Till the first half of the 19th century the American literature had been developing only in a small quantity. While in Europe was widespread romanticism, in America romanticism was connected with nationalism. They were proud of the American intellectual tradition, which created their republic. The first more known American writer was Washington Irwig. He wrote about history of New York, essays on American life and biographies of Oliver Goldsmith and George Washington. James Fenimore Cooper
- In his adventure stories the good won over of the evil. One of his most known pieces is The last of the Mohycans. It’s about Indians and cowboys, who live in his books in peace and harmony.
- He made the American poetry independent on European poetry. He influenced the whole modern poetry with rhythmical free verse, which was his innovation. Leaves of grass is collection of poems, in which is the famous one Song of myself.
Edgar Allan Poe
- He was a poet and short story writer, critical essayist and the founder of science fiction and detective story. His poem The Raven brought him the biggest success. The Raven always repeats the word “never more”.
REALISM and NATURISM
In the second part of the 19th century great changes took place in people lives. Trade and manufactures grew rapidly and gave rise to many problems. Authors first tried to describe the life, where dominates earning money and it destroys human character and put aside all human values. It was the reason of being of realism and naturism.
- His the best none books are The adventure of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, where he depicts many temporary problems like slavery and freedom, but through the eyes of a small boy
- He was influenced by Marx’s theory of class struggle. The White Fang is the novel and the theme is discrepancy between individualism and socialism.
- He wrote about real people living in the cities and theirs social problems. His masterpiece is An American Tragedy. His hero is negative, he becomes a murderer, but it is not the hero, who is blame, but the society and the system.
LITERATURE BETWEEN TWO WORLD WARS
- He wrote about ordinary people – poor workers or farmers, small thieves or even idiots, but he showed his deep human understanding of all of them. He was awarded the Nobel Prize.
He wrote social novel The Grapes of wrath.
- It is a group of writers, who were the most influenced by the war. They took part in First World War and in their books, they release the cost of life. They wanted to forget as they were in the war by being alone or entertainment.
- He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1954 for its famous book The Old Man and the Sea, which is about human strength and friendship between small boy and the old man.
Francis Scott Fitzgerald
- He wrote many stories about wealthy people, for whom everything is so easy because of money. His best novel is Great Gatsby
MODERN AMERICAN PROSE
- After Second World War New generation was seeking new ideals and values and however a new forms.
- His novel On the Road was about adventures of young people refusing steady jobs, written in three days without puncuation.
- He wrote The Naked and the Dead and it’s based on his own experiences in the Pacific. It’s about group of soldiers, who survive the attack on a island occupied by the Japanese.
- He wrote Cat on a hot tin roof. In this play he critics relationship in classic American’s families.