In the American Grain - Study Guide Jacataqua Summary & Analysis

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Williams introduces his discussion by asserting that terror makes everything larger, that the emotional grandeur of the observer makes the observed powerful, significant, and even heroic. The lure of romance, he writes, grows from this phenomenon, one that comprises what colonists experienced. At the same time, he maintains, the legends of terror, horror, and dread have no counterpart. There is no "corresponding beauty of spirit. . ." The author adds that America cries out, seeks the good, but is essentially motivated by fear. This in turn "makes us the flaming terror of the world." This fear, this wealth, complete with cold, scientific untouchability, characterizes American life, and simultaneously fortifies.

Defining further, the writer discusses America's love of violence, how it thrills at big fires and explosions, how its people thrive on fighting and fighting off the "magnificence and crave not less but more of...

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This section contains 854 words
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In the American Grain from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.