A brief history of english and american literature essay

The Edwardians The 20th century opened with great hope but also with some apprehensionfor the new century marked the final approach to a new millennium. For many, humankind was entering upon an unprecedented era.

A brief history of english and american literature essay

From 1900 to 1945

The Restoration Literary reactions to the political climate For some, the restoration of King Charles II in led many to a painful revaluation of the political hopes and millenarian expectations bred during two decades of civil war and republican government.

For others, it excited the desire to celebrate kingship and even to turn the events of the new reign into signs of a divinely ordained scheme of things. Violent political conflict may have ceased, but the division between royalists and republicans still ran through literature of the period.

Indeed, it is hard to conceive of a single literary culture that could include, on the one hand, John Milton and John Bunyan and, on the other, John Wilmot, earl of Rochesterand John Dryden. Yet these and other such opposites were writing at the same time. Yet Puritans and republicans had not disappeared.

However, they still formed an important body of opinion within the nation. For erstwhile supporters of the Commonwealth, the experience of defeat needed time to be absorbed, and fresh strategies had to be devised to encounter the challenge of hostile times.

Much caustic and libelous political satire was written during the reigns of Charles II and James II and because printing was subject to repressive legal constrictions circulated anonymously and widely in manuscript.

A brief history of english and american literature essay

The defeated republicans The greatest prose controversialist of the pre years, John Miltondid not return to that mode but, in his enforced retirement from the public scene, devoted himself to his great poems of religious struggle and convictionParadise Lostrevised and Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes both Edmund Ludlowlike Hutchinson one of the regicides, fled to Switzerland inwhere he compiled his own Memoirs.

Some autobiographers adjusted their testimony themselves in the light of later developments. It testifies graphically to the force, both terrifying and consolatory, with which the biblical word could work upon the consciousness of a scantily educated, but A brief history of english and american literature essay responsive, 17th-century believer.

The resulting work with its second part appearing in combines a careful exposition of the logical structure of the Calvinist scheme of salvation with a delicate responsiveness to the ways in which his experience of his own world of the life of the road, of the arrogance of the rich, of the rhythms of contemporary speech can be deployed to render with a new vividness the strenuous testing the Christian soul must undergo.

His achievement owes scarcely anything to the literary culture of his time, but his masterpiece has gained for itself a readership greater than that achieved by any other English 17th-century work with the exception of the King James Bible.

In the 17th and 18th centuries there were chapbook versions, at two or three pence each, for the barely literate, and there were elegant editions for pious gentlefolk. It was the favourite work of both the self-improving artisan and the affluent tradesman.

Yet it was below the horizon of polite literary taste. Perhaps Bunyan, the uneducated son of a tinker, would have found such condescension appropriate. This work is also rich in disdainful portraits of those who are more than satisfied with the ways of the world: The Life and Death of Mr.

Badmanwhich, with graphic local detail, remorselessly tracks the sinful temptations of everyday life, and The Holy Wara grandiose attempt at religious mythmaking interlaced with contemporary political allusions. Richard Baxtera Nonconformist cleric who, although enduring persecution afterwas by instinct and much of his practice a reconciler, published untiringly on religious issues.

Soon after the death of his wife, he wrote the moving Breviatea striking combination of exemplary narrative and unaffectedly direct reporting of the nature of their domestic life.

His finest work, however, is the Reliquiae Baxterianae published infive years after his deathan autobiography that is also an eloquent defense of the Puritan impulse in the 17th-century Christian tradition.

In the aftermath of the Restoration, there was much formulaic satirizing of Puritans, especially on the stage. This was a massively popular work, with an influence stretching well into the 18th century when Samuel Johnsonfor example, greatly admired it and William Hogarth illustrated some scenes from it.

It reads partly as a consummately destructive act of revenge upon those who had usurped power in the previous two decades, but although it is easy to identify what Hudibras opposes, it is difficult to say what, if anything, it affirms.

Although much admired by royalist opinion, it shows no wish to celebrate the authority or person restored inand its brazenly undignified use of rhyming tetrameters mirrors, mocks, and lacerates rooted human follies far beyond the power of one political reversal to obliterate.

Writings of the royalists Royalists also resorted to biography and autobiography to record their experiences of defeat and restoration. Three of the most intriguing are by women: The latter two were both written in the late s but as private texts, with no apparent thought of publication.

They were not published in any complete form until, respectively, and Clarendon was a close adviser to two kings, and his intimacy with many of the key events is unrivaled.

Though his narrative is inevitably partisan, the ambitious range of his analysis and his mastery of character portraiture make the History an extraordinary accomplishment.

Infeeling in the country ran strongly in favour of the Church of Englandpersecution having confirmed in many a deep affection for Anglican rites and ceremonies. The reestablished church, accepting for itself the role of staunch defender of kingly authority, tended to eschew the exploration of ambitious and controversial theological issues and devoted itself instead to expounding codes of sound moral conduct.

It was an age of eminent preachers including Robert South, Isaac BarrowEdward Stillingfleet, and John Tillotson and of keen interest in the art of preaching.

It was the power wielded by men such as Bunyan, who was imprisoned for preaching without a license. In conscious reaction against the obscurantist dialects judged typical of the sects, a plain and direct style of sermon oratory was favoured. Major genres and major authors of the period A comparable preference for an unembellished and perspicuous use of language is apparent in much of the nontheological literature of the age.

Only a select few were able to follow his workings though his later Opticks [] was aimed at a much wider readership. Yet his theories were popularized by a small regiment of Newtonians, and by the early 18th century he had become a hero of his culture. The Essay was a founding text of empiricismarguing that all knowledge comes from experience, rationally reflected upon.🔥Citing and more!

The 20th century

Add citations directly into your paper, Check for unintentional plagiarism and check for writing mistakes. American literature is literature written or produced in the United States and its preceding colonies (for specific discussions of poetry and theater, see Poetry of the United States and Theater in the United States).Before the founding of the United States, the British colonies on the eastern coast of the present-day United States were heavily influenced by English literature.

A brief history of english and american literature essay

Old English literature, or Anglo-Saxon literature, encompasses the surviving literature written in Old English in Anglo-Saxon England, in the period after the settlement of the Saxons and other Germanic tribes in England (Jutes and the Angles) c. , after the withdrawal of the Romans, and "ending soon after the Norman Conquest" in These works include genres such as epic poetry.

The Berlin Wall—symbol of a divided city within a divided nation within a divided continent—was grounded in decades-old historical divisions at the end of World War II.

History of Native American Literature Essay - The normal life of Native Americans in early America was pretty low key.

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English literature - The 20th century | leslutinsduphoenix.com