American Literature

   Reading Journals for Irving  

Pick the question that you feel that you can answer the most completely.
There is no one question that is "better" than the other one

  1. Washington Irving was considered to be the first "literary" writer of any quality to come out of America, at least by the European critics (remember DeTocqueville's statement on the Beginnings of American Lit handout). Explain what there is in these two stories that makes them of "Quality."   answer this journal 
  2. Irving was dedicated to trying to create a heritage and culture for Americans that could compete with that of Europe. Show how these stories reflect that impulse in Irving.    answer this journal

  3. Irving called his stories "sketches." There was no such thing as a short story yet. Explain, as best as you understand the short story, what the difference is -- why aren't Irving's stories short stories?  answer this journal

  4. Irving always seemed to have "something up his sleeve" when it came to the endings of the stories. Pick one of his stories and show how the ending can be read more than one way. answer this journal