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American Literature - Term Paper Example

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The author of the paper "American Literature" comments on the peculiarities of the American literature. Reportedly, throughout his book "What is Literature?" Sartre argues that literature is a form of prose writing that engages with the world around it in such a way as to reveal the soul of a writer…
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American Literature
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Download file to see previous pages A short story is an art form that was first mastered by the 19th-century writer Edgar Allan Poe. In perfecting this form, Poe said: “If any literary work is too long to be read at one sitting, we must be content to dispense with the immensely important effect derivable from unity of impression”. As he tells his frequently bizarre and frightening tales, Poe presents his readers with symbol-rich imagery and descriptions that reflect American fears. In "The Tell-Tale Heart" for example, Poe explores the American's sense of division that distracted the country at the time. The narrator goes mad trying to reconcile the hated evil eye within the form of a loved elder. “He discloses a deep psychological confusion. Almost casually he admits lack of normal motivation … Yet in spite of this affection, he says that the idea of murder ‘haunted me day and night”. The detached and gruesome details of the murder delivered without emotion following a simple step-by-step precision prove highly destructive distraction: “The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all, I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs”. As the tale ends, it becomes clear not only that the narrator is completely insane, but also that this insanity led to the destruction of the family body and the self in much the same way that Americans were then building up to destruction from within.
One of the first modern conceptions regarding the world that Henry David Thoreau questions in his book Walden is the concept of materialism....
In "The Tell-Tale Heart" for example, Poe explores the American's sense of division that distracted the country at the time. The narrator goes mad trying to reconcile the hated evil eye within the form of a loved elder. “He discloses a deep psychological confusion. Almost casually he admits lack of normal motivation … Yet in spite of this affection he says that the idea of murder ‘haunted me day and night’” (Robinson, 1965: 369). The detached and gruesome details of the murder delivered without emotion following a simple step-by-step precision prove highly destructive distraction: “The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs” (159). As the tale ends, it becomes clear not only that the narrator is completely insane, but also that this insanity led to the destruction of the family body and the self in much the same way that Americans were then building up to destruction from within. One of the first modern conceptions regarding the world that Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) questions in his book Walden is the concept of materialism or ownership as it exists in economic terms, exploring a mostly American movement at that time called Transcendentalism. Thoreau discusses the question of ownership as he talks about his search for a farm around the Concord area. He introduces the conventional idea of possession as holding some type of ownership rights, “The nearest that I came to actual possession was when I bought the Hollowell place, … but before the owner gave me a deed of it, his wife … changed her mind and wished to keep it” (68). As he talks about giving the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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