Post-WWII American Literature's Trends and Themes

Topics: Novel, World War II, Fiction Pages: 4 (1386 words) Published: January 28, 2014
The post-WWII American literature – its trends and themes.
The United States undoubtedly contributed to the end of the World War II by the support given to the Allies. 1945 is the year of the end of the war but at the same time it is the beginning of the United States’ domination almost on all fields on the international area. Before the World War II the cultural center of the world was Paris – after the war it was New York. That happened mostly because of the intellectual emigrants from Europe, who strengthen intellectual position of the United States. The best evidence of the United States’ domination in literature can be the number of literary Nobel Prizes. First was given to William Faulkner in 1949 and then to Ernest Hemingway in 1954, to John Steinbeck in 1962 and few more.

Because of the great development of American literature after 1945 it is hard to distinguish the most important theme, but I think that I should first of all write about post-modernist fiction. After the World War II writers started changing their way of writing from strict realism in American fiction to this post-modernist fiction, also known as ‘irrealism’ or ‘fabulation’. One of the first postmodernist writers was William Burroughts. In his books he is presenting a science – fiction world, probably created under the influence of his drug and alcohol addiction. In my opinion one of the best known writers of this literary genre was Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut had his own experiences connected with the war. In 1943 he was sent to Europe to fight on the war. A year later he was captured and taken to Dresden, where during the day he worked in a factory whereas nights the spent in old slaughterhouse. In February 1945 he was the witness of bombarding and this events were the main inspiration to write one of his best works ‘Slaughterhouse-five, or The Children’s Crusade’. This book, similarly to others, has the structure of the Bible – it is divided into numerous, short chapters. It is...

Bibliography: 1. Lewicki Zbigniew (ed.), ‘A handbook of American Literature for Students of English’,
2. Mazur Zygmunt, ‘The College Anthology of American Literature’, Universitas, 1998.
3. Baym Nina (General Editor), ‘The Norton Anthology of American Literature’, sixth edition.
4. High Peter B., ‘An outline of American literature’, New York, 2000.
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