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American Literature

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American Literature Introduction Course Description This course will survey American literature from the Colonial period to the Post-World War II period. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: American Literature


1
American Literature
2
Introduction
3
Course Description
  • This course will survey American literature from
  • the Colonial period to the Post-World War II
  • period. Readings will include poems, novels,
  • essays, autobiographies, short stories, and
  • philosophical writings, originating in different
  • regions and social settings across the country.
  • Some works are chosen from their historical
  • importance, others for their aesthetic virtues.
  • Taken as a whole, they form a rich collection of
  • imaginative and critical writings.

4
  • Our goal will be to analyze these works as
    diverse
  • representations of American experience, ideas,
  • and values. As it is created, literature in its
    widest
  • sense can function as moral instruction, personal
  • expression, and casual entertainment.
  • Much classroom discussion will involve close
  • textual commentary upon the assigned works.

5
Course Outline
  • 1.Literature of Colonial American
  • 2.Early Romantics
  • 3.Transcendentalism
  • 4.High Romantics
  • 5.Realism
  • 6.Local Color Fiction
  • 7.Naturalism
  • 8.Modern Poetry
  • 9.Modern Fiction Before 1945

6
  • 10.Postwar Realism in Fiction
  • 11.Beat Generation
  • 12.Women Writers in America
  • 13.Black Literature
  • 14.Southern Literature
  • 15.Modern Drama

7
Course Requirements
  • Class attendance(10)
  • Assignments(10)
  • Classroom Discussion(10)
  • Final Exam(70)

8
Literature of Colonial American
9
  • The first American literature was neither
  • American nor really literature. It was not
  • American because it was the work mainly of
  • immigrants from England. It was not literature as
  • we know it---- in the form of poetry, essay, or
  • fiction---- but rather an interesting mixture of
  • travel accounts and religious writings

10
Benjamin Franklin
11
  • Benjamin Franklin(1706-1790)

12
  • An inventor, scientist, printer, political
    statesman,
  • diplomat, exemplary self-made man,
  • revolutionary hero, author.

13
  • ---- Having faith in human accomplishment and
  • progress
  • ---- Believing that an individual with industry
    and
  • thrift will improve himself and his community, a
  • self-mad man and an archetypal American
  • success story that has since become part of
  • American popular culture
  • ---- Almost the first example of achieving the
  • American Dream

14
Philip Freneau
15
  • Philip Freneau(1752-1832)

16
  • A forerunner of American Romanticism or a
  • transitional figure towards Romanticism.

17
  • Wild Honeysuckle
  • a lyrical lament for the mutability of nature and
    an
  • expression of faith in mans ability to learn
  • universal truths from nature. An indirect eulogy
    of
  • America predicting Whitman

18
American Romanticism (1815-1865)
19
Learning Points
  • Distinct Features
  • Representatives
  • Conclusion

20
Distinct Features
  • 1. American Romanticism is in a way derivative.

21
  • 2. American Romanticism is in essence the
  • expression of a real new experience and
    contains
  • an alien quality for the simple reason that
    the
  • spirit of the place is radically new and alien.

22
  • 3. Different from their European counterparts,
  • American Romanticism tended to moralize, to edify
  • rather than to entertain. It presented an
    entirely
  • new experience alien to European culture.

23
Representatives
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Washington Irving
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Herman Melville
  • Walt Whitman
  • Emily Elizabeth Dickinson
  • James Fenimore Cooper

24
Conclusion
  • imagination
  • sensibility and tuition over reason
  • primitivism
  • love of nature
  • sympathetic interest in the past
  • mysticism
  • individualism

25
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
26
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow(1807-1882)

27
  • The Secret of the Sea
  • In this poem the sea symbolizes life and the
    moral
  • of the poem lies in the line of Only those who
  • brave its dangers comprehend its mystery.

28
William Cullen Bryant
29
  • William Cullen Bryant(1794-1878)

30
  • one of Americas earliest naturalist poets
  • the American Wordsworth

31
  • To a Waterfowl
  • the poet in self-doubt and despair
  • a lonely bird-- flying to--its destination-- by
    Power
  • the poet-- walking to-- destination-- by Power too

32
Washington Irving
33
  • Washington Irving(1783-1859)

34
  • Works by Washington Irving
  • 1. Rip Van Winkle
  • 2. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • 3. The Sketch Book

35
Ralph Waldo Emerson
36
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson(1803-1882)

37
  • Father of American literature
  • the dominant spirit of the age
  • the proponent of the American newness

38
Henry David Thoreau
39
  • Henry David Thoreau(1817-1862)

40
  • On July 4, 1845, he began living in a hut (built
    on
  • Emersons land) by the Walden Pond. There he
  • lived simply and deliberately, devoting his time
    to
  • observations and reflections.

41
  • Walden, or Life in the Woods
  • a reflection of his readings, concerns and
    thinking,
  • a mixture of politics and philosophy.

42
Edgar Allan Poe
43
  • Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

44
  • Annabel Lee
  • Thematically speaking, this poem not only mourns
  • the death of a beautiful girl but also celebrates
  • the timeless love.

45
Walt Whitman
46
  • Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

47
  • I hear America Singing
  • The poem presents an image of America an
  • image of proud and healthy individualists engaged
  • in productive and happy labor.

48
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson
49
  • Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (1830-1886)

50
  • There Is a Certain Slant of Light
  • The poem itself conveys the oppressive mood that
  • the weather creates. With her uncommon
  • creativity and imagination on the poet associates
  • the winter sunlight with the image of death.

51
Nathaniel Hawthorne
52
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

53
  • Works by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • 1. The Scarlet Letter ??
  • 2. The House of the Seven Gables???????
  • ?
  • 3. The Blithedale Romance ????
  • 4. The Marble Faun ?????
  • 5. Young Goodman Brown ?????
  • 6. The Ministers Black Veil ??????
  • 7. The Birthmark ??

54
Dr. Heideggers Experiment
55


Dr. Heidegger
Colonel Killigrew
Mr. Medbourne
Water of Youth
Widow Wycherly
56
American Realism (1865-1910)
57
Learning Points
  • Distinct Features
  • Representatives

58
Distinct Features
  • 1.Realism is the theory of writing in which
    familiar
  • aspect of contemporary life and everyday scenes
  • are represented in a straightforward or
    matter-of-
  • fact manner.

59
  • 2.In realist fiction characters from all social
    levels
  • are examined in depth.

60
  • 3.Open ending is also a good example of the
  • truthful treatment of material.

61
  • 4.Realism focuses on commonness of the lives of
  • the common people who are customarily ignored
  • by the arts.

62
  • 5. Realism emphasizes objectivity and offers an
  • objective rather than an idealistic view of human
  • nature and human experience.

63
  • 6. Realism presents moral visions.

64
Representatives
  • William Dean Howells
  • Henry James
  • Edith Wharton
  • Willa Cather
  • O.Henry
  • Kate Chopin
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Mark Twain

65
Henry James
66
  • Henry James (1843-1916)

67
  • Paste
  • This story is a subtle and profound study of
  • human greed, hypocrisy and the betrayal of
  • innocence. With his avoidance of the simple and
  • direct statement, the story is full of hints,
  • insinuations, suggestions, and implications. The
  • Jamesian style is very well exemplified in this
  • story.

68
Mark Twain
69
  • Mark Twain (1835-1910)

70
  • The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
  • This story tells of a practical joke of the
    grimmest
  • kind. It is successful mainly because it
    represents
  • the Western humor that was extremely popular in
  • America at that time.

71
American Naturalism
72
Learning Points
  • Distinct Features
  • Representatives
  • Conclusion

73
Distinct Features
  • 1. Humans are controlled by laws of heredity and
  • environment.

74
  • 2 The universe is cold, godless, indifferent and
  • hostile to human desires.

75
Representatives
  • Hamlin Garland
  • Stephen Crane
  • Frank Norris
  • Jack London
  • Theodore Dreiser
  • Sherwood Anderson
  • Sinclair Lewis
  • Upton Sinclair

76
Conclusion
  • 1.Generally speaking, American naturalists share
  • similarities in theme and technique.

77
  • 2. They tend to reduce to nil the human chances
  • of winning on their own terms while realists
    stress
  • freedom of choice with large provisos concerning
  • the power of outside forces and romantics stress
  • the possible triumph of the human will.

78
Stephen Crane
79
  • Stephen Crane (1871-1900)

80
  • The Red Badge of Courage
  • War is seen as a force moving men ruthlessly and
  • blindly as if they were pawns on a chessboard.
  • By deromanticizing war and courage, the author
  • depicts the education of a young man in the
  • context of struggle in alarming honesty.

81
Theodore Dreiser
82
  • Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945)

83
  • Sister Carrie
  • On the one hand, Sister Carrie represents the
  • image of new woman with more independence
  • and freedom.
  • On the other hand, she is slave to her heredity
  • and environment, drifting in life all the time.

84
Jack London
85
  • Jack London (1867-1916)

86
  • The Law of Life
  • In the story, the old tribal leaders death is
  • depicted both as an illustration of the natural
    law
  • that all living things die and in terms of the
  • particular psychological state of the individual
  • facing his end.

87
  • Edwin Arlington Robinson

88
  • Edwin Arlington Robinson(1869-1935)

89
  • Richard Cory
  • The poem tells us very directly that the heart of
  • man is a mystery. This is his best known
  • statement on the hollowness of conventional
  • success.

90
  • Robert Frost

91
  • Robert Frost(1874-1963)

92
  • The Road Not Taken
  • The poem itself tells us the importance of making
  • decisions and we should be aware that decisions
  • in life once made cannot be changed.

93
Imagism
94
Learning Points
  • Distinct Features
  • Representatives
  • Conclusion

95
What Is Imagism Movement?
  • Poetic movement of England and the United
  • States, flourished from 1909-1917.
  • Its credo included the use of the language of
  • common speech, precision, the creation of new
  • rhythms, absolute freedom in choice of subject
  • matter, the evocation of images in hard, clear
  • poetry, and concentration.

96
  • Originated from the aesthetic philosophy of T.E.
  • Hulme (??), the movement soon attracted Ezra
  • Pound (??), who became the leader of a small
  • group opposed to the romantic conception of
  • poetry.

97
Distinct Features
  • 1. With a spirit of revolt against conventions,
  • Imagism was anti-romantic and anti-Victorian.

98
  • 2. Imagism produced free verse without imposing
  • a rhythmical pattern.

99
  • 3. Imagism tried to record objective observations
  • of an object or a situation without
    interpretation or
  • comment by the poet.

100
Representatives
  • Ezra Pound
  • Hilda Doolittle
  • Amy Lowell
  • William Carlos Williams

101
Conclusion
  • 1.The imagists poets rebelled against
  • conventional poetic material and forms and
  • advocated the direct presentation of feelings in
  • exquisite images.

102
  • 2. The second lasting influence of imagism is the
  • form of free verse.

103
Ezra Pound
104
  • Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

105
  • In a Station of the Metro
  • In this brief poem, Pound uses the fewest
    possible
  • words to convey an accurate image, with which he
  • represents exactly what he observed in Paris
  • subway.
  • faces flowers petals

106
Modernism Before 1945
107
Learning Points
  • Distinct Features
  • Representatives

108
Distinct Features
  • 1. Modernism presented discontinuity and
  • imminent severance from the past while
  • making determined efforts to use the past, its
  • values and artistic forms by incorporating them
  • in new literary production.

109
  • 2. Modernists had a sense of fragmentation in
  • social communities and the fragmentation
  • within the individual himself. Hence
  • fragmentation became a common theme in
  • modernist writing.

110
  • 3. Often in presenting their theme, these writers
  • used an anti-hero.

111
  • 4. The distinctive feature of literary modernism
  • was its strong and conscious break with
    traditional
  • forms, perceptions, and techniques of expression,
  • and its great concern with language and all
  • aspects of its medium.

112
Representatives
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Francis Scott Fitzgerald
  • John Dos Passos
  • John Steinbeck
  • Thomas Stearns Eliot
  • Wallace Stevens

113
Thomas Stearns Eliot
114
  • Thomas Stearns Eliot(1888-1965)

115
  • The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
  • This poem not only presents some of Eliots
  • central ideas but also gives startling glimpses
    of
  • the unprecedented methods the poet begins to
  • use
  • dramatic monologue stream-of-consciousness

116
Ernest Hemingway
117
  • Ernest Hemingway(1899-1961)

118
  • In Another Country
  • The story is filled with emotional overtones. Its
  • dominant feeling is pity for misfortunes that can
  • never be remedied.

119
Francis Scott Fitzgerald
120
  • Francis Scott Fitzgerald(1896-1940)

121
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The story deals symbolically with the failure of
    the
  • American Dream.

122
Postwar Realism in Fiction
123
Distinct Features
  • 1. It has been a search for vision that can
    relate
  • an oppressed response to society and history to
  • an awareness of individual loneliness and moral
  • and transcendental hunger both to differentiate
  • and reunite the self and the society.

124
  • 2. Postwar realism combines the time-honored
  • realism with the effective achievements of
    various
  • literary trends, including modernism.

125
  • 3. Postwar realism embodies the great changes in
  • literature along with the great changes in
    society.
  • In new realistic fiction, naturalistic depiction
    has
  • become very explicit and old-fashioned realism is
  • increasingly combined with fabulism.

126
John Cheever
127
  • John Cheever(1912-1982)

128
  • The Swimmer
  • With a long-distance swimming as a means to link
  • up a series of events not closely related, the
  • author unfolds a picture of social manners and
  • morals.

129
John Updike
130
  • John Updike(1932-2005)

131
Beat Generation
132
Learning Points
  • Distinct Features
  • Representatives

133
What Is Beat Generation?
  • A group of American writers and artists popular
    in
  • the 1950s and early 1960s, influenced by Eastern
  • philosophy and religion and known especially for
  • their use of nontraditional forms and their
  • rejection of conventional social values.

134
Distinct Features
  • 1. The Beats were fed up with the official
  • explanations of why things happened .

135
  • 2. The Beats rejected middle class values,
  • commercialism, and conformity.

136
  • 3. The Beats withdrew from politics and from the
  • obligations of citizenship.

137
  • 4. The Beats rejected universities and the
  • academic tradition.

138
  • 5. The Beats evolved a free, non-materialistic
  • religion with no formal church, but based loosely
  • on the teaching of Buddha, comprising love, gay,
  • and anarchy.

139
  • 6. The Beats regarded modern American life as so
  • cruel, selfish, and impersonal that writers and
  • artists were being driven to madness.

140
Representatives
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Jack Kerouac
  • Neal Cassady
  • Gary Snyder
  • William Burroughs

141
Jack Kerouac
142
  • Jack Kerouac(1922-1969)

143
  • On the Road
  • On the Road is Kerouacs representative work. The
  • title of the novel is pun, meaning both on the
  • road to enlightenment as the Chinese philosophy
  • of Taoism and literally on the road as
    homeless,
  • aimless wanderers.

144
Southern Literature
145
Learning Points
  • Distinct Features
  • Representatives

146
Distinct Features
  • 1. A tightly knit, long established community is
  • always powerfully presented and must be
  • reckoned with.

147
  • 2. There is the emotional, almost physical,
  • response to the southern environment, including
  • wind, rain, light, heat, the feel of the soil
  • underfoot, the smell and sounds of land and river.

148
  • 3. There are the accustomed patterns of speech,
  • black and white, the intimate knowledge of
  • characteristic body carriage and movement, the
  • slow unemphatic drawl, the long effortless
  • squatting silent companionship.

149
  • 4. There is a curious quality of leisure, often
    long
  • digressions in narration such as reminiscences of
  • earlier events slightly related to the present.

150
  • 5. There is a high rhetorical quality in
    narration to
  • gain oratorical effect.

151
  • 6. A profound consciousness of time itself is
    ever
  • evident.

152
Representatives
  • Allen Tate
  • Katherine Anne Porter
  • Eudora Welty
  • Flannery OConnor
  • William Faulkner

153
  • Katherine Anne Porter

154
  • Katherine Anne Porter(1890-1980)

155
  • Katherine Anne Porter is good at short stories in
  • which describes human beings empty spiritual
  • World and their loneliness.

156
  • Works by K. A. Porter
  • The Leaning Tower??
  • Ship of Fools???

157
  • Theft
  • This is Porters remarkably appealing short
    story.
  • The stolen purse symbolizes all property. The
  • theft represents the conflicts between the
    haves
  • and have-nots, between men and women,
  • between two women, between generations, and
  • between ideals and reality.

158
  • William Faulkner

159
  • William Faulkner(1897-1962)

160
  • A Rose for Emily
  • One of the themes of this story is the relation
    of
  • the individual and his actions to the past,
    present
  • and future.

161
Black Literature
162
Background
  • Black literature was once a neglected area of
  • American literary scholarship. The rising
    interest
  • in the work of Americans of African ancestry has
  • come about mainly for two reasons

163
  • 1. Blacks have made significant contributions to
  • all aspects of American life, esp. during and
    after
  • World War II.

164
  • 2. Black writers have produced literature of
  • impressive scope and quality.

165
Representatives
  • Langston Hughes
  • Alice Walker
  • Richard Wright
  • James Baldwin
  • Ralph Ellison
  • Toni Morrison

166
  • Alice Walker

167
  • Alice Walker(1944- )

168
  • Everyday Use


I
Dee
Maggie
169
  • Langston Hughes

170
  • Langston Hughes(1902-1967)

171
  • The Negro Speaks of River
  • In this poem, the poet uses the rivers to
  • symbolize the soul of the Black people who create
  • human civilization.
  • The strong rhythm and the use of repetition
  • heighten the effectiveness of the verse.

172
  • Toni Morrison

173
  • Toni Morrison(1931- )

174
  • Works by Toni Morrison
  • The Bluest Eye?????
  • Sula??
  • Song of Solomon?????
  • Tar Boy????
  • Beloved??

175
American Drama
176
  • Eugene Gladstone ONeill

177
  • Eugene Gladstone ONeill(1888-1953)

178
  • Works by ONeill
  • Long Days Journey into Night?????????
  • The Iceman Cometh ?????
  • Beyond the Horizon ???
  • Emperor Jones????
  • The Hairy Ape ??
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