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American Literature Essay

american literature essay

Example #1 – American Literature: Its importance on Society and Our Lives

The most influential invention of the history of mankind is that of the printing press. With its invention, people were awaking to the world around them. The printing press enabled people to learn of events in other parts of the world in the comfort of their own home. But with the rise in technology, we no longer rely on this form of medium to get the news and the information of the world. Instead, we use the printed word to experience the harshness of the New York streets, live in a small town in Ohio, and listen to first hand to the voice of jazz.

The printed word exposes us to the ideas and thoughts of a particular character. It lets us look through someone else’s eyes. Through the novels Winsburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, Maggie: a Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane, and the short story “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, one discover that American literature helps us understand and come to terms with society, other’s point of view, and helps us express ourselves through the use of words.

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American literature helps one understand other people’s thoughts and beliefs. It is important that as a society we understand other people’s opinions and are intolerable to those opinions. This must be accomplished in order for us to function as a society. Literature is a way of understanding other people. For example, in the book Winesburg, Ohio we are introduced to the character of Elmer Cowley. He is an odd character and everyone in the story thinks of him as “queer.” When we read his story, however, we realize that his queerness comes from his struggle to be normal.

After an outbreak in his attempt to be like everyone else, Anderson writes, “the passion that had been the cause of his outburst in the store began to again find expression. ‘I will not be queer – one to be looked at and listened to,’ he declared aloud. ‘I’ll be like other people’” (107). If we understand why people do not fit in we can then help them conform to society.

Another way of looking at someone else’s point of view is to see how they feel during a certain situation. In the fight against child abuse, it is helpful to know what the child is going through. To know how much they are hurting. In Maggie, we are able to see just that. We are able to witness first hand the detrimental experience of a mother hitting her child. Crane illustrates, “The mother’s massive shoulders heaved with anger. Grasping the urchin by the neck and shoulders she shook him until he rattled… Jimmie screamed in pain and tried to twist his shoulders out of the clasp of the huge arms” (81).

Although we are exposed to the tribulation of a mother’s hand, through literature we also are exposed to other individuals more positive, enlightened feelings and experiences. The effect that music has on someone can only be witnessed through someone else’s eyes. “Sonny’s Blues” is just another example of what literature can do. James Baldwin describes blues by writing, “[Creole] hit something in all of them, he hit something in me, myself, and the music tightened and deepened, apprehension began to beat the air. Creole began to tell us what the blues were all about” (69). Blues is a beautiful piece of art and to see its effect on people makes it even that much more beautiful.

In addition to helping one understand other people, Literature is a way of talking about social problems. In order to learn about the problems that this country is going through one must either experience it or read about it. Through literature, we can learn why these problems exist. Alcoholism is a huge problem in society. The effects of alcoholism harmful to the person taking the drink.

In Winesburg, Ohio, Anderson writes of the consequences that alcohol has on Tom forester. Anderson describes, “Tom got drunk in a very short time… His head seemed to be flying about like a pinwheel and then projecting itself off into space and his arms and legs flopped helplessly about” (121). Even though alcohol is dangerous to oneself, it is also very harmful to the people who live closest to them.

In Maggie, we see the effects that a drunken mother has on her son. Crane writes, “[Jimmie] cast furtive glances at his mother. His practiced eye perceived her gradually emerge from a muddled mist of sentiment until her brain burned in drunken heat. He sat breathless” (82). Alcoholism is a disease that needs to be cured. Too many kids like Jimmie are being hurt by this fatal disease.

The streets are a far worse problem than alcoholism. On the streets, young boys are exposed to drugs, sex, and a life with no future. Once you are born into this prison it is hard to escape. In “Sonny’s Blues,” James Baldwin writes,

But houses exactly like the houses of our oats yet dominated the landscape, boys exactly like the boys we once had been found themselves smothering in these houses, came down into the streets for light and air and found themselves encircled by the disaster. Some escaped the trap, most didn’t. Those who got out always left something of themselves behind, as some animal amputate a leg and leave it in the trap. (53)

Stories like this one help society understand what keeps these kids trapped in this life. We can learn to help them by understanding them.

Furthermore, literature is a reflection of life and some experiences about life. In Winesburg, Ohio, we learn what it is like to grow up in a small town. We learn of George Willard’s life and the experiences he has with the people of his town. We feel first hand the closeness he has with the people he grew up with. Anderson explains, “He knows the people in the towns along his railroad better than a city man knows the people who live in his apartment building” (137).

In Stephen Crane’s Maggie, we look through the eyes of a lost and troubled teen as opposed to a small-town boy. We learn through her tragic story how kids choose the road of drugs, sex, law-breaking, and prostitution. We learn through her life experiences that her bad choices were influenced by the dysfunctional family in which she lives in.

Crane writes of Maggie’s mother, Mary, and how her drunkenness has affected her life. When Mary is arrested for being drunk she tries to blame it on Maggie. But the police reply, “Mary, the records of this and other courts show that you are the mother of forty-two daughters who has been ruined. The case is unparalleled in the annals of this court,” (113).

Literature is away from expressing the thought and ideas of the author. Away of traveling through time and experiencing the life of someone else. We learn how other people think and are able to understand people a little bit better. We learn through someone else’s eyes.

Literature is important to American Society in more ways than one. Life without literature would be one of thoughtlessness and boredom. We would not be able to think and the experiences of other people would be left to themselves. The ideas and thoughts of other people would be left unsaid.


Example #2

Thomas Jefferson was a man of many life issues. He struggled with problems in political life as well as his personal life. While in presidency Jefferson struggled with the burden of keeping America out of the war, and also struggled with problems using the embargo act. Earlier he was struggling with slavery and the idea of a National Bank.

When Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he included in his first draft that “all men were created equal,” including slaves. This part of slavery had to be dropped because the Americans did not treat slaves as equals and he also says; ?each man has certain god-given rights.? Jefferson had always struggled with this because even though he was totally against slavery and tried to abolish it in the west, he owned slaves and realized their value to the southern economy.

Also when Jefferson was Secretary of State, his collogue Alexander Hamilton proposed a National Bank. Jefferson believed in a small government not one big central government, but he also had to look out for the benefit of America. Jefferson was “strong to the writing” meaning that he followed the constitution because there was nothing written in it about a National Bank. This idea was later approved and is the basis of the National Bank we have today.

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While Jefferson was president, the British and the French started fighting and got mad at America for not getting involved. Jefferson thought that America was not strong enough to withstand a war, so he avoided it. This made the British and the French even madder and they started a neutral ship ban. This meant that no neutral ship could enter French or British ports.

With this Jefferson thought it was best to use an embargo, and not trade at all with them. This did not sit well with the Americans, and they opposed it. The embargo did not have time to act and failed. The people wanted war, so following Washington’s footsteps, and not wanting to fight a war, Jefferson did not run again.

Jefferson was one of the best American presidents in history in things he did. He kept us out of the war, doubled the size of our country these two factors alone were great achievements for both America and Jefferson. With the exception of only a couple of mistakes, like the National Bank, his ideas were well planned out and carried through. This is why his presidency was strong.


Example #3 – Nature As Reflected In American Literature

In his Poetics, Plato contemplates the nature of aesthetics and existence. He postulates that for every existing object and idea there is an absolute “ideal” which transcends human experience. He further concludes that art, including literature, is an aesthetic representation of real objects and ideas that is used to better understand their “ideals.” In theory, as an object becomes closer ideal it also becomes a better subject for the artist. American artists in particular have been given an invaluable opportunity to explore this realm of the Platonic ideal.

Because the American continent and its wilderness was primarily unsullied by the ravages of civilization, the natural world found there by early settlers was much closer to being “ideal” than anywhere else on Earth. For this reason, nature has become one of the most important subjects of American art, especially Literature. Specific examples from American literature including the works Moby Dick, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Walden, and “To a Waterfowl” can show how American authors explore the ideals of human existence through aesthetic representations of nature.

William Cullen Bryant, who has been called “the father of American poetry,” is one of the earliest artists to capture the essence of nature in America and apply it to the human experience. In his poem “To A Waterfowl”, he uses the example of a waterfowl to reach a better understanding of human existence. In the poem, the waterfowl is portrayed as a near-perfect creation, and it is treated with a sense of reverence. The first stanza demonstrates this:

Whither, midst falling dew,

While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,

Far, though their rosy depths, dost thou pursue

Thy solitary way?

Though it is not curious that a bird would be flying in the morning, Cullen presents the fowl in flight as being nearly supernatural. The bird emerges from the “heavens” almost like an angel and the persona addresses it in an extremely respectful tone. It can be presumed that the persona would agree that nature, embodied in the fowl, is close to what Plato would call an “ideal.” Bryant, through his aesthetic presentation of the bird, then deepens his understanding of human experience. The persona and, as an extension, Bryant eventually conclude, through rumination over the flight of the waterfowl, that the higher “Power” that guides the fowl also guides them.

This use of nature to better understand certain “ideals” is not limited to positive examples or the representation of good forces like the Power in “Waterfowl.” Herman Melville illustrates the ambiguity of nature in his novel Moby Dick by representing certain evil elements of human existence with comparable elements in nature. His use of the shark is exemplary of this. He portrays the shark as the epitome of what a cannibal is. Through the creation of a well-conceived syllogism, he uses this portrayal of the shark to develop the character of Ahab.

The first thing Melville does to accomplish this is placing the shark on a higher plane of being than man by saying that they are like “angels well governed.” This is very effective because, ultimately, sharks are closer to being “ideal” cannibals than any man could be. They kill with no remorse, eat their own kind dead or alive, and even attack their own bodies when wounded.

This representation of a cannibal deepens the reader?s understanding of what an “ideal” cannibal is and later used by Melville when Ahab is compared to a shark. This syllogism states that if a shark is the epitome of a cannibal and Ahab is like a shark, then Ahab must also be like the epitome of a cannibal. Such use of specific parts of nature like the shark and the waterfowl are important elements in American literature, but the use of nature as an entity in itself is also widely employed.

Mark Twain and Henry David Thoreau both use nature as an entity to explain certain truths of human existence. Both stress the essential role that nature plays in society and the importance of man’s relationship to nature. The fashion in which each deal with this importance, however, differs greatly. Does Twain focus on nature?s role as a refuge and a source of peace when compared to civilization. Thoreau, a transcendentalist, focuses on nature as a “reflection of an inner spiritual reality.”

In Huckleberry Finn, Twain presents nature as a refuge for Huck and Jim. When they are alone with nature, they have time to culture their relationship, relax, and enjoy life. Huck’s feelings about nature can be best summed up when he and Jim are enjoying a rainstorm in the island cave and he says, “Jim, this is nice. I wouldn’t want to be nowhere else but here.”

This idyllic state, however, is disrupted as soon as the two encounter civilization. They then encounter many hardships and must work harder to survive than when they are with nature. This is a good example of contrast used to represent an ideal. Twain shows the serenity of nature and its goodness in direct comparison with the hectic and far from the ideal nature of civilization.

Thoreau takes a more serious approach than Twain. He believes nature to be the highest physical reality on Earth, transcending human experience, and only by understanding nature can a person understand himself. He would most likely agree that aesthetic representations of nature are the key to deepening human understanding of existence.

His novel Walden is based on such aesthetic representations. He says that “I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” This shows the almost stoic devotion that he has to find truth in nature. He intends to learn from it and make himself vulnerable to it.

Clearly Thoreau believes that nature is close to a Platonic ideal, the truth. He says that nature holds the “essential facts of life” and through his writing, he becomes closer to nature itself, and therefore closer to the truth. The same is true in some way also for Twain, Melville, and Bryant.

This is the key to American Literature. If art is truly a representation of some impalpable ideal made in the hopes of better understanding existence, then nature has been the greatest vehicle for art in America. Since the settling of this continent, the authors of America have been greatly affected by a wild, beautiful, and almost ideal nature. American Literature, therefore, has taken nature in as it’s the most important and loved subject.


Example #4 – Early American Literature

American Literature consisted of many well-known writers. These writers wrote excellent pieces of literature that are widely read today. These writers wrote about some aspect of American life, and they depicted America very well.

Some of these writers are Stephen Crane and Robert E. Lee. Lee wasn’t exactly a writer, but he wrote a good piece of literature that really showed the people’s attitude during this time. War was a major topic in American Literature. During this time America was just developing and many wars occurred.

The wars affected the people and their everyday lives because many of their loved ones were dying. The Americans didn’t like war and they were tired of sending their people out to war. Two authors that conveyed this wartime really well were Stephen Crane and Robert E. Lee.

Stephen Crane depicted the attitudes of Americans at that time really well. In his poem “War Is Kind” he shows us how tired Americans were of war. This poem is very strong and emotional because he gives us mental images of how horrible war is. In this piece, Crane keeps repeated “war is kind”. These three words really show how he and other Americans felt about the war. He is not saying that war is good. He is saying this in a sarcastic way. For example, he talks about how people’s loved ones are dying. And then later he says “Do not weep.

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War is Kind.” In this poem, he really shows us that Americans were really tired of war. In the “Letter to His Son” Robert E. Lee also depicts his attitude, as well as other Americans, towards war very well. Many Americans hated war, but still, some were very patriotic.

Robert E. Lee was definitely one of them. In this letter, he talks about how he hates war but he will fight for his country if he has to. Many Americans at this time felt this way. Americans at this time were very patriotic and were willing to do anything for there country.

These two authors were very good at conveying America and its people at the time. Stephen Crane showed how people were scared of war. Robert E. Lee showed how patriotic Americans were. If I had to explain to a person what American literature was, I would tell him that war was one of its major topics. American literature is very unique.


Example #5 – American Literature’s Ray Bradbury

In studying short stories, collections, and novels with the different authors of American literature, critics tend to point out such writers as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Poe. Some could forget Ray Bradbury whom Douglas J. McReynolds calls ” A genius as well as his gladness affirmation of the world is made manifest . . . ” (2043), probably because they are familiar only with Bradbury’s popular novels, like Fahrenheit 451 and Something wicked comes this way.

Still little known is the many aspiring short stories that Bradbury has written, several of which, such as A Medicine for Melancholy, The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, the Skeleton, The Dwarf, and All Summer in a Day, explore his feeling of the people, places, and culture of other countries.

Not all critics, however, have ignored Bradbury’s particular skill at committing his dreams to paper and in so doing, making them live for others. In “Sun and Shadow,” for example, a poor Mexican, tired of being treated as a “local,” deliberately exposes himself to keep from carrying out a North American fashion photographer attempts to take a picture, the Mexican appears and drops his pants.

Bradbury writes science fiction, in fact, hardly concludes, for the values, Bradbury seeks to express are the values he associates with his own past. His stories contain a sense of wonder, often a sense of joy, and a lyrical & rhythmic touch that sets his work apart. Douglas J. McReynolds reminds us “The strength of a Bradbury story is . . . his own telling of it.”(2045). Ray Bradbury’s real concern is to search some key matters in American history capitalism, technology, the family, the role of immigration.

Second Bradbury is a fantasist whose fantasies are oddly circumscribed as him writing less about strange things happening to people than about strange imagining of the human mind. It is in Bradbury’s own Midwestern background that one finds the most important sources for his fiction. These reasons and his themes, in what might be called a “Baroque manner”(viii) said Wayne L. Johnson, are key elements of Ray Bradbury’s uniqueness.

One of Bradbury’s most unfailing themes in his early fiction was that of alienation. Rupture from technology, from a culture, even from the body itself and while this theme is most readily apparent in the stories dealing with Mexicans in America and Americans in Mexico, it permeates other stories in Dark Carnival at an even more central level.

In Bradbury’s early twenties he became more aware of his style and developing it, then discovering new sources of material for his fiction. So, in his tales of space and the future, the emphasis is less on technology than the abuser of technology. In doing so he became a lone symbol of the dangers of technology, even to the point of refusing to drive an automobile or fly in an airplane.

Bradbury’s uniqueness was sculptured by his influences growing up. Born in Waukegan, Illinois, in 1920 his family had to move westward because of the depression. His mother Esther Bradbury was a great film buff and she passed her enthusiasm on to her son. Leonard Spaulding Bradbury, Bradbury’s father, a lineman for a company, his occupation was transformed into romance in “Powerhouse,” a story in The Golden Apples of the Sun.

His Aunt, Neva, who introduced Bradbury to fairy tales and OZ books, also whose name was given to characters in a few stories and received the dedication of Bradbury’s collection, The Golden Apples of the Sun, influenced him greatly. It’s possible that his early impressions of the desert ( Bradbury’s father was laid off & was searching for work in Arizona ) affected his later visions of Mars and perhaps his views on Mexican Americans.

Growing up, Bradbury, only at age six had seen a number of horror movies and had developed a morbid fear of the dark. Nine years later, he began submitting short stories to major magazines and wrote for school publications. Bradbury began to show interest in science fiction and the future when he discovered the pulp magazine Amazing Stories & visit with his aunt the Neva to the Century of Progress exposition at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. But Bradbury’s first real connection with the world of science fiction was when he joined the Los Angles Science Fiction League.

There Bradbury met Henry Kuttner who became a mentor to Bradbury. Finally, Bradbury began his own mimeographed publication called Futuria Fantasia and broke into professional markets in 1941 with “Pendulum.” The activities that Bradbury participated in, and the places and people he visited helped him immensely. His traveling shows as a youth trip to Mexico, and the interest in Irishmen, Mexicans, and Chicanos gave him many ideas for stories.

Still struggling, living with family, and selling newspapers, Bradbury published his first short story in 1938, “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma,” then began selling stories to Weird Tales and eventually would go on to make Bradbury’s first collection, Dark Carnival. Later he was voted best science fiction author of the year by the National Fantasy Fan Federation. Except Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury had not yet produced a truly unified work of fiction until Something Wicked this way comes.

The strong point of Something Wicked this way comes is the character of Charles Halloway whose melancholy and isolation are presented as a foreshadowing of his final, lonely confrontation with the forces of evil represented by a traveling carnival. Douglas J. McReynolds commented, “These stories are about those momentary escapes from the knowable world.”(2045).

Bradbury has always been a resourceful artist, and any conclusions about the value or direction of his later work would be premature. His earlier work, however, there can be little doubt, for all its eclecticism and occasional stylistic excesses, it stands as one of the most interesting and significant bodies of short fiction in modern American literature.

Douglas J. McReynolds said it best “1945-1959 is Bradbury’s most productive and creative years, and has seemed to have found a position of permanence in American literature.”(2042). Stories such as these assure Bradbury a permanent place in the history of the American short story and in the history of science- fiction.

Bradbury’s works are so powerful because he uses his experiences and observations from his life and places them into his unique works. What seems to make Ray Bradbury’s stories almost magical is that the way he tells the story. He writes short stories like no other author, just like his science fiction. It’s safe to say that Ray Bradbury has influenced American literature in the way of science fiction storytelling.


Example #6

American literature refers to the body of written or literary works shaped in the history of the United States and its former colonies ( Tracing back America’s history, America was once under the rule of Britain as part of the latter’s colonies therefore its literary institution is associated to the expansive tradition of English literature. However, American literature is now considered a separate course and institution because of its one of a kind American characteristics and the production of its literature.

This paper aims to present an extended definition of the meaning of the term American Literature. The paper will discuss the background of American Literature and how it has come about, the writing style of American authors and what makes the American text different and unique from other national literature and lastly the paper will present arguments that explore the concept of American literature.

Before Columbus and other European colonizers discovered the Americans, the native peoples of the continent have no written alphabet but they expressed their artistic talents and passed on knowledge of their traditions in the form of chants, songs and spoken narratives.

Contrary to the popular Western understanding of literature that they must be principally a result of written words, scholars considered these verbal genres which include trickster tales, jokes, naming and grievance chants, and dream songs, among others as “literary” because they embody the creative and arousing retorts of the people to their Native culture (Baym, Franklin, Gura, Krupat and Levine).

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When the Americas was colonized by different empires namely the Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, German and English kingdoms, the primary role of writing was to pressure policymakers at these overseas colonies’ home base to rationalize actions taken without their precise consent, or bearing witness to the straight and unintentional cost of the European invasion of the Americas.

Writing also documented the dreadful effects of European colonization of the Americas where the unintentional contamination of Old World diseases such as smallpox, measles, and the like to the Natives and the enslavement of the latter for plantation labor gave strong reactions toward from the public.

Also during the early occupation of the Americas, writing gave opportunities to people who were not born to a life of privilege but were in favor of merit, talent, and effort to reshape the possibilities of their life such as Diego del Castillo and John Smith. In the 15th century, New England had a publishing edge over other colonies with Boston’s size in terms of population-driven in producing Puritan literature together with the establishment of Harvard University in 1636 which operates with an independent college and printing press.

Though with these efforts the initial state of the English language supremacy was barely evident, political events eventually changed the course and made English the main language for the colonies as well as the choice in writing literature. From 1696 to 1700 the state of American literature consisted only of about 250 published works. These works were mostly about religious, security, and cultural concerns of colonial life (Baym, Franklin, Gura, Krupat, and Levine).

The war of 1812 which was a quarrel between the United States of America and the British empire because of trade restrictions (Hickey 56-58), forced recruitment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support to American Indian tribes against American expansion (Hickey 101-104) and uphold national honor in the face of British insults (Risjord 196-210), paved way to the American’s growing aspiration to create uniquely American literature and culture separate from that of the English.

The pioneers wrote humorous works about the American frontiers while some wrote romantic and nature-inspired poetry which developed away from the early English origins.

Short stories that investigate earlier concealed levels of human psychology and move forward the limits of fiction towards mystery and fantasy were written. The movement of transcendentalism which was a protest to produce a state of culture and society was formed in response to the growing desire of American literary uniqueness. Through this formation, radical writings towards individualism in the American character emerged.

Native American autobiographies were also developed and minority authors began to publish fiction. Allegories and dark psychology became the focus of literary romances sated with philosophical assumptions. Dark Romanticism became popular in American writings presenting the characters as prone to sin and self-destruction. “the Dark Romantics adapted images of anthropomorphized evil in the form of Satan, devils, ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and ghouls” (Thompson, 6).

American literature has been developed through the various influence of Native American’s traditions before writing was introduced coupled with the influences brought about by European conquerors.

Initially, American literature was composed of reports and documentation of complaints and status quo of the people in the New World. Writing and literature served as a means of influencing policymakers in developing the civilization, exploring the natural resources, and understanding the traditions and cultures of the Native Americans.

Over time American literature evolved into various forms with fiction and non-fiction categories illustrating writers’ sentiments on matters concerning politics, economy, culture, social statuses using artistic imagery or factual resources. American literature further developed into its own form, growing away from its initial sphere of influence, English literature, during the 17th century creating a uniquely American characteristic and promoting individualism.

It developed writers of different genres experimenting with human emotions, philosophy, and psychology. It also gave way to the dark romanticism subgenre which portrays human beings as individuals prone to sin and self-destruction. American literature pushed the boundaries of human imagination and creativity with their constant experimentation of emotions and thoughts which can be attributed to the contemporary writers’ attitude of artistic expression and freedom.


Example #7

Early American literature consisted mainly of diaries, journals, short stories, and Indian creation stories. Since some of the language used was of older English and other languages, early American literature was difficult to read.

The first story I read was Spanish Explorers in the New World. This story was a journal of Cabeza de Vaca’s travels and discoveries in the New World. After having a shipwreck, he and his fellow sailors were made slaves of the Indians. They walked barefoot, bleeding, and ate raw meat for food. He also described how one tribe took over the land.

De Vaca gave detailed accounts on how the Indians lived which I found interesting. The males lived in the estufas, while women lived in the house. For a proposal, the male would weave a blanket and place it before the female. Spanish Explorers In The New World was interesting because of the detail with the Indians as opposed to other stories that involve no action. The second piece of early American literature I read was The General History.

The Jamestown colony as plagued from the beginning by unfortunate circumstances. While out exploring, John Smith was captured by the Indians. After being brought to many chiefs, John Smith was brought to the emperor of the Pamaunkee. The emperor had planned to kill John Smith at first by placing his head against a rock and bashing it in.

Then Pocahontas, the emperor’s daughter threw her head in the way and prevented his death. The emperor then decided to let Smith live and to have him as a slave. This story also had more action than some other which I read which does make it interesting, but every once in awhile it is difficult to understand due to the Old English. This story was insightful into the lives of one tribe of Indians near Jamestown.

The third passage I read was an excerpt from The Bay Psalm Book. In this, the Puritans had re-edited the Bible and tried to simplify its words. Their version was modified to rhyme and to have what the Puritans referred to as “plainness.” They believed that life should be plain and stiff.

This version of 23 A Psalm of David was difficult to decipher and I thought that the meaning had to mean changed some. In conclusion, I have learned that early American literature was exciting in some cases, such as those of real-life people and their adventures, and boring and difficult to comprehend in others, such as in the “plainness” of the Puritans.


Interesting Ideas

The essay portion of the SAT calls for an argumentative style essay, therefore, reading American literature will not really help.

You should focus on your grammar and your points of argument. Read the prompt carefully to understand what it is asking of you.

Since you are an international student and English isn’t your first language, reading ANYTHING written by a native English speaker will help you with your grammar skills.

I can help a little by correcting your question:

“I am an international student and I am going to take SAT. The 3rd part of the exam is essay. How can I write it well and what should I read???”

can be rewritten as:

“I am an international student and I will be taking the SAT. The third part of the exam is an essay. How can I write it well and what should I read?”

when I studied American literature, one of our biggest topics was a comparative analysis of Whitman and Dickinson. I just googled it, there’s plenty of that online. look it up, maybe you’ll find it interesting.

First, you need to plan an outline for your essay. Get sources from the library database and include the information that relates to the topic that you are writing about. Make sure that your sources closely focus on the evolution of American literature!

Also: Your introduction and conclusion wrap up your essay. Your thesis statement is usually the last statement of the introduction. You should start a thesis like this “For this essay, I would like to explore each period of the American literature.”

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