Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor English Literature The University of Kashan, Kashan


This paper focuses on a number of American stories which helped educate people and bring about legal or social change. There are many stories which caused major or minor legal and political change, particularly, in the United States. Some of them are written by Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Upton Sinclair and Sidney Kingsley. After the publication of White Jacket by Melville the novel was distributed to the U.S. Senate which consequently outlawed flogging on naval vessels. Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is another notable example of a literary text which triggered an enormous social change in America; in this case, the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Sinclair’s The Jungle was influential in obtaining passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act. Kingsley’s play, Dead End raised awareness about poverty and the inadequacy of housing in the slums of New York City and was responsible for the Wagner Housing Bill which was passed by the U.S. Congress to provide financial assistance to the States and political subdivisions for the elimination of unsafe and unsanitary housing conditions. There are many such stories which helped ameliorate American society and this paper will discuss these works and their social and political backgrounds.