This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

A Brief Introduction To American Literature

3387 words - 14 pages

IntroductionAmerican literature, to my eyes, like American history, although short, however, still full of glories and shining masterpieces and writers. Those American writers, while conquering this wild America, also had conquered the great field of American literature. From its first imitative activities to innovative attempts nowadays, American literature gradually gains its unique style, theme and form, and I¡¯m always excited to see their works are more and more America in its true sense. American literature is part of world¡¯s literature, however, it always has its unique flavor that cannot be easily ignored.Most critics hold that the history of American literature can be divided into six parts, orderly, colonial period, romanticism, realism, naturalism, modernism and post-modernism.Although American literature in its true sense did not begin until 19th century, however, we always talk about colonial period as a preparatory introduction to American literature. To follow the suit, I¡¯d like to take the colonial period also as the first part to introduce.Chapter 1 Colonial Period ©¥ A Utilitarian Literary period(1) BackgroundThis period is unique in American literature, and the literature in this period is mainly a literary expression of the Puritan idealism.The first settlers came to America with the wish to ¡°purify¡± the religious practice in the church, because they left Britain for the reason that they were religiously and politically persecuted. Therefore, they were called ¡°Puritans¡±. Puritans soon established their own religious and moral principles, which has influenced the American thought and American literature a lot.(2) CharacteristicsTo express their puritanical thoughts, many types of writing were used, such as letters, autobiographies, sermons, diaries and poems. Therefore, it¡¯s safe to conclude that the literature at this period is utilitarian. It should teach some kind of lesson, and therefore, the content of the writing had been predetermined by a practical consideration.In terms of its style, puritans placed much stress on plainness and directness in writing because they were unusually interested in influencing the simple-minded people. Writers wrote without unnecessary ornament and references that the common people would not understand.In terms of its content, they relied on the Bible. Not only did they argue by quoting the Bible, but also they saw their whole situation in Biblical terms, and therefore all events, however small, were created by God.(3) Representative WritersDuring this period, two prominent writers emerged. They were Jonathan Edward and Benjamin Franklin.Edward was well known as a powerful and strong preacher. In 1734-1735, Edward was responsible for a wave of religiosity that swept Northampton. More than three hundred persons were converted. In 1740 he wrote The Personal Narrative, which tells a story of...

Find Another Essay On A Brief Introduction to American Literature

A Brief History of American Imperialism

1738 words - 7 pages The United States saw its territory more than double in the first three decades of the 19th century. Bursting with nationalist fervor, an insatiable desire for more land, and a rapidly increasing population, the western frontiers of the United States would not remain east of the Mississippi. The eventual spread of the American nation beyond the Mississippi into Native and French land, referred to as “Manifest Destiny” by John O’Sullivan, was

Anne Bradstreet's Contribution to American Literature

1137 words - 5 pages one of the purposes listed above was considered to be a waste of time that would be better spent praising God. Anne Bradstreet defied the rules of her time by writing about whatever she wanted including personal thoughts, reflections, emotions, and events. Bradstreet was the first to write about personal matters, which is her greatest literary contribution in early American literature. By reading Bradstreet’s work, a fair sense of what Mrs

Reaction to “Introduction to a New America”

920 words - 4 pages Reaction Paper to “Introduction to a New America” Professor Diana Eck in Chapter One of “Introduction to a New America” highlights the emerging new religious climate in the United States. The United States has always been a country of many religious traditions due to the Constitutional right of Freedom of Religion. But since the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, signed by President Johnson, America’s borders have seen a tremendous

This is a brief essy on American feminism

714 words - 3 pages Equality as we all know when discussing Feminism or other modes of political thought means different things to different thinkers. However, in this brief discussion we will limit are feminist's goals of equality to the four distinct elements of women's suffrage, economic independence, labor rights, as well as a social movement. These points represent many of the same aspirations that other minority groups have had to fight for over the years in

A Brief History of the American Kennel Club

795 words - 4 pages National American Kennel Club Stud Book which listed all the studs, unneutered male dogs, that the AKC deemed best in their breed. >> During the early 1900’s the AKC developed and refined their rules to better preserve the breeds and the breeders they associated with. A point system was introduced to shows that judged dogs based on the standards set by the AKC, these points were determined by judges who each got the opportunity to see the dog in

Pizza: A Brief Historical Overview and American Culture

738 words - 3 pages 2005 will mark the 100-year anniversary of the first pizzeria in America. Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza each day, which is about 350 slices per second. According to an American Dairy Association random sampling survey, pizza is America’s fourth most craved food behind cheese, chocolate, and ice cream. American’s obviously love pizza; we have even designated the month of October as National Pizza Month. But whether you bake your

Literature = anti literature = a manifesto to commit suicide

706 words - 3 pages Literature = anti literature = a manifesto to commit suicideSamir Karmakar[It is an article about our silent suicide, and if you are reading this one that means you are mourning for our eternal death, life or resurrection. Because in one sense we all are the author, a better craftsman of our present time. And this is the cause enough to mourn for our own death in our own funeral ceremony...Amen!]Writing against the literature in terms of

Silence, Memory, Conflict: How Obasan relates to Asian American Literature

2388 words - 10 pages , and Thai. Each one of these races have different cultures and traditions and there people faced different challenges and obstacles. Despite technically being a Japanese Canadian novel, Obasan shares many similarities to Asian American literature because of its themes of silence, memory, and cultural conflicts. These themes are portrayed throughout the novel by chronicling the memories of a young Naomi. There are many obstacles Naomi must

The place of "I Have a Dream" in American Literature

1654 words - 7 pages century and is at the heart of Civil Rights literature. While other writings from the era brought up the same issues that afflicted the black community, this speech came to be a rallying cry for the movement. “I Have a Dream” is more than a speech, it is a piece of American history in its own right and as such is a necessary part in any study of American literature. King covered many themes in the speech, but the central theme is that a nation

How to Read Literature Like a Professor

3530 words - 15 pages Native American writing that was influenced by tribal myth in many ways. Classical myth is often effective as overt subject matter for works such as poems, paintings, operas, and novels. Many writers have modeled after Homer because he has defined what it means to be a hero. Beyond Homer, authors use other Greek and Roman myth to enrich the readers’ experience of the literature. Using characteristics of mythical characters, contemporary characters

Literature as a reflection upon society "Where are the origins of American Literature derived from?"

590 words - 2 pages everything good and nature has to do with everything in the world except humans. In Indian stories history repeats its self over and over again as each and every Indian tale has to do with nature. When one reads the Declaration of Independence there is an undertone of equality, every word has to do with making America what back then they called equal.Looking through American Literature in the Declaration of Independence it displayed a rule or guide

Similar Essays

Introduction To Literature Essays

719 words - 3 pages , Shakespeare's poem expressed how he admired his lovers' beauty and Frost expressed how the woods were being admired by the onlooker on the dark, snowy evening.Works CitedFrost, Robert. "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening". Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 9th ed. New York: Pearson, Longman, 2003. 842Robinson, Edwin, Arlington. "Richard Cory". Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 9th ed. New York: Pearson, Longman, 2003. 1177-1178Shakespeare, William. "My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun". Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 9th ed. New York: Pearson, Longman, 2003. 1238

A Brief Introduction To Theory X And Y

775 words - 3 pages A Brief Introduction to Theory X and YMcGregor related employee motivation to the style of management. He categorized employee behavior into two types - Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X employees are categorized as lazy and unmotivated and only worked when forced to and never worked hard. By contrast Theory Y employees seemed to like work, were eager to please and worked hard on their own initiative. McGregor suggested that employee behavior was

Introduction To Literature (Part Ii) Essay

764 words - 3 pages cause. Remember to love your parents and cherish every moment with them because one day, the memories will be all that remain. All three of the above poems discuss the different forms of life's changes as viewed in my eyes.Works CitedBrooks, Gwendolyn. "We Real Cool". Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 9th ed. New York: Pearson, Longman, 2003. 889.Dylan, Bob. "The Times They are a Changin'". Literature: An Introduction to

What It Is To Be A Hero In American Literature

743 words - 3 pages thing Hester Prynne wants is to run off with her child and her lover and be alone together, her dream. All this pain and hurt and frustration, yet at the end her lover commits suicide. She came so close to reaching the American Dream, and fell pathetically short. Jay Gatsby is the number one character in American Literature, and for a good reason. He never quits reaching for his dream. All he sees and all he does is to obtain Daisy, his