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Introduction American literature to my eyes like American history although short however still full of glories and shining masterpieces and writers Those American writers while conquering this wild America also had conquered the great field of American literature From its first imitative activities to innovative attempts nowadays American literature gradually gains its unique style theme and form and I always excited to see their works are more and more America in its true sense American literature is part of world literature however it always has its unique flavor that cannot be easily ignored Most critics hold that the history of American literature can be divided into six parts orderly colonial period romanticism realism naturalism modernism and post-modernism Although American literature in its true sense did not begin until 19th century however we always talk about colonial period as a preparatory introduction to American literature To follow the suit I like to take the colonial period also as the first part to introduce Chapter 1 Colonial Period A Utilitarian Literary period 1 Background This period is unique in American literature and the literature in this period is mainly a literary expression of the Puritan idealism The first settlers came to America with the wish to the religious practice in the church because they left Britain for the reason that they were religiously and politically persecuted Therefore they were called Puritans soon established their own religious and moral principles which has influenced the American thought and American literature a lot 2 Characteristics To express their puritanical thoughts many types of writing were used such as letters autobiographies sermons diaries and poems Therefore it safe to conclude that the literature at this period is utilitarian It should teach some kind of lesson and therefore the content of the writing had been predetermined by a practical consideration In terms of its style puritans placed much stress on plainness and directness in writing because they were unusually interested
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