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Literature In America

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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 eyeÐ'--it 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 AmericaÐ'--freedom. 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

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