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American literature Essay Topics & Paper Examples

The Harlem Renaissance and Its Role in American Literature

Historically, the African American experience is defined by the constant struggle to be recognized, to assert identity, and to rise from the stereotypes and negativity of racism and discrimination. While it took some time before these issues were resolved, the contributions coming from the African American culture’s collective and individual experiences have formed a profound body of work, from then until now. One of the most renowned eras of African American literature is the Harlem Renaissance. Originally known as the New Negro Movement, the Harlem Renaissance saw an incredible influx of activity within the community of black writers that started during the early 1920s (McElrath, par. 1). The movement began with the holding of literary discussions series in both lower…

All Good Things Must Come to an End

The amazing thing about literature is that it can be interrupted differently by each person who reads it. Which means that while one piece of writing is amazing, creative, and witty to one person to another person it could be the most boring, uninteresting, and redundant piece of literature they have ever read. In this semester of Literature 221, I was given the opportunity to read works from many different genres, time periods, and styles of writing. Some of which, like Emily Dickinson’s Life I and Life XLIII, Joyce Carol Oates’ Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? , and Sherman Alexie’s What You Pawn I Will Redeem I thoroughly enjoyed and learned from. While others such as Ernest…

Bob likes cheese

In these pages a few years ago, I reported on some of my findings at having reached very old age. I was then in my early 90s. Five years further down the hill, I have a few more matters to note. Certainly I have not gained in wisdom, but due to so little physical activity and fewer social goings-on, I have begun to inhabit the static house of my head. To my surprise I find it a somewhat well-furnished abode, occupied with what I remember, have heard recently, and observed. Ernest Hemingway boils things down to the essentials, his friend William Faulkner lets the pot boil over, spilling onto the stove, down onto the floor, and maybe somehow catching the…

Huckleberry Finn

Is it fair to deprive children of enlightenment and knowledge simply because you are afraid of what they might see? Most schools across the country have banned the book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain because of this very reason. Our slave filled past may be a sensitive subject, but taking away Twain’s book will not hide it forever. His book does not hold back when describing the culture of the time, so he uses words that may seem offensive now. If schools teach this book it will educate students and give them a chance to form their own opinions. This classic American novel should be encouraged by schools to be taught in classrooms, even with the risk…

Satirical Mouthpiece in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Typically when you hear “19th century literature,” you think of the formal and monotonous, yet gramatically and contextually correct writing of authors such as Charles Dickens and Harriet Beecher Stowe; but one author stood out among them and his name was Mark Twain. Twain started a new trend of including new aspects of writing into his pieces such as voice, dialect, and satire. The one particular book written by Mark Twain that is known to be the beginning of American literature called The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, contains all three of these aspects. In the book, Twain uses the main character and narrator, Huck, to utilize his voice, dialect, and satire. Huck serves as a satirical mouthpiece for the author’s…

The Role of Women

“American literature is male. To read the canon of what is currently considered classic American literature is perforce to identify as male; Our literature neither leaves women alone nor allows them to participate. ” Judith Fetterley (Walker, 171) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel about boys and for boys. As the name says, there are “adventures”, boys like adventures, not ladies. The role of the women in the American literature has been always victim of sexism and discrimination. There are always men who play the principal role. We can see that in Ulysses, by James Joice (1922); Moby Dick by Herman Melville (1815) or The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925). In the previous work of Mark…

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Synthesis Essay

Great literature has always run into great controversy, such as classics like The Catcher and the Rye by J. D. Salinger, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, and of course The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is of the antics of a 13-year-old Huck, and adult runaway slave. This piece of writing is found to be a classic and a standard for American literature; although recent debate on Twain’s racist language and stereotypical view on African Americans is questioned as appropriate for public education. Mark Twain’s novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should be taught in public schools, because the story should not be thought of as demeaning to blacks, or that…

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is the greatest, and most adventurist novel in the free world. Mark Twain has a style of his own that depicts a since of realism in the novel about the society back in Post-Civil War America. Mark Twain definitely characterizes the hero or main character, the intelligent and sympathetic Huckleberry Finn, by the direct way of writing as though speaking through the actual voice of Huck. Every word, thought, and speech by Huck is so in depth and realistic, it reflects even the racism and black stereotypes typical of the era. And this has lead to many conflicting views by various readers since the first print of the novel, though inspiring thought jerking to some….

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Censorship

“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it. ” (Mark Twain) Throughout the last hundred years, Mark Twain’s famous American novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been the center of a heated debate. This argument is centered around the allowance of the book in the curriculum of public schools. Many people from many different interest groups have stated their opinion about the book and the argument, presenting various pertinent arguments; however, the debate remains heated even more than a hundred years after the novel was originally published. On one side of debate is those opposed to the novel’s prominent position in schools. In fact many maintain that it should not…

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

In chapter 11 of Huckleberry Finn, Huck dresses up as a girl and goes ashore in order to find out what is happening in his town. During his trip, Huck is forced to lie many times in order to maintain the idea that he is a girl. Once Huck learns that he and his slave-friend Jim are being chased, he quickly makes a decoy in order to “buy some time” for Jim and himself to get away. The combination of Huck’s compulsive dishonesty and his quick thinking reveals that Huck is cunning. When Huck goes ashore in chapter 11, he enters Judith Loftus’ house. On page 57, Huck accidentally tells Mrs. Loftus that his name is Mary, though he had…

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

In the novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, readers encounter a White boy named Huckleberry Finn, whom is raised in a society where there is prejudice towards African-Americans that are mostly slaves. Over the course of the novel, Huckleberry slowly detaches himself from society through his actions and his lies, such as helping Jim become a “free nigger” (Twain 27). As Huckleberry’s journey with helping Jim become a free man goes on, he gradually separates himself from society. In the beginning of the novel, Huckleberry is treated as an outcast as he attains it from his father. For example, “They call that govment! A man can’t get his rights in a govment like this. Sometimes I’ve a mighty…

Racism in the Adventure of Huckleberry Finn

Introduction Huckleberry Finn is a wonderful book that captures the heart of the reader in its brilliance and innocence. Despite many critics have attacked its racist perspective;the piece merely represents a reality that occurred during antebellum America,the setting of the novel. Twain’s literary devices in capturing the focal of excitement,adventure,and human sympathy is a wonderful novel that should be recognized,not for bigotry, but that it is the candid viewpoint of a boy that grew up in that era. And even then,the protagonist does overcome some social prejudices of slavery because he is concerned with the well-being of his runaway slave friend Jim. That the mockery of the slave race in the end allowed by Huck is more about fulfilling the…

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Not for the Adolescent

For decades, Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” has spurred many controversies because of its offensive language, bad grammar, and racial bias. Some schools have even banned it from being taught; despite the benefits that one receives from it. When read to the right audience, one could learn from the harsh dialect, the use of satire, and the historical setting. However, because of the more advanced components of this book, “The Adventures of Huck Finn” should only be taught to high-school seniors in advanced English classes. One of the most popular reasons as to why “The Adventures of Huck Finn” is banned in some schools is because of the use of offensive language such as the “n” word and…

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway probably summed it up best when he said, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn” (source). We’re dealing with quite a book here. Published in 1885, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain’s follow-up to the Adventures of Tom Sawyer, carved new territory into the American literary landscape in several ways. As one of the first novels to use a specific region’s vernacular in its narration, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn set a precedent for many other distinctly American works to follow. Some readers didn’t exactly “get” this new colloquial style, however. Accustomed to the proper prose of Hawthorne, Thoreau, and Emerson, some readers didn’t know what to do with Huck’s particular way…

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a book full of controversy and debate. Some will agree that this is a classic too rudimentary for anyone to read, with its bad grammar and discriminating texts. But others believe that this book, which is rich with irony and satire, is a book that everybody should read. True, it is almost impossible to grasp Twain’s satirical style and techniques; but once you read underneath the surface of his words this is a book you’ll agree is an all time American classic. This book and the argument about whether it should be used in schools to teach has been going on for a while. Many people believe that students should not…

Hemingway vs. Faulkner writing styles

Throughout time, individual authors have crafted varying writing styles that portray the authors themselves and helps the reader to better understand the tone of the piece. During the early twentieth century, the upcoming of a new America created many talented writers that varied drastically in style. An author may choose to write in a realistic manor, such as Ernest Hemingway or William Faulkner. From the post Civil War era in which Faulkner was accustomed, to the early 1920s era of Hemingway? s short stories, both authors’ focus remains on a similar topic. Both authors were realist writers who expressed their concern with the changes happening in America. However, the writing styles in which Hemingway used, compared to Faulkner, show many…

Ernest Hemingway: a Farewell to Arms

In the novel A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway, the audience is granted a historical and geographical background of World War I. Throughout the novel, references are made to the people, places and the government that Hemingway assumes his audience will recognize. The novel is broken down into five books: exposing us to warfare and the turmoil left in its’ wake, love, hatred, betrayal and murder. Being a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States, I was able to relate to this book and I was able to understand the intended message behind it. Overall, I was very impressed at how easy and simple the book was to read. The structure of this novel was arranged so…

Culture Clashes in Daisy Miller

Throughout the world people have differing ideas on what is good and bad based on whatever culture one visits one is sure to find major differences. In the period that this story takes place the US is trying to find its own identity and establish their own traditions. In the Europeans perspectives the Americans were deviant people because their culture was out of the norm. Winterbourne is stunned and intrigued immediately once he meets Daisy. He growing up with a more European lifestyle finds Daisy’s flirtatious and outgoing attitude very abnormal yet refreshing. Many of the older women in society, especially his mother, find her to be cheap and very unlady like due to her lack of classy behavior compared…

Thirteen Colonies and New England

The Literature of Early America p. 1-5 1. The first Europeans to establish settlements on this continent did not call it America until the 18th century. What did these early settlers call it? The New World 2. The colonies that became the United States were – for the most part – inhabited by individuals from which European country? England 3. How much is known of the perspectives of the native inhabitants of this continent before the European arrival? Why? With the help of archaeologist, ethnographical, and oral materials much has been learned 4. What was the so-called Columbian Exchange, and what were the results? The passing of biological matter between Native Americans and Europeans. The result is illness and death…

Mark Twain

?America: the land of the free and the home of the brave. When people think of America, they either think of fat Whites eating McDonalds or Yanks who love to invade other countries for oil. What people rarely think of when thinking of America, is the great writers that the country has produced. Throughout this year, I have read many great works written by many American writers. Over the course of America’s history, the nation has produced many great novelists. From Benjamin Franklin during the American Revolution era, to F. Scott Fitzgerald during the Roaring Twenties, many great American writers have written wonderful books and poems. When people from other countries think of great writers, they only think about Shakespeare…

Hills Like White Elephants Analysis

Have you ever looked at the West Elk mountains and seen the lamb in the side of Mt. Lamborn? The reason it is called that is because of the sandy slide that resembles a sheep much like the Cantabrian mountains of Spain resemble white elephants. “Hills Like White Elephants” (1927), written by Ernest Hemingway, is about a young, unmarried couple, the American and Jig, who are sitting at a train station in Spain, apprehensively discussing an abortion for Jig. The story starts with Jig looking at the surrounding hills and talking about different types of alcohol. There is a following conversation between the two where they talk about their relationship post-abortion. There is not a definite conclusion to their discussion,…

A Farewell to Arms

“A writer’s job is to tell the truth” ? Ernest Hemingway. This quote means that it is a writer’s job to convey some sort of truth or accuracy to the reader. I agree. This is shown in the novel, A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway through the setting and characterization in the novel. It is also shown in the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee through the themes and setting of the novel. In the war novel, A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway demonstrates that it is a writer’s job to convey some sort of truth to the reader through the setting of the novel. This novel takes place during a time of war and shows what…

Absalom Absalom and Love

Many of the novels we have read this semester contain prevailing themes that provide insight into American society. One of these themes that we have closely examined throughout the semester is a person’s right to love. Love is undoubtedly a powerful force in one’s life. As we have seen through our readings, however, this force is often obstructed by the need to conform to social standards. Whether or not a couple is ALLOWED to be in love says a lot about what is socially acceptable for that particular area and time period. Although love is technically a right given to all, American Literature shows how it is often denied by social standards and therefore ceases to exist. William Faulkner’s Absalom,…

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway was considered one of the great American authors of the 20th century. Hemingway’s unique style of writing set him apart from other authors of this time and of today. He influenced many generations of authors with his style of using powerful, precise words. He used few adjectives, simple verbs, and short sentences in his works. Hemingway believed that his writing should be based on knowledge that he had acquired on a particular subject through his own personal life. In a passage from Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon, he wrote “If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly…

Great Gatsby

In the beginning of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Nick doesn’t care too much for Gatsby, but later Nick begins to like Gatsby, and by the end, Nick and Gatsby become best friends. It is sort of weird how their relationship develops, and the reason it develops. Nick and Gatsby seem to be two totally different people, but I guess opposites attract. In the beginning of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Nick doesn’t care too much for Gatsby. Nick thinks that Gatsby is kind of odd, and mysterious. For example, on page 20, Nick says “he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone”. That is kind of weird because if he wanted to be alone, why does he…

High School Dropouts

In The Great Gatsby money is a symbol of success. Money controls the lives of the characters in the story, but it is easy to see that it could not bring happiness. Each of the characters thinks that having money will solve all of their problems and make them successful, but that is not true. These are a few examples of characters in the story who think that money is the answer to being successful, when it actually does not bring them true happiness. Daisy is a character who was born into a wealthy family, but she does not have any good values or purpose in her life. Her life is boring, so she tries to use her wealth to…

Rose for Emily Analysis

William Faulkner was not only one of the greatest Southern writers of all time but one of the great American authors of all time. His works have long been criticized and analyzed for their deeper meanings and themes. One of his most analyzed works is his short story “A Rose for Emily”. While Faulkner uses numerous techniques and strategies which include the chronology of the story, his strongest weapon is his usage of the narrator as an omniscient gossip. Thomas Dilworth says that “the narrator is as important to the plot as Emily Grierson. (Dilworth). Whether this is true or not, the narrator is an important part that helps makes the story what it is, a great Southern short story….

A Farewell to Sexism and The Female Also Rises

Ernest Hemingway has a reputation of being a complete misogynist. People have analyzed his books, specifically A Farewell to Arms and The Sun Also Rises, and attacked him for being sexist towards the main female roles, Catherine Barkley and Lady Brett Ashley. Other analysts argue that Catherine and Brett are strong female lead roles. Through these two characters, Hemingway disproves the misogynist and sexist analysts and presents readers with independent female roles. A characteristic of sexism towards women include showing their dependence, including the inability to think by themselves. In A Farewell to Arms, Frederic asks Catherine to kiss her and she replies no. If Catherine was so dependent and couldn’t think on her own, she wouldn’t have refused Frederic’s…

The Inevitabilty of Death in a Farewell to Arms

This passage, in A Farewell to Arms, is located near the end of the novel when Frederic Henry just finds out about the death of his son and assumes that Catherine will also die. Henry’s anecdote about the ants burning on the log is a defining moment in the novel, because it serves as an analogy to the central theme of the novel: the inevitability of death. Ernest Hemingway portrays the idea that death is inescapable by using the war, Catherine’s death, and Henry’s own experiences. The irrationality and disorder of war is similar to the chaos of the ants swarming around the fire and eventually disintegrating. In the first sentence of the passage the ants frenetically try to flee…

The Ship that Never Reaches Shore

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time” (Hurston). Men long for things they do not have. Some men get what they long for. Other men never get what they long for. What they dream of having is clear to them, but never attainable. They know that their dreams are unattainable, but still watch the ships that never reach the shore. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, the American Dream is unattainable due to Gatsby’s lack of morality….