American Literature: Post Civil War Era

Topics: Philosophy

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Last updated: May 3, 2019

When was this?
Just after the Civil War

In 1869, what was invented?
Transcontinental Railroad

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What other things were invented during this time?
Telegraph, telephone, and electricity

Why did people go west?
For gold

Negatives of rapid growth:
1. Even more Native American lives were disrupted 2. The power was in the hands of few 3. The workers’ conditions worsened

What literary developments were popular?
Realism (natural color) and (naturalism)

What’s realism?
1.

Literary movement after Civil War2. Captured life after Civil War

What did realism capture:
Showed how ordinary people spoke and lived their lives

Economy shifted from:
Agriculture to manufacturing

Problems addressed by authors at this time?
Feminism, corrupted politics, and racism

Best known realism author:
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

Realist poets:
Emily Dickinson

How do poets show realism?
Imagery

Realism led to:
Naturalism

What’s naturalism?
1. Portrays believable characters in a realistic world2. Viewed humans as victims, and people are nothing

Naturalists believe:
1. Humans have no free will – heredity and chance 2.

Affirmation of life

Romanticists vs. realists:
Talk about the details poetically, but realists say it like it is

Local color is:
Keeps local culture in the work – accents and sayings

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