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Thomas Charles Farrer (1839-1891), Mount Tom, 1865. American Realism. 1850-1900 The Civil War and Post-War Period. Realists sought to accurately portray real life, without filtering it through personal feelings, romanticism, or idealism. Elements of Literature, 6 th ed (419). Response to.

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American realism

Thomas Charles Farrer (1839-1891), Mount Tom, 1865

American Realism

1850-1900

The Civil War and Post-War Period


Realists sought to accurately portray real life, without filtering it through personal feelings, romanticism, or idealism.

Elements of Literature, 6thed (419)


Response to
Response to filtering it through personal feelings, romanticism, or idealism.

  • Start of the Civil War

  • Rapidly growing cities and slums

  • Factories replacing farms

  • Corruption in politics (slavery, civil rights for women, immigrants)

Children in Mullen’s Alley, photograph, Jacob Riis, 1888


American realism1
American Realism filtering it through personal feelings, romanticism, or idealism.

  • The world is what it is, and that can be awful and frightening

  • verisimilitude

  • accepting reality as reality

  • rejection of the sensational sentimental with focus on the ordinary man

  • loss of optimism; no rose-colored glasses

  • relied on facts and events

  • opened eyes to the fact that slavery undermined American values


New voices new subjects
New Voices, New Subjects filtering it through personal feelings, romanticism, or idealism.

  • regionalism: added extreme detail to the setting; the setting was a character symbolically

  • naturalism: even more real; extremely detailed; pointed out darkness in our world

  • satire: a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn

    satirists like Mark Twain and poets like Walt Whitman tried to ~keep it real.~


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