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A Concise History of American Literature

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Julia Shanno

on 11 September 2014

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Transcript of A Concise History of American Literature

A Concise History of American Literature
The Age of Reason
Nathaniel Hawthorne
(1804- 1864)
American novelist
and short story writer

E. A. Poe
writer, politician, and inventor
inventor- many experiments in electricity
writer- wrote pamphlets such as Poor Richard’s Almanac and “A Proposal for Promoting Useful Knowledge”
politics- contributed to and signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution; one of the voters in the first presidential election
lived in Philadelphia and represented Pennsylvania at the Constitutional Convention

Benjamin Franklin
Romanticism: 3
ideology in art, literature, and philosophy
focused on the imagination and human feelings
began as a counter response to neoclassicism- classical ideology about art, literature, music, and architecture
romanticism in literature: attention and reaction to emotions, incorporation of the author’s life in the work, celebration of simplicity in the regular man, awareness of environment, intrigue in things uninvolved in normal life, and attraction to sadness

1860’s to 1910
U.S. author
became popular for being very funny in his novels
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
in 1867
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
in 1885
these two books were extremely famous and explained what it was like to live in Mississippi frontier

Mark Twain
brought from Africa to America and was sold as a slave at seven years old
Wheatley family (her owner) gave her a good education
first African American woman poet to have a poem published
“On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield” was published in 1770 and brought attention onto Wheatley
had other books published with many of her poems included
died 1784

Phillis Wheatley
U.S. poet
wrote about delicate subjects like slavery, women’s property rights, and immigration
experienced the Civil War and produced a poetry book written by those who were really in the war
believed in and wrote about a brotherhood that could form in America that would be unique to America
not recognized fully in his time, but recognized much later when his ideas could be more accepted
“Leaves of Grass” - most famous book; thought inappropriate to many in Whitman’s time

Walt Whitman

Christopher Columbus, looking for a route straight from Europe to India, China, and islands of Asia, instead landed on the Waiting Island of the Bahamas, Cuba, and the Hispaniola.

Except for the Vikings from the 900’s, no European had set foot in the New World until Christopher Columbus.

a time period within which America exploded with new ideas in literature,poetry, painting, sculpting, music, philosophy, and architecture
movement away from European ideas
defined by Transcendentalism
ideas of Transcendentalism: there is divinity inside each man; every person has the same soul as the whole world; everything on Earth represents existence; if one meditates, works, pursues art, and shares himself with nature, he will be able to see real truth and have true values

The American Renaissance
16th president of the United States
president during the Civil War
constructed the Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves in states battling the Union
Proclamation changed the focus of the Civil War to slavery v. antislavery
January 1st, 1863- Emancipation Proclamation became official
shot in the head April 14th, 1965 - died the next day

Abraham Lincoln
late 1800’s
type of poetry with no rhyme or meter
Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson were some of the writers who made it popular in the late 1800’s

Free Verse
late 1800’s-early 1900’s
an ideology in writing where authors suggested that one’s fate was already created by his/her heredity, social status, and environment and it could not be changed - no free will
major authors: Edith Wharton, Frank Norris, Emile Zola, Stephen Crane, Theodore Dreiser, Abraham Cahan, Ellen Glasgow, David Graham Phillips, Jack London

U.S. author
wrote books about life on the frontier in the Great Plains
expressed her own ideas about provincial life being demolished; the waning of creativity and invention in tradition; the importance of art, history, and Catholicism and Episcopalianism; the importance of unity with nature; the futility of materialism; the negative impact on human thought the current culture was causing
romanticism very visible in her works

Willa Cather
wrote poetry about life in New England and ordinary, relatable interactions of life there
mastered language common to New England in his time period
went unnoticed for the first half of his life, but eventually won four Pulitzer Prizes and recited a poem at John F. Kennedy’s presidential inauguration
famous pieces:
The Road Not Taken, Mending Wall, Stars, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening, Christmas Trees
Robert Frost
William Carlos Williams
mid 1950’s-1968
civil rights activist - wanted to end segregation in the South
huge influence in the movement toward African American civil rights
famous for “I Have a Dream” speech - speech about his dreams of ending segregation
assassinated April 4th, 1968

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
explosion of fiction pieces written by Native Americans
works often involved struggles of life in Indian Country

American Indian Fiction
U.S. author
wrote short stories, a couple books, and commentary
famous for short stories with dark humor and repulsively terrible characters
wrote often about religion - grew up a southern Catholic

1930’s to 1962
U.S. author
started out with more poetry, but really attracted readers with books
wrote books about life in the South
talked about disputed and often avoided topics, including slavery
very good at representing speech patterns of the South
won Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949

William Faulkner
late 1960’s-1990’s
author and poet
Native American - Kiowa
wrote many pieces of American Indian literature
received National Medal of Arts from George W. Bush in 2007 for his work bringing light upon Native American culture

Schools were allowed to be segregated by race at this time.
Lawsuits were set up for southern black students so the students could be allowed into white public schools.
Oliver Brown, a black student’s father, said that white public schools should not be allowed to prevent black children from attending because that would go against the Equal Protection Clause in the Constitution.
The federal district court countered Brown with the statement that black and white schools were mostly equal, so black children were at no disadvantage.
Brown went to the Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of Brown and the black children.
The cases propelled the equal rights movement and integration orders from the Supreme Court had to be met by all states.

N. Scott Momaday
Brown v. Board of Education
(1809- 1849) american author, poet editor and literary critic, helped with the American Romantic Movement
Henry Adams
(1838- 1918) American historian, member of the Adams family, descendant of two US presidents, known for the History of the United States During the Administration of Thomas Jefferson.
Civil War
(1861- 1865) 7 southern states
declared secession from the
states, the North fought to keep
America unified and won
Civil Rights
T.S. Elliot
(1888- 1965)- essayist, publisher,
playwright, “one of the twentieth
centuries major poets”
Ralph Ellison
(1960’s) protects an
individuals freedom
from governmental
infringement, used
non-violent forms
of resistance
(1913- 1994)- american novelist, literary critic, scholar, and writer known for Invisable Man
She was the first female writer
Was also the first poet in the in the colonies to be published
She was originally from England
Came from a very powerful family
Anne Bradstreet
16th/17th century
group of English protestants
They were extremist
They were restricted and put down by English law
Eventually came to New England to practice there religion in peace
The Puritans
World War I
(1914-1916) global war in europe, between the Allies (UK, France, Russia, Italy, USA and Japan) and Germany, Austria- Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria
Arthur Miller
(1915- 2005) american playwright, essayist,
prominent figure in american theatre (All My Sons, Death of a Salesman)

The Jazz Age
(1920’s) ending with the Great Depression- an age when Jazz and Dance became popular
Agrarian Writers
(1920’s and 1930’s) agrarian- values rural over urban living

Great Depression
(1929- 1939) an economic recession, many people lost lots of money, their homes, there was not enough food etc.

Billy Collins
(1941- present) american poet, poet laureate of the US from 01-03
Sandra Cisneros
(1954- present) American writer- The House on Mango Street

Tony Kushner
(1956- present)- american playwright and screenwriter, has received the pulitzer prize for Drama in 1993
(1966- present) American poet- appointed US Poet Laureate in 2012
Natasha Trethewey
Christian preacher/philosopher/theologian
Very important in the church of Massachusetts
Helped improve the christian religion with revivals
Jonathan Edwards
Casey Dunne Alberto Valle
Julia Shannno
Thomas Bono
When the British colonies in New England fought the British for independence
They then become America
Revolutionary War
He led the transcendentalist movement
wrote essays about the movement he led
He wrote a lot of essayist
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Jhumpa Lahiri
first American to translate Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy
was one of the five Fireside Poets.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(1967- present) Indian- American author, winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize
A movement that included African American cultural expressions across the Northeast and Midwest
The Harlem Renaissance

(18th and 19th centuries) system where people are treated as property, chattel slavery in America, mostly located in the south
The transition in America to new manufacturing and production processes, including water power, steam power, and machine tools.
Industrial Revolution
(late 1600's) a period of question and challenges of
the legitimacy of the bible and
christian beliefs
(B 1819 D 1891) An American author and short story writer who wrote most of his work between 1846-1857. He is best known for his novel, "Moby Dick."
Herman Melville
A religious and philosophical movement during the 1820's and 30's against the state of spirituality intellectualism at Harvard University
(B 1830 D 1886)
An American poet from Massachusetts who lived a very introverted and reclusive life
Emily Dickinson
Literary forms of the written accounts of Africans enslaved by Britain and its colonies.
Slave Narratives
Passed on February 3rd, 1870, the 15th amendment prohibits federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on race or color
15th Amendment
An early 20th century are movement that was an attempt at defining what was real in the time period.
(B 1888 D 1953)
An American playwright who won the Nobel Prize in literature as well as multiple Pulitzer prizes for drama.
Eugene O'Neill
(B 1896 D 1940)
Regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, F. Scott Fitzgerald is best known for his novel, "The Great Gatsby.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
An American playwright who became suddenly famous with his 1944 work, "The Glass Menagerie"
Tennessee Williams
An American literary movement that affirms the power of humans to improve and reshape their environments.
(B 1916 D 1965)
A popular American author, well known for her short story, "The Lottery."
Shirley Jackson
FDR served as the US President from 1933-1945, when he died. During his presidency, the United States entered World War II upon the attack on Pearl Harbor
From December 1941 to May 1945, the United States joined the Allied forces in fighting the German and Japanese armies and defeated them.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
World War II
(B 1945 D 2005)
Wilson was an American playwright best known for his play, "The Pittsburgh Cycle," for which he won two Pulitzer prizes for drama
August Wilson
Alexie is a Native American author who is still alive and writing today. His novel, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature.
Sherman Alexie
He was a poet and a philosopher
wrote a book called Walden
He wrote a lot about the Natural world
Henry David Thoreau
Was once a slave
Eventually escaped to Become a leader in the abolitionist movement
Was also an antislavery writer
Frederick Douglass
American author and journalist
His writing influenced 20th century fiction
He won the Nobel prize in literature
Ernest Hemingway
He was a big leader in the Harlem Renaissance
He was a poet from Harlem
He also created jazz poetry
Langston Hughes
First affordable car for middle class families
First car to be built in an assembly line
Made traveling much easier for everyone
Ford Model T car manufactured
was an African-American poet
She won the Pulitzer prize for poetry in 1950
Was appointed Poet Laureate of Illinois
Was also appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1985.
Gwendolyn Brooks
The amendment was ratified on 8/18/1920
The amendment says that the right to vote cannot be denied to anyone based on sex
19th amendment passed
He was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, and poet
His essays were very lengthy most the size of books just talking about society and its problems
James Baldwin
poet and doctor
had Imaginistic ideas initially, but began to stray- wanted to invent his own form of poetry that was just American with content about common life interactions
famous pieces: Kora in Hell, Spring and All, Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems, Imaginations, Paterson
Flannery O'Connor
She was a very good novelist
She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for Beloved
The Nobel Prize in 1993.
She won the Presidential Medal of Freedom On 29 May 2012.
Toni Morrison
He was an American novelist that wrote many riveting boos
He received a Pulitzer Prize for his 1997 novel, American Pastoral
In 2001, he received the inaugural Franz Kafka Prize
Philip Roth
1935- present
She is an American journalist and author
Has won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction
Her second book The Shipping News was the most successful
Annie Proulx
September 11,2001
on this day 3000 people died due to organized terrorist attacks by Al-Qaeda
The world trade center buildings were hit with airplanes taken over by terrorists
The damage to the city was about 10 billion
Christopher Columbus, looking for a route straight from Europe to India, China, and islands of Asia, instead landed on the Waiting Island of the Bahamas, Cuba, and the Hispaniola.
Except for the Vikings from the 900’s, no European had set foot in the New World until Christopher Columbus.
Jhumpa Lhiri
The End
Full transcript