American Novel as Romance

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American Novel as Romance

There are two types of novels: the realistic or British novel and the romance fiction or American novel. The romance novel is a literary genre and the native tradition of the American novel. One of the basic differences between English and American literature is that the latter is constantly reassessing and reconstituting romance within the novel. It is said that romance signifies besides the obvious picturesque and heroic, an assumed freedom from the ordinary novelistic requirements of realism, development and continuity, a tendency towards melodrama and idyll, to consider things indirectly or abstractly. This type of novels became a perfect way for American intellectuals to express their ideas. Romance was used to introduce into the novel what may be described as the marrow profundity of New England Puritanism, the rationalistic spirit of the Enlightenment, and the imaginative freedom of Transcendentalism. The whole history of the American novel is the repeated rediscovery of the uses of romance. The poetry of disorder which can be found in American novels is missing from the English ones. It derives from two great influences that stand behind it and those are tragedy and Christianity. The American novel explores the remarkable and the unknown territories of the New World, reflects its anomalies and dilemmas. It was to discover a new place and a new state of mind. American novel has approached a perfection or art unknown to English tradition. It intentionally opposes the disorder and rawness of their culture with art. The settings were not so elaborately described, but were filtered through the eyes of characters, they lapse of tone and the narration is not straight forward, so we call it filtered narration. The novels were just a fusion of reality and fantasy – witches, meteors, elements of premonitions, flashbacks, and open endings and the plot which is not linear. The complexity of feeling is something we can sense in these...
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