Presentation on theme: "Chapter 7 The Era of Realism and Naturalism"— Presentation transcript:
1Chapter 7 The Era of Realism and Naturalism from An Outline of American Literature by Peter B. High
2Moving toward Realism in Literature by 1875 influence of French Realism (p.83)changed the relationship between literature and societynovel had the power to become a political weaponIn literature, realism gives us a picture of life as it really is. Story of realism deal with everyday problems that most people encounter. Sometimes the characters overcome their problems; other times, they don’t.
3William Dean Howell (1837-1920) created the first theory for American realism (p.85)“Realism” became a weapon against literary romanticism“Realism” became the mainstream of American literatureThe Rise of Silas Lapham (1885)
4William Dean Howell (1837-1920) “The novelists might be the greatest possible help to us if they painted life as it is, and human feelings in their true proportion and relation.”Novels “should make you think and shame you into wishing to be a more helpful creature than you are.”Novels should depict business and businessmenGood realists should be interested in “the common feelings or commonplace people.
5William Dean Howell (1837-1920) A Hazard of New Fortunes (1890)became a kind of socialist, attacking the evils of American capitalism, its selfish competitionart and the artist must serve the poor people of society
6Naturalism a term created by the French novelist, Emile Zola (p.87) used discoveries and knowledge of modern science to study human lifepeople were not really free; rather, their lives, opinions and morality were all controlled by social, economic and psychological causes
7Stephen Crane ( )wrote Maggie: A Girl of the Street (1893) at the age of 22characters are controlled by their environment (p.88)The Red Badge of Courage (1895), his greatest novelwhat you become is merely a matter of chance, or fate“The Open Boat” (1898)
8Hamlin Garland ( )had deep sympathy for the common people (p.90)his literature was a form of social protestMain-Traveled Roads (1891)life is “determined” by outside conditions and wrote to help improve those conditionsdescribed people, places and events in a careful and factual mannerimpressionistic way of describing, mixes emotions, colors, and sightsa message behind these description – the failure of the “American Dream”the forces of American capitalism had destroyed the individual’s freedom
9Ambrose Bierce ( )loved to describe the terrifying events and strange forms of deathskillful control of detail gives us a clear impression of the ironic fate waiting for a character“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”
10Henry James ( )an observer of the mind, psychological realism (p.91)stream of consciousness – the workings of the mindthings happen to the character but not as a result of their own actionswatch life more than live itWhat do they see? How do they try to understand it?The changing consciousness of the character is the real storyinterested in how characters respond to the events of the storyevents inside one’s head can be dramatic
11Henry James (1843-1916) Early Works deal with his thoughts and feelings as an American living in Europespent most of his time in EnglandRoderick Hudson (1876), The American (1877), “Daisy Miller” (1879), The Portrait of a Lady (1881)contrasts American “innocence” with European “experience”drama is created by the mind
12Henry James (1843-1916) Mature Period characters talked about the different aspects and possibilities of the situations they are indrama comes from changing the way of looking at the world to anotherThe Princess Casamassima (1886), The Ambassadors (1903)
13Henry James ( )theme 1: a study of single situation or problemstudies one problem, “the nature of art,” from various points of view“The Real Thing” (1893), the problem is how art changes reality“The Death of the Lion” (1894)theme 2: unlived lifethe hero so afraid of life that can’t really live“The Beast in the Jungle” (1903)
14Henry James ( )theme 3: introducing children to the evil and immorality“What Maisie Knew” (1897), “The Turn of the Screw” (1898)theme4: being an American was a great problem“It is a complex fate, being an American.”Americans are always being “tested” by European civilization and vice versa.the new possibilities of American civilization