American Literature Period 2
08 May 2013
When Death Takes Over
Originality can bring forth different styles and movements that can introduce new perspectives. Emily Dickinson and Flannery O’Connor bring their own ingeniousness through their most beloved works. The poem “There is a Certain Slant of Light” and the short story “Greenleaf” are prime examples of the authors’ brilliance. Dickinson and O’Connor lived in eras where their works demonstrated original thoughts, where they pertained a level of knowledge ahead of their time, and where family trials were predominate facets in their lives; therefore, the poems and short stories they created were greatly influenced by the impact of death.
The era in which nineteenth century literature rebels against the previous classical age is called Romanticism. The writers in this age branched out of their comfort zones and wrote stories that were inspired by their “imagination, emotion, and freedom” (Cuddon 1). Revolutionizing the way authors write, the Romantic writers were witnessing how their works’ defiance against the “Age of Realism” was getting more attention and praise from people. The American authors of the Romanticism era admire nature as a holy place of “non – artificiality, where self can fulfill its potential” (Harvey 1). When the inexperienced century came, it released a new set of concepts of self and legislative freedom as authors desired to rupture the strings of the old century understands (“English Literature” 1). The women of the 19th century were looked down upon and seen as “tangential to and displaced by the male formulations of the period” (Trott 1). Women were not seen equally with men until the 1940’s when most of the men in our country had to leave for WWII, women had to pick up their husbands jobs and provide for their families by working hard labors for the war. Since women authors were seen as a different class from the men, this inspired Dickinson and if her poems were not found after her death, women today might not have hope in their gender because of our society. The present era in which authors live in today is properly known as the Postmodernism Era. This era started after World War II’s end and continues to today’s great authors. “People’s views of the nature of man and society” changed when World War II ended and it became a momentous struggle that involved the whole world (Colarusso 1). When O’Connor was writing most of her short stories in the 1950’s, the time of segregation between whites and blacks became very big. The African Americans of that time were trying to achieve equal rights for voting, education, [and more] ("Civil Rights Movement."). The post-modern era in which our generation lives is a time where an author’s creativity is greatly accepted. This current time exemplifies a discontinuation from 19th century literature where a story or poem was written from an “objective or omniscient point of view”. Postmodernism Literature searches for individualism and “study [studies] the inner states of consciousness” (Felluga 1). O’Connor’s era in which she lived in did not limit her creativity and thus she expanded her imagination by writing her grotesque stories.
Dickinson’s personal life was an extreme struggle for her and she often faced depression throughout most of her life. She was a very private person who was usually opposed to uncovering herself or the beautiful poems she created for the world that would only deny her ingenuity (Feldman, Vaughan, Kinsella 418). For her poems to be recognized and acknowledged, she needed to be patient and wait around the time of World War I where affection and sensitivity were greatly understood in literature. The form of writing she had obtained and which affected her demeanor were “50 years ahead of her time” (Miller 1). “Her work is notable for its power, compression and complexity and the exploratory daring which belies its apparent decorum” (Tredell 1)....
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