American Literature of the Twentieth Century Essay

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The country as it was in the early part of the twentieth century was shaped toward regenerating and recovering from World War I, the Great Depression, and a lot of other socially-crippling disruptions that were forever altering the United States in a lot of different ways. Some of the changes were good, and others were not so good. The spirit of loyalty and patriotism were alive and thriving in the air and in everyone's hearts, and the literature of that time greatly reflects the influence that this surge of patriotism brought upon the American peoples.

Regionalism and the regional consciousness that came along with it is reflected greatly in many of the works in which we have read. Most all of the authors, including
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She so desperately wanted him to follow her thinking on the matter (which was grossly misshapen by the people in the town) and be happy about joining the war effort, and George could not do that, for that was not his ideal belief. George sacrificed all that he believed in on a whim in a drunken stupor, and it cost him the ultimate sacrifice: his life. Ambrose Bierce's short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" also reflects the notions of loyalty to a cause and to yourself and sacrifice. Peyton Farquhar also was feeling like he was forced to take part in something that he did not truly want to do. He did not want to abide by the rules, he chose to go against the grain, against the government and break those rules, and he also paid the ultimate sacrifice of his life and his spirit. Though he was loyal to his family, he had to do what he had to do and he sacrifice a lifetime of memories with them because of that. The quote "Suppose a man-a civilian and student of hanging- should elude the picket post and perhaps get the better of the sentinel," said Farquhar smiling, "what could he accomplish?" " This showed the smug willingness of Farquhar to go against the grain and do something even though he knew that no one else would be foolish enough to attempt it. Sarah Orne Jewett's story "A White Heron" is perhaps the best example of combining the two social values of loyalty and sacrifice of all of the things that we have had the

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