Literary Movements

Literary Movements

The -ism Literary Movements 1865-1910 During the aftermath of the Civil War, the -ism literary movements started to take shape. The Difference: Realism vs. Naturalism REALISM fiction devoted to accurate representation

and an exploration of American lives in various contexts The Difference: Realism vs. Naturalism NATURALISM Taking place during the same time period (1860- 1900) Believed the laws behind the forces that govern human lives might be studied and understood. Used a version of the scientific method to write their novels Studied human beings governed by their instincts and passions as well as the ways in which the

characters' lives were governed by forces of heredity and environment. Traits of Realism: Characters Character is more important than action and plot Complex ethical choices are often the subject Characters appear in their real complexity of temperament and motive They are in seen in relation to nature, to each other, to their social class, to their own past. Class is important the novel has traditionally served the

interests and aspirations of an insurgent middle class Traits of Realism: Style Realistic novels avoid the sensational, dramatic elements of naturalistic novels and romances. Diction is natural vernacular, not heightened or poetic; tone may be comic, satiric, or matter-offact.

Traits of Naturalism: Characters Frequently ill-educated or lower- class Lives are governed by the forces of heredity, instinct, and passion. Their attempts at exercising free will or choice are hamstrung by forces beyond their control. Social Darwinism and other theories help to explain their fates to the reader. Traits of Naturalism: Setting/Plot Setting. Frequently an

urban setting. (Except with Jack London) Techniques and plots. It is said that the naturalistic novel offers "clinical, panoramic, slice-of-life" drama that is often a "chronicle of despair. Naturalism: Themes The conflict in naturalistic novels is often "man against nature" or "man against himself" as

characters struggle to retain a "veneer of civilization" despite external pressures that threaten to release the "brute within." The forces of heredity and environment as they affect--and afflict--individual lives. An indifferent, deterministic universe (Deism) Naturalistic texts often describe the futile attempts of human beings to exercise free will, often ironically presented, in this universe that reveals free will as an illusion. Types of Conflict Man versus Man: one character creates a direct problem for another Man versus Society: one character is in

conflict with a group or the values of a group Man versus Nature: one character is in conflict with a natural force or part of nature Man versus Himself: a character is struggling with a personal decision, value, or moral Man versus Machine: a character is struggling with the power of machines or technology Characters Realism Characters Use everyday

language Have everyday problems Live in middle class homes Naturalism Characters Have little education Live in poor conditions Usually lower class Have desperate situations Are victims of circumstance Use language common to situation

Situations Realism Contains little action Focuses on decisions that the protagonist must make Naturalism Portrays the world as cruel Often occurs in an urban setting Focuses on human suffering

Authors and Their Works Realism Ambrose Bierce The Devils Dictionary An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Bret Harte The Outcasts of Poker Flat Kate Chopin The Awakening The Story of an

Hour Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County Life on the Authors and Their Works Naturalism Stephen Crane The Open Boat

Jack London To Build a Fire The Call of the Wild In the same works, we might also find Regionalism Otherwise known as local color Reflects the dialects, customs, and geography of a certain region What region might

each represent? Chopin: South Twain: Midwest/South Cather/Harte: West Words to Know Economic Factors = the role of money Atavism = animal-like behavior; the brute within getting out (literally, genetic regression) Heredity = family or genetic traits playing a role Environment = the physical and situational surroundings

Instinct = done without thinking; a gut reaction or feeling; unlearned behavior; impulsive

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