Critical essays on american literature

social criticism in literature

Of the second generation of New England settlers, Cotton Mather stands out as a theologian and historian, who wrote the history of the colonies with a view to God's activity in their midst and to connecting the Puritan leaders with the great heroes of the Christian faith.

The enormous scientific, economic, social, and philosophical, changes of the 18th century, called the Enlightenmentimpacted the authority of clergyman and scripture, making way for democratic principles.

Major examples of their style of close reading can be found in R. This has been so from the era dominated by the Duyckinck brothers, whose Cyclopedia of American Literature helped establish a canon of major writers, through E.

As a result, it would be wise to check with your teacher regarding how much plot summary is expected.

Critical essays on american literature

As early as the s, Dartmouth, Wellesley, and Brown were offering, at least sporadically, courses on American authors, though the subject remained dispensable enough that NYU, which ran an American literature course from to , allowed it to fall into abeyance until A good rule of thumb is that series have a conventional name and are intentional creations, on the part of the author or publisher. In other words, you may need to cite the title, publisher, date, and pages of the work see Citing Sources. The villagers have a difficult time figuring out just how the very old man with enormous wings fits into their lives. It was an important influence on literature itself, and it shaped the perceptions of readers in the face of difficult new writing. Reiterate argument and elaborate on its significance. The leader of the opposition, hardly a liberal himself, was the pugnacious H. As late as the s, Harvard graduate students in English could propose American literature as a doctoral examination field only as a substitute for medieval literature, which was coming to seem arcane and archaic, even to traditionalists. Without embracing the strategies of self-acquittal these scholars propose, one may share their wariness toward the nation-state as an object of veneration. His main impact was on close readers of poetry—e. It is simply impossible to imagine such a collaboration between the government and the academy today.

Our experiences inspire us to relate to and sympathize with characters and difficult situations. Leslie Fiedler, a prolific critic who participated in both waves of the American studies movement, issued, inwhat amounted to a farewell to the whole business of academic literary study.

European styles were frequently imitated, but critics usually considered the imitations inferior. Fiedler was interested in prose fiction not for the modernist virtues of intricacy or allusiveness but for its democratizing power as an early form of mass art.

Nicholas Noyes was also known for his doggerel verse.

American literature 1945 to present

Beyond doubt, criticism thrived as it had not for several generations. Others like Roger Williams and Nathaniel Ward more fiercely argued state and church separation. Publishers took a chance on these works in hopes they would become steady sellers and need to be reprinted. Authored by: Joseph Moxley. Some professors went further, claiming for themselves the moral authority once reserved for the clergy. If you were the central protagonist, would you have behaved differently? James Fenimore Cooper was also a notable author best known for his novel, The Last of the Mohicans written in With the continued decline of philology and of Latin and Greek as college pre- requisites in the s and s, the study of American literature finally attained a certain academic respectability. Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield represented the Great Awakening , a religious revival in the early 18th century that emphasized Calvinism. Major satirists included John Trumbull and Francis Hopkinson. And, as is often the case, transformations in the academic humanities tend to be secondary to more basic transformations in the world. From to , only about separate items were issued from the major printing presses in the American colonies. Many of the vanguard figures were openly and overtly concerned with the world outside the college gates. The patterns that interested American studies scholars tended to be expressions of progressive hope, and it is perhaps a measure of their intense personal investment in the promise of America that a striking number of leading figures in the field fell into disappointment and even despair.

Do any elements in the setting foreshadow the conclusion of the piece? Matthiessen, tried to strike a balance between aesthetic concerns and social or moral issues.

modern american literature
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American literature: a vanishing subject?