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Timeline of American Literature

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Katelyn LaPine

on 22 August 2013

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Transcript of Timeline of American Literature

Timeline of American Literature
The Age of Enlightenment
1650-1750
Puritan beliefs are grounded in the ideology that all people are evil and must be saved by God
Puritan beliefs are grounded in the ideology that one's fate is determined by God
Major Author's of the Age of Enlightenment
William Bradford (Plymouth Governor)
Jonathan Edwards (Preacher)
Anne Bradstreet (Poet)
Nathaniel Hawthorne (Writer)

Nathaniel Hawthorne did not write during the Age of Enlightenment; however, the majority of his work reinforces the themes of the Puritan Era.

Example: The Scarlet Letter
Arthur Miller (Writer)

Miller is the author of The Crucible, a play written in the 1950's that focuses on the ideologies of the Puritan Era focusing on mass hysteria during the Salem Witch Trials
The Age of Reason
1750-1800
Age of Reason documents are dominated by political pamphlets, travel documents, and persuasive writing
Major authors of the Age of Reason

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Paine
Ben Franklin
Famous Documents of the Age of Reason
"The Declaration of Independence"
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Poor Richard's Almanac- Ben Franklin
Ideologies of writers during the Age of Reason are:
-the reinforcement of patriotic values
-an emphasis of reason and logic
Romanticism
1800-1860
Romantics value
-a rejection of an urban lifestyle
-mystery and the supernatural
-philosophy
-myths and history
-emotion over logic
Famous Romantic Writers

-Edgar Allan Poe (poet)
-Emily Dickinson (poet)
-Walt Whitman (poet)
The Age of Realism
1855-1900

Age of Realism ideology:
-Focus on real life situations
-Emphasis on realistic characters and diction
-Writing, specifically novels, was a vehicle for authorial comment
The Age of Realism mentality was heavily influenced by the destruction of the Civil War.
Major Authors:
-Mark Twain
-Fredrick Douglass (slave narratives)
Transcendentalism
(overlaps in the time period of Romanticism)
Famous Transcendentalists:
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
-Henry David Thoreau
The "anti-transcendentalists" favored gothic symbolism, death, mystery, and the supernatural
(Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson)
Transcendentalist ideology:
-reality and spirituality are connected
-self-reliance
-individualism
Famous Transcendentalist texts:
-Civil Disobedience
-Walden Pond
Modernism
1900-1950

Modernists believe in:
-the pursuit of the American Dream
-post-war hopelessness and alienation
-the rise of a youthful culture
-the jazz age
Modernism is defined by
the jazz age, the lost generation, and
the Harlem Renaissance
The Lost Generation

-Ernest Hemingway
-Gertrude Stein
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
Famous Novels of Lost Generation writers:
-The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway)
-The Sun Also Rises (Hemingway)
-The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
The Harlem Renaissance was a movement in
Harlem, NY focusing on the African-American community
The Harlem Renaissance artists worked to
revive the image of an African-American as intellectual, creative, and sophisticated.
Langston Hughes is a famous Harlem Renaissance poet. He is know for integrating music and rhythm into his poetry.
There were also several important novelists, musicians, and political essayists during this time:
-James Baldwin (novelist)
-Zora Neale Hurston (novelist/essayist)
-W.E.B. DuBois (politcal activist/essayist)
-Billie Holliday (musician)
-Duke Ellington (musician)
Post Modernism
1950- Present

Post-Modernist values:
-erode distinctions between classes
-insist values are not permanent, only "logical" or "historical"
In 2012, we can read media as a form of literature that can be analyzed and interpreted
-Advertisements
-Journalism
-Newscasts
-Film and television
All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.
~Ernest Hemingway
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