The Realistic Period

The Realistic Period

Realistic period –―the Gilded Age‖(镀金时代), a term coined by Mark Twain, reflecting this social fact—the poor poorer and the rich richer, people’s attention was now directed to the interesting features of everyday existence.

In the United States three fundamental issues reached the breaking point in the period of 1865-1900: the conflict between the agrarian ([??gre?ri?n]) ideal of Jefferson and the industrial ideal of Hamilton; the conflict between the plantation gentility ([d?en?til?ti]) of the South and the commercial gentility of the North; and the conflict between a culturally mature East and expanding West.

In the Realistic period, American literature evolved from Local colorism, finally to naturalism.

Realistic literature expresses the concern for common place and the low, and it offers an objective rather than an idealistic view of human nature and human experience. There are three dominant figures of the period are William Dean Howells (豪威尔斯), Mark Twain (马克·吐温) and Henry James (亨利·詹姆士).

The Realistic Period

?–―inner world‖ of man

The Realistic Period

?–focused on rising middle class

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?–his own region and people, particular ―local colorism‖

The Realistic Period

Local colorism or Regionalism as a trend first made its presence felt in the late 1860s and early 1870s in America. Local colorists tried to immortalize the distinctive natural, social, and linguistic features. It is characteristic of vernacular language and satirical humor.

Local colorists include

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?The Luck of Roaring Camp (《咆哮营的幸运儿》) in 1868

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?Uncle Tom’s Cabin 《汤姆叔叔的小屋》)

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?The Rise of Silas Lapham (《塞拉斯·拉帕姆


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(1835 -1910)- William Faulkner called Twain ―the father of American Literature‖.

Local colorist, he used vernacular language, dialect and colloquial, simple sentence, wide-ranging humor, both realistically and symbolically.

The Gilded Age《镀金时代》

Life on the Mississippi《在密西西比河上》

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court《亚瑟王朝廷上的康涅狄格州美国人》

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer《汤姆·索亚历险记》

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn《哈克贝里·费恩历险记》

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn(1884) is his masterpiece. Hemingway wrote, ―All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn…‖

―Huck‖, a typical American Boy with ―a sound heart and a deformed(畸形的) conscience‖, and remarkable for the raft’s journey down the Mississippi river, through the eyes of Huck, we see the pre-Civil War American society.

?Initiation fiction/bildungsroman ([bilduηzr?u ma:n]教育小说/成长小说) The bildungsroman is a novel depicting an individual’s maturation ([mae t?u?rei?n]) and development. It is about how Huck Finn, when floating along with Jim and helping him as best as he could, changed his mind, his prejudice, about Black people, and came to accept Jim as a man and as a close friend as well.

?Racism, slavery and the hypocrisy of ―civilized‖ society

?Wilderness against machine civilization

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(1843-1916)–the first American writer to conceive his career in international theme

He is the forerunner of the 20th-century ―stream of consciousness‖ novel (意识流小说) and the founder of psychological realism (心理现实主义), interior monologue (内心独白), free association (自由联想), his language is not so easy to understand. Psychological realism

It is the realistic writing that probes deeply into the complexities of characters’ thoughts and motivations. Henry James’s novel The Ambassadors is considered to be a masterpiece of psychological realism. And Henry James is considered the founder of psychological realism.

?The first stage: He developed the international novel.

The American《一个美国人》

Daisy Miller《黛西·米勒》bring him international fame for the first time

The Portrait of A Lady《贵妇人的画像》his masterpiece

?The second stage: short fiction:

The Turn of the Screw《螺丝在拧紧》

The Beast in the Jungle《丛林猛兽》

?The Third stage he returned to his international themes.

The Wings of the Dov e《鸽巢》

The Ambassadors《专使》

The Golden Bowl《金碗》

Jamesian theme of the American in conflict with European culture

He was concerned about how Americans behave in an international setting. Europeans were more cultured, more concerned with art, and more aware of the subtleties of social situations. Americans were innocent, and more concerned about moral issues.

The Realistic Period

American Naturalism was a new and harsher realism, and like realism, it had come from Europe. They saw man’s life as governed by the two forces of heredity and environment, forces absolutely beyond man’s control. They attempte d to achieve extreme objectivity and frankness, presenting characters of low social and economic classes who were determined by their environment and heredity.

The naturalists include:

The Realistic Period

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (《街头女郎麦琪》) (1893), is the first naturalistic novel written by an American. It is a study of the power of human heredity and limits of free choice.

The Realistic Period

(1871-1945), Sister Carrie (《嘉莉妹妹》),An American Tragedy (《美国的悲剧》)

Carrie, according to Dreiser, becomes someone under another’s care and protection, or the victim of a voracious ([v?:?rei??s]greedy) city. There is no middle ground.

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and McTeague(《麦克提格》) is the manifesto of American naturalism.

The Realistic Period

The Call of the Wild (《旷野的呼唤》或《野性的呼唤》) , Sea Wolf (《海狼》)and Martin Eden (《马丁·伊登》)