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Langston, Hurston, Tan

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  1. 1. American Literature 1700 - Present
  2. 2. American Literature American literature has grown and been influenced by many events and people who witnessed or were directly involved in those events that shaped America. American Literature is comprised of the body of written works produced in the English language. A body of works that were shaped by the history of America (Blair, Dickstein, & Giles, 2013). These events surround our Constitution, Industrialization, Womans Suffrage, and others. And there are various writers that were greatly influenced by these events.
  3. 3. Rationalism The rationalists era was also known as The Age of Enlightenment or Age of Reason. The is was an era in our countrys history in which the Revolutionary War was coming to an end. The U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights were being adopted into our countrys legal governing laws. And the majority of all news and laws had influenced literature greatly. Authors like Thomas Paine and Voltaire were very popular. Very popular throughout the 18th century among the American colonies. The Age of Enlightenment was widely known for its belief of science and industrialism. This was an era that no longer looked at being burned at the stake as a result of heresy. The Age of Reason was known as the era in which mankind was becoming an open society where individuals were free to pursue individual happiness and liberties; new ideas in scientific thought and exploration (All, 2014). It was an era in which people began to see things differently and express their thoughts and ideas without reserve.
  4. 4. Romanticism - Industrialization America was moving away from its dependency upon other countries. The Romantic Age lasted from 1783 to 1830, however had a great impact on literature that is still very influential today. With religious freedom also brought individual freedom. Many people believed that the great secret of mortals is love (Smith, 2011). This was a time where individual freedom sparked value in ones own feelings and reasoning. People began to have great faith in their inner experience and the power of their imagination. Poetry was the highest form of imagination and widely used to encourage valued feeling, intuition, idealism, and inductive reasoning (EOCT Study Guide, n.d.). The works of writers such as Washington Irving, Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Walt Whitman were very popular during this time.
  5. 5. Transcendentalism Ralph Waldo Emerson and Louisa May Alcott are two great writers from the Transcendental age in American literature. Transcendental era in America focused in individualism and simplistic creativity. This era later became known as the American Renaissance. This was a period in the 19th century, during the years of 1840 to 1855 in which the principles for the American Dream as we know it today, was established. It is grounded in the existence of pure forms of the sensibility and of the intellect that are essential to reason (RUS, 2013, p. 247). Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the great literary authors of this time. His work Self Reliance helped to explain this era of reasoning and understanding. It was also during this transcendental age that America was embarking on the abolitionists and womens suffrage ideals. America was looking to the abolishment of slavery and the rights of women. Louisa May Alcotts novel, Little Women became the first real account of life as a woman of four sisters during the American Revloution.
  6. 6. Modernism This time period in America took place in the 1890s shortly before the height of World War 1 in 1918. It wa in this time when people were looking for positive, more happy times due to the Great Depression. This era was known for the experimentation in literary form and expression. Modern experimentation brought on the intense interaction between literature and other art forms such as paintings, sculpting, and music (Matterson, 2003). American modernism came from the few expatriate cosmopolitan writers that were trying to internationalize literature. Along with other modernist writers who also developed a style that was embedded in American tradition. Writers like Lorraine Hansberry used their writing to call attention to those interested in American values and traditions; or in many cases, equality and fairness. This included the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Literature during this time helped to connect the reader with reality.
  7. 7. Harlem Renaissance The Harlem Renaissance was an era known as The New Negro Renaissance. It lasted roughly from 1920 to the mid 1930s, struggling through the Great Depression. In Harlem, NY is where southern blacks or African-Americans migrated from the south in order to find work and a new way of life after slavery. The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement amongst black in music, literature, and the arts. Harlem was eventually known as the epicenter for artistic explosion among African-American culture (Foner & Garraty, 2009). This movement gave African-Americans the ability to express their freedom, racial pride, and want for equality, and hope for a better future. These elements that expressed the hardships of slavery and racism, and how many African=Americans were searching for a new identity (Gamble, 2008). African-Americans had their own little piece of America in the big city of Harlem. Here in Harlem, literary authors such as Alain Locke, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and others were able to flourish and flaunt their talents in a manner that would make the whole world stand-up and take notice. photo courtesy of renaissance-background.html.
  8. 8. Harlem Renaissance History
  9. 9. Literary Writers during the Harlem Renaissance Langston Hughes - Dreams, The Weary Blues, The Trumpet Player Claude McKay - Harlem: A Negro Metropolis Zora Neale Hurston - Their Eyes Were Watching God W. E. B. Dubois - The Souls of Black Folks
  10. 10. Contemporary (Post-modernism) The contemporary era was also knows as the Post-modern era. It began around 1950 and governs our present state of literature and the arts today. Contemporary or postmodern literature focuses less on the self-conscious and more on duplication. Our post-modern era today is influenced by studies of the media, language, trends, and modern technology. It is a culture that copies and duplicates others, incorporating and experimenting with the combination of fiction and nonfiction, as well as the physical appearance of a literary work (EOCT Study Guide, n.d.). Writers such as James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Amy Tan, Sandra Cisneros and many, many others made it possible for new authors such as Eric Jerome Dickey, E. L. James, Stephanie Meyer, and many others to be creative and go beyond traditional writing. While contemporary writing once looked at capturing the ideals of the world around them, this literary world has grown. In both fiction and non-fiction contemporary writing covers so many aspects of life.
  11. 11. And the authors are: Voltaire - Rationalism Emily Dickinson - Romanticism Walt Whitman - Romanticism Nathaniel Hawthorne - Romanticism Ralph Waldo Emerson - Transcendentalism Lorraine Hansberry - Modernism William Faulkner - Modernism Zora Neale Hurston - Harlem Renaissance Langston Hughes - Harlem Renaissance Amy Tan - Contemporary (Post-modernism) Sandra Cisneros - Contemporary (Post-modernism)
  12. 12. Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830. She was one of Americas most famous female writers during a time when women werent allowed the freedom to be a writer. Dickinson like most women during this time spent most of her days in isolation. This is where most of her writing took place. It wasnt until after her death however, that her poems and manuscripts became public.
  13. 13. Voltaire Voltaire was a French philosopher, poet, dramatist, and historian who was born in Paris, France. Voltaire s works were the examples of his acceptance and fondness for English thought; the relationship between free government and wealth. Because of his own persecutions from his father and society, Voltaire spent the majority of his life securing justice for victims of persecutions or intense harassment. Voltaires most famous work is Candide. This story make fun or satirizes the subtleties of noble birth as Voltaire believed in free will.
  14. 14. Walt Whitman Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819. Whitman is known for his style of writing that is different from others and peculiar to only him. His writings are full of meaning, beauty, and interest (Famous poets, 2010). Leaves of Grass is one of Walt Whitmans most famous collection of poems. His work is very influential on American literature from the romantic age. Like Emily Dickinson, his work focuses widely on the ideas of individual freedom and the acknowledgement of feelings and reasoning.
  15. 15. Nathaniel Hawthorne Nathaniel Hawthorne was born July 4. 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. Much of Hawthornes work have a Puritan influence because of his upbringing. Most is most famous for his novel, The Scarlet Letter. This novel is said to be Hawthornes magnum opus. Photos courtesy of Photo http: //lengual11eraria.
  16. 16. Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson was famous for his thought-provoking American writing. Although his ideas and actions were seen as unconventional, yet his work was looked at as brilliant and positive. He became Americas leading transcendentalist, as he believed in a reality and a knowledge that rose above the everyday reality that America was accustomed to (Emerson, 2015). In his work Self-Reliance that we are reading in this assignment, Emerson attempts to explain his beliefs in the inborn goodness of man, the joys of nature,