American Ethnic Literature Essay Sample

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American Literature has been an important part of American people for centuries. What makes this type of literature great is that the authors vision is objective and not one sided. Several of the American authors are still considered to be great writers. The books that were written by these authors are still read by people of all ages around the United States. These books are now considered classic literature. American literature is considered American because it was written by American people. Overall, “editors appear to use an inconsistent combination of citizenship, geographical location, language, and subject matter (that is, the subject of America and the United States) (Hames-Garcia, p. 1, 2003). Most of the American literature was written by white men. In order to be considered American literature it has to be about the United States. There have been many great authors that write about science fiction, but because it is unreal their literature is not considered American literature. Politics also played an important role in literature.

It was of great importance to portray the American character as an “exceptional entity” (Hames-Garcia, p. 1, 2003). In the early twentieth century, writers who were not American white men were not allowed to publish their works. Women writers as well as Black, Latino, American Indian, and immigrant writers were left out altogether. This happened because other ethnic groups were considered to be inferior. It was until the 1970s that feminist began to speak out and rebel against the oppression they were faced with. It is thanks to this reform that the American literature holds diversity. It allows for men and women to have the same opportunity to express their feelings without having to worry about their race or sex. Another type of literature is ethnic literature. This type of literature is often read as an autobiography, even when making no such claims. This is written on a first person point of view. The author’s point of view is specific to their personal beliefs and life stories. It is difficult for this type of author to provide an objectionable story. They are blinded by anger because of what they had to live.

The topics these authors write about covers racism and suppression. The definitions and topics will vary depending on the life experiences that each author or their families experienced. The storyline will also vary because each author lived different time periods, and of course things change over time. Ethnic Literature is great because it now holds different point of views. Every person has a different perspective on what happens around them. What allows for this to be great is that each person is entitled not only to have their own belief, but they are able to express their feelings with freedom. No person is afraid of what repercussion might come because they decided to write from their heart. The truth allows readers to realize that life has been harder for some people more than others. It is easy to forget what our ancestors had to experience in order for each individual to encounter freedom.

It is now easy for men and women of all races to walk freely around their city. This however came at a price, and this type of literature allows human beings to read and experience in some small way what it was like to live in a world were the color of your skin as well as your sex had a lot to do with the quality of life you lived. American Literature will continue to play an important role in American people. The only way to enjoy this type of literature is to introduce our younger generations to it. This is the perfect material needed to give to young readers so that they can value the lifestyle they are allowed to live today. It is up to us to keep this tradition alive so that our future generation can enjoy it as well.


Michael Hames-Garcia. (2003). Which America is ours? Marti’s “Truth” and the foundations of
“American literature”. Modern Fiction Studies, 49(1), 19-53. Retrieved October 25,
2009, from Research Library. (Document ID: 328665241).
Yonjae Jung. (2004). The New Americanist Intervention into the Canon. American Studies
International, 42(2/3), 213-225. Retrieved October 26, 2009, from Research Library.
(Document ID: 676208971).

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