Presentation on theme: "REALISM AND NATURALISM IN AMERICAN LITERATURE"— Presentation transcript:
1 REALISM AND NATURALISM IN AMERICAN LITERATURE The AwakeningBy Kate Chopin
2 Realism: the depiction of life as most people live and know it Realism is a literary response to RomanticismConcentrates on the typical and average, avoids the unusualDeals with the immediate, the here and nowObjective representation of life (plain and simple truths of life and relationships)Dealt with issues of ethics and conductSubject matter centered around the common actions and minor catastrophes of a middle class society.Written in simple, clear and direct prose
3 The Tenets of Realism (1870 -1910) Man has free will; what happens to him is due to his choicesLife is shown and depicted realistically “a slice of life”Writers were objective and celebrated the individualIdeas dealt with the ordinaryWriting reported the moral condition of ordinary peopleEmphasized the real over the imaginary
4 Naturalism (1890-1910) Naturalism is an extension of Realism Naturalism is a literary movement that attempts to apply scientific principles of objectivity and detachment to its study of human beings.Naturalistic characters can be studied through their relationships to their surroundings and nature.
5 Beliefs of Naturalism An individual is a helpless object Human existence is determined and influenced by natural forcesNature is indifferent to human problemsHumanity has no control over fateFate is determined by one’s environment
6 Man does not have free will Man is the victim of large, impersonalforces and social-economical pressuresMoral choice is forced upon man by heredity, his environment, and his relationshipsMan is animalisticMan cannot deny animalistic tendenciesMan is the victim of his environment
7 Characteristics of Naturalism ObjectiveExamines life bluntly and crudelyPessimistic toneOverly descriptiveAt times reduces characters to degrading behavior to surviveIdeas dealt with the negative
8 Characteristics of the Period Naturalism thrived in America from 1890 to (Although its influence lasted more than 20 years.)Between 1870 and 1890 the population of the U.S. DOUBLEDTenement housing issues grew in cities(Tenements held as many families as possible, no windows, poor ventilation, diseases spread rapidly, little running water, TB common)More growth in urban centers (cities)Major reasons for growth in cities:ImmigrationFreed slaves after the Civil War
9 Major Naturalistic Writers Kate Chopin(Major work: The Awakening)Stephen Crane(Major works: The Red Badge of Courage and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets)
10 Kate Chopin Background Born Katherine O’Flaherty born in St. Louis, Missouri on February 8Her father died in a train wreck when she was five years old.Entered the Academy of the Sacred Heart run by an order of French Catholic nuns. During her studies and as a writer she was greatly influenced by Guy de Maupassant. He was a French realist author. She wrote often about his works in her diary.1869 – Wrote “Emancipation: A Life Fable” and met Oscar Chopin1870 Kate and Oscar marry and settle in New Orleans, Louisiana (He is six years her elder.)
11 1871 - birth of first son, Jean birth of second son, Oscar Jr.birth of third son, Georgebirth of fourth son, Frederickbirth of fifth son, Felixbirth of only daughter, Lelia; family moves to Cloutierville, LouisianaOscar dies of swamp feverKate returns to St. Louis to live with her mother, Eliza. She begins writing more frequently.
12 1885 – Eliza (Kate’s mother) dies 1890 – Chopin’s first novel is published titled: At Fault1891 Her second novel Young Dr. Gosse and Theo is completed, but she is unable to get it published and she destroys the manuscript.1899 The Awakening is published. The novel was not well received and her morals were criticized.1904 Kate Chopin dies of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 54.
13 Kate ChopinImage below from the archives of the Missouri Historical Society."Whatever we may do or attempt, despite the embrace and transports of love, the hunger of the lips, we are always alone. I have dragged you out into the night in the vain hope of a moment's escape from the horrible solitude which overpowers me. But what is the use! I speak and you answer me, and still each of us is alone; side by side but alone.” In 1895, these words, from a story by Guy de Maupassant called “Solitude”, which she had translated for a St. Louis magazine, expressed a melancholy wisdom that Kate Chopin found compelling. This quote has been attributed as part of her inspiration for The Awakening.