The relationship between Literature and the American spirit
The essay starts from the basic idea that throughout history, the American spirit, as a collective multicultural unity was shaped by many socio-economic, political or ideological factors. Oversimplified, the basis of these factors can be seen as ideas containing values that helped shape the mentality of the collective identity in America. These ideas can be well found and their course chronologically followed in literature.
My basic intent is to exemplify and emphasize on the changes of the American mentalities and beliefs, the shaping and the misshaping of the American Dream using literary American works as examples. By doing so, I could cover some important factors that changed and shaped the American spirit.
I will start from the beginning, the first impressions on earth and the idealist goals of the newcomers using as an example Benjamin Franklin. The sublimity of the New World and further on ,of the new Continent, the purity and beatitude will be presented with examples from transcendentalists.
I will move on by covering chronologically important socio-economical events such as the Civil war, the puritan society, civil rights movement, ww1, ww2 using literary works as examples . I will also focus on writers that helped shape ideas unrelated to the realities of the time.
With the aid of some literary examples I could emphasize the way in which the American spirit , their ideas values and morals changed with America.
I will focus on the 20th century America and moving from the ???lost generation??? to the beat generation and into the modern times the goal is to describe the demise of the ???modern-urbanized??? American dream and the rise of the obsessive richness in commodities of the 21st century by emphasizing that the idea that nurtured the American spirit lost its original roots, changed its shape throughout history to become in modern times a global imperative: the basic desire of financial conquer.