Realism 1865-1915

Historical Context

- Science, industry, and transportation expanded
- Population of the United States saw a rapid growtH
- THE Civil War ends; Americans were less certain and optimistic about the future

Values and Beliefs

- Realistic literature reflected more than mere external reality. According to Richard Chase's "The American Novel and Its Tradition", realism has specific social, political, and artistic characteristics that set it apart from other genres

Genre and Style

- A reaction against romanticism; told it like it was
- Focus on lives of ordinary people; rejected heroic and adventures
- Anti- materialism; rejected the new "class" system
- View of nature as a powerful and indifferent force beyond man's control

Significant Authors and Works

- Mark Twain
- Henry James
- William Dean Howells
- Walt Whitman
- Stephen Crane

Highlighted Passage

- "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" 1884 by Mark Twain, "Say, who is you? Whar is you? Dog my cats ef I didn't hear sumfin. Well, I know what is gwyne to do! Is gwyne to eat down her and listen tell I heres it again."


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