The Scarlet Letter

The Influence of British Literature on the Birth of American Artistry

The idea that our American literary culture has been influenced since its inception by Britain's is not a new one; after all, the two countries are rather like two branches of the same tree. Even though the mindsets are of distinctly different beliefs, they still share centuries of history that is not easy to overwrite. At the same time, however, America has been pushing to create its own breed of auteur distinct from their overseas contemporaries.

The first real push to create an 'American flavor' of literature began after the Revolutionary War. Demand for something to show off the nation's independence reached a fervor, and James Fenimore Cooper answered the call. Furthering the cause was the poet William Cullet Bryant, who romanticized the American wilderness much like Wordsworth and Coleridge had done of their own countryside. With the addition of Hawthorne's international success with The Scarlet Letter and Herman Melville's popularity for his nautical narratives, America could at last claim to have some sort of presence in the literary market, no matter how feeble the quantitative representation was. But it would still be an uphill battle for quite some time.

Thanks to the lack of any...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 739 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4409 literature essays, 1446 sample college application essays, 178 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in