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American Literature Timeline

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sarah williams

on 18 May 2011

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Transcript of American Literature Timeline

American Literature Time Line Pre-Settlement Period:1607-1620 Puritanism: 1620s - 1783 Enlightenment: 1760 - 1820s Romanticism: 1820s-1861 Realism: 1860s - 1890s Naturalism: 1890s - 1950s Modernism: 1914 - 1945 Transcendentalism: 1835 - 1860 Contemporary: 1960s - present Colonial literature was originally for the colonists in North America to report back to England about their experiences and benefited the readers in the homeland. This literary period was influenced by English literature as to instill a sense of order and religious tolerance. This movement was comprised of visions of national destiny and a plan to transform the landscape and people. There were not too many intellectual works, as survival was their greatest priority. The literary works were mainly personal narratives, such as journal entries and historical findings. John Winthrop: 1588 - 1649 John Winthrop was born in 1588 in Edwardson, Suffolk, England. Winthrop was granted a charter for the Massachusetts Bay Colony and arrived with 700 settlers in 1630. John Winthrop was chosen to be Governor of Massachusetts 12 times. Author's Contribution Author Biography Influences and Characteristics John Winthrop delivered his speech "A Model of Christian Charity" on board the Arballa, headed to the Massachusetts Bay Area prospective colonists in 1630. This speech dealt with his ideal vision of the Massachusetts colony, where the people lived in perfect harmony with their covenant with God and with themselves. In this vision, he saw them fulfilling their order from god to make the new colony both god-fearing and successful. His inspiration and influence for this speech was derived from Jesus' famous 'Sermon on the Mount". His ideal goal in its' deliverance was to show the colonists that through their hard work and perseverance, they could create a strong and ordered colony that would make all those who viewed it to see their success, both politically and spiritually. Anne Bradstreet: c. 1612 - 1672 Author Biography Anne Bradstreet was born in North Hampton, England, in the year 1612. She immigrated to New England with her family in 1630, on a puritan ship with colonists planning on settling farm plantations. She had a difficult time adapting, and began to write as a void. However, she married a man to whom she felt a nearly divine passion for, and gave birth to eight children with him (notwithstanding her arthritis). Her writings then began to center around her family, and life in Colonial America. She did have a certain struggle with herself between being a free thinker or a good wife. Author's Contribution Anne Bradstreet wrote the poem "Verses Upon the Burning of Our House" in July of 1666. This poem was written in response to the literal burning of her house. The story is set in the middle of the night, when Bradstreet awakes to loud, terrible noises and the screams of her family and neighbors. She realizes what is happening to their cherished family home, and is distraught. While the poem gives no mention of the actual escape of the house, Bradstreet goes into what one may call an emotional breakdown, unable to cope with the loss of their memorabilia. However, she turns to god and begins to understand that none of their possessions were truly theirs, as "nothing is hers, it's Gods' ". She speaks of how god's figurative treasures (pertaining to heaven and immortality of the afterlife) will outlast any physical treasure. This is influenced by her emotional and spiritual reactions to the burning of their home, and her pursuit to find peace during their hardship. Gothic: 1764-1820 Influences and Characteristics Puritan Literature in America began with the religious beliefs that originated in Europe, and spread with the colonists to New England. The colonists were typically puritans from England who saw themselves as a covenanted people, ordained by god to create a model of total reformation in North America. Therefore, the writings of colonial Americans would typically represent their relationship with god. Their writings were a reflection of their promise to represent life truly, and symbolized their constant struggle to maintain their relationship with god. The plain style of their works related to the restraint of expert authors, who wish to keep the message of god's word easy for all to understand. Most of their works were either personal narratives, sermons, and speeches. Jonathan Edwards: 1703 - 11758 Nathaniel Hawthorne: 1804 - 1864 Jonathan Edwards was born into a family of reverends in East Windsor, Connecticut in 1703. In 1716, Edwards enrolled in Yale University, where he became exposed to the ideas of John Locke, and started to form his own perceptions of society and religion. He spent a few years after college serving congregations, and later returned to school for his masters degree. Afterward, he returned to the ministry, while instilling fear and respect of god into the general public. Finally, his sermons were regarded as extremist and so he was dismissed from the ministry. Author Biography Author's Contribution Jonathan Edwards delivered the sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut. This sermon was based on Edwards' perception of god's salvation, and god's judgment. In Edwards' view, god has the ability to send you to hell at any moment, because salvation is promised to no one. He states that everyone is born condemned to hell, and that they must earn their passage to heaven through their works and their dedication. Gods' forgiveness is shown by his ability to hold you back from hells depths and allowing you to live. Edwards compares god's righteousness to a pedestal, and how you are more likely to fall to hell than rise, and that it will most likely be alone. Edwards hoped that his vivid imagery would make his audience aware of the terrifying future in hell that would await them, if they were to continue without God. It created a staggering incline in god-fearing followers. Author Biography Nathaniel Hawthorne was born into a family of businessmen, judges, and seamen in the year 1804, in Salem Massachusetts. Hawthorne (originally born Nathaniel "Hathorne") was raised by the strict religious discipline of his Puritan lineage. His family had actually had critical role in the religious persecution of "witches", known as the Salem Witch Trials. He lived an overall isolated but content lifestyle, with the exception of his enrollment in Bowdoin College. Once he graduated, he reclaimed his isolation, and began his writings as a novelist. Author's Contribution Hawthorne wrote the novel "The Scarlet Letter" in 1850, after his dismissal from his position as surveyor in the Salem Customs House. This novel involved and was inspired by key aspects that had surrounded him his entire life, such as Puritanism, sin, guilt, and the persecution of women. In this book, Ms. Hester Prynne, is being persecuted for having committed adultery, and bearing a child from a father to whom she is not wedded. So, because of her acts against god, she is forced to wear the scarlet letter 'A", standing for adulterer. Her husband cannot testify in or not in her favor, as he had sent her to America ahead of him, and he is believed to be lost at sea. Her public humiliation, coming from both the public and the church, is the focal point of this novel. Influences and Characteristics Influences and Characteristics The Enlightenment Movement in America began as a counterattack on the Puritanism movement preceding it, which basically claimed that spirituality and faith in God and the church was the only explanation for "unexplainable phenomena". Scientific advancements made in Europe, as well as the spread of individualism (the belief that one's self was the writer of their own destiny, rather than fate being determined by a collective society), allowed the people to believe that religious beliefs should not shape the foundations of society. The writings of authors during this time period were focused around these concepts, and thus created the first generation of freethinking people in American society. Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin: 1706 - 1790 Author Biography Author's Contribution Benjamin Franklin was a prime example of an Enlightenment writer,
as he used reason and sagacity to form his works and ideas. Franklin,
born in Boston, Massachusetts to a Puritan family, was brought up as a free thinker from his beginning. Although he was self-educated, he was very well read, and exposed himself to the theories of the great philosophers of his time (such as Locke, Lord Shaftesbury, Joseph Addison, etc.). And although he was taught in the ways of an enlightenment thinker, Franklin still had the competence of a Puritan, and wished to better himself to the best of his ability. Franklin thus began to write works that could allow oneself to become "better". Franklins' autobiography on his personal experiences of attempting to become his ideal self was undoubtedly one of his biggest literary accomplishments. Franklin had been writing his most acclaimed work, Memoirs, from 1770 to the time of his death in 1790. He divided the book into four parts, chronologically by the periods they were written in. Although unfinished, this book was highly praised due to it's content as well as the message it professed. This literary work was inspired by his drive to become a better person and show his struggle along the way, while also wishing to carry on his legacy for both his son, William, and the general public. Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson: 1743 - 1826 Author Biography Thomas Jefferson was born on April 2nd, 1743 in Shadwell, Virginia. He was born to a very high-class family in Virginia, as his father was a surveyor with nearly 60 house slaves, and his mother came from one of the most well known families in Virginia. However, it seems that he did not enjoy his childhood, as his father died in 1757, and his estranged mother is mentioned nowhere in his memoirs. Once his father passed, he enrolled in Williams and Mary College in Williamsburg, where he became a compulsive student, and became deeply involved with his mentors. This passion was what initially brought him to writing, and sparked his intellectual focus. Author's Contribution Thomas Jefferson wrote what will forever be known as the living proof that America rightfully earned it's independence. The Declaration of Independence, written in 1776, was solely centered around the views of an Enlightenment thinker. Jefferson made key points of the rights of men as individuals, the freedom of man, and ascribed equality. This document was inspired by two works in history, one being his own "A Summary View of the Rights of British America", and the other "Virginia Declaration of Rights" by George Mason. The Gothic Romanticism Movement began with the
American people beginning to question the authority of the church, as well as an agression againt the Age of Enlightenment, where all things were said to be explainable through reason and knowledge. This movement focused on counteracting reason and sanity with passion and irrationality. It is also understandable that these ideas began to present themselves in this time, because America had already been going through a political revolution, so this would be the equivalent of such for literature. Typical gothic literature involves a victim who is harassed by their torturer, and the torturer has an inexplicable force over the victim that is usually supernatural. Edgar Allen Poe: 1809 - 1849 Author Biography Author's Contribution Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1809 as a second-generation immigrant, whose parents came to America in 1796. Poe's mother died when he was two years old, leaving him with a wealthy father who didn't too much care for him. Poe enrolled in University of Virginia in 1826, however, he was forced to quit school because his father wouldn't financially support him. Poe then entered the military, but he struck the same misfortune as before, and was forced to leave. Poe's depression from the constant inability to stay grounded drove him to alcoholism, and soon he became a drunk. However, his misfortunes brought him the ability to begin creating twisted and mysterious stories. Until 1832, Poe was unable to get his stories submitted into literary magazines, however, once he did, his stories gained considerable amounts of popularity. In 1835, Poe secretly married his cousin Virginia, while at the time, he was 13 years her elder. But soon thereafter, she became ill with TB, which sparked an even depper twist into his stories. Once she passed away, he became mentally unstable, and also died inexplicable 2 years later. Poe wrote the love poem "Annabel Lee" in 1849, and was his last ever published work. This poem was based on a fictional lover "Annabel Lee". The narrator, assumingly Poe, professes his love for Annabel, that first began in an "unknown kingdom by the sea". However, the angels envied their young and passionate love, and the narrator says that for this reason, the angels took her away. However, although his lover has died, their love has conquered death, as their spirits will forever be connected to one another. He then mentions of dreaming of her eyes on the nights that he lays by her grave in an "unknown kingdom by the sea." With this work, it is believed that he is inspired more by the concept of these points rather than by actual memory. His stories typically involve a beautiful woman dying, which Poe considered to be the most poetic topic in the world. He also usually mentions a girl stricken by illness who married young, which leads us to believe he incorporated Virginia into most of his works. However, this is the only account of the narrator feeling a continuation of love after death. Horace Walpole: 1717 - 1797 Author Biography Author's Contribution Horace Walpole was born in Westminster,
England in 1717. He was born into a very prominent family, as his father was a Whig politician, and he was the Earl of the soon to be longest running Prime Minister. His mother mostly raised him, because his father was away on business most of the time. Horace was home schooled until 1727, when he entered Eton College, and then Cambridge University in 1735. However, the death of his mother in 1738 caused him to quit school. In 1741, he gained a position in Parliament, and was a not-so-impressive member in the House of Commons. With the passing of his father in 1745, he gained an inheritance, with which he was able to purchase the 40-acre estate, Strawberry Hill. He then began to increase the size of the estate, and during this process, he had twisted, reoccurring dreams. He began to record them, which would later become his Gothic work, "The Castle of Otranto". Horace Walpole's contribution to the Gothic Movement was the catalyst that started it all. Walpole's "Castle of Otranto" was influenced by the events in his life at the time, including a twisted dream he had invisioned, as well as the gothic style architecture he was recreating in his Strawberry Hill estate. In the story, Manfred, prince of Otranto, is upset with a prophecy that warned of the lordship that would pass him due to the lack of heirs in his family. He then tries to marry his son, which becomes catastrophic, as his son is then killed by a blow from a massive helmet. A peasant, Theodore, recognizes the helmet to resemble that of a previous heir, Alfonso, and is imprisoned in the castle under accusations of sorcery. Theodore tries to escape through an underground passageway, and helps the heir Isabella escape to a nearby monastery, where she takes refuge. However, he is recaptured in the process. Manfred keeps seeing reappearing apparitions of his grandfather warning him about his marriage, so he recieves the help of a priest to dissolve it so he can marry an heir. Theodore then meets Matilda, Manfred's daughter, and helps her escape to a cave where they find Isabella. Matilda is then protected by a masked knight, who turns out to be her father. Influences and Characteristics The Romanticism Movement in America was influenced by nearly all aspects of life during the 18th century that man would continually question. Politically, the typical American saw the new democracy as the begininng of added value of man, and an optimism of man's capability. Although this time period only allowed for the application of this perspective to qualify to the white male, class and education level went without regard. Economically, the time had never been better, as the growth of the materialistic mindset sparked change across the country. Religiously, people had lost interest, because while the church tried to avoid the extremist views expressed during the Great Awakening, the church lost its luster and became a dull topic. However, people also lost interest in the conflict between science and religion, and so, they decided to contemplate an allowance of their own individual beliefs, and a connection to the spiritual soul, and the most spiritual occurance in history: Nature. Ralph Waldo Eme Ralph Waldo Emerson: 1803 - 1882 Author Biography Author's Contribution Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Puritan-community Boston in 1803, to parents Ruth Haskens and minister William Emerson. As a child, he was raised under the stern but tender care of his mother, as his father passed away when he was eight. Emerson's life continued with the untimely death of several family members, which is said to be why he started to keep journals containing his thoughts and life events. In 1821, Emerson enrolled in Harvard College, where he studied latin and divinity of God. He became an ordained minister in 1829, but resigned in 1831, and began lecturing Harvard students on god's divinity. Once labeled an athiest, he began to intertwine the concept of nature leading to spirituality. Emerson published his collection of works labeled Nature in 1836, dealing with the concepts of human spirituality being able to fully connect with nature, as it is the most genuinely pure construct left in society. In this collection of works, Emerson's ideals were influenced by the recent advancements in geology, botany, and zoology, that led to suggest the connection all lifeforms on earth have. In the book, Emerson expresses his belief that nature is an encircling force or a type of entity that is subconsciously known to us, rather than a constituent of a wold ruled by a omniscient diety. Herman Mellvile: 1819 - 1891 Author Biography Author's Contribution Herman Melville was born into a renowned family of war veterans and merchants in 1819 in the great New York City, New York. He was raised in a more-than-comfortable lifestyle, as his father was a successful import trader. Melville grew up around literary works, with his father consuming his children with fantastical stories. In 1835, Melville attended the Albany Classical School for just a year, and then moved to Pittsburg, Massachusetts for a period of farm work with his great uncle. This job was shortlived, as he returned to New York to become a shipman bound for Liverpool, England. Once he returned to America and was unsatisfied with landlife, he went aboard the Acushnet and travelled to the Marquesas Islands, where would later become an influence on his future works. Melville published his most prevalent, Moby Dick, in 1851, surrounding the whaling adventures of captain Ahab. Melville was inspired to write this work through the 1820 shipwreck of the ship Essex in Nantucket, as well as the killing of the whale Mocha Dick, who was infamous for the killing and wrecking of 100s of ships and seamen across the Pacific Ocean. This novel was also heavily influenced by the actual sea tales and adventures of Melville, and his experiences on board the Acushnet in the Marquesas Islands. In this novel, the young Ishmael boards the Pequod, in hopes to enjoy ship life. One they set sail, Captain Ahab calls the crew to the deck to inform them of their intent: to hunt and kill Moby Dick, an albino sperm whale who was responsible for crippling him several years prior. Not too long after, they hear word of the whale, and Ahab goes mad trying to pursue it, while even ignoring the warnings of others to leave his desire for vengence. This then decides his fate, as in his last encounter with Moby Dick, all of the crew and ships except for Ishmael, Ahab, and Ahab's vessel are destroyed and killed. In Ahab's desperation to kill the whale , he launches his harpoon shot, and the rope strangles Ahab by the neck, and Moby Dick drags Ahab to the depths of the sea. Influences and Characteristics The Transcendentalist Movement in America interceeded with the Romantic Period, as it was stimulated by English and German Romanticism. It could be defined as the belief that nature is an analog of the mind, and that an understanding of nature is an understanding of oneself. The intent of this literary period was to get readers to believe that one should idolize human nature as a god-form. It was a somewhat religious time, where authors expressed the importance of individualism and personal choice in matters of direction. Transcendentalism grew from a time that was beginning to gain more cultural awareness and religious tolerance, and saught to define religion. There was a rise in understanding of the stuggle of minorities (women and blacks), which started a reform movement. While social reform was desired, so was the reform within oneself. A key concept of this movement was that one's individual truth was his only truth. Henry David Thoreau: 1819 - 1891 Author Biography Author's Contribution Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts (in what is presently Thoreau Farm Trust) in 1856 to Cynthia and John Thoreau, a pencil maker. With three other siblings, he had a social lifestyle, and got to travel to other states, which influenced some of his writings later in life. In 1837, graduated from Harvard University, where he studied classical literature, as well as the sciences and mathematics. He then went to work in his family's pencil factory, and began to write essays and other works. In 1850, Thoreau became a land surveyor, which allowed him to spend ample time surrounded by nature, and gave him a subject for his literature, as well as a basic understanding of the natural world. This occupation allowed him to create his most famous work, Walden, in 1854. He died of consumption (TB) in 1862, and rests in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetary in Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau published his most successful literary work, Walden or Life in the Woods, in 1854. This book was centered on the idea of natural success in solitude and revolution against society. The ideas expressed consistently throughout this book were written autobiographically, retelling the thought processes of Thoreau's accounts in the woods. This autobiography was influenced by Thoreau's fascination with nature, as well as his exposure to it because of his occupation as a land surveyor. His desire to connect to the natural world allowed him to broaden his perspective to the concept of living without societal influence. Walt Whitman: 1819 - 1892 Author Biography Walt Whitman was born the second son to Walter Whitman and Louisa Van Velsor in Brooklyn, in the year 1819. Whitman learned of the printing trade at the early age of twelve, and found his passion within the world of literature. He read at a vigorous pace, becoming enthralled with the writings of Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Biblical speakers. He became a printer until a fire destroyed the facility. At seventeen, he taught classes in a one-room schoolhouse while studying journalism until he became a fulltime journalist in 1841. In 1848, he relocated his work to New Orleans, where he was exposed to the horrors of slavery, which also became an influence on his writings. In 1855, he published his first book "Leaves of Grass" and sent it to Ralph Emerson in hopes of his approval. His most reknown writings were published during the Civil War Era, where he had vowed to lead a "purged life". He continued recreating the same novel, which finally became a success in 1882. Author's Contribution Whitman published his most famous work, Leaves of Grass, several times, the first being in 1855. Whitman sent a copy of his first volume to his long-time inspiration, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and published the second version in 1856, with twenty one more poems, along with a letter of praise from Emerson, and Whitman's long reply of gratitude. This collection of poetry comprised of poems of love and an adulation of the body and sexual desire, inspired by the experience as a journalist in New Orleans, where he learned of the horrors of man. Also, the open ended sexual relations he kept with women (who supposedly bore him six illegitimate children) invoked the sexual influences in his writing. Influences and Characteristics The Realism Movement began in America at a time directly after the Civil War, which brought a time of Reformation for the people. For typical Americans, all this meant was a time of healing and settling of reactions to the result of the war. However, for literary authors, this period was a time of disorder. The Romantics waged war with the newly influenced Realists over the portrayal of humans regarding to their connection with the external world. While Romantics believed that humans could conquer the adversity of their world, Realists argued that they were victim to their fate. Writings of this period were also very regional, pertaining to past sentiments, as it was feared that tradition would be lost in the advancements of science and industry. Mark Twain: 1835 - 1910 Author Biography Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, in 1835, Twain was born in Hannibal, Missouri. His early life along the Mississippi River was a significant influence on his literary works. Twain began writing suceeding the death of his father in 1847. After becoming a printer's assistant, he joined his brother Orion in maintaining his journalism company. Twain soon became a printer, traveling to different cities across the country for his brothers company, while taking on several different pennames. While in New Orleans, he learned the ability to pilot steamboats. This is where he discovered his pernanent penname "Mark Twain", which was a term indicative of the point where a steamboat reaches a depth of two fathoms. For the next thirty years, Twain's works for admired for their realistic view of the world. However, his writings became darker with the deaths of his wife and daughter. Twain died in 1910, and his work grew in fame posthumously. Twain's greatest success, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was published in 1884 in Europe, and one year later in the United States. This book was meant to symbolize the freedom and the ideal life man desires, and the influence of society that disrupts that peace. The novel was influenced by Twain's familiarity with the South through his childhood, and by his exposure of the slave trade. In this story, we are introduced to Huckleberry Finn, who starts by explaining the events of the past novel. Huck was adopted by his aunt, who lives with the strict Ms. Watson, who tries to civilize Huck by having him schooled and taught to read. He and friend Tom are always looking to get into mischief, and disobey the rules. They meeet Jim, ms. Watson's slave, while sneaking out in the middle of the night. As time passes, Huck's drunken father comes into town, and kidnaps him, fleeing to a cabin in Illinois. From here, Huck creates a plan to escape, having to survive in the woods in the day, while traveling back south in the night. Coincidentally, he finds Jim (who is wanted both for the "killing" of Huck, as well as for being a runaway slave), and they both escape together. As the plot turns, they continually manage to separate, and find themselves running from the law. However, at the end, they find Huck's friend Tom, and he confesses that Jim has been free the entire time, as Ms. Watson passed away, and put his freedom in her will. Author's Contribution Henry James: 1843 - 1916 Author Biography Henry James was born on April 15th, 1843, to parents Mary Robertson and Henry James Sr., in New York City, New York. Born into a prosperous family of theologians, he had personal connections to famous authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. As literature and knowledge were very important to James' parents, he was educated in several different countries, gaining knowledge in language, studies, and culture. James had a difficult time trying to attend schools for science or law, so he decided to become a writer. His was a rational decision, as he was exposed to influences on literature of different countries, as well as having been a vocarious reader. Author's Contribution Henry James published one of his best works, "Daisy Miller", in 1879. This story was particularly influenced by James' perception of the realities of literature. He believed that it is translated twice- first of the author's experience of it, and again of the author's depiction of the literature. Also, he used a common theme throughout the novel: the innocence and purity of the New World clashing with the deception and corruption of the Old. The analyzing of psychological processes of the characters within the novel also appeals to James. In this particular story, Daisy Miller is an American woman who comes to Switzerland, meets Winterbourne while he is vacationing from his studies. Although his family doesn't approve of her flirtatiousness, he continues to pursue her. Winterbourne learns of her improper ways, as it is rumored that she meets with other men regularly, and is interested in an Italian man named Giovanni. While Daisy tells him this is not true, he cannot bring himself to believe her. Later, he finds her in a dangerous part of Rome with Giovanni, and she refuses to leave with him. Angrily, he storms off and leaves. Ultimately, Daisy falls ill, and passes away a few days after last seeing Winterbourne. Influences and Characteristics The Naturalistic Movement in America derived from the preceding movement, as writers and their readers began to understand the decline of life and human success. Their explanation of this difficult life was the external force around the universe, that decides the fate of it's victm, and leaves the victim helpless. This movement deals with humans being put in "degrading" situations, where they are literally struggling for survival. Although society or the environment is controlling them, the victim is individualistic and able to express their emotions strongly. Determinism is a key concept in almost all Naturalism works. Jack London: 1876 - 1916 Author Biography Author's Contribution Jack London was born in San Francisco in 1876. He was raised in the time of the transition from an agricultural lifestyle, to a lifestyle of industry and machinery. London's family was in the midst of poverty, continually having to move around to find an affordable living. His life was filled with bad luck and turmoil until he reached literary success at the age of 24. Once he achieved his success, he began to create substantial works, work questioning the meanings and explanations behind life and death. London then became a celebrity, whose tribulations were exploited throughout the news. Regardless, he still managed to produce over fifty books from 1900 to 1916, the year of his death. London's most popular contribution to the Naturalism Movement would have to be "Call of the Wild", published in 1903. His novel was inspired by his unsuccessful ventures into the Klondike during the gold rush. In this novel, Buck is a dog whose greedy owner sells him to men headed south for the gold rush. He is then led through the harsh arctic climates, facing new masters and new disasters along the way. His instincts begin to reawaken in him, as they had been dormant in his time as a house pet. This movement symbolizes the effect of greed on man, as it causes a different side of someone to come out, similar to the instinctiveness that came out of Buck once he had become used to having no owner, or surviving for/by himself. Stephen Crane 1876 - 1916 Author Biography Author's Contribution Stephen Townley Crane was born in 1871, in Mulberry Place, in Newark, New Jersey. He was born into a large family, to mother, Mary Helen Peck, and minister father, Jonathan Townley Crane. Crane, along with his family, moved to Ashbury Place once his father passed away. Crane then enrolled in the Liberal Arts College at Syracruse University, but never graduated. He began his extensive work on his first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. However, this novel was unsuccessful, it did gain some attention. His next work, The Red Badge of Courage, was nearly an instant hit, gaining Crane the success and admiration he was dying for. Several of his next books ranked him higher as an author, but he was not at the top of his game. He fell ill after just recently marrying Cora Taylor, the love of his life, and passed away. She passed ten years later. Crane was known for several literary works in his time, however, The Red Badge of Courage was one of his most successful. In this novel, the young Henry Fleming, is a boy who participates in the events of the Civil War. However, the battle and casualties become too much for Fleming, so he escaped to a sanctuary away from the violence. Once he returns, his brigade notices a wound he managed to get while escaping, and mistakes it for a battle scar. As the story progresses, Fleming faces an inner struggle over his abandonment and the overall divergence. Influences and Characteristics The Modernism Movement began at a time of cultural diffusion, as advancements in both science and theology began to present themselves in almost all parts of the world. Change was normal because of these advancements. This led to the American people and writers breaking from the typical road, and rebelling against social norms. This was a time of prosperity in America, due to the economic standing before the Great Depression. The nation was in a time of celebration, with extravagance being flaunted by almost all cultures. Politically, America was in a huge time of change, as women and other minorities were gaining rights that were previously unimaginable. While they were still living during the Temperance Movement, this wasn't a roadblock for most people. Dance and culture were making their way into society, as well as urbanization and industrialization. F. Scott Fitzgerald: 1896 - 1940 Author Biography Author's Contribution Fitzgerald's prized work, The Great Gatsby, was published in 1925, during the decline of the Roaring Twenties. The story definitely had heavy influence from the author's lifestyle, as well as from his perspective on life and fame. In the story, narrator Nick Carraway, moves to New York over the summer to learn the bond's business (although it was against his family's wishes). He spends time with his cousin Daisy and her husband Tom, who is unfaithful to her. As time passes, Carraway meets Jay Gatsby, his secretive neighbor with a mysterious past. They become good friends, and Carraway learns of his intense passion for Daisy, and his willingness to do whatever necessary to please her. This is Gatsby's fatal flaw, as Daisy is the type of woman to exploit others for personal gain. When Daisy manages to land Gatsby in a heap of trouble (as he was willing to take the blame for her murder of another woman), she and husband Tom, leave without any notice, and Gatsby is killed for his sacrafice to her. Francis Scott Fitzgerald (named after Francis Scott Key, writer of the Star Spangled Banner) was born on August 24th, 1896, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Fitzgerald had a complicated life as a child, as he was forced to relocate often due to his fathers incapability to hold his job. At a young age, his father moved the family to Buffalo, New York, but later moved back once he was fired. Fitzgerald enrolled in Princeton University, but soon left to join the military. Fitzgerald's adult life was full of adventure, as he greatly enjoyed the life of the Roaring Twenties. However, he and wife Zelda had a precarious relationship due to their bacchanalian lifestyle. T.S. Eliot: 1888 - 1965 Author Biography Author's Contribution Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in the year 1888. Successful entrepreneur father, Henry Ware Eliot and mother Charlotte Champe Stearns, raised Eliot under extemely close supervision, as he was born with a congenital double hernia. Their family was very traditional, as they let themselves fall behind in the urbanization movement, as their home in St. Louis had too much sentimental value to be abandoned. His short stories began in his last year of high school, as he was influenced to write when he visited the St. Louis World Fair. While he did attend Harvard University, he was constantly at home, especially during the time where his family consistently lived in their New England home in Massachusetts. This back and forth life in two houses caused him to feel alienated by both regions of the country. In 1908, Eliot found a book in the Harvard library that would forever change his literary perspective. Eliot became enthralled by poetry, and was soon to become a deeply inspiring poet. In 1917, Eliot published his first book, Prufrock and Other Observations, and was instantly admired by the readers of America. In this poem, we are introduced to Prufrock, a man who has always allowed life to pass him by. This is odd seeing as how the poem makes it clear that Prufrock was a narcissist. However, Prufrock wouldn't even allow himself to talk to the woman of his dreams. He is scared of the "eternal footman" and does not want to have to meet him. This poem is greatly influenced by the Eliot's ideas involvind death, and appreciation of life. Influences and Characteristics The Contemporary Literary Period was one greatly influenced by the many social, political, and militaristic changes America was experiencing at the time. This period took place directly after the end of two global wars, which created a depressed state of mind for the American people. Militaristic advancements following the war brought awareness to the public of mans capability of destruction, as well as a darkened mindset. Questions that writers were at one point afraid to ask frequently came up in their works. This style of writing involves man being viewed as only human, succeptible to the damage brought by unfortunate events in their lives. Ken Kesey: 1935 - 2001 Author Biography Ken Kesey was born the oldest of three brothers in La Junta, Colorado, in 1935. Most of Kesey's childhood was spent on their family farm in Springfield, where he was raised with a great respect for Christianity and the moral codes pertaining to it. After Kesey graduated high school, he eloped with Faye Haxby, and they had three children together. After the birth of their children, Kesey attended Oregon University with a major in speech and communications. Later, Kesey enrolled in Stanford University, where he became influenced by the drug world. Kesey's twisted perceptions of the mind were a great influence on his works, such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Author's Contribution Kesey published his most acclaimed novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoos in 1962. This book was influenced entirely by his experience with the drug world, and his exposure to the thought processes of people held within the rooms of a psych ward. In the story, Chief Bromden acts as the protagonist, and long-time patient of the facility. Bromden's medicine often gave him hallucinations, and caused him to believe what his mind showed of the hospital. Everything changes once McMurphy arrives at the hospital, and decides that it's time to change the order of their society. He shows the other patients that there's more to life than the nurses and the evil Nurse Ratched. While McMurphy stays at the ward, he forms a bond with Bromden, and allows him into his past. As the story continues, McMurphy drastically changes the hospital, and Nurse Ratched finally decided to take action. In the end, McMurphy is given a forced lobotomy, and loses all sense of freedom and emotion. Stephen King: 1947 - present Author Biography Author's Contribution Stephen King was born on September 21st, 1947, in Portland, Maine to parents Ruth Pillsbury King and Donald Edwin King. King was usually treated more fondly than his two other siblings, as he was their ownly natural born child. His life changed when one day, his father stepped out for a cigarette and abandoned their family forever. Ruth, being unable to raise the family herself, relocated the kids often, in order to recieve the help of friends and family. After traveling through several different places, they returned home in 1958. In 1963, King and his high school best friend created their first edition of short stories, named "People, Places, and Things- Volume 1". However, his first publishing didn't happen until 1965. King recieved a sholarship to University of Maine, where he graduated with a degree in English in 1970. The following year, King worked on a short story, but decided it wasn't a worthy story, and threw it in the trash. However, his wife Tabitha found it, and urged him to continue. Once he finished, they sent it to a publishing company, and was later offered $200,000 for it's success. The fame of his literary career soon followed. One of King's most horrific and thrilling short stories would have to be "1408", published in his book of collective short stories, named "Blood and Smoke", published in 1999. King believes his influence to this book of stories would be part of one of his first short stories "Dasne Macabre", where he created his first suspenseful story. He genuinely enjoyed the concept of fear and suspense, and knew he would want to write similar stories for the rest of his career. However, in this particular short story, a freelance writer looking for his "muse" decides to write about his stay in what is supposedly one of the most haunted hotel rooms in the world. While he ignores the warnings of others to not enter the room, he does so, without any idea of what was to come. Throughout the night, spirits of past victims to the room, as well as the room itself, instill fear and terror into him, trying to make him vulnerable. The room's desire was for him to ultimately kill himself before morning. However, with the continual reflection of his wife and terminally-ill daughter, the writer manages to stay alive, and the room allows his freedom. Once he leaves, he is an entirely different person, with a brand new perspective of life.
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