Early American Literature Essay

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As the new world struggled to gain impendence from its mother country, Britain, native authors also try to develop their own style of writings. It quickly became evident that the search for a native literature became a national obsession. Then with the triumph of American independence, many at the time saw this as a divine sign that America and her people were destined for greatness. Greatness came with a strong nation and thousands of poems and stories that still shape our nation. The recent revolution greatly expressed the heart of the American people. However, it would take another fifty years of development throughout American before it produced the first great generation of American writers such as, Washington Irving, Ralph …show more content…
As America continued to grow and developed so did its writers. A major changed came with writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Emerson was an American philosopher, poet and the leader of the Transcendentalist movement. This movement started as a protest against the current state of the society and culture; and was based on a fundamental belief in the unity of the world and God. "Emerson declared literary independence in the United States and urged Americans to create a writing style all their own and free from Europe" (Ralph). This type of methodology is easily portrayed in his two stories, The American Scholar, and Self Reliance. Thoreau was a nonconformist and attempted to live his life at all times according to his rigorous principles, which became the subject of many of his writings. In "Walden", Thoreau not only tests the theories of Transcendentalism, he re-enacts the collective American experience of the 19th century, living on the frontier. The overall story of "Walden" is in fact a view on Thoreau's radical and controversial perspective of society. Many of Thoreau's repeated, irrelevant details can be traced to his description of what is wrong with the American society. He believed that the society is extremely overwhelmed with material things and they often seem to think that is what matters…