The Defining Aspects Of Literary History Essay

The Defining Aspects Of Literary History Essay

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Reflection Essay
Culture and history are the defining aspects of literary history. Each event throughout history has played a major role in the history of literature and writers today. Each writer throughout history has been influenced either through personal experiences, beliefs, and America’s history. Events such as the Civil War brought about several changes that led to the introduction of new literary genres and styles. Many of these writers wanted to break away from tradition whiles others wanted to write about their beliefs such as religion.
Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson are two of the most significant writers from their time. Both writers are significant in literary history and have made noteworthy contributions to the literary world. While Dickinson and Whitman both focused much of their work on the subject of death, they did so in contrasting ways. Whitman presented the subject of death in an individualized manner. In his work, “Song of Myself”, death is discussed particularly in sections 48 and 49. Section 48 discusses the image of God and says, “And I say to mankind, be not curious about God” (Greenblatt, 64). He goes on to say that he sees God in everything and everywhere. “I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least” (Greenblatt, 64). Section 49 continues with the subject of death. Whitman is saying that he is not afraid of death. “And as to you Death, and you bitter hug of mortality, it is idle to try to alarm me” (Greenblatt, 65). Dickinson views death as inevitable and out of man’s control. She shows us thin in her poem “Because I could not stop for Death”. Dickinson embraces the idea of death. Both Dickinson and Whitman both had unique writing styles. Dickin...


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... people were moving to the Northern cities. These people were mainly African Americans. The need for workers increased thus many African Americans followed the work. Many of these African Americans lived in poor living conditions, and worked at “low-paying, menial jobs” (Blackboard, The Harlem Renaissance). Some of the most important writers during this time I believe were Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay. This is because they wrote about what they were experience and what was going on with black Americans during the New Negro Movement. They wrote about their struggles and what civil rights meant to them.
All in all, our culture and history has molded literary history and brought about numerous changes. Whether based on changes in society, or a writer’s personal experience or belief, the literary world will see more changes and evolving.

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