Main Characteristics of American Literature

Aug 22 21:01 2009 Luka Malgaj Print This Article

The United States has such a large and varied literature that we can make no true generalizations about it. But three characteristics seem to stand out and give it a flavor all its own.

First,Guest Posting American literature reflects beliefs and traditions that come from the nation’s frontier days. The pioneer ideals of self-reliance and independence appear again and again in American writings. American authors have great respect for the value and importance of the individual. They tend to reject authority and to emphasize democracy and the equality of people. They often celebrate nature and a sense of boundless space.

Second, American writers have always had a strong tendency to break with literary tradition and to strike out their awn directions. Writers of other counties seem to absorb their national literary traditions. But many American authors have rejected the old in order to create something new.

Third, a lively streak of humor runs through American literature from earliest times to the present. In many cases, a dash of salty humor saves a serious theme from becoming too sentimental. American humor tends to be exaggerated rather than subtle. It reflects the people’s ability to laugh at themselves even during the most difficult times.

Compulsory Reading List

1. Mark Twain: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
2. Earnest Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms
3. John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath


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Luka Malgaj
Luka Malgaj

Luka Malgaj contributes to Slovenian writers portal - Visit Rok Mejak

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