Literary Art in Digital Performance: The Technological and Digital Evolution of American Identity

  • Abstract:

    The aim of this project is to discuss the ongoing evolution of American identity through the influence of technology and the New Media. We will look at how technology and digitalization have contributed to altering and challenging the concept of identity, and their consequent redefinition of concepts such as individualism, privacy and freedom. The focus of this research is to analyze the relationship between technology and identity in literature, observing how literature, as a mirror of society, portrays the problematization of identity. This case study will look at five influential novels in American literature, examine examples ranging from the telegraph, to the modern Internet. After a broad discussion where we will define both individualism and identity, we will then narrow down our analysis to the novels, which chronologically trace a path and consequently lead us to the current challenges in defining an American identity. The ultimate aim of this research is to find a possible definition for the new concept of American identity, and thus to respond to the question “Who are We?”, the unresolved question that best exemplifies the ongoing dilemma in defining America’s National identity.