Skip Nav

American literature

Not what you're looking for?

❶Emerson's work influenced the writers who formed the movement now known as Transcendentalism , while Emerson also influenced the public through his lectures.

Essay title: History of American Literature

Kinds of American literature papers
What makes a really perfect literature paper
Navigation menu

This literature has the Brahmin Poets and their masterpieces. Emily Dickinson who wrote 1, poems. She was no widely read but knew the Bible the works of William Shakespeare and works of Classical mythology in great depth. In the case of the novelist, the romantic vision tended to express itself symbolic form of the novel.

Romances were not the love stories, but serious novels that used special techniques to communicate complex and subtle meanings. His political idealism seemed to evaporate whenever its cause was successful or its heroes came to power. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The scarlet Letter which became the most popular works of Puritan America. Herman Melville wrote Type which was based on his time spent among the supposedly cannibalistic but hospitable tribe of the Taipei in the Marguesas Islands of the South Pacific.

American women endured many inequalities in the 19th century and they were denied to vote, barred from professional schools and most higher education, forbidden to speak in public and even attend public conventions and unable to own property. Abolitionist Lydia Child was a leader of this network and her novel Hobomok shows the need for racial and religious toleration.

Some idea of American animals the narrative, controls and orders the very pattern of words upon the page. It explores the dangers of the American dream. The second half of the nineteenth century pictures the number of social reform movements in the United States. From the Civil War into the 20th century, the Southern United States had remained political and economic back water ridden with racism and superstition.

New criticism became the dominant American critical approach in the s and s. Modern American Drama in the USA was always incapable of keeping pace with the progress in other branches of literature. Although by the 19th century, the puritan prejudice again of theatre had completely vanished and a great many plays had been produced, they were anything but significant.

The majority of the plays seldom transcended mediocrity. If the plays were poor, the playwright was also neglected. The tyranny of the actor and the producer held sway in America too, as it did in England. By the American theatre had come to mean New York and the small number of nearby cities where plays opened before their New York premieres. In New York itself the boom nineteen-twenties introduced a period of cut throat competition and insensate speculation on theatre profits.

The playwrights became increasingly aware of the richness of the American Scene. Themes of wide interest and contemporary significances found their way into the theatre by this time. Edward Shield on his play the Nigger has as its theme racial tension, whereas in the Boss, we find as the central idea the antagonism between labor and capital. Augustus Thomas another playwright sought to dramatize regional peculiarities thus introducing local color into drama. All these writers however were handicapped by a tendency towards sentimentality and a readiness to follow theatrical convention.

The fashion prevailed of rendering successful novels into plays. Even when men of talents like W. Howells wrote plays, they were not found very valuable. The standards of drama had fallen and the theatre had become impoverished by the end of the nineteenth century. English drama had felt the invigorating influence of Strindberg and Ibsen.

A sudden revival in drama took place, and George Bernard Shaw, more than any other single playwright contributed to this revival. But the American theatre was found far behind the times. By the next decade, playwrights became increasingly aware of the richness of the American scene. Modern American Drama originates from the Little Theatre Movement of the second decade of the 20th century. In February , an enthusiastic group of young amateurs calling themselves The Washington Square Players waved a solemn manifesto in the face of New York Drama Critics and opened the Bandbox theatre near the corner of 57th street and Third Avenue.

Just a year and a half later, another group equally young and equally enthusiastic came home from a summer on Cape Cod to take possession of a table in MacDougal Street to be known thereafter as the Provincetown Theater. Most Critics had at least one resident stock company; major metropolitan areas had several. For the most part, these companies presented standard, traditional dramatic fare, mixed with an occasional new play, on a repertory.

Visiting stars, bravura actors traveling alone from city to city, were regularly engaged to supplement the resident company. This system had been in place since the s. Beginning in the mids, the organization of theatrical performance changed significantly, stars would remain a permanent fixture in the theatrical cosmos, but the stock system was steadily eroded, initially by the traditional fare to attract audiences.

A run of one hundred continuous performances soon became benchmark for a commercially successful production. Curiously, however, his character was rarely so on. Instead, they felt the tug of a divided self that eludes the mind. Believing in reason, they responded to emotion; hungering for freedom, they were haunted by memory, defeated by reality, they were driven by illusion.

Yet one wonders whether the audience attends the theater rather to be entertained than take the plunge into the depths of self-knowledge. One of our most introspective playwrights suggests that the mind comes alive by turning outward and responding to change and contingency. That view, however, was one he expressed as a youth. Ancient Greek thinkers believed in the self revelatory potential of the theatre.

Not only did they build the architecturally splendid New Theatre, but they endowed or subsidized its operations, presumably freeing its management and repertoire from commercial interests. Some mainly commercial producers also occasionally aimed beyond mere financial success. Certain external forces also impacted the commercial theatrical establishment and theatrical tastes. In the Second decade of the new century, a number of non-profit, mostly amateur theatrical groups, collectively called Little Theatres, began springing up across America.

The founders of Little Theatres were usually dissatisfied with commercial theatrical fare. They modeled their organization. By , there were hundreds of such little theatres scattered across America. Some would retain an amateur community theatre status, while others became semi or fully professional. Although after a few seasons, some of its members were paid, the Provincetown players remained mainly amateur and resolutely experimental.

But it established a growing reputation for inventive staging of compelling dramas. Without the Provincetown Players, plays of this sort probably would not have been produced. The Washington Square Players was founded in to present realist and symbolist plays, preferably new plays in these styles by American authors. During four seasons, they presented over sixty productions, predominantly one-act plays.

The Washington Square Players steadily built a critical and popular following, but when key members were conscripted for service in World War I, the organization disbanded in May A year later, however, the Washington Square Players reformed as the theatre Guild. Like its parent organization, the Guild was mainly interested in modernist plays, especially pieces that were anti-realist in style, although some of their notable successes were essentially realist plays.

The Guild intended to be self supporting. It never sought subsidies or endowments, but it privileged artistic merit over commercial interests. To capitalize their enterprise and to organize interested playgoers, the Guild offered tickets by season subscription.

Subscriptions were common for concert and operatic series, but they were unusual for theatre companies. By the mid s, the Guild had over 20, subscribers and was an established mainstream Broadway institution with its own permanent company and theatre. Not all of its productions were financially successful, But a commercial failure was invariably offset by one or more successes.

With innovative business starry, the Guild maintained high artistic standards and commercial viability. Interest in modern drama was also stimulated by new theatrical publications. Nearly all events could be explained from this religious perspective: Foul weather and diseases were perceived as God's wrath; a bountiful harvest represented God's blessing. It presents a dramatic tale of suffering and of Rowlandson's efforts to make sense of that suffering.

Her story became the model for a new genre of early American literature: Such accounts became staples of American literature and eventually provided material for American fiction. While still religious in tone and purpose, captivity narratives emphasized the experiences of individuals. They also incorporated many of the fundamentals of fiction, making use of characters, dramatic action and setting.

The Salem witch trials of were another period in early American history that affected literature. Cotton Mather remained an important literary figure in the 18th century. Like his earlier works, it is religious; however, its interest in the human side of the Puritan founders marked a new achievement in American literary history.

Mather's rewarding career included writings on science and medicine as well as theology and history. A new genre for American writers, the travel narrative, would become especially influential late in the s. Travel stories often blended observations on nature and landscape with tales of personal courage and achievement.

History of American Literature. Retrieved 12, , from https: History of American Literature By: History of American Literature The history of American Literature starts well before this land was even called America.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

The events of American history are very much connected to the influence of American literature and what it has become today. The inspiration that a writer needs is mostly gathered by the effects of the world around him/her, and this is how the geography and history of /5(17).

Privacy FAQs

Essay on Literacy in African-American Literature - Levels of Literacy in African-American Literature - Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Song of Solomon, and .

About Our Ads

American Literature Essay Anne Bradstreet was a British-American poet, born in Northampton, England. She was a daughter of Thomas Dudley, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Essay title: History of American Literature The history of American Literature starts well before this land was even called America. It has been a great evolution to come from tribal symbols and drawings to today’s Stephen King and Danielle Steele/5(1).

Cookie Info

Common Themes in American Literature Common Themes throughout American Literature Many authors contributed to American literature between and Although these authors came from all over the country and lived different life styles, they still managed to include similar themes in their works. More literature essay samples, world literature essay samples Symbolism in Great Gatsby – Essay Sample The novel Great Gatsby is a novel about a self-made man; a man who lived the American Dream, but whose money and wealth never made him truly happy.