Ch 20: CEOE English: Contemporary American Literature

About This Chapter

Get to grips with contemporary American literature and its key themes, texts and authors. Here you'll find everything you need to know about American literature after World War II in order to ace your CEOE English exam.

CEOE English: Contemporary American Literature - Chapter Summary

Want to know why Fahrenheit 451 and To Kill a Mockingbird are so influential, or how Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams changed American theater forever? This chapter will take you through contemporary American literature from the wake of World War II into the 21st century, spotlighting the major figures of this period and their most important works. Each lesson offers useful insight to help you prepare for your CEOE English exam.

You'll learn what characteristics defined these writers' texts and made them stand out from the rest. Discover the names behind contemporary African American and feminist literature, and deepen your understanding of the context in which these writers lived and worked. By the end of the chapter, you should be able to:

  • List a number of American writers from the contemporary period and some of their works
  • Discuss the distinguishing characteristics of the literature produced during this period
  • Describe the life and works of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller
  • Provide an analysis of Fahrenheit 451, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Outsiders
  • Define and describe contemporary American feminist literature
  • Give an overview of some contemporary African American writers and their texts, including Toni Morrison and Alice Walker

Our professional instructors make learning about literature simple and fun. Our video lessons focus on the important details and make it easier than ever to study effectively, with transcripts and our convenient Timeline function provided to streamline the learning process. Test your knowledge at the end of each lesson to boost your retention and track your progress.

9 Lessons in Chapter 20: CEOE English: Contemporary American Literature
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Contemporary Period in American Literature

1. The Contemporary Period in American Literature

Learn about how Contemporary literature developed and understand its fundamental characteristics. Find out how American history and cultural norms really defined and developed the Contemporary period in American literature.

Contemporary American Literature: Authors and Major Works

2. Contemporary American Literature: Authors and Major Works

This lesson helps you decipher pieces of contemporary American literature by looking at famous examples from some of the greatest authors of the time.

Tennessee Williams: Biography, Works, and Style

3. Tennessee Williams: Biography, Works, and Style

This lesson provides insight into the life, work and style of one of the most influential playwrights of our time, Tennessee Williams. His major works include 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.'

Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays

4. Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays

In this lesson, we will talk about the life of one of America's greatest playwrights, Arthur Miller. We will take a close look at his role in the American political scene of the 1950s and give insight into some of his most influential works.

Fahrenheit 451: Summary, Characters & Themes

5. Fahrenheit 451: Summary, Characters & Themes

During this lesson, we will learn about Ray Bradbury's dystopian science fiction novel, Fahrenheit 451, which is about firefighters who are tasked with burning books instead of putting out fires. We will cover the novel's plot, characters, and major themes.

To Kill a Mockingbird: Summary, Analysis and Quotes

6. To Kill a Mockingbird: Summary, Analysis and Quotes

How did a novel that deals with difficult topics like racism and rape become an American classic and a staple of high school English classes? In this lesson, we'll learn all about Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird.'

The Outsiders: Summary & Characters

7. The Outsiders: Summary & Characters

S. E. Hinton's young adult novel 'The Outsiders' has been celebrated as a classic work of fiction for nearly half a century. This lesson summarizes the novel's plot and major characters and discusses its significance and influence on the genre of YA fiction.

Contemporary African American Writers: Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, James Baldwin

8. Contemporary African American Writers: Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, James Baldwin

In this lesson, we will look at the role of contemporary African American writing. The focus will be on authors Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and James Baldwin.

American Feminist Literature: Definition & Characteristics

9. American Feminist Literature: Definition & Characteristics

Welcome to the world of American feminist literature! Meet a few well-known American feminist writers. Learn their histories and what inspired them. Read on to learn more about this fascinating genre!

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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