Essay on American Literature
?American literature is any written work of art that is created in the United States. American literature is like all literature, it has literary experiences and contextual history of America. It depicts how America has changed is still changing today. American literature has changed over time just like most canons of literary works. The uniqueness of American literature is that America from its beginning had a special philosophy of life and freedom. The special philosophy of life and freedom that made American literature so unique was reflected in its writings.
Americans believed and had faith that God was and is the given of all our rights and freedom. We as Americans had faith in ourselves that we could succeed in anything that we try doing. The literature that we Americans wrote made life worth living because it was displayed for the world to read and understand that life was what we made it. Also by Americans having the ability to spring back from diversity made life worth living and George Washington was a perfect example of this. Literary canon is basically a suggested list of readings that belongs to a country or a certain period in time.
Literary canon contains literary works that is mainly by authors who are accepted as an authority in their field and their writings constituting a serious body of literature in any given language. The works that are collected that is included in a literary canon is approved largely by cultural and academic institutions and is observed as literature of that language. Literary work’s popularity is not based only on the quality, but on the relevance of what matters to the context historically, socially, and artistically.
Literary canon relate very well to what is going on in society because of what is most important at that time work is being written. The context of the society, whether it is historical, social, or artistic, that is basically the topic. Ethnic writers express the special challenges of realism, naturalism, and regionalism within the American literary experiences. Realism labels a movement in English, European, and American literature that gathered force from the 1930s to the end of the century.
Realism attempted to record life as it was lived rather than life as it ought to be lived or had been lived in times past. William Dean Howells stated that realism “is nothing more and nothing less than the truthful treatment of material. ” Present-day literary theorists are probably more aware of what may be called “the crisis of representation”-the difference between representation and the thing represented-than were these realists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Naturalism is understood by some as an extension or intensification of realism. It introduces characters from the fringes and depths of society whose fates are determined by degenerate heredity, a sordid environment, and/or a good deal of bad luck. Regionalism writing, another expression of the realist impulse, resulted from the desire both to preserve a record of distinctive ways of life before industrialization dispersed or homogenized them and to come to terms with the harsh realities that seemed to be replacing these early and allegedly happier times.
By the end of the twentieth century, every region of the country had a “local colorist” to immortalize its natural, social, and linguistic features. Ethnic writers define literature as literature that is written by people of a different culture, language, religion, or race. It differs from the canon of traditional American literature because literary canon is a list of work from American instead of from a different race or religion. The historical, socio-political, and cultural topics that might be covered by ethnic writers would be slavery and how the slaves were treated during that time.
Slavery is a topic that can be covered under all three. Government issues are a topic that could be covered under socio-political. The debate against government issues such as health care and taxes could be something that ethnic writers could write about. It does not differ from the canon of traditional American literature because the writings have to be by authors who are accepted as an authority in their field and their writings of literature in any given language.