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Realism in American Literature 1860-1890
What exactly is realism? <ul><li>Realism emphasizes the depiction of life as it is lived, especially the  middle-class. </...
Realism  <ul><li>Writers wrote fiction devoted to accurate representation and an exploration of American lives. </li></ul>...
Emphasis <ul><li>emphasis on verisimilitude  - having the appearance of “truth”  </li></ul><ul><li>Diction is natural spea...
Qualities of Realism <ul><li>realists fill their literature with  facts  to bolster the reader's feeling that, yes, this  ...
Famous American Realists <ul><li>Mark Twain –  Huck Finn  (many others!) </li></ul><ul><li>Kate Chopin –  The Awakening </...
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Realism

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Transcript of "Realism"

  1. 1. Realism in American Literature 1860-1890
  2. 2. What exactly is realism? <ul><li>Realism emphasizes the depiction of life as it is lived, especially the middle-class. </li></ul><ul><li>A reaction against Romanticism, which tries to find the ideal . </li></ul><ul><li>Different than Naturalism, which relies on scientific laws that would control actions </li></ul><ul><li>An actual picture of life </li></ul>
  3. 3. Realism <ul><li>Writers wrote fiction devoted to accurate representation and an exploration of American lives. </li></ul><ul><li>There was rapid growth in industrialism. </li></ul><ul><li>Realists are fascinated by individuals: they love the idea that human beings must learn and change their worlds – or be held responsible for not doing those things </li></ul>
  4. 4. Emphasis <ul><li>emphasis on verisimilitude - having the appearance of “truth” </li></ul><ul><li>Diction is natural speaking, not poetic </li></ul><ul><li>Tone may be comic, satiric or matter of fact </li></ul><ul><li>Realism is generally plot driven; works pivot around conflicts we as readers wait to see resolved </li></ul>
  5. 5. Qualities of Realism <ul><li>realists fill their literature with facts to bolster the reader's feeling that, yes, this is just like the everyday world I live in. </li></ul><ul><li>realist literature never feels overblown, like a fairy tale or a dream.   </li></ul><ul><li>Melville's Moby Dick , which defines the romantic literary period that came before realism, is about a crazed sea captain (Ahab) obsessed with killing the fiercest whale in the world.  Not an everyday person in an everyday situation.  </li></ul><ul><li>Realist literature, on the other hand, might often leave you saying, &quot;That character totally reminds me of my aunt.&quot; </li></ul>
  6. 6. Famous American Realists <ul><li>Mark Twain – Huck Finn (many others!) </li></ul><ul><li>Kate Chopin – The Awakening </li></ul><ul><li>Bret Harte – The Luck of Roaring Camp </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;realism is nothing more and nothing less than the truthful treatment of material.&quot;  - Howells </li></ul>
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