American Literature

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American Literature - National Identity & American Revolution

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This paper discusses an immense change has taken place in the history of America, over the last forty years. The paper argues about what it meant to create America, and what represents literature into contention. The paper also affirms new national identity in detail, as well as discusses the significant role of individuals. Additionally, this paper asserts American Revolution contribution in the development of American literary culture.

American Literature


The literature of America refers to the literary work written in the boundaries of United States, and its earlier colonies; it includes theater and poetry in the US. The early literary history of America, the tradition of literary are associated with the broader English language tradition.

In the past, the British English language dominance was hardly unavoidable. The development of American literature involves various periods. The first period American literature refers to the Early American and Colonial Period, 1776; it highlights the American culture, through the letters to farmers that came from immigrant of French. The second phase was from 1776-1820, encompass the period of revolutionary and democratic writer; just after the revolution, the emergence of African American literature was witnessed, such as Philllis Wheatley's poetry and Olaudah Equiano's narration of slave. From 1820 to 1860, remembered as a period of poets and essayists; such as Alexander Hanilton's The Federalist essays. Later on, during 1820-1860 the American literature consists of fiction and romance. During1860-1914, the American writing focused on realism, and one well-known writer of that era was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Afterwards in 1914 to 1945, American literary focal point was modernism and experimentation. Subsequently, the anti-tradition period of American Poetry was emerged during 1945-1990; the renowned poets of that time include John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, and others. American writers adopted realism and experimental styles during 1945-1990; for instance, Naked Lunch wrote on hard drugs in 1959. Last but not the least, American literature adopted contemporary style in poetry and literature.


The independence declaration and American Revolution have been the significant happening in the American history. The one of the most important pillar of the American Revolution was the notion of American national identity. An additional aspect of American Revolution was less apparent, as well as the role of literature make a significant contribution in American identity. In 1820, the writer of “The Norton Anthology of American Literature,” marked about revolution in the chapter “American Literature 1700-1820.” The two foremost works that make an essential contribution to national identity was “The Crisis No.1” written by Thomas Paine, and another work was of de Crevecoeur titled “What is an American.” After deep analysis of these works it can be evident that these literary works make an important contribution regarding national identity that helps in united colonists and its immigrants in the independence of America.

According to Baym (2008) the American Revolution was also enriched by the literary work. In 1776, Common Sense was published by Paine, and converse in support of American ...
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