american literature essay examples

american literature essay examples

Analyzing American Literature Essays

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1. Introduction

The present collection of essays raises divergent and even contradictory questions and approaches, all part of the ever-expanding panorama of American literature. The uncharted spaces and revised rationales of American literature call for the constant reevaluation of our ever-changing notions of and relationships with texts, contexts, and authors. To recontextualize American literature or to reread it critically requires a redefinition of our varied perspectives towards and various standpoints within evaluations and conclusions reached hitherto through the traditional angle of vision. To broaden our flair for literature made in America, there is a need to include, in different ways and into those many different categories and categories turned into both catalysts and points of discussion, works of canonical figures, of little-known and shelved authors, of ambitious but criticized writers, of exceptional writers from ethnic minorities, and of ethnic minorities and individuals choosing to write in languages other than English whose literary material deals with or relates to an environment that is at once unique or unusual and typically American.

The United States is a diverse place, with many different races, classes and identities. There are first- and second-generation immigrants as well as multiple-generation Americans. When analyzing American literature, particularly its more contemporary components, which are often written by newer writers and those from marginalized groups, the relative positions of authors against Western, contemporary, postcolonial and structural frameworks need to be taken into account. Due to the discrepancy between the writings of some of the most venerable American writers and those not yet accepted into anthologies and literary histories, the all-embracing canon of American literature tends to be predominantly Anglo-centric. The discomfort and marginal status of various, even combative and challenging American writers is underscored by the absence of their works from the American literary canon. As a result, it is necessary to ponder whether the inherent Anglo-centrism of traditional literary history and criticism and the all-inclusive model of American literary history can coexist. What is needed are many individual literary histories and many different literature surveys that cater to the different portrayals of America, the history of its literature, and its modern literary scenes.

2. Key Themes in American Literature

As a result, the great literature of the early colonies was mostly written in the form of sermons, prayers, letters, journals and diaries. As the people of the colonies became wealthier, life left them with more free time, and leisure became connected with reading novels, poems, and the writing of domestic stories. The revolutionary writings of people like Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams are examples which were read aloud at taverns, until everyone was able to produce a response or to refute the ideas presented. Such political writings helped shape the understanding of citizenship and consensus and the value of equal participation. Early American writers also celebrated the individual, revealing his/her charisma and emotions. The revolutionary idea that is democracy is the principle that frees the individual to define himself or herself allowing the self to be expressed without the strictures of social constraints.

In writing about early American literature, it is essential to understand their deep connection to God. Then, as now, Americans took pride in the idea of being a chosen people who had been called for something extraordinary. Many settlers believed that they had a duty to claim the vast territories God had given them, and to govern themselves as they felt God wanted them to. In Puritan New England, for instance, sermons were given not only in church, but in the civil community as well, and sermons were commented on during town meetings. When Parliament threatened to revoke the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s charter because the colony was disobedient to Anglican theology, the colonists responded by removing all religious references from the charter, which effectively severed the link between the colonists’ religious beliefs and what they saw as their civic duty.

3. Notable American Literary Figures

The novel of James Fenimore Cooper, known as the “father of the novel in America,” contains not only the theme of the frontier and the pursuit of national idealism but patriotism concerning the expression to show the pure frontier spirit. First of all, American literary figures have patriotism. Many figures displayed patriotism in the age of enlightenment exemplified by the American Revolution. Books from various genres of that era reflected the genius of American figures who were inspired by a special American dream, showing the autonomy of the United States. It is typical that in the centuries influenced by the revolutionary spirit of Europe and America because of the French Revolution, social matters and moral dignity were issues to be dealt with during the period in which Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper lived.

Various notable American literary figures have emerged from the United States. To mention only a few, Washington Irving, the father of American literature, and James Fenimore Cooper, also known as the “father of the novel.” Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Sketch Book were included and are indispensable, ranking him as the father of American literature. He was well known as one of the leading representatives of American literature. Both Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper are approved as literary figures superior to their contemporaries and established the literary field with no empty land in the eighteenth century. It is unreasonable to evaluate them only as the founders of American literature, and their worth must be grasped more systematically and comprehensively in terms of their life and art. This was the age when America had to seek its own national identity.

4. Analysis of Essay Examples

Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus. The issues of sexual equality, characterized by the societal manipulation of women by legislation, were at the forefront of women’s private problems such as sexuality, birth control, education, work, and reproductive rights. Legend is purely mythology; it is unclear whether Roe V. Wade truly enjoyed autonomy, choice, or true bearing on the freedom of American women or was the strongest galvanization of the United States’ pro-life resistance under the leadership of Phyllis Schlafly. One of the most substantial issues that occurred after the Supreme Court ruling on Roe V. Wade is the Freedom of Choice Act was increased. Roe is today unequally divided so that we are able to fully appreciate the independent and go beyond the feminist base debates spurred by Justice Blackmun’s opinions of the court. Since 1973, opponents of abortion have been frustrating women’s ability to benefit from Roe, demonstrating the Crown’s respect for teachers and seeking new restrictions on abortion.

Choice is making decisions that pertain to ourselves. One’s views on the right to have an abortion may reflect religious beliefs, personal views, and other individual factors. Human rights are the ethic of freedom, which allowed individuals to choose how they live. Popular pro-choice belief is that life does not begin until the middle of gestation and that the heritage protection of personal rights should outweigh terminating a pregnancy. It is the government’s choice to defy women’s rights to manage their bodies if abortion is to become illegal. The right to have complete control over one’s body is essential to the welfare of women in the United States. The inability to order management of one’s body into the hands of others is not only disgraceful, but also dangerous when those right do not include abortion.

The Pro-Choice Movement in the United States

5. Conclusion

The word civilization is a constant variable in everyones life, meaning wherever a person is the thought of money is there. Surprisingly, this issue of civilization and money also affects humans everyday beyond the idea of livelihood. Because of this, people began to have second thoughts about whether they really liked this idea or wanted to keep it the same as it was before. Along with this, society began to worry about Earth and future generations, causing the idea of civilization to invest in recycling and acting green. Because of “the green revolution,” capitalism allowed these beliefs to continue growing into something great. Overall, the money vs. nature debate has become a major conversation in our society today.

Throughout American Literature this semester there has been a major recurrent theme which is civilization. When we began learning, civilization primarily was explored through the life of the slaves; as we continued to learn civilization was found to be in the setting of the stories. By the end of this course, everyone had their own interpretations of what civilization in American Literature means and the effects it has today. Society began focusing on material possessions and the idea of having a certain lifestyle. The word “civilization” began to be used in the context of fairness and equality. This doesn’t just mean between society and peasants, but also social class. Overall, civilization has different meanings, but the one that stands out is the adherence to rules and laws to govern humans morally, ethically, and spiritually.

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