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Nature and Supernatural in Post-Revolutionary American Literature

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The American Revolution left a deep mark on the history of the American literature, which was previously dependant on English literary model. Nonetheless, after the liberation of the USA, the American literature has obtained a romantic lining, evoking the nostalgic American wilderness in the hearts of the readers representing the free spirit of American nature, as opposed to the mythical transformation of the wilderness through the fear of unknown in the supernatural.

Many American writers enhanced the notion of nature and the supernatural in their writing at that period of time. Most of them described the features of characters of Americans through the allegory of the nature. Irvin, Dickinson, Poe, Hawthorne, Thoreau, and many others translated the events from the lives of ordinary people, symbolically portraying them through the events that happen in nature – landscapes they live in. The post-revolutionary American poets and writers addressed the nature of American character emphasizing it through the prism of the somewhat mysterious, detached wilderness, and independence of Native American land, which represented the new American identity. On the same level, Washington Irving, James Fennimore Cooper, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, and others were those, who established and developed the essential myth of America. They wrote about the American history imposing the mythical allegory of the Garden of Eden, as the destruction of the wilderness of the colonization times or the clash of the two cultures, which, interacting with each other, transfer the legends, the mystery of the unknown, and the wild free spirit.

American literature in the post-revolutionary times transcends the establishment of American identity and nationalism. Nevertheless, interacting with the spirit of the Native America, poets and writers of that époque transfer the meaning of the American identity through the entity with the natural and the supernatural. They use nature to portray the formation of the American characters and the supernatural to perform the mystical allegory of the American history.

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