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The Rise of Realism


The Rise of Realism The Civil War and Postwar Period 1850-1900 A Clash of Ideals Both the North and the South were motivated by a combination of ideology and economic ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Rise of Realism

The Rise of Realism
  • The Civil War and Postwar Period
  • 1850-1900

A Clash of Ideals
  • Both the North and the South were motivated by a
    combination of ideology and economic necessity.
  • Northerners fought to end slavery and to preserve
    the constitutional Union of the founders.

  • Southerners fought to uphold states rights and
    to defend the Southern way of life.
  • Both sides fought to protect their economic

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson had for decades warned that
    this day would come if slavery were not abolished.

Snapshot from the Civil War
  • Because rifle balls often shattered bones,
    doctors were usually forced to amputate wounded
    soldiers arms or legs, often piling the limbs up
    on a cart outside the surgeons tent. Ignorant
    of hygienic science, surgeons frequently honed
    their scalpels on the soles of their boots, so
    infections in the field hospitals ran rampant.
    Alexander Fleming did not discover penicillin
    until 1928, minor wounds could often prove deadly.

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Eyes on the War
  • During the American Civil War, photographs were
    the closest thing to newscasts. As a result, the
    Civil War became the first war to be fully
    documented in pictures.

After the Civil War, Walt Whitman predicted that
a great literature willarise out of the era of
those four years.
There was little literary output during the war
since then, however, it has generated over sixty
thousands books and articles, written by scholars
and historians, making it one of the most
written-about wars in history.
  • The American Civil War ( 1861-1865) resulted in
    terrible blood-shed as the national government
    sought to preserve the Union by ending the
    secession of Southern states.
  • Despite his firsthand experience of the aftermath
    of battle, Walt Whitman and other notable writers
    retained an optimistic view of the American
  • However, the horrors of war merely reinforced the
    pessimism of many American writers like Herman
    Melville, Ambrose Pierce, and Stephen Crane.

  • Very little important poetry and fiction issued
    directly from the Civil War, largely because few
    major American writers experienced the war
  • Direct accounts of the war found their way into
    other types of literature ( letters, diaries, and
  • The real war would not find a place in American
    fiction until the development of the realist

What is realistic literature?
  • A style of writing, developed in the 19th
    century, that attempts to depict life accurately
    without idealizing or romanticizing it.

Local Color
  • Fiction and poetry that focuses on the
    characters dialect, customs, topography, and
    other features particular to a specific region.

Smiling Realism
  • A portrayal of an America where people may act
    foolishly, but where their good qualities
    eventually win out.
  • Mark Twain provides an excellent example of a
    smiling realist.

Naturalism 1865-1900
  • A literary movement that is a stem of realism.
  • Naturalists believed that ones heredity and
    social environment determined ones character.
  • Naturalism attempts to determine scientifically
    the underlying forces influencing the actions of
    its subjects.
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