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major themes in american literature

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catherine green

on 13 October 2011

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Transcript of major themes in american literature

Major Themes in American Literature
The American Dream
endless opportunities
optimistically expect life to get better
loss of innocence/coming of age
generally go hand-in-hand
the protagonist is initiated into adulthood
through knowledge, experience, or both,
often by a process of disillusionment
Some shifts that take place are:
ignorance to knowledge
innocence to experience
false view of world to correct view
idealism to realism
immature responses to mature responses
a feeling of being freed from a fixed or firm belief
alienation and isolation
characters may feel a sense of withdrawal from the rest of the world
relationship with nature, society, or science
may be optimistic, inspiring, idealistic
may be sorrowful, dark, morbid, corrupt
other major themes:
survival of the fittest
rebellion and protest
Application of Themes

In groups of 3-4, discuss texts and movies you know of that have
these major themes found in American literature. Be sure to not just
name the text or movie, but discuss how the theme applies. Have one group
member record examples discussed and be prepared to share your ideas.
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