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Realism regionalism naturalism background

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  • 1. AMERICAN LITERATURE
  • 2.  Characteristics of Romanticism:  contemplates nature and values feeling and intuition over natures beauty as a path to reason spiritual and moral development places faith in inner experience  looks backward to the wisdom of and the power of the the past and distrusts progress imagination  finds beauty and truth in exotic despises the artificiality of locales, the supernatural civilization and seeks unspoiled realm, and the inner world of the nature imagination prefers youthful innocence to  finds inspiration in educated sophistication myth, legend, and folk culture champions individual freedom  delves into the psychological and the worth of the individual aspects of good and evil and the workings of the inner mind
  • 3.  The CIVIL WAR  CONNECT: in a school of Began at Fort Sumter in 1000 students, about 120- 1861 and ended at the 150 would have been Appomattox Courthouse wounded or died during in 1865, the 4-year period Over 600,000 people  Everyone was affected died from battle, disease,  During and after the or poor medical care War, many writers were disillusioned with Romantic ideals
  • 4.  GROWING MIDDLE CLASS  A MORE COMPLEX (more literate public to read) WORLD called for more URBAN realistic literature and art INDUSTRIALIZATION  A REJECTION OF UPHEAVAL IN SOCIAL IDEALISM and STRUCTURE and changing ESCAPISM – no clearly class values defined lines of good and evil A DESIRE to understand and give a voice to the suffering in  -- less interest in escaping the real world – to document into supernatural and the reality of their imaginative stories culture, history, society  REFLECTED THE CHANGING CULTURE OF AMERICA
  • 5.  THE SWELL OF  The prominence of IMMIGRANTS in the PSYCHOLOGY and the latter half of the 19th theories of Sigmund century, which led to a Freud larger lower class and  Publication of Charles INCREASED POVERTY Darwin’s Origin of the IN THE CITIES Species PESSIMISM in the  A growing literacy and wake of Reconstruction interest in fiction and and journalism CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUES
  • 6.  An attempt to be a true and faithful representation of reality VERISIMILITUDE  It comes from Latin verum meaning truth and similis meaning similar  An attempt to present a semblance of truth, to be true or real
  • 7.  Subject matter—ordinary people and events; Purpose—Verisimilitude, the truthful representation of life; Point of View—omniscient and objective Characters—middle class (class is important) Plot de-emphasized  Focus on everyday life  Complex ethical choices often the subject  Events are made to seem the inevitable result of characters’ choices
  • 8.  Use of the vernacular – or real language . The language usually reflects social class, educational background, culture Events will usually be plausible, believable Often an emphasis on the psychological turmoil or nature of the character Setting is important – characters are connected to place and time, other characters
  • 9.  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 man’s limited ability to make sense of his life.
  • 10.  Prominent from 1865-1895. Coincided with Realism and sharing many of the same traits. Focuses on physical setting / landscape , putting fictional characters into a real settings
  • 11.  Very specific details about the environment and how the characters interact with that setting (Twain’s Huck Finn) the more specific they become with details of settings, the stronger and more believable the characters become – this allows the writer to tie in universal themes and values held by the character that were caused by the setting they are in to a certain region (eg. the South, the West)
  • 12.  Characters are often STOCK or STEREOTYPES Use of dialect, or language specific to a particular region or setting Uses details that describe local food, living conditions, dress, architecture, transportati on, etc.
  • 13.  Narrator-- an educated observer from the world beyond who’s often deceived Plot—nothing much happens, revolves around the community and its rituals
  • 14.  Dislike of change, nostalgia for an always-past Golden Age; Triumphant trickster or trickster tricked; Tall tale-tradition, conflicts described humorously, larger than life
  • 15. Definition: A literature that depicts social problems and views humans as victims of larger biological, psychological and social and economic forces.NATURE or ENVIRONMENT determines fate of a character  Scientific determinism  Psychological determinism  Historical determinism
  • 16.  Man has no direct control over who or what he is. His fate is determined by outside forces that can be discovered through scientific inquiry; Humans respond to environmental forces and internal stresses and drives, none of which can be fully controlled or understood  People are driven by fundamental urges like fear, hunger, sex  The world is a “competitive jungle,”
  • 17.  Man is a victim of his inner and subconscious self (Freud).
  • 18.  Man is fundamentally an animal, without free will; 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 capabilities—life is a trap
  • 19.  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.