Chapter 7 The Era of Realism and Naturalism - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Chapter 7 The Era of Realism and Naturalism


Chapter 7 The Era of Realism and Naturalism from An Outline of American Literature by Peter B. High Moving toward Realism in Literature by 1875 influence of French ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 7 The Era of Realism and Naturalism

Chapter 7 The Era of Realism and Naturalism
  • from An Outline of American Literature by Peter
    B. High

Moving toward Realism in Literature by 1875
  • influence of French Realism (p.83)
  • changed the relationship between literature and
  • novel had the power to become a political weapon
  • In 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 dont.

William Dean Howell (1837-1920)
  • created the first theory for American realism
  • Realism became a weapon against literary
  • Realism became the mainstream of American
  • The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885)

William 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
  • Novels should make you think . . . and shame you
    into wishing to be a more helpful creature than
    you are.
  • Novels should depict business and businessmen
  • Good realists should be interested in the common
    feelings or commonplace people.

William Dean Howell (1837-1920)
  • A Hazard of New Fortunes (1890)
  • became a kind of socialist, attacking the evils
    of American capitalism, its selfish competition
  • art and the artist must serve the poor people of

  • a term created by the French novelist, Emile Zola
  • used discoveries and knowledge of modern science
    to study human life
  • people were not really free rather, their lives,
    opinions and morality were all controlled by
    social, economic and psychological causes

Stephen Crane (1871-1990)
  • wrote Maggie A Girl of the Street (1893) at the
    age of 22
  • characters are controlled by their environment
  • The Red Badge of Courage (1895), his greatest
  • what you become is merely a matter of chance, or
  • The Open Boat (1898)

Hamlin Garland (1860-1940)
  • had deep sympathy for the common people (p.90)
  • his literature was a form of social protest
  • Main-Traveled Roads (1891)
  • life is determined by outside conditions and
    wrote to help improve those conditions
  • described people, places and events in a careful
    and factual manner
  • impressionistic way of describing, mixes
    emotions, colors, and sights
  • a message behind these description the failure
    of the American Dream
  • the forces of American capitalism had destroyed
    the individuals freedom

Ambrose Bierce (1824-1914)
  • loved to describe the terrifying events and
    strange forms of death
  • skillful control of detail gives us a clear
    impression of the ironic fate waiting for a
  • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Henry James (1843-1916)
  • an observer of the mind, psychological realism
  • stream of consciousness the workings of the
  • things happen to the character but not as a
    result of their own actions
  • watch life more than live it
  • What do they see? How do they try to understand
  • The changing consciousness of the character is
    the real story
  • interested in how characters respond to the
    events of the story
  • events inside ones head can be dramatic

Henry James (1843-1916)
  • Early Works
  • deal with his thoughts and feelings as an
    American living in Europe
  • spent most of his time in England
  • Roderick Hudson (1876), The American (1877),
    Daisy Miller (1879), The Portrait of a Lady
  • contrasts American innocence with European
  • drama is created by the mind

Henry James (1843-1916)
  • Mature Period
  • characters talked about the different aspects and
    possibilities of the situations they are in
  • drama comes from changing the way of looking at
    the world to another
  • The Princess Casamassima (1886), The Ambassadors

Henry James (1843-1916)
  • theme 1 a study of single situation or problem
  • studies 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 life
  • the hero so afraid of life that cant really live
  • The Beast in the Jungle (1903)

Henry James (1843-1916)
  • theme 3 introducing children to the evil and
  • 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
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