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the deerslayer literature in America

When I think of America, I think of freedom. We live in a country where we can do what we choose. We can express our opinions and live our own lives. Individuals can form their own individual beliefs and they can do what they want and pursue what they wish. They can play basketball, go to school, get a job, have a family, buy a house, or go to church. We are free. We have opportunity to be whatever we want to make ourselves. When you ask, what is an American? I find it no different to ask, what is freedom? America and freedom are intertwined and this relationship is evident in American literature.
The notion of freedom and everything relating to freedom unites all of the American literature we have read. In Twain's Huckleberry Finn, Huck leaves the cuffs of society so he can live in his own freedom. He doesn't let society dictate his life and opinions. Huck himself determines what is right or wrong, and does what he believes is right; that is freedom. This is just like the Pilgrim's in Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation, who came to American solely to be free and find new opportunities. In Cooper's Deerslayer, we see the devotion the Native Americans had toward the land on which they lived, American land. They valued their land, just like we do today. We are proud of where we live and what we stand for. Natty, a character in the story, had to kill one of the Indians in self-defense and felt a sense of brotherhood and sorrow when he watched him die. Freedom and equality are prevalent in America. When you die it doesn't matter if you're white or Indian or black. Everyone is human and everyone is equal and bonded by America. In Self Reliance, Emerson explains that our freedom to choose and our ability to think what we want to think define what America is. I believe it is characteristic of Americans to strive for what they think is right. In Poe's the House of Usher, Usher decided to bury his sister alive. I think this story can relate to us today. Many people would say that America is known for persevering through rough times. I'd say the last few years have been a rough time for America, from 9/11 to now--the war in Iraq. Sometimes situations may seem unbeatable, like being trapped in a coffin, but if you fight hard enough, like we are against the terrorists and in Iraq, you can overcome anything. American's can overcome anything. Usher's sister was buried alive and finally broke from the coffin after a week of struggle. Also, many of the authors we have studied describe nature in riveting detail. To them and to me, our beautiful nature represents something more then just what you see with your eyeit represents America's freedom. In Emerson's Nature, Thorpe's The Big Bear of Arkansas, Twain's Huckleberry Finn, Bryant's Thanatopsis, and Edwards' Shadows of Divine Things, we see an apparent love and lust of nature by the authors. The great aspects of nature represent the great aspects of Americafreedom. The mountains and trees scatter in nature in pure harmony just like the American people live freely in America. The authors had a fascination for the unknown and describe nature in almost foolish detail. This parallels with are fascination as Americans with everything, like ourselves, life, science, and God. Why do we ask, who are we? Why do we ask, what is an American? Why am I writing this paper? Why do we ask, who is God? What is the meaning of life? The answer is that we are fascinated and curious. Curiosity is in our American blood and this fascination derives from the authors of American literature who were fascinated with nature. In Byrd's Secret Diary, he expresses the rapid change in the American sentiment and culture a few generations after the original settlers. The original settlers, like the pilgrims, came for freedom, especially religious freedom. Americans can be defined as being open to changes and opportunity, which is related to the overall concept of freedom. Byrd explains how the original culture of the New World ... more

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romanticism

“ Bells bells bells bells bells bells bells” this quote from Edgar Allen Poes’ The Bells,  is one poem that had great influence on early 19th century literature. During the early 1800’s , writers Poe, Irving, and Cooper display characteristics of Romantic writers.
Cooper diplays characters with honest expression to their feelings. This appeal to emotion rather then reason is one characteristic of Romanticism. “Deerslayer raised the Indian in his arms, and carried him to the lake…..and took the head of his wounded adversary in his own lap, and endeavored to sooth his anguish in the best manner he could”. This appeal to emotion rather then reason is one characteristic of Romanticism. Another is Coopers interest in nature, he describes the beauties of the American wilderness “It was already quiet near the point. He was entirely on his own resources, and was cheered by no friendly eye, emboldened by no encouraging voice”.
Another important influential writer of the early 1800’s is Irving. His essay Early Life In Manhattan shows an interest in the unusual. Romantic writers were always persuing the strange and out-of-the-way, seldom did they write on the average and the ordinary. As he satirized housewives and homelife of that time he grabbed the attention of many readers. “The whole house was constantly in a state of inundation, under the discipline if mops and brooms and scrubbing brushes; and the good housewives of those days were a kind of amphibious animal…historian of the day tell us townswomen grew to have webbed fingers like tat of a duck”. Irving also mocks the behavior of the young boys at tea parties. “wealthy gentlemen, with their brains in their pockets, nor amusing conceits and monkey divertissements of smart young gentlemen with no brains at all”. Irvings style was to look at the customs and traditions of an era and to view the strange characterics and mannerisms in his writings. He was very influential. Irving made people really look at their behavior and traditions that they follow.
The third writer who was part of the Romantic movement is Edgar Allen Poe. He was mostly famous for writing about the strange and unusual by exploring the dark areas of his mind. In The Fall of the House of Usher the setting symbolises how he really feels inside. As I read the story I was really able to feel the sadness. “During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens”. The setting is gloomy, the story does not have one happy word, expression, or feeling in it. The setting “ the windows were long, narrow, and pointed, and at so vast a distance from the black floor as to be altogether inaccessible from within… an air of stern, deep and irredeemable gloom hung over and pervaded all”. Poes interest in the strange and unusual and his appeal to emotion rather then reason which have a predominant effect are what make his work some of the greatest examples of Gothic Romanticism.
All of these writers had such profound influences on literature. Cooper, Irving, and Poe all went against what was the norm and wrote on how they were feeling. Their true inside emotions were expressed through their literature. These writers were all so very different from each other. From their writing style, to the topics they wrote on, Cooper, Irving and Poes’ similar characteristics are difficult to find, but they do come together at one point. Cooper, Poe, and Irving, all display characteristics of Romantic writers.



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