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CLEP American Literature Paper

*Wished to return to more primitive principles, to simplicity, sobriety, religious earnestness, and personal self-control.
*Aim was to purify church of England from “Popery”
*Persecuted harshly by Charles I and Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud.
*Established a Theocracy in the New World.
*Believed education was a religious duty and founded schools, colleges and established printing presses.
Puritans (Saints, Separatists)
(Colonial Period)

1.) God is King and Ruler.
2.) Our duty in this world is to see that God’s will prevails.
3.) Man is depraved from birth.
4.)Few will be saved. Damned are damned despite their best efforts.

*Belief in Covenant Theology : God’s covenant with Abraham guarantees our ability to win God’s favor through moral struggle.

(Colonial Period)

*First writer of American Literature.
* Wrote “The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England, and The Summer Isles.”
*Archetypal American.
John Smith
(Colonial Period)

*Wrote Of Plymouth Plantation (First Thanksgiving)
*Chronicled the Pilgrim experience from the religious considerations that caused them to leave England for Holland and then for America.
*Used the language of the King James Bible to record the transatlantic voyage, Satan’s influence and survival struggles of the Separatists, and the heresy of Roger Williams.
* Style is dignified and Grave, and events are vividly rendered.
*Considered an excellent history book as well as a literary masterpiece.
William Bradford
(Colonial Period)

*Began “The History of New England” aboard the Arbella in 1630.
*Lead 2,000 English emigrant to Massachusetts Bay.
* Made daily journal-style entries until his death. Intended it to be an account of his long governorship.
*Style is plain and lucid, neutral and non-judgmental.
*Set forth heresies of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson and their expulsion to Rhode Island.
*Acquittal of misfeasance becomes a lesson on the distinction between natural liberty and liberty under law.
John Winthrop
(Colonial Period)

*Stands in direct opposition to the principles, personalities and literary styles of William Bradford and John Winthrop.
*Did not come to settle the land and establish God’s Kingdom, but to trade beaver pelts and live pleasantly.
*Established Merry Mount, not far from Plymouth, and erected a giant Maypole.
*Wrote “The English Canaan” as an account of his experiences in the New World.
-Written in a jocular, rollicking style; highly ornamented with rhetorical flourishes, and heavily larded with classical references and allusions.
-satirizes the “pretentiousness” of the puritans.
-declared New England the land of milk and honey.
Thomas Morton
(Colonial Period)

*One of colonial New England’s most eminent clergyman.
*Last of the “pure” puritans.
*Strove to restore moral fervor to the Puritan Community.
*Greatest achievement was as an historian of the Puritan experience.
*Largest library in America (btw 7 &8 thousand books)
*Wrote 450 Books including :
– “Magnalia Christi Americana (“The Great Works of Christ in America”) : History of New England colonies, excellent short bios of the great founders.
– “Wonders of the Invisible World” : written to justify the execution of19 women during the Salem Witch Trials.
– “Manuductio ad Ministerium”: Guide for beginning ministers; important for its discussion of the allusive method in writing.
– “Diary of Cotton Mather” – Account of Mather wrestling with sexual temptation to marry a much younger women disapproved of by his family and the puritan community.
Cotton Mather
(Colonial Period)

*Only person to publicly repent his part in the Salem Witch Trials.
* Published America’s first anti-slavery tract.
*Best known for his private diaries. Published in 3 volumes as “The Diary of Samuel Sewall”.
– “Diary” : Candid and humorous recordings of daily life.
– “The Selling of Joseph” : urged the end of slavery, saying, “It is most certain that all men, as they are sons of Adam, are coheirs; and have equal rights unto liberty.”
Samuel Sewall
(Colonial Period)

*Best-known Southern colonial writer.
*Church of England Virginia Aristocrat.
*Famous for “The History of the Dividing Line” and “The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover”
– “The History of the Dividing Line” : Vividly describes terrain and shrewdly observes the white settlers on its fringes during an expedition to survey the Great Dismal Swamp between Virginia and North Carolina.
– “Diary” : Recorded his daily life in a private shorthand. Speaks in a neutral tone, but frequently with lively humor.
William Byrd
(Colonial Period)

*One of the most brilliant of American thinkers.
*Theologian and philosopher; vigorous defender of Calvinistic orthodoxy at the end of the Puritan era.
*Influenced major nineteenth century writers such as Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville, and Whitman.
*Discourses written in sermon form using scriptural text, doctrine, reasons and usage (applications to life).
* Arguments are densely textured, inexorable in its onward thrust, and plain in style.
*Often uses syllogisms to develop its careful analysis.
Jonathan Edwards
(Colonial Period)

Describe Puritan Poetry and its 3 main authors.
*Primarily written to set forth orthodox Calvinist Christianity.
*Not considered the best representation of poetry during the whole period. Rarely approached excellence of English models.
*Too much of an emphasis on heavenly values and therefore images of this world -poets stock in trade- are too infrequently introduced.

Bay Psalm Book : First book published in the English colonies.

Anne Bradstreet:
– Daughter and wife of Massachusetts Governors.
– “In Reference to Children” : Uses homely imagery to convey warmth of motherly love. (Unusual in puritan verse).
– First published poet.

Michael Wigglesworth:
– Wrote the most famous poem of 17th Century, “The Day of Doom” : proceeds from judgement day to hell and then to paradise.
– High seriousness and vivid scenes more suitable for a secular narrative.
-First American Best Seller

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Edward Taylor:
– Greatest poet of American colonial period.
– No poems were published until the the 20th century.
-“Preparatory Meditations” : Prepared him to administer the sacrament and deliver his sermon. (Most famous).
– Rich in concrete imagery, rugged language. Marked by conceits.
-Influenced T.S Elliot, Ezra Pound, and other modern-day metaphysical poets.

*Defined ‘American’
*French map-maker that became an American Farmer.
* Wrote “Letters from an American Farmer.”
*American Adam : the idea that there is something different, unique and special about Americans.
*Melting Pot: That America’s unique identity transcends ethnic, cultural, or religious backgrounds.
St. Jean de Crevecoeur

Name and define the 3 primary literary genres.
Prose: all written work that is not poetry, drama or song. Articles, autobiographies, biographies, essays, novels and editorials are prose.
Poetry: A type of literature win which words are selected and strung together for their beauty, sound, and power to express feelings.
Drama: A piece of literature intended to be performed in front of an audience.

A story told in song form. Ballads often tell stories of adventure and love.
(Types of Poetry)

Lyric Poem
Brief, musical poems that convey a speaker’s feelings.
Lyres: People who sang lyrics as they played string-like instruments.
(Types of Poetry)

Narrative Poem
A story in poetic form.
Has plot. characters and theme.
(Types of Poetry)

A 14-line poem with a set rhythm and rhyme scheme.

Unrhymed poetry. Captures natural rhythm of speech.
Blank Verse

A group of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry.

Iambic Pentameter
Pattern of five feet (groups of syllables), each having one unstressed syllable and one stressed syllable.

End Rhyme vs Internal Rhyme
End : occurs when words at the ends of lines of poetry rhyme.
Internal: occurs when words within a sentences share the same sound, such as “Each narrow cell in which we dwell.”

Free Verse
Poetry that does not have a regular beat, rhyme or line length. *Walt Whitman*

The beat or rhythm of a poem, created by a pattern of stressed an unstressed syllables.

A line or group of lines repeated at the end of a poem or song. Refrains reinforce the main point and create musical effects.

The repeated use of identical sounds.

Rhyme Scheme
A regular pattern of words that end with the same sound.

A pattern of stressed unstressed syllables that create a beat, as in music.

The process of reading a poem to figure out it’s meter.

A group of lines in a poem.
Lines of poems are grouped into stanzas, just as sentences of prose are grouped into paragraphs.

A stanza.

Mayflower Compact
Pilgrim’s constitution. Shaped the politics, religion, and social behavior of the first settlers. Eventually influenced the shape, style and content of the U.S Constitution. William Bradford was famous for being one of the authors and signers.

John Adams
*First vice president and second president.
*Member of the First and Second Continental Congresses.
*Helped draft the Declaration of Independence.
*Husband of Abigail Adams.

Abigail Adams
She holds a unique place in American history as both the wife of one president and the mother of another. In her own right, she was an ardent American patriot. Her perseverance during the American Revolution kept her family together and enabled her husband, John, to devote himself entirely to the patriot cause. Her letters provided her husband with information and shrewd insights into the political situation in Boston while he was absent. She remained a dedicated correspondent and apt political observer during the tumultuous early years of the nation until her death in 1818.

Benjamin Franklin
*Autobiography is considered the one of the greatest ever written.
*Wrote Poor Richard’s Alamanac

Clever, memorable sayings.

Thomas Jefferson
*Third US President
*Referred to as the “Sage of Monticello”
*Drafted the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence
Stylistic Elements:
*Parallel Structure: repeated used of phrases, clauses, or sentences that are similar in structure.
*Forceful and Direct Language
*Loaded Words: words that carry a strong emotional overtones.

A single sheet of paper printed on one or both sides.
“The Dying Redcoat”

Thomas Paine
*Ben Franklin paid his passage to America.
*First Pamphlet was Common Sense : credited with getting the colonists to see the “advantage, necessity, and obligation” of breaking with Britain.
*Followed by a series of pamphlets, collectively called “An American Crisis.” (Model of effective propaganda.)
*Paine appealed to emotion as well as reason; he contrasted weak, self-centered people with courageous patriots; he used loaded language to emphasis British Tyranny; HE included his own view of the validity of the cause; he pledged God’s support.

Washington Irving
*Father of American Literature
*First American writer to achieve an international reputation.
*Rip Van Winkle (antihero). Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The Devil and Tom Walker.
*Was 50 years old before his real name appeared on any of his books. Used aliases such as : Geoffrey Crayon, Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent., Anthony Evergreen, Gent., and Diedrich Knickerbocker.
*Started “local color” school of fiction.

Use of medieval, wild, or mysterious elements in literature. Features gloomy settings and horrifying events. Edgar Allen Poe is regarded as the American Master of Gothic writing.

James Fenimore Cooper
*Created the first American adventure story.
*First successful American novelist. “Father of the American novel.”
*Very litigious, cranky and vain.
*Most famous for the “Leatherstocking Tales”: A series of five novels about the frontiersman, Natty Bumppo.
1.) The Pioneers
2.) The Last of the Mohicans.
3.) The Prairie
4.) The Pathfinder
5.) The Deerslayer

Edgar Allen Poe
*Credited with creating: the modern short story and the detective novel, and the entire genre of mystery.
*Wrote “The Philosophy of Composition”, “The Raven”, “Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Gold Bug.” (The first detective novel)
*Emphasized ‘single effect’
*Poe called mystery: Ta;es of ratiocination.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
*Key intellectual and philosophical voice of 19th-century America.
*Key player in the transcendentalist movement.
*First to define what made American poetry American – it is verse that celebrates ordinary experience rather than the epic themes of the past.
*Wrote “Nature”, “Self-Reliance,” and “The American Scholar.” Gave “Divinity School Address” that got him banned from his alma mater for 30 years.
*Helped establish the philosophy of individualism, an idea that is deeply embedded in American culture.

A philosophy pioneered by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 1830’s and 1840’s, in which each person has direct communication with God and Nature, and there is no need for organized churches. It incorporated the ideas that mind goes beyond matter, intuition is valuable, that each soul is part of the Great Spirit, and each person is part of a reality where only the invisible is truly real. Promoted individualism, self-reliance, and freedom from social constraints, and emphasized emotions.

(Actually coined by German philosopher, Immanuel Kant)

An artistic and intellectual movement originating in Europe in the late 18th Century and characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual’s expression of emotion and imagination, departure from the attitudes and forms of classicism, and rebellion against established social rules and conventions.

Transcendental Club
An organization of the leading transcendentalists living around Boston. They were interested in new developments in theology, philosophy, and literature. Major writers: Ripley, Emerson, Alcott, Fuller, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Channing, Hedge, Parker and Francis.

*Published slender magazine, The Dial

Henry David Thoreau
* Resisted materialism and chose a life of simplicity, close to nature.
* Walden is a guidebook for life, showing the reader how to live wisely in a world designed to make wise living impossible.
*”On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” has become a primer for non-violent protest, used by Ghandi, MLK, Mandela and others.

Nathaniel Hawthorne
*First great writer of psychological fiction; obsessed with sin and guilt.
*”The Scarlet Letter”, “Young Goodman Brown”
*Claimed his work was romance and therefore not required to be realistic.

Story in which the characters, setting and action represent abstract concepts apart from their literal meaning.

Herman Melville
*Ranked as top American novelist, even though few of his contemporaries recognized his genius.
*Moby Dick is considered to be America’s greatest prose epic. It is also top contender for best American novel.
*Wrote the first great romance about the South Seas.
*Poster child for the misunderstood artist.

Epic Story
A long narrative that represents characters in a high position who take part in a series of adventures of significance.

Harriet Beecher Stowe
*Wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” – first American novel to sell a million copies.
*UTC was the most influential book of the 19th century.
*Credited with starting the Civil War.
*Most famous American woman of her day.

A literary argument that aims to change public opinion rather than entertain.

Frederick Douglass
*Wrote “The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.”
*Escaped slave that became one o f the most effective orators of his day, an influential newspaper writer, a militant abolitionist, and a famous diplomat.

Walt Whitman
*Created new poetic forms and subjects to fashion a distinctly American type of poetic expression.
*Rejected conventional themes, traditional literary references, allusions, and rhymes.
*Used long lines to capture rhythms of natural speech, free verse, and vocabulary drawn from everyday speech.
*Oh Captain, My Captain, “Song of Myself”, “Noiseless Patient Spider”.

Emily Dickinson
*Recluse, agoraphobic
*Didn’t title her poems. All are designated by numbers.
*Paved the way for the Imagist movement of the 1920s.
*Considered on of the founders of Modern American Poetry.
*Concrete imagery, forceful language, and unique style ushered in poetry as we know it today.
*Wrote 1,775 but only published 7 in her lifetime.

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
*Considered the greatest humorist of 19th century American Literature.
*Wrote “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
*Master of “Local Color” writing.
*Used vernacular, exaggeration and deadpan narrator to create humor.

Stephen Crane
*Wrote “The Red Badge of Courage” and “Maggie: A Girl of the Streets,” and “The Open Boat.”
*Red Badge of Courage is considered the first modern war novel.
*Work is celebrated for its images and symbolism.
*Work is often described as impressionist due to his vivid renderings of moments of visual beauty and uncertainty.
*Attacked patriotism, individualism and organized religion to confront the meaningless of the world.

*Literary movement of the 19th century that presented the details of ordinary life in art.
*Realists rejected the heroic and adventurous and concentrated on pessimistic views of poverty, prostitution and pain.
*Reaction to Romanticism.

*Literary movement of the 19th century that traced the effects of heredity and environment on people who ere helpless to change their situations.
*Also called Determinism for its belief in the effects of environment, heredity, and chance on human fate.
*Took an even darker view of the world than realists and believed: The universe is unpredictable, spontaneous, and discontinuous. Our fate is determined by our environment, heredity and chance. Free will is and illusion. Life is a cruel joke.
*Naturalists created characters whose lives were shaped by forces they could neither understand nor control.

Emile Zola
*Best-known and most influential early Naturalist.

Loss of Traditional Values
Major theme of 20th Century literature.

The reappearance in an individual of characteristics of some distant ancestor that have not been present in intervening generations, such as hand like a hairy paw.

People who are best adapted to survive are chosen through the process of natural selection.

All events follow natural laws.

The belief that “true” Americans were those of earlier Anglo-Saxon descent, and that this “race” was under threat from the growing influx of Central European and Asian immigrants.

Friedrich Nitezche’s belief in the “will to power” as the primary force of society and the individual.

A false science that argued tat different human races possessed distinguishing traits that determined their particular behavior and achievement in society.

The primacy of science over religious, mythical, or spiritual interpretations of life.

Social Darwinism
Applying the evolutionary “survival of the fittest” concept to a world marked by struggle and competition. (Promulgated by Herbert Spencer, a best-selling sociologist of the late 19th Century.

Jack London
*Wrote “The Call of the Wild,” “White Fang,” ” Sea Wolf,” and “To Build a Fire.”

Frank Norris
*Wrote “McTeague, a Story of San Francisco”

Theodore Dreiser
*Leader of naturalism in American writing.
*Wrote “An American Tragedy”

Genteel Tradition
Used to describe literature that was pandered to the polite, refined, and delicate elements of society. Denied the unsavory underbelly of life.

Bret Harte
*Wrote gold-rush stories like “The Luck of Roaring Camp” and “The Outcasts of Poker Flat”; never matched up to his previous fame
*local colorist

Mary Wilkins Freeman
*New England local color writer, is known primarily for her two collections of stories.
*”A Humble Romance” and “A New England Nun”

Sarah Orne Jewett
*Local Colorist
*Wrote “The Country of the Pointed Firs”
*Famous for use of idiomatic language, conservative values and imagery and vivid descriptions of rural New England.

Kate Chopin
*Local Colorist
*Wrote “The Awakening”
*Writing is memorable for its : Vivid and economical style, Rich Local Dialect, and Penetrating view of the culture of South Louisiana.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman
*Local Colorist
*Great Niece of Harriet Beecher Stowe.
*Wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper”

Willa Cather
*Wrote “My Antonia” and “Death Comes for the Archbishop”
*Won a Pulitzer for her novel “One of Ours”

Edith Wharton
*Wrote “The House of Mirth,” and “The Age of Innocence” most famous for “Ethan Frome”
*Noted use of indirection and allusion.
*First women to win a Pulitzer for “The Age of Innocence”
*Main themes were upper-class life and the constraints it placed on both men and women.
*Writing style is elegant, graceful and honest.

Henry James
*Typically referred to as the greatest American novelist (next to Mark Twain) of the second half of the 19th century.
*Main theme of his work was the innocence and exuberance of America compared to the corruption and wisdom of Europe.
*Wrote “The Portrait of a Lady,” “The Turn of the Screw”

Earnest Hemmingway
*”The Old Man and the Sea,” “The Sun Also Rises,” “A Farewell to Arms,” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”
*Writing style emphasizes: Short sentences, brief paragraphs, active verbs, authenticity, compression, clarity, and immediacy.
*Produced some of the most important works of 20th-century fiction between 1925 and 1929.
*Won a Pulitzer & Nobel Prize for the “Old Man and the Sea”

Movement in the early part of the 20th Century where writers experimented with new themes such as fragmentation, stream of consciousness, and imagery.

F. Scott Fitzgerald
*Considered the voice of the Twenties.
*Wrote “The Great Gatsby”
*Heavy drinking problem.

William Faulkner
*Won the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize
*Works focused on the South
*Wrote “As I Lay Dying,” “Sanctuary,” and “The sound and the Fury.”
*Experimented with Stream of Consciousness writing.
*Considered the most innovative novelist of his time.

Two Most Famous Poets of the 20th Century
*Ezra Pound and T.S Eliot

Imagist Poetry
Characterized by:
*Ordinary Language
*Free Verse
*Concentrated Word Pictures
*Very specific words and phrases

*Advanced by Ezra Pound and Amy Lowell; also utilized by Robert Frost

Ezra Pound
*Imagist Poet
*Wrote “In a Station of the Metro,” ” The Pisan Cantos,” “Hugh Selwyn Mauberly,” and “Mauberly.”
*Modeled “Cantos” after Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”
*Infamous traitor; Staunch supporter of Mussolini during WWII.
*Didn’t speak for the last 14 years of his life.

A literary mask a writer assumes for the purpose of creating a character in a poem.

T.S Eliot
*Book of feline poems, “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” formed the basis of the Broadway hit “Cats.”
*Wrote “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,”
*Published “The Waste-Land” which became the most famous poem of the first half of the 20th Century.
*Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Involves a speaker who addresses an unseen audience. Usually takes place at a crucial moment in the speaker’s life.

John Steinbeck
*Wrote “Grapes of Wrath,” “Of Mice and Men,” and “East of Eden,” and “Winter of Our Discontent.”
*Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature, Pulitzer and and the National Book Award.

Robert Frost
*Won 4 Pulitzers
*Top 20th Century Poet
*Wrote “The Road Not Taken,” ” Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” and “Mending Wall”

e.e cummings
*Wrote “since feeling is first,” “somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond,” and “The Enormous Room”
*Experimented with : form, punctuation, spelling, typography, grammar, imagery, rhythm, and syntax.

Edwin Arlington Robinson
*Wrote “Richard Cory”
*Created poems dealing with historic myths and characters.
*Known primarily for short, ironic characteristics of ordinary individuals.
*Won 3 Pulitzers : “Collected Poems,” “The Man Who Died Twice,” and “Tristram”

Carl Sandburg
*Chicago School : Verses often concern ordinary, everyday people; realistic poems and dramatic emphasis attract a large audience.
*Wrote “Chicago,” and a biography of Abraham Lincoln.
*Poems describe everyday Americans, have a positive tone, use simple words, are easy to understand, and are written in free verse.

Edgar Lee Masters
*Chicago School
*Wrote “Lucinda Matlock”
*Created “Spoon River Anthology”
*Spoon River poems are characterized by: An unpoetic, colloquial style, frank descriptions of sex, a very critical view of small town life, and a description of he inner live of ordinary people.

Vachel Lindsay
*Chicago School
*Work bridges folk poetry and modernist poems.
*Used music and strong rhythm
*Wrote “The Congo”

Richard Wright
*Wrote “Native Son,” and “Black Boy”
*First Black Best-Seller
*Staunch Communist : Believed it was black America’s best hope for equality.

Langston Hughes
*The Bard of Harlem; most successful black writer in America during the Harlem Renaissance.
*Wanted to capture the dominant oral traditions of black culture in written form.
*Best known for his poetry: “The Weary Blues,” “Fields of Wonder,” and “The Dream Keeper”
*Tried to re-create the rhythms of jazz in his poetry.

Countee Cullen
*Genius; called the “Black Keats”
*Worked within traditional poetic forms rather than jazz rhythms.
*Wrote ” Copper Sun,” and “The Ballad of the Brown Girl.”

Zora Neal Hurston
*Work did not have a political agenda.
*Wrote “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” “Mules and Men,” and “Jonahs Gourd Vine.”
*Considered one of the key black writers of the 20th Century.

Jean Toomer
*Produced a number of sketches, poems, and a one-act pay titled “Cane.”

Claude McKay
*Wrote “Songs of Jamaica” – Poetry and “Harlem Shadows” (first great literary achievement of the Harlem Renaissance.
*Much of his poetry evokes the rich heritage of Jamaica.

W.E.B Du Bois
*Wrote “The Souls of Black Folk”
*Founder of the NAACP

Booker T. Washington
*Most prominent black leader of his day.
*Wrote “Up From Slavery”

James Weldon Johnson
*Wrote “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” (The Black National Anthem)

Beat Writers
Unorthodox writers who hung around the bars and coffee houses of San Francisco’s North Beach.

Beat Movement
A social and artistic movement of the 1950’s stressing unrestrained literary self expression and nonconformity with the mainstream culture

William S. Burroughs
*American novelist, essayist, social critic, painter and spoken performer.
* Most of his works are autobiographical.
*Frequently experimented with drugs.
*He wrote the “Naked Lunch” and the “Cities of Red Night”

Jack Kerouac
*Coined the term “Beat Generation”
*Wrote “On the Road”
*All of his books are Autobiographical

Allen Ginsberg
*Wrote “Howl,” ” Empty Mirror,” and “Kaddish and Other Poems”

Sylvia Plath
*Wrote “Daddy” and “The Bell Jar”
*Confessional Poet

Anne Sexton
*Confessional Poet
*Won a Pulitzer for “Live or Die”

Robert Lowell
*Confessional Poet
*Wrote “Lord Weary’s Castle” and “In Life Studies”

J.D Salinger
*Wrote Catcher in the Rye

Flannery O’Connor
*Southern Gothic writer.
*Creates stories that simultaneously shock readers and reflect her strong Catholic faith.

James Thurbur
*America’s most popular humorist in the 30s and 40s.
*Frequently explored the battle of the sexes.
*Wrote “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

Dorthy Parker
*In the 1920s, became the symbol of the liberated woman for her wit and independence.
*Knock for her caustic and clever poems and short stories.

Robert Benchley, Will Rogers and the Marx Brothers
Well-known humorists.

Saul Bellow
*Won the Nobel Prize
*Novels concentrate on the turmoil of modern Jewish life.

Erica Jong
*Produces ribald, exuberant, feminist poems, novels and essays.
*Most famous novel is “Fear of Flying.”

Norman Mailer
*Famous for writing, marriages, divorces and media hype.
*Wrote “The Executioner’s Song.”

Phillip Roth
*Wrote “Portnoy’s Complaint.”
*work reflects the changing attitude of Jews living in post-World War II America.

Ralph Ellison
*Wrote “The Invisible Man”
*Considered a landmark achievement in American literature

Gwendolyn Brooks
*First Black female poet to win a Pulitzer.
*Best known for her poems “The Bean Eaters” and “We Real Cool.”

James Baldwin
*Writings interweave sexual and racial concerns; what it means to be black and homosexual in America in the 2nd half of the 20th Century.

Maya Angelou
*Famous Poet and Novelist
*”I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”

Toni Morrison
*First Black woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature.
*Novel focus on black cultural identity in contemporary America.
*Wrote “The Bluest Eye,” “Tar Baby,” and “Beloved”

Alice Walker
*Writings portray the lives of poor, oppressed black women in the early 1900s.

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