American Lit: Regionalism, Gothic Fiction And Naturalism

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In American Literature, there are several themes. Regionalism, Gothic Fiction, and Naturalism are the three main topics, to date, discussed in our classroom. While one might argue that some are more intriguing than the others, Gothic Fiction is determined to be the most darkening and interesting topic. After the Civil War, the literature faded from war times into stories of love, nature, depression, and more.

Post Civil War, Emily Dickinson wrote “I’m nobody, who are you” and “The brain is wider than the sky.” In these stories, she describes self-concept and intellect. Dickinson is famously known for enlightening her readers. Dickinson and Walt Whitman, another writer from this time period, wrote stories expressing innermost thoughts. Walt Whitman wrote “I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing” and “A Noiseless Patient Spider”. In these stories, Whitman describes isolation and self. Whitman and Mark Twain are both famous writers and known for their extraordinary pieces. “Walt Whitman is important to our literature first of all because he was a great poet” (cite pg. 4).Whitman is more philosophical while Twain has a lighter tone to his work. Mark Twain wrote “How to Tell a Story from Roughing It” using humor. Twain brings stories whose characters come to life and speak of natural environments. Witty humor is one of the strong points for Twain’s work. “The pattern of the life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or “Mark Twain,” for seventy-five years was the pattern of America—from frontier community to industrial urbanity, from riverboats to railroads, from an aggressive, bumptious adolescence toward a troubled and powerful maturity” (cite pg. 9). Regionalism is a form of writing that focuses on specific features of a particular place, and it uses certain dialect and speaking with great descriptions. There can be weakness from characters along with a sense of fidelity. Some regionalism works speak of distant lands, strange customs, and exotic scenes. Two authors...
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