American Unseen Literature Context

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  • American Unseen Literature - Context
    • Pre 1900
      • American Civil War - 1861-1865
        • Southern States versus the Northern States
          • Confederates versus Union
        • A result of slavery, and the build up to the abolition of it
          • Southern States did not want to abolish slavery as cotton farms and plantations were mostly in the south
          • Northern states were helping slaves get to safety (if they had runaway) Recognised that it was inhumane to keep people as slaves
      • Emancipation Proclamation
        • Declared on 1st January 1863
        • Passed by President Abraham Lincoln
        • The law grants freedom to slave
        • a big step towards the complete abolition of slavery
      • Gilded Age 1870s-1900s
        • The result of the Civil War and its devastation
        • A period of growth and massive wealth inequality
          • Northern States were gaining wealth whilst the Southern states were getting poorer
        • The Urban upper-class women were granted more freedom
        • A period of industrialisation, city building and corrupt politicians
      • The Frontier 1880-1900
        • The Wild West
        • Land is free from control, people go west to build lives
        • Romanticism starts to focus on this idea during the period
    • During 1900s
      • United States as a superpower
        • 1900
        • US has gained one of the largest economies and military after the Civil War into the turn of the century
      • World War 1 - 1914-1918
        • A period of American Nationalism and Patriotism
        • Despite not joining the war effort fully until 1917, America left the war as a world military and industrial leader
        • America gained a lot of wealth after the war, especially through reparations ordered by the Treaty of Versailles, and the act of lending money to Germany to help them rebuild and pay back reparations
      • The Jazz Age  1920s
        • The boom of Consumerism
        • The aftereffect of WW1 was a country that was aware of its mortality and turned to partying to cope
        • Prohibition was big and alcohol was banned, though this did not stop Bootleggers and Speakeasies
          • Moonshine was popular (illegal) and could be dangerous to drink due to the way it was created
        • Birth of Jazz and Black musicians
        • Women had the ability to be free and were engrossed with Flappers and the freedom that entailed
      • Wall Street Crash and The Great Depression
        • 1929-1930s
        • The Wall Street Crash (1929) was the crash of the Stock Market
          • Stock Market crash led to a huge loss of money, not only for America but those in Europe as Germany relied on American money to help pay for reparations and repair
        • The Great Depression was a period of economic drought during the 1930s as a result of the Wall Street Crash
          • A period of huge social and cultural change
          • 10 years of poverty
    • Literary Movements
      • Romanticism 1800-1865
        • Focused on feeling and emotions rather than the politics in the Enlightenment Period
        • known as "a spontaneous flow of powerful feeling" by Wordsworth
        • More fiction and poetry writing
        • A sub-genre of the gothic and transcendental emerged
        • Revolution in transportation and science permeated
        • Industrial revolution made old puritan ways irrelevant, resulting in the birth of the Gilded age
        • Writers celebrated American individualism, nature, imagination, creativity and emotion
        • Early romantics, traditions of creating imaginative literature that remained strictly American
      • Realism 1865-1910
        • The Civil War largely killed Romanticism
          • Idea that good does not always triumph over evil, nature is powerful beyond man’s control
            • Racism persisted beyond slavery Jim Crow Laws and KKK
        • It was a detailed portrayal of ordinary life
          • Authors write about real life issues and complex events of time instead of idealising the characters
        • It rejected over-sensationalism, exaggeration or melodrama
          • Themes included were poverty, illnesses, slavery, equality, racism, and racist ideals towards Europe
        • the growth of the middle class
        • skepticism of religion emerged
        • criticism of the state and society
          • Individuals were seeking to represent culture and beliefs accurately including landscapes, habitats, occupations and speech (dialect) of people – Regionalists
      • Naturalism 1880-1940
        • Rejection of Romanticism
        • A philosophy distinction was drawn and a rise of determinism
          • Darwin (biological determination), Freud (psychological determinism), and Marx (socio-economic determination)
          • Determinism – humans cannot be held morally responsible for their actions due to circumstances beyond their control
        • Attention to the working class was increased and drawn upon
          • A focus on the uneducated and those of little free will
        • Life was predetermined and mechanistic
        • Characters are helpless victims, trapped by nature or their own heritage (Gatsby) - once cannot always achieve the American Dream
        • Untitled
      • Modernism 1900-1950s
        • The post WW1 loss of faith, existentialism - "innocence lost"
        • Breaking away from form and restaints
          • Writing style: Alienation, irony, understatement, stream of consciousness, interior dialogue, fragments, virtuoso – rise in ethnic female writers
        • A stream of consciousness and deep psychological character studies
        • an eruption of non-linear narratives
        • Grappling with industrialisation, technology, and new psychological theories
          • Increased population due to immigration causing lingering racial tensions, technological advances and fear of eroding traditions from the upper class
        • Birth of the Lost Generation = writers such as Fitzgerald chose to live in Paris after the war, alienation and change allowed people to confront their fears, despair and disillusionment, American values were finally realised as a copy of Europe
        • Harlem Renaissance = flourishing of African American authors, musicians and artists, topics concerned Southern Renaissance and racism in the South




YES, I agree with you completely. That's how it is.



thanks for that 



I don't agree with the scheme!

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