American Literature (I) Autumn 2008 American Literature: Lecture 6 REALISM (1865 - 1914) 退出
美国文学 Objectives To enable the Ss to get a general idea about American Realism; To enable the Ss to get in touch with some important realistic writers, such as Mark Twain and Henry James; To enable the Ss to know what Local Colorism is and who the leaders of Local Colorism are; To enable the Ss to comprehend the major writing techniques of Mark Twain
美国文学 Teaching Materials Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Henry James (1843 - 1916) Daisy Miller
美国文学 Realism --- as a literary term A term applied to literary composition that aims at an interpretation of the actualities of any aspect of life, free from subjective prejudice, idealism, or romantic color. As a way of writing, realism has been applied in almost every literature throughout history. As an attitude of the writer toward his materials, it is relative, and no chronological point may be indicated as the beginning of realism.
美国文学 I. Introduction 1.The reasons for the coming of American realism: 1)The Civil War which broke out in 1861 taught men that life was not so good, man was not and God was not. The war marked a change, in the quality of American life, a deterioration, in fact, of American moral values. It led people to question the assumptions: natural goodness, the optimistic view of nature and man, benevolent God. 1)In post-bellum America increasing industrialization and mechanization of the country in full swing produced soon extremes of wealth and poverty. Wealth and power were more and more concentrated in the hands of the few “captains of industry” or “robber barons”, but life for the millions was fast becoming a veritable struggle for survival. 退出
3)The frontier was about to close and the safety valve was ceasing to operate, a reexamination of life began. Beneath the glittering surface of prospective there lay suffering and unhappiness, Disillusionment and frustration were widely felt. 3)The age of Romanticism and Transcendentalism was by and large over. Meanwhile younger writers appeared on the scene, such as William Dean Howells, Henry James, Mark Twain, and so on, which means the coming of new literary age, American realism. 退出
美国文学 Major Features Realism is the theory of writing in which familiar aspects of contemporary life and everyday scenes are represented in a straightforward or matter-of-fact manner. It insists on precise description, authentic action and dialogue, moral honesty, and a democratic openness in subject matter and style.
美国文学 Open ending is also a good example of the truthful treatment of material. Realism focuses on commonness of the lives of the common people who are customarily ignored by the arts. Realism emphasizes objectivity and offers an objective rather than an idealistic view of human nature and human experience. Realism presents moral visions.
美国文学 2.What is American realism? 1)As a literary movement realism came in the latter half of the nineteenth century as a reaction against “the lie” of romanticism and sentimentalism. It expressed the concern for the world of experience, of the commonplace, and for the familiar and the low. 2)The American realists advocated “verisimilitude of detail derived from observation,” the effort to approach the norm of experience —— a reliance on the representative in plot, setting, and character, and to offer an objective rather than an idealized view of human nature and experience. 退出
美国文学 3. The schools of American Realism: 1)Frontier Humor 2)Midwestern realism ( Howells) 3)Cosmopolitan Novelist 4)Regionalism (local color) 5)Naturalism 6)The Chicago School of poets 7)The rise of black American literature 退出
美国文学 Frontier Humor It is the vital and exuberant literature that was generated by the westward expansion of the United States in the late 18th and the 19th centuries. The spontaneity, sense of fun, exaggeration, fierce individuality, and irreverence for traditional Eastern values in frontier humor reflect the optimistic spirit of pre-Civil War America. Frontier humor appears mainly in tall tales of exaggerated feats of strength, rough practical jokes (especially on sophisticated Easterners and greenhorns), and tales of encounters with panthers, bears, and snakes. These tales are filled with rough, homely wisdom 退出
美国文学 Midwestern Realism It just refers to William Dean Howells’s realism because he came from the American midwest and carefully interweaved the life and emotions of ordinary middle-class there in his works. Also because he was the champion of realism, having helped to publish many realistic local color writings by Bret Harte, Mark Twain, George Washington Cable, and others. 退出
美国文学 About the author: 1)Howells, the second son of eight children, had little formal education. Working as a typesetter and a printer's apprentice, he educated himself through intensive reading and the study of Spanish, French, Latin, and German. 2)His campaign biography for Abraham Lincoln earned him enough money to travel to New England and meet the great literary figures of the day, and the post of U. S. Consul to Venice from 1861 to 1865. 3)As editor and critic Howells was generous in constructive and sympathetic reviews, helping younger and more radical writers to get a hearing by encouraging many others from Henry James to Bret Harte and Frank Norris to Mark Twain. 4)He was, for several decades, the dean of his country’s literature and became the first president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1907. 5)He supported socialism and opposed American imperialism. 退出
美国文学 His literary-aesthetic ideas: 1)He defines realism as “fidelity to experience and probability of motive”, as a quest of the average and the habitual rather than the exceptional or the uniquely high or low. 2)To him realism is not mere photographic pictures of externals but includes a central concern with motives and psychological conflicts. So the main line of development in the novel is not from Dickens and Thackeray but from the psychological analysis of Hawthorne and George Eliot to James. 3)In his eyes truth is the highest beauty, but truth includes the view that morality penetrates all things. 退出
美国文学 4) A free and simple design where event follows event without the fettering control of intrigue, but where all grows naturally out of character and conditions, is the supreme form of fiction. 5) Writers should winnow tradition and write in keeping with current humanitarian ideals. 6) The literary critic should not try to impose arbitrary or subjective evaluations on books but should follow the detached scientist in accurate description, interpretation, and classification. 退出
美国文学 His Works: Although he wrote over a hundred books in various genres, including novels, poems, literary criticism, plays, memoirs, and travel narratives, Howells is best known today for his realistic fiction, including 1)A Modern Instance (1881), on the then-new topic of the social consequences of divorce 2)The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885), his best-known work and one of the first novels to study the American businessman 3)A Hazard of New Fortunes (1890), an exploration of cosmopolitan life in New York City as seen through the eyes of Basil and Isabel March, the protagonists of Their Wedding Journey (1871) and other works. 退出
美国文学 His masterpiece: The Rise of Silas Lapham 1)A fine specimen of American realistic writing. There is nothing heroic, dramatic or extraordinary. Howells is here so devoted to the small, the trivial, and the commonplace. 2)He has always emphasized on ethics. He stresses the need for sympathy and moral integrity, and the need for different social classes to harmoniously adapt to their environment and to one another. 3)Howells did not approve of competitive economic individualism. He was convinced that laissez-faire competition had proved the rapacity of man. 退出
美国文学 Cosmopolitan Novelist Henry James ‘s fame rested largely upon his handling of his major fictional theme, the international theme, that is the meeting of America and Europe, American innocence in contact and contrast with cosmopolitan European decadence, and the moral and psychological complications arising therefrom. So he was called the cosmopolitan novelist. 退出
美国文学 Brief account of his life: 1)He was born into a wealthy cultured family of New England. His father was an eminent philosopher and reformer, and his brother, William James, was the famous philosopher and psychologist. 2)Most of his life he settled down in Europe except of some visits to America. In 1915 he became the naturalized British citizen. He was not married but once loved his attractive cousin who died young. 3)A voluminous writer, he was influenced by some English, European and American writers. One American author who exerted a measure of influence on James is Hawthorne whose insight into the human psyche impressed the younger writer deeply. 退出
美国文学 His creative life The first period(1865-1882). The works in this period reveal James’ fascination with his “international theme”. 1)The American 2)Daisy Miller 3)The Portrait of a Lady The second period (1882-1895). During this time he focuses on tales and plays, but most of them prove a failure The last one(1895-1909) 1)A few novellas and tales dealing with childhood and adolescence. 2)In the major phase of his career he returned to his old ground. He completed his trilogies (the summit of his art): The Ambassadors, The Wings of the Dove, The Golden Bowl 退出
美国文学 His literary-aesthetic ideas （ see his The Art of Fiction ） 1)Art must be related to life. It must be life transformed and changed so that the art form would give the truthful impression of actuality. 2)Though closely related to life, art is important in its own way. It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance. 3)He was concerned with point of view which is at the center of his aesthetic of the novel. 退出
美国文学 His political-social ideas and attitudes: 1)The spokesman of the wealthy. 2)Be conservative toward overzealous reformers (the similar way of Hawthorne) 3)But he was critical of U.S. imperialist behavior and American’s obsession with business, its extremes of wealth and poverty, its lack of culture and sophistication. 4)Like Hawthorne, James regarded evil as essentially of inward cause and cure, advocated free willed renunciation of the low or mean, and repeatedly emphasized magnanimity and the beauty of goodness. 退出
美国文学 IV. Regionalism (local color writing) The concept: The style of writing derived from the presentation of the features and peculiarities of a particular locality and its inhabitants. Simply it means The use of regional detail in a literary or artistic work. The name is given especially to a kind of American literature that in its most characteristic form made its appearance just after the Civil War and for nearly three decades was the single most popular form of American literature. Following in the footsteps of the pre-war "sectional humorists," local colorists were interested in realistically depicting life in different sections of the United States in order to promote understanding and unification
美国文学 Fiction writers like Sarah Orne Jewett, Bret Harte, O. Henry, and Mark Twain have been identified within this tradition. By the 1930s, the local color style had spread beyond the bounds of novels and short stories into less formal territory like the "hometown material" section of local newspapers. Local color writing had always been premised on an informal approach and rejection of high-culture concerns. Now it entered mass media.
美国文学 Local Color Term applied to literature which emphasizes its setting, being concerned with the character of a district or of an era, as marked by its customs, dialects, costumes, landscape or other peculiarities that have escaped standardizing cultural influences. The local color movement came into particular prominence in Am after the Civil War, perhaps as an attempt to recapture the glamour of a past era, or to portray the sections of the reunited country. In local
美国文学 color literature, one finds the dual influence of romanticism and realism since the author frequently looks away from ordinary life to distant lands, strange customs, or exotic scenes, but retains through minute detail a sense of fidelity and accuracy of description.
美国文学 Life Clemens was born on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri, of a Virginian family. He was brought up in Hannibal, Missouri. After his father's death in 1847, he was apprenticed to a printer and wrote for his brother's newspaper. He later worked as a licensed Mississippi river-boat pilot. The Civil War put an end to the steamboat traffic and Clemens moved to Virginia City, where he edited the Territorial Enterprise. On February 3, 1863, 'Mark Twain' was born when Clemens signed a humorous travel account with that pseudonym.
美国文学 In 1864 Twain left for California, and worked in San Francisco as a reporter. He visited Hawaii as a correspondent for The Sacramento Union, publishing letters on his trip and giving lectures. He set out on a world tour, traveling in France and Italy. His experiences were recorded in 1869 in The Innocents Abroad, which gained him wide popularity, and poked fun at both American and European prejudices and manners. The success as a writer gave Twain enough financial security to marry Olivia Langdon in 1870. They moved next year to Hartford. Twain continued to lecture in the United States and England. Between 1876 and 1884 he published several masterpieces, Tom Sawyer (1881) and The Prince And The Pauper (1881). Life On The Mississippi appeared in 1883 and Huckleberry Finn in 1884.
美国文学 In the 1890s Twain lost most of his earnings in financial speculations and in the failure of his own publishing firm. To recover from the bankruptcy, he started a world lecture tour, during which one of his daughters died. Twain toured New Zealand, Australia, India, and South Africa. He wrote such books as The Tragedy Of Pudd'head Wilson (1884), Personal Recollections Of Joan Of Arc (1885), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) and the travel book Following The Equator (1897). During his long writing career, Twain also produced a considerable number of essays.
美国文学 The death of his wife and his second daughter darkened the author's later years, which is seen in his posthumously published autobiography (1924). Twain died on April 21, 1910.
美国文学 Style Broad, often irreverent humor or biting social satire, realism of place and language, memorable characters, hatred of hypocrisy and oppression. Simple and plain diction, precise, direct. His earlier works are light, humorous, optimistic. His later works become darker and more obscure, showing his discontent and disappointment toward the social reality. His last works shows his acute pessimism, despair, skepticism determinism.
美国文学 Artistic Features First, he possessed utter clarity of style. He evolved a style so clear and economical that other contemporary styles seemed slightly archaic, rusty, and redundant. Second, he had a supreme command of vernacular American English. Before him there had been only American dialect; after him there was an American language. American dialect had been used very well by some other writers, but in their hands it was surrounded and conditioned by a “literary” language that wittingly or unwittingly patronized it. Mark Twain removed the surrounding frame.
美国文学 Third, there was Mark Twain’s humor, which resists explanation. In Twain’s time, humor, though it was seen as greatly valuable, remained clearly subordinate in the value system of the 19 th century. The function of humor was to entertain, but it was not expected to participate in the high seriousness that Matthew Arnold and his age asked of literature. But Twain liberated humor, raising it to high art—a liberation that parallels his creation of vernacular American English. Instead of subduing his humor to seriousness, twain invaded the citadels of seriousness and freed the humor held captive there.
美国文学 His Works: 1.The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches (1867) 2.The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (1873) 3.Mark Twain's Sketches: New and Old (1876) 4.The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) 5.The Prince and the Pauper (1881) 6.Life on the Mississippi (1883) 7.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) 8.A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) 9.The 1,000,000 Pound Bank-Note, and Other New Stories (1893)
美国文学 His masterpiece: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Much of the book is concerned with Huck’s inner struggle between this sense of guilt in helping Jim to escape and his profound conviction that Jim is a human being. The book is written in the colloquial style, in the general standard speech of uneducated Americans.
美国文学 This novel tells a story along the Mississippi River before the civil war. Here lies an America with its great national faults, full of violence and even cruelty, yet still retaining the virtues of “some simplicity, some innocence, some peace”. This novel, through Huck’s adventures, presented the change of the white boy Huck’s attitude toward the run-away black slave Jim.
美国文学 It shows Mark Twain’s satire on southern culture before the Civil War. He exposed the problems of slavery, the mistreatment of humans by humans and then in a deep level condemned racial discrimination. He showed the readers how the poor whites thought they were better than black slaves. The only thing that made them feel good about themselves was that they were white. And Twain made the readers laugh at this idea.
美国文学 The second object of satire is the upper-class southerners. The shepherdson-Grangerford feud is a good example. The feud has been going on for generations. Its cause has been forgotten. The satire is merciless, not because these people are violent, but because they accept their violence as right.
美国文学 1. Plot Summary Huck lives with Miss Watson who is trying to civilize him. He and Tom Sawyer become friends with her slave Jim. Huck's drunk father returns to try and take Huck back, but Huck fakes his own murder and runs away with Jim to a nearby island. Jim and Huck discover a raft, which they make their new home and set out to sail down the Mississippi River where they will both be free. Jim and Huck travel by night to avoid being caught, and sleep out in the woods during the day time. During the journey, Huck and Jim's friendship grows considerably, and the two become like family. Huck and Jim are separated when their raft hits a steamboat and Huck goes ashore to stay with a family, the Grangerford's. Huck soon becomes involved in their ongoing feud and leaves when several family members are killed. Huck also plays with the concept of morality and debates over the question of whether to turn Jim in or risk being shunned by society if he is caught with a runaway.
美国文学 The Duke and the King soon join Huck and Jim on the raft, and the four scam several cities out of money by performing plays and circuses. They stay at the Wilkes' house where they steal money from a family of girls whose father just died, by pretending to be their uncles. Huck eventually confesses to the girls, and abandons the Duke and the King when they try to sell Jim.
美国文学 Eventually Huck winds up at Aunt Sally's house and pretends to be Tom Sawyer, who they are expecting. He soon learns that she is keeping Jim hostage until his master comes to get him, and tries to think of a way to free his friend. When the real Tom comes to Aunt Sally's, the two form an intricate plan involving ransom notes and digging holes in order to free Jim. When the plan is activated, Huck and Tom are caught by angry townspeople and are forced to confess their identity and reason for disturbing the slave. Huck learns that Miss Watson set Jim free in her will, and he is no longer a slave. Huck plans to escape being civilized once more, and suggests that he will flee to live in Indian territory.
美国文学 2. Major Themes Maturity: Huck is forced to take care of himself because he has no parents. Although he is a young boy, he faces many problems that adults struggle with, and is forced to deal with them maturely. Friendship: Huck never really had any true friend before Jim, but the time spent with him allowed the two to become very close. Legality vs. Morality: Huck faces the question of whether he should obey the law and turn in Jim, or if he should risk a bad reputation and keep his friend happy. Love: Jim loves Huck and he has been a true friend and been through many tough situations. Huck learns to love through his friendship with Jim, who is devoted and willing to do anything for Huck.
美国文学 Racism: The novel is set in the South. Blacks are slaves with no legal rights and are faced with high degrees of discrimination. Their status is lower than that of a white person, and Huck grows up debating that reality. It is a barrier at first between himself and Jim, which they eventually realize and overcome. Freedom : Literally, Jim seeks freedom from slavery. Figuratively, Huck seeks to be free, and not have to live in fear of his father, or being civilized. Lessons: Huck learns that although society has taught him to regard blacks as inferior, he should listen to his own opinion, even if it means sacrificing his reputation and being labeled. He realized this when he befriended Jim and went out of his way to secure Jim's freedom, by risking his own safety and name.
美国文学 Morals: Huck also learned that although people in his life may have hurt him, he is able to be loved and to love back. He learns this when his friendship with Jim evolves, and they become like family. Huck is able to love Jim back, and is willing to help him escape slave if it will attain happiness. Applications: Huck realizes that Tom's intricate plans for solving problems sometimes are fun, but are not usually the best answers. Huck is a more realistic character and understands that effort and efficiency are better than confusion and complication. He depicts this when Tom's plan to free Jim becomes involved and eventually backfires. Huck's plan at the beginning was more reasonable, but he used Tom's plan instead.
美国文学 Conflict between civilization and "natural life": The primary theme of the novel is the conflict between civilization and "natural life." Huck represents natural life through his freedom of spirit, uncivilized ways, and desire to escape from civilization. He was raised without any rules or discipline and has a strong resistance to anything that might "sivilize" him. This conflict is introduced in the first chapter through the efforts of the Widow Douglas: she tries to force Huck to wear new clothes, give up smoking, and learn the Bible. Throughout the novel, Twain seems to suggest that the uncivilized way of life is more desirable and morally superior. Drawing on the ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Twain suggests that civilization corrupts, rather than improves, human beings.
美国文学 Honor: The theme of honor permeates the novel after first being introduced in the second chapter, where Tom Sawyer expresses his belief that there is a great deal of honor associated with thieving. Robbery appears throughout the novel, specifically when Huck and Jim encounter robbers on the shipwrecked boat and are forced to put up with the King and Dauphin, both of whom "rob" everyone they meet. Tom's original robber band is paralleled later in the novel when Tom and Huck become true thieves, but honorable ones, at the end of the novel. They resolve to steal Jim, freeing him from the bonds of slavery, which is an honorable act. Thus, the concept of honor and acting to earn it becomes a central theme in Huck’s adventures.
美国文学 Food: Food plays a prominent role in the novel. In Huck’s childhood, he often fights pigs for food, and eats out of "a barrel of odds and ends." Thus, providing Huck with food becomes a symbol of people caring for and protecting him. For example, in the first chapter, the Widow Douglas feeds Huck, and later on Jim becomes his symbolic caretaker, feeding and watching over him on Jackson's Island. Food is again discussed fairly prominently when Huck lives with the Grangerford's and the Wilks's.
美国文学 Mockery of Religion: A theme Twain focuses on quite heavily on in this novel is the mockery of religion. Throughout his life, Twain was known for his attacks on organized religion. Huck Finn’s sarcastic character perfectly situates him to deride religion, representing Twain’s personal views. In the first chapter, Huck indicates that hell sounds far more fun than heaven. Later on, in a very prominent scene, the "King", a liar and cheat, convinces a religious community to give him money so he can "convert" his pirate friends. The religious people are easily led astray, which mocks their beliefs and devotion to God.
美国文学 Superstition: Superstition appears throughout the novel. Generally, both Huck and Jim are very rational characters, yet when they encounter anything slightly superstitious, irrationality takes over. The power superstition holds over the two demonstrates that Huck and Jim are child- like despite their apparent maturity. In addition, superstition foreshadows the plot at several key junctions. For instance, when Huck spills salt, Pap returns, and when Huck touches a snakeskin with his bare hands, a rattlesnake bites Jim.
美国文学 Money: The concept of wealth or lack thereof is threaded throughout the novel, and highlights the disparity between the rich and poor. Twain purposely begins the novel by pointing out that Huck has over six thousand dollars to his name; a sum of money that dwarfs all the other sums mentioned, making them seem inconsequential in contrast. Huck demonstrates a relaxed attitude towards wealth, and because he has so much of it, does not view money as a necessity, but rather as a luxury. Huck's views regarding wealth clearly contrast with Jim’s. For Jim, who is on a quest to buy his family out of slavery, money is equivalent to freedom. In addition, wealth would allow him to raise his status in society. Thus, Jim is on a constant quest for wealth, whereas Huck remains apathetic.
美国文学 Slavery: The theme of slavery is perhaps the most well known aspect of this novel. Since it’s first publication, Twain’s perspective on slavery and ideas surrounding racism have been hotly debated. In his personal and public life, Twain was vehemently anti-slavery. Considering this information, it is easy to see that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn provides an allegory to explain how and why slavery is wrong. Twain uses Jim, a main character and a slave, to demonstrate the humanity of slaves. Jim expresses the complicated human emotions and struggles with the path of his life. To prevent being sold and forced to separate from his family, Jim runs away from his owner, Miss Watson, and works towards obtaining freedom so he can buy his family’s freedom. All along their journey downriver, Jim cares for and protects of Huck, not as a servant, but as a friend. Thus, Twain's encourages the reader to feel sympathy and empathy for Jim and outrage at the society that has enslaved him and threatened his life.
美国文学 However, although Twain attacks slavery through is portrayal of Jim, he never directly addresses the issue. Huck and Jim never debate slavery, and all the other slaves in the novel are very minor characters. Only in the final section of the novel does Twain develop the central conflict concerning slavery: should Huck free Jim and then be condemned to hell? This decision is life- altering for Huck, as it forces him to reject everything "civilization" has taught him. Huck chooses to free Jim, based on his personal experiences rather than social norms, thus choosing the morality of the “natural life” over that of civilization.
美国文学 Mississippi River: The majority of the plot takes place on the river or its banks. For Huck and Jim, the river represents freedom. On the raft, they are completely independent and determine their own courses of action. Jim looks forward to reaching the free states, and Huck is eager to escape his abusive, drunkard of a father and the “civilization” of Miss Watson. However, the towns along the river bank begin to exert influence upon them, and eventually Huck and Jim meet criminals, shipwrecks, dishonesty, and great danger. Finally, a fog forces them to miss the town of Cairo, at which point there were planning to head up the Ohio River, towards the free states, in a steamboat.
美国文学 Originally, the river is a safe place for the two travelers, but it becomes increasingly dangerous as the realities of their runaway lives set in on Huck and Jim. Once reflective of absolute freedom, the river soon becomes only a short-term escape, and the novel concludes on the safety of dry land, where, ironically, Huck and Jim find their true freedom.
美国文学 3.writing technique This novel shows his two famous writing techniques: local color and colloquial language. The novel is a true recreation of living models. Though a local and particular book, it touches upon the human situation in a general indeed “universal” way: Humanism ultimately triumphs. This book is written in the colloquial style, approximating the actual speech habit of an uneducated boy from the American South of mid-nineteenth century.
美国文学 Key to Questions for Chapter 11 Q1: P344 Li ne3 & last para. Q2: P350 the woman’s words Q3: P347 line8 & line17 Q4: p345 & P348 Q5: p349 lines19----29 Q6: p348 last para. Q7: ppt 56 Q8: open
美国文学 4. His contributions and achievement : Mark Twain, pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, is a very famous humorist, whose best work is characterized by broad, often irreverent humor or biting social satire. His writing is also known for realism of place and language, memorable characters, and hatred of hypocrisy and oppression. One of his significant contributions to American literature lies in the fact that he made colloquial speech an accepted, respectable literary medium in the literary history of the country. In social criticism he loved life, people, freedom and justice, felt a pride on human dignity and advocated brotherhood of man. He hated tyranny and iniquity, despised meanness and cruelty, and took his role as a social critic in a serious and responsible manner. He was not indifferent either to the Chinese immigrants persecuted in America or to a China suffering intense agonies of humiliation and dismemberment by imperialist powers.
美国文学 Assignment Search for information about American Naturalism on the net or elsewhere and give an oral presentation about features of naturalism or works of any naturalist next time.
美国文学 VI. Naturalism and Muckraking 1. The reasons on the coming of American Naturalism: 1)Industrialism produced financial giants, but at the same time created an industrial proletariat entirely at the mercy of external forces beyond their control. Slums appeared in great numbers where conditions became steadily worse. 2)New ideas about man and man’s place in the universe began to take root in America. Living in a cold, indifferent, and essentially Godless world, man was no longer free in any sense of the word. Darwinian concepts like “the survival of the fittest” and “the human beast” became popular catchwords and standards of moral reference in an amoral world. 3)French naturalism, with its new technique and new way of writing, appealed to the imagination of the younger generation.
美国文学 2. The main characteristics of naturalism: 1)The writers of naturalism tore the mask of gentility to pieces and wrote about the helplessness of man, his insignificance in a cold world, and his lack of dignity in face of the crushing forces of environment and heredity. In their works there is a desire to assert one’s human identity, to define oneself against the social and natural forces one confronts 2)They reported truthfully and objectively, with a passion for scientific accuracy and an overwhelming accumulation of factual detail. 3)The major representatives of American naturalists include Jack London, Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser and so on.
美国文学 3. Muckraking: In dictionary: 1)Finding and publishing stories, perhaps using underhand methods, that expose misconduct, corruption, hypocrisy, or the like. 2)Publishing (perhaps invented) stories that give salacious details of peoples’ private lives. In literature: 1)Muckraking is applied to American journalists, novelists, and critics who in the first decade of the 20th century attempted to expose the abuses of business and the corruption in politics.
美国文学 2)Muckraking novels used eye-catching journalistic techniques to depict harsh working conditions and oppressions. Norris’s Octopus (1901) exposed big railroad companies while Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906) painted the squalor of the Chicago meat-packing houses, and Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, emphasizes the quiet poverty, loneliness, and despair in small-town America. 3)The muckraking movement lost support in about 1912. Historians agree that if it had not been for the revelations of the muckrakers the Progressive movement would not have received the popular support needed for effective reform.
美国文学 About the author: It is believed that London is an illegitimate child, who passed his childhood in poverty in the Oakland slums. He had little formal schooling, but was an avid reader, educating himself at public libraries. At the age of 17, he ventured to sea on a sealing ship and from then on to voyages on ship became one of his favorites and material for his later writing. In his teens, he joined Coxey’s Army in its famous march on Washington, D.C., and was later arrested for vagrancy. The turning point of his life was a thirty-day imprisonment that was so degrading it made him decide to turn to education and pursue a career in writing. His years in the Klondike a Gold Prospector (from 1897-1898 ) had to be ended because of his poor health, which would provide abundant material for his future novels and stories.
美国文学 Upon his return to Oakland, California, he could not find steady work. In desperation, he decided to dive into writing, launching his writing career. Jack married two times in his life. The first wife is his math tutor and the second one his secretary. From 1905 to 1913, London set up his own “Beauty Ranch” totaling 1,400 acres bought. At Beauty Ranch, he raised many animals such as prize bulls, horses, and pigs and cultivated a wide variety of crops, fully enjoying the life of a rancher. By his death at age forty on November 22, 1916, Jack had been plagued for years by a vast number of health problems, including stomach disturbances, ravaging uremia, and failing kidneys.
美国文学 His masterpiece: Many people argue as to what London's masterpiece was. Some say The Call of the Wild, others say The Sea Wolf, and still others say Martin Eden. The Call of the Wild is thrilling adventure story set in the Yukon frontier, telling the gripping tale of a dog named Buck who is wrenched out of his life of ease and luxury to become a sled dog in Alaska. Drawing on his wolf heritage, Buck must fight for survival in an alien environment, experiencing both the cruelty of man and the freedom of the wild 。
The Sea-Wolf was based on his experiences at sea. When fate lands Humphrey Van Weyden on board the Ghost, a sealing schooner bound for Japan, little does he know of the weeks of brutality which lie ahead. Captain Wolf Larsen is feared and despised by all on board, and only the chance arrival of Maud Brewster spurs Van Weyden into action in a desperate attempt to free them both from the terrifying power of the Sea-Wolf. This work embraced the concepts of unconfined individualism and Darwinism in its exploration of the laws of nature. London portrays a version of the Nietzschean superman in schooner captain Wolf Larsen, one of the most memorable characters in American literature.
美国文学 Martin Eden. One of London's most important books is this semi- autobiographical account of a young sailor who struggles to improve himself and achieves eventual success as a writer, but grows disenchanted with fame and wealth. It represents both an indictment of the American dream and an important reflection on London's own background and career.
美国文学 Evaluation on him: Jack London, whose life symbolized the power of will, was the most successful writer in America in the early 20th Century. His vigorous stories of men and animals against the environment, and survival against hardships were drawn mainly from his own experience. In fact, he was a prolific writer whose fiction explored three geographies and their cultures: the Yukon, California, and the South Pacific. He left over fifty books of novels, stories, journalism, and essays, many of which have been translated and continue to be read around the world. He experimented with many literary forms, from conventional love stories and dystopias to science fantasy. His noted journalism included war correspondence, boxing stories, and the life of Molokai lepers.
美国文学 A committed socialist, he insisted against editorial pressures to write political essays and insert social criticism in his fiction. He was among the most influential figures of his day, who understood how to create a public persona and use the media to market his self-created image of poor-boy- turned-success. London's great passion was agriculture, and he was well on the way of creating a new model for ranching through his Beauty Ranch when he died of kidney disease at age 40.
美国文学 Love of Life Love of Life is one of the most famous Northern short stories by Jack London. The author's skill, his peculiar literary talent and the emotional impact the story produces account for its appeal. London relied on visual imagery to draw a clearer picture of events as well as to intensify the illusion of authenticity. The story is the life experience of a courageous, energetic and strong-willed man, who loves to compete with danger until the end of his life.
美国文学 Key to Questions for Love of Life Q1: open Q2: the peculiar description of harsh and dangerous conditions; the condensed dialogues; the vivid and pithy dipiction of action
美国文学 About the author: 1)Stephen Crane was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1881, as the 14th child of a cultural family. Both of his parents did some writing and two of his brothers became newspapermen. 2)Crane started to write stories at the age of eight; at 16 he was writing articles for the New York Tribune. 3)Crane studied at Lafayette College and Syracuse University. After his mother's death in 1890 his father had died earlier Crane moved to New York. He worked as a free-lance writer and journalist for the Bachellor-Johnson newspaper syndicate. While supporting himself by his writings, he lived among the poor in the Bowery slums to research his first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893) 4)In 1895 the publication of The Red Badge of Courage and of his first book of poems, The Black Riders, brought him international fame.
美国文学 5)His reputation as a war writer, his desire to see if he had guessed right about the psychology of combat, and his fascination with death and danger sent him to Greece and then to Cuba as a war correspondent. 6)His first attempt in 1897 to report on the insurrection in Cuba ended in near disaster; the ship sank, and Crane--reported drowned--finally rowed into shore in a dinghy with the captain. The result was one of the world's great short stories, The Open Boat. His others are The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky, and The Blue Hotel. 7)In 1898 Crane settled in Sussex, England. On June 5, 1900 in Germany he died of tuberculosis, which was worsened by malarial fever he had caught in Cuba.
美国文学 His Major Works: Maggie: A Girl of the Streets About the story: It is the harrowing story of a poor sensitive young girl whose uneducated alcoholic parents utterly fail her. In love and eager to escape her violent home life, she allows herself to be seduced into living with a young man, who soon deserts her. When her self-righteous mother rejects her, Maggie becomes a prostitute to survive, but soon commits suicide out of despair.
美国文学 The Red Badge of Courage. About the story: The story is set during the American Civil War. Henry Fleming enrolls as a soldier in the Union army. He has dreamed of battles and glory all his life, but his expectations are shattered in his encounter with the enemy when he witnesses the chaos on the battle field and starts to fear that the regiment was leaving him behind. He flees from the battle. Later he returns to the lines and feels sore and stiff from his experiences. In the heat of the battle, he picks up the regiment's flag with his friend when it falls from the color sergeant's hands. Following the conventions of a bildungsroman, Henry has matured after the final battle and he understands better his strengths and weaknesses.
美国文学 Relevant Evaluation: 1)It depicted the American Civil War from the point of view of an ordinary soldier and has been called the first modern war novel. 2)It reveals the basic theme of the animal man in a cold, manipulating world. Here Crane is looking into man’s primitive emotions and trying to tell the elemental truth about human life. 3)War shown in the novel is a plain slaughter-house. There is nothing like valor or heroism on the battlefield, and if there anything, it is fear of death, cowardice, the natural instinct of man to run from danger. 4)By thus un-romanticizing war and heroism, Crane initiated the modern tradition of telling the truth at all costs about the elemental human situation, and writing about war as a real human experience. So this was an event of a revolutionary nature both in theme and technique.
美国文学 Evaluation on him: 1)Crane was a pioneer writing in the naturalistic tradition. His writings gave the whole esthetic movement of the nineties a sudden direction and a fresh impulse. 2)Crane was also a pioneer in the field of modern poetry. His early poems, brief, quotable, with their unrhymed, unorthodox conciseness and impressionistic imagery, was to exert a significant influence on modern poetry: As a matter of a fact, he is now recognized as one of the two precursors of Imagist poetry, the other being Emily Dickinson. 3)His basic motif is about environment and heredity overwhelming man.
美国文学 4)Crane’s fictional world is a naturalistic one in which man is deprived of free will and expects no help from any quarter whatever. 5)The secret of Crane's success as war correspondent, journalist, novelist, short-story writer, and poet lay in his achieving tensions between irony and pity, illusion and reality, or the double mood of hope contradicted by despair. He was a great stylist and a master of the contradictory effect.
美国文学 About the author: Benjamin Franklin Norris, 1870–1902, American novelist, b. Chicago. After studying in Paris, at the Univ. of California (1890–94), and Harvard, he wrote McTeague (1899), a proletarian novel influenced by the experimental naturalism of Zola. His most impressive work was his proposed trilogy, “The Epic of Wheat,” of which only two parts were written—The Octopus (1901), depicting the brutal struggle between the wheat farmers and the railroad, and The Pit (1903), dealing with speculation on the Chicago grain market, and The third part, The Wolf, was never written. Norris spent several years as a war correspondent in South Africa (1895–96) and Cuba (1898).
美国文学 His masterpiece: The Octopus 1)It illustrates how social and economic conditions ruined the lives of innocent, powerless people. 2)The railroad reached out its millions of tentacles, coiling round the throats of the farmers who had no alternative but to choose between leaving their crops to rot and carting them out through the railroad at a capriciously exorbitant freight rate, in either case ending up in bankruptcy and destruction; and what is worse, the railroad raises the price of the land, which it has rented for the people so that all the farmers and the poor in general face stark destitution and ruin. 退出
Table of Contents Theodore Dreiser Edwin Arlington Robinson Carl Sandburg Sinclair Lewis Henry L. Mencken F. Scott Fitzgerald John Steinbeck
美国文学 Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945) American author, outstanding representative of naturalism, whose novels depict real-life subjects in a harsh light
美国文学 Theodore Dreiser was born in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1871. The ninth child of German immigrants, he experienced considerable poverty while a child and at the age of fifteen was forced to leave home in search of work.
美国文学 After briefly attending Indiana University, he found work as a reporter on the Chicago Globe. Later he worked for the St. Louis Globe- Democrat, the St. Louis Republic and Pittsburgh Dispatch, before moving to New York where he attempted to establish himself as a novelist. He was a voracious reader, and the impact of such writers as Hawthorne, Poe, Balzac, Herbert Spencer, and Freud influenced his thought and his reaction against organized religion.
美国文学 Dreiser worked for the New York World before Frank Norris, who was working for Doubleday, helped Dreiser's first novel, Sister Carrie (1900), to be published. However, the owners disapproved of the novel's subject matter (the moral corruption of the heroine, Carrie Meeber) and it was not promoted and therefore sold badly.
美国文学 The young author felt so depressed by “a decade’s delay”—in the words of Larzer Ziff—in social recognition that he was said to have walked by the East River at the turn of the century, seriously committing suicide.
美国文学 Dreiser was left-oriented in his views. Dreiser continued to work as a journalist and as well as writing for mainstream newspapers such as the Saturday Evening Post, also had work published in socialist magazines such as The Call. However, unlike many of his literary friends such as Sinclair Lewis, and Jack London, he never joined the Socialist Party.
美国文学 In 1898 Dreiser married Sara White, a Missouri schoolteacher, but the marriage was unhappy. Dreiser separated permanently from her in 1909, but never earnestly sought a divorce. In his own life Dreiser practiced his principle that man's greatest appetite is sexual - the desire for women
美国文学 His strength clearly ebbing, Dreiser died of heart failure on December 28, 1945, before completing the last chapter of The Stoic. Dreiser was buried in Hollywood's Forest Lawn Cemetery on January 3, 1946.
美国文学 1. Works Sister Carrie1900 Jennie Gerhardt1911 An American Tragedy1925 The Financier1912 The Titan1914 The Stoic(posthumously) The Genius1915 Dreiser Looks at Russia1928 autobiographically Trilogy of Desire
美国文学 The Financier (1912) and The Titan (1914) about Frank Cowperwood, a power- hungry business tycoon. An American Tragedy (1925) was based on the Chester Gillette and Grace Brown murder case that had taken place in 1906.
美国文学 About Sister Carrie Sister Carrie, published in 1900, stands at the gateway of the new century. Theodore Dreiser based his first novel on the life of his sister Emma. In 1883 she ran away to Toronto, Canada with a married man who had stolen money from his employer. The story as told by Dreiser, about Carrie Meeber who becomes the mistress of a traveling salesman, is unapologetically told and created a scandal with its moral transgressions.
美国文学 The book was initially rejected by many publishers on the grounds that is was "immoral". Indeed, Harper Brothers, the first publisher to see the book, rejected it by saying it was not, "sufficiently delicate to depict without offense to the reader the continued illicit relations of the heroine". Finally Doubleday and Company published the book in order to fulfill their contract, but Frank Doubleday refused to promote the book. As a result, it sold less than seven hundred copies and Dreiser received a reputation as a naturalist-barbarian.
美国文学 Sister Carrie sold poorly but was redeemed by writers like Frank Norris and William Dean Howells who saw the novel as a breakthrough in American realism. However, the publication battles over Sister Carrie caused Dreiser to become depressed, so much so that his brother sent him to a sanitarium for a short while.
美国文学 Sister Carrie, published in 1900, is one of the best-known story of American Dream, tracing the material rise of Carrie Meeber and the tragic decline of G. W. Hurstwood.
美国文学 Carrie Meeber, penniless and full of the illusion of ignorance and youth, leaves her rural home to seek work in Chicago. On the train, she becomes acquainted with Charles Drouet, a salesman. In Chicago, she lives with her sister, and work for a time in a shoe factory.
美国文学 Meager income and terrible working condition oppress her imaginative spirit. After a period of unemployment and loneliness, she accepts Drouet and becomes his mistress. During his absence, she falls in love with Drouet’s friend Hurstwood, a middle aged, married, comparatively intelligent culture saloon manager. They finally elope. They live together for three years more. Chicago New York
美国文学 Carrie becomes mature in intellect and emotion, while Hurstwood steadily declines. At last, she thinks him too great a burden and leaves him. Hurstwood sinks lower and lower. After becoming a beggar, he commits suicide, while Carrie becomes a star of musical comedy. In spite of her success, she is lonely and dissatisfied.
美国文学 The theme in Sister Carrie, a novel written by Theodore Dreiser, is materialism. The theme is primarily personified through Carrie with her desire for a fine home, clothes and everything else money can buy.
美国文学 Materialism, including the desire for money, is an important theme in Sister Carrie. The materialism is shown mostly through Carrie's character but also through Hurstwood, a man with a respectable life and money, who still wants more and for that reason commits a crime. The city in itself is also a place of materialism, it is a place that offers all kinds of amusements, pleasures and things to buy, but to participate in what the city has to offer one has to have money.
美国文学 Evaluation He faced every form of attack that a serious artist could encounter misunderstanding, misrepresentation, artistic isolation and commercial seduction. But he survived to lead the rebellion of the 1900s.
美国文学 Dreiser has been a controversial figure in American literary history. His works are powerful in their portrayal of the changing American life, but his style is considered crude. It is in Dreiser’s works that American naturalism is said to have come of age.
美国文学 Dreiser’s novels are formless at times and awkwardly written, and his characterization is found deficient and his prose pedestrian and dull, yet his very energy proves to be more than a compensation. Dreiser’s stories are always solid and intensely interesting with their simple but highly moving characters. Dreiser is good at employing the journalistic method of reiteration to burn a central impression into the reader’s mind.
美国文学 For a commemorative service in 1947, H. L. Mencken wrote a eulogy in which he stuck by the argument that he had been making for over thirty- five years: despite Dreiser's flaws as a stylist, "the fact remains that he is a great artist, and that no other American of his generation left so wide and handsome a mark upon the national letters. American writing, before and after his time, differed almost as much as biology before and after Darwin. He was a man of large originality, of profound feeling, and of unshakable courage. All of us who write are better off because he lived, worked, and hoped."
美国文学 Here lies the power and permanence that have made Dreiser one of America’s foremost novelists.