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Sunday, June 14, 2009

American Literature- Third Semester BA

Hey everyone! This is the history of American Literature, a presentation I made in class! Hope it is useful! :)
1.The East Coast of America that we know of today was once a collection of British colonies. Thus the earliest American literature branched out of English literature.
2. The earliest literature in America was colonial literature in the form of pamphlets and writings that emphasized the benefits of colonization to the Americans.
3. Then, there were the religious writers who focussed on the separation of the church and the state. They wrote during the 17th century. Examples of such writers were John Winthrop, Roger Williams etc.
4. The other writers who flourished during that period wrote about the interactions and the subsequent clashes with the Indians.
5. The early 18th century was termed the Great Awakening, a period of religious revival. Examples of writers during this period Thomas Shepard, John Wise etc. This revolutionary period also contained political writings including some works by colonists. Two key figures during this period were Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine.
The serious writing that America was used to until then was seeing a gradual change with wit and intellect being introduced into the writing.
6.Post world war two, essays discussing the American government organization and republican values. Writers also discussed their disillusionment with the war. Examples of writers during this period were Alexander Hamilton and John Jay.
7. The late 18th and early 19th century saw the emergence of novels. They represented new political, cultural and literary concerns of America. The pioneer of female education was Cathy Davidson who wrote during this period.
8. The early 20 th century saw poetry flourish with Frost, T S Eliot, Slyvia Plath etc writing during this time. Mark Twain also reached the heights of his popularity at that time. His characters had regional and native accents to them. Other writers who had similar styles were George W Cable and O Henry.
9. There was a drift towards realism in the early 20th century. Class distinctions were written about. Kitchen sink dramas also became popular.
10. The period between 1960's and 70's saw realism, modernism and romanticism in the publications.
11. From the 1970's until date, the writers are termed as postmodernists. They focus on how popular culture and mass media have influenced the average American's perception of his/her own history. Examples of such writers are David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers.

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