Presentation on theme: "Realism, Local Color, and Naturalism: American Literature in the Post-Civil War Years Ms. Mitchell Sophomore CP."— Presentation transcript:
Realism, Local Color, and Naturalism: American Literature in the Post-Civil War Years Ms. Mitchell Sophomore CP
Essential Questions What divides a nation? Is anything worth dying for? Why do people break the rules? Is it important to face reality? What makes a place unique? Why are there “haves” and “have-nots”? Does the universe care?
Where Have We Come From? Puritans –Religion, people are sinners, serious, trying to tame the land, life was harsh. Romanticism/Transcendentalism/Gothic –Nature, spirituality, people not necessarily bad, hopeful, individual spirit and emotion, humans do have a capacity for evil, supernatural Where Do We Go?
Our new unit starts in the years after the Civil War. Think: Why might there be the birth of a new literary movement in the years following a big war? Why might people no longer feel aligned with the Romantic movement as they did before the war?
Changing Times People were greatly impacted by the war (emotionally, physically, financially) and many no longer felt like they could identify with the lofty, romantic ideals of the Romantic Movement. Life was changing and people needed a way to make sense of their new world and circumstances. Writing, and other artistic means, have historically provided that outlet.
What Else Changed? Country Becomes Bigger…And Smaller?! –The country, now united after the war, has expanded westward into the frontier. New regions now exist and are being explored. –The transcontinental railroad makes travel across parts of the country faster and easier. Race Relations –Slavery is now officially over. What does this mean for interactions between blacks and whites? Role of Women –What might the changes for women be at this time?
What Else Changed? Cntd. Money –The economy is changing. A few powerful men hold the majority of the wealth. –Many people, especially Native Americans, farmers, blacks, and immigrants face hard times and struggle to compete in the changing marketplace –Social Darwinism: applied Darwin’s idea of “survival of the fittest” to the gap between the rich and the poor. –Is this a fair way of looking at things? Why or why not?
Think! What might the new literature look like, given all the changes the country has experienced? What predictions can you make about our upcoming works?
So Where Do We End Up? Realism Local Color Naturalism
Realism Realism: At its basic level, realism was grounded in the faithful reporting of all facets of everyday American life. More honest, unsentimental and ironic than literature that came before. Focused on: –Commonplace and collective experiences: –Character development over plot –Norms of daily experience –Ordinary characters, studied in depth –Images over Symbolism –Morality as self realized –Democracy –Relations between people and society are explored Examples: Both Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson can be seen as examples of poets who broke rules and are transitional poets between the Romantic and Realist movements.
Regionalism and Local Color Large country with many unique and different regions. (North, South, Midwest, Western Frontier, etc) Local color writings focus on the specific details and eccentricities of a particular area, usually well known to the writer. Allowed readers to intimately experience places unknown to them, allowed other readers to uniquely identify with a text. Example: Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn
Naturalism Reflected the time of rapid changes and sharp contrasts, when wealth was concentrated in the hands of a few Grew out of realism but also focused on more extraordinary experiences and people at the fringes of society Naturalists saw humans as helpless from forces beyond their control. –What do you understand this to mean? Example: Jack London’s White Fang and Call of the Wild.
Lasting Legacy War Stories Artistic Innovators African-American/Black literary influence Wild West Labor Movements Regionalism and Local Color today