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The Influence of History on American Literature Essay

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“A Tale Intended to be After the Fact…” is how Stephan Crane introduced his harrowing story, “The Open Boat,” but this statement also shows that history influences American Literature. Throughout history, there has been a connection among literary works from different periods. The connection is that History, current events, and social events have influenced American Literature. Authors, their literary works, and the specific writing styles; are affected and influenced by the world around them. Authors have long used experiences they have lived through and/or taken out of history to help shape and express in their works. Writing styles are also affected by the current trends and opinions of the period they represent. By reading American Literature, we have seen the inhumane treatment of slaves, we have seen the destruction caused by wars, and we have seen the devastation of eras such as The Great Depression.
In order to see how cultural and historical situations affect literature throughout history, it is important to get a brief history on each era discussed in this paper. The first era we will be reviewing will be writings from 1865-1914. The Civil War was just ending in 1865. America lost over a half of million Americans in the war. The nation was in a state of disorder and the south was devastated. Nevertheless, the country prospered. America became industrialized and saw innovations such as; the railroads, telegraph, telephone, and electricity. The population of the United States had also started to increase due to immigration.
Between the years of 1865 and 1914, American literature was mainly comprised of three writing styles: realism, regionalism, and naturalism. Realism aims to portray life realistically. Though realism...


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...a woman trying to find an identity through her heritage. All of these stories give us examples and show us what life in this period would be like for the characters. They give details that show the readers the world around them.
History, current events, and social events have really influenced American Literature. Authors have been influenced by the world around them and that has reflected in their works. This can be seen throughout the many eras studied in this class. It can also be seen in all types of literature such as playwrights, fiction, non-fiction, and poems. It can also be seen in all of the different writing styles such as, realism, modernism, and post modernism. It is important that American Literature has been influenced this way because Authors have shown us their personal views and insight to situations one would not get out of a history textbook.



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