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How Nation Sees Itself Goes A Long Way In Shaping That Nation'S Literature.

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How nation sees itself goes a long way in shaping that nation's literature. According to Gavin Cologne-Brookes, 'the idea of America - the 'New World' as described by and subsequently named after a Florentine merchant, and colonized by wave on wave of free emigrants from Europe and Asia and enslaved Africans - is synonymous with the writing that has formed America'. (p. 1-2) American evolved from the colonized nation into a very dependent and glorious nation which remarkably surprising the Old World. One of the main notably reasons is their products of literary works. English has been well known for its successful in terms of economics, political and also literature. Being the nation who colonized other nations reflects its stability in its society. Therefore, its language also influenced in the nation which they conquered such as America. In addition, the immigrants who emigrate from the Old World due to the difference in faith also affected the nation's personality. Though, there were native American lived in the 'New World', English had replaced the native's language.

Gavin Cologne-Brookes (1996) stated further in his introduction that;

If the nation's sense of self owes much to its indigenous texts, and the perpetuation of certain key concepts dating back to the European colonists' rejection of British sovereignty, it also owes a good deal to European ideas of America. The British Romantics, for instance- notably Blake, Coleridge and Southey - revealed a view of America that influenced Americans in the attempts of the new Republic to differentiate itself from the Old World. (p. 1-3)

It shows that the European inevitably influenced the literary works of the American writers. Some of the writers imitated the technique and the form of the mother country because they owned the identity of their mother country instead of the New World. It is difficult for them not to imitate the Old World's literature whereas America was only a young nation which doesn't have a particular or specific identity to represent itself. However, there were some of the writers who rejected the English's form and technique of literature, for an instance, the Puritans who rejected the works of writers because they belonged to a different sect. Early American literature's writing was recorded in form of diaries, letters, travel journals, ships logs and reports to the explorers' financial backers. Then, the Puritans came brought their full awareness of the importance of worshipping God and of the spiritual dangers that the soul faced on earth which form their own style of literature. Some of the writers which recognized in this field were Anne Bradstreet, William Bradford, Edward Taylor and Micheal Wiggleworth. The optimistic ideas for the New World were then continued by the writers who tried to formulate a literature to represent America adequately. As mentioned by Renee Slater and Kate Fullbrook in the article of Revisioning the American landscape: from Utopia to Eco-critique that;

A distinguished line of America writers running from Washington Irving, through Hawthorne and Fenimore Cooper to Henry James, and on to the expatriate writers of the 1920s stresses the newness of the American landscape as sign of the impoverished and irredeemably provincial cultural base which confronts the American writer. (p. 219)

This is an important element in order to set apart from the Old World and validates their own unique identity for the New World. The writers began to realize and present the aspect of otherness in their works. Therefore, the situation justified the perception of the New World of itself to distinguished from the Old World.

As the United States of America struggling to declare their independence from the Great Britain in 1776, literature ground also finds its way of declaring its own independence. Martin Stephen wrote in his book (1991);

Between then and the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 American Literature established its own identity and achieved something of a golden period in the years immediately prior to the war. American Literature can quite logically be set on English Literature courses as it is written in English, but the cultural background is wholly different from that of Europe. (p.323)

The American sense of identity was demanded in order to create and set a whole new style literature to represent the New World instead of copying the Old World. In addition, literature formed an evidence of a more cultivated and perhaps higher stage of civilization which is important for the America in order to build their distinguished identity. Therefore, 'a generation of ambitious and patriotic young writers immediately sprang into action and began writing, in their spare time, poems, plays, novels and essays based on the American experience'.(Robert E. Spiller,1896,p.56) Among the famous and notable writers who produced the first great generation of American writers and earn its cultural independence are: Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.

First analysis on the American Literature would be on Washington Irving, known for his American subjects, historical perspectives, themes of change, and nostalgic tones which initiated a new form of America's identity. Irving was born to a wealthy New York merchant family and the youngest of 11 children. The flourish of his literary works began when he first published his Sketch Book (1819-1820) that obtained recognition in England and also America. Using under his pseudonym Geoffrye Crayon, Irving wrote The Sketch Book which contains his two major remembered stories, "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". Both of the stories in Sketch Book appropriately described Irving's ability as a colorist or creator of rich, nuanced tones and emotional effects which is delicate, elegant and yet seemingly casual style. His wanderers experience had brought him ideas to write an "idyllic region of Sleepy Hollow" that he transformed Catskill Mountains along the Hudson River north of the New York City into a fabulous, magical region.

Kathryn VanSpanckeren mentioned in her article that 'American readers gratefully accepted Irving's imagined "history" of the Catskill, despite the fact (unkown to them) that he had adapted his stories from a German source. Irving gave America something it badly needed in brash, materialistic early years: an imaginative way of relating to the new land.'(Outline of American Literature) It imposed a new perspective for the American to differentiate



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