At a glance:
America became a subject for literature after the Revolutionary War, when writers began the exploration of themes and motifs distinctly American. Continuing the Puritan belief in America as the New Eden, writers stressed the millennial nature of settlement and progress. Each milestone in improvement and enlargement marked a national movement toward spiritually sanctioned political dominion. Geographic, industrial, and social changes found justification in America’s mythic vision of itself independent of England and free of European hierarchy.
A complex and...
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