Compare Various Types of Realistic Writing

Consider the “West” in the works of Twain, Harte, Red Cloud, and Hopkins. How do they see it differently and similarly? How do they see its potential terms of the “American Dream”?
‘West’ comes across as a fascinating subject for American writers. For Mark Twain, the West held great fascination. ‘Roughing It’ shows how intently the West affected Twain as it depicts a young boy leaving to Lake Tahoe to become a ‘timber baron’ in the Wild West (Perkins and Perkins, 2007, p 143). The West offered prosperity, which was the quintessential American dream. However, for Bret Harte, the American dream remains a remote reality, even though his writings revel in the West, especially, California. In ‘The Outcasts of Poker Flat’, the lines, ‘With him life was at best an uncertain game’ (Perkins and Perkins, 2007, p. 485) shows Harte’s belief that the American dream is unattainable.

For Red Cloud and Hopkins, the West was their home, so when the settlers began to invade, they felt that their settlement and their existence is threatened. Red Cloud’s speech to the Cooper Union in 1870 in New York shows his views: ‘All I want is right and justice’ (Perkins and Perkins, 2007, p.493). This is considered as the precursor of the demands of equality and justice for different American communities. A similar undertone is sensed in the writings of Sarah Hopkins, a prominent female Native American Activist who wrote, Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims’. In her narrative, the violent invasion by the Whites around the 1840s, is vivid and emotive (Perkins and Perkins, 2007, p.495). For both Red Cloud and Hopkins, the West represents its own identity and this identity represents the American Dream.

References
Twain, M (1884) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In Perkins, G, and Perkins, B, Eds. (2007).  The American Tradition in Literature, Volume II, 12th edition. (142-143) New York: McGraw-Hill
Harte, B (1869). The Outcasts of Poker Flat. In Perkins, G, and Perkins, B, Eds. (2007).  The American Tradition in Literature, Volume II, 12th edition. (484-491) New York: McGraw-Hill
Cloud, R (1870). All I want is Peace and Justice. In Perkins, G, and Perkins, B, Eds. (2007).  The American Tradition in Literature, Volume II, 12th edition. (492-493) New York: McGraw-Hill
Hopkins, S.W.,(1840) Life Among the Piutes. In Perkins, G, and Perkins, B, Eds. (2007).  The American Tradition in Literature, Volume II, 12th edition. (494-498) New York: McGraw-Hill