- the Origins of Fiction and American Identity: a Comparison of Irving and Cooper

1759 Words Jul 10th, 2012 8 Pages
- The origins of fiction and American identity: a comparison of Irving and Cooper -

In this assignment I am going to focus on the origin of American fiction and specifically, I am going to talk about two famous authors who are characteristic of this type of literature. The purpose of this essay is comparing these two writers through their works: Rip Van Winkle and The last of the Mohicans. These writers are Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper. Washington Irving was born on 1783 (Manhattan) and he is consider as “the father of American fiction” and the creator of the short story.
Irving did multiple travels to the “Old Continent”, maybe because of that it is said that his literature is Europeanized. But his most famous and
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One thing we know about Rip Van Winkle is that this story is inspirited in a story belonging to a Dutch story, taking from the Dutch settlers of American colonies.
As we know Irving is a writer located between neoclassicism and romanticism, so in the development of this essay we can see different characteristics. For example, what I explained in the previous lines indicate characteristics of romanticism: Inspiration in other countries: the Dutch story; enthusiasm for exotic landscape: Catskill Mountains appear as something mystic; or a world of fantasy: the author changes the place telling unbelievable things about it. On the contrary, Cooper is more realistic when he wrote The last of the Mohicans, basically because there is composed with a historical basis, like Irving with Rip Van Winkle, but in Cooper’ story the way to tell the things is more realistic, there is not exaggerated fictional elements such as time travels, or strange atmospheres. His story is focus on telling a specific moment of the American history from the point of view of different characters that composed the story. This is maybe because Cooper led the literary movement that it was the fashion in this period: the Romanticism. One of the characteristics of this writer in the romanticism is the nationalism using the politics or the forest, savage and free, as a way to represent the character of

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