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American Literature Essay

725 words - 3 pages

Katrina Bryant

ENG/301

American literature is any written work of art that is created in the United States. American literature is like all literature, it has literary experiences and contextual history of America. It depicts how America has changed is still changing today. American literature has changed over time just like most canons of literary works. The uniqueness of American literature is that America from its beginning had a special philosophy of life and freedom. The special philosophy of life and freedom that made American literature so unique was reflected in its writings. Americans believed and had faith that God was and is the given of all our rights and freedom. We ...view middle of the document...

Ethnic writers express the special challenges of realism, naturalism, and regionalism within the American literary experiences. Realism labels a movement in English, European, and American literature that gathered force from the 1930s to the end of the century. Realism attempted to record life as it was lived rather than life as it ought to be lived or had been lived in times past. William Dean Howells stated that realism “is nothing more and nothing less than the truthful treatment of material.” Present-day literary theorists are probably more aware of what may be called “the crisis of representation”-the difference between representation and the thing represented-than were these realists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Naturalism is understood by some as an extension or intensification of realism. It introduces characters from the fringes and depths of society whose fates are determined by degenerate heredity, a sordid environment, and/or a good deal of bad luck. Regionalism writing, another expression of the realist impulse, resulted from the desire both to preserve a record of distinctive ways of life before industrialization dispersed or...

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