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- Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas for "Culture of
English Speaking Countries Lessons" for Xiangtan Normal University...
WESTERN CULTURE AND SOCIETY: THE UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA (USA) -
begins with the orally transmitted myths, legends, tales, and lyrics (always
songs) of Indian cultures. There was no written literature among the more
than 500 different Indian languages and tribal cultures that existed in
North America before the first Europeans arrived. American
literature is normally divided up into different periods:
1600 - 1800
"Founding to Revolution"
"Declaration of Independence"
1800 - 1850 "The
Lewis & Clark
"Journals of the Expedition"
James Fenimore Cooper
"The Last of the Mohicans"
"Narrative of Sojourner Truth"
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry David Thoreau
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
"Declaration of Sentiments"
"The Scarlet Letter"
1850 - 1865
"Slavery & Civil War"
"Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass"
Harriet Beecher Stowe
"Uncle Tom's Cabin"
Mary Chestnut "A
Diary From Dixie"
"Gettysburg Address "
1865 - 1901
"Rebuilding America & the Guilded Age"
Mark Twain "The
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
Willa Cather "O
Black Elk "Black
Booker T. Washington
"Up From Slavery"
W.E.B. Du Bois
"The Souls of Black Folk"
Henry Adams "The
Education of Henry Adams"
"The Age of Innocence"
1901 - 1929
"Progressive Era & Reaction"
"The Winning of the West"
"Roger-isms: The Cowboy Philosopher on Prohibition"
H.L. Mencken "The
"Montage of a Dream Deferred"
Zora Neale Hurston
"Their Eyes Were Watching God"
"The Sun Also Rises"
F. Scott Fitzgerald
"The Great Gatsby"
1929 - 1945
"Depression & War"
"The Grapes of Wrath"
"The Sound and the Fury"
Ayn Rand "The
Ernie Pyle "Here
is Your War"
1945 - 1961 "Early
Jack Kerouac "On
1961 - 1975
"Social Transformation to Vietnam"
"The Feminine Mystique"
Russell Kirk "The
William F. Buckley
"God and Man at Yale"
"The Best and the Brightest"
Neil Sheehan "A
Brighnt Shinning Lie"
(1612-1672) - The first published book of
poems by an American was also the first American book to be published by
a woman -- Anne Bradstreet. The book was published in England, given the
lack of printing presses in the early years of the first American
(1720-c. 1800) - The black American poet
Jupiter Hammon, a slave on Long Island, New York, is remembered for his
religious poems as well as for An Address to the Negroes of the State of
New York (1787), in which he advocated freeing children of slaves
instead of condemning them to hereditary slavery. His poem "An
Evening Thought" was the first poem published by a black male in
Until 1825, most
American authors paid printers to publish their work. They therefore had
to be wealthy. The exception, Benjamin Franklin, though from a poor
family, was a printer by trade and could publish his own work.
(1706-1790) - Franklin recorded his early
life in his famous autobiography. Writer, printer, publisher, scientist,
philanthropist, and diplomat, he was the most famous and respected
private figure of his time. He was the first great self-made man in
America. Franklin taught himself languages, read widely, and practiced
writing for the public.
The first important
fiction writers widely recognized today, Charles Brockden Brown,
Washington Irving, and James Fenimore Cooper, used American subjects,
historical perspectives, themes of change, and nostalgic tones.
(1789-1859) - He is best remembered for the
stories, "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy
movement, which originated in Germany but quickly spread to England,
France, and beyond, reached America around the year 1820.
THE BRAHMIN POETS - In
their time, the Boston Brahmins (as the patrician, Harvard-educated
class came to be called) supplied the most respected and genuinely
cultivated literary arbiters of the United States. Their lives fitted a
pleasant pattern of wealth and leisure directed by the strong New
England work ethic and respect for learning. The most important Boston
Brahmin poets were Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes,
and James Russell Lowell.
(1810-1850) - Margaret Fuller, an
outstanding essayist, was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
From a modest financial background, she was educated at home by her
father (women were not allowed to attend Harvard). The first
professional woman journalist of note in America.
(1830-1886) - Emily Dickinson was a shy,
withdrawn, village woman, almost unpublished and unknown, created some
of the greatest American poetry of the 19th century has fascinated the
public since the 1950s, when her poetry was rediscovered. She
wrote 1,775 poems.
(1819-1891) - Moby-Dick; or, The Whale,
Melville's masterpiece, is the epic story of the whaling ship.
SAMUEL CLEMENS (MARK
TWAIN) (1835-1910) - Samuel Clemens, better
known by his pen name of Mark Twain is most famous for writing The
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain actually wrote many different
types of stories. We find romance in Roughing It (1872), and boyish
idealism in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). There is a story of
sixteenth-century England in The Prince and the Pauper (1882), and a
river-boat story in Life on the Mississippi (1884). Many people know
about Huck and Jim, and their "free and easy and comfortable"
life on their raft in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). The
story of Camelot is told in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
(1889). Nevertheless, Twain is remembered most for the Tom Sawyer and
Huckleberry Finn adventure stories that many people first read as
(1888-1965) - Thomas Stearns Eliot was born
in St. Louis, Missouri, to a well- to-do family with roots in the
northeastern United States. He received the best education of any major
American writer of his generation at Harvard College, the Sorbonne, and
Merton College of Oxford University.
(1899-1961) - In 1954 he received the Nobel
Prize, but because of a troubled family background, illness, and the
belief that he was losing his gift for writing, Hemingway shot himself
in 1961. Hemingway is the most popular American novelist of the century.
(1911-1983) - His work focused on disturbed
emotions. He wrote more than 20 full-length dramas, the most famous -
The Glass Menagerie (1944) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1947).
Saul Bellow (1915- )
- Born in Canada and raised in Chicago, he
received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976. Early novels include
Dangling Man (1944) and The Victim (1947), later novels include Seize
the Day (1956).