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What Makes a Story American Literature

Topic: Literature

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There is no rules or guidelines to classify certain stories as American Literature. So, what makes a story American Literature? “Rip Van Winkle,” by Washington Irving, is a profound short story and an example of American Literature. “Rip Van Winkle” is about a man who falls asleep for several years. He finally wakes up and he sees that the places around him have changed tremendously. When he returns to the village no one remembers him, except an old villager, who verifies his story. Washington Irving was born in 1783 and died in 1859. He was the first American writer to achieve fame in Europe. His mentors included other great American writers such as, Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Irving had written essays, biographies on George Washington and Muhammad, and short stories. He also spoke out against the mistreatment of Native Americans by Europeans (F.D. Hunt, ACAS 125 lecture, January 28, 2008). In writing “Rip Van Winkle,” Irving was the first belletrist, or...

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