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American Literature and Social Issues - Research Paper Example

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Name Surname Professor Name Subject 6 December 2011 American Literature and Social Issues Introduction: Since the time of the American Civil War till the twentieth century, the American society proved to experience several changes. In the earlier times, the existent slavery in the country could be assumed to break down the nation…
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Download file to see previous pages However, gradually it was realized that the literature and the society of the nation were required to be understood in association to reflect on the social changes occurring in the nation (Hook & Goldman, 2). The present study focuses on the American literature and its association with the society and social aspects prevailing in the country. The American Literature and the Society: The American Literature has been presenting a “rich and diverse” period of time from the end of the Civil war till the “stock market crash of 1929” (Yannella, 1). The meaning and the contexts of the available literature reflect the involvement of the writers with the social and political issues of the concerned period of time. The three primary categories of literatures involved were the realism, naturalism, and regionalism. As Yannella described, the writers of the American literature did make use of different characters as well as suitable narratives, and description of plots in representing the views and aspects of the American society. Yannella mentioned about Whitman’s poetry, Crane’s novel among other literatures that included the presentations of the societal issues. The American writers have also been found to create responses to the social issues regarding the policies of immigration in the country. The movements of history focusing on Temperance, the Union Movement, and Socialism, could also be associated through the writings of the American Literature. These reflections present the power of the American literature to focus on the issues of the American society (Yannella, 2-7). In the nineteenth century, three primary authors, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Beecher Stowe were known to reflect the social issues significantly. These issues reflected the slavery prevailing in the nation. These literatures focused on the infringement of the nation’s policies in regard to the principles that the nation was supposed to maintain. Henry David Thoreau had presented his writings strictly spreading his words against the issues of slavery. Frederick Douglass also shared his own experiences with the society narrating his escape stories from slavery and got accepted by the society who wanted him to present lectures as well. Stowe too contributed in arousing the nation’s sense of right and wrong and ethics towards understanding the social issues of slavery that could break the nation down (The Literature of Upheaval, 1-2). Thus the American literature can be understood to strongly present the wrong doings that were occurring in the country and reflected their protests and views against the severe social issues that needed to be considered significantly. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne: The American literature can be associated with one of the works by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Scarlet Letter. In this work, the author presents a narration of how guilt and revenge prevails in a society and focuses on the social reforms followed by the country. The story is about a woman character named Hester Prynne who believed her husband to have been lost. She never expected her husband to return. However, her husband returned after some periods of time and found a child to Hester. Hester had her child from another person who was her lover in the absence of her husband. Although her ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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