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Ch 17: Overview of American Literature

About This Chapter

Dive into the vast realm of American literature through this chapter. These lessons, available in mobile format, can help you learn about the works of multiple American writers as well as common trends, ideas, and techniques in literature

Overview of American Literature - Chapter Summary

This chapter is an excellent review of American literary traditions, acclaimed authors, and the cultural impacts of literature. Instead of leafing through a dense textbook, streamline your studies with our succinct and informational lessons. The chapter is organized into thematic lessons, like fiction, drama, poetry, children's literature, and African American literature. You can review genre-defining authors and their classic works, delving into the mechanics of their writing and the impacts of their words on society.

This chapter can help you complete the following goals:

  • Describe the styles and famous works of short story authors like Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, Flannery O'Connor, and Kate Chopin
  • Express the significance of African-American authors Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, and James Baldwin
  • Recognize common literary techniques used in American fiction, such as foreshadowing, backstories, flashbacks, red herrings, and symbolism
  • Describe topics and themes in children's literature and young adult fiction
  • Provide examples of important works of young adult literature and their cultural impacts

You can access all the chapter lessons electronically and watch our compelling video lessons whenever it's convenient for you. Plus, you can print the transcript, worksheet, and answer key if you want a physical copy. As you progress through the lessons in this chapter, take the quizzes so you can track your progress on your dashboard.

9 Lessons in Chapter 17: Overview of American Literature
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
American Short Story Writers

1. American Short Story Writers

American literature is filled with stories from brilliant minds. In this lesson, we will look at Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, Flannery O'Connor, and Kate Chopin, four prominent American short story writers.

Plot Techniques in American Fiction: Definition and Examples

2. Plot Techniques in American Fiction: Definition and Examples

A novel's plot involves more than just what happens in the story. Authors employ a number of techniques, including foreshadowing, red herrings, backstory, and B-plots to enrich their stories.

Analyzing American Drama: Techniques and Plays

3. Analyzing American Drama: Techniques and Plays

Plays are often developed with the use of a number of literary techniques. This lesson explores the use of symbolism, motifs, flashbacks, and monologues in American drama.

History of Famous American Poetry & Poets

4. History of Famous American Poetry & Poets

American poetry boasts a rich body of work from American poets such as Anne Bradstreet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes, and Eileen Myles.

Major Trends in Children's & Young Adult Literature

5. Major Trends in Children's & Young Adult Literature

If you are preparing to be a school librarian, you will want to have a deep familiarity with up and coming trends in children's and young adult literature. This lesson gives you a sense of some of the current movements in the field.

Young Adult Literature: Major Works & Their Cultural Impact

6. Young Adult Literature: Major Works & Their Cultural Impact

Young adult literature is designed to appeal to young readers. This lesson will discuss some major works of young adult literature along with their cultural impact. We will end with a brief quiz to see what you have learned.

Contemporary Young Adult Fiction: Topics, Themes & Place

7. Contemporary Young Adult Fiction: Topics, Themes & Place

Young adult literature has grown and expanded in the last 50 years. In this lesson, you'll learn about the topics, themes, and places that appear in young adult fiction, and you'll have a chance to test your understanding with a short quiz.

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.

Expressing Cultural Values, Ideas & Attitudes in Literature

9. Expressing Cultural Values, Ideas & Attitudes in Literature

Cultural values, ideas and attitudes are presented by the author in literature to offer insight into the beliefs and traditions of different cultures. It is, essentially, the duty of the author to present the values of a particular culture.

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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