American Literature from the 1850s to 1945 (The Britannica Guide to World Literature)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Deviating from the romanticism of earlier works, American literature that emerged after the mid-19th century adopted a distinct realism and an often critical view of American society. With penetrating analyses, writers such as Henry Adams and Upton Sinclair exposed fundamental flaws in government and industry, while Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken incisively satirized social ills such as prejudice and intolerance. Readers will encounter these and other great minds whose fluid pens challenged the status quo.
support of foundlings and runaway boys. It was in this atmosphere that Alger wrote stories of boys who rose from poverty to wealth and fame, stories that were to make him famous and contribute the “Alger hero” to the American language. In a steady succession of books that are almost alike except for the names of their characters, he preached that by honesty, cheerful perseverance, and hard work, the poor but virtuous lad would have his just reward— though the reward was almost always precipitated
Lanier (b. Feb. 3, 1842, Macon, Ga., U.S.—d. Sept. 7, 1881, Lynn, N.C.) Sidney Lanier was an American musician and poet whose verse often suggests the rhythms and thematic development of music. Lanier was reared by devoutly religious parents in the traditions of the Old South. As a child he wrote verses and was especially fond of music. After graduation in 1860 from Oglethorpe College (now University), Atlanta, Ga., he served in the Civil War until his capture and subsequent imprisonment at
7 Contributor,” had just appeared in The Atlantic Monthly. Higginson was known as a writer of delicate nature essays and a crusader for women’s rights. Enclosing four poems, Dickinson asked for his opinion of her verse—whether or not it was “alive.” The ensuing correspondence lasted for years, with the poet sending her “preceptor,” as she called him, many more samples of her work. In addition to seeking an informed critique from a professional but not unsympathetic man of letters, she was
accused 14 7 Introduction 7 the artists of the Harlem Renaissance of eschewing African American values in order to be accepted by white society, others have said that it represented an open celebration of African American heritage. There’s no doubt that the novels and poetry of this movement had a great and lasting affect on later African American literature. Noteworthy works from this movement include Richard Wright’s novels Native Son (1940) and Black Boy (1945), Zora Neale Hurston’s
folklorist Zora Neale Hurston—created a canon of literature that was uniquely American. Ernest H. Mills/Hulton Archive/Getty Images (Twain); Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (Hurston) pp. 20 (map), 229, 230, 232, 235 © www.istockphoto.com/Vasko Miokovic; pp. 20 (books), 21, 69, 103, 160 © www.istockphoto.com CONTENTS Introduction 10 Chapter 1: From the Civil War to 1914 21 Literary Comedians Artemus Ward Local Colourists Kate Chopin William Sydney Porter Mark Twain Other