American Literature Essays (Examples)

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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 ome, 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…… [Read More]

Reference List

African-American Literature. (n.d.). Introduction, pp. 1-11.

Asian-American Lliterature. (n.d.). Introduction, pp. 2-12.

Casey, J.G. (n.d.). Canon Issues and Class Contexts. Radical Teacher 86, pp. 18-27.

Dickstein, M. (n.d.). Going Native. The American Scholar.
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American Ethnic Literature There Are'so Many

Words: 2099 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 52693344

American Ethnic Literature

There are so many different voices within the context of the United States. This country is one which is built on cultural differences. Yet, for generations the only voices expressed in literature or from the white majority. Contemporary American ethnic literature is important in that it reflects the multifaceted nature of life in the United States. It is not pressured by the white majority anymore, but is rather influenced by the extremely varying experiences of vastly different individuals, as seen in the works of alph Ellison's Invisible Man, Gloria Anzaldua's "How to Tame a Wild Tongue," and Cathy Song's poem "Lost Sister." American ethnic literature speaks for minority voices, which have long been excluded in earlier generations of American society.

American ethnic literature has developed enormously over the last few centuries, and especially within the context of just the last few decades. In today's literary world, it…… [Read More]

References

Anzaldua, Gloria. "How to Tame a Wild Tongue." Borderland / La Frontera. Web.  http://wolfweb.unr.edu/homepage/calabj/282/how%20to%20tame%20wild%20tongue.pdf 

Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. Vintage International. 1995.

Franco, Dean J. Ethnic American Literature: Comparing Chicano, Jewish, and African-American Writing. University of Virginia Press. 2006.

Lee, Robert A. Multicultural American Literature: Comparative Black, Native, Latino/a and Asian-American Fictions. University Press of Mississippi. 2003.
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American Lit Definition of Modernism and Three

Words: 3585 Length: 13 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 58544512

American Lit

Definition of Modernism and Three Examples

Indeed, creating a true and solid definition of modernism is exceptionally difficult, and even most of the more scholarly critical accounts of the so-called modernist movement tend to divide the category into more or less two different movements, being what is known as "high modernism," which reflected the erudition and scholarly experimentalism of Eliot, Joyce, and Pound, and the so-called "low modernism" of later American practitioners, such as William Carlos Williams. Nonetheless, despite the problems of reification involved with such a task, I will attempt to invoke a definitions of at least some traits of modernism, as culled from the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics:

First, [in modernism] "realization" had to replace description, so that instead of copying the external world the work could render it in an image insisting on its own forms of reality... [and] Second, the poets develop…… [Read More]

Bibliography

Preminger, Alex and Brogan T.V.F. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics.

Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1993.
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American Modernism and the Endemic Themes

Words: 1636 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 21908862

American Modernism and the Edenic Themes

Langston Hughes and Jay Gatsby: Different Strokes for Different Folks in the Search for an Edenic orld

The search for Eden has always had an eternal quality since the development of primordial man. At times, this search has manifested itself as a quest for a promised land full of natural resources, while at others, it has taken the form of a journey seeking social acceptance and harmony. Either which way, man's search for Eden has always been motivated by a desire to secure material and emotional well-being. Though this search is not unique to the people of America, the promise held out by a vast, virgin continent and new beginnings led to the belief that a life in the pursuit of wealth and happiness was possible here. This great 'American Dream,' however, soon proved as susceptible to human greed, bigotry, and the struggle for…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Baldwin, J. et.al. "The Eternal Adam and the New World Garden: The Central Myth in the American Novel since 1830." New York: Braziller, 1968.

Daly, P.E.M. & Mayhew, P.H. "Envisioning the New Adam: Empathic Portraits of Men by American Women Writers." Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997.

Dickinson, D.C. "A Bio-Bibliography of Langston Hughes, 1902-1967." Hamden, Conn:

Archon Books, 1967.
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American Landscape

Words: 2041 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 57185420

American Landscape and Social Attitudes and Values

The relationship between American society and its natural environment has not only been one of rapid social change, it has also been subjected to radical and complex changes in attitudes towards nature. The extent of the this evolutionary change emanates from an earlier view of nature as a Garden of Eden to the contemporary view of nature as a servant of human technological growth

In the comparatively short span of our civilization the cycle of primitivism to industrialism has been compressed and laid bare for study. Less than a century divides the era when America was looked upon as a Garden of Eden or savage wilderness and the time when it took first place as the world's industrial giant. Probably no people have ever so quickly subdued their natural environment. www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=77844365" (Ekirch 6)

American attitudes towards nature have undergone a complex change in…… [Read More]

Bibliography

Angus, Ian. "Free Nature." Alternatives Journal Summer 1997: 18+.

A www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000498362" "American Literature." The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. 2000.

A www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=8134619"

Ekirch, Arthur A. Man and Nature in America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1963.
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American Jazz in Jack Kerouac's

Words: 1262 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 4829470

Obviously, Sal Paradise, much like Kerouac himself, loves American jazz music, especially played on the acoustic guitar by an African-American jazz/blues giant like Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly.

As Mark Richardson sees it, writing in "Peasant Dreams: Reading On The Road," "The strain of the basic primitive," in this case jazz, ". . . is what Sal and Dean listen to in order to hear" what they call "wailing humanity" (Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Internet) or, in other words, the vocals of someone like Leadbelly wailing out the blues, another original form of American music with roots sunk deep in the elements of jazz. For Richardson, it seems that Kerouac's application of jazz in the text of On The Road serves not only as a theme but also as the basic framework for the personalities of Sal and Dean, two rebels "on the road" and "on the…… [Read More]

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Kernfeld, Barry, Ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. New York: St. Martin's Press,

1996.

Kerouac, Jack. On the Road: 50th Anniversary Edition. New York: Viking Press, 2007.

Liukkonen, Petri. "Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)." Books and Writers. Internet. 2008. Retrieved May 16, 2009 from http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/kerouac.htm.
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American Scholar Ralph Waldo Emerson

Words: 874 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 63190890

The "young grub" metaphor which he used to relate to the poets was confusing and I could not figure out how this metaphor was used in connection to the poets. Another complicated metaphor used by Emerson in his writings where he talks of the human mind claiming "It is one central fire, which, flaming now out of the lips of Etna, lightens the capes of Sicily." Likewise Emerson uses such metaphors which are difficult to understand throughout his essay and created confusion for me during my reading of "The American Scholar." No doubt Emerson's essay is a remarkable piece of American literature, his style of writing and his complicated metaphors make certain parts of his essay hard to read.

Regarding a scholar Emerson says that a scholar is the one who resists vulgarity "by preserving and communicating heroic sentiment, noble biographies, melodious verse and conclusions of history." To the best…… [Read More]

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American Landscape in Frost's Poetry

Words: 4592 Length: 17 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 88110143

Frost's Poetry And Landscape

The Rise of Modernist Poetry

Between the years of 1912 and 1914 the entire temper of the American arts changed. America's cultural coming-of-age occurred and writing in the U.S. moved from a period entitled traditional to modernized. It seems as though everywhere, in that Year of 1913, barriers went down and People reached each other who had never been in touch before; there were all sorts of new ways to communicate as well as new communications. The new spirit was abroad and swept us all together. These changes engaged an America of rising intellectual opportunities and intensifying artistic preoccupation.

With the changing of the century, the old styles were considered increasingly obsolete, and the greatest impact was on American arts. The changes went deep, suggesting ending the narrowness that had seemed to limit the free development of American culture for so long. That mood was not…… [Read More]

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American Dream of Egalitarianism

Words: 1532 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 41264984

America: A nation of paradoxes

America is a nation of paradoxes. On one hand, it is a nation that has symbolized freedom to many immigrants, as poignantly illustrated in Emma Lazarus' poem "The New Colossus," a poem included on the famed Statue of Liberty that greeted so many refugees as they strove to escape from Europe and avoid intolerable situations. The Lazarus poem proclaims the dawning a new America, free of class restrictions, which can offer prosperity even to the poorest new arrival. Yet federal policies in regards to African-Americans and Native Americans have been marked by injustice and prejudice. The American Dream of egalitarianism exists next to an ugly strain of racism that has run through the thread of American history since its inception.

Emma Lazarus' poem is perhaps the most explicit, famous rendition of the American dream: "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp... / Give me your tired,…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Aldrich, Thomas Bailey. "Unguarded Gates." 1895. Print.

Hawk, Walter Echo. In the Courts of the Conqueror. Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum, 2010.

Hirschman, Charles. "Immigration and the American century." Demography (pre-2011) 42.4

(2005): 595-620. ABI/Inform Complete. Web. 19 Sep. 2014.
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American History Changes That Have Occurred in

Words: 2934 Length: 9 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 44982136

American history [...] changes that have occurred in African-American history over time between 1865 to the present. African-Americans initially came to this country against their will. They were imported to work as slaves primarily in the Southern United States, and they have evolved to become a force of change and growth in this country. African-Americans have faced numerous challenges throughout their history in this country, and they still face challenges today.

After the Civil War ended in 1865, African-Americans were freed from slavery. However, that did not end their struggle for freedom. In fact, in many ways, it only made their situation worse. Many slaves who were in fairly decent situations were thrust out to fend for themselves, or they became sharecroppers for their former masters, barely making enough money to stay alive. This was the time of "reconstruction" in the South, and it was recovering both politically and economically…… [Read More]

References

Adeboyejo, B. (2005, May/June). Q & A: Curating African-American history for the nation. The Crisis, 112, 7.

Dagbovie, P.G. (2006). Strategies for teaching African-American history: Musings from the past, ruminations for the future. The Journal of Negro Education, 75(4), 635+.

Editors. (2010). African-American history timeline. Retrieved 15 Nov. 2010 from the Peterson Education Web site:  http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmtimeline.html .

Editors (2008). African-American odyssey. Retrieved 15 Nov. 2010 from the Library of Congress Web site:  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/exhibit/aopart7.html .
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Literature and History

Words: 8876 Length: 32 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 51478975

tomorrow / Bright before us / Like a flame. (Alain Locke, "Enter the New Negro," 1925)

rom the 1920's Alain Leroy Locke has been known as a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Through his writings, his actions and his education, Locke worked to educate not only White America, but also the Negro, about the beauty of the Negro heritage. He emphasized the idea that no single culture is more important than another. Yet it was also important to give sufficient attention to one's own culture and its beauty. This was Locke's philosophy of cultural pluralism.

The White heritage has enjoyed prominence for a large part of American history. During the colonization period, the Whites have emphasized their own superiority while at the same time ensuring that people of other ethnic heritages knew in no uncertain terms their own inferiority. This gave rise to a nearly monocultural America, where all…… [Read More]

Furthermore Locke's writings are lauded for their cultural and historical importance rather than their literary style. Being very prominent in educational and artistic circles I find this hard to believe. Certainly a man who has been educated in the highest of quality schools should be able to produce something of purely literary merit.

Despite these issues which are admittedly a matter of opinion, it is very significant that Locke's influence extends to modern literary circles in this way. Locke's influence in the areas of education, culture and empowerment also remain to this day in terms of recognized Black culture and the promotion of cultural pluralism. The ALLS has been officially recognized by the American Philosophical Association in a letter from Secretary-Treasurer, William Mann, on November 26, 1997.

Locke's influence thus reaches far beyond his lifespan in order to not only empower and inspire, but also to enlighten and to entertain. Locke was the epitome of the New Negro.
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Problem With American Identity Inventing the Self and National Character

Words: 1755 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 310113

American Lit

The Development of the American National Character

hat is so unique about America? During the early years of this country's existence, America was still a colonial nation with an unclear identity as a collective entity. as it a mass of individualistic states or was it a unique system of values and rights, as eventually embodied in the American Constitution as well. It began originally a conglomerate of individuals seeking religious freedom and criminals seeking to establish a new life. But the nation gradually began to evolve into a more clearly defined social network, with hierarchies of status.

Letters from an American Farmer" is a unique snapshot of the early nation because its author lived and toiled the land of America, yet was supplanted from another nation. According to the website devoted to the author, it is unclear if the man ever became naturalized. Regardless, his commentary is a…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Franklin, Benjamin. Commentary and Text of The Autobiography. Accessed on December 2, 2003 at The Early American Website. http://www.earlyamerica.com/lives/franklin/chapt1/index.html.

Equiano, Obadiah. Text of Narrative and "West Indies Slavery" Essay Accessed on December 2, 2003 http://www.wsu.edu:8000/~dee/Equiano.html.

Letters from an American Farmer." Letter 3 and Commentary.    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/CREV/letter03.html   .

Occom, S. "Story and Biography." Commentary and Text of The Autobiography. Accessed on December 2, 2003 at The Early American Website.
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Reviewing Great American Writers Like Willa Cather Caroline Lockhart

Words: 843 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 17051304

American Literature -- Unit

do see the concept of the new woman and new man in our culture today?

Yes to some degree, the concept of the new woman and new man can be detected in modern (2016) society. omen are at the forefront of literary and social life. omen have come a long way in terms of their "autonomous selfhood, sexuality," and right to participate in the same social events as men. omen now are a big part of the American workforce; women were no longer locked into the domestic realm of the American household, and today a huge majority of women work (at least part time) outside the home.

The new man as reflected in the readings is also similar to today's male, but not to the same degree as the new woman. I agree with Carolyn Lockhart that men were not transitioning into mature, modern people like…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Cather, W. (1905). Paul's Case.

Johnson, J.W. (1912). The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
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Defining the American Dream

Words: 1220 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 68201835

American Dream

Defining the American Dream

People have talked about a concept called the American Dream for many years, but the definition is difficult to pin down. The reason for this is that as the situations in the country change, so does the view people have of what the American Dream represents. The purpose of this paper is to define what the American Dream is from history, the generally accepted meaning of the term, and how that definition may have changed over the past couple of years.

History shows that the concept of the American Dream began with the "discovery" of the Americas. hether the explorer was Leif Erickson or Christopher Columbus, all of the people who have come to these shores have dreamed of something better. As a matter of fact;

"The idea of an American Dream is older than the United States, dating back to the 1600s, when…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Abowitz, Deborah A. "Social Mobility and the American Dream: What do College Students Believe?" College Student Journal 39.4 (2005): 716-728. Print.

McManus, John F. "Understanding America Today: Immigrants have Long Come to America to Live the "American Dream." The New American 23.21-15 Oct. 2007. 4-6. Print.

Tyson, Lois. Psychological Politics of the American Dream: The Commodification of Subjectivity in Twentieth-Century American Literature. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1994. Print.

wiseGeek. "What is the American Dream?," 2009. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.
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American Psycho in His Seminal Work American

Words: 2804 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 44198717

American Psycho

In his seminal work American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis uses the character of the yuppie serial killer Patrick Bateman in order to criticize American consumer culture while simultaneously challenging the reader to confront his or her own responses to that culture, responses that Ellis seems to suggest are only removed from the sociopathic actions of Bateman in a manner of degree, rather than kind. To see how Ellis uses the character of Patrick Bateman to explore the dual role of the serial killer as liberated individual and microcosmic representation of society, one may compare Bateman to the real life serial killer John ayne Gacy, who managed to keep his multiple murders a secret for the better part of the 1970s. Examining Bateman's characterization alongside the history of Gacy's murders and seemingly normal civilian life will help to demonstrate how the fascination with the two-faced killer ultimately stems from…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Campbell, John W. "Professional Wrestling: Why the Bad Guy Wins." The Journal of American

Culture 19.2 (1996): 127-32.

Ellis, Bret Easton. American Psycho. New York: Vintage Books, 1991.

Hantke, Steffen. "the Kingdom of the Unimaginable": The Construction of Social Space and the Fantasy of Privacy in Serial Killer Narratives." Literature/Film Quarterly 26.3 (1998):
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American Life Is All About the Fight

Words: 1371 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 17087246

American life is all about the fight towards becoming upwardly mobile and making life better. Ellen oster by Kaye Gibbons and the Narrative of the Life of rederick Douglass, an American Slave written by himself tell the story of struggle and hardship that leads to change and reflection. These two stories although differing in setting and protagonists, share the same level of pain that are universal regardless of race, gender, and age.

Both protagonists are bound by the chains of their existence. The differences are based on age and racial inequality. In terms of style and content, because the two novels were written during different time periods, they will have differences, especially in perspective since Douglass wrote it about himself where as Kaye Gibbons wrote about a made up character. In this essay these differences will be explained along with the universal themes that bring the two together.

Ellen oster…… [Read More]

Freedom is something both the protagonists of the two stories crave and need. Ellen needs to be free of her abusive father and finds it through his death and Douglass wants to be free of slavery and finds it through his escape. These pursuits not only illustrate the universal need for liberty and the pursuit of pleasure, but the human need to exist and exist well. It is through books such as these, that people can begin to understand things on a deeper level and realize the struggles everyone goes through at one point in their lives.

In conclusion the readings of Ellen Foster and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave illustrate the plight and struggle of people in different times and periods. Ellen had to deal with poverty and abuse in 1970's American south and Douglass had to deal with existing during the period of American slavery. To compare the stories, one had to look at the subject matter. They were very different protagonists, one a black man, another a white girl, but they both determined to succeed and prevail against all odds and obstacles.

In regards to differences, the writing styles were the opposite of each other. One sought to create depth and mystery, the other to analyse and explain. Douglass wanted people to understand the plight of African-Americans were as Gibbons wanted to create a rich and deep character. Two great stories, two great characters, and one universal themese of suffering is what this essay offers.
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American Poetry Michael Wigglesworth Edward Taylor and

Words: 667 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 19430678

American Poetry

Michael igglesworth, Edward Taylor, and Anne Bradstreet can all be classified as American Puritan poets. God makes an appearance in nearly every poem penned by each of these three writers. Yet the poetry of igglesworth, Taylor, and Bradstreet differs significantly as well. Bradstreet exhibits neoclassical trends: especially in poems such as "The Prologue," in which the poet refers directly to the Greeks: "shure the ancient Greeks were far more mild." In "The Prologue," Bradstreet also mentions figures from Greek mythology and literature like Calliope. Edward Taylor's poetry is far more Christian in nature and imagery. The first line of "Upon edlock, and Death of Children" is "A Curious Knot God made in Paradise." Equally as religious are the poems of Michael igglesworth, who makes ample Biblical references in his poem "The Day of Doom." igglesworth, Taylor, and Bradstreet represent the common elements in Puritan writing, but each presents…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Bradstreet, Anne. Poems from:  http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/bradstreet/bradstreet.html#burn 

Taylor, Edward. "Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children." Retrieved online: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/175405

Wigglesworth, Michael. "The Day of Doom." Retrieved online:  http://www.puritansermons.com/poetry/doom001.htm