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American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism

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American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism 1855-1910 Realism The Civil War was a violent clash, not just of armies, but of ideas. Who was right, and who was wrong? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism


1
American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism
  • 1855-1910

2
Realism
  • The Civil War was a violent clash, not just of
    armies, but of ideas. Who was right, and who was
    wrong? What did it mean to be an American? Was
    any price too high to pay to keep the nation
    whole?

3
What is Realism?
  • A faithful representation of reality in
    literature
  • A reaction against Romanticism
  • Emphasis on development of believable characters.
  • Written in natural vernacular, or dialect.
  • Prominent from 1855-1870.

4
Realist Writers
  • Walt Whitman
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Ambrose Bierce

5
What brought about Realism?
  • Cultural Divide
  • The Civil War
  • The urbanization and industrialization of America
  • Increasing rates of democracy and literacy
  • The emerging middle class

6
Regionalism and Naturalism
  • Vast, varied, filled with seemingly limitless
    possibilities that was the United States in the
    years following the Civil War. Yet, all around
    them in this land of hope and opportunity,
    writers saw fellow Americans living lives of
    hardship and even despair. Regionalism tried to
    capture the reality of ordinary peoples lives
    naturalism searched for explanations.

7
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 1870-1910.

8
Why did Regionalism develop?
  • 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

9
Regionalist
  • Mark Twain
  • Kate Chopin

10
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.

11
Naturalist Writers
  • Stephen Crane
  • Jack London
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Edith Wharton

12
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

13
Points to Remember
  • Realism, Regionalism, and Naturalism are
    intertwined and connected.
  • Their influence has dominated most literature
    created since 1910, though the movement itself is
    dated to roughly that point.
  • They are truly American modes of writing.
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