«American Literature: Dickinson and Stevens» - Great Essay Sample

«American Literature: Dickinson and Stevens»

Part # 1

The subjects of discussion are adventures and discoveries. There was a man who crossed the Atlantic on a large ship. He ended up amazing those who had not believed him, when he described marvels of his journey. In his first voyage, he went with a number of Europeans and was able to discover a different kind of world from what he was used to (Baym, 2007). Besides, he was able to cross the Atlantic, so it is clear that the man was adventurous. The man is known as Columbus, but historians still doubt his identity. He began his discoveries in the year 1494 on the islands. It is evident that his discoveries have inspired American writers for a very long time (Baym, 2007).

The discoveries also helped indigenous Americans to adopt the European way of fighting. Native Americans used to go to war with a large number of troops, while European troops did something completely opposite. Thus, in 1492, Columbus together with his team discovered that the American Indians did not know how to fight in war and did not have gunpowder, which was an important tool in war. Columbus also discovered that Native Americans were dying from diseases since the region was prone to many diseases. Some people who traveled with Columbus were from Spain. They introduced slavery in 1501. In the 16th century, the native population was displaced by African slaves who were brought to the land (Baym, 2007).

In 1492, Columbus discovered that Native Americans spoke hundreds of languages, not all of which were interrelated. In addition, the indigenous people were hunters and gatherers, which Columbus had never encountered in Europe. Cultural and religious beliefs were also diverse in the region. Eventually, he realized that there were eight different stories of creation in North America alone. It was a clear indication that there was religion in the area. Unlike the European culture of the time, most of the Native Americans did not have a written alphabet. Instead, they used oral culture which relied heavily on the spoken word, such as singing or lengthy narratives. Columbus also noticed that American literature was well developed (Baym, 2007). It is also evident that between 1942 and 1504 he made a lot of visits to America across the Atlantic with other Europeans. He discovered that the type of verbal expressions of the Native Americans could be seen as literature. This view was especially popular after Romanticism came into the land in the 18th and 19th centuries. More so, literature moved away from the art of description of expressions to expressions of emotions and imagination. Additionally, Columbus’ journey to America helped the natives to learn writing. They realized that written literature provided an array of letters, marks, and objects that did not exists in America. Therefore, the trip made by Columbus and other Europeans across the Atlantic was adventurous as they came in a new land and contributed to a lot of discoveries (Baym, 2007).

Part #2

The subjects to be discussed are religion and art. Dickinson attended an institution that enabled her to grow spiritually as a woman so that one day she could become a Christian missionary. In the institution, Dickinson was not satisfied with the evangelical culture as she had a passion for art. That contributed to her dropping out of the institution so that she could concentrate on what she wanted to do. She wrote a letter to her friend after she had left saying that she was not interested in faith classes. She then began to write a lot of poetry and everyone who knew her was amazed at how excelled she was (Baym, 2007).

After some time, she returned to the institution where she continued her writing. She also wrote some church hymns that were used by the students during devotion time. In addition, she presented the poetic writing that demonstrated issues concerning life and death. They were very instrumental in helping people understand the two issues in a manner that is required (Baym, 2007). As time went by she discovered that she had a great talent for poetry, so she wanted her work to be published. Sadly, it was not possible as she did not have enough cash to do that. However, she did not give up and was able to publish a few poems. When people began reading her works, they started complimenting her and that motivated her to publish more of her works. In retrospect, she is one of the legends of poetry (Baym, 2007).

However, her work was criticized by some poets. They argued that her writing was based majorly on personal issues. More so, due to the fact that many people were aware that she was attending evangelical classes they wanted her to concentrate only on religious issues, not secular ones. However, she was not intimidated by the criticisms and continued doing what she loved best. Afterwards, those people who criticized her kept quiet as she was progressing very fast in her work. In the final years, she started developing some health issues such as eye problems, which prevented her from writing poetry. Soon, most of the people she loved died and she became so lonely that it really affected her motivation (Baym, 2007). In 1881, she fell in love with Todd who was an astronomer, but it did not last long as she also became sick and died. Todd continued publishing some of her works that she had stored but had not yet published. Even though she died many people continued to read her poems. Moreover, her name still remains in the books of history concerning religion and the art of poetry and it is a clear indication that she became a legend. Therefore, Dickinson was religious due to her desire to attend religious classes that were offered at the institution, but she had a passion for poetry evidenced by the poems she wrote (Baym, 2007).

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Part #3

The subjects to be discussed are poetry and reading. Stevens read much growing up. More so, he went to Harvard to pursue a literary career. In addition, he also tried journalism and went to a school of law. The entire process of going to school revolves around reading, which really helped him to become an independent individual. In terms of poetry, he wrote a poem known as Harmonium, which first appeared in the year 1923 (Baym, 2007). He is considered to be one of the legends of poetry of his time. However, he received much criticism from many rivals, who were in the same field, due to the fact that he was excelling in the field of poetry. His poems concentrated on imagery and diction and were able to bring out the issue of humor. That is something that many poets are not able to do and that is a clear indication that Stevens is really a legend in the field of poetry. That is also the main reason why he had many rivals who were criticizing his work (Baym, 2007).

In the year 1930, he was able to publish some more poetry. His work is a true reflection of how America was in the early 20th century as it contained most of the things that were taking place at that time such as violence and some of the political issues. Therefore, many people liked his work since the poems he wrote really encouraged people to cope with difficult situations (Baym, 2007). In the year 1930, he became increasingly theoretical and the dazzling effects of his poetry began to diminish. The poems that he published later on received a lot of criticism even from his own fans due to the fact that they thought they were not as good as the previous ones. His own fans began criticizing his work made him lose some confidence, but he did not give up. Now, his work is celebrated by many people (Baym, 2007).

One of the things that are inspiring in the works of Stevens is the fact that he had a lot of determination. It is evident that he had a lot of critics who never wanted to see him succeed, but he did not give up. Moreover, when his own fans started to criticize his work he continued to do what he loved best (Baym, 2007). Due to that spirit of determination his work is celebrated in the 20th century. He is really a legend in the field of poetry. The other thing that one can learn from his works is the fact that through the process of reading he was able to nurture his talents, which made him famous. Therefore, Stevens has a passion for poetry. He wrote many poems which made him a legend in the field, especially in the 20th century and all that was brought about by the reading culture which he was raised in (Baym, 2007).



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