1.A scientist with lots of inventions and a famous experiment (kite, electricity, thunderstorm). Franklindid a lot of famous experiments and invented many things such as volunteer fire departments, effective street lighting, bifocal glasses, efficient heating devices, lightning-rod(避雷针) and so on
2.Typical literary forms of romanticism include ballad, lyrics, sentimental comedy, novels, gothic romance, sonnet, and critical essays.
3.Reached its peak with the appearance of the major authors of the 19th century such as Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson in poetry, and Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville in fiction.
4. James Fenimore Cooper developed three kinds of novels. The first kind is about the revolutionary past such as The Spy. The second kind is the sea novels such as the Pilot. The third kind is about the American frontier.
5.Nathanial Hawthorne’s works belong to dark romanticism, cautionary tales that suggest that guilt, sin, and evil are the most inherent natural qualities of humanity. Many of his works are inspired by Puritan New England combining historical romance loaded with symbolism and deep psychological themes, bordering on surrealism.
6.“The American Scholar” has been called America’s Declaration of In tellectual Independence because he called on American writers to write about America in an American way instead of imitating things foreign.
7.Thoreau has faith in the inner virtue and inward, spiritual grace of man; Thoreau was critical of modern civilization; Man should live a simple life; and he believed in the regeneration改过自新of man. Walden exhibits Thoreau’s trust in the future and his belief in a new generation of men.
8.Though his most famous novel is criticized for being racist, Mark Twain never expected nor intended the controversy that arose with the publication of Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain was not racist, but depicted life in his times.
9.Naturalistic writers write detailed descriptions of the lives of the lower class. They are interested in finding out how men and women are overwhelmed by the forces of environment and by the forces of heredity.
10.In Sister Carrie, Dreiser expressed his naturalistic pursuit by expounding the purposelessness of life and impotence(无能为力) of men.
11.Matin Eden tells how the protagonist changes from a toiler to a best-selling author. When he fails to resolve the inner conflict between his desire for marriage and his resistance to compromise in a class-oppressed society, he finally drowns himself. London once told Upton Sinclair that he wrote this novel as “an attack on individualism.”
12.The Lost Generation is a term applied to the disillusioned intellectuals of the years following the First World War, who rebelled against former ideals and values, but could replace them only by despair or a cynical hedonism享乐主义.
13.Stream of Consciousness is a literary technique in which a character's thoughts are presented in the confusing, jumbled, and inconsequential manner of real life without
any clarification by the author. It's best known writers are Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce.
14.Thomas Sterns Eliot won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. His masterpiece, “The Waste Land” reveals the spiritual crisis of Post War Europe, and is considered the manifesto of the “Lost Generation”.
15.Emily Dickinson wrote nearly 1800 poems and only seven of them were published during her lifetime. Death was one of the great themes of her work and she seldom lost sight of the grave.
16.In Walt Whitman’s masterpiece Leaves of Grass, he praised the ideas of equality and democracy and celebrated the dignity, the self-reliant spirit and the joy of the common man. “Song of Myself” is Whitman’s very famous works. Whitman was the first to explore fully the possibilities of free verse.
17.Harlem Renaissance is a term to describe the revival of the literary and artistic achievement in the 1920s by Afro-American writers. The writers who were associated with Harlem Renaissance include Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Sterling Brown, Jessie Fauset, Wallace Thurman, James Weldon Johnson, and Marcus Garvey.
18.Metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison.
19.In the early part of the 19th century, New York City was the center of American writing. Its writers were called: Knickerbockers” and the period from 1810 to 1840 is called the “Knickerbockers Era” of the American literature.
20. Washington Irving was born in New York City in a wealthy family. From a very early age he began to read widely and write juvenile poems, essays, and plays. With the publication of The Sketch Book, he won a measure of international fame on both sides of the Atlantic.
21.Emerson rejected both the formal religion of the churches and the Deistic philosophy; instead he based his religion on an intuitive belief in an ultimate unity, which he called the "over-soul."
22.Hawthorne's literary world is a most disturbed, tormented and problematical one mostly because of his "black" vision of life and human beings. He rejected the Transcendentalists' transparent optimism about the potentialities of human nature. Instead he looked more deeply and perhaps more honestly into life, finding in it much suffering and conflict but also finding the redeeming power of love.
23.Hawthorne is a master of symbolism, which he took from the Puritan tradition and bequeathed to American literature in a revivified form. The symbo1 can be found everywhere in his writing, and his masterpiece provides the most conclusive proof. 24. Melville's writings can be well divided into two groups, each with something in common in the light of the thematic concern and imaginative focus. Moby-dick is regarded as the Great American Novel, the first American prose epic (a long narrative poem telling of heroic deeds of reflecting the values of the society from which it originated), though it is presented in the form of a novel.
25. O. Henry was a prolific American short-story writer, a master of surprise endings, who wrote about the life of ordinary people in New York City. A twist of plot, which turns on an ironic or coincidental circumstance, is typical of O. Henry's stories.
26. Henry James (1843-1916), American-born writer, gifted with talents in literature, psychology, and philosophy. James wrote 20 novels, 112 stories, 12 plays and a number of works of literary criticism. He was deeply interested in the contrast between the old world and the new one.
27.Although Jack London was a socialist, he invested the semi-autobiographical character of Martin Eden with a strong dose of individualism. He described the novel as a parable of a man who had to die "not because of his lack of faith in God, but because of his lack of faith in men."
28.Although Dickson’s poems were called doggerels and nursery rhy mes, she was rediscovered and brought to light in the 20th century. All the characteristics of her poetry found their way into the poems of some modern poets. She stood as one of the greatest lyric poets of America.
29.Mark Twain's works sum up the tradition of Western humor and frontier realism. He writes about his people and his own life. He loves them and at the same time depicts the dark side of the society bitterly.
30. Hemingway says, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.”It's the best book we've had. There was nothing before.' There has been nothing so good since."
31.Ezra Pound stressed clarity, precision, and economy of language, and foregoing (earlier) traditional rhyme and meter in order to compose in the sequence of the musical phrase .
32.Robinson was born in Head Tide, but his family moved to Gardiner, Maine in 1870. He described his childhood in Maine as "stark and unhappy." His family also had problems with alcohol and his brother Herman died in part due to that. His early difficulties led many of his poems to have a dark pessimism and his stories to deal with "an American dream gone away."
33. Robert Frost is one of the most popular 20th Century American Poets, a four-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. His adopts traditional verse forms, plain language and everyday speech to explore the complexity of human existence through treating seemingly trivial subjects.
34. Sandburg is also remembered by generations of children for his Rootabaga Stories and Rootabaga Pigeons, a series of whimsical, sometimes melancholy stories he originally created for his own daughters.
35.Stevens is a rare example of a poet whose main output came at a fairly advanced age.spent most of his adult life working for an insurance company in Connecticut. His best-known poems include "Anecdote of the Jar," "The Emperor of Ice Cream," "The Idea of Order at Key West," "Sunday Morning ," and "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird."
36. The title of the poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is ironic, for it is in fact about the absence of love. It develops a theme of a frustration and emotional conflict.
37. Fitzgerald has become identified with the extravagant living of the Jazz Age, and he oncesaid,“It was an age of miracles, it was an age of art, it was an age of excess, and it was an age of satire.”
38. Fitzgerald’s writing style is known for being clear, lyrical, and witty.
39. On March 26, 1920, This Side of Paradise is published, making the 24 year-old Fitzgerald famous almost overnight.
40. William Faulkner’s works are regarded as the summit of Southern literature.The Yoknapatawpha saga describes the rise and fall of southern aristocratic families: the Compsons, the Sartorises, The Sutpens, the McCaslins, and the Snopeses.
41.The Sound and The Fury describes the decay and downfall of an old southern aristocratic family, symbolizing the old social order, told from four different points of view.
42.The Grapes of wrath shows author’s clear expression of sympathy with the dispossessed and the wretched.
43. The last stanza of the poem “Stopping by the woods on a snowy night” shows a kind of sad, sentimental but also strong and responsible feeling. The attraction of the beauty of the nature makes the speaker stop in the journey. He finally turns away from it, with a certain weariness and yet with quiet determination, to face the needs of life. This stresses the central conflict of the poem between man's enjoyment of nature's beauty and his responsibility in society. This shows a man's despairing courage to seek out the meaning of life.
44.Everything seems to meet in this one man--“Jack of all trades”. Herman Melville thus described Franklin“master of each and mastered by none”.
45.Edgar Allen Poe formulated the new short story in the detective and science fiction line, developed an important artistic theory, and laid foundation for analytical criticism.
46. In Melville’s fiction, man lives in a world divided into two warring parts: good against evil, God against Satan, the “head” against the “heart”. There is no way to overcome the opposites. Melville has a tragic view of life: he seems to feel that the universe itself is working against human happiness and peace of mind.
47. “It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.” These words are said by Mark twain .
48.Sister Carrie is Theodore Dreiser’s first novel. Dreiser is also famous for his Trilogy of Desire(The Financier, The Titan, and The Stoic), and An American Tragedy, which is considered to be his best.
49.Theodore Dreiser is an American novelist and journalist. He pioneered the naturalist school and is known for portraying characters whose value lies not in their moral code, but in their persistence against all obstacles.
50.In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne considers the effect on an individual’s character of guilty conscience, of hypocrisy, and of hatred.
51.Lyric is a p oem, usually a short one, that expresses a speaker‘s personal thoughts or feelings.
52."Rip Van Winkle" is not only well-known for Rip's 20-year sleep but also considered a model of perfect English in American Literature and in the English language as well. Washington Irving has always been regarded as a writer who "perfected the best classic style that American Literature ever produced." He has a clear, easy style.
53.Emerson's Nature is emblematic of the spiritual world, alive with God's overwhelming presence. It mediates between man and God, and its voice leads to higher truth; hence, it exercises a healthy and restorative inf1uence on human mind. "
54.In many of Hawthorne's stories and novels, the Puritan concept of life is condemned, or the Puritan Past is shown in an almost totally negative light, especially in his The House Of the Seven Gables and The Scarlet Letter.
55. Moby-Dick is not merely a whaling tale or sea adventure, it is also a symbolic voyage of the mind in quest of the truth and knowledge of the universe, a spiritual exploration into man's deep reality and psychology.
56. Theodore Dreiser is now regarded as one of the pre-eminent American novelists of the first half of the t wentieth century, an anatomist of the “American dream”.
57.It was Mark Twain who made colloquial speech an accepted, respectable literary medium in the literary history of the country. His greatest achievement on literature was his use of the dialect and his portrayal of the locale.
58. Edwin Arlington Robinson is a “people poet”, writing almost exclusively about individuals or individual relationships rather than on more common themes of the nineteenth century.
59.The Waste Land is often read as a representation of the disillusionment of the post-war generation.
60. Fitzgerald’s writing style is known for being clear, lyrical, and witty.
61.In contrast to theminimalist understatement of hiscontemporary Ernest Hemingway,Faulkner made frequent use of "streamof consciousness" in his writing, andwrote often highly emotional, subtle,cerebral, complex, and Gothic orgrotesque stories of a wide variety ofcharacters including former slaves ordescendants of slaves, poor white,agrarian, or working-class Southerners,and Southern aristocrats.
62. In 1962, John Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, with the honorary words, for “his realistic and imaginative writings, distinguished as they are by a sympathetic humor and a social perception.”
63. American Puritanism: Puritanism is the practices and beliefs of the Puritans. The Puritans were originally members of a division of the ProtestantChurch. The first settlers who became the founding fathers of the American nation were quite a few of them. They were a group of serious, religious people, advocating highly religious and moral principles. As the word itself hints, Puritans wanted to purity their religious beliefs and practices. They accepted the doctrine of predestination, original sin and total depravity, and limited atonement through a special infusion of grace form God. As a culture heritage, Puritanism did have a profound influence on the early American mind. American Puritanism also had a enduring influence on American literature. 64. American Realism: In American literature, the Civil War brought the Romantic Period to an end. The Age of Realism came into existence. It came as a reaction against the lie of romanticism and sentimentalism. Realism turned from an emphasis on the strange toward a faithful rendering of the ordinary, a slice of life as it is really lived. It expresses the concern for commonplace and the low, and it offers an objective rather than an idealistic view of human nature and human experience.