Reflections on American History Learning

During the months that I was completing the American History online course, I learned so many interesting facts, ideas, and concepts as wells as I’ve read a lot of historical stories, and poems. At the beginning of this journey, I was very melancholy and unmotivated to read and do the assignments; and it was extremely difficult to find motivation. Once I got past the first assignments, I got more into it, and I got more pizzazz for completing the tasks ahead. I got a lot out of the reading assignments, and I learned about interesting characters that have influenced American culture to this day. A couple of historical figures that have really stuck out to me were Walt Whitman, Edgar Allen Poe, and Herman Melville. These men have different minds and all have contributed so much to society. Their writings have influenced me greatly.

Walt Whitman is “America’s best poet”, and I agree with this statement. He brought free verse poetry into America. He broke the rules that former poets had set; his writing is unique compared to any other poet in history. One of the things that set him apart from everyone else is the fact that he wrote about personal things that happened in his life. To me, his poems sound lovely, and have a ring of hope, and I can really connect to him. However, I don’t really connect to this next poet, I do have great admiration of his works; this man would be Edgar Allen Poe.
Not the happiest man during the Romantic era, but this man’s poetry has gone down in history, some have been on television shows, and one of his most famous works is now being made into a movie; this man is Edgar Allen Poe.

His use of imagination was an escape for him from the world, and that is what allowed him recognition as a poet from the Romantics. He also invented the detective stories we have now today! He was a truly remarkable man, and a wonderful poet. Someone who is similar to Poe is the author of the famous novel Moby Dick.
Herman Melville was a terrific writer and poet. He was influenced William Shakespeare and his prodigious works. Melville didn’t start taking writing to heart until he was 25 of age, but before then he was busy traveling the sea, and visiting other countries. He used many of his adventures to influence his writings. These adventures were inspiration for his classic writing, Moby Dick! He was practically the founder for the anti-transcendentalist movement.

I have read works from all kinds of writers, and poets while taking this course. The writers whose works grabbed my interests were Herman Melville, Edgar Allen Poe, and of course Walt Whitman. These men greatly shaped America’s literature into what it is today. After finishing American Literature, I will have a new sense of where and how America has grown as a country, as well as a nation.