American Ethnic Literature the Nature Essay

Pages: 3 (952 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History


Ethnic writing comes from a place that is not typically American, so the literature of people who do not necessarily fit the majority mold would necessarily be different. According to Krys Lee (2012), herself an ethnic writer, people from a certain heritage talk about the experiences of the culture. Often, like Ellison, they talk about that experience as it relates to their time in the United States. A country that has such a great amount of diversity that seems to push it into the shadows at times. Ethnic writers would differ from traditional American writers in their use of voice.

Many people who have tried to expand the American literary tradition see the world through a different lens than traditional American writers. This is because they have seen things that those writers cannot. American writers, that can be termed traditional, have likely grown up in a cocoon of Americana that is much different from the killing fields of Cambodia or the slums in Bombay. Even those who are second, third…generation Americans have a different perspective because they have seen the dark underbelly of the society. Asians are smart and run groceries; Hispanics drive beat up Chevys and have lots of kids; blacks people the welfare rolls. These are stereotypes that a white American does not have to deal with, but they can shape an opinion that comes out in literature that is tilted away from the traditional American canon.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on American Ethnic Literature the Nature Assignment

Because of this difference in perspective, Americans from different ethnicities may have a different outlook on liberty, opportunity and equality. Someone raised in South Chicago tenements may not think that opportunity exists. Someone who has parents who emigrated to the United States from Soviet Russia may have a different perspective of liberty. Equality is a word found in the Declaration and Constitution to many, but it is not necessarily found in a society that ignores its citizens. Due to the different experiences that many ethnic writers have had growing up a minority or emigrating from a third world country, the literature that they produce may look very different from that of a traditional American writer.

The good thing about that is the fact that diversity is what is injecting the American canon with a new voice. The opportunity for these writers comes in the form of the new media transfers such as the internet and social media. Their message is entering the American literary tradition because they are now able to disseminate it.


Ellison, R. (1952). Invisible Man. New York: Random House.

Lee, K. (2012). Should we still be using the term 'ethnic literature'? Huffington Post. Retrieved from _b_1291861.html

Tweten, C. (2011). Tweten, C. (2011). What is the American literary canon? Retrieved from [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "American Ethnic Literature the Nature" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

American Ethnic Literature the Nature.  (2012, May 2).  Retrieved December 2, 2021, from

MLA Format

"American Ethnic Literature the Nature."  2 May 2012.  Web.  2 December 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"American Ethnic Literature the Nature."  May 2, 2012.  Accessed December 2, 2021.