American Literature and Culture 1900-1960 by Gail McDonald

By Gail McDonald

This advent to American literature and tradition from 1900 to 1960 is prepared round 4 significant principles approximately the US: that's it “big”, “new”, “rich”, and “free”.

  • Illustrates the inventive and social weather within the united states in this period.
  • Juxtaposes dialogue of background, pop culture, literature and different artwork kinds in ways in which foster dialogue, wondering, and endured learn.
  • An appendix lists correct basic and secondary works, together with websites.
  • An excellent complement to basic texts taught in American literature courses.

Chapter 1 massive (pages 6–59):
Chapter 2 wealthy (pages 60–109):
Chapter three New (pages 110–164):
Chapter four loose (pages 165–210):

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Is James being overly romantic about the sources of art and beauty? Or is he, in the face of a prosperous and complacent populace, taking the snob’s view that such conditions are the enemy of art? Assumptions of that sort do appear to affect his view. But the final pages of The American Scene movingly project the costs of success, returning us to a version of the question Thoreau asked about the railroads. Were Americans creating the WaldorfAstorias and Pullman cars – or were these objects creating them?

The land of course was not empty, as the wretched history of Native Americans makes clear. Neither was the Big Sky Country of the West all sagebrush, purple mountains, and laconic cowboys as figured in the popular westerns of Zane Grey or Louis L’Amour. As the country grew skywards as well as westwards, the great urban centers were “alive and coarse and strong and cunning” as in Carl Sandburg’s poem “Chicago” (1916). The “City of the Big Shoulders,” was, on the one hand, famous for its skyscrapers and, on the other, notorious for its organized crime.

Scott Fitzgerald’s famous closing to The Great Gatsby, the expanse of land – empty, unspoiled, still fresh and green and virginal – suggests limitless possibility, 7 ALAC01 7 29/06/2006, 02:53PM BIG awe, the thrill of the blank page awaiting the first word. This fantasy of the yet-to-be-named informs not only early exploration literature but the institutionalization of American literature as a discipline. The American male as namer (and thus claimer) generated, for example, the influential concept of “the American Adam,” defined by R.

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