Literary Movements

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American Literary Movements
American literature has progressed through many great phases throughout history. One such literary movement was romanticism. Romanticism was a movement characterized by a fascination of the supernatural and strong emotion. Regionalism is another interesting period of American history. In regionalism, the author tends to focus on a specific area, and tries to convey the “local color”, or traits of the specific area. A third example of literature movements in America was modernism. Modernism is characterized by a rejection of tradition, instead focusing on the present and future. Every movement of American history has its own specific characteristics than can be observed by analyzing a story of that time. Romanticism, naturalism, and modernism are three movements whose traits can be analyzed through looking at stories from the movements.

Romanticism has elements of the supernatural and imagination, strong emotion, and a keen focus of the senses. To begin, romanticism tends to incorporate the supernatural. In The Devil and Tom Walker, this is shown through Washington Irving’s incorporation of the Devil. The Devil introduces himself by saying “‘Oh, I go by various names. I am the Wild Huntsman in some countries; the Black Miner in others. In this neighbourhood I am known by the name of the Black Woodsman. I am he to whom the red men devoted this spot, and now and then roasted a white man by way of sweet smelling sacrifice. Since the red men have been exterminated by you white savages, I amuse myself by presiding at the persecutions of quakers and anabaptists; I am the great patron and prompter of slave dealers, and the grand master of the Salem witches.’” (Irving). The Devil presents himself in the story, and with him, the supernatural is presented. Moreover, romanticism tends to show strong emotion in its works. The story shows emotion often throughout the story. One such example occurs when Tom finds his wife’s apron hanging from a...
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