American literature refers to the literary work produced in the area within the Geographic boundaries of the United States of America. The poetry and theatre of the US form a fundamental part of the American Literature which should not be overlooked. American ethnic literature is hard to define. It lacks a definition because America has a composition of people from different parts of the world. Therefore, they, have different cultures and opinions about the definitions of Literature. During the early History of America, it was initially a composition of British colonies on the Eastern Coast of the present day US. Therefore, British English has a close link to the American literary traditions. This essay discusses exhaustively the broad issues of American Literature. In its discussion, it defines American ethnic literature and literary canon. Special challenges that American ethnic writer’s encounter in their struggle to improve the diversity of American Literature. The definition of Literature by American Ethnic writers has also been expounded deeply.
Understanding American Literature
American Literature is so broad and dynamic. It covers a wide range of social issues depending on the times of their creation. American Literature addresses a wide range of social issues. American Literature comprehensively tackles critical matters such as civilization of America and the most serious tragedies that hit America in its history. American Ethnic Literature is American by all standards. This literature is unique in its own way. The unique literary figures in US emerged after the war of 1812 (Tuite 2002). These may include James Fennimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe and William Irving. The study of the American Literature is not far from studying the American History. Many American Literary works have themes relating to the history of American nation. In Literature, the American authors explain their personal experiences to reflect the prevailing social issues during the setting of their literary works.
Another reason why American Literature is unique is because America from the start had a distinctive and unique philosophy. This philosophy holds its basis on life and freedom, and it was reflected in American Literary works. The Literature of America’s unique aspect inspires third world countries and the Americans too. The ability of Americans to spring back, as their historical literal works reflect, makes the life of Americans worth living. It also inspires some sense of pride in being American.
Understanding Literary Canon
The use of the term Literary Canon in American literature refers to a classification of literature. It is used when referring to a group of literary works that are considered to be the most important over a certain period to a given country. It also refers to works written within a precise set of years. A collection of works written within the same time frame may be used to explain the meaning of this term too. A literary Canon makes up an established collection of the similar and related works. Therefore, literary canon in the United States setting is a set of all literary works produced within the same period.
Literary Canon in the United States is always related to the prevailing social phenomenon of different times in the United States. Canonized works help the society to easily access works of the same time, or around the same time if they need to study Literature of the past. Also, along with change of the economic times, the Ethnic Literature written in the US is fundamentally different too. For example, when the society of America was experiencing the Great Depression, a lot of Literature was created. The Literature of that historical time addressed societal issues of that time. Literature Canons are so vital since they help to categorize a society’s literal works in an organized sequence. The sequence is usually based on time flame, and thematic concerns of the literal works are so vital when it comes to addressing social issues. Social issues and cultures that existed between the same time frames are easy to study because Canonizing of literal works helps this with a great deal of ease. The traditional Canon view of American Literature is seemingly different from that of ethnic writers. This is because ethnic writers present American Literature as written works of the different cultures and are only relevant to the people of the given cultures. The Canon traditional presentation of Americans is different. This is because it tackles the historical events of the United States. Issues such as civilization are closely examined by this proponent of the American Literature.
Within American literary experience, the American Literal Writers experience so many challenges. Sometimes their books suffer criticism from the people who do not like the ideas articulated in the given Ethnic Literature. These writings suffer criticism from conservatives, especially the literature that involves the ideas inspiring the changes in the United States. For example, an influential literature masterpiece in the History of the United States; the Grapes of Wrath suffered serious criticism by the government of California (Brogan1998). The Californian government opposed the ideas articulated in the John Steinbeck’s fiction about the state of affairs for immigrants. This is an example of the challenges experienced by the Americans.
Ethic Literature refers to a body of literature written by people of the distinct religion, origin or culture. Ethnic writers in the United States of America have a different opinion about the American Literature. They believe that the American Literature cannot be understood in the same way by all people since people vale their cultures more than other cultures. These writers are remarkably consistent in passing ethnic practices and ideas from generation to generation. In instances where the society suffers oppression from leaders, the ethnic writers shape the world views of the people of the United States through American Literature. Ethnic writers view the American Literature as a dynamic and diversified phenomenon since America is formed by so many and different ethnic groups.
In the American Literature, Ethnic writers expound on the issues of liberty, opportunity and equality in so many different ways. In this way, the ethnic writers address gender sensitivity issues in their communities and respective cultures. The problem with the style used by ethnic writers to address these issues is that they have a local setting. Therefore, they are only found to be relevant to that specific group of people sharing the same plight that attempts to be addressed by the American Literature (Crane 2002). The Ethnic writers were well versed with the skills to articulate the feelings of the people concerning key issues such as immorality. The ethnic composers of the American literature used instruments such as poems, songs, slogans and tales among others. Some of these writes could compose the happenings and troubles experienced by their people during a certain historical time. Therefore, we may argue that these themes are well tackled in the American Literature by the ethnic writers.
In conclusion, it is so evident and clear that the American Literature is broad and dynamic. It is also so different from American traditional Ethnic Literature. The social political role of both literary canon and American Ethnic Literature cannot be disputed. They are so instrumental in shaping the Literature of the United States in its broad Spectrum. Again, the themes of liberty, equality and opportunity have been addressed by the Ethnic Literature in the struggle to raise the democratic United States of America. Therefore, American Literature is vital together its contribution to the current state of the United State cannot be ignored.