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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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)
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.
Narrator-- an educated observer from the world beyond who’s often deceived Plot—nothing much happens, revolves around the community and its rituals
Dislike of change, nostalgia for an always-past Golden Age; Triumphant trickster or trickster tricked; Tall tale-tradition, conflicts described humorously, larger than life
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
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,”
Man is a victim of his inner and subconscious self (Freud).
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
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.
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