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English 104A-Final Paper

English 104A-Final Paper - December 5 2007 English 104A...

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December 5, 2007 English 104A Prof. Yunte Huang/TA: Meyerowitz The Autonomous and Peerless Writings of Gertrude Stein Over the course of history, one of the most influential and profound ways of expressing oneself has been through writing. Writing is defined as “the act of a person or thing that writes”(Dictionary.com). From the prehistoric cavemen to the epic novelists of today, there has always seemed to be a human fascination with writing. As the world has evolved year after year, century after century, the contemporary writings have always transgressed previously unforeseen boundaries to new and more modernistic forms of writing. The twentieth century was no exception to new stylistic forms of writing with vast new authors that came to the forefront. One such author who created a new unique approach to writing was Gertrude Stein. Gertrude Stein took zealous writing to a completely new level. Stein innovated a new abstract yet at times controversial writing style with a new cubist approach, constant repetition of seemingly similar sentences, various stylistic devices that make up the Steinese form of writing known today. Even when met with fierce opposition, Stein never seized to strike back at critics with her sometimes sarcastic and always witty prose. Stein influenced future writers with her creative new sense of writing in ways that continue to be seen today. Gertrude Stein formed a style of writing that is distinctive as it contained a style not before seen by another author. Stein lived at a time when the art form of cubism was popular. At nearly the same time that Cubism was gaining increasing popularity, Stein began molding a style of writing that would eventually evolve into the Steinese writing
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known today. Cubism encouraged Stein to create a radical new form of writing that broke away from previously standardized writing principles. As an art form, Cubism was characterized by a set of broken pieces put back together in an abstract format. The style of writing of Stein paralleled Cubism as her writings were characterized by sentences that were also abstract, seemingly out of place and unusual compared to previous generations. The abstract cubist-like style of writing is seen clearly in Stein’s “The Making of Americans.” One such instance is “Family living can be existing if not every one in the family living has come to be a dead one. Family living can be existing if there have come to be some existing who have not come to be dead ones” (Stein, 1149). The underlying meaning lies in the fact that a family is not defined in a certain set of boundaries, but simply a family can exist with two members or as many as fifty. The meaning of family in the American sense can be derived from all walks of life. There is no traditional family in America as there are families without a mother or without a father. The simple component of a family is simply a group of people bonded along bloodlines or close-relationship lines. The setup of “The Making of Americans” is non- conventional as the same subjects and verbs are used continuously.
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