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American Ethnic Literature Analyzing the Nature of

Words: 1600 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 351419

American Ethnic Literature

Analyzing the Nature of American Ethnic Literature

America has a distinct history: like ancient Rome, its inhabitants have come from all over and few of them can truly say to be natives of the place. This fact alone makes American Literature a compelling label: what makes American Literature American? This paper will attempt to answer the question by showing how many ethnicities have converged in one nation allowing various writers with different ethnic, social, political, economical, and social perspectives to define and/or illustrate a time and place.

As Morris Dickstein states, "When America was merely a remote province of world culture, its educated elites were Anglophile, Francophile, or broadly cosmopolitan. Education was grounded in classical learning, a respect for the ancients over the moderns, and a deeply ingrained respect for old Europe's artistic heritage" (p. 155). This type of background made American letters similar to European. What happened, however, was that America as a country began to experience and undergo certain problems and changes that were unique to America. Hawthorne in New England described the Puritan experience. Melville described the whaling experience under the eye of the Calvinist god. But as America grew, other ethnicities began to…… [Read More]

References:
Literature Canon. MELUS 33(2), pp. 7-16.

Native American Literature. (n.d.). Introduction, pp. 1-7.

Recent Works on Jewish-American Modernism. (2009). Prooftexts 21, pp. 116-125.