Bill Bryson´s View Both of Great Britain and the United States of America in Notes from a Small Island and Notes from a Big Country: A Comparative ... in the Context of National Stereotyping Oliver Baum

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Bill Bryson´s View Both of Great Britain and the United States of America in Notes from a Small Island and Notes from a Big Country: A Comparative ... in the Context of National Stereotyping  by  Oliver Baum

Bill Bryson´s View Both of Great Britain and the United States of America in Notes from a Small Island and Notes from a Big Country: A Comparative ... in the Context of National Stereotyping by Oliver Baum
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Seminar paper from the year 2007 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 3,0, University of Marburg (Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik), course: Transatlantic Stereotyping - Views From / About Both Sides of the Ocean, 46 entriesMoreSeminar paper from the year 2007 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 3,0, University of Marburg (Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik), course: Transatlantic Stereotyping - Views From / About Both Sides of the Ocean, 46 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Criticism of Bryson’s novels is not advanced but his narratives can be investigated interms of genre, intertextuality, language, and nationality.

This paper expands on the topic ofBryson’s view both of Great Britain and the United States of America by means of nationalstereotyping as it emerges from his novels Notes from a Small Island (1995) and Notes from aBig Country (1998). I maintain that Bryson depicts Britain and America in an authentic andeducative as well as hilarious and exaggerated manner to emphasize differences between thenations in question.

I will prove my thesis that Bryson both criticises and praises British andAmerican values which affect the national character. Bryson conveys his national views bothfrom the perspective of an insider and outsider.William “Bill” McGuire Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951.

In 1973, hetravelled to England where he became acquainted with his wife, Cynthia Billen, with whomhe has four children. Bryson lived in Yorkshire, returned to America to graduate in 1995, andresided with his family in Norfolk, in 2003.

While in America Bryson is well-known forelaborating on the English language, he accomplished bestseller standing with travelogues inGreat Britain.1 Although he claims not to be a travel writer because he “stumbled into thisgenre”, Bryson composes “books on travel and the English language” in which his“wanderlust and eccentricity” promise a unique reading adventure (Oder 191).Travel writing is a neglected but miscellaneous genre of ancient times whichflourished in the sixteenth century and encompasses narratives of expansionism, such asencyclopaedic accounts of foreign nations, and became the principal negotiator of propagatingstereotypes in colonial novels.

While Bryson’s journey novel Notes from a Small Islanddepicts the Great Britain he adores, he grudgingly wrote columns about America whichresulted in his journalistic novel Notes from a Big Country.2



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