Presentation on theme: "The Literature of the Late Nineteenth Century"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Literature of the Late Nineteenth Century The Age of RealismThe Literature of the Late Nineteenth Century
2 The Age of Realism: Marked by the End of the Civil War: 1861-1865 Cost of the Civil WarThe Human Cost1,094,543 CasualtiesThe North lost one out of ten110,100 in battle224,580 to diseaseThe South lost one out of four94,000 in battle64,000 to diseaseTwo percent of US population died in the Civil War, with only WWII claiming more lives;Economic CostEstimated at 6.6 billion, which would be 165 billion today
7 By the end of the Civil War The Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment had abolished slaveryThe industrial North had defeated the agrarian SouthSocial order grew based on mass labor and mass consumption;Steam power replaced water powerMachines replaced hand laborThe Industrial Revolution had begun
8 The Effects of The Industrial Revolution Migration from rural to urban areasIndependent, skilled workers replaced by semi-skilled laborers;Large corporations were established, devaluing the personal relationship between management and workers or company and customers.
9 Political Upheaval Political power shifted to the laboring classes; Political patronage and graft caused civic corruption;The power of the federal government expanded during the Civil War;National conscription laws;Federal income taxes levied;Paper money backed by federal government rather than individual states issued.
10 Mass Communication and Migration Coast-to-coast communicationPony Express (1860)—10 daysTelegraph (1861)—just seconds to communicate across countryTransatlantic telegraph cable (1866) allowed instant communicate with EuropeTelephone patented (1867)By 1900, 1.3 million telephones in U.S.Coast-to-coast travelTranscontinental Railroad (1869)By 1889, coast-to-coast travel—4 days
11 Samuel Morse: Inventor of the Telegraph Transcontinental Railroad Alexander Graham BellSamuel Morse: Inventor of the TelegraphTranscontinental Railroad
12 Effects of Transcontinental Mobility Increased commercial developmentFarm and ranching products available nation wideNational retail organizations undersold local shop keepersRichard Sears and Montgomery WardsReady-made goods and clothes less expensive than local, hand-produced waresTime zones reduced from 56 to 4 in 1883
13 Other Social ChangesMigration westward expanded the U.S. from the Atlantic to the PacificNative American populations displaced and subjugated;Growth of IndustrySteelmaking, the nation’s dominant industryAlternating electrical current (1886)American petroleum industry beginsGrowth of populationTotal population doubled from 1870 to 1890National income quadrupledGap between rich and poor widened
14 Civil Rights Changed Reconstruction in the South ends by 1877 Poll taxes and literacy tests disqualified black votersSeparate and unequal schools createdWhite supremacy re-establishedWomen’s rights increaseMore women entered the workforceAll female colleges were formed: Vassar, Wellesley and SmithWomen gained the right to vote in 1922Foreign immigration increasesBy 1910, one-third of largest cities foreign-bornNeed for public education increasesThe Morrill Acct of 1862—land given to states for establishment of “land-grant” universities
15 Intellectual Revolution: Changes in Thinking brought about by Changes in Society Changes in scienceChanges in psychologyChanges in philosophy
16 Science: Charles Darwin Published The Origin of Species,Hypothesized that man is the product of evolution,Man is special not because God created him in His image,but because man had successfully adapted to changing environmental conditionsand had passed on his survival-making characteristics to his progeny.
17 Psychology: Sigmund Freud Believed that the mind could be understood in terms of repressed urges, usually sexual;Theorized an unconscious system of ideas that governs human reactions and response;Id, Ego, and Super-ego
18 Philosophy: Karl MarxExplained human history as the result of class struggles;Human identity is defined by social context;It is human nature to transform nature.
19 Philosophy: American Pragmatism Truth is tested by its usefulness or practical consequences;Truth is a commodity accessible on the surface of things;It’s perceptible to the senses and verifiable through experience;Permanent truths exist apart from the material world—the mind of God, Plato’s ideal formsWilliam James
20 From these social changes come two literary movements Realism,first begun as the local color movementNaturalism
21 RealismBegins in France, as realisme, a literary doctrine calling for “reality and truth in the depiction of ordinary life.”Grounded in the belief that there is an objective reality which can be portrayed with truth and accuracy as the goal;The writer does not select facts in accord with preconceived ideals, but rather sets down observations impartially and objectively.
22 A Reaction against Romanticism These authors sought to portray life as they saw it, insisting that the ordinary and local were just as suitable for art as the sublime.“Nothing more and nothing less than the truthful treatment of material. “ William Dean Howells
23 Realism began in America as Local Color A synthesis of romantic plots and realistic descriptions of things;Definition of Local Color:Literature that focuses on the characters, dialect, customs, topography, and other features particular to a specific region that exploits the speech, dress, mannerisms, and habits of that specific region .
24 Characteristics of Local Color Setting—often remote and usually integral to the story;Characters—more concerned with the character of the region than an individual—quaint, stereotypical;Narrator-- an educated observer from the world beyond who’s often deceivedEmphasis on dialectUse of stock charactersPlot—nothing much happens, revolves around the community and its rituals
25 Themes in Local ColorDislike of change, nostalgia for an always-past Golden Age;Triumphant trickster or trickster tricked;Tall tale-tradition, conflicts described humorously, larger than life
26 Characteristics of Realism Subject matter—ordinary people and events;Purpose—Verisimilitude, the truthful representation of life;Point of View—omniscient and objectiveCharacters—middle class, psychological realismPlot de-emphasizedFocus on everyday lifeComplex ethical choices often the subjectEvents are made to seem the inevitable result of characters’ choices
27 Themes in Realism Humans control their destinies characters act on their environment rather than simply reacting to it.Slice-of-life techniqueoften ends without traditional formal closure, leaving much untold to suggest man’s limited ability to make sense of his life.
28 Naturalism: A Harsher Realism Definition: A literature that depicts social problems and views humans as victims of larger biological, psychological and social and economic forces.Scientific determinismPsychological determinismHistorical determinism
29 Scientific, Biological or Darwinian Determinism Man has no direct control over who or what he is. His fate is determined by outside forces that can be discovered through scientific inquiry;Humans respond to environmental forces and internal stresses and drives, none of which can be fully controlled or understoodPeople are driven by fundamental urges like fear, hunger, sexThe world is a “competitive jungle,”
30 Psychological Determinism Man is a victim of his inner and subconscious self (Freud).
31 Historical Determinism Historical or socio-economic determinism (Marx): the world is a battleground of economic and social forces;
32 Objectives of Naturalism Presentation is objective and detachedSubject matter—raw and unpleasant experiences which reduce people to degrading circumstances in order to survive;Setting commonplace and un-heroicNovelist discovers qualities in lower class characters usually associated with heroesSuggestion that life on lowest levels is more complicated
33 Themes in NaturalismMan is fundamentally an animal, without free will;Governed by determinismExternal and internal forces, environment or heredity control behavior;Characters have compensating humanistic values which affirm life;Struggle for life becomes heroic and affirms human dignityPessimistic view of human capabilities—life is a trap
34 The Ultimate Problem in Realism Whose reality is portrayed?Those in power, usually male, white and privilegedWhose reality is marginalized and ignored?Those without power: women, people of color, people of lower economic means