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Literary Movements in American Literature Mrs. Hernandez.

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1 Literary Movements in American Literature Mrs. Hernandez

2 PURITANISM (1620s – 1783) Forms of writing: histories diaries chronicles poetry sermons: 1. explanation of biblical quotation 2. interpretation 3. application to the life of the Puritans

3 WRITERS OF THE PURTIAN PERIOD Poetry: Anne Bradstreet (1612 – 1672) Michael Wigglesworth (1631 – 1705) Edward Taylor (1645 – 1729) Diaries/Chronicles/Histories: William Bradford (1590 – 1657) John Winthrop (1588 – 1649) Cotton Mather (1663 – 1728) Edward Johnson (1598 – 1672) Mary Rowlandson (c.1636 – c.1678) Sermons: Jonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758)

4 HISTORICAL EVENTS Mayflower, Puritans found Plymouth Plantation arrival of Arbella Massachusetts Bay Colony founded Harvard University founded near Boston Bradstreet, Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up In America Wigglesworth, The Day of Doom first newspaper ~> in Boston Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” – The Great Awakening

5 Influences on America Puritan influence on American Values: · Urge to succeed and exceed · Belief that hard work necessary for happiness · Conviction that Americans are the chosen people

6 Enlightenment Rational approach to the world, belief in progress - Pragmatism – truth measured by practical experience, law of nature - Deism – God created the world but has no influence on human lives - Idealism – conviction of the universal sense of right and wrong; belief in essential goodness of man - Interest in human nature

7 Writers of the Enlightened Period Political Pamphlets Philosophical / Religious Tracts: Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790) Thomas Paine (1737 – 1809) Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) Alexander Hamilton (1757 – 1804

8 Historical Events Boston Tea Party – American Revolution 1776, 4 July – Declaration of Independence Treaty of Paris Federalist Papers: Alex. Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison American Constitution French Revolution

9 ROMANTICISM (1820s – 1861) Explored what it meant to be an American, an American artist Looked at American government and political problems The problems of war and Black slavery Emerging materialism and conformity Influence of immigration, new customs and traditions Sexuality; relationships between men and women The power of nature Individualism, emphasis on destructive effect of society on individual Idealism Spontaneity in thought and action

10 Characteristics of American Literary Romanticism 1. INDIVIDUALISM –Popularized by the frontier tradition –Jacksonian democracy – Supported Abolitionism

11 2. IMAGINATION –Reaction against the earlier age’s emphasis on Reason –Abandonment of literary tradition in favor of experimentation –“Organicism”: every idea held within it an inherent structure

12 3. EMOTION –F–Feeling is now considered superior to rationality as the mode of perceiving and experiencing reality –I–Intuition leads one to truth –T–Truth/reality are now highly subjective

13 4. NATURE –T–The means of knowing Truth God reveals himself solely through Nature Nature becomes a moral teacher –T–The actual subject matter of the Romantics

14 5. DISTANT SETTINGS –Both in terms of time and place –Used to comment on attitudes of the time period

15 The Fireside Poets America’s First Literary Stars

16 What are the Fireside Poets? First group of American poets to rival British poets in popularity in either country. Notable for their scholarship and the resilience of their lines and themes. Preferred conventional forms over experimentation. Often used American legends and scenes of American life as their subject matter.

17 Who were the Fireside Poets? Henry Wadsworth Longfellow William Cullen Bryant James Russell Lowell Oliver Wendell Holmes John Greenleaf Whittier

18 Lasting Impact Longfellow remained the most popular American poet for decades. When Poe criticized him, he was all but ostracized. Longfellow remains the only American poet to be immortalized by a bust in Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner They took on causes in their poetry, such as the abolition of slavery, which brought the issues to the forefront in a palatable way. Through their scholarship and editorial efforts, they paved the way for later Romantic writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman.

19 Writers of the Romantic Period James Fennimore Cooper (1789 – 1851) Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 – 1864) Margaret Fuller (1810 – 1850) Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862) Herman Melville (1819 – 1891) Harriet Beecher Stowe ( ) Louisa May Alcott (1832 – 1888) Poetry: “The Boston Brahmins” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882) Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 – 1894) Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892) Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)

20 Historical Events 1812 – War with England – Westward Expansion – Mexican War 1849 – California gold rush – Civil War Gettysburg Address 1863 – Emancipation Proclamation

21 REALISM (1860s – 1890s) life presented with fidelity fidelity in presenting the inner workings of the mind the analysis of thought and feeling function of environment in shaping the character set in present or recent past commonplace characters exposed political corruption, economic inequity, business deception, the exploitation of labor, women rights problems, racial inequity described the relationship between the economic transformation of America and its moral condition

22 American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism (ish)

23 Why did Realism develop? The Civil War The urbanization and industrialization of America As a reaction to Romanticism Increasing rates of democracy and literacy The emerging middle class Upheaval and social change in the latter half of the 19 th century

24 What is Realism? A faithful representation of reality in literature, also known as “verisimilitude.” Emphasis on development of believable characters. Written in natural vernacular, or dialect. Prominent from

25 Characteristics of Realism Reaction against Romanticism and Neoclassicism Factual is more important than the intellectual or the emotional Treats nature objectively, but views it as orderly Tells the stories of everyday people Use of details more important than plot In diction, seeks to use natural language Atheistic Life is driven by fate

26 Realist Writers Mark Twain William Dean Howells Henry James Edgar Lee Masters

27 Why did Regionalism develop? Dual influence of Romanticism and Realism 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

28 What is Regionalism? Often called “local color.” Focuses on characters, dialect, customs, topography, and other features specific to a certain region (eg. the South) Coincided with Realism and sharing many of the same traits. Prominent from

29 Regionalist Writers Kate Chopin—South Mary E. Wilkins- Freeman—New England Mark Twain—West Willa Cather— Midwest

30 Why did Naturalism develop? The swell of immigrants in the latter half of the 19 th century, which led to a larger lower class and increased poverty in the cities The prominence of psychology and the theories of Sigmund Freud Pessimism in the wake of the Civil War and Reconstruction Publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species

31 What is Naturalism? Applied scientific principles of objectivity and detachment to the study of human beings. Influenced by Darwinism (natural selection) and psychology (Freud) Posited that men were governed by heredity and environment. Often depict man in conflict with nature, society, or himself. Prominent from (ish)

32 Distinctions of Naturalism Views life from a deterministic, mechanistic point of view. Makes people the subjects of scientific case studies. Tone is often coldly scientific. Uses great masses of details; their informal arrangement reflects the chaotic state of society and nature. In diction, sometimes seems to seek out the ugly word for its own sake. Likely to present nature as chaotic. Studies society dispassionately to correct the evils found there. Drops artificial concepts of plot and action for a "slice of life." Main characters are usually low on the social scale; often morally frail

33 Naturalist Writers Stephen Crane Ambrose Bierce Jack London Edwin Arlington Robinson Katherine Anne Porter Charlotte Perkins Gilman Edith Wharton

34 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.

35 Realism Continued…. introduction of a new kind of characters: · industrial workers and rural poor · ambitious businessman and vagrants · prostitutes · unheroic soldiers

36 Writers of the Realist Period Mark Twain (1835–1910) Henry James (1843 – 1916) William Dean Howells (1837 – 1920) “Local Color” Sarah Orne Jewett (1849 – 1909) Kate Chopin (1851 – 1904) Bret Harte (1836 – 1902) Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860 – 1935)

37 Historical Events 1860 – Abraham Lincoln elected President – Civil War 1863, 1 Jan – Emancipation Proclamation: slavery abolished 1865 – 13th Amendment (abolition of slavery) 1869 – first transcontinental railroad 1870s – few individuals take control of big industries: steal, railroad, oil, meat-packing 1859 – Darwin’s The Origin of Species 1870 – Darwin's Descent of Man

38 NATURALISM (1890s ~> 1950s) Trend rather than a movement; never formalized nor dominated by the influence of a single writer A more extreme, intensified version of realism Shows more unpleasant, ugly, shocking aspects of life Objective picture of reality viewed with scientific detachment Determinism – man’s life is dominated by the forces he cannot control: biological instincts, social environment No free will, no place for moral judgment Pessimism Disillusionment with the dream of success; collapse of the predominantly agrarian myth Struggle of an individual to adopt to the environment Society as something stable, its predictability unabled one to present a universal human situation through accurate representation of particulars Faith in society and art

39 Writers of the Naturalist Period Henry Adams (1838 – 1918) Hamlin Garland (1860 – 1940) Frank Norris (1870 – 1902) Stephen Crane (1871 – 1900) Theodore Dreiser (1871 – 1945) Edith Wharton (1862 – 1937) Jack London (1879 – 1916) Sinclair Lewis (1885 – 1951) Upton Sinclair (1878 – 1968) John Steinbeck (1902 – 1968)

40 Historical Events of the Naturalist Period 1898 – Spanish-American War Theodore Roosevelt elected President first powered airplane flight

41 MODERNISM ( ) Construction out of fragments, collage technique, montage of images (cinema) The ideal of art is to regain the whole (like in The Waste Land) Work structured as a quest for the very coherence it seems to lack at the surface; order found in art (Porter), religion (Eliot) Sense of discontinuity, harmony destroyed in WWI Omission: of explanations, interpretations, connections, summaries, continuity Arbitrary beginning, advancement without explanation, end without resolution

42 Shifts in perspective, voice and tone Experimentation with time: flashback, leaps to the future Rhetoric understated, ironic Symbols and images instead statements Use of myth –escape from dramatic present, Christianity also a myth (Faulkner)

43 Important Characteristics of Narrative Alienation—Self is separate and distinct from society which is frequently antagonistic to differences Fragmentation– Disintegration or breakdown of norms of thought, behavior, or social relationship Stream of consciousness Complex allusions Juxtaposition and multiple points of view Use of extended metaphors Use of extended symbolism New types of symbolism allusive in style and an interest in rarified mental states

44 Important Characteristics of Poetry Open form Use of free verse Juxtaposition of ideas rather than detailed explanations Use of allusions and multiple associations of words Unconventional use of metaphor Importance given to sound to convey the “music of ideas” Imagism

45 Writers of the Modern Period Prose Gertrude Stein (1874 – 1946) Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) John Dos Passos (1896 – 1970) F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 – 1940) William Faulkner (1897 – 1962) Sherwood Anderson (1876–1941) Katherine Anne Porter (1890 – 1980) Zora Neale Hurston (1901?–1960) Thomas Wolfe (1900 – 1938) Nathaniel West (1903 – 1940) Willa Cather (1873 – 1947) Henry Miller (1891 – 1980) Anais Nin (1903 – 1977) Poetry: Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888–1965) William Carlos William (1883 – 1963) Wallace Stevens (1879 – 1955)

46 Historical Events of the Modern Period – World War I 1917 – US enters the War, Russian Revolution 1918 – worldwide flu epidemic Jan 1919 – Prohibition (18th Amendment) 1920 – women given the vote (19th Am.) 1920s – Henry Ford’s assembly-line, cars become affordable 1921 – Sacco-Vanzetti case 1924 – Immigration Act, quota systems: 1921, – first non stop solo flight across Atlantic 1928 – Mussolini’s comes to power in Italy 1929 – first motion picture with sound stock market crash, Depression begins 1932 – F. Delano Roosevelt becomes President 1933 – 18th Amendment repealed 1933 – Hitler’s dictatorship in Germany – Spanish Civil War 1941, 7 Dec – Pearl Harbor 1945, 6 Aug – Hiroshima atomic bomb Influential thinkers: Sigmunt Freud (1856 – 1939) Carl Jung (1875 – 1961) Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) 1848 – Marx & Engels, Communist Manifesto

47 POST-WWII ( ) ieszka/LiteraryPeriods.htm


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