American Literature is a very important topic for the students of English Literature of any of the parts in the world. The literature of USA has connection with English Language( British Literature ). This literature bears the stamp of the American nationality, ethos and sensibility. Most of the early writings in America was about religions and politics.
During the 17th century the literature consisting the themes related with Puritanism was in vogue. The 18th Century American Literature was swayed by the facts related the struggles of American settlers towards their efforts for the revolution and bringing about democratic changes in the country.
Thomas Paine’s pamphlet called Common Sense said to be one of the first political writings of USA. Gradually the American literature started taking the American character to the full swings. During the 19th century all the important genres of literature non-fiction, drama, poetry and fiction came out. There was the remarkable development in American Fiction and Poetry.
One of the major American novelists was Charles Brockden Brown. His main works include – Weiland ( 1798), Ormond ( 1799), Arthur Morvyn ( 1799-1800), Edgar Huntly ( 1799) and Clara Howard ( 1801).
Washington Irving , in the words of Marcus Cunliff, is the first man of letters for USA to win an international acclaim. Edgar Allan Poe was a critic, story writer and poet of first water. He is considered a great poet of 19th century. Check some of his great poems – To Helen, Israfel, The City in the Seas and The Raven. He has also written a prose-poem called Eureka. His short-story collection called Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque shot him in to fame.
Read some of the Major works by Major Writer of America –
William Dunlop’s main works are The Father ( 1789), Andre ( 1798) and the Italian Father.
RW Emerson’s Major Works are Nature, The American Scholar, The Divinity Scholar Address, Essays, English Traits, The Conduct of Life, May Day and other Poems,Concord Fight, Brahma etc.
Nathaniel Hawthorne – His works are – Twice Told Tales, Mosses from an Old Manse, The Snow Image, Sketches and Studies, The Scarlet Letter
Walt Whitman’s major works are – Leaves of Grass, Children of Adam Calamus Poems, O Captain My Captain !, When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.
Mark Twain – His famous works are – Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Celebrated Humping Frog of Calaveras Country, The Innocents Abroad.
Henry James – One of the greatest American Novelists. His works include – Roderick Hudson, The American and Daisy Miller, The European, The Tragic Muse, The Ambassadors, The wings of Dove, The Golden Bowl, The Portrait of a Lady.
O’ Henry – Cabbages and Kings, The Four Million
E O’ Neill – Beyond the Horizon, Emperor Jones, The Hairy Ape, The Iceman Cometh, Days without End
Ernest Hemingway – This American Writer’s popular works are – Man without Women, The Sun also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, The Old Man and the Sea.
Arthur Miller – All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, After the Fall, The Crucible, The Prince
Tennessee Williams – A Street Car Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Sweet Bir of Youth etc.
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