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Themes in American Novels Essay Examples and Topics

Slavery Role in the American Literature

Stowe has claimed that the anti slavery groups questioned the morality of the white Christians who were at the fore front in the oppression of the Black people.

Consumerism in the 1960s in “A&P” by John Updike

He also shows the way people responded to the opportunities and challenges of the new times. The girls seem to rebel against the system and conventions of the society, as they dare come into the [...]

“The Day of the Locust” Novel by Nathanael West

In addition, because the movie relates to the period of the Great Depression in America, all the characters of the novel are obsessed with the American Dream, a stereotype, and an illusionary vision of happiness [...]

“Ask the Dust” Novel by John Fante

He is in search of inspiration and all he is doing is rushing here and there to find a hint of something that would make him write at least several lines of his new novel.

Slavery in “Flight to Canada” Novel by Ishmael Reed

In his novel Flight to Canada, Ishmael Reed blurs the boundaries between the prose and poetry as well as the past and the present to express his satirical criticism of the legacy of slavery even [...]

“Mumbo Jumbo” Afro-American Novel by Ishmael Reed

First of all, there is a need to point out that Reed is recognized as one of the most influential African American letters. The most interesting point I would like to highlight is related to [...]

Inner Conflicts in Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

Huck, the key character in the book, brings the collision of a sound heart and a deformed conscience, a conflict well illustrated through the theme of racism, civilized society, and slavery among others.

Characters and Themes in “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand

It is in such situations that Dagny works to keep the company in operation single-handedly even after her brother, James, the company's president, decides to overlook the troubles of the company.

Workplace Culture in Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener”

In this essay, the analysis of "Bartleby the Scrivener" helps develop a strong understanding of the culture of the modern workplace compared to the one preferred in the previous centuries and the factors that influence [...]

Racism in Ken Liu’s “The Paper Menagerie”

Also, it is a tragedy of the society the influence of which can be too devastating to heal."The Paper Menagerie" teaches the audience how ungrateful and cruel a child can become under the pressure of [...]

Emotional Burden in O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”

Jimmy Cross, a lieutenant enlisted to take care of the other soldiers is the victim of the guilt burden. Collectively, these soldiers experienced different forms of emotional torture, which boiled down to emotional burdens as [...]

Slavery and Identity: “The Known World” by Edward Jones

Moses is used to this kind of life and described by one of the other characters as "world-stupid," meaning he does not know how to live in the outside world. He has a strong connection [...]

Racism in Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal”

The main focus of the story is the problem of racism, particularly to African-American people in the United States. In terms of other issues that "Battle Royal" demonstrates and that are further developed in the [...]

“The Day of the Locust” and “Play It as It Lays”

This paper aims to explore the themes relating to the American dream and its associated emptiness and un-attainability as depicted in the two novels, The Day of the Locust and Play it as it Lays.

Dangerous Racial Tension in “Brownies” by ZZ Packer

Although the story is told from the point of view of the girl referred to as "Snot" by the troop, Arnetta could be considered the center point of the short story.

Traditions in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

In her short story "The Lottery," Jackson explores the problems of traditions and shows people's attachment to the established order in a negative light.

Lynching in “A Party Down at the Square” by Ellison

The practice of lynching could be considered one of the worst acts committed by the citizens of the United States. This date would place the events at the end of the period of extreme racism [...]

Lynching in Ellison’s “A Party Down at the Square”

What is even more because of the story's allegorical clues, concerned with the author's portrayal of "Bacote nigger's" burning by the crowd of White Southerners, readers are hinted at what may be the ultimate consequence [...]

Racism in “The Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison

The "Battle Royal" chapter in the novel brings rather controversial reactions and thoughts, due to its being a blend of relief for the main character, the shame for the abusive white society, and the pain [...]

Capital Punishment in Melville’s “Billy Budd, Sailor”

One of the reasons for the triumph of Billy Budd, Sailor in America and the United Kingdom, was the precision, with which the author portrayed the historical and cultural context, particularly Melville analyzed both issues [...]

Themes and Narration in “Black Boy” by Richard Wright

The events show that in the conditions of racism, the psychological deformation of a person occurs due to the formation of a feeling of inferiority in him or her and the cultivation of fear.

Life Meaning in “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom

Morrie questions the importance of spirituality and the ability of a person to love and be loved. The virtue is ridiculed by society and is considered to be a manifestation of the softness of the [...]

Search for Meaning in “The Lucky One” by Sparks

However, despite the consensus among critics, both the fate and the chance are methods that are used by the author to reveal a much deeper concept of the journey through which the protagonist searches for [...]

Binary Opposition in Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”

To transmit the message, Faulkner uses three binary oppositions: death life, the old the new, and the North the South. In this passage, Emily is compared to the soldiers who fell in the Civil War [...]

Dependence in Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild”

In spite of the fact that Butler rejected the idea that she intended to discuss the problem of the humans' enslavement in her work, it is impossible to ignore the accentuation of the issue of [...]

Human Violence in “Creatures” by Marisa Silver

Another subtle aspect of the story that may contribute to better understanding of James's motivation is his relationship with his own father.

Homelessness in “Light in August” and “Wise Blood”

The concept of home is commonly regarded in relation to the process of formation of individual identity, and, in almost every culture, the definition of a home serves as an indicator of a person's wholeness [...]

Themes in “Child of God” by Cormac McCarthy

The purpose of the present paper is to analyze the novel from several points of view. The character is a picture of savagery and primitivism.

Commercialized Writing in “Erasure” by P. Everett

Everett's subjects focus on social observations of the life of African Americans, as well as how it is disruptive by the existing stereotypes on the life of the black community.

The Novella “Billy Budd, Sailor” by Herman Melville

The work was published in 1924, and one of the reasons for its triumph in America and the United Kingdom was the precision, with which the author portrayed the historical and cultural context.

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

In the case of Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", the social-cultural factors that impede the main character's development are also the elements that contribute to her coming of age.

“The Crucible” a Play by Arthur Miller

In both cases, it can clearly be seen that it is fear that allows unreasonable and unlawful actions to continue under the guise of lawful actions that are for the common good.

“The Maid’s Daughter” a Book by Mary Romero

The book, The Maid's Daughter: Living inside and outside the American Dream, is a historical study and it covers the history of a woman, Olivia Salazar - the daughter of Carmen - an immigrant working [...]

Femme Fatale in Hard-boiled Fiction

The convention of the femme fatale is of great significance for the noir fiction as far as it can reveal the historical and cultural background of Los Angeles in the 1930s.

Analysis “The Bear” by Galway Kinnell

When the hunter says that he is aware of the bear and knows how the bear smells, means that he is extremely familiar with the hunting and especially, bears, as the unique scent is characteristic [...]

No Place of Grace

In the book No Place of Grace, the author mentions that the worker's anti-modern reaction to the changes can also be considered a complex mixture of protest and accommodation, leading to formation of a much [...]

A Rose for Emily

In this passage, close to the end of the short story A Rose for Emily, and at the end of Miss Emily's life as an eccentric figure in the life of the town, Faulkner literally [...]

‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy

People are prone to hunger and starvation, the man and the boy, for instance, are at the verge of starvation when they come across an apple orchard and a well.

President Cleveland Where Are You?

He gives the money to his brother who purchases a corsage for Sally and a new black shoe for the dance.

Representation of Women in History As Opposed To Fiction

The omission of women in history has been the cause of fictionalization that misrepresents the female gender. The ancient history of women is seen to suggest that the only role they played was in the [...]

The Gangster We Are All Looking For

The concept of family is predominant throughout and from the beginning of the story. When the father is ignoring the phone call and sees a man and his son on TV, it is apparent that [...]

Short stories analysis

This is one of the similarities in the style of these writers. This is one of the main details that be identified.

Arguing, Interpretation and Evaluation

The story reveals the narrator's experiences as she reveals how she was confined in her room by her physician and husband after giving birth ostensibly to allow her to recuperate.

The Hunger Games – Class inequality discussion

The beliefs and norms of the people in Panem are centred on the self-interest; they are obsessed to acquire the comfort and lifestyle of the affluent people.

The Hunger Games

The intense training depicts the importance of reward to the tributes. Further, the society is in touch with the preparedness of their tributes via media.

The Plunkitt of Tammany Hall

He was a member of the Tammany Hall that was in power in the City of New York. He was a strong opponent of the civil service law; in fact, he called it the curse [...]

Foodborne Illness in “The Jungle” and Today

There are a lot of products which cause foodborne illnesses in that time when innovative technologies allow to define the level of intoxication and the way how to destroy it, in that time when many [...]

Fifty Shades of Grey

Without their knowledge, the meeting between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey marks the beginning of a relationship that is the center of attraction in the book by EL James.

The Scarlet Letter

When examining the novel, it becomes clear that the writing style and the way in which the author delves into the Puritan way of life seemingly shows the double standards that existed at the time.

A Beautiful Mind

Based on an examination of the book, it is the opinion of the reader that the portrayal of the brilliance and personality of John Forbes Nash, Jr.is to a certain extent fiction mixed with a [...]

The Old Man and the Sea

It can also be stated that the novel itself has distinct religious overtones as evidenced by Santiago's reference to the crucifixion in the scene where the sharks came to eat the body of the marlin.

The Short Story “Lust” by Susan Minot

Even without the name of the main character, the audience can tell how she behaves and relates with others, which brings out the imbalance of power that exists between men and women particularly when it [...]

Snow Crash- by Neal Stephenson

Snow Crash almost declares the end of the world, with the powers of stopping it resting upon only the freelance hackers and the Mafia.

A Literary Analysis of William Faulkner’s Barn Burning

It is ironic in the sense that Abner is punished for his injustices to the wealthy yet the justice system does not consider the social injustices of the rich society to the poor.

House of Sand and Fog

As a result, Kathy is ready to start the strange and disgraceful relationships with Burdon in order to find a kind of security.

“Joyas Voladoras” by Brian Doyle

The head of the family is the father, the head of the pack is the leader, and its offsprings are also the members of the pack.

“The New Deal” Book report

The next chapter of the book explores more on the main subtopics of the piece of writing. According to the author, the increasing depression amongst the people triggered the creation of a public warfare.

Light vs. Dark Romanticism

As the narration continues and Katrina is wooed by Crane, Irving interrupts and expresses his imagination about the challenging and admirable nature of women.

The Silence Exercises

Through Kathleen Norris' exercise, I would be able to break free of all these stress-related issues in life and be at peace not only with myself, but with the environment in general.

Literature Analysis on “Girl”

The narrative "Girl" is a piece written by Jamaica Kincaid concerning a mother's attempt to teach her daughter about a woman's role in society.

Prose Analysis of “The Lamp at Noon”

The fact that it specifies whose cry it is, "of a woman", draws specific attention to the incomparable nature of a human being and the sound that is made. There is the loss of all [...]

Adulthood in Updike’s A&P

It is therefore likely that Sammy made the decision to quit his job so as to get the girls' attention. When the reader is first introduced to Sammy, it is apparent that he is the [...]

Sylvia Plath’s poetry

Therefore, in a strict play of the private incidents such as the death of her father with gangrene and his German lineage are presented in the poem to actually demonstrate Plath's abhorrence for her ancestry [...]

Jay Gatsby & Tom Buchanan: Compare & Contrast

In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald pays attention to the relationships between both Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan and Daisy Buchanan. Scott Fitzgerald's book is mainly focused on the relationship of Daisy with Gatsby and Tom, [...]

Loneliness in The Yellow Wallpaper

She is beginning to personify the wallpaper in her musings. To nearly the end, she is lucid about people's roles in her life.

A&P and Hills Like White Elephants

One can say that the first-person narration helps the writer to illustrate the conflicting motives that drive the behavior of the protagonist.

Elizer’s Struggle to Keep Faith in God

This was an indication that although his faith had started to change, he still had faith in God. He was able to come out of the holocaust with a stronger faith.

Formal Analysis of John Steinbeck’s ‘The Chrysanthemums’

Such characteristic features of American Realism as the focus on the middle class and upper class characters, the author's intention to make a positive social or moral influence on his readers, the author's concentration on [...]

Angels and Insects

Later on, one appreciates that although Matty lacked the physical appeal that Eugenia had, as well as the right social position, she was the one to watch in this novella. She was almost as white [...]

Aylmer’s obsession

After marriage, the only imperfection on her body, which is her birthmark, becomes unbearable to a point that he occasionally shudders when he sees it. He sees it as the only thing that prevents the [...]

Historical parallel to George Orwell’s 1984

Perhaps that is clearly illustrated by the quote that presupposes that whoever can control the past, has power to control the future; while whoever has the ability to control the present, wields the right to [...]

Land of Desire by William Leach

Leach is convincing in the justification of his main thesis: the businesspeople of the age took advantage of the changing social and economic patterns to change people's perception of the ideal life away from an [...]

Individualism as the Desire to Show Personal Grace

Proving the idea of the grandmother's domination, her individualism and the desire to show that her point of view should be listened to, it is important to conduct a close reading of the text.

The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill

He is so annoyed that he would like to go out and show her that he is not the hairy ape that she called him.