What makes American literature American

Topics: Race, Ethnic group, Ethnicity Pages: 4 (1060 words) Published: December 15, 2013


American ethnic literature
ENG301

2/4/2013

Tiffany Altvater

What makes American literature American?
America has long been fans of the superior writers, such as Hemingway and Fitzgerald for their various works including “The Great Gatsby” and “The Old Man in the Sea”, America has been known for its fondness of short stories. American literature aims to embody the values and morals of the American culture. The foundation of American values include the rights to liberty, justice, freedom, equality, love, and family, American literature usually will be centered in one or more of these ideals. American literature incorporates the story of an American character and their encounters with the land and the people, exemplifying the human need to control and understand their environment. “Whitman emerges here both as an exemplar of the dominant literary theory and as a precursor of our contemporary value schema, with its enshrinement of the "me" (San Francisco Chronicle (Pre-1997 Fulltext)). Whitman was known for his fresh perspectives of the past and domination of literary theories. What is literary canon? How does literary canon relate to what is going on in society? Literary canons are the classifications of books and their influence upon the culture and society of a specific region or country. Literary canons outline the influential literature of a culture, society, country, or secular community. Society looks to literary canons to understand cultural influence and to research the issues that are most important to the people of the country. “A canon need not include all writing that gets over a basic definitional threshold, just that which is considered crucial to preserve , venerate and invest with authority (to invoke the old religious term from which our secular sense of valuing text and of canonicity seems to derive)” (Hunter, J. Paul (1997)). What special challenges do ethnic writers have within the American literary experience? American...
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