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Extra resources for An Outline of American Literature (PENG)

Sample text

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL ( r 8 r 9 r 89 I ) was the third famous Brahmin poet. In his era 1 2 , he was admired nationally as the perfect aristocratic man of literature. In his early career, Lowell's poetry often had a political message. In The Biglow Papers, written during the Mexican War ( r 846 r 848 ) , he attacked American policy. To him, the war was "a national crime" . The book's main character, Hosea Biglow, speaks in a New England dialect 13 and often expresses humorous opinions. " Another humorous character, Birdofredom Sawin, is silly enough to join the army full of hopes.

I t was one of the f rst novels which tried to describe the new morality ( or immorality) of post-Civil War America. One of the new elements of this novel is tha t it crea tes a picture of the en tire nation, rather than of one region. Although it has a number of Twain's typically humorous characters, the real theme is America's loss of its old idealism. The book describes how a group ofyoung people are morally destroyed by the dream of becoming rich. Twain's Adventures of Torn Sawyer ( 1 8 76) was a story about "bad , a popular theme in American literature.

The hero is usually a little rabbit, "Brer Rabbit", who uses many tricks to escape from his old enemy, "Brer Fox". ( "Brer" means "Brother" . ) Although he is weaker, the rabbit is much smarter than the fox . In one story, Brer Fox has caught him and is going to eat him. Then the little rabbit shouts, "Eat me if you wish, Brer Fox, but please don't throw me into that thorn bush! " Of course the fox doesj ust that, and the rabbit escapes. In all Chandler's stories, the weak use their brains to resist the strong and powerful.

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