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American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism 1860-1920( ish ) NOTES.

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Presentation on theme: "American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism 1860-1920( ish ) NOTES."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism ( ish ) NOTES

2 What is Realism? O A faithful representation of reality in literature, also known as “ verisimilitude ” ( the appearance of truth, the quality of truth ) O Emphasis on development of believable characters. O Written in natural vernacular, or dialect. O Prominent from

3 Realism O Realism sought to portray life as faithfully and accurately as possible, focusing on ordinary people suffering the harsh realties of everyday life. It depicts ordinary people coping with everyday realities. O Authors included Mark Twain, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and Dunbar O The Literature O Presented life objectively O Favored science and technology O Found meaning in the mundane O Focused on socials ills and social conflict

4 Elements of Realism O Rejection of the idealized, larger - than - life hero of Romantic Literature O Detailed depiction of ordinary characters and realistic events O Emphasis on characters from cities and lower classes O Avoidance of the exotic, sensational, and overly dramatic O Use of everyday speech patterns to reveal class distinctions O Focus on the ethical struggles and social issues of real - life situations O Sought to explain why ordinary people behave the way they do

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

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

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

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

9 Why did Regionalism develop? O Dual influence of Romanticism and Realism O The Civil War and the building of a national identity O An outgrowth of realism with more focus on a particular setting and its influence over characters

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

11 Naturalism - Focuses on people ’ s helplessness in the face of chance O Sought to portray ordinary people ’ s lives, but suggested that environment, heredity, and chance, or forces they could neither understand nor control, determined people ’ s fate. O Authors included Stephen Crane, Kate Chopin, Theodore Dreiser, Jack London O Man ’ s destiny was determined by heredity and natural selection, society, psychological impulses, and economic class

12 Naturalism O Influenced by emerging disciplines of psychology and sociology O Attempt to analyze human behavior objectively, as a scientist would O Belief that human behavior is determined by heredity and environment O Sense that human beings cannot control their own destinies O Sense of life as a losing battle against an uncaring universe

13 Naturalist Writers O Stephen Crane O Ambrose Bierce O Jack London O Edwin Arlingto n Robinson O Katherin e Anne Porter O Charlott e Perkins Gilman O Edith Wharton

14 Why did Naturalism develop? O 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 O The prominence of psychology and the theories of Sigmund Freud O Pessimism in the wake of the Civil War and Reconstruction O Publication of Charles Darwin ’ s Origin of the Species

15 Points to Remember… O Realism, Regionalism, and Naturalism are intertwined and connected. O Their influence has dominated most literature created since 1920, though the movement itself is dated to roughly that point. O They are truly American modes of writing.

16 Journal Do you agree with the saying “ knowledge is power ” ? Does knowledge give you greater control over your life?

17 Frederick Douglass 1817/1818 ( ? )

18 Understand this… O The artistic movement, Realism, was described in the 1850 s and while his autobiography predates the technical date of the movement, it definitely is in the spirit of it. True life accounts were one of the inspirations for realism.

19 Objectives O To read and analyze an excerpt from an autobiography that explores one of the major causes of the Civil War O To identify one purpose of writing an autobiography

20 Author and Backgroun d P 328

21 from My Bondage and My Freedom Frederick Douglass

22 Questions to ponder / answer / turn in O While reading : O 1. Why do you think the mistress went beyond her husband ’ s instructions to stop teaching Douglass, trying to prohibit him from learning altogether? O 2. In the third paragraph, what argument does Douglass make against slavery? O 3. What do you learn from a recollection from his childhood? O 4. how might a young enslaved person have managed to earn money? What does his choice about how he spends his money say about Douglass? O 5. Douglass ’ s reading and rereading of this dialogue proves to be a turning point in his life. Why? O After reading : P 335- #6 ( look back at your journal ),#7 ( don ’ t chart, just explain ),#8

23 Journal Imagine yourself facing a frightening life - or - death situation involving, for example, a car accident or a natural disaster. What thoughts do you think might flash though your mind at such a time?

24 Objectives O To read a short story whose setting is the Civil War O To analyze the use of third person point of view in a short story

25 Author and Backgroun d P 367

26 An Occurrenc e at Owl Creek Bridge Ambrose Pierce


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