2 population is increased almost by 10% overnight (ends of slavery) Population 42 million: Immigration now from eastern Europe, Russia, Scandinavian countries
3 Key to settlement, shapes subject matter and attitudes of writers
4 Civil War Growth of industry (causes slums and labor unrest) Agricultural problems - No more slavery
5 Takes the place of Romanticism.
6 Portrays ordinary life as real people live it. Attempts to show characters and events in an objective, almost factual way.
7 Portrays frontier life.
8 Portrays problems with cities, slums, and labor unions.
9 Realism finds meaning in the commonplace.
10 Realistic writers can deal honestly with characters that Romantic writers either avoided or glossed over such as factory workers, bosses, politicians and gunfighters.
11 naturalism shows the inescapable work through natural forces More than realism naturalism shows the inescapable work through natural forces.
12 People have no control over events (writers tended to be People have no control pessimistic) over events Naturalist writer Jack London The most notable Naturalist is Jack London
13 is decided by Destiny is decided by: 1. heredity 1. heredity 2. environment 2. environment 3. physical drives 3. physical drives 4. economic 4. economic circumstancescircumstances
14 (aka Local Color Movement) Also called Local Color Movement Writer Brett Harte is consider its founder.
15 Emphasis on specific geographical settings Emphasis on specific geographic setting; can be sentimental/ unrealistic Regional dialect (speech/ manners) dialect, speech, and mannerism
16 argue: is caused by the Civil War (a divided nation) vivid descriptions of landscapes Portrays vivid descriptions of landscapes. Seeks to capture essence of life in various regions of growing nation. seeks to capture essence of life in various regions of a growing nation
17 Henry James looks at distinctions in character motivation. Portrays social and psychological situations.
18 American Realism: Ambrose Bierce Mark Twain Frederick Douglass
19 The Most Important Event: THE CIVIL WAR
20 The Most Important Person: Bridge Poet Medic during the Civil War Personal friend of A. Lincoln 1st National Poet Laureate Song of Myself Leaves of Grass I Hear America Singing Walt Whitman
21 Walt Whitman s Stupid Prediction? A great literature will arise out of the era of those four years --Walt Whitman Almost none of the great American writers saw battle. Almost no one who fought wrote about it. The great book of the Civil War was written by a man who was not born until six years after the war had ended: Stephen Crane
22 The Rise of Realism Realism defined: Literature written from approximately that aims at a very minute fidelity to the common course of ordinary life. Subjects are taken from Slums Factories Corruption of politics Even prostitution
23 Realism as a Reaction to Romanticism No more: Romantic adventures Courageous acts and daring escapes Idealized escapes into nature Imaginative descriptions of the evil of the human soul
24 Naturalism A subset of realism that Claims to portray life exactly as it is, with detachment and objectivity Relies heavily on the growing scientific disciplines of psychology and sociology Attempts to dissect human behavior with objectivity like a scientist dissecting a frog Looks at human life as a grim human behavior Is super-influenced by Charles Darwin Believes that human behavior is determined by heredity and environment Sees Human beings as subject to natural forces beyond their control
25 Literature During this Period Short stories, novels, poetry, muckraking journalism Famous Writers: Mark Twain Harriet Beecher Stowe Stephen Crane Kate Chopin Henry James W.E.D Dubois Jack London Willa Cather The only reason for the existence of a novel is that I does attempt to represent life. -Henry James
26 Elements of Realism R O E Page 391 Real-life situations (ethical struggles & social issues) Ordinary characters & realistic events Everyday speech patterns are used to reveal class and geographic distinctions (regionalism) What type of literature were realists reacting against? Is realistic literature nonfiction, fiction, or both?
28 What Is Realism? Copyright 2001, The Multimedia Library Developed in the 19th century Depicts life accurately without romanticizing it Literature based on author s daily experiences Conflicts and social/political movements 28
29 Realism vs. Romanticism REALISM Emphasizes accuracy and objectivity Depicts common, everyday heroes Views the world scientifically Focuses on real-life situations ROMANTICISM Emphasizes imagination and emotion Depicts larger-thanlife heroes Views the world poetically Focuses on exotic, supernatural, and imaginary worlds
30 What Caused the Rise of Realism? Several events and conditions led to the rise of realism. 1. The Civil War 2. Advances in Technology 3. Advances in Science and Education 4. Social Changes
31 Cause #1: The Civil War The Civil War was a major cause of the rise of realism in America. The four-year conflict left bitter memories and economic desolation in the South Copyright 2001, The Multimedia Library destroyed cities, industries, and lives 31
32 Cause #2: Technology Technological advances also contributed to the rise of realism in America. Photography allowed people to see real, sometimes dismaying, images of war and poverty. Telephones and coast-tocoast railways allowed more people than ever to hear about events that affected the nation.
33 Cause #3: Science & Education Advances in psychology, biology, and geology contradicted long-held beliefs about the nature of humans, the world, and the universe. More people, especially women, minorities, and the poor, had access to an education and learned to read. Newspapers and the new mass-circulation magazines were widely read.
34 Cause #4: Social Changes Madison Bay Company In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, outlawing slavery, was ratified.
35 Social Changes (cont.) 35 Industrialization led to overpopulation and poverty in the cities. The rural economy of the South was devastated by the war and by the loss of slave labor. Many newly freed slaves and other Southerners moved to Northern cities looking for work. also leads to sharecropping in the South
36 Social Changes and Realism 36 Immigrants from strife-torn Europe arrived in great numbers. Northern cities grew quickly and without planning. Slums housed many of the new arrivals. The Granger Collection, New York Industrialization led to overpopulation and poverty in the cities.
37 Realistic Literature 37 Contains themes that center on contemporary society and on the lives of the middle and lower classes Describes the details, even when unpleasant, of everyday life Features characters drawn from the poor and outcast of society
38 Realistic Literature Avoids extravagant language in favor of simpler, everyday diction Tries to show real life without letting personal feelings or idealistic thoughts color the writing Brings science to the story to explain human behavior Psychology
39 American Realism: Regionalism Often called local color Focuses on characters, dialect, customs, topography, and other features specific to a certain region (e.g. the South) Three distinct types: Northeast Southeast Midwest Each type has a distinct voice, theme, and dialect
40 Why did Regionalism develop? Westward expansion before the railroads were built to connect the country The Civil War and the building of a national identity An outgrowth of realism with more focus on a particular setting and its influence over characters
41 American Realism: Naturalism The human struggle is fruitless as we are really at the mercy of nature and our surroundings God in any form either does not exist or does not care about human plights or struggles Life often does not make sense We exist simply because we do Humans overestimate their control over their lives and their importance to the universe Existentialism: questioning the validity of human existence this concept sits at the heart of all naturalistic literature
42 Points to Remember Realism, Regionalism, and Naturalism are intertwined and connected. Their influence has dominated most literature created since 1920, though the movement itself is dated to roughly that point. They are truly American modes of writing.
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