The Frontier Movement is a period in American history that refers to the westward movement of Americans toward the Pacific Ocean during the mid-1800s lasting until the early 1900’s. This movement was characterized by an expansionist zeal for opportunity and adventure, but was also heavily characterized by widespread social oppression and reform. It was during this time that both authors and reformists were inspired to write and share their ideas, many of which called attention to the often ignored social injustices of the time. These author’s ideas not only were inspired by the movement (the beginning of American Literature), but also heavily fueled and contributed to the movement in return. Authors Mark Twain and Susan B. Anthony, for example, played an important role in the frontier movement through their writings as they used these to convey the feelings they held toward America’s crooked social discrimination and socio-economic disparities.
Mark Twain and Susan B. Anthony are considered to be two of America’s first American Literature authors. Mark Twain, known as the “Father of America Literature”, became an author in the West after the end of the Civil War. Susan B. Anthony, known as one of the first women’s activists, works focused mainly on the gender inequality customary of the time. Both of these author’s works are recognized as being bold and reflecting much of the American frontier movement’s attitude and ailments. Their works helped fuel their readers understanding of who they were and helped inspire their audience in the spirit of the frontier movement.
Mark Twain’s works often embodied the newly discovered American frontier spirit of individuality and adventure. His works were both entertaining and encouraged Americans to create their own destiny. This was both a popular and significant notion during the frontier movement as it embodied the idea’s Americans had about expanding westward in search of a new life. In addition to his inspirational and humorous works, his writings also addressed the social discrimination he witness during the era of the frontier movement. Many of his works, like Huckleberry Finn for example, showed the possibility of bringing change to a world dominated by racism and foolishness. His works both captured American’s imagination, inspired American’s frontier attitude, and called attention to social wrongs.
Susan B. Anthony’s works focused more on the boldness of the American. Rather than idolizing the spirit of America, she often called Americans out on the social injustices prevalent throughout America during the frontier era and promoted change. She called attention to both American racism and especially gender inequality. While Americans were beginning to identify the distinctly American characteristics they took pride in, Susan B. Anthony identified the aspects of American life that Americans came to realize they should be ashamed of. Her writings and causes were bold, reflecting the rugged American Spirit, but her works also helped shape the social aspects of the American Frontier movement.
The frontier movement of America marked the beginning of American identity, and thus the beginning of American Literature. It was this movement that influenced the works of becoming authors, many, who in turn, influenced the frontier movement. Mark Twain and Sarah B. Anthony both contributed to the frontier movement through their writings in that they helped Americans realize their identity. During the frontier movement, Americans began to see themselves as an adventurous and bold people, and it was these authors who helped Americans gain and develop an understanding of who they were, even though their ideas were often negative. In short, by providing Americans with literature about who the American people were, the authors helped inspire Americans to express this new attitude of adventure and recognize American social values in the Frontier Movement.