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Ch 13: Modern Era American Literature

About This Chapter

This chapter discusses American literature in the modern era. Fun, self-paced lessons discuss the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Eugene O'Neill, and others.

Modern Era American Literature - Chapter Summary

This chapter goes over the works and styles of various American authors in the modern era. It also explains the effects of modernism and the Harlem Renaissance on the authors' writing styles. After completing this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  • Explain the impact modernism had on American literature
  • Discuss the expatriate writers of the 20th century
  • Detail key characteristics of American literature in the 1930s
  • Explain the impact the Harlem Renaissance had on books and poetry
  • Discuss the works and styles of American authors including Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Alain Locke, Eugene O'Neill, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald

Our chapters are taught through a series of short, engaging video lessons with corresponding self-assessment quizzes to help ensure that you understand the material. Feel free to jump through at your own pace.

12 Lessons in Chapter 13: Modern Era American Literature
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Modernism in American Literature

1. Modernism in American Literature

In this lesson, we will discuss the concept of literary modernism in the United States. We will explore its historical backdrop along with the very unique characteristics and authors that define American modernism which lasted from 1914-1945.

The Lost Generation: Expatriate Writers of the 20th Century

2. The Lost Generation: Expatriate Writers of the 20th Century

In this lesson, we will explore the effects of WWI on the American literary community. We will take a look at the Lost Generation of writers, the characteristics of their work and the ways in which they represented post-war attitudes both in the U.S. and abroad.

Literature in 1930s America

3. Literature in 1930s America

In this lesson, we will look at the major influences on literature in the 1930s. We'll discuss influential authors and several important pieces published during this time. When you are through, take the quiz to see what you have learned.

F. Scott Fitzgerald: Biography and Works

4. F. Scott Fitzgerald: Biography and Works

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote one of the defining American novels: 'The Great Gatsby.' Yet, his personal life was tumultuous and filled with struggles. In this lesson, we'll explore his major works and his life story.

Ernest Hemingway: Biography, Works, and Style

5. Ernest Hemingway: Biography, Works, and Style

American author Ernest Hemingway used the experiences from his rich and colorful life to inform his novels and short stories. Learn about how life and major works.

William Faulkner: Biography, Books, and Style

6. William Faulkner: Biography, Books, and Style

William Faulkner towers above American literature, particularly American literature of the South. In this lesson, we'll explore his life and review his major works and style.

John Steinbeck: Grapes of Wrath and Other Works

7. John Steinbeck: Grapes of Wrath and Other Works

John Steinbeck is one of the 20th century's most celebrated authors. In this lesson, we'll look at Steinbeck's most famous work, 'The Grapes of Wrath.' We'll also discuss his style and consider his other major works.

Eugene O'Neill: Biography and Major Plays

8. Eugene O'Neill: Biography and Major Plays

Winner of four Pulitzer Prizes and one Nobel Prize, playwright Eugene O'Neill is a major figure in American drama. In this lesson, we'll look at his tumultuous life and review the most notable plays from his acclaimed career.

The Harlem Renaissance: Novels and Poetry from the Jazz Age

9. The Harlem Renaissance: Novels and Poetry from the Jazz Age

The Harlem Renaissance was a movement in the 1920s and 1930s during which there was an explosion of African-American art and literature. This lesson looks at the themes, causes, and important figures of the Harlem Renaissance.

Alain Locke: Biography, Poems & Books

10. Alain Locke: Biography, Poems & Books

In this lesson, we will review the biography of Alain Locke. We will then discuss his philosophy on race relationships, his role in the Harlem Renaissance, and some of his writings.

James Weldon Johnson: Biography, Poems & Books

11. James Weldon Johnson: Biography, Poems & Books

This lesson will examine the life of James Weldon Johnson, and will review his written work, primarily his books and poetry. Read on, and then test yourself with the quiz!

Zora Neale Hurston: Quotes & Biography

12. Zora Neale Hurston: Quotes & Biography

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) is best known for her 1937 novel ''Their Eyes Were Watching God,'' but she wrote more than 50 short stories, plays, and essays. Let's take a close look at the life of the beloved, fearless, Southern writer.

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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