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American Regionalism, Realism, Naturalism, and Satire This presentation will mention (in no particular order) Huckleberry Finn, Gettysburg Address, Whitman, Crane ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: American%20Regionalism,%20Realism,%20Naturalism,%20and%20Satire

American Regionalism, Realism, Naturalism, and
  • This presentation will mention (in no particular
    order)Huckleberry Finn, Gettysburg Address,
    Whitman, Crane, Narrative ofFrederick Douglass

What is Realism?
  • A faithful representation of reality in
  • also known as verisimilitude.
  • Emphasis on development of believable characters.
  • Written in natural vernacular or dialect.
  • Prominent from 1860-1890.
  • Based on these four characteristics, how does
    Huck Finn demonstrate elements of realism?

Why did Realism Develop?
  • The Civil War
  • The urbanization and industrialization of America
  • New York had grown from a city of 500,000 in 1850
    to a metropolis of nearly 3,500,000 inhabitants
    by 1900
  • Between 1850 and 1880 capital invested in
    manufacturing industries more than quadrupled
  • Factory employment nearly doubled
  • 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
  • Why do these factors make people want to focus on
    reality and believable characters?
  • What does our current society focus on in

The Importance of the Civil War
  • Violent Clash
  • Armies
  • Ideas
  • What does it mean to be an American?
  • (You will be looking at Civil War photography for
    an upcoming project)

How the Civil War Transformed American Literature
Start around 300
(No Transcript)
Walt Whitman and Realism
  • His search for his brother
  • Poet of democracy poet who used common people
    as subjects for his poetry

Whitman Civil WarLincoln
Themes in Realism
  • Humans control their destinies
  • characters act on their environment rather than
    simply reacting to it.
  • Slice-of-life technique
  • often ends without traditional formal closure,
    leaving much untold to suggest mans limited
    ability to make sense of his life.

Huckleberry Finn
  • Mark Twain described the major theme of The
    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as
  • A sound heart and a deformed conscience come
    into collision, and conscience suffers defeat.
  • A sound heart a good, honest heart.
  • A deformed conscience a conscience influenced
    by the laws of society and a sense of duty toward
    those laws.

What is Regionalism?
  • Often called local color.
  • Focuses on characters, dialect, customs,
    topography, and other features specific to a
    certain region (eg. the South)
  • Often portrays a distinct region as having a
  • homogeneous population
  • Homosame genrace, kind, type
  • Coincided with Realism and sharing many of the
    same traits.
  • Prominent from 1865-1895.

Vernacular and Dialect
  • Vernacular
  • Informal, everyday speech of a particular
  • country or region
  • A variety of a language spoken by a group of
  • people, sometimes cultural
  • Dialect
  • A variation of a language spoken by a
  • particular group may differ in vocabulary,
  • pronunciation, common expressions, spelling,
  • speed, or grammar
  • The term accent is often confused with
  • dialect, but an accent refers only to the way
  • words are pronounced

HF Controversy - Language
HF Controvery Language (Again)
Why did Regionalism Develop?
  • Dual influence of Romanticism and Realism
  • The Civil War and the building of a national
  • An outgrowth of realism with more focus on a
    particular setting and its influence over

What is Naturalism?
  • Offshoot of realism
  • Applied scientific principles of objectivity and
    detachment to the study of human beings.
  • Influenced by Darwinism (natural selection) and
    psychology (Freud)
  • Men were governed by heredity and environment.
  • Often depict man in conflict with nature,
    society, or himself.
  • Naturalist writers sought to describe the effect
    of natural and social forces (instinct,
    environment) on the individual
  • Prominent from 1880-1920(ish)

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
  • Publication of Charles Darwins Origin of the

Science Charles Darwin
  • Published The Origin of Species,
  • Hypothesized that man is the product of
  • Man is special not because God created him in His
  • but because man had successfully adapted to
    changing environmental conditions
  • and had passed on his survival-making
    characteristics to his progeny.

Themes in Naturalism
  • Man is fundamentally an animal, without free
  • Governed by determinism
  • External and internal forces, environment or
    heredity control behavior
  • Characters have compensating humanistic values
    which affirm life
  • Struggle for life becomes heroic and affirms
    human dignity
  • Pessimistic view of human capabilitieslife is a

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.

Developing Themes What does Twain teach us
about each idea?
  • Racism Slavery
  • Intellectual and Moral Education
  • The Hypocrisy of Civilized Society

Racism Slavery
  • Although written 20 years after the Emancipation
    Proclamation, America especially the South
    was still struggling with racism and the
    aftereffects of slavery.
  • Insidious racism arose near the end of
    Reconstruction that oppressed blacks for
    illogical and hypocritical reasons.
  • Twain exposes the hypocrisy of slavery and
    demonstrates how racism distorts the oppressors
    as much as the oppressed.
  • The result is a world of moral confusion.

Intellectual and Moral Education
  • Huck is an uneducated boy.
  • He distrusts the morals and precepts of the
    society that treats him as an outcast and fails
    to protect him from abuse.
  • Huck questions his teachings, especially
    regarding race and slavery.
  • In many instances, Huck chooses to go to hell
    rather than go along with the rules of society.

The Hypocrisy of Civilized Society
  • Civilized to Huck means . . .
  • Regular baths, uncomfortable clothes
  • Mandatory school attendance
  • Degraded rules that defy logic
  • Hucks drunkard, abusive father gets to keep
    custody of Huck because he is his natural father
  • The injustice of slavery that keeps Jim from his
  • Seemingly good people are prejudiced slave-owners
  • Terrible acts go unpunished, while lesser crimes
    lead to severe punishment

  • Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or
    literary devices that can help to develop and
    inform the texts major themes.
  • Childhood
  • Hucks youth is an important factor in his moral
    education only a child is open-minded enough to
    undergo the kind of development that Huck does.
  • Lies and Cons
  • Huckleberry Finn is full of malicious lies and
    scams the lies are bad and hurt a number of
    innocent people.
  • Superstitions and Folk Beliefs
  • Jim believes in a wide range of superstitions and
    folktales although Huck is reluctant to believe
    at first, many of the beliefs indeed have some
    basis in reality.
  • Parodies of Popular Romance Novels
  • The story is full of people who base their lives
    on romantic literary models and stereotypes of
    various kinds
  • Tom Sawyer, for example, bases his life and
    actions on adventure novels

What is satire?
What is Satire?
  • A work or manner that blends a censorious
    attitude with humor and wit for improving human
    institutions or humanity.
  • -Harmon and Holman
  • Today, forms of satire can be literary
    (books, essays, stories, i.e. the printed word),
    but also cartoons, songs, and the performing
  • Uses ridicule of wit to attack human faults,
  • vices, shortcomings and follies with the intent
  • to bring about improvement
  • Usually meant to be humorous, but is also an
  • attack on something of which the
  • author/speaker strongly disapproves
  • There is a fine line between satirical and

Social Commentary
Elements of satire
Social Change
Can you find any of this in this clip?
  • To deliberately use wit to imitate style of a
  • work or individual
  • Similar
  • Take-off, spoof, lampoon, burlesque

Jean Commercial
To present things that are out of place or are
absurd in relation to their surroundings
Its so easy
Satire uses irony the recognition of a reality
different than appearance.
  • Verbal Irony the actual intent of words is the
    opposite of overt meaning
  • Situational Irony Because of the context of an
    event is the opposite of what would be expected.
  • Dramatic Irony
  • Dissing Your Dog
  • Notice any sarcasm?

  • To present opposite of the normal order or role
    (e.g. order of events, or hierarchy)

We all know what exaggeration is, taking things
to an extreme degree, thereby revealing
foolishness or weaknesses of the subject.
Exaggeration of a persons traits is termed
What makes satire satire? Social commentary. That
is, the writer ridicules or pokes fun at certain
aspects of society he or she finds repugnant in
hopes of changing it.
Targets? The Usual Suspects. Vanity, hypocrisy,
religion, bigotry, human vices, sentimentality,
greed, celebrity worship, materialism, hubris,
dumbing down of education, snobbery,
foolishness, cruelty, insensitivity, laziness
Classroom - SNL
Read the following excerpts from Huck Finn and
try to identify what social problem Twain is
criticizing. What P.I.I.E. techniques does he use
to make his point? Huck Pretty soon a spider
went crawling up my shoulder, and I flipped it
off and it lit in the candle, and before I could
budge it was all shriveled up. I didnt need
anybody to tell me that was an awful bad sign
and would fetch me some bad luck, so I was
scared and most shook the clothes off of me. I
got up and turned around in my tracks three
times and crossed my breast every time and then
I tied up a little lock of my hair with a thread
to keep witches away . . . (4) Pap Well,
Ill learn her Widow Douglas how to meddle. And
looky hereyou drop that school, you hear? Ill
learn people to bring up a boy to put on airs
over his own father and let on to be bettern
what he is. You lemme catch you fooling around
that school again, you hear? Your mother
couldnt read, and she couldnt Write, nuther,
before she died. None of the family couldnt
before they died. And Here youre a swelling
yourself up like this. I aint the man to stand it
you hear? (19)
Group Scavenge
In groups of 3-4, comb through The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn and excerpt passages
demonstrating satire. Identify what is being
satirized, how it is being satirized (which of
the P.I.I.E. elements), and what Twain may be
hoping to change.
Excerpt Topic being Satirized P.I.I.E. Hope for Change
Example The widow she cried over me and called me a poor lost lambshe put me in them new clothes again and I couldnt do nothin but sweat and sweat and feel all cramped up (1). Reformer mindset Parody(Widow D) Incongruity(streetwise Huck as lost lamb) Help others based on their needs not ones own ego.
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