Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. Theatre of the 20th century and beyond The achievements of realism at the end of the 19th century continued to resonate through the turn of the 21st century, but the most influential innovations in early 20th-century theatre came from a vigorous reaction against realism. Inspiration was sought in machines and technology, Asian theatre, Symbolism, nihilismthe psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freudand the shock of a world war that spawned widespread disillusionment and alienation. The results of this eclecticism were often anarchic and exhilarating:
Colonial literature[ edit ] Because of the large immigration to Boston in the s, the articulation of Puritan ideals, and the early establishment of a college and a printing press in Cambridgethe New England colonies have often been regarded as the center of early American literature.
However, the first European settlements in North America had been founded elsewhere many years earlier.
During the colonial period, the printing press was active in many areas, from Cambridge and Boston to New YorkPhiladelphiaand Annapolis.
The dominance of the English language was not inevitable. Moreover, we are now aware of the wealth of oral literary traditions already existing on the continent among the numerous different Native American groups.
Political events, however, would eventually make English the lingua franca for the colonies at large as well as the literary language of choice. For instance, when the English conquered New Amsterdam inthey renamed it New York and changed the administrative language from Dutch to English.
From toonly about separate items were issued from the major printing presses in the American colonies. This is a small number compared to the output of the printers in London at the time. London printers published materials written by New England authors, so the body of American literature was larger than what was published in North America.
However, printing was established in the American colonies before it was allowed in most of England. In England, restrictive laws had long confined printing to four locations, where the government could monitor what was published: London, York, Oxford, and Cambridge.
Because of this, the colonies ventured into the modern world earlier than their provincial English counterparts. Captain John Smith could be considered the first American author with his works: Topics of early writing[ edit ] The religious disputes that prompted settlement in America were important topics of early American literature.
Edward Winslow also recorded a diary of the first years after the Mayflower 's arrival. This work outlined the ideal society that he and the other Separatists would build in an attempt to realize a "Puritan utopia".
Other religious writers included Increase Mather and William Bradfordauthor of the journal published as a History of Plymouth Plantation, — Others like Roger Williams and Nathaniel Ward more fiercely argued state and church separation. And still others, like Thomas Mortoncared little for the church; Morton's The New English Canaan mocked the religious settlers and declared that the Native Americans were actually better people than the British.
Nicholas Noyes was also known for his doggerel verse. John Eliot translated the Bible into the Algonquin language. Of the second generation of New England settlers, Cotton Mather stands out as a theologian and historian, who wrote the history of the colonies with a view to God's activity in their midst and to connecting the Puritan leaders with the great heroes of the Christian faith.
Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield represented the Great Awakeninga religious revival in the early 18th century that emphasized Calvinism.
Less strict and serious writers included Samuel Sewall who wrote a diary revealing the daily life of the late 17th century and Sarah Kemble Knight. New England was not the only area in the colonies with a literature: The diary of William Byrd and The History of the Dividing Line described the expedition to survey the swamp between Virginia and North Carolina but also comments on the differences between American Indians and the white settlers in the area.
At this time American Indian literature also began to flourish. Two key figures were Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine. Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin are esteemed works with their wit and influence toward the formation of a budding American identity.
Paine's pamphlet Common Sense and The American Crisis writings are seen as playing a key role in influencing the political tone of the time. Major satirists included John Trumbull and Francis Hopkinson. Philip Morin Freneau also wrote poems about the War.
During the 18th century, writing shifted from the Puritanism of Winthrop and Bradford to Enlightenment ideas of reason. The belief that human and natural occurrences were messages from God no longer fit with the new human-centered world. Many intellectuals believed that the human mind could comprehend the universe through the laws of physics as described by Isaac Newton.
One of these was Cotton Mather. The enormous scientific, economic, social, and philosophical, changes of the 18th century, called the Enlightenmentimpacted the authority of clergyman and scripture, making way for democratic principles. The increase in population helped account for the greater diversity of opinion in religious and political life as seen in the literature of this time.
Inthe population of the colonies numbered approximatelyThirty years later it was more than ,This course was created by Rebecca Epperly Wire. You can contact her through the Facebook community group with questions. You can say thank you to her with a gift.
Please review the FAQs and contact us if you find a problem. Credits: 1 Recommended: 10th, 11th, 12th (This is typically the 11th grade course.) Prerequisite: Literature.
American literature is literature written or produced in the United States and its preceding colonies (for specific discussions of poetry and theater, see Poetry of the United States and Theater in the United States).Before the founding of the United States, the British colonies on the eastern coast of the present-day United States were heavily influenced by English literature.
The Scarlet Letter: The Problem with Labeling Other People - As we read the novel, “The Scarlet Letter,” we were acquainted with the manner the Puritan society branded their sinners contingent on the immoralities they have committed. Our top 50 books list covers the most influential and best books ever written.
The most important books to read span across the entire history of writing. + free ebooks online. Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day? Go to: Distributed Proofreaders.
Western theatre - Theatre of the 20th century and beyond: The achievements of realism at the end of the 19th century continued to resonate through the turn of the 21st century, but the most influential innovations in early 20th-century theatre came from a vigorous reaction against realism.
Just as the visual arts exploded into a chaos of .