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Compare the two clips. Chronicles of Narnia https:// Saving Private Ryan https:// Realism. Age of transition 1855-1870. “A house divided against itself cannot stand”. Unity was being lost North Largely industrial

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Compare the two clips

Compare the two clips

  • Chronicles of Narnia

  • Saving Private Ryan



Age of transition


A house divided against itself cannot stand

“A house divided against itself cannot stand”

Unity was being lost

  • North

    • Largely industrial

    • Manufacturing and financial services

  • South

    • Agricultural

      • Cotton

      • Tobacco

      • Sugar cane

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  • Expansion West raised questions

    • Which areas would have slaves?

  • John Brown

    • Bleeding Kansas

      • Killed 5 proslavery men as revenge for sacking Lawrence

    • Harpers Ferry

      • Federal arsenal

      • Bloody raid

      • Hoped to spark uprising

    • Thoreau

      • “An angel of light”

    • Hawthorne

      • “no man was ever more justly hanged”

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People were even caning each other in Senate!

  • Charles Sumner berated colleagues who supported slavery

  • Preston S. Brooks beat him unconscious with his cane

Dred scott

Dred Scott


  • Scott was a slave who spent several years in a free state with his master

    • He argued this made him free

    • Court ruled against him

      • Also said free blacks “had no rights which a white man was bound to respect”

A call to glory

A call to glory

  • Up until this point in history, literature is filled with the Romantic hero

    • Thus, the armies was filled with men who felt the war to be a call to glory

  • Battle of Bull Run

    • Thousands dead and wounded

    • Reality struck

      • Shiloh, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Vicksburg

Change in mindset

Change in mindset

  • Yes, a horrible war, but united the country

    • “United States are…..” “United States is….”

  • Romanticism was left behind

    • Writing became honest, unsentimental, and ironic

      Birth of REALISM



  • Depicting reality

    • No matter how ordinary the characters or their circumstances

  • Basing observations of commonplace events and people

    Shed light on greater social issues and concerns

Realist themes

Realist Themes

  • Concerned with:

    • Class conflicts

    • Urbanization

    • Marriage

    • Family life

Whitman and dickinson

Whitman and Dickinson

“I look in vain for the poet whom I describe. We do not with sufficient plainness, or sufficient profoundness, address ourselves to life…”

  • Emerson looking for a poet with a truly fresh voice

    Walt Whitman and Emil Dickinson filled the request

Rule breakers

Rule breakers

  • Wrote poetry so radical in form and content

    • Took too long for people to appreciate

      Leaves of Grass

  • Whitman saw America as a great poem, the greatest in the world, and his job was to capture it on paper

    • Free verse

      • no rhyme or meter

    • Huge expansive poems

      Dickinson’s poems terse and compressed

  • Extremely personal

  • Love, death, immortality, nature



  • Whitman

    • Could be romantic

      • Individualism, nature, emotion

    • However, many topics were considered vulgar

  • Dickinson

    • Ordinary household items

    • Unemotional tone

Slave narratives

Slave narratives

Told the truth behind slavery

Frederick Douglass (1817-1895)

  • Was taught how to read by master until she was caught

    • Continued to teach himself

  • Escaped in 1838

  • Famous orator and author

  • Advised Lincoln and helped recruit African-American soldiers for Union

  • Several gov’t posts

  • Inverted parallelism

    • Reversal of ideas expressed in parallel phrases/clauses

    • “The longest days were too short for him, and the shortest nights too long for him”

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Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897)

  • One of the few females to write her point of view

  • 1st owner was good to her, but the second (Dr. Flint) made sexual advances towards her

  • Began relationship with his neighbor (Mr. Sands)

    • Had two kids with him

  • Dr. Flint sent her to Mr. Flint

    • Ran away without her children

    • Hid in a tiny attic space for seven years

  • Dr. Sands bought her children

Lincoln vs crane

Lincoln vs Crane

Through Gettysburg Address and other speeches, Lincoln expresses the highest ideals of the era

Authors like Stephen Crane and Ambrose Pierce show harsher light

  • Human tragedy of a war that destroyed hundreds of thousands of American lives

Realism in a nutshell

Realism in a nutshell

  • A faithful representation of reality in literature

    • Also known as “verisimilitude.”

  • Emphasis on development of believable characters.

  • Written in natural vernacular, or dialect.

Legacy of realism and the age of transition

Legacy of Realism and the Age of Transition

  • Crane  Depicting war in it’s grim reality

    • Daily discomforts, horrors of battlefield, lasting/unexpected consequences

    • Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down

  • Whitman and Dickinson  Artistic innovators

    • Pushing the limits

    • Broadening tastes and imaginations

    • Beatles, Blue Man Group, Cirque de Solei

  • Civil War  African American leadership

    • Politics, education, sciences

    • Obama, Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, MLK Jr, Oprah Winfrey

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