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Civil War Disillusionment and Realism, presentation


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includes: fate vs. free will quote discussion; romanticism vs. realism; types of realism - psychological, regional, natural; Ambrose Bierce

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Civil War Disillusionment and Realism, presentation

  1. 1. Unit 3: Civil War Disillusionment and Realism Disillusionment in Writing, Civil War to WWI
  2. 2. “There is no such thing as chance; and what seem to us the merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny.” – Friedrich von Schiller In your Journal, write your reaction to this quote – what does it mean, and what is your response to it?• “The mould of a man’s fortune is in his own hands.” – Sir Francis Bacon Respond in the same way to this quote; which do you identify with most? Is there a black and white answer, or are there grey areas?
  3. 3. A. Reflections of Post-Civil War problems1. diversification of American experience, ethnic and regional2. insistent literary movement to combat social inequities3. diversity of characters, no unified “American” ideal4. formulation of Realism movement a. aim for truthful representation in literature of reality b. analogies to science, consider the procedure of writing identical to science experiment c. stress on reporting observations, hereditary and natural environment d. sympathy for heroes drawn from the middle and lower classes e. subject is treated objectively, includes evil, sordid f. aim to present readers with a “slice of life”
  4. 4. What do they Value? Where do they discover truth?Romanticism Realism• Value subjectivity • Value objectivity• Truth is in feeling, intuition • Truth is in reason(what feels right, instincts) (What we think is right, after careful deliberation and• truth accompanied by weighing of consequences) powerful emotion, • aim for truthful associated with natural representation in literature beauty of reality, includes not only good, but the sordid evil of nature
  5. 5. Where/When are the typical settings?Romanticism Realism• Exotic, foreign settings • Specific geographical• Often in supernatural settings, everyday world realms • Use of vernacular language• Use of legends, folklore to show regional• Aimed to rise above “dull associations realities” • Stress the importance of• Extraordinary events natural environment • Aimed to show “slice of life” • Ordinary events
  6. 6. What is their point of view?Romanticism Realism• Free Will, choice • Deterministic,• Goal to aim for human nature/instinct decides perfectibility • behavior determined by forces beyond power, control
  7. 7. What kinds of characters do they use?Romanticism Realism• Unusual protagonists • Every day characters• Often idealistic, god-like • Often lower class• Affect positive change on • Helpless object caught in environment, see the the threshes of nature beauty in nature
  8. 8. What is the tone of their pieces?Romanticism Realism• Optimistic: emotional • Ranges from Optimistic intensity (Regionalism, Comic) to Pessimistic: emotional coldness
  9. 9. What is their view of nature and the environment?Romanticism Realism• Positive • Indifference• Draw moral lessons from • Viewed with scientific nature objectivity (as is,• Nature as beautiful, awe- emotionless) inspiring • human life a grim losing• Experience of nature leads battle against nature to spiritual understanding • often place human illusions in contrast with the indifference of the universe
  10. 10. B. Naturalism1. represent life scientifically2. concentrate on lower-classes3. behavior determined by forces beyond power, control (biology, environment) – called social determinism (influenced by Darwin’s Origin of the Species)4. characters have few choices, animalistic/instinctual5. human life a grim losing battle against nature
  11. 11. Regionalism1. emphasis on specific geographical setting2. reflects speech, manners of people in region3. record peculiarities of customs, speech, temperament4. called “local color”5. meant to document regional distinctions before industrialism erased it6. usually sentimental; relied on nostalgia to generate interest
  12. 12. Bret Harte• published his first work at age 11• formal schooling ended when he was 13 in 1849• moved to California in 1853, later working there in a number of capacities, including miner, teacher, messenger, and journalist• married Anna Griswold on August 11, 1862
  13. 13. Bret Harte• irst literary efforts, including poetry and prose, appeared in The Californian(literary journal)• became editor of The Overland Monthly, 1868• story, ”The Luck of Roaring Camp", appeared in the magazines second issue, propelling Harte to nationwide fame.
  14. 14. Bret Harte• he and his family traveled back East, to New York and eventually to Boston, where he contracted with the publisher of The Atlantic Monthly for an annual salary of $10,000 (which was a lot of money at the time)• His popularity waned, and by the end of 1872 he was without a publishing contract• spent the next few years struggling to publish, delivering lectures about the gold rush, and selling an advertising jingle to a soap company
  15. 15. Bret Harte• appointed to the position of United States Consul in Germany and Glasgow• Continued to write, eventually settled in London• He died in 1902 of throat cancer
  16. 16. Psychological Realism1. explore the human mind a. concentrate on distinction of motives b. interest in complex social and psychological situations2. place characters under stress, pressure3. often place human illusions with indifference of the universe4. interest in complex moral situations
  17. 17. Psychological Realism: Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?)1. Background a. born tenth of 13 children to unsuccessful farmerb. lived in log cabin in Ohio, educated through exploring father’s libraryc. joined services and entered battle of Shilohi. part of Sherman’s March to the Sea ii. severely wounded, cited for bravery many timesd. left army to work at US Mint in San Franciscoe. became editor of the “News Letter”f. became successful as a witty scholar, but not for his fictiong. bored with old age, left to Mexico in 1913 to join its revolution (was never heard from again)2. Writings a. attitude of scorn for sentimental illusions humans cling tob. dark vision of life centers on warfare and cruel joke it plays on humanityc. disillusionment with deceit, greed of his timed. most known work “Devil’s Dictionary” 1906 filled with irony
  18. 18. Ambrose Bierce, death unknown.