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Explain what changes James Fennimore Cooper, Edgar Allen Poe, And Emily...

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a-lovely | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted December 10, 2009 at 4:28 AM via web

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Explain what changes James Fennimore Cooper, Edgar Allen Poe, And Emily Dickinson brought to American Literature.

which one change has had more effect than the others?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 10, 2009 at 5:33 AM (Answer #2)

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Each writer brought a new and different dimension to American Literature.  Assessing which had more impact comes down to individual preference and the values upon which one places primacy.  Cooper brought about the idea of naturalism in American Literature and thought.  Through characters such as Natty Bumppo, the reverence for the natural setting became quite evident.  In the process, Cooper helped American readers understand that there is much to be gained from the respect and harmonious use of nature.  In an age of industrialization, this is a bold statement.  Poe's use of the macabre and suspense helped him earn a spot in American Literature as one well versed in the darkness that might lie within the heart of American thought.  Through Poe, the reader understands that what might lie beneath the veneer of civilized human beings could be corrupted, corrosive, and calculatingly evil.  Poe is valuable to the discourse because of bringing these forces, ones that usually lay in the darkness to the surface.  Finally, Dickinson brings the artistic voice that lies within all individuals when they are away from the trappings of the social world of conformist thought and reality.  Dickinson allowed individuals to be able to conceive of themselves as beings that exist outside of the domain of the social and permit true reflection and rumination to occur.

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