The beginning of an american identity
American literature expresses itself in English but in an autonomous literature. The reason for this is not the distance between the two counties but the multiethnic American society made up of: exiles trying to escape religious persecution, adventurers, political refugees, emigrants wishing to start a new life. The literary production of the 17th and 18th century was strongly influenced by British literature, one of the first movement was the Puritans one. The Puritans wrote sermons, religious traces and diaries. As the 18th century progressed migrants from all over Europe moved in America, in the meanwhile the American colonies became an independent republic with George Washington as the first president. This encouraged the expansion towards the West and the Indian removal. America was divided in two forces: the East and the West. The East was characterized by the values of wealth and respectability, the west by the pioneer spirit and the country’s endless possibilities. It was especially in prose that truly American writers emerged: like the important works of Edgar Allan Poe and James Cooper.
A certain coloring of imagination
This test is taken from the preface to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads, regarded as the Manifesto of English Romanticism.
Wordsworth express a new concept of poetry which emphasized the importance of nature, common life, simple language, and the importance of emotions and imagination.
- the simple life is the subject of the poetry like before, but now the imagination change the narration.
- the romantic poets attack the poets that use an elaborate language because it is not clear; the elaborate language is not able to tell the feelings and the emotions.
- the poet is a men who speak to other men, and who have a different way of feel and a more sensible soul.
The poet considers himself superior because he sees the event with an other spirit: e sees the reality and change it in something different; he use the language to create something not visible.
- the poet lives a sensory experience, then in tranquillity he recollect the emotion and write the poem.For Wordsworth the poetry is a “spontaneous overflow of feelings”.