PowerPoint Presentation - American Realism & Naturalism by HC120913033833


									American Realism & Naturalism

  No More Romantic Sunshine &

 Began during the Civil War &
  continued into the early 20th
 Reaction to Romanticism &
  Transcendentalism: CONTRAST
 Fertile literary environment
    –   Rising middle class & literacy rates
                   Social/Political Context
   Reaction to Civil War suffering
   Invention of photograph
    –   Captured true life
   Increased literacy & democracy = public hungry for
    truth & awareness
   Abolitionism & post-slavery stories
    –   Dark side of America
   Origins of Muckraking journalism
    –   Expose corruption, particularly political & corporate
        (continues today…)
    –   Literature affected: tried to do the same
                      Realism: Values/Beliefs
   Contrasts w/Romanticism & Transcendentalism
   Describes life w/out Romantic subjectivity & idealism
   Romantics transcend the immediate to find the ideal;
    Realists focus on the immediate, the here & now and
    its consequences
   Present life as it is, not as it might be
   Like Romantics, focus on common person & daily
    human experience & progressive, but stimulated
    change through telling a story that reveals truth &
    portrays ugliness & cruelty, not preaching (left
    readers to draw their own conclusions)
   Multiple views of life: all classes, races, genders
    –   Particularly lower/middle classes
    –   Highlight class stratification/inequity
    –   Reveal the ugliness & cruelty of life, but leave
        conclusions to the reader
                            Literary Conventions
   Characters product of social & environmental factors
     – Often poorly educated or lower class

   Renders reality closely & often in minute detail, even at the
    expense of plot

   Settings usually familiar to the writer

   Character more important than plot

   Plausible events avoid sensational, overly dramatic elements

   Usually uses the omniscient point of view
                                 Conventions Cont.

   Natural vernacular/speech, not heightened or poetic (like
    the Romantics)
    –   Written just as spoken
   Tone is comic, satiric, or matter-of-fact
   Considers seemingly ordinary & uninteresting
    characters/events in order to extract full value & true
    –   Simple stories far more complex than they appear
   Realistically conveyed sexuality, both its dark and light
         Regionalism & Psychological

   Regionalism: focuses on small geographical
    area in attempt to reproduce speech &

   Psychological Fiction: character
    perspective—as “real” as any reality…
   Branch of Realism
   Philosophical position: scientific laws control life
   Heavily influenced by Darwinism
    –   Natural Selection
    –   Survival of the Fittest
   Darker & more fatalistic (fatalistic = determined by
    fate, not choice)
   Lives governed by heredity, instinct, & passion
    –   Nature NOT nurture….
   Forces beyond a character’s control restrict attempts
    to exercise free will or choice
   More negative than Realism
                                Famous Authors
                              •Jack London
Realist:                         –Call of the Wild, “To Build a
   Mark Twain                   Fire”
    –   Adventures of       •Stephen Crane
        Huckleberry Finn
                                –Maggie: Girl of the Street
   Stephen Crane
     – Red Badge of Courage
                            •Henry James
   Upton Sinclair              –Portrait of a Lady, Daisy
     – The Jungle
   William Dean Howells    •John Steinbeck
   Kate Chopin                 •Of Mice & Men (debatable)
    –   “Story of an Hour,”
        Desiree’s Baby, The

To top