The American literature is a term used to refer to written work based on United States and the American colonial era. The united states were British colonies and therefore, the tradition of the American literature is widely linked with the English literature. However. The American literature is involves unique characteristics and production breaths which makes it to be considered as special form of literature.
Characteristics of American Literature
Just like any other form of literature, American literature has got one foot in contextual history of the United States and the other foot in literary experiences. American literature depicts on how the United States has evolved as well as inhuman practices which were eliminated as time went on. Similarly to majority of the literary work cannons constituted in the literatures, the American literature have changed over the decades. American literature in the last three or four decades had a narrow scope and was criticized due to unequal representation in the American pantheon.
However, in the last few decades, the American literature has evolved from white men’s chauvinism and started to embrace the work of African Americans and women who had been discriminated for long. Now the American literature can be discussed on its challenged and rich history as well as mutable identity.
Development of American Literature
The historical events in the United States play a significant in the American literature. The inspiration which the authors of American literature required were readily available in the world around them. This made the American literature to develop some unique characterization which are not common in other literature.
The colonial period which was characterized by puritan lifestyle is one which makes the American literature unique. The puritan literature was based on the bible. The perfect style of puritan was plain, simple, logical and strong style. The puritan literature is commonly found in William Bradford work, Plymouth Plantation and in AnneBradstreet work, Here Follows Some Versus upon the Burning of Our House published on 10th July 1666. The puritan literature is the on which influenced the development of the American literature.
The enlightenment period is recognized through the work Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards. This piece of American literature was published during the revival of the religion, famously referred to as the Great Awakening.
The seventeenth century saw the rise of scientists and philosophers in the United States. This brought about revolution in the American literature. The discoveries brought about by these scientists altered human perceptions on universe and hence change in the forms of literature.
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