English 3 Honors
May 21, 2013
During 1865-1900, Realism was a literary movement that focused on giving a view of what was occurring at that time and on providing insight into what was really going on. After the Civil War, America had a rapid growth in industrialism and urbanization, an expanding population due to immigration, and a rise in the middle- class. Realism came to be because Americans wanted to understand the rapid shifts in their culture. In the era of “American Realism”, “writers who aim to the common course of ordinary life are known as realists” and they tend to focus more on the everyday life of people on how they talked or acted or even where they lived. Realism sought to explain the behavior of people and why they behave the way they do. The characters and the events, that are explained ordinarily and uninterestingly, extract from their full value and true meaning. Some characteristics that are used to write realism literatures are the detailed depiction of ordinary characters and realistic events, the emphasis on characters from cities and lower classes, the avoidance of being overly dramatic, everyday speech patterns, focus on ethnical struggles and social issues of real life situations and the rejection of larger than life hero of Romantic literature. During Realism, writers wrote about the characters more in depth than in the settings and events and “put the characters to their real complexity so that they are in explicable relation to the nature, to each, to their social class, and to their own past.” This time period showed us who made up the growing population with varied races and how America was starting to become one.
The few most famous authors in this time period are Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, and William D Howells. Though the four prominent writers wrote more or less at the same time, they...