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Literary Movements in American Literature

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Title: Literary Movements in American Literature


1
Literary Movements in American Literature
  • Mrs. Hernandez

2
PURITANISM (1620s 1783)
  • Forms of writing
  • histories
  • diaries
  • chronicles
  • poetry
  • sermons
  • 1. explanation of biblical
    quotation
  • 2. interpretation
  • 3. application to the life of
    the Puritans

3
WRITERS OF THE PURTIAN PERIOD
  • Poetry
  • Anne Bradstreet (1612 1672)
  • Michael Wigglesworth (1631 1705)
  • Edward Taylor (1645 1729)  
  • Diaries/Chronicles/Histories
  • William Bradford (1590 1657)
  • John Winthrop (1588 1649)
  • Cotton Mather (1663 1728)
  • Edward Johnson (1598 1672)
  • Mary Rowlandson (c.1636 c.1678)
  • Sermons
  • Jonathan Edwards (1703 1758)

4
HISTORICAL EVENTS
  • 1620 -  Mayflower, Puritans found Plymouth
    Plantation
  • 1630 -  arrival of Arbella
  •             Massachusetts Bay Colony founded
  • 1636 -  Harvard University founded near Boston
  • 1650 -  Bradstreet, Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up
    In America
  • 1662 -  Wigglesworth,  The Day of Doom
  • 1704 -   first newspaper gt in Boston
  • 1741 -  Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an
    Angry God
  • 1741-61 The Great Awakening

5
Influences on America
  • Puritan influence on American Values
  •    Urge to succeed and exceed
  •     Belief that hard work necessary for
    happiness
  •      Conviction that Americans are the chosen
    people

6
Enlightenment 1750-1800
  • Rational approach to the world, belief in
    progress
  • -  Pragmatism truth measured by practical
    experience, law of nature
  • -  Deism God created the world but has no
    influence on human lives
  • -  Idealism conviction of the universal sense
    of right and wrong belief in essential goodness
    of man
  • - Interest in human nature

7
Writers of the Enlightened Period
  • Political Pamphlets
  • Philosophical / Religious Tracts
  • Benjamin Franklin   (1706 1790)
  • Thomas Paine   (1737 1809)
  • Thomas Jefferson   (1743 1826)
  • Alexander Hamilton  (1757 1804

8
Historical Events
  • 1773 -  Boston Tea Party
  • 1775-83   American Revolution
  • 1776, 4 July Declaration of Independence
  • 1783 -  Treaty of Paris
  • 1787-88 -   Federalist Papers Alex. Hamilton,
    John Jay, and James Madison
  • 1789 -   American Constitution   
  • 1789-1799 - French Revolution

9
ROMANTICISM (1820s 1861)
  • Explored what it meant to be an American, an
    American artist
  •     Looked at American government and political
    problems
  •     The problems of war and Black slavery
  •    Emerging materialism and conformity
  •    Influence of immigration, new customs and
    traditions
  •    Sexuality relationships between men and women
  •    The power of nature
  •     Individualism, emphasis on destructive effect
    of society on individual
  •      Idealism
  •      Spontaneity in thought and action

10
Characteristics of American Literary Romanticism
  • 1. INDIVIDUALISM
  • Popularized by the frontier tradition
  • Jacksonian democracy
  • Supported Abolitionism

11
  • 2. IMAGINATION
  • Reaction against the earlier ages emphasis on
    Reason
  • Abandonment of literary tradition in favor of
    experimentation
  • Organicism every idea held within it an
    inherent structure

12
  • 3. EMOTION
  • Feeling is now considered superior to rationality
    as the mode of perceiving and experiencing
    reality
  • Intuition leads one to truth
  • Truth/reality are now highly subjective

13
  • 4. NATURE
  • The means of knowing Truth
  • God reveals himself solely through Nature
  • Nature becomes a moral teacher
  • The actual subject matter of the Romantics

14
  • 5. DISTANT SETTINGS
  • Both in terms of time and place
  • Used to comment on attitudes of the time period

15
The Fireside Poets
  • Americas First Literary Stars

16
What are the Fireside Poets?
  • First group of American poets to rival British
    poets in popularity in either country.
  • Notable for their scholarship and the resilience
    of their lines and themes.
  • Preferred conventional forms over
    experimentation.
  • Often used American legends and scenes of
    American life as their subject matter.

17
Who were the Fireside Poets?
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • William Cullen Bryant
  • James Russell Lowell
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • John Greenleaf Whittier

18
Lasting Impact
  • Longfellow remained the most popular American
    poet for decades. When Poe criticized him, he
    was all but ostracized. Longfellow remains the
    only American poet to be immortalized by a bust
    in Westminster Abbeys Poets Corner
  • They took on causes in their poetry, such as the
    abolition of slavery, which brought the issues to
    the forefront in a palatable way.
  • Through their scholarship and editorial efforts,
    they paved the way for later Romantic writers
    like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau,
    and Walt Whitman.

19
Writers of the Romantic Period
  • James Fennimore Cooper (1789 1851)
  •  Edgar Allan Poe (1809 1849)  
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 1882)
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 1864)
  • Margaret Fuller (1810 1850)
  • Henry David Thoreau (1817 1862)
  • Herman Melville (1819 1891)
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811- 1896)
  • Louisa May Alcott (1832 1888)
  • Poetry
  • The Boston Brahmins
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  (18071882)
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes  (1809 1894)
  • Walt Whitman (1819 1892)
  • Emily Dickinson   (1830 1886)

20
Historical Events
  • 1812 War with England
  • 1815-50 Westward Expansion
  • 1846-48 Mexican War
  • 1849 California gold rush
  • 1861-1865 Civil War
  • 1863 - Gettysburg Address
  • 1863 Emancipation Proclamation

21
REALISM (1860s 1890s)
  • life presented with fidelity
  •   fidelity in presenting the inner workings of
    the mind
  •   the analysis of thought and feeling
  •   function of environment in shaping the
    character
  •   set in present or recent past
  •   commonplace characters
  •   exposed political corruption, economic
    inequity, business deception, the exploitation of
    labor, women rights problems, racial inequity
  •   described the relationship between the economic
    transformation of America and its moral condition

22
American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism
  • 1860-1920(ish)

23
Why did Realism develop?
  • The Civil War
  • The urbanization and industrialization of America
  • As a reaction to Romanticism
  • Increasing rates of democracy and literacy
  • The emerging middle class
  • Upheaval and social change in the latter half of
    the 19th century

24
What is Realism?
  • A faithful representation of reality in
    literature, also known as verisimilitude.
  • Emphasis on development of believable characters.
  • Written in natural vernacular, or dialect.
  • Prominent from 1860-1890.

25
Characteristics of Realism
  • Reaction against Romanticism and Neoclassicism
  • Factual is more important than the intellectual
    or the emotional  
  • Treats nature objectively, but views it as
    orderly
  • Tells the stories of everyday people
  • Use of details more important than plot
  • In diction, seeks to use natural language
  • Atheistic
  • Life is driven by fate

26
Realist Writers
  • Mark Twain
  • William Dean Howells
  • Henry James
  • Edgar Lee Masters

27
Why did Regionalism develop?
  • Dual influence of Romanticism and Realism
  • The Civil War and the building of a national
    identity
  • An outgrowth of realism with more focus on a
    particular setting and its influence over
    characters

28
What is Regionalism?
  • Often called local color.
  • Focuses on characters, dialect, customs,
    topography, and other features specific to a
    certain region (eg. the South)
  • Coincided with Realism and sharing many of the
    same traits.
  • Prominent from 1865-1895.

29
Regionalist Writers
  • Kate ChopinSouth
  • Mary E. Wilkins-FreemanNew England
  • Mark TwainWest
  • Willa CatherMidwest

30
Why did Naturalism develop?
  • The swell of immigrants in the latter half of the
    19th century, which led to a larger lower class
    and increased poverty in the cities
  • The prominence of psychology and the theories of
    Sigmund Freud
  • Pessimism in the wake of the Civil War and
    Reconstruction
  • Publication of Charles Darwins Origin of the
    Species

31
What is Naturalism?
  • Applied scientific principles of objectivity and
    detachment to the study of human beings.
  • Influenced by Darwinism (natural selection) and
    psychology (Freud)
  • Posited that men were governed by heredity and
    environment.
  • Often depict man in conflict with nature,
    society, or himself.
  • Prominent from 1880-1920(ish)

32
Distinctions of Naturalism
  • Views life from a deterministic, mechanistic
    point of view.
  • Makes people the subjects of scientific case
    studies.
  • Tone is often coldly scientific.
  • Uses great masses of details their informal
    arrangement reflects the chaotic state of society
    and nature.
  • In diction, sometimes seems to seek out the ugly
    word for its own sake.
  • Likely to present nature as chaotic.
  • Studies society dispassionately to correct the
    evils found there.
  • Drops artificial concepts of plot and action for
    a "slice of life."
  • Main characters are usually low on the social
    scale often morally frail

33
Naturalist Writers
  • Stephen Crane
  • Ambrose Bierce
  • Jack London
  • Edwin Arlington Robinson
  • Katherine Anne Porter
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Edith Wharton

34
Points to Remember
  • Realism, Regionalism, and Naturalism are
    intertwined and connected.
  • Their influence has dominated most literature
    created since 1920, though the movement itself is
    dated to roughly that point.
  • They are truly American modes of writing.

35
Realism Continued.
  • introduction of a new kind of characters
  •           industrial workers and rural poor
  •           ambitious businessman and
    vagrants
  •           prostitutes
  •           unheroic soldiers

36
Writers of the Realist Period
  • Mark Twain  (18351910)
  • Henry James (1843 1916)
  • William Dean Howells (1837 1920)
  •  
  • Local Color
  • Sarah Orne Jewett (1849 1909)
  • Kate Chopin (1851 1904)
  • Bret Harte (1836 1902) 
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860 1935)

37
Historical Events
  • 1860 Abraham Lincoln elected President
  • 1861-65 Civil War
  • 1863, 1 Jan Emancipation Proclamation
  • slavery abolished
  • 1865 13th Amendment (abolition of
  • slavery)
  • 1869 first transcontinental railroad
  • 1870s few individuals take control of big
    industries steal, railroad, oil, meat-packing
  •  
  • 1859 Darwins The Origin of Species
  • 1870 Darwin's Descent of Man

38
NATURALISM (1890s gt 1950s)
  • Trend rather than a movement never formalized
    nor dominated by the influence of a single writer
  •        A more extreme, intensified version of
    realism
  •      Shows more unpleasant, ugly, shocking
    aspects of life
  •      Objective picture of reality viewed with
    scientific detachment
  •      Determinism mans life is dominated by the
    forces he cannot control biological instincts,
    social environment
  •       No free will, no place for moral judgment
  •       Pessimism
  •       Disillusionment with the dream of success
    collapse of the predominantly agrarian myth
  •       Struggle of an individual to adopt to the
    environment
  •       Society as something stable, its
    predictability unabled one to present a universal
    human situation through accurate representation
    of particulars
  •        Faith in society and art

39
Writers of the Naturalist Period
  • Henry Adams (1838 1918)
  • Hamlin Garland (1860 1940)
  • Frank Norris (1870 1902)
  • Stephen Crane (1871 1900)
  • Theodore Dreiser (1871 1945)
  • Edith Wharton (1862 1937)
  • Jack London (1879 1916)
  • Sinclair Lewis (1885 1951)
  • Upton Sinclair (1878 1968)
  • John Steinbeck (1902 1968)

40
Historical Events of the Naturalist Period
  • 1898 Spanish-American War
  • 1901 - Theodore Roosevelt elected President
  • 1903 - first powered airplane flight

41
MODERNISM  (1914-1945)
  •       Construction out of fragments, collage
    technique, montage of images (cinema)
  •    The ideal of art is to regain the whole (like
    in The Waste Land)
  •       Work structured as a quest for the very
    coherence it seems to lack at the surface order
    found in art (Porter), religion (Eliot)
  •    Sense of discontinuity, harmony destroyed in
    WWI
  •      Omission of explanations, interpretations,
    connections, summaries, continuity
  •      Arbitrary beginning, advancement without
    explanation, end without resolution
  •    

42
  •    Shifts in perspective, voice and tone
  •       Experimentation with time flashback, leaps
    to the future
  •       Rhetoric understated, ironic
  •       Symbols and images instead statements
  •       Use of myth escape from dramatic present,
    Christianity also a myth (Faulkner)

43
Important Characteristics of Narrative
  • AlienationSelf is separate and distinct from
    society which is frequently antagonistic to
    differences
  • Fragmentation Disintegration or breakdown of
    norms of thought, behavior, or social
    relationship
  • Stream of consciousness
  • Complex allusions
  • Juxtaposition and multiple points of view
  • Use of extended metaphors
  • Use of extended symbolism
  • New types of symbolism allusive in style and an
    interest in rarified mental states

44
Important Characteristics of Poetry
  • Open form
  • Use of free verse
  • Juxtaposition of ideas rather than detailed
    explanations
  • Use of allusions and multiple associations of
    words
  • Unconventional use of metaphor
  • Importance given to sound to convey the music of
    ideas
  • Imagism

45
Writers of the Modern Period
  • Prose
  • Gertrude Stein (1874 1946)
  • Ernest Hemingway (18991961)
  • John Dos Passos (1896 1970)
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 1940)
  • William Faulkner (1897 1962)
  • Sherwood Anderson (18761941)
  • Katherine Anne Porter (1890 1980)
  • Zora Neale Hurston (1901?1960)
  • Thomas Wolfe (1900 1938)
  • Nathaniel West (1903 1940)
  • Willa Cather (1873 1947)
  • Henry Miller (1891 1980)
  • Anais Nin (1903 1977)
  •  
  • Poetry
  • Thomas Stearns Eliot (18881965)
  • William Carlos William (1883 1963)
  • Wallace Stevens (1879 1955)

46
Historical Events of the Modern Period
  • 1914-18 World War I
  • 1917 US enters the War, Russian Revolution
  • 1918 worldwide flu epidemic
  • Jan 1919 Prohibition (18th Amendment)
  • 1920 women given the vote (19th Am.)
  • 1920s Henry Fords assembly-line, cars become 
    affordable
  • 1921 Sacco-Vanzetti case
  • 1924 Immigration Act, quota systems 1921,
    1924.
  • 1927 first non stop solo flight across
    Atlantic
  • 1928 Mussolinis comes to power in Italy
  • 1929 first motion picture with sound
  •                stock market crash, Depression
    begins
  • 1932 F. Delano Roosevelt becomes President
  • 1933 18th Amendment repealed
  • 1933 Hitlers dictatorship in Germany
  • 1936-39 Spanish Civil War
  • 1941, 7 Dec   Pearl Harbor
  • 1945, 6 Aug Hiroshima atomic bomb
  •  

47
POST-WWII (1945 - )
  • http//home.comcast.net/bbedingfield/Agnieszka/Li
    teraryPeriods.htm
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