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44. In her essay "Writing Short Stories" Flannery O'Connor says this about characterization: "You can't cut characters off from their society and say much about them as individuals." "You can't say anything meaningful about the mystery of personality unless you put that personality in a believable and significant social context." Consider the quotations above. Then pick a story from Semester A and evaluate how the social context and the characters work together not only to provide a vivid setting, but also to help explain and develop the characters' thoughts, words, and actions. (10 points)
Respond in a well-organized essay. Answer is written in complete sentences. (25 pts) 45. In the middle of the 19th century, political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville claimed, "The inhabitants of the United States have...properly speaking, no literature." Based on what you learned this semester, is this statement accurate? Evaluate the contributions of two or more writers in this semester to the development of uniquely American literature. What genres, subjects, themes, settings, or characters did these writers develop? (25 points)
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Alexis de Tocqueville's statement was not true, rather it was created out of personal bias and inferior knowledge of the subject. As proven by stories read throughout this semester, such as Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart and Sarah Orne Jewett’s 'A White Heron', American literature has grown and evolved. Influenced by many different styles of writing from many cultures and peoples around the world, one of the things that makes American literature so fascinating, are its constantly changing styles. From Mark Twain who created what some see as "true American writing" that took hold of and included many of the social and political issues of his time, to Poe, whose mysterious and often morbid style of writing and poetry gave the Romanticism era a dark and Gothic twist, American literature had grown enormously. Each of the mentioned authors brought their own light and character to the table of early American literature. They were heroes of their region, the Hercules and Odysseus of the modern literature world, the Homer of America. In creating the stories and poems that they wrote, these early American writers were not solely entertaining an audience or letting loose creative steam, but were laying the foundation for the rest of American literature as we know it today. Every author in this day and age and the ones before them are all gods in that they created the stronghold we call literature. Those who once possessed by these ideas and turned them into political parties or new amendments for women and African American rights, As young authors carrying the torch of the great runners before us, that glory is ours for the taking as we follow the steps which have been laid out before us by the founders of a very present and influential American Literature.
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Alexis di Toqueville's neglect of the understanding of American literature can be chalked up to his poor understanding of the "Scarsacian Theory of Literature" which states that a nation can have a literature if only one person of its citizenry is a writer and that is proven by "Purple Pachydermia", the essay by renown satirist Buchanan Clay In this work, Clay maintains that his small island nation of Wakandalala has a literacy rate of .01%, yet because he is an author, he represents that nation's national literature.