2 The Rise of Realism The Civil War and postwar period Response to the warRomantics (Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville) used romance to entertain and reveal truth.Realists, however, sought to portray ordinary life:SlumsRapidly growing citiesFactories replacing farmland
3 Romanticism vs. Realism Larger-than-life heroesRomantic, exciting adventuresEntertaining writingRealismEveryday peopleOrdinary life and realistic situationsSought to explain why ordinary people behave the way they do
4 Everyday LifeRealists tried to represent faithfully the environment and manners of everyday life.The way ordinary people felt and dressedWhat ordinary people thought, felt, and talked aboutSought to explain why ordinary people behave the way they do.Characters: poor factory workers, corrupt politicians, even prostitutes.Relied on behavior sciences: biology, psychology, and sociology.
5 Regionalism Realism had its roots in regionalism. Regionalism: literature that emphasizes a specific geographic setting.Makes use of the speech and manners of the people who live in that region.Famous regionalists:Mark TwainHarriet Beecher StoweKate Chopin
6 Smiling RealismWilliam Dean Howells, editor of the influential magazine The Atlantic Monthly.Ordinary situations and peopleDiscussed the social questions perplexing AmericaPortrayed an America where people acted foolishly, but their good qualities eventually won out.
7 Naturalism Focuses on sociology (study of society) and psychology. Attempts to dissect human behavior with objectivity, like a scientific dissection.Human behavior was determined by forces beyond the individual’s power, such as biology and environment .Life as a grim, losing battle.Characters had limited choices and motivations.Humans lived as animals, by instinct, unable to control destiny.
8 The Psychological Novel Henry James, a realist, but didn’t believe in the blunt, naturalistic view of animal instinctsConcentrated on fine distinctions in character motivationComplex social and psychological situationsContrasts innocent, eager Americans with reserved, sophisticated Europeans
9 Ironic WritingStephen Crane, a realist: interested in the human character at moments of stress.Contrasted human pretensions (behavior that is false, artificial, and given to display and grandeur) with the indifference of the universe.- END -