Moreover, the concept of stewardship encouraged success. Yet there was an important difference: Romanticism in America coincided with the period of national expansion and the discovery of a distinctive American voice. Description: The large cultural wave of Modernism, which gradually emerged in Europe and the United States in the early years of the 20th century, expressed a sense of modern life through art as a sharp break from the past, as well as from Western civilization's classical traditions. Richard Hugo Description: Technological innovation in the world of factories and machines inspired new attentiveness to technique in the arts. The texts are the property of their respective authors and we thank them for giving us the opportunity to share for free to students, teachers and users of the Web their texts will used only for illustrative educational and scientific purposes only. • Related literary movements:  The American Enlightenment • Key themes and features:  • defense of church authority vs. secularism  The rise of the main character satisfies the wish fulfillment of the mainly middle-class readers. • warnings against the Devil's invisible but real presence in the world, 1703 – 1758 Jonathan Edwards was one of the leaders of the Great Awakening revival movement in New England (1734-1750).  Born in Connecticut, he wrote a study of the behavior of spiders called "Of Insects" when he was 11, entered Yale University when he was 12, and became increasingly devoted to ministry following a conversion experience when he was a graduate student. What lesson did the main character learn? Whether you're reading your favorite Disney book or working your way through The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, there will always be a pervasive theme woven through the story. Extending from 1066 to 1485, this period is noted for the extensive influence of French literature on native English forms and theme The Middle English literature of the 14th and 15th centuries is much more diversified than the previous Old English literature. 102, 258-65). However, the moral of the story is quite different. Wealth and status were sought not only for themselves, but as welcome reassurances of spiritual health and promises of eternal life. Though each region exhibits a wide range of development, there are recurrent themes among the cultures, and … The ideal American of the post-Civil War period became the millionaire. John Updike Spell. Students will trace the evolution of American literature while exploring such themes as "The American Dream," "Coming of Age," "Justice and Injustice," "The Pursuit of Happiness," "War and Peace," and "Freedom and Dignity."    eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of Asian American Literature so you can excel on your essay or test. Robert Lowell Such a pirated English book could be reprinted in a day and placed on the shelves for sale in American bookstores almost as fast as in England. Here are a few examples of the beauty of friendship in major works of literature: Of course, love can move the world. We'll admire the main character for his strength and resolute behavior. Modernism describes the avant-garde styles of the early twentieth century, while postmodernismdescribes the period of art that evolved after World War II. Perhaps it'll inspire you to live a better tomorrow. • Black Boy (1945) Their separation took them ultimately to the New World, 1612 - 1672 Anne Bradstreet was born in England but moved to the Massachusetts Bay Colony when she was 18 years old.  Despite a number of illnesses and the pressures of a rigorous domestic and religious life, she soon began writing poetry about her everyday experiences, including "the simple events in a woman's life" (Adrienne Rich).  She is regarded as the first notable poet in the American colonies. And it's also a wonderful prize when celebrating life's special moments. Beautyof simplicity 2. Drafted by Noah Webster, the great lexicographer who later compiled an American dictionary, the law protected only the work of American authors; it was felt that English writers should look out for themselves. It's important not to confuse the theme and the main idea. This era in American literature is responsible for notable first works, such as the first American comedy written for the stage—"The Contrast" by Royall Tyler, written in 1787—and the first American Novel—"The Power of Sympathy" by William Hill, written in 1789. Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. Here are a few examples of courage in major works of literature: Death is something everyone will face. As such, a moral can be a theme, but the theme doesn't have to be the moral of the story. • Some prominent works: Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (short stories, 1840), The Raven (poetry, 1845), "The Cask of Amontillado," "The Fall of the House of Usher" Theodore Roethke Americans such as James Fenimore Cooper not only failed to receive adequate payment, but they had to suffer seeing their works pirated under their noses. Regionalism – Another outgrowth of Realism, Regionalism in literature is the tendency among certain authors to write about specific geographical areas.  Regional writers like Willa Cather and William Faulkner, present the distinct culture of an area, including its speech, customs, beliefs, and history.  Local-color writing may be considered a type of Regionalism, but Regionalists, like the southern writers of the 1920’s, usually go beyond mere presentation of cultural idiosyncrasies and attempt, instead, a sophisticated sociological or anthropological treatment of the culture of a region. In the case of the novelists, the Romantic vision tended to express itself in the form Hawthorne called the "Romance," a heightened, emotional, and symbolic form of the novel. American literature - American literature - The 18th century: In America in the early years of the 18th century, some writers, such as Cotton Mather, carried on the older traditions. In love, in art, in avarice, in politics, in labor, in games, we study to utter our painful secret. He was a link between the United States and Britain, acting as contributing editor to Harriet Monroe's important Chicago magazine Poetry and spearheading the new school of poetry known as Imagism, which advocated a clear, highly visual presentation. The development of the self became a major theme; self-awareness a primary method. John Berryman • Some prominent works: • Their Eyes Were Watching God • Mules and Men • Dust Tracks on a Road (autobiography) Throughout every bit of character development and conflict resolution, a theme should be prevalent. In contrast, the American novelist had to depend on his or her own devices. The idea of "self" -- which suggested selfishness to earlier generations -- was redefined. Write. History was a symbolic religious panorama leading to the Puritan triumph over the New World and to God's kingdom on Earth. Added to this, American awareness of literary fashion still lagged behind the English, and this time lag intensified American imitation. Writing, on the other hand, did not pay. That creates rather a gloomy mood, doesn't it? It's packed with so much uncertainty. It can be a negative attribute that might inspire readers to take a better path in life. Quite often, … • Some prominent works: It has been created within the larger realm of post-colonial literature, although scholars distinguish between the two, saying that "African American literature differs from most post-colonial literature in that it is written by members of a minority … What problem is the main character facing? Cooper's first successful book, The Spy (1821), was pirated by four different printers within a month of its appearance. Key Concepts: Terms in this set (10) The American Dream. Modern American literature includes twentieth and twenty-first century fiction, poetry, and drama. To take one example: Light, particularly electrical light, fascinated modern artists and writers. America's literary independence was slowed by a lingering identification with England, an excessive imitation of English or classical literary models, and difficult economic and political conditions that hampered publishing. Known as the "Pilgrims," they were a small group of believers who had migrated from England to Holland -- even then known for its religious tolerance -- in 1608, during a time of persecutions. Ezra Pound was one of the most influential American poets of this century. On the contrary, it confirms it. American literature Colonial literature. And, for those left behind, it leaves lingering feelings of sadness and, sometimes, even remorse. American literature - American literature - The 20th century: Important movements in drama, poetry, fiction, and criticism took shape in the years before, during, and after World War I. But chaos and destruction are embraced, as they signal a collapse of Western civilization's classical traditions. Chaos and order 6. Gothic – Gothic refers to the use of primitive medieval, wild, or mysterious elements in literature.  Gothic elements offended eighteenth-century classical writers but appealed to the Romantic writers who followed them. • Key themes and features:  • first-person account of life in Nature, away from civilization  • non-conformity  • individuality • "Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! • Related literary movements:  Realism, Naturalism, 1851 - 1904 Kate Chopin By World War I, the United States had become a major world power. Their eastern banks tightly controlled mortgages and credit so vital to western development and agriculture, while railroad companies charged high prices to transport farm products to the cities. Themes in literature are often varied and hidden. ROMANTICISM  1830-1865 You'll notice the characters embracing - or turning away from - the theme time and again, and you'll see how their relationship to the theme impacts the events that unfold. … American Literature Timeline: Featured authors and works, Description:  It is likely that no other colonists in the history of the world were as intellectual as the Puritans. Romances were not love stories, but serious novels that used special techniques to communicate complex and subtle meanings. • Related literary movements:  Puritanism Thus the main character in American literature might find himself alone among cannibal tribes, as in Melville's Typee, or exploring a wilderness like James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking, or witnessing lonely visions from the grave, like Poe's solitary individuals, or meeting the devil walking in the forest, like Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown. One reason for this fictional exploration into the hidden recesses of the soul is the absence of settled, traditional community life in America. In 1860, there were fewer than 100 millionaires; by 1875, there were more than 1,000. Love drew these two characters to one another, and nothing was going to stop them from coming together. Carey's men would sail out to meet the incoming ships in the harbor and speed the pirated books into print using typesetters who divided the book into sections and worked in shifts around the clock. So, the moral (repair old family wounds) can be one of the themes of the story, but the theme (undying love) isn't necessarily the moral of the story. To analyze such modernist novels and poetry, a school of "new criticism" arose in the United States, with a new critical vocabulary. James Dickey In a way, the mood the author establishes creates an emotional setting. • Some prominent works: Poor Richard’s Almanack He said to a New York Times correspondent in 1974, "I like to write. For example, in Romeo and Juliet, one could argue that the theme is the power of love. Here are a few examples of death and dying in major works of literature: Valued friendships can completely alter one's life. Posters and advertisements of the period are full of images of floodlit skyscrapers and light rays shooting out from automobile headlights, moviehouses, and watchtowers to illumine a forbidding outer darkness suggesting ignorance and old-fashioned tradition. Puritan – (1472-1750) – Most of this is histories, journals, personal poems, sermons, and diaries.  Most of this literature is utilitarian, very personal, or religious.  We call it Puritan because the majority of the writers during this period were strongly influenced by Puritan ideals and values.  Jonathan Edwards continues to be recognized from this period. Although these authors came from all over the country and lived different life styles, they still managed to include similar themes in their works. From 1908 to 1920, he resided in London, where he associated with many writers, including William Butler Yeats, for whom he worked as a secretary, and T.S. The farmer gradually became an object of ridicule, lampooned as an unsophisticated "hick" or "rube." . The constant influx of immigrants provided a seemingly endless supply of inexpensive labor as well. Channing, Margaret Fuller, and Elizabeth Peabody.  The anti-Transcendentalist (Hawthorne and Melville) rebelled against the philosophy that man is basically good.  A third group, the Fireside poets, wrote about more practical aspects of life such as dying and patriotism. dear it means a whole steadiness. 1874 – 1963 Robert Frost, 1899 - 1961 Ernest Hemingway In America as in Europe, fresh new vision electrified artistic and intellectual circles.  Classicism – Classicism is an approach to literature and the other arts that stresses reason, balance, clarity, ideal beauty, and orderly form in imitation of the arts of ancient Greece and Rome.  Classicism is often contrasted with Romanticism, which stresses imagination, emotion, and individualism.  Classicism also differs from Realism, which stresses the actual rather than the ideal. Fiction: Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, and the Transcendentalists represent the first great literary generation produced in the United States.    Local Color – Local Color is the use in a literary work of characters and details unique to a particular geographic area.  Local color can be created by the use of dialect and by descriptions of customs, clothing, manners, attitudes, scenery, and landscape.  Local-color stories were especially popular after the Civil War, bringing readers the West of Bret harte, the Mississippi River of Mark Twain, and the New England of Sarah Orne Jewett.    The exception, Benjamin Franklin, though from a poor family, was a printer by trade and could publish his own work. It just may be the story that inspires someone else to push through the next challenge in life. Imagism – Imagism was a literary movement that flourished between 1912 and 1927.  Led by Ezra Pound and Amy Lowell, the Imagist poets rejected nineteenth-century poetic forms and language.  Instead, they wrote short poems that used ordinary language and free verse to create sharp, exact, concentrated pictures. Let's take a closer look at these common themes, as well as some interesting examples from popular works of fiction. . The "sublime" -- an effect of beauty in grandeur (for example, a view from a mountaintop) -- produced feelings of awe, reverence, vastness, and a power beyond human comprehension. • Related literary movements:   American Gothic, Transcendentalism The first Puritan colonists who settled New England exemplified the seriousness of Reformation Christianity. No longer was it sufficient to write a straightforward third-person narrative or (worse yet) use a pointlessly intrusive narrator. A table However, that's an appropriate mood, given the author's reflection on a regrettable choice he made in the past. 1737-1809 Thomas Paine The lack of an audience was another problem. Here are a few examples of love in major works of literature: Of course, the theme in a novel doesn't always have to be a positive thing. The man is only half himself, the other half is his expression. 1891 – 1960 Zora Neale Hurston 1919 - J. D. Salinger gained tremendous popularity through a limited body of work --one novel and thirty-five published short stories. Ironically, the copyright law of 1790, which allowed pirating, was nationalistic in intent. Characteristic American novels of the period Stephen Crane's Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, Jack London's Martin Eden, and later Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy depict the damage of economic forces and alienation on the weak or vulnerable individual. Before we dive into several examples of theme in literature, let's start with a thorough review of this important element. Copyright © 2020 LoveToKnow. • Related literary movements:   American Gothic Meanwhile, the theme can be more generalized; there can also be more than one theme in a story. If, according to Romantic theory, self and nature were one, self-awareness was not a selfish dead end but a mode of knowledge opening up the universe. By dislocating grammar and punctuation, she achieved new "abstract" meanings as in her influential collection Tender Buttons (1914), which views objects from different angles, as in a cubist painting: A Table A Table means does it not my You can get started with these tips on writing a bestseller. Literary modernists celebrated the collapse of conventional forms. • Related literary movements:  Puritanism, Revivalism MODERNISM / EXPERIMENTATION 1914-1945    Naturalism – An outgrowth of Realism, Naturalism was a literary movement among novelists at the end of the nineteenth century and during the early decades of the twentieth century.  The Naturalists tended to view people as hapless victims of immutable natural laws.  Early exponents of Naturalism included Stephen Crane, Jack London, and Theodore Dreiser. Mather saw the Devil's presence in Salem as a final effort to undermine and destroy religious community" (Norton 217). PLAY. Students will engage in this analysis of core and extended reading. Philip Levine In recording ordinary events to reveal their spiritual meaning, Puritan authors commonly cited the Bible, chapter and verse. "I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.". • Key themes and features:  Satire, Local Color The democratic American individual had, as it were, to invent himself. What's the short version of the story?" Major and minor themes are two types of themes that appear in literary works. Major writers include Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo … After Imagism, he championed various poetic approaches. Certainly the New England Transcendentalists -- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and their associates -- were inspired to a new optimistic affirmation by the Romantic movement. • Key themes and features:  • "American hunger"  • strength through struggle  • autonomy, equality, and individuality  • communist ideals, 1902 – 1967 Langston Hughes Loss of Innocence.   1. Romanticism – (1800-1840) - Romanticism was a literary and artistic movement of the nineteenth century that arose in reaction against eighteenth-century Neoclassicism and placed a premium on fancy, imagination, emotion, nature, individuality, and exotica.  There’s a movement here from personal and political documents to entertaining ones.  Purely American topics were introduced such as frontier life.  Romantic elements can be found in the works of American writers as diverse as Cooper, Poe, Thoreau, Emerson, Dickinson, Hawthorne, and Melville.  Romanticism is particularly evident in the works of the New England Transcendentalists. means more than a glass even a The new intercontinental rail system, inaugurated in 1869, and the transcontinental telegraph, which began operating in 1861, gave industry access to materials, markets, and communications. Major Themes in American Literature. Between 1630 and 1690, there were as many university graduates in the northeastern section of the United States, known as New England, as in the mother country -- an astounding fact when one considers that most educated people of the time were aristocrats who were unwilling to risk their lives in wilderness conditions. But at least the foreign authors had already been paid by their original publishers and were already well known. Essays and Poetry: The Romantic movement, which originated in Germany but quickly spread to England, France, and beyond, reached America around the year 1820, some 20 years after William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge had revolutionized English poetry by publishing Lyrical Ballads. 1914: WW I begins (Archduke Ferdinand assassinated) 1917: Russian Revolution breaks out; U. S. enters WW I 1918: Armistice declared in WW I (stopping the fighting) 1920: 19th Amendment to Constitution gives women right to vote; 18th amendment prohibiting manufacture, sale, and importation of alcoholic drinks goes into effect (Prohibition) 1925: Scopes Tennessee Evolution trial (debating whether schools can teach evolution). The development of the self became a major theme; self-awareness a primary method. Stieglitz's salon influenced numerous writers and artists, including William Carlos Williams, who was one of the most influential American poets of the 20th century. Reformer. The enormous natural resources -- iron, coal, oil, gold, and silver -- of the American land benefitted business. Within this period of American literature, three themes continued to emerge: the concept of true beauty, protection of nature, and perception versus reality. The American study guide contains a biography of author Henry James, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. In New England, Romanticism fell upon fertile soil. 1888 - 1965 T. S. Eliot Description: The author of several interesting Gothic romances, Brown was the first American author to attempt to live from his writing. By contradicting these traditional assumptions, modern authors produced an … • Some prominent works: 1843 – 1916 Henry James For almost a century and a half, America was merely a group of colonies … please describe the characteristics in not less than 500 words.' Labor unions grew, and strikes brought the plight of working people to national awareness. The U.S. Civil War (1861-1865) between the industrial North and the agricultural, slave-owning South was a watershed in American history. With your writing piece he said to a period of art, the theme or.. 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