Cooper and Brown: Early American Literature

4 April 2015
This paper discusses in detail James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans and Charles Brockden Brown’s “Wieland” and their contributions to the development of American literature.

The author reviews in detail the “The Last of the Mohicans” and “Wieland”. She concludes that they are different in style and genre. Both Cooper and Brown contributed greatly to the development of a distinctly American literature. Cooper adapted the Romance; Charles Brockden Brown adapted the European Gothic novel to the American context. Cooper’s influence is seen in frontier fiction; Brown’s influence, in the works of Poe and Hawthorne.
“James Fenimore Cooper wrote in the vein of European Romantic writers like Walter Scott, while Charles Brockden Brown recreated the new form of the Gothic novel. Both adapted the original forms to the American experience, which meant not only embedding them in the land but also shifting the focus from aristocratic European characters to the common man in the democratic social order in America. Both Cooper and Brown elevated the common man over any ideas about the superiority of the aristocracy and did so in the American setting.”
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