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American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism

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As a reaction to Romanticism. Increasing rates of democracy and literacy ... Dual influence of Romanticism and Realism. The Civil War and the building of a ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism


1
American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism
  • 1860 1920

2
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.

3
Realist Writers
  • Mark Twain
  • William Dean Howells
  • Henry James
  • Edgar Lee Masters

4
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

5
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.

6
CHARACTERISTICS
CHARACTERS THEY ARE MORE TYPES THAN
INDIVIDUALS THEY ADHERE TO THE OLD WAYS THROUGH
DIALECT OR TRAITS

NARRATOR EDUCATED OBSERVER AND MEDIATOR BETWEEN
LOCAL CHARACTERS AND MORE SOPHISTICATED READER
SETTING EMPHASIS ON NATURE AND ITS LIMITATIONS
THEY ARE REMOTE AND INACCESSIBLE, BUT INTEGRAL TO
THE STORY
PLOTS IN STORIES BY WOMEN NOT MUCH HAPPENS.
STORIES REVOLVE AROUND COMMUNITY AND ITS RITUALS
7
Regionalist Writers
  • Kate ChopinSouth
  • Mary E. Wilkins-FreemanNew England
  • Mark TwainWest
  • Willa CatherMidwest

8
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

9
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)

10
Naturalist Writers
  • Stephen Crane
  • Ambrose Bierce
  • Jack London
  • Edwin Arlington Robinson
  • Katherine Anne Porter
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Edith Wharton

11
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

12
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.
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