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American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism

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Realist Writers Mark Twain read last yr Kate Chopin women writers unit Charlotte Perkins Gilman women writers unit Jack London ... Call of the Wild ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism


1
American Regionalism, Realism, and Naturalism
  • 1860-1920(ish)

2
What is Realism?
  • A faithful representation of reality (concrete,
    historical) in literature
  • Emphasis on development of believable characters.
  • Written in natural dialect.
  • Emphasis on individual(s) in his/her social
    environment
  • Prominent from 1860-1890.

3
Realist Writers
  • Mark Twain read last yr
  • Kate Chopin women writers unit
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman women writers unit
  • Jack London
  • Stephen Crane

4
Why did Realism develop?
  • The Civil War
  • The urbanization and industrialization of America
  • As a reaction to the fantasies of Romanticism
  • The emerging middle class and increasing literacy
    rates
  • 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)
  • Writers depicted nearly every region of the U.S.
  • A subset of Realism

6
Regionalist Writers
  • South Kate Chopin women writers unit, Mark
    Twain
  • New England Mary Wilkins-Freeman women writers
    unit
  • West Mark Twain, John Steinbeck
  • Midwest Willa Cather (not readingbut check her
    out sometime)

7
What is Naturalism?
  • An extreme form of Realism which arose in the
    late 19th / early 20th century.
  • Authors emphasized the roles of heredity and
    environment, outside forces, on human characters.
  • Narrators are often objective and detached.
  • Influenced by Darwinism (natural selection-
    survival of the fittest)
  • Focuses on the idea of determinism (concept that
    human beings do not have free will)
  • Often depicts man in conflict with nature,
    society, or himself.
  • Usually dreary in tone

8
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

9
Naturalist Writers
Jack London
Stephen Crane
10
Jack London (1876-1916)
  • Prolific writer of The Call of the Wild (1903),
    The Sea-Wolf (1904), and 18 other novels, 200
    stories, over 400 nonfiction works
  • First American writer to become millionaire from
    being an author
  • Father abandoned family. Supported himself
    working from age 13
  • Attended UC-Berkeley for one semester in 1896
  • An adventurer Traveled in Yukon in winter 1897.
    Crossed the Pacific in small boat (1907-09)
    helped popularize Hawaii as tourist destination

11
To Build a Fire
Alaska and the Yukon Territory
Nature vs. Civilization
A Man against .Nature .His
Dog .Himself
12
Stephen Crane (1871-1900)
  • Writer most famous for novel The Red Badge of
    Courage (1895), about a young mans experience of
    Civil War
  • After Red Badge, became correspondent in Cuban
    insurrection, 1897
  • Jan. 1897 En route to Cuba, steamer The
    Commodore sank off Florida Crane published
    newspaper account and later the short story The
    Open Boat
  • 1900 Died of tuberculosis

13
The Open Boat
The Commodore
  • About the indifference of nature and the
    necessity for each person to confront that
    indifference independently
  • About the ability of people to work together to
    make meaning (be civilized) despite natures
    indifference (unlike To Build a Fire)

Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse
14
Points to Remember
Nature rules!
  • Realism, Regionalism, and Naturalism are
    intertwined and connected. (Most Realist authors
    are either Regionalist or Naturalist)
  • 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.
  • And
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