Look Homeward, Angel Themes

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The American Experience

Wolfe is interested in portraying a representative American experience and an allegory of American youth in his novel. Although Wolfe is often associated with expatriate American writers such as Hemingway and Fitzgerald, and made several long trips to Europe while he was writing Look Homeward, Angel, the author saw himself within the American tradition. Wolfe would not have deemed his writings "modernist" in the international sense of the term. He is better classified as an American romantic.

This is not to say that Wolfe's first novel is not innovative or daring; indeed, no one would publish it except Charles Scribner's Sons (a firm famous for publishing innovative modernist works). Even though Wolfe worked within the American tradition and was compared to writers such as Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau, he was attempting to establish a new form of American romantic writing in a modern context...

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This section contains 592 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Look Homeward, Angel Study Guide
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