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American Literature

  • Date Submitted: 12/18/2013 06:42 PM
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Evolution of American Literature
Since the founding of America, literature has vastly evolved in every aspect. Written pieces such as documents, poems and stories were constantly changing to reflect the style of the current era.
Colonial Literature
In early colonial America, much of the literary works had a stressed theme of America itself, and how the authors felt about what it meant. A Famous Spanish explorer named John Smith wrote the first book existing in the New World called A True Relation of Virginia. This book basically was about how life was going for him and his crew and their relationship with the Indians. Another piece he wrote was The General History, where John Smith tells of the difficult early days of the Jamestown colonists after the ship that had brought them departed. His style is not so different from contemporary writing, and he uses many double superlatives as well as refers to himself in the third person. “Two days after, Powhatan having disguised himself in the most fearfulest manner he could, caused Captain Smith to be brought forth to a great house in the woods…” The writing of John Smith was a significant part of American Literature because it was one of the first pieces to be on American soil.
Another example of the types of literature in this time period would be the works of the Puritans, who all wrote great deals of poetry. Puritans were greatly influential with their ways and beliefs, which showed in their writing style. They were people who were incredibly strict, striving to cleanse themselves of envy, vanity, and lust so they may focus only on God. Many Puritans kept diaries called “spiritual autobiographies” to track their religious journey, where they were once sinful but then repented and became pure in the eyes of God. Among Puritan writers, Anne Bradstreet was a widely known poet. She wrote a book filled with her poems, called The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America. This book was remarkable due to the fact that it...


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