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21. American literature

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21. American literature American literature is much younger than British literature. American literature began in the 17thIn the second half of the 18th century, when America was fighting for its independence, political text were typical. Some of famous writes included Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Edgar Allan Poe was a poet, editor, critic, short-story writer and essayist. He was influenced by romantic tradition. He became an orphan at the age of two was taken to home of a rich businessman. When he married his wife, she was only 13, but died after 10 years. His best poem is the Raven. One stormy midnight a raven visits a student who has lost his love and student ask if he can ever meet her again. But the raven, who represents the symbol of death in the poem, can only say nevermore. Poe wrote horror stories The Fall of the House Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum and he established the technique for modern detective story in The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Nathaniel Hawthorne was a novelist and short-story writer. His masterpiece is The Scarlet Letter. It presents the problems of moral evil and guilt. It is a novel set in Boston in 17th century. It tells about a woman, her name is Hester and her daughter in puritan society. Her daughter is illegitimate child with reverend, she has to wear letter A on her chest. A mean adultery. It was made into a movie and the main character was played by Demi Moore. Mark Twain is the most famous representative of the Gilded Age. He was an excellent writer and journalist whose works are full of American humour. His most appreciated novels are those based on his own experiences along the Mississippi, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Life on the Mississippi. In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Twain describes the adventures of his boyhood. All the characters in the book are based on real individuals. The White Fang is novel about the friendship between a hunter and a dog. After the World War I., a group of writers as the Lost Generation entered literature. They were influenced by the war. Another famous novel is For Whom the Bells Tolls and it is a psychological picture from Spanish Civil War. (A Farewell to Army) John Steinbeck often wrote about poor working-class people and their struggle to lead a decent life during depression. He won a Nobel Prize in literature. His best novel is The Grapes of Wrath. It is a picture of a poor family, which is exploited by the fruit-growers in California. Other famous work is Of Mice and Men. It is a novella, it tells the tragic story of George and Lennie, two ranch workers during the Great Depression in California. Francis Scott Fitzgerald is one of the greatest writers of 20th century. His masterpiece is The Great Gatsby. The story tells about Jay Gatsby who was a millionaire, he was in love with Daisy. They met long time before when Jay was poor. After the war he became rich and they met again. (Most of his money came from smuggles alcohol and it was in 1920s illegal in the US.) But Daisy was already married with Tom. Tom cheated on her with Myrtle and at the end Gatsby was shoot by Myrtle’s husband. William Styron wrote an excellent novel called Sophie’s Choice. It is about a Polish woman who while imprisoned in concentration camp was forced to make a cruel choice – which of her two children would survive and which will be killed. Her life in the USA after the war was influenced by the bitter war experience. Ken Kesey gained fame with first book, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It is a story of a man who pretends to be mad in order to escape imprisonment. It was made into an Oscar-winning movie directed by Miloš Forman. The World According to Garp describe his life from his birth to his death. Another important character is his mutter, she is a feminist and a nurse. The Cider House Rules is about Homer, people working in an apple orchard and black girl Rose Rose.

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