Literature : Progression Of Literature

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Progression of Literature American literature plays an important role in how our country develops, and its values contribute to society 's standards. Literature progresses in a series of religious, artistic, and philosophical movements.The writing of a movement greatly influences its time period and defines its era’s traits. Each movement responds to preceding ideas and challenges its beliefs. Two movements in American literature that are contradictory are Puritanism and Rationalism. Puritanism was a rigid religious movement practiced by early American settlers in which the writing was strongly impacted by the belief that God had control over everything. For example, poet Anne Bradstreet describes her opinion after her possessions were turned to ash in “Upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666” as “Thou hast a house on high erect,/ Framed by that mighty Architect,/ With glory richly furnished,/ Stands permanently though this be fled”(141). Bradstreet believes her house fire to be a sign from God that her permanent house in on Heaven, not Earth. Her faith that God had control over her life shown in her poem proves the Puritan way of thinking that God is all-mighty and has power over every outcome. Unfortunately, Puritanism presented bias because of faith, such as in “The Examination of Sarah Good”, a transcript of a witch trial in Salem, 1692. The prosecutors present loaded language in their questioning when they demand Sarah “Why do you hurt these children?” and “Why do you not tell us the truth?”(146/147). Those in charge of Sarah’s fate assume she is guilty and have set answers in their heads. They are unwilling to listen to the truth because their beliefs blind them. Puritanism caused lives to be lost, so people realiz... ... middle of paper ... ...en in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?”(1028). Prufrock is nervous to make conversation with this woman because he struggles to communicate with others. His idea of what he will say to the woman is also unrelated to what he had previously thought. These unconventional values contribute the idea of rebellion to American literature. American literary movements are often the opposite of the movement before it. Based off of this idea, I predict the next movement responding to Modernism will be Fantasy. Rather than the focus on alienated individuals, I believe characters will be social. The movement will accept traditional themes, and there will not be much impermanence. Stream-of-consciousness will not be a common technique, and irony will not be used in a satirical fashion. Similar to previous movements, this idea will become a contribution to American literature.
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