the Prentisses.

When Jack turned 15, he sailed the San Francisco Bay as an oyster pirate. During his time on the water, London developed an alcohol problem, which would eventually become alcoholism.

American literature - Wikipedia

In , London was arrested as. When looking at modern and classic American literature, one of the most mysterious and creative qualities a character can have is moral ambiguity. Moral ambiguity is defined as the identification of a person as either purely evil or purely good. The Great Gatsby, written by F.


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Scott Fitzgerald in , has an innumerable number of examples of moral ambiguity written throughout the story. One character in particular, Daisy Buchanan, has specifically showed moral ambiguity, as she is one of the main. The birth of the modernist movement in American literature was the result of the post-World War I social breakdown. Writers adopted a disjointed fragmented style of writing that rebelled against traditional literature. World War I had a more profound effect on society than wars prior. With new deadly weapons, like poison gas, high death.

Two of the most outstanding figures of them on both, the literary and the political level, were Richard Wright, the "most important voice in black American literature for the first half of the twentieth century" Norton, and his contemporary Ralph Ellison, "one of the most footnoted writers in American literary history" Norton. Through their influential writing and critical evaluations of how to improve oneself, Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin both encompass American themes that ultimately define them as part of American literature.

Hemmingway had a major impact on the world of writing, and a strong influence on 20th century literature during his lifetime. The writing style Hemmingway used was simple. It is a decade defining controversial piece of American Literature. It was not only controversial because Hemingway was a depressed drunkard, but it was controversial because it doesn 't glorify war; it shows the brunt reality of the Great War.

He provides the evidence of his depression through his writings by allowing his characters to be placed in horrid situations. He also shows his alcoholism this way, by allowing. It is also the most regarded American literary exemplary. The story is told from first person perspective. The perspective Frederic an American ambulance driver in the Italian army during War. He falls in love with an English nurse, Catherine, and he experiences the pain and loss in war and in life.

The author criticized the use of religion, slavery, and human nature itself. Religious oppression was a dramatic factor of the way people lived in the early nineteenth century. People used it in many different ways for many particular reasons. Twain explained this when he used one of his characters, Miss Watson. This character was an overly restrictive maid on Huck. She was an example of someone who forcibly. Glaspell says women are considered trifles which mean they are not important to society which is carried out by men Baym, p.

In Trifles written by Susan Glaspell the time is in the early 20th century. From the early stages of American literature the dream of success has always been around, even at the very beginning.