Where better to begin this journey through the history of literature than at the onset. The Creation Story of the Iroquois was the first story ever told. It is the story of how the Iroquois believe their world, Turtle Island, came to be. The reason this myth carries such significance is because it explains the world view or basic outlook of the Iroquoian people in the 17th century. And while we view this story as "myth," the Iroquoian people truly believe in its authenticity and this belief gives it great force in their lives. (http://www.greatpeace.org/overview/creation.htm).
When the European colonists arrived in America, the indigenous Native Americans spoke hundreds of distinct languages, engaged in many different religious practices, and structured their cultures in extraordinarily diverse economic and political forms. And unlike the Europeans, the majority did not use a formal alphabet. It was not until the early 19th century that Native American verbal expression was recognized as literature from a Western perspective. (http://www.wwnorton.com/naal/vol_A/welcome.htm).
This is an important piece that has been considered as revolutionary as Karl Marx' Communist Manifesto. The objective of this work is that it searches for (and discovers) a solution to the working man's problems through individual and peaceful methods.
Instead of simply studying the problems of the 1850's, Thoreau based his philosophy on ageless and proven truths from the past thus allowing himself to look into the future. (www.kenkifer.com/Thoreau/index.htm).
During the 1830's through the 1850's, differences in social status, such as gender and class, were the main subject matter of all writers. And almost all writers were at odds with Protestant Christianity, which strived to control or censure what could be printed in books and magazines. Writers used this venue to poke fun at transcendentalism as well and considered it a threat to organized religion.
F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby
"The wind had blown off, leaving a loud, bright night, with wings beating in the trees and a persistent organ sound as the full bellows of the earth blew the frogs full of life." (Fitzberald, 20) The Great Gatsby.
The one word that seems to resonate throughout this book is position. Gatsby's whole life is spent trying to attain money and status so as to reach his main objective, a certain position in life. The story was set in the decadent roaring twenties, an era which writers like Fitzgerald and others highly criticized. They described the lifestyle of the time as mindless, indulgent, and irresponsible; with a lack of concern for consequences. Fitzgerald very shrewdly used his characters to expose this lifestyle with their selfish antics.
Where I Lived and What I Lived For
"Why should we knock over and go with the stream Let us not be upset and overwhelmed in the terrible rapid and