American Literature and Culture 1900-1960 by Gail McDonald

By Gail McDonald

This creation to American literature and tradition from 1900 to 1960 is geared up round 4 significant rules approximately the US: that's it “big”, “new”, “rich”, and “free”.

  • Illustrates the inventive and social weather within the united states in this period.
  • Juxtaposes dialogue of historical past, pop culture, literature and different artwork varieties in ways in which foster dialogue, wondering, and persevered examine.
  • An appendix lists correct basic and secondary works, together with websites.
  • An perfect complement to fundamental texts taught in American literature courses.

Chapter 1 colossal (pages 6–59):
Chapter 2 wealthy (pages 60–109):
Chapter three New (pages 110–164):
Chapter four loose (pages 165–210):

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Translation: Americans of my class are martyrs to our highly developed and sensitive natures. The locus classicus of neurasthenia and the “rest-cure” made famous by the physician S. Weir Mitchell is Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892). In her story, a new mother who suffers from an unnamed nervous illness is forced to do nothing but eat and sleep, expressly forbidden by her husband (he is also her physician) FIGURE 2 Sanitarium photograph, Battle Creek, Michigan Photograph Willard Library for American Literature and Culture, Battle Creek, Michigan.

In effect Roosevelt’s imperialistic energy redefined the frontier, thus reinforcing a conception of virility that required new fields to conquer. The condition of neurasthenia may be seen as a manifestation of the difficulties of transition, a shift from one set of social customs and assigned roles to other roles still evolving and, in a related if not causal way, from one view of the nation to another. As long as America was defined as a country in the making, with urgent work to be done in establishing a new civilization, the sense of purpose was implicit.

The same may be said of anonymity, another response to crowding, but with the paradoxical effect of isolation. A sampling of walkers in the city will indicate some of the emotions anonymity provokes. The poet Wallace Stevens found himself disgusted by the people he saw on city sidewalks, describing them in a letter to his father: “Everybody . . ”10 No flâneur or man about town here, sauntering and taking in the view. Like the speaker of T. S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” for whom the streets are like “a tedious argument of insidious intent,” the primary response is one of revulsion.

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