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Thread: American Classic Literature

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    American Classic Literature

    I was wondering if someone could give me a list of good books I could read that are considered 'american classic literature'. i have to read one for every grading period in my english class, and my second grading period is coming close, and I have no clue what to read. I already read 'The Scarlet Letter' by N.Hawthorne, but I want some really good books. Thanks!!

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    Ride the Wave of Life
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    Ray Bradbury and/or Victor Hugo.

    All of Hugo's books are very, very long and in depth, with many twists and heart tugs (Les Mesirables and The Hunchback of Notra Dame); bradbury's are more modern American abstract and filled with aestetic meaning (Something Wicked This Way Comes).

    both are awsome, also if you just read 'the Scarlet Letter' try reading Arthurm Miller's 'The Crucible'

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    Those books do sound good! But I have to ask, are they considered American Literature? I thought The Hunchback was in France and considered French Literature?

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    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    I was wondering that too...
    Classic Americans are more like Little Women and Tom Sawyer?
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    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
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    Ride the Wave of Life
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    haha yes, i just have a bad habit of reading too quickly through short posts and missed the 'american' part.

    but deffinalty stick to 'The Crucible' and 'Something Wicked This Way Comes'

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    Ah, where to start, where to start! Is your search limited mainly to novels, or does it include short stories and poetry?
    Good American fiction I recommend: J.D. Salinger, Henry David Thoreau, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, more Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, Stephen Crane, Jonathan Edwards, James Fenimore Cooper, O. Henry, Henry James, Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, and Frederick Douglass, to name some.
    If your search includes poetry: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, . . . and for some reason I cannot think of many (ha-ha, oh me). I will try to post again later for poets.

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    Peace is this way Jester's Avatar
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    How about As i Lay dying by william Faulkner... its pretty good.
    if you can do plays i'd suggest our town, short i think its by something wilde, sorry my memories off
    "It all comes down to what we make of ourselves, eh?"
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    Who, ME? trismegistus's Avatar
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    Do Catcher in the Rye. It's a fast read and it's definitely in the canon. Jester is right about Our Town, it's a standard (Thornton Wilder). If you're allowed drama, also consider Williams: The Glass Menagerie or A Streetcar Named Desire.

    Other classics that are also good reads:
    The Great Gatsby
    Native Son
    Huck Finn
    Billy Budd
    Slaughter-House Five
    Deliverance
    Daisy Miller
    Walden
    The Autobiography (Franklin)

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    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    I think 'As I Lay Dying' is one book I found hard to read till the end... I was bored
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    Allow me to add a couple more authors: You really can't go wrong with The Call of the Wild/White Fang anything by Jack London. Maybe read a couple of his short stories (To Build a Fire etc..) to get a feel for his writing and whether it suits - this avoids feeling asthough you have given up on a book if it is not for you.

    Moby Dick by Herman Melville is literally a compulsive novel considered a classic.

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    King of Plastic Spoons imthefoolonthehill's Avatar
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    I like Hemmingway.
    Told by a fool, signifying nothing.

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    Amen imthefoolonthehill. Hemingway, Hemingway, Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Stein, and more Hemingway. I've heard the French like to take credit for Hemingway and Stein but I think you'll be fine, they were both American writers.

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    I'm not really checking up on whether or not these are American (which I'm not sure if means from either north or south continent, or means "U.S.A.", but going with the latter), but I believe they are. I also don't know what the qualifications for classics are, but these are all for the most part not very recent and pretty well respected as literary accomplishments...

    "Fahrenheit 451" or "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury
    "The Red Badge of Courage" by Stephen Crane
    "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison
    "As I Lay Dying" or "The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner, two of his shorter but no less excellent works
    "Slaughter-house Five", "Cat's Cradle", or "The Sirens of Titan" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
    "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller
    "The Sun Also Rises", or "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway, or "For Whom the Bell Tolls" if you're up for a longer read.
    "Native Son" by Richard Wright

    Oops, hit submit a bit early
    Anything Twain's a good choice as well...

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    This bit confusing since there are some posts mentioning Catch 22 and/or martian chronicles...i thught the thread title is classic..Please do correct me if im wrong.
    I think Hardy's writings are awesome and so do Poe's

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    pregnant with ideas,, rocksea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mono
    If your search includes poetry: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, . . .
    am reading letters of emily dickinson which portrays some aspects of her life!! it is great,, she was one of the greatest letter writers too!
    Last edited by rocksea; 10-19-2004 at 10:45 PM.

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