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House Of The Seven Gables

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How does an author’s personal history or cultural background influence what he or she writes about? Are history and literature related?

I believe that many authors a very influenced by their own background and the subjects they write about. Authors write about what is familiar. Authors write about something that they feel strongly about or love. I also feel that history and literature are closely related. Many great novels of this world have their basis in stories of the past, true stories taken from history.

For one thing, authors usually write about what they already know about or what they see, or what they experience in life. They often write about the history of their family, town, or whatever place they live in. Books where the author understands his subject and feels comfortable and passionate about it are the most interesting. When an author’s writing has been influenced by his or her personal history and cultural background, the writer understands it. It’s also much easier for an author to write about something having to do with their personal history or cultural background. If we are familiar with a subject it is much easier to convince our reader of the ‘experience’ or ‘story’ that is being written about.

Although Nathaniel Hawthorne’s allegory, The House of Seven Gables, was not entirely true, the incomparable part of it had to do with his personal history and his cultural background. His relation to the house was from his cousin Phoebe and the ideas about the witch trials were because he was living in the very time they were taking place. Therefore, I do think that the personal history and cultural background affect what the author writes about whether the book be fiction or non-fiction, but most of the time, non-fiction.

An example of an author I can come up with where I strongly think their personal history and cultural background significantly influence what she writes about is Amy Tan. I have read two of her novels, The Joyluck Club and The Kitchen God’s Wife. She wrote about Chinese Americans living in San Francisco. A subject she knows much about and has lived through. Her books are so fascinating because she knows her subject well. They are novels yes, but we can trust that in many ways this is what a Chinese mother living in San Francisco may have behaved like or said.

History and literature are also linked by way of story.
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