Literature and Language

Precolonial/Early Native American Literature (1500-1607)
-Poetic and symbolic, this lit. was viewed primarily as folklore, describes the beauty, power, and awe of nature.
-Myths passed down from gen. to gen. explain natural phenomena and cultural and religious rituals

Delaware Tribe
-Precolonial/Early Native American (1500-1607)
-The Walum Olum

Navajo Tribe
-Precolonial/Early Native American (1500-1607)
-The Navajo Origin Legend and “Night Chant”

Colonial (1607-1763)
-First printing press was set up at Harvard in 1639
-Two themes dominated literature: religion and politics; writing focused primarily on the defense or explanation of religious beliefs
-Sermons by Puritan preachers constituted the first substantial literary genre in the English-speaking New World. The rhetoric was plain, emphasizing logic and clarity
-Preachers combined biblical imagery and facts about living in America
-Puritans used allegories, emphasizing the symbolic nature of the world
-Other Puritan writing included moral stores, elegies, or poems lamenting the loss of a loved one, and meditations upon the end of things, apocalyptic expectations

William Bradford
-Colonial (1607-1763)
-History of Plymouth Plantation, describes the Separatist movement in England, exile in Holland, and the voyage of the Mayflower
-Also authored the Mayflower Compact

Anne Bradstreet
-Colonial (1607-1763)
-The Tenth Muse, Lately Sprung Up in America, poems written on philosophical subjects

William Byrd
-Colonial (1607-1763)
-A History of the Dividing Line, about his journey into the swamp separating Carolinian territories from VA and MD

Jonathan Edwards
-Colonial (1607-1763)
-“Personal Narrative” describes spiritual development and the idea that God in his infinite power permeates every part of the universe
-Well known for his sermon “Sinners in Hands of Angry God”, influential text that describes mans corruption and God’s justice

Richard Mather
-Colonial (1607-1763)
-Bay Psalm Book, rhymed versions of psalms

Samuel Sewall
-Colonial (1607-1763)
-Wrote pamphlets against slavery and mistreatment of Indians
-The only one of the Salem witchcraft judges to confess publicly that he had been wrong in condemning witches

John Smith
-Colonial (1607-1763)
-Rescued by Pocahontas, the story of which provided a romantic parable characterizing the inevitability of white triumph over Indian opposition
-Smith’s account of VA in 1608 was the first book written in English in America, his Description of New England followed.

John Winthrop
-Colonial (1607-1763)
-Believed God sent his people to the New World and that all of Europe had their eyes on them to see if they would succeed or fail
-Most known for his sermon “A Model of Christian Charity”

Protestantism (Colonial, 1607-1763)
Emphasized exclusive authority of the Bible; followers believed the Bible was the revealed word of God

Diaries (Colonial, 1607-1763)
Handed down to sons and daughters, emphasized the irrelevance of human effort in transactions of grace and demanded righteous behavior

Revolutionary (1764-1789)
-Benjamin Franklin personified the peculiar genius of America. Franklin wrote the “Dogood Papers” w/ common sense, humor, and free-thinking irreverence. He dismantled Puritan elegy, reducing it to formulas and similes
-Franklin’s autobiography was similar to the Puritan diaries. The diff. was that Franklin’s journey was secular; reason is the primary guide, and heaven has become a vague metaphor for the unknown.
-Beg. of American myth/story: a poor boy who finds his way to wealth, the chartered servant earns his freedom
-Poetry was pressed into the service of nationalism: Philip Freneau, propagandist in democracy’s cause, wrote a poem called “The Rising Glory of America.”

John and Abigail Adams
-Revolutionary (1764-1789)
-Letters in Correspondence between Boston and Philadelphia: primary sources that document the dangerous period in history during the Revolution

Benjamin Franklin
-Revolutionary (1764-1789)
-Pennsylvania Gazette, widely read weekly periodical
-Also authored Poor Richard’s Almanac, containing rash weather predictions and brief sayings that urged virtue and good business practice

Alexander Hamilton
-Revolutionary (1764-1789)
-Along w/ James Madison and John Jay, wrote series of 85 essays collected as The Federalist, in order to secure the ratification of the Consitution

Patrick Henry
-Revolutionary (1764-1789)
-“Give me liberty or give me death” from his speech to the VA House of Burgesses

Thomas Jefferson
-Revolutionary (1764-1789)
-Authored almost all of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of VA for religious freedom

Thomas Paine
-Revolutionary (1764-1789)
-Appealed for complete political independence in Common Sense
-Also published 16 issues of his paper, The American Crisis

George Washington
-Revolutionary (1764-1789)
-Wrote letters, diaries, and other pieces, which have been collected in 37 volumes.
-“Farewell to the Army of the Potomac” his best work, written w/ help of Hamilton and Madison, explains his reasons for leaving the Presidency

Philis Wheatley
-Revolutionary (1764-1789)
-African-born black woman captured at the age of 8 and sold to John Wheatley, a Boston merchant
-Wrote her Poems on Various Subjects in English Neoclassical style, imitative of Alexander Pope and Thomas Gray

Hartford Wits
-Revolutionary (1764-1789)
-Group of men who shared a Yale connection, produced Satires, mock epics, and hymns to the New World
-Conservative and Federalist, they intended to announce America’s arrival on the national literary stage, relying on imitation of English models

Gustavus Vassa
-Revolutionary (1764-1789)
-The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African, an abolitionist autobiography

Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-Emergence of Early American folktales and distinctly American writing, not just copying English forms.
-William and Mary established intellectual leadership
-Southern writers were driven to propagandize in defense of slavery or wrote escapist fantasies
-South produced romance fictions and chivalric melodramas
-New England was center of American lit
-Belief in transcendentalism emerged (Each individual could transcend physical world of the senses into deeper, spirtual experience through free will and intuition)
-American writers imitated British authors
-Theme of literary independence emerged
-Edgar Allen poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne developed the short story
-Walt Whitman wrote entirely on American topics

Plantation Novels
-Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-An indigenous Southern genre

Romanticism
-Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-Reaction against the Age of Reason: subordination of rationality to emotion and intuition; interest in the individual and nature, which offered harmony, joy, and spiritual refreshment
-Reaction against order and restraint of classicism and neoclassicism and a rejection of rationalism that characterized the Enlightenment

Fireside Poets
-Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-Read by American families in the harsh and enduring New England winters

William Cullen Bryant
-Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-Produced austere and intellectual poems, most of which dealt with nature, the woods, or death

James Fenimore Cooper
-Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-The Last of the Mohicans, depicts a young scout during the French and Indian War
-Also wrote The Pioneers, which features a middle-aged frontiersman

Ralph Waldo Emerson
-Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-Wrote about hard work, intellectual spirit of Americans, and the importance of learning about nature firsthand, rather than through books

Nathaniel Hawthorne
-Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-The Scarlett Letter, a book about Puritan New England Society whose members left England to establish religious freedom

Oliver Wendell Holmes
-Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-“The Deacon’s Masterpiece” or “The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay” a reduction and absurdum of logic of Calvinism and a parable of its breakdown

Herman Melville
-Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-Moby Dick, in which Captain Ahab tries to capture a great white whale that has taken his leg
-Billy Budd, an allegory of forces of evil to triumph over innocence and beauty

Edgar Allan Poe
-Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-Wrote “The Raven”, “To Helen”, “Annabelle Lee”, “The Tell Tale Heart”, “The Cask of Amontillado”, and “The Fall of the House of Usher”
-Known for his gothic, psychologically thrilling tales, he believed that beauty was akin to truth and considered writing a religious and moral obligation

William Gilmore Simms
-Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-The Yemasee, the son of a Yemasee chief gives aid to the English against his own tribe and his Indian mother kills her so to prevent his dishonorable banishment from the tribe

Henry David Thoreau
-Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-On Walden Pond
-The second greatest of the transcendentalists, Thoreau lived a hermetic life on Walden Pond to test his transcendental philosophy of individualism, self-reliance, and spiritual growth

Walt Whitman
-Romantic/American Renaissance (1790-1865)
-Leaves of Grass
-Also known for writing the famous elegy for Abraham Lincoln. “O Captain! My Captain”

Civil War (1861-1865)
-Significant literary themes focused on abolition and polemics between advocates of slavery and abolitionists. Writing of precipitates rather than reflected tensions in the country
-Writing looked at in the context of new (or old) historicism rather than formalism
-The transcendentalist tradition merged w/ John Brown’s ideology, carrying over to the abolitionist movement

Frederick Douglass
-Civil War (1861-1865)
-In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, wrote about slavery and masters’ desire to keep their slaves ignorant; notes that democracy and Christianity, although deformed by slavery, were worthy of allegiance

Abraham Lincoln
-Civil War (1861-1865)
-Most famous for the Gettysburg Address, a classic of oratory
-Less famous second inaugural address was a blueprint for the reconciliation of the nation (“with malice toward none, with charity for all”)

Harriet Beecher Stowe
-Civil War (1861-1865)
-Uncle Tom’s Cabin, notable characters include honest, black Uncle Tom, to the mischievous slave girl Topsy, little angelic Eva, and the cruel slave driver Simon Legree

David Walker
-Civil War (1861-1865)
-Wrote a landmark pamphlet titled Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, which united history, classical rhetoric, and the Bible on behalf of a sustained and bitter denunciation of the inhumanity of slavery

William Lloyd Garrison
-Civil War (1861-1865)
-One of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society and the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator

Benjamin Lay
-Civil War (1861-1865)
-A Quaker and abolitionist

Susan B. Anthony
-Civil War (1861-1865)
-An agent for William Lloyd Garrison’s American Anti-Slavery society of New York State; promoted women’s rights, and although originally friends w/ Frederick Douglass, disagreed with his contention that only males have the right to vote

Sectional Independence and Local-Color Literature (1865-1930)
-Themes included conformity, self-discipline, and dreams of material comfort
-Moral tales and tales of rags to riches were popular. The voice of common people was heard from across the country, first in folk stories, then in passages written by humorists
-Readers became aware of regional differences: romance of the Far West, rusticity of the Middle West, and glamour of the Deep South
-Literary works include poetry, elegy, puns, allegory, and satire

Gilded Age
-Sectional Independence and Local-Color Literature (1865-1930)
-Eradicated institutions that were centuries old, changed the social life in the country, and influenced literature and life in general

George Washington Cable
-Sectional Independence and Local-Color Literature (1865-1930)
-One of the first to write about the rich color of New Orleans, Old Creole Days is a collection of short stories about a variety of ethnic groups mingled in New Orleans

Willa Cather
-O Pioneers describes the life of a Swedish immigrant who keeps her family together after the death of their father, building a prosperous farm on the “unfriendly” Nebraska prairie and finding happiness and adult love
-“Paul’s Case” is one of Cather’s most moving short stories about a troubled, bright, young gay man who eventually kills himself by being hit by a train
-One of Ours won the 1923 Pulitzer Prize. In this text, Claude Wheeler finds meaning in his life in the front lines against Germany during WWI

Kate Chopin
-Sectional Independence and Local-Color Literature (1865-1930)
-Bayou Folk and A Night in Acadia, the latter her most successful work, is a series of sketches based on the Creole people and customs

Samuel Langhorne Clemens
-Sectional Independence and Local-Color Literature (1865-1930)
-Known by his pen name Mark Twain, wrote about local color and particularities of the region in which he lived, along the Mississippi
-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer depicts the carefree, primitive life Clemens had lived before his father died and he was forced to work at the age of 12. Notable characters are Aunt Polly and Huck Finn. Tom is boyishly imaginative, but more civilized than Huck
-The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a sequel to Tom Sawyer, tells how a half-civilized Huck drifts down the river on a raft w/ a runaway slave named Jim, who is eventually freed by Tom

Emily Dickinson
-Sectional Independence and Local-Color Literature (1865-1930)
-Left over 1,700 poems upon her death which her sister Lavinia collected and published
-“I heard a Fly Buzz–when I died”, “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain”, “My Life had stood–A Loaded Gun”, “What soft–Cherubic Creatures” among others
-Her poetry displays an effective use of slant rhyme and the tones of her poetry range from mild whimsy to impassioned delight to paralyzed despair, terror

Bret Harte
-Sectional Independence and Local-Color Literature (1865-1930)
-Made the West a favorite realm of fiction
“The Luck of Roaring Camp” appeared in the Overland Monthly, the first literary presentation of a colorful section of the country (the West)

Realism (1890-1920)
-Realist lit reflected scientific interest instigated by Charles Darwin, T.H. Huxley, and Spencer
-Emergence of a strong social consciousness stimulated by Karl Marx and Russian novelists influenced writing
-Realism went out of its way to point out the cruel and ugly side of real life

Humanism
-Realism (1890-1920)
-Transcended the scientific method, drew upon classical and Christian philosophies and advocated self-restraint as highest ethical principle and highest freedom, eliminating need for external compulsion
-an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.

New Humanism
-Realism (1890-1920)
-Surfaced as a reaction against romanticism, realism, and naturalism

William Dean Howells
-Realism (1890-1920)
-Considered the father of American realism

Henry James
-Realism (1890-1920)
-Daisy Miller tells how a charming American girl offends her European friends and an American gentleman of European training by her innocent familiarity with a young Italian
-In The Portrait of a Lady, Isabel Archer, James’s prototypical heroine (young, beautiful, intelligent) is courted by an English nobleman, a wealthy English invalid, and an earnest Yankee

William James
-Realism (1890-1920)
-The Varieties of Religious Experience, interesting inquiry into the various forms of faith and topics such as conversion, the sick soul, blind faith, etc.

Edith Wharton
-Realism (1890-1920)
-Ethan Frome recounts the struggle of an individual against convention

Naturalism (1900-1914)
-Naturalism focused on man’s subjection to natural law, while humanism distuinguished between man and nature, emphasizing ethical concepts and freedom of will as peculiar to man
-Lit borrowed from French and Russian novelists, resulting in an extreme degree of realism
-Works emphasized natural selection
-Man is represented as lacking in free will: controlled by his passions and environment, man is an animal struggling against nature in an impersonal, amoral universe; lit omits moral considerations and stresses unpleasant phases of life

Stephen Crane
-Naturalism (1900-1914)
-Considered the first naturalist
-The Red Badge of Courage is a realistic psychological novel of a Civil War soldier

Charlotte Perkins Gilman
-Naturalism (1900-1914)
-Her women and Economics offers a wide-ranging inquiry into what she called sexuo-economic revolution

Jack London
-Naturalism (1900-1914)
-Call of the Wild describes a tame dog, Buck, who is forced to revert to his original, primitive state

American Modernism (1914-1945)
-Lit reflected dominant mood of this period: alienation and disconnection
-Writing was highly experimental w/ extensive use of fragments, stream of consciousness, and interior dialogue in efforts to create a unique style
-Certain writers wrote from a particular social, cultural, and ethnic perspective about social, cultural, and ethnic interests for a particular social, cultural, and ethnic audience

Regionalism
-American Modernism (1914-1945)
-Regionalism reemerged, emphasizing the belief that history is socially constructed, thus paving the way for multicultural lit

William Faulkner
-American Modernism (1914-1945)
-As I Lay Dying, the Sound and the Fury (his masterpiece) examines the Compson family, demonstrated in the thoughts of its members: the mentally retarded Benjy, the intelligent Quentin who commits suicide after the marriage of his sister Caddy, whom he loved

F. Scott Fitzgerald
-American Modernism (1914-1945)
-The Great Gatsby, an ironic and tragic treatment of the American success myth

Ernest Hemingway
-American Modernism (1914-1945)
-The Sun Also Rises tells of the moral collapse of a group of expatriated Americans and Englishmen, broken by the war, who turn toward escape through all possible violent diversions
-A Farewell to Arms, a love story of an English nurse and am American ambulance lietunant during the war
-For Whom the Bell Tolls based on an incident in the Spanish Civil War whose thesis is that the loss of liberty in one place means loss of liberty elsewhere
-The Old Man and the Sea, a parable of man against nature, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954

John Steinbeck
-American Modernism (1914-1945)
-Grapes of Wrath describes the Joads, a good-hearted family of sharecroppers; their eviction from their Dust Bowl farm, and their journey to CA in a ramshackle car
-Of Mice and Men, which reads like a play, is the objective description of the six distinct episodes, w/ thought revealed only through dialogue. The gigantic. but feeble minded Lennie Small is cared for by his pal George Milton. Lennie loves animals like mice and puppies, but kills them w/ his strength. When he inadvertently breaks the neck of the wife of their bosses son, George shoots Lennie to prevent his lynching

Upton Sinclair
-American Modernism (1914-1945)
-The Jungle depicts poverty, horrendous living conditions, and hopelessness

T.S. Eliot
-Major Twentieth-Century Poet
-The Waste Land critiqued the failure of Western civilization as illustrated by WWI

Ezra Pound
-Major Twentieth-Century Poet
-For nearly 50 years, focused on the encyclopedic epic poem he titled The Cantos
-Accused in 1945 of treason for spreading Fascist propaganda on the radio, Pound was aquitted, but spent a decade in a mental insitution

E.E. Cummings
-Major Twentieth-Century Poet
-Played around with form, punctuation, spelling, font, grammar, imagery, rhythm, and syntax.
-His works include The Enormous Room, Tulips and Chimneys, and XLI poems

Robert Frost
-Major Twentieth-Century Poet
-Considered America’s best known and loved poet
-Among his works are “Death of the Hired Man”, “Birches”, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, “The Road Not Taken”, “Out! Out!”, and “Mending Wall”

Carl Sandburg
–Major Twentieth-Century Poet
-One of Chicago’s poets, described everyday Americans in a positive tone, w/simple easy-to-understand words and free verse; most well known for his Chicago poems

William Carlos Williams
–Major Twentieth-Century Poet
-The Young Housewife, The Red Wheelbarrow, and This is Just to Say

Harlem Renaissance (1915-1929)
-This era was marked by an outpouring of black prose and poetry
-Publication of The New Negro in 1925, a special issue of the Survey Graphic devoted to the district of Harem in Manhattan, provides a springboard for black artists and intellectuals
-African-American writers asked questions like is there in fact or theory Afro American art? Are black literary norms the same as white literary norms? What is different and what should be held in common?

Countee Cullen
-Harlem Renaissance (1915-1929)
-Considered the “black Keats” for his youth, skill as a poet, and use of traditional forms

Langston Hughes
-Harlem Renaissance (1915-1929)
-Most successful black wrier in America; wrote poetry, drama, novels, songs, and movie scripts
-Noted for poetry such as “Harlem”

Zora Neale Hurston
-Harlem Renaissance (1915-1929)
-Rediscovered by women’s movement in 1970s w/ texts such as Their Eyes Were Watching God

Claude Mckay
-Harlem Renaissance (1915-1929)
-Wrote poetry that evoked the heritage of his native Jamaica
-“If We Must Die” won critical acclaim as McKay was the first black poet to write in the form of an Elizabethan sonnet

Jean Toomer
-Harlem Renaissance (1915-1929)
-Wrote to establish his identity as a light skinned black man in a rigid and racist society
-Cane, a book of prose poetry based on his personal journey back to his Southern roots, described the Georgian people and landscape

William S. Burroughs
-20th Century-Present
-Beat Poet
-Naked Lunch, an autobiographical account of his life as a drug addict

Jack Kerouac
-20th Century-Present
-Beat Poet
-On the Road depicts the journey of two young men across America in search of a Bohemian life

Allen Ginsberg
-20th Century-Present
-Beat Poet
-Countered the hidden despair of 1950s w/ wildly exuberant language and behavior in Howl
-Also wrote A Supermarket in CA

Sylvia Plath
-20th Century-Present
-Confessional Poet
-Most famous for The Bell Jar and other poetry describing suicide

Anne Sexton
-20th Century-Present
-Confessional Poet
-Won a Pulitzer Prize for her work Live or Die, about suicide

Robert Lowell
-20th Century-Present
-Confessional Poet
-Land of Unlikeness and Lord Weary’s Castle, received a Pulitzer Prize in 1947. Full of intense anguish, Lowell’s work, written in a rigidly formal style, explored the dark side of America’s Puritan legacy

Conrad Aiken
-20th Century-Present
-Prose and Theater (1950-present)
-Poet, essayist, novelist, and critic
-“Silent Snow, Secret Snow” depicts a young man who falls deeper and deeper into an almost autistic world, as if cut off from society by silence and snow

Ray Bradbury
-20th Century-Present
-Prose and Theater (1950-present)
-Prolific science fiction writer, best known for novels such as Fahrenheit 451, a novel set in a totalitarian gov’t in which a man whose job is to burn books and, when discovered must run for his life.
-The Martian Chronicles, a futuristic story about colonizing Mars

Shirley Jackson
-20th Century-Present
-Prose and Theater (1950-present)
-“The Lottery” presents the disconcerting side of a small mid-western farming town

Arthur Miller
-20th Century-Present
-Prose and Theater (1950-present)
-Regarded as one of the most famous contemporary playwrights
-Death of a Salesman relates the story of typical and ordinary American Willy Loman, whose choices and their consequences lead to the destruction of the American dream
-The Crucible based on the actual events of the Salem Witch Trials, was also written in response to the McCarthy hearings in early 1950s

Flannery O’Connor
-20th Century-Present
-Prose and Theater (1950-present)
-Writer in genre of southern gothic, critques the weaknesses of humankind; saw humankind as not worthy of being redeemed
-A Good Man is Hard to Find, a short story, shows a world infested w/ evil, corrosion, decay, and superifciality

Dorothy Parker
-20th Century-Present
-Prose and Theater (1950-present)
-Poet and critic, best known for quotable one-liners like “Men seldom make passes at girls with glasses; wrote for magazines in NY, starting w/ Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Life
-Also wrote scripts for films, including A Star is Born

J.D. Salinger
-20th Century-Present
-Prose and Theater (1950-present)
-Fought in WW2, which resulted in his developing a serious nervous condition; has not been interviewed since 1980 and has never allowed his famous novel The Catcher in the Rye to be made into a movie
-The Catcher in the Rye became the symbol for a generation of disaffected youth

Gertrude Stein
-20th Century-Present
-Prose and Theater (1950-present)
-Believed the traditional narrative was the enemy of language and reality because it relied on habit and continuity instead of spontaneity and memory
-Wrote Composition as Explanation

James Thurber
-20th Century-Present
-Prose and Theater (1950-present)
-Known for his witty short stories and lumpy cartoons, which appeared in The New Yorker
-The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the tale of a henpecked husband who escapes into heroic daydreams, is one of his best
-Thurber’s absurdist cartoons featured men, women, dogs, and other strange animals

Kurt Vonnegut
-20th Century-Present
-Prose and Theater (1950-present)
-Satirical novelist, his experience as a soldier and prisoner during WW2 influenced the novel Salughterhouse Five, which depicts a soldier in WW2 who experiences time travel.
-Although his work is often considered science fiction, Vonnegut used this genre to write black comedy

Eudora Welty
-20th Century-Present
-Prose and Theater (1950-present)
-Set most of her prose on Mississippi life
-The Robber Bridegroom occurs in 18th century Mississippi and is based loosely on a Brother Grimms Fairy Tale. In this text she combined actual and extraordinary events such that the two became indistinguishable

Maya Angelou
-Contemporary African American Lit
-Novels are part biography, part picaresque fiction, part social history; central characters are smart black women
-I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings tells of her grandmother’s religious influence and her mother’s blues traditions

James Baldwin
-Contemporary African American Lit
-Autobiographical novels like Go Tell It on the Mountain detail his experiences growing up in Harlem
-Became a preacher like his father, but felt writing would better detail the struggles of growing up poor in a racist society

Gwendolyn Brooks
-Contemporary African American Lit
-First African American female poet to win the Pulitzer Prize, awarded for her poem We Real Cool
-Her work in the 1970s, Riot and Family Pictures, focused on racial harmony, but her later work Beckonings (1975) and To Disembark (1980) demonstrated her disappointment at the conflict between members of the civil rights and black militant groups

Ralph Ellison
-Contemporary African American Lit
-Invisible Man, whose theme demonstrates that society willfully ignores blacks; collection of poems about critical social and political essays, Shadow and Act

Toni Morrison
-Contemporary African American Lit
-First African American woman to receive the Novel Prize for Literature
-Her novels, which include Sula, Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon combine fantasy, ghosts, and what she calls “rememory” or the recurrence of past events to elaborate the horrors of slavery and the struggles of African Americans after being freed

Alice Walker
-Contemporary African American Lit
-The Color Purple won her the Pulitzer Prize
-Her novels focus on poor, oppressed black women in the early 1900s
-One of her most widely read short stories, “Everyday Use”, which appears in a collection of short stories In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women, tells the story of two daughters’ conflicting ideas about identity and heritage

Richard Wright
-Contemporary African American Lit
-Black Boy, an autobiography, recounts his childhood growing up poor in racist Mississippi, and his struggle for individualism
-American Hunger (published in 1977 after his death) tells of his disillusionments w/ the Communist Party

Maxine Hong Kingston
-Asian American Lit
-The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts tells of a shy girl protagonist who finds resolution as she breaks her female silence
-China Men details male influences on her and celebrates strengths and achievements of the first Chinese men in America an the prejudices they faced

Amy Tan
-Asian American Lit
-The Kitchen God’s Wife chronicles the early life of her mother, whoe scaped the turmoil of the Chinese Civil War and the 1949 Communist takeover to come to America
-The Joy Luck Club depicts four Chinese immigrant families who start the “Joy Luck Club”, playing the game of mahjong

Saul Bellow
-Jewish American Lit
-Canadian born novelist received the Novel Prize for Literature for his works Herzog (1965) and Seize the Day (1956)
-Bellow primarily wrote about urban Jews struggling to find spirituality and comfort in a racist and alienating society

Bernard Malamud
-Jewish American Lit
-The Natural is based on ballplayer Eddie Waitkus, who tries to make a comeback after being shot by a serial killer

Elie Wiesel
-Jewish American Lit
-A Holocaust survivor has authored almost 40 works that address Judaism, the Holocaust, racism, hatred, and genocide
-Night, a memoir, depicts Wiesel’s struggle and guilt having been the only one in his family to survive the Holocaust

Julia Alvarez
-Latino American Lit
-How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents describes the difficulties of learning American English and being called a “spic” at school

Sandra Cisneros
-Latino American Lit
-Mexican American writer born in Chicago
-her stories reveal the misogyny present in both these cultures
-The House on Mango Street is a novel about a young girl, Esperanza, growing up in the Latino section of Chicago and coming into her own

Louise Erdich
-Native American Lit
-Member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, was very close w/ her extended family, who had a tradition of storytelling
-Her collection of short stories, Love Medicine, features characters and speakers from 4 Anishinaabe families

N. Scott Momaday
-Native American Lit
-A Kiowa Native American, grew up on the reservations and pueblos of the Southwest, far from centers of learning and letters
-Won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for House Made of Dawn, a semiautobiographical account of his life at Jemez Pueblo

Old English or Anglo-Saxon (450-1066)
-Heroic age of English lit; represented epic battles, heroic feats, and almost supernatural characters
-Beowulf is a major example of Old English lit; this epic poem told in narrative verse addresses themes of order vs. disorder and man vs nature
-Some literary devices found in Beowulf include:
*alliterative meter, making the poem suitable for oral performance
*kenning, a complex phrase that replaces a simpler word to add color to a poem or to evoke imagery
*stock epithet, descriptive word or phrase used repeatedly in place of a name
*caesura, a break in a line or poetry or grammatical pause, indicative of how the poem was to be read

Bede
-Old English or Anglo-Saxon (450-1066)
-First English historian, wrote The Ecclesiastical History of the English People in 73. His text recounts that St. Augustine’s mission was to bring literary materials from Rome to England to support worship and service to the Church
-Also introduced the Roman alphabet to Britain

The Junius Manuscript, the Vercelli Book, and the Exeter Book
-Old English or Anglo-Saxon (450-1066)
-3 significant collections of English verse, all produced in monastic scriptoria or “writing rooms”

The Seafarer
-Old English or Anglo-Saxon (450-1066)
-An anonymous lyric poem, describes the speaker’s nostalgia for his past life on shore nut a deep love of the sea, despite its loneliness. A metaphor for the Christian path of self-denial, the sea symbolizes a life on earth of struggle and difficulty, which is brief, however compared to an everlasting life of happiness in heaven

Medieval English or Middle English (1066-1510)
-Literary forms emerged from the oral tradition, providing venues through which the church could instruct and guide parishioners, and permitting illiterate people to hear and see lit
-Morality plays dramatized the abstract themes of vice versus virtue or mankind’s struggle w/ his soul, characters personified virtues, vices, or mental attributes, these plays imparted lessons to guide a moral life
-Allegories had a moral, political, or spiritual meaning
-Mystery and Miracle Plays dramatized biblical events
-Folk ballads, short, traditional narrative told in song and transmitted orally, adhered to the culture’s own peculiar rhetoric and structure, unimpacted by literary conventions
-Frame Stories told a story w/in a story. Geoffrey Chaucer used this device in The Canterbury Tales

The Domesday Book
-Medieval English or Middle English (1066-1510)
-A survey of english land ownership commissioned by the King in 1086, recorded the church’s wealth and catalogued the material and territorial possessions of the newly imported secular aristocracy

Geoffrey Chaucer
-Medieval English or Middle English (1066-1510)
-“Father of English Literature”
-Wrote the Canterbury tales during the latter part of his life. Most likely the greatest work produced in middle english, chronicles tales told by 29 people representing various classes of society, during their 4 day pilgramage to the shrine of Thomas A Becket at Canterbury. The signigicance of The Canterbury Tales is that it offers a cross section of British life, including saints biogrpahies, a sermon, animal fables, romantic escapades, religious allegories, fabliaux (cynical, humorous, or crass stories), pious and moralistic tales, and lewd and vulgar tales told by diff. members of English society: a knight, a miller, a monk, a shipman, a parson, etc.

Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knight
-Medieval English or Middle English (1066-1510)
-Written by the Gawain poet, a 14th century contemporary of Chaucer
-Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knight was the first great love story, a sophisticated tale of chivalry and emotion

Sir Thomas Malory
-Medieval English or Middle English (1066-1510)
-Le Morte D’arthur (The Death of Arthur), compiled French and English and Malory’s own stories about King Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere, and the Knights of the Round Table

Renaissance (1510-1660)
-Intellectual and cultural movement that embraced the reemergence of scholarship, ancient learning, relgious and scientific inquiry, and the liberation of the individual from intellectual tyranny, feudalism, and secular matters of the church
-Influences included humanism, which revived the Greek and Roman emphasis on the “here and now”; and geographic exploration and discovery

The Reformation
-Began in 1517, marked a time of challenge to the dogma and practices of the Church. King Henry VIII made himself head of the Church of England
-Supported by Martin Luther’s 95 Theses published in 1517, which challenged the Pope, the English Reformation represented England’s turn to to Protestantism

Elizabethan (1558-1603)
-Period of unprecedented literary growth
-“The Theater” gave rise to drama troops such as the Earl of Leicester’s Men and other theater “companies”

Thomas More
-Elizabethan (1558-1603)
-Utopia advocates religious toleration and opposes organized war. All things are physically perfect, streets are 20 ft wide, and every house has a garden

Edmund Spencer
-Elizabethan (1558-1603)
-The Faerie Queene fashioned the virtues and discipline of a gentleman or nobleman. Each of the 12 books featured a knight that represents one of Aristotle’s 12 virtues

Sir Thomas Wyatt
-Elizabethan (1558-1603)
-A contemporary of More, introduced the sonnet into English lit

John Lyly
-Elizabethan (1558-1603)
-Became immensely popular around 1580 after writing Euphues, or the Anatomy of Wit

William Shakespeare
-Elizabethan (1558-1603)
-Shakespeare made his mark during this period, wriitng 10 history, 10 tragedy, and 17 comedy plays, numerous sonnets, and several other poems
-Developed a new form of the sonnet, which is characterized by an octave (set of 8 lines) that presents some form of conflict, and a sestet (set of 6 lines), which typically resolves the conflict

Shakespeare wrote 5 types of plays
-Elizabethan (1558-1603)
-All plays needed to be registered before they could be published; this provided censorship of the crown, public matters, and freedom of thought
1. Histories: dramatized power struggles
2. Tragedies: tragic hero possesses a tragic flaw that leads to his downfall
3. Comedies: always have a happy ending, usually involving marriage
4. Tragicomedies, often referred to as romances or pastorals, in which the characters do suffer loss, but overcome challenges through sacrifice, gaining forgiveness, and ending happily
5. Problem plays: hero must negotiate a contemporary social problem or moral dilemma

Christopher Marlowe
-Elizabethan (1558-1603)
-Wrote The Tragical History of Doctor Fastus and The Jew of Malta
-Marlowe was the first playwright to use blank verse in drama
-Also known for his poetry esp.”The Passionate Shepherd”, which begins “Come live with me and be my love…” to which Sir Raleigh responded w/ “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd”

Thomas Nashe
-Elizabethan (1558-1603)
-A satirist, poet, pamphleteer, playwright, and early progenitor of the novel; was one of many educated at Cambridge who wrote to earn money

George Peele
-Elizabethan (1558-1603)
-dramatist and lyricist, known for his flowery diction and poetic beauty; wrote blank verse in a way that was musical and sweet, diff. from Marlowe or Shakespeare

Sir Walter Raleigh
-Elizabethan (1558-1603)
-Navigator, explorer, historian, poet, courtier, and member of Parliament and one of Queen Elizabeth’s favorites
-Wrote The History of the World and a series of romantic poems, one of which is a response to Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd”

Sir Philip Sidney
-Elizabethan (1558-1603)
-Elizabethan courtier and poet who romanticized the pastoral and rustic way of life
-Considered the flower of chivalry, he wrote numerous sonnets and The Defense of Poetry

Jacobean (1603-1625)
-Lit marked by sophistication and literary rivalry
-This was the age of metaphysical poetry; these works were abstruse, employing powerful metaphors as a means of structure rather than description; used striking phrases and witty colloquialisms; expressed anxiety about the crisis between church and court; intentionally cerebral and difficult to understand

Francis Bacon
-Jacobean (1603-1625)
-Philosopher, lawyer, and essayist; challenged medieval beliefs about science and approached scientific inquiry inductively
-Bacon championed the scientific method of inquiry, which focused on using data gathered via the senses to discover knowledge about the natural world.

John Donne
-Jacobean (1603-1625)
-Metaphysical poet who wrote about worldly experiences in opposition to the Petrarchan love sonnets of his time
-Among his works are The Flea, An Anatomy of the World, and Holy Sonnets

Ben Jonson
-Jacobean (1603-1625)
-Poet and playwright best known for his satiric comedies
-His first major play, Every Man in His Humor, was performed in the Globe Theater by an acting troupe called Lord Chamberlain’s Men, in which William Shakespeare played the lead

Thomas Middleton
-Jacobean (1603-1625)
-Playwright, poet, and city chronologer; his work reflected a humorous cynicism about the human race
-His works include A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, Women Beware Women, and The Changeling

Carolinean (1629-1649)
-Lit marked by Cavalier poetry
-All Cavalier poets aligned w/ Charles I and professed a libertine lifestyle; noted for their carpe diem, or “seize the day” poems: erotic, libidinous, and candidly sexual poetry that reflected a philosophy of “life is too short so live it to the fullest”
-The Stuart monarchy encouraged the circulation of lit and masques, static, superficial, spectacular pageants, rich in costume, scenery, and song w/ a casual storyline

Robert Herrick
-Carolinean (1629-1649)
-Wrote carpe diem poetry
-Often quotes “gather ye rosebuds while ye may” comes from his famous poem “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”, which implores readers to live life to the fullest

Richard Lovelace
-Carolinean (1629-1649)
-While imprisoned in Westminster Gatehouse, wrote “To Althea, from Prison,” which includes the famous words, “Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage”
-He is also noted for “To Lucasta, Going to the Wars”

Andrew Marvell
-Carolinean (1629-1649)
-John Milton’s assistant and prodigy, wrote carpe diem poetry and satire.
-“To His Coy Mistress” is a famous example carpe diem poem in which the speaker tries to convince his mistress to have sex

John Milton
-Carolinean (1629-1649)
-A Puritan and countercultural poet, wrote sonnets and complex poetry that were solemn, religious, and puritanical
-Famous for Paradise Lost, based on the Book of Genesis, Milton’s religious work, written in blank verse, defied the clear, simple, and sensual carpe diem poetry of the period
-Milton also wrote the elegy Lycidas, a moving poem that laments the demise of a dear school friend

Sir John Suckling
-Carolinean (1629-1649)
-A Cavalier poet who wrote light, melodious lyrical poetry such as “Ballad Upon a Wedding.”

Commonwealth Age (1649-1660)
-Theaters reopened following the death of Oliver Cromwell, giving rise to Restoration comedies, which were sexually explicit and addressed topics of the day through their busy plots
-Celebrity actors and actresses emerged during this period
-Popular dramas entertained murder, incest, and madness set in Italy or Spain, both Catholic countries. Macabre in nature, these plays included villains and other characters that went to their deaths

John Dryden
-Commonwealth Age (1649-1660)
-Considered one of the chief founders of modern English prose, the first great English critic, and the most representative writer of the Restoration, dominated during this literary period
-His best-known plays are All for Love, The Hind and the Panther, and The Rehearsal

John Bunyan
-Commonwealth Age (1649-1660)
-A preacher and student of scripture most well known for his Christian allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, in which a character named Christian encounters various perils on his way to heaven and where vices and virtues are personified

Thomas Hobbes
-Commonwealth Age (1649-1660)
-Leviathan encouraged humankind to surrender its power to the authority of an absolute sovereign; otherwise, consistent struggle over power would lead to an endless state of war

Lucy Hutchinson
-Commonwealth Age (1649-1660)
-Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson describes the lust and intemperance James I wrought on the throne as opposed to the honor, glory, and wealth his predecessor Queen Elizabeth I established.

Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-Marked by reasoned argument, good humor, and common sense as opposed to the discord between superstition and enthusiasm, lit returned to neoclassicism. Writers tried to imitate characteristics of Virgil, Horace, Cicero, and Lucretius, and others of the Augustan Age in Rome
-Marked the beg. of the newspaper, the periodical, and journalism
-Return to satire and comedic banter

Daniel Defoe
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-Robinson Crusoe fixed the form of the historical novel, led to Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly and Ivanhoe.

Henry Fielding
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-Considered the founder of the English prose epic
-Produced Tom Thumb, which is his most famous and popular drama
-Fielding wrote 25 plays, but his novels gained critical acclaim such as The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling and The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews, a parody of Samuel Richardson’s Pamela.

Richard Sheridan
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-Reestablished prominence of English comedies
-His works The Rivals, The School for Scandal, and The Critic, won acclaim for their ingenious plots, playfulness of language, and social satire

Jonathan Swift
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-Believed that humankind destroyed and ruined everything it touched and that men were generally odious beasts
-Loathing of mankind is particularly evident in Gulliver’s Travels, a political and social satire, which relegates humans to filthy horses

Samuel Richardson
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-First psychological novelist
-First novel, Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded, presented a heroine who resists the advances of a lascivious master until he marries her

William Congreve
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-Considered the greatest master of the English comedy of “repartee” (banter)
-Known for his highbrow, sexual comedy of manners, a type of comedy that satirizes the peculiar affectations of high society
-His works include The Way of the World, The Mourning Bride, and Love for Love

Dr. Samuel Johnson
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-Poet, critic, biographer, and political essayist who became a nat’l sensation after writing The Dictionary of the English Language
-Johnson also wrote The Lives of the Poets and The Rambler

Oliver Goldsmith
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-Gained fame for publishing a collection of essays, The Citizen of the World; a hugely successful play, She Stoops to Conquer; and a novel about English country life, The Vicar of Wakefield

Thomas Gray
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-Considered one of the most important poets of the 18th century
-Most known for “Elegy Written in a Country Courtyard”
-Poetry was elegant, melancholic, and somewhat artificial, but reflected the literary elements of the period

Joseph Addison and Richard Steele
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-Most famous for publishing The Tatler, which eventually became The Spectator, a magazine whose purpose was to provide English readers w/ topics suitable for educated conversations and social interactions

James Boswell
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-Earned major recognition for immortalizing Dr. Samuel Johnson, in The Life of Samuel Johnson

Horace Walpole
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-Wrote the first Gothic novel, Castle of Otranto. In this tale of curses, romance, terror, and fantasy, Walpole blended ancient and modern romance

James Hogg
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-Noted for The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, in which he wrote about persecution, torture, delusion, and despair

Alexander Pope
-Eighteenth Century Literature/The Age of the Novel (1690-1780)
-A master of Augustan (neoclassicist) poetry, wrote a mock heroic epic poem, The Rape of the Lock. This five-canto work echoing the Iliad humorously details the story of a young woman who flirts, drinks coffee, wears makeup, plays cards, and suddenly has a lock of hair stolen by an ardent suitor
-His first major essay, An Essay on Criticism, contains the famous line “A little learning is a dangerous thing”

Romantic (1780-1830)
-Romanticism rebelled against neoclassicism. Emphasizing passion, imagination, and a deep sense of wonder and mystery, writing moved from the objective view of the Enlightenment to a stronger focus on subjective feelings
-Romantic poets revived the Spenserian stanza and ode
-Poetry depicted the triumph of the human spirit. The movement elevated art in contrast to filthy factories and championed humanism and democracy
-Gothic romance, replete w/ sliding panels, secret chambers, rattling chains, eerie groans, shrouded figures, and bizarre torture also became popular
-Lit also reflected a break in political conformity

Robert Burns
-Romantic (1780-1830)
-Considered one of the great songwriters of his time; authored hundreds of works, including songs “Auld Lang Syne” and “Comin’ thro the Rye”, and poems such as “To a Mouse”, “To a Louse”, and “Highland Mary.”

William Blake
-Pre-romantic poetry
-Songs of Innocence, which includes “Little Boy Lost”, “Little Boy Found”, and “Little Lamb” describes the natural world of spontaneity, innocence, and beauty; Songs of Experience assumes an ironic and darker tone where the beauty and innocence of childhood is met w/ ugliness, truth, and fear often associated w/ adulthood

William Wordsworth
-First generation Romantic poet
-Along w/ friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge, attributed w/ launching the romantic poetry movement w/ his first major work, Lyrical ballads.
-His magnum opus, The Prelude, is considered to be semi autobiographical
-Wordsworth also wrote “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal”, one of Lucy’s poems; “An Ode to Duty”, and “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
-First generation Romantic poet
-Collaborated w/ Wordsworth on Lyrical Ballads
-The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a supernatural tale of sin, penance, and salvation, opened the collaborative work Lyrical Ballads

John Keats
-Second generation Romantic poet
-Revered a return to nature and beauty as observed in works Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode to a Nightingale, Endymion, and Hyperion

Percy Bysshe Shelley
-Second generation Romantic poet
-Expelled from Oxford University for writing and distributing The Necessity of Atheism
-His sister, Mary Shelley, would eventually write Frankenstein, a true tale of horror and man’s inhumanity to man

Lord George Byron
-Second generation Romantic poet
-Wrote The Giaour, a romantic, oriental tale, and the successful, satirical epic Don Juan

Jane Austen
-Prose writer
-Known for her unhampered, indirect discourse; works include Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility

Sir Walter Scott
-Prose writer
-Particularly noted for Ivanhoe, which recounts the last important Jacobite movement of 1745 to place a Stuart on the throne

Charles Lamb
-Prose writer
-Most noted for his collection Essays of Elia, a mixture of fact and fiction about his grandmother

Early Victorian (1837-1857)
-The English embraced sense of their nation’s identity
-A middle class emerged
-A sense of the lonely and complex individual gained prominence
-The year 1847-1848 was regarded as the most significant period in the entire history of the English novel
-The novel provided an understanding of and the vocabulary for articulating what it meant to be an individual in 19th century Britain, and portrayed a sense of the changing social order (increasingly middle class white/paradoxically developing a sense of psychological complexity
-Realistic novels reflected a middle-class tone of voice, imposed moral framework, and depicted the contradictions, complexities, and frustrations of respectable middle class life
-The Newgate novel was a form of fiction that dealt w/ lives of criminals
-Poetry engaged more marginal, extreme, and unnerving dimensions of Victorian life, delving into the strange and dark depths of the mind

Elizabeth Barret Browning
-Early Victorian (1837-1857)
-Wife of Robert Browning
-Sonnets from the Portuguese, written during her courtship, offers the most accurate representation of sonnets since the time of Shakespeare. Sonnet 43 from Sonnets begins w/ one of the most often-quoted lines, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”
-Her epic poem/novel Aurora Leigh played a central role in the debate about women and confronted fundamental questions about gendered identity

Robert Browning
-Early Victorian (1837-1857)
-Famous for “My Last Duchess”; also explore more bizarre states of mind, such as murderous jealousy and deepening insanity

Thomas Carlyle
-Early Victorian (1837-1857)
-Most renowned for his spiritual autobiography Sartor Resartus, and detailed expositions on history, philosophy, and social problems in heroes and Hero-Worship and Past and Present

Charlotte Bronte
-Early Victorian (1837-1857)
-Jane Eyre examines the position of women in Victorian Britain

Emily Bronte
-Early Victorian (1837-1857)
-Wuthering Heights depicts characters caught between an old way of life and new world of Victorians and whose passion is so intense it transcends individualism

Charles Dickens
-Early Victorian (1837-1857)
-Wrote novels that reflected stories of social reconciliation and reconstitution
-Oliver Twist challenged the inhumane aspects of new social legislation, represented the fear of criminality and the mob, questioned how to control an increasingly complex society, and endorsed emerging middle class values
-In David Copperfield and Great Expectations, protagonists are at odds w/ and at the same time crave middle class respectability.
-Bleak House and Dombey and Son, darker novels, recount death, murder, madness, despair, and suicide, negative, but accurate consequences of a complicated, mechanized world

Elizabeth Gaskell
-Early Victorian (1837-1857)
-Portrayed the positive spirit encountered in fiction in 1850s
-North and South depicts social reconciliation of hostility and division, and engages the new reality of industrial Britain
-Her works such as Wives and Daughter, Sylvia’s Lovers, and Mary Barton, suggest a personal answer to a political problem, but also present the conflict between creating and endorsing middle class values that are flawed

Thomas Macaulay
-Early Victorian (1837-1857)
-Exuded a quiet confidence and wrote against slavery in the colonies and for establishing a national education system in India
-Most acclaimed work, History of England, a work of detail, diligence, and competence, and although he died before its completion, it was considered a best seller

Dante Gabriel Rosetti
-Early Victorian (1837-1857)
-His final work, Ballads and Sonnets, reflects the sadness, despair, grief, love, and mysticism he experienced during his 9 yr engagement and 2 yr marriage to Elizabeth Siddal

William Makepeace Thackeray
-Early Victorian (1837-1857)
-Castigated the middle class hero as selfish and offered little sympathy for heroine Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair
-The HIstory of Pendennis critiques the hero’s loss of a role and direction in his life
-In The History of Esmond, Thackeray not only critiques materialism, but also portrays the shortcomings of the Victorian emphasis on self

Middle Victorian (1857-1876)
-Mainstream authors offered critical and dissenting voices
-Tension arose between questioning middle class values and committing and embracing commitment to such values
-Novelists favored stories aboutm iddle class life and ordinary domestic experiences, narrated them in a tone that identified w/ social and moral principles of such a society
-Fiction reflected written confirmation of existence of middle class values
-Victorian realism shared a way of looking at the world
-Novels assumed the narrative form

Sensation Novels
-Middle Victorian (1857-1876)
-Focused on ordinary middle class life but included extravagant, horrible, and sensational events that simultaneously exposes convictions as hypocritical, fragile, and damaging

Matthew Arnold
-Middle Victorian (1857-1876)
-Wrote “Dover Beach”. which identified the loss of religious faith as a central source of worry in Victorian life
-His later novel, Culture and Anarchy, saw culture as the vehicle for helping the Victorians out of their difficulties and observed no central authority to control the drift of civilization toward anarchy

Mary Elizabeth Braddon
-Middle Victorian (1857-1876)
-Lady Audley’s Secret looked skeptically and critically at roles imposed upon women in Victorian society, revealing the complicated truths behind the facade of marriage and respectability.

Lewis Carroll
-Middle Victorian (1857-1876)
-Called on alternative logic in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, offering a diff. voice and constructing a diff. narrative in the midst of realistic fiction writing

Wilkie Collins
-Middle Victorian (1857-1876)
-The Woman in White reflected an age when people relied upon processes of law and questioned and undermined institutions and things of value that mid-Victorians relied upon.
-The Moonstone questioned British imperialism, specifically the British presence in India

Charles Darwin
-Middle Victorian (1857-1876)
-The Origin of Species, which proposed and documented natural selection and survival of the fittest, moved people toward an evolutionary change w/ little moral or spiritual purpose

George Eliot (pen name Mary Anne Evans)
-Middle Victorian (1857-1876)
-Wrote novels that reflected an era of tremendous prosperity, portraying a central theme of egoism and the duties and obligations of the individual, as seen in Adam Bede and Daniel Deronda

Gerard Manley Hopkins
-Middle Victorian (1857-1876)
-Jesuit poet who believed that the purpose of his work was to glorify God and to display the signifcant nature of every creature. He called this focus inscape, which is observed in “Pied Beauty”, “Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord”, and “God’s Grandeur”

John Stuart Mill
-Middle Victorian (1857-1876)
-Wrote on logic, epistemology, economics, social and political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, religion and current affairs.
-Most well-known and significant works include A System of Logic, Principles of Political Economy, On Liberty, Utilitarianism, The Subjection of Women, Three Essays on religion, and autobiography

John Ruskin
-Middle Victorian (1857-1876)
-Published traffic, in which he condemned laissez faire economics, condemed the dignity of labor and moral and aesthetic value of craftsmanship, and attempted to reintroduce the human dimension into factory-based economy

Alfred Lord Tennyson
-Middle Victorian (1857-1876)
-Identified individual identity as more haunted and lonely
-Incorporating a more sensuous and musical quality in work, he created in Memoriam, an elegy dedicated to his friend who died at the young age of 22.
-His other works “Mariana” and “The Lady of Shallot” simultaneously describe energy and guilt
-Idylls of the King elaborates the stories of King Arthur and the Roundtable

Anthony Trollope
-Middle Victorian (1857-1876)
-Documented the story of Phineas Finn’s rise to parliamentary power through a series of romantic attachments in Phineas FInn, in which he analyzed parliamentary society, seemingly celebrating British political system, but at the same time suggesting that the parliamentary system is a pretense that is irrelevant to the true state of nation and w/ few real connections to those it claims to represent
-In The Way We Live Now, Trollope created a satiric picture of decadent society corrupted by greed and gambling and living on borrowed time.

Late Victorian (1876-1901)
-Novel continued to be the most significant genre
-Period was marked by new forms of social analysis, resurgent socialism, new feminist voices, and a fresh expression of liberal values
-Lit illustrated protagonists not as heroes or heroines but as real people, replete w/ human foibles; reflected a sense of disintegration w/in society; and depicted crumbling social institutions such as family and marriage, and increasing skepticism toward conventional morality. Characters collided w/ society; themes expressed widespread feeling that society could not hold together. More sustaining fictions were replaced w/ troubling and disconcerting texts
-Interests in evolution and social Darwinism coexisted w/ fears about regression, atavism, and decline, reflecting a loss of faith in goals traditionally pursued by middle-class hero and heroines
-Prevailing idea that something dangerous and irrational would destabilize society
-Romance novels embraced the idea of escape
-Drama of the absurd revived the belief that life is ridiculous, w/o substance or depth

Aestheticism
Late Victorian (1876-1901) period saw the emergence of aestheticism, where art has no reference to life and therefore nothing to do w/ morality and represents a refusal or inability to engage w/ reality

Thomas Hardy
-Late Victorian (1876-1901)
-Depicted romantic, impractical, and disorganized characters that could not manage their lives
-Far From the Madding Crowd and The Return of the Native emphasized a failure of relationships, breakdown of marriage, divorce, and sexuality
-The Mayor of Casterbridge, about a vandal who steals sheep and is eventually executed, portrays the nature of indiscipline and a society that has instituted a system of law and order to regulate people
-Tess of the D’Ubervilles presents an indignant portrayal of the ways social regulations and conventions ruin peoples lives, and reflects the aggressive nature of patriarchal society, harshness of law, and lack of tolerance and understanding
-Jude the Obscure critiques how education, class barriers, religious and moral conventions, and divorce laws conspire against protagonist Jude.

George Gissing
-Late Victorian (1876-1901)
-Represented late Victorian social pessimism, the despair of London’s working-class life, presenting people as little better than savages
-His works include Workers in the Dawn, The Unclassed, Demos, Thyrza, and The Nether World.
-The Old Women is the most substantial novel about single women, noting that the least fortunate character is the one who marries

Walter Besant
-Late Victorian (1876-1901)
-Wrote about class, education, and the unprivileged in All Sorts and Conditions of Men

Robert Louis Stevenson
-Late Victorian (1876-1901)
-Treasure Island focuses on the romance of leaving Britain to embark on new adventures
-Doctor Jekyll and Hyde, dark and sinister, represents the continual conflict between the irrational factors in mind and rational identity

Rudyard Kipling
-Late Victorian (1876-1901)
-In Many Inventions, proposed that social differences disappear when men agree to abide by same set of rules, a set of values that is relevant to all ranks

George Bernard Shaw
-Late Victorian (1876-1901)
-Exposes social hypocrisy and presented a new kind of social analysis that reflected a commitment to socialism
-His works include The Philander, Heartbreak House, Widowers’ House

Oscar Wilde
-Late Victorian (1876-1901)
-Expressed a radical, disconcerting vision of society, where characters use style and lack substance, drawing attention to themselves w/ no meaningful purpose.
-Plays include Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, and The Importance of Being Earnest.
-Novels include The Picture of Dorian Gray, an example of aestheticism, as the portrait of Dorian Gray fades while the hero himself retains youthful beauty

20th Century
-Writers used lit to discuss and portray the anxiety of their changing society
-News forms of media such as photography and film emerged, granting new aesthetic ways of looking at the world
-Different styles reflected the age
*Modernism
*Existentialism
*Existential nihilism
*Postcolonial lit
*Posemodernism

Modernism
-20th century
-Modernism played w/ shifting perspectives and “personalities” of the first half of the 20th century and the unreliable narration this shifting perspective implied

Existentialism
-20th century
-Asked what an individual was to do in such a topsy-turvy, absurd world where meaning seemed no longer relevant or reliable; finally explained that meaning could only be found in self

Existential nihilism
-20th century
-Argued that life was intrinsically meaningless

Postcolonial Lit
-20th century
-beg. to take shape and form a new genre around the world

Postmodernism
-20th century
-Began to suggest a total lack of social unity; post-modernism marks the point where such deconstruction becomes the norm

Kingsley Amis
-20th century
-Lucky jim, an influential novel capturing the “angry young man” perspective in lit

W.H. Auden
-20th century
-“found” by T.S. Eliot, who published his first book, Poems in 1930
-Auden went on to write more collections, including The Orators and Look Stranger!

Samuel Beckett
-20th century
-Irish novelist and playwright
-While living in France, he wrote Waiting for Godot, a play that put him in the vanguard of the theater of the absurd.
-Also known for his plays Endgame, Krapp’s Last Tape, Breath, Not I
-Various novels include the trilogy Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable

The Bloomsbury Group
-20th century
-An intellectual group headed by Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell, a painter; welcomed the likes of E.M. Forster, Roger Fry, and Lytton Strachey
-Fostered the rise of the avant-garde and modern thinking about sexuality, pacifism, and feminism in English lit

Anthony Burgess
-20th century
-A Clockwork Orange, depiction of violent authoritarianism

A.S. Byatt
-20th century
-The Virgin in the Garden, the first book in a quartet about 20th century family life in Yorkshire, England
-Still Life, Babel Tower, and A Whistling Woman followed. These stories follow the life of a young female intellectual growing up in a largely male-dominated intellectual world
-Her best know novel Possession won the Booker Prize

Arthur C. Clarke
-20th century
-One of the most prolific and influential science fiction writers of the 20th century
-His short story “The Sentinel” formed the basis for Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey

E.M. Forster
-20th century
-A liberal realist, his major works include Howard’s ENd, A Room with a VIew, and A Passage to India
-His last novel, Maurice published posthumously, was based on a strong homosexual theme

William Golding
-20th century
-Lord of the Flies, a pessissmistic and violence-ridden view of humanity that echoes the feelings of the Western world after WWII

Graham Greene
-20th century
-The Power and the Glory, Our Man in Havana, The Quiet American, and The End of the Affair

Seamus Heaney
-20th century
-Pultizer Prize winner author of several collections of poetry, plays, and essays
-His poems such as “North”, “Field Work”, and “Casualty” exalt the raw politcal power of words

Aldous Huxley
-20th century
-Brave New World, a science fiction story that warned against the overwhelming powers of technology
-Some of his other works include Point Counter Point, Ape and Essence, and Brave New World Revisisted

James Joyce
-20th century
-Modernized and Revolutionized lit and writing w/ his novel Ulysses. The book’s narrative, taking place one day in Dublin, uses various narrative styles, techniques, and viewpoints, including a stream of consciousness style. The novel explicitly calls upon his other writings, including A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, as much as it alluded to a compendium of world lit and classics, requiring a sense of inter and intratextual knowledge as well as an ability on the readers part to go w/ the flow of the often strikingly sensual and poetic prose in the stream of consciousness passages

D.H. Lawrence
-20th century
-Battled obscenity charges in his sexually explicit work, The Rainbow and Lady Chatterley’s Lover
-Wrote daringly about personal and social hypocrisies and he believed human nature is at its best when its consciousness is in harmony w/ its natural spontaneity

V.S. Naipaul
-Indian-Trinidadian British writer, first Indian to win the Booker PRize in 1971; later awarded the Novel Prize for Literature for “having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories.”
-However, he has also been criticized for making unsympathetic portrayals of the underdeveloped nations he writes about
-Novels include In a Free State and A House for Mr. Biswas

George Orwell
-20th century
-His time in Burma in the Indian imperial police inspired much of his social criticism, evident in his most popular novels 1984 and Animal Farm

Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie
-Sets most of his novels in India, where he was born
-is Midnight’s Children, a magical realist novel, won the Booker Prize in 1981
-Well known for The Satanic Verses controversy but has written various novels and short stories since including The Moor’s Last Sigh and Shalimar the Clown

Ancient Greece (2000 BC- AD 100)
-Greek comedy and tragedy developed from choral performances
-Greeks adapted language to Phoenician writing system, adding signs for vowels to transform consonants
-Lit included commercial documents, poetry, and drama
-Homer developed metrical formulas, outline of stories
-Lyric poems performed w/ the accompaniment of a lyre
-Sapphic meter was developed by the lyrical poet Sappho
-Greek drama, primarily tragedy, emerged from choral performances
-Thespis imitated dialogue between himself and a masked actor
-Aeschylus created a prototype of later drama marked by conflict
-Poetry, comic, reflected obscenity, farce, wit, satire, and parody (Aristophanes)
-Lit incorporated dialectic to undermine Socrates and Plato

Aeschylus
-Ancient Greece (2000 BC- AD 100)
-The Persians, Seven Against Thebes, The Suppliants, The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation bearers, The Eumenides), and Prometheus Bound

Aristophanes
-Ancient Greece (2000 BC- AD 100)
-The Acharnians, The Knights, The Clouds, The Wasps Peace, The Birds, Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazusae (The Women Celebrating the Thesmophoria), The Frogs, Ecclesiazusae (The Assemblywomen), Plutus or (Wealth)

Aristotle
-Ancient Greece (2000 BC- AD 100)
-Poetics, first systematic work of Western literary critcism

Euripides
-Ancient Greece (2000 BC- AD 100)
-Alcestis, Medea, Trojan Women, The Bacchae, Cyclops

Homer
-Ancient Greece (2000 BC- AD 100)
-The Iliad and The Odyssey

Plato
-Ancient Greece (2000 BC- AD 100)
-Menwn (Meno), Faidwn (Phaedo), Politeia (Republic), FaidroV (Phaedrus), Sumposion (Symposium), Parmenidh V (Parmenides), QeaithtoV (Theaetetus), TimaioV (Timaeus), LegeiV (Laws)

Sappho
-Ancient Greece (2000 BC- AD 100)
-A lyrist, was the first author to write in first person

Sophocles
-Ancient Greece (2000 BC- AD 100)
-Oedipus the King

Ancient Rome (Ancient World-15th Century)
-The Romans borrowed Greek sources, imitating the Greek epics and themes of heroism
-Themes associated w/ sophisticated and high-edge life of the Roman elite also pervaded the lit
-Hebrew lit addressed the personal, inner, and relational God

Virgil
-Ancient Rome (Ancient World-15th Century)
-Most noted for The Aeneid
-Inspired by Homer, Virgil sought to create a national epic for the emerging Roman Empire under rule of Augustus Caesar and to link the dynasty of ancient Troy in the person of its surviving Prince, Aeneas

Ovid
-Ancient Rome (Ancient World-15th Century)
-Metamorphoses, considered his masterpiece; known for subtly and psychological depth, unrelated characters, and dactylic hexameter. This anti-Aeneid epic poem of fifteen books influenced all other epic poems thereafter

The Four Gospels of the Life and Sayings of Jesus and the Acts of the Apostles
-Ancient Rome (Ancient World-15th Century)
-Written in Greek about 0 yrs after the death of Jesus
-Each gospel addresses a diff. audience: Matthew, the Jewish public, Mark the Gentile audience, and Luke, the cultured Greek readers
-John’s writing differs from his peers in that his work consistently refers to Jesus as Christ and Lord, representing Jesus as omnipotent

Final Canon of the New Testament of the Christian Bible
-Ancient Rome (Ancient World-15th Century)
-Established in 367

Europe Middle Ages (500-1500)
-National lit in the vernacular appeared
-Lit ofcused on religious faith and the appropriate use of physical force, but was nonetheless very diverse: literate and oral in Germanic languages and Latin, and secular and relgious, tolerant and repressive, vernacular and learned, rural and urban, skeptical and pious, and popular and aristocratic reflecting, Arabs, Jews, and Christians
_Lit incorporated archetypal individuals who sought to seek to better understand themselves and their destinies
-The works borrowed from non-western traditions, thus offering universal appeal, w/ characters being exported back form non-Western parts of the world
-Styles ranged from the humblest signified by colloquial humor to the highest poetic tones

Dante Aligheri
-Europe Middle Ages (500-1500)
-The Divine Comedy, a poem that represents the supreme expression of the medieval mind in European imaginative lit, considered the greatest poem of the mIddle Ages
-Contains 3 divisions of identical length: Hell (Inferno), Purgatory (Purgatorio), and Paradise (Paradiso)
-The poem recounts Dante’s descent through 9 circles of Hell and 7 divisions of Purgatory proper, ante-purgatory, and Earthy Paradise (Farden of Eden)

Early China (1600 BC-AD 100)
-Confucian ideals emphasized government, morality, social relationships, justice, and sincerity
-Three jewels of the Tao: compassion, moderation, and humility
-Taoist writing addressed nature, health, longevity, and wu wei (effortless action)
-Forms include hymns, temple, hunting, and love and marriage songs, poetry was written in metaphors.

The Book of Documents
-Early China (1600 BC-AD 100)

Classic of Poetry
-Early China (1600 BC-AD 100)
-Collection of lyric poetry

The Book of Change
-Early China (1600 BC-AD 100)
-I Ching Yijing

Analects
-Early China (1600 BC-AD 100)
-Recorded by Confucius’s disiciples

Chuang Tzu
-Early China (1600 BC-AD 100)
-philosophical mediations of jokes, parables

Laozi tzu
-Early China (1600 BC-AD 100)
-A silk manuscript, stanzas of wise, adages, pol. and personal issues

Historical Records
-Early China (1600 BC-AD 100)
-A history of the lives of ruling families and dynasties in China up to the time of Emperor Wu

China Middle Period (220-28)
-Confucianism declined in importance; Taoism and Buddhism acquiring more important status
-Flourishing poetry focused on understanding nature and nature of the individual or recluse
-Many new literary works focused on understanding of the psyche, spiritual enlightenment, and the natural world
-Taoist imagery reflected contemplation and mystical union w/ nature, wisdom, and learning
-Purposive action was abandoned in favor of simplicity and wu wei (non-action or letting things take their natural course)
-Jueju, the five to seven character quatrain emerged and Chinese poems (Yue fu) were composed in folk-song style

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