American Realism and Naturalism - Mrs. Croswell's Classroom
American Realism and Naturalism An Era of New Beginnings I. Signs of New Beginnings A. Passing of the frontier - the end of 1. Western frontier 2. Cattle drives 3. Herds of buffalo 4. Indian resistance - Battle of Wounded Knee B. New Transportation
1. 1903 - Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk 2. Automobiles C. Difficulties 1. Reconstruction - rebuilding the South after the war; much corruption 2. NYC - corruption of Boss Tweed 3. Chicago Fire of 1871 4. 5-yr. depression II. New Forces Changing American Society A. Industrialism - moving from an agricultural
society to a manufacturing/technology-based society 1. Mass production of goods ex: sewing machine (Isaac Singer) * What effect would the fact that Americans dressed similarly (b/c of mass-produced clothes) have on a national identity? Where do Americans come from? 2. Natural resources - iron & coal (Why were these both needed for industrialization?) 3. Population changes
a. People moved West to develop the country b. People moved into large cities to work mostly new immigrants and southern blacks who had been recently freed 4. Leaders of industry a. Andrew Carnegie(steel), John D. Rockefeller(oil refining), & J.P. Morgan (banking) labor b. Much corruption - "robber barons;" child laws not in affect until later
c. Rise of powerful men from humble beginnings led to the "great American Dream" B. Darwinism 1. Two books a. Origin of the Species - evolution of animal life b. Descent of Man - evolution of man 2. Influence on science - extended to social sciences which began to regard man as a higher
order of animal not a being created in God's image 3. Influence on religion - If the biblical account of man's beginning isn't true, can any of the Bible be trusted? Are we really created in God's image or are we just another form of animal? Do we have a soul or spirit that can respond to God? III. New Alignments in American Christianity A. Dwight L. Moody
1. held revival meetings in every major city 2. created 2 Christian schools 3. established what would later become Moody Bible Institute B. Billy Sunday 1. accepted Christ as his personal savior while playing professional baseball 2. hit the sawdust trail more rural meetings
IV. New Directions Within American Literature * Industrialism (and the resulting materialism) and Darwinism influenced the writers after the Civil War greatly A. Realism
1. desire to study characters and settings with the objectivity of a scientist 2. pictured the world as controlled by nature or fate or blind chance B. Division of realism 1. Regionalists a. Settings were specific geographical sections of the country b. helped popularize short story c. lacked depth of characterization and theme
2. Masters of Realism 3 most significant American realists a. William Dean Howells wrote about middle class b. Henry James cosmopolitan or international themes and characters c. Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) frontier * Through their novels, they investigated the inner workings of the human mind 3. Naturalism
a. application of Darwinism to literature b. life is controlled by fate an individual is rarely given the opportunity to control his own life c. nature is not the means to knowing truth but is actually harsh and unforgiving 4. Anti-naturalist mostly Christian writers Edwin Markham, Fanny Crosby, William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) Regionalists Ambrose Bierce western writer
Defining experience of his youth was his service in the Civil War Moved to San Francisco (journalist) exposed corruption of Southern Pacific RR
Bitter Bierce lost his wife and 2 sons Mostly wrote short stories about the South and the Civil War The Devil's Dictionary definitions of words that reveal his pessimism always seeing the bad side
cynicism believing that people are motivated by elf-interest nihilism belief that life is meaningless YEAR a period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Main Character: Peyton Farquhar Terms:
1. flashback revealing previous events of a story 2. foreshadowing - a literary device in which a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story. 3. irony what is expected is NOT what happens What do we learn about Peyton in Section 2? Examples of foreshadowing P. 369, 2nd column P. 371, 1st column P. 371, 2nd column
Why does Bierce change the tense in the middle paragraphs in the 2nd column on p. 371? Bret Harte 2 titles 1. The American Dickens Who was Dickens? What was he known for? 2. Father of the modern short story
Wrote about the West As a barbaric land of half-civilized people As American Eden where dreams became reality Literary style regionalist and originator of localcolor movement Regionalist wrote about a specific area Local colorist almost satirical stereotypical
portrayal of the locals in a region 1. Quick-moving plots 2. Unexpected turns and surprises 3. Humor
4. Western dialect Sidney Lanier Southern poet Accomplished flutist used his knowledge of music in writing poetry Contracted tuberculosis while in a northern prison camp; died from complications at 39 He is a regionalist poet b/c he wrote about issues
affecting the post Civil-War South BUT he wrote against the industrialism and Darwinism invading the country The Ballad 4-line stanza Suspense Repetition in dialogue Usually of a tragic nature Focused on a single episode/event
The Revenge of Hamish Ballad More romantic than realistic - distance setting - imagination passionate acts - focus on the individual - emphasis on nature James Whitcomb Riley Midwestern poet (from Indiana) He wrote 20 volumes of poetry
- wrote about the simple Midwestern life (swimming holes, coming of fall, family life) - dialect poems reflected the way Midwesterners talked When the Frost is on the Punkin 1. Underline words or phrases that reveal the setting of the poem.
2. What is the topic of the poem? What is the author conveying? What is his message? Emily Dickinson - considered to be one of Americas best poets - expresses themes in unusual ways - her work signals the beginning of modern American poetry - became a recluse and was preoccupied with
death after she tragically lost several people she loved - Wrote about New England - Rebelled against God - Did not give titles to her poems William Sidney Porter O. Henry pen name Trademark is the surprise ending the Gift of the Magi
Stephen Crane Work signals the beginning of modern American literature Rejected any belief in God/Jesus Christ Died at 28 b/c of tuberculosis Depicts the wretchedness of mens lives and blames fate Naturalist writer The Gift of the Magi
Know characters Know plot Know twist at the ending A Man Said to the Universe
2 speakers Who/what is the universe? What is the message he is conveying?
I Saw a Man Pursuing the Horizon What is the man looking for? What is Crane saying about mankind?
God Fashioned the Ship of the World Carefully Where is the first transition? Describe Gods work in the first 6 lines.
Describe the voyage of the world. How do those watching respond?
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