American literature

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Typ práce: Maturita
Dátum: 28.03.2012
Jazyk: Angličtina
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American literature
- 17th CENTURY -
American literature is much younger than Czech literature, because American continent was discovered in 15th century and original people who lived there didn’t have letters. And the real settlers came to America in 17th century. Two follows centuries there was British literature, because all those settlers were British people who came to America to be free in their religion. But the settlers devoted housing, livelihood much more than literature. American literature began in 1608 when JOHN SMITH wrote
A True Relation, telling about the newly discovered world.
- 18th CENTURY -
It was the period THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE. Writings were published in local newspapers and special papers, called TRACTS that tried to convince readers that their opinion was right. Some of the famous writers:
·  Benjamin Franklin
 - he wrote: The Autobiography - there he describes the life of a scientist, journalist
  and politician ( unfinished )
·  Thomas Jefferson - he was a lawyer and later the 3. President of USA
 - he wrote: The Declaration
- 19th CENTURY -
American literature developed more strongly in the area of fiction. American literature was influence by European romanticism especially English and German.
·  Washington Irving - he is one of the first professional writers
 - he wrote: A History of New York
 The Sketch
  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - a very scary but funny for Halloween
·  Nathaniel Hawthorne - he is famous for his novel The Scarlet Letter
 - he pursue sin and punishment
·  Herman Melville
 - his greatest novel: Moby Dick - there describes the three-day hunt for the whale, by
Captain Ahab
·  Walt Whitman - he represented symbolism
    Leaves of Grass - there are 12 poems which celebrate life and free verse
·  Edgar Alan Poe - he studied on University, he was literary critic
 - he invented a new literary form: the detective story
 - he didn’t have enough many → drinking
 - he wrote stories about crimes, horror and mysteries: The Black Cat
   The Raven
   The Pit and the Pendulum
- Modern times
·  Mark Twain - he was a humorist in American literature, writer and journalist
 - he represented the School of Realism
 - he gained most of the material for his stories and novels while piloting a steamboat
on the Mississippi
  Tom Sawyer - a series of wild adventures of Tom and his friend Huck
  Huckleberry Finn
 - he took inspiration from English history: The Prince and the Pauper
·  Jack London - he tried a lot of jobs: miner, sailor, manual worker, a gold seeker,
writer → he use his experiences of this jobs to his works
 - his most popular stories are connected with Alaska
 - his novels: The Call of the Wild and Martin Eden
→ still remain world classics → these novels are autobiographical
The Life on the Mississippi
·  Henry James - he is representative a psychological realism
 - he got inspiration of European writers ( Zola, Flaubert…)
·  Gertrude Stein - invented the term “Lost Generation” for a group of writers who
lost their illusions after the First World War
·  Ernest Hemingway - novel price winner
   A Farewell to Arms
   For Whom the Bell Tolls
   Death in the Afternoon
·  Francis Scott Fitzgerald
   Tender is the Night
   Great Gagsby  
 - Jazz age, American dream: Jazz Age Tails
·  John Steinbeck
   Of Mice and Men
   The Grapes of Wrath - about poor people
·  William Faulkner - novel price winner, writer of the South → he wrote about  
  problems white, black and Indians people - Soldier’s Pay
  The Sound and Fury
  Light in August  
·  Theodore Dreiser - he had German ancestors
  - he is in the leading representative of the naturalistic school  in America
  - two themes which dominate his novels are:
1) many -  An American Tragedy
2) sex - The Sister Carrie
·  Norman Mailer - he combines fiction, non-fiction and journalism
 - a lot of his works are written according the real events
 - his most novel: The Naked and the Dead → about war in Pacific
  - it is about a group of soldiers who survive the attack on
  an island occupied by the Japanese
  → conflict Japanese and American soldiers)
·  Joseph Heller - he served as a pilot
 - his novel: Catch 22 - it is still consider the best anti-war novel
·  William Styron - he reflected the horrors of fascism and the concentration
  camps in his novel Sophie’s Choice 
·  Beat generation - they rejected to accept values of Western society and indicated
- they were wearing long hair, they didn’t work, they stole cars, they travelled about
  USA, used drugs, protested against war in Vietnam, lived in the parks
- they had two centres: 1) was in New York
    2) was in San Francisco
- the speakers this generation were:
·  Jack Kerouac - On the Road → it was the bible of the Beat Group
·  Allen Ginsberg - Howl and other Poem
·  William Burroughs - he use colloquial language
 The Naked Lunch
·  Ken Kesey - his novel One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest was filmed
·  John Irving - The World According to Garp
  The Cider House Rules
   Hotel Hempshire
·  Ray Bradburry - is outstanding author of warning science fiction ( Sci-fi
literature )
   Martian Chronicles
   451˚ F
- the most outstanding personalities in the 20th century drama are:
·  Eugene O´Neill - Mourning Becomes Electra  
·  Tennessee Williams - Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
     A Streetcar named Desire
·  Edward Albee - Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf
   The American Dream 
·  Arthur Miller - Death of a Salesman
The American writers awarded the Nobel Prize for literature: Lewis, O´Neill, Buck, Faulkner, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Bellow, Singer, Milosz
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