The Late Twentieth-Century Writers Themes and Techniques


The American literature of the twenty-century has been causing a lot of discussions about themes and techniques. This study is aimed to carry out a brief literature review to establish and provide definitions for themes and literature techniques of such authors as Ralph Ellison, Saul Bellows Jack Kerouac, Toni Morrison Rudolph Anaya, Amy Tan, Annie Dillard, N. Scott Momaday, Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez and Richard Powers.  Despite many studies, there seems to be a perception on the literature problem that cause misunderstandings and a remedy to the literature conjecture. Some of the factors that need to be discussed are how these techniques and themes are perceived by readers. In addition, this study is aimed to demonstrate which themes and techniques are actively used by the American writers of the late twenty-century.

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Ralph Ellison

Ralph Ellison is one of the most famous American novelists of the 20th century. In addition, he is known for being scholar and literature critique. The majority of people are acquainted with Ralph Ellison by his novel The Invisible Man. The Invisible Man is a story about an African-American with a “color problem”. Due to lyrical digression, Ralph Ellison demonstrates how a color can render oneself invisible. The novel saw the world in the middle of the 1950s and it had a great success at once. Black nationalism is the major topic that was discussed. Moreover, Ellison emphasizes on relationships between Marxism and black people in aim to demonstrate the huge problem of the American society.

Saul Bellows

Saul Bellows is a Canadian-American writer who was born in June 1915 and passed away a decade ago. This legendary writer has received the Pulitzer Prize, the National Medal or Arts and the Nobel Prize for Literature. Black humor and allegory are two literature techniques that are usually used by Saul Bellows. There are three novels Saul Bellows is famous with: More Die of Heartbreak, The Bellarosa Connection and Ravelstein. Usually the author uses black humor related to people and allegory to objects. No doubts Saul Bellows is one of those complex American writers that require readers to analyze and contemplate in order to find the truth or any answer.

Jack Kerouac

Most of his lifetime Kerouac spent a while wandering the expanses of America or simply at home with his mother. Faced with a rapidly changing country, Kerouac sought to find his place in it, that at one point led him to reject the values of the 1950s. His novels are aimed to manifest a desire to break free from social patterns and find the true meaning of life. Finding could lead to the development of his spiritual teachings such as Buddhism, is to travel around the world. No doubts such literature techniques as digression are demonstrated in many books which are sometimes referred to as the catalyst of the counterculture of the 1960s. The most famous novels of Kerouac are The Dharma Bums and On The Road.

Toni Morrison

Since his start in the writing career, Morrison pushed participation in an informal circle of writers and poets of Howard University, who was going to discuss the works of its members. At one of the meetings, it came with a story about a black girl who longed to have blue eyes. Later on this story was the basis for Morrison’s first novel, The Bluest Eye” – and for the time being the most famous one. Later in the early 1970s, Toni published Sula novel that also was telling a story, but this time she came out with a story of black woman. In a year, this novel was successfully nominated for the the National Book Award the United States.

Rudolph Anaya and Amy Tan

Rudolph Anaya was born in 1937. During his short-term life, he managed to leave more than thirty novels including Bless Me, Tortuga, Heart of Aztlan and others. As for Amy Tan, she was born later in the middle of the 1950s. Never-the-less, these authors use the same literature techniques and themes.  Disposition and nonsense are two major themes that Anaya and Tan use in their novels.

Annie Dillard

Amy Tan is an American writer of Chinese origin. Her novels are devoted to the relationship of mother and daughter, the issue of the identity of the Chinese in America. The Hundred Secret Senses is one of the most famous novels by Amy Tan. No doubts Amy Tan is related to mother and daughter relationships. Millions of mothers all over the world find answers to be in touch with their daughters. Millions of daughters all over the world are happy to find Tan’s books and they teach them how to live and stay in peace with their mothers.

Scott Momaday

Scott Momaday was born in the middle of the 1930s. This American writer of Indian origin was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He boasted of 20 honorary degrees from various colleges and universities. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize  and brilliant novelist, it is no surprise this author is famous all over the globe.  In 2007, he was awarded the US National Medal of Arts for his work related to the preservation of Native American culture.

Sandra Cisneros and Julia Alvarez

Sandra Cisneros is an American writer who likes to set experiments. Allegory and black humor are two favorite literature techniques that are being used by this author. As for Julia Alvarez, she lived in Dominican Republic and moved to the USA in a while. This author is famous for such novels as Something to Declare, Seven Trees, In the Name of Salome, The Secret Footprints, The Woman I Kept to Myself. Moreover, Julia Alvarez boasts of numerous novels that have been filmed.

Richard Powers

This novelist is a winner of the prestigious literary award in the category “fiction” was the writer Richard Powers. He received the award for his novel The Echo Maker “Calling echo” the newspaper reported The New York Times. Powers novel tells about the drama of a young man suffering after a serious car accident a rare neurological disorder – so-called “karpasa” syndrome. He takes his sister for the impostor, who, in spite of everything, trying to help his brother and calls for help well-known specialist. For the doctor the patient presents a unique opportunity to make a revolution in science. Winner of the National Book Award for poetry named Nathaniel Mackey, the author of a collection of Splay Anthem. Former journalist of the newspaper The New York Times by Timothy Egan received the award for best documentary book – The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl.

Award for the best children’s book received MT Anderson, author of the novel The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing. National Book Award size is 10 thousand dollars.


To compare and contrast, the American Literature is one of the most vivid with its literature themes and techniques. Black humor and contamination, disposition and lyrical digression, nonsense and unreliable narrator are just a few literature techniques that are being used by American authors by the late twentieth century. No doubts these themes make literature complex but help to realize the truth leitmotif of the author.

Deep literary activities should be carefully and sparingly using standard methods (epithets, similes, metaphors, irony, allusions, puns, and so on. n.). The secret, which for some reason are rarely disclosed, is that they are secondary. Indeed, learning to write literary works are often interpreted as a criticism of the ability to use certain literary devices.

What will the awareness and understanding of the essence of writing and the writer of a man? Figuratively answer: about the same as fins give to someone who is trying to go. If a person does not know how to swim, fins are useless to him. That is, the stylistic tricks of language can not be an end in itself for the author. Few know how literary devices are called. Must be able to enthrall people with his thoughts, fantasies.

Any product, regardless of its size or artistic, is based not only on the features of the language, but also directly to the poetic sound. This does not mean that certain information should be transmitted to the rhymes. It is necessary that she was soft and beautiful, to flow like poetry.

No doubts , literary artistic techniques are quite different from those that people use in everyday life. The average person usually will not pick up the words, it will give out such a comparison, metaphor, or, for example, an epithet that would help him quickly to explain anything. With regard to the authors, they make it more beautiful, sometimes even too pretentious, but only when required by the product as a whole or its individual character in particular.