American Authors Thesis

However, printing was established in the American colonies before it was allowed in most of England.In England, restrictive laws had long confined printing to four locations, where the government could monitor what was published: London, York, Oxford, and Cambridge.

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Moreover, we are now aware of the wealth of oral literary traditions already existing on the continent among the numerous different Native American groups.

Political events, however, would eventually make English the lingua franca for the colonies at large as well as the literary language of choice.

With an increasing desire to produce uniquely American literature and culture, a number of key new literary figures emerged, perhaps most prominently Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe.

In 1836, Ralph Waldo Emerson started an influential movement known as Transcendentalism.

American poetry reached a peak after World War I with such writers as Wallace Stevens, T. Henry Miller assumed a distinct place in American Literature in the 1930s when his semi-autobiographical novels were banned from the US.

From the end of World War II until the early 1970s many popular works in modern American literature were produced, like Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.Ernest Hemingway became famous with The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms; in 1954, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature. In the mid-twentieth century, American drama was dominated by the work of playwrights Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller, as well as by the maturation of the American musical.William Faulkner became one of the greatest American writers with novels like The Sound and the Fury. Depression era writers included John Steinbeck, notable for his novel The Grapes of Wrath.Inspired by that movement, Henry David Thoreau wrote Walden, which celebrates individualism and nature and urges resistance to the dictates of organized society.The political conflict surrounding abolitionism inspired the writings of William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Beecher Stowe in her famous novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.An early example is William Hill Brown's The Power of Sympathy published in 1791.Brown's novel depicts a tragic love story between siblings who fall in love without knowing they are related.The dominance of the English language was not inevitable.Spanish and French had two of the strongest colonial literary traditions in the areas that now comprise the United States, and discussions of early American literature commonly include texts by Samuel de Champlain alongside English language texts by Thomas Harriot and John Smith.America's involvement in World War II influenced works such as Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead (1948), Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (1961) and Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Slaughterhouse-Five (1969).The main literary movement since the 1970s has been postmodernism, and since the late twentieth century ethnic and minority literature has sharply increased.


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