Great names in American Literature

Cudzie jazyky » Angličtina

Autor: ivanka88
Typ práce: Referát
Dátum: 25.07.2009
Jazyk: Angličtina
Rozsah: 1 688 slov
Počet zobrazení: 6 350
Tlačení: 540
Uložení: 649
The real history of American literature begins in the time of the American fight for independence. It tells us about the problems and needs of that time. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin describes the life of a scientist, journalist and politican.
The pioneer of new poetry (civilicism – celebration of human work, ordinary things, picture of modern life) in America was Walt Whitman ( 1819 – 1892). He is one of the greatest American poets. He made the American poetry independent on European poetry. He influenced the whole modern poetry with rhythmical free verse which was his innovation. His most famous collection is Leaves of Grass.
One of the greatest American writer was Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849 - romanticism) He was born in Boston but after the parents death, he was adopted by the Allans when he was very young, and spent some time in England. At the age of 22 he left the Allans and returned back to the USA and studied there at the University of Virginia. But he had quite a lot of problems there. He drunk and gambled very much and quickly was in debt. He found a few new friends and get the job as a literary critic, but his bitter, sharp tongue made him different to like. At the age of 27, he married his fourteen years old cousin. But she died very young and her death had a crushing effect on Poe. He continued to write, but settled further and further in despair. As he dying, he uttered this words: „Lord, help my poor soul!“ He tried to write poetry but he wasn’t succesful untill 1845 when The Raven was published. On a stormy night a tired student who has lost his love asks if he will ever meet her again in some other world. His doubts are underlined by the raven’s repetition of „Never more“. The student is in delirium tremens, and the raven got there by the open window. He is probably a creator of the mystery horror and detective story. Poe wrote wonderful short stories such as the Black Cat, The golden Bug, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Fall of the House of Usher.
 „The Gilded Age“ is represented by Mark Twain (1835 – 1910), an American humorist of world-wide popularity. (His novel The Gilded Age gave the name to the whole period after the Civil war.) Mark Twain is only an artistic pseudonym - originally „mark twain“ is a river-men phrase which means that „water in river is enough deep“.

He became famous as a humorist and story-teller. His best books are based on his own experience along the Mississippi. It is The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finm. These books describe the adventures of boyhood. Huck is a portrait of a frontier boy. He runs away because he is afraid that Aunt Sally will adopt him and civilise him, he is free and reminded free till the end of the book. He also took some inspiration from English history and wrote the well-known satire. He also took some inspiration from English history and wrote the well-known satire A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
Herman Melville was the greatest symbolist, he sailed on seas for many years. His experience at sea were the basis for almost all his novels. The most famous novel is Moby-Dick. Moby-Dick is a name of the white whale and it means evil. Jack London (1876 – 1916) became very popular because of his describing the wildlife and adventurous life at the time of the gold rush. His novels The Call of the Wild (novel from Alaskan nature), White Fang and Martin Eden (with an autobiographical elements) still remain world classics.
The quick development in America at the end of the 19th century gave many problems and the authors first try to describe the life, where money-making dominates, destroys human character and put aside all human values.
Theodore Dreiser (1871 – 1945), one of the representatives of American naturalism and social  realism. His masterpiece is An American Tragedy. His hero is negative, he becomes a murderer, but it is not the hero who is to blame but the society and the system. The main hero was joung man - Clyde Griffiths. In his childhood he hated the poverty and he wanted to change his life. He tried to come in the highest society. He meet his rich uncle, who offers him the job in his factory. He falls in love with a poor girl Roberta from the factory but he still tries to go higher, so they meet each other only in the evening and it must be at some desert place. Once he meet a girl, who starts to invite Clyde to the parties. Clyde finally comes to the high society, falls in love with Sondra and he wants to leave Roberta, but Roberta says to him that she's pregnant. Clyde takes her to the lakes, when he wants to drown her. Clyde went to Sondra‘ summer-house and enjoys her riches. Roberta’s body is shortly founded and Clyde is indicted of the murder. Clyde is convicted to the death in the electric chair. He lose all his hopes because he never see Sondra again.
After the WWI a group of writers known as the „Lost Generation“ entered literature. They were influenced by the war, their experience resulted in disillusionment. The period of the „Lost Generation“ was the time of „Jazz Age“ and the „Roaring Twenties“ - it means the post-war time of prosperity during the 1920s.
Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961) was awarded Nobel Prize for his famous book The Old Man and the Sea, which is about human strength for fighting both external natural things and bad sides of his character („A man can be destroyed but not defeated“). After WWI Hemingway became a journalist. Among his best novels belong A Farewell to Arms – it is an epic description of World War I. and thus a protest against any war. It is a love story of an American boy served in the Italian Ambulance Service and an English nurse. Another famous novel is For Whom the Bell Tolls, and it is a picture from Spanish Civil War. Robert Jordan, a young American, comes to Spain as a volunteer to help in the fight against fascism. Jordan succeeds in blowing up(podaří vyhodit do vzduchu)a bridge but only at the cost of his life. His creed is: „You can do nothing for yourself but perhaps for another.“ Other novels are: Fiesta, Death in the Afternoon, A moveable Feast, Island in the Stram. Hemingway is a master in short story writing. He committed a suicide – shot himself.
Francis Scott Fitzgerald (1896 – 1940) is connected with the Jazz Age of the 20s. He wrote many stories about wealthy people, for whom everything is so easy because of money. His best novel is Great Gatsby. It is about a very rich man who earns all his money by smuggling. He is doing this because he wants to be on the same level as Daisy, his former lover. As Ernst Hamingway, also he committed a suicide (with pills). William Faulkner (1897 - 1962, NP in 1949) wrote about social and racial problems of the American South - The Wild Palms, As I Lay DyingAbsalom, Absalom!
To the same group belongs John Steinbeck (1902 – 1968) tried to uncover the reason of social injustice. His best – known books are Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath (fates of Californian farmers in time of economic cris) and East of Eden, which tells about a long family saga from the Civil War to World War I. Steinbeck described America in his Travels with Charley in Search of America. He got the Nobel Prize.
During the 1960s there was formed a group of poets and writers who are called the Beat Generation in San Francisco. They were disgusted by corrupt, commercial and conventional world around them. They practised free life, behaviour and new use of language and hoped they can make their world better by some excitement such as alcohol drinks or drugs. They were influenced also by Zen Buddhism teaching. The biggest writer of this group was Jack Kerouac (1922 - 1969) and his novel On the Road became the Bible of Beat Generation. The poetry of 20th century is represented mainly by members of Beat Generation - Allen Ginsberg (1926 - 1997) and his Howl and Other Poems, Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s (*1919) Pictures of the Gone World  but also Kerouac’s poetry Mexico City Blues and San Francisco Blues.
The most outstanding personality of the American drama is Eugene O’Neill (1888 - 1953, NP in 1936), who tried to study and show the bed sides of human character. His most famous play is Mourning Becomes Electra.
Tennessee Williams (* 1914) shows in his plays people’s cruel, selfish and violent of their behaviour as well as their deep desire  to love and be loved - A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof , Orpheus Descending.
Others representatives is Edward Albee (*1928) with his play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Others important authors:
William Styron – is influenced by Faulkner and writes novels about the South of US but his excellent novel called Sophie’s Choice. It deals with the problem of Nazis concentration camps and conditions of human life in peace influences by a bitter war experience. Joseph Heller (* 1923) is world-known for his Catch-XXII, an antiwar novel connecting absurd black humour and terrible experience from the war. Ray Bradbury (* 1920) is the outstanding author of warning science-fiction literature - The Martian Chronicles or Fahrenheit 451.
Robert Fulghum, Arthur Hailey (Hotel), Stephen King (It, Carrye), Ken Kesey (One flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – from mental hospital; movie by Miloš Forman), Jerome David Salinger (only one book – The Catcher in the Rye – subject-matter: teenage boy), John Irving (World according to Garp).
Oboduj prácu: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


Cudzie jazyky » Angličtina

:: Exchange Rates Euro

:: KATEGÓRIE - Referáty, ťaháky, maturita: