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American Literature Essay

  • Submitted by: crazyidea
  • on March 2, 2013
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 1,301 words

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Below is an essay on "American Literature" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

American Literature has always been a living, breathing entity. An ever-developing species, it has continued to thrive in our society. Because American literature is an all encompassing work of art between poetry, prose, nonfiction and fiction it’s important to observe how significant events in American history have shaped and molded what we read today. My interest in the development of literature in America stems from my love of books of all kinds and what they represent. In the 20th century, authors began to use the written word as a way to be heard, not just realistically but also experimenting with their voices. Literature was approached, prior to the 20th century, in a straight forward manner and eventually grew in the different forms used as well as experimenting with new styles. How it has grown to be what we read and use today is an important part about loving present day books, articles and poetry. In my opinion, during the 20th century American Literature underwent a dramatic change since its inception. I intend to explore and discuss the rise of literature in this society before and after significant events during the last century. The World Wars, Great Depression, and the African American civil rights movements drastically changed the way American literature was read and written. Before these events occurred, literature struggled to be read, loved and utilized. Starting with the World Wars, continued by the authors during the Depression, and rounded out by African American writers, literature became a prominent feature of American society in the 20th century.
Before and at the start of World War I, authors tried to use the written word to inspire. This wasn’t necessarily well received by the people they were trying to inspire; after all, words are just that, words. According to Henry M. Sayre, “Life in the trenches soon brought the meaninglessness of such rhetoric crashing down around this new generation of soldiers. Words like glory and honor suddenly...

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