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Major American Writers The honored title of Major American Writer tends to be ambiguous and ill defined in part because each individual reader holds preconceived notions about what characteristics a writer should possess to be classified as a major author Every work an author creates combines with the others to form a body of material on which the writer is judged This class on Major American Writers studied five authors with completely different genres writing styles and general appeal The choice for these particular authors was based on criteria unique to the instructor Since every reader requires different characteristics this paper will outline my specific criteria for a Major American Writer and apply those to Robert Frost and Henry James Frost is a perfect example as defined by my characteristics of a major writer His work embodies all the features necessary to categorize him as such While Jamess work is well critiqued and studied he does not meet my criteria for a major writer His work falls short in some of the fundamental requirements There are four specific criteria by which I define a Major American Writer The most important for the significance of an author is the relevance of the writings to human nature Timeless works of literature or poetry connect with the audiences innermost emotions The nature of the world is constant change and if the work of an author is not able to transcend the change it will be forgotten or obsolete One thing constant enough to be the focus of the work is the human condition Another criterion for a Major American Writer is that the substance of the work must also engage the reader Writing cannot be effective without an audience If the author has no impact on people the material written accomplished nothing Engagement may come about through the entertainment value or intellectual interest neither being of greater importance Style as well as substance is necessary when
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