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Realism, Regionalism, & Naturalism. The writers and their stories. Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery, approx. 1817 As a boy, an owner taught him the alphabet Later, he taught himself to read—this would eventually allow him to escape slavery 1838—escaped slavery

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realism regionalism naturalism

Realism, Regionalism, & Naturalism

The writers and their stories

frederick douglass
Frederick Douglass
  • Born into slavery, approx. 1817
    • As a boy, an owner taught him the alphabet
      • Later, he taught himself to read—this would eventually allow him to escape slavery
    • 1838—escaped slavery
      • Became a public lecturer and eventually an author
        • Most eloquent and persuasive speaker in Abolition movement
frederick douglass1
Frederick Douglass
  • The Narrative of the Life…
    • Written as a protest against slavery and to persuade others to join the abolition movement
    • Realism literary focus
      • Objectivity vs. Subjectivity
        • Objectivity: situations are described in a matter of fact way, without emotion or judgment
        • Subjectivity: situations are described in a personal and more emotional way, allowing the reader to understand the author’s feelings regarding the subject
frederick douglass2
Frederick Douglass
  • Analyzing Douglass’ style
    • With your table group, please discuss and jot down in your notes…
      • The type of language used by Douglass to describe this incident with Mr. Covey
        • Is the language elevated and sophisticated? Simple and straightforward? Give two examples to support your opinion
          • What do you think motivated Douglass to make this choice in language?
      • Identify 3 passages that you think are the most persuasive in describing the true nature of slavery.
        • Then determine if the passages are objective, subjective, or a combination of both
ambrose bierce
Ambrose Bierce
  • Author background
    • Enlisted in Union army at 18
    • Fought in several major battles of Civil War
    • After Civil War, moved west to San Fran
      • Started journalism career
  • Style and Theme
    • Known for cynical (bitter) humor and cruel wit
    • Futility of war
occurrence at owl creek bridge
“Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”
  • Literary Elements
    • Point of view: the narrative perspective from which a story is told
      • 1st person: the narrator is a character in the story and describes events using I, me, we, my
      • 3rd person: events are related by a voice outside the action, using words like he, she, they
        • 3rd person Omniscient: aware of all characters’ thoughts
        • 3rd person Limited: focuses only on one character’s thoughts
occurrence at owl creek bridge1
“Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”
  • Structure
    • This short story is arranged in three numbered sections
      • Change of section indicates a change in time
    • Section I: at the execution
    • Section II: flashback
    • Section III: picks up where Section I left off

Each section contains a shift in POV—pay attention as you read to where POV shifts.

stephen crane 1871 1900
Stephen Crane (1871-1900)
  • Grew up in the slums of Asbury Park, NJ
    • Attended college at Syracuse—never graduated
    • Became a journalist after leaving college
      • First book, Maggie: A Girl of the streets
        • Censored because of the content—the life of a prostitute in the slums
      • Becomes a literary sensation with second novel, The Red Badge of Courage
        • Exposed American readers to the brutality of war
a mystery of heroism
“A Mystery of Heroism”
  • Literary Focus
    • Naturalism
      • Offshoot of Realism
        • Subjects: common people in ordinary life situations
        • Focus: emphasized how instinct and environment affect human behavior
          • Influenced by Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection
          • Believed human fate is determined by forces beyond individual control, but that force isn’t God, it’s nature or social forces that determine our fate
a mystery of heroism1
“A Mystery of Heroism”
  • Literary Focus
    • Setting--As you read, focus on the details that Crane includes to describe the setting that allow you to visualize the characters, settings and events.
    • Theme—what universal message does this story convey about war and being a hero?
      • What is Fred’s motivation for risking his life for water?
      • Does risking his life for water and giving some to the dying officer qualify Fred as a hero?
      • Does he even get a drink?
        • What does the spilling of the bucket say about Fred’s dangerous journey to get the water?
          • War is brutal and useless—nothing is accomplished but death
kate chopin 1851 1904
Kate Chopin (1851-1904)
  • Raised in the Midwest (Missouri)
    • Father died in RR accident when Chopin was 5
    • Well educated
    • Widowed at 31 years old—left to raise 6 children and manage her husband’s business on her own
    • First published in 1889
      • Stories often focused on women seeking independence from male dominated society
the story of an hour
“The Story of an Hour”
  • Background
    • Setting: turn of the century (1900)
      • Custom and law limited women’s actions and control over their own lives
        • No right to vote
        • Could not own property
        • Educational and Employment opportunities severely limited
        • Married women were expected to be subservient to and supportive of their husbands
questions to think about table talk
Questions to think about: Table Talk
  • How do Richards and Josephine expect Mrs. Mallard to react to the news? How do their expectations help to guide our expectations?
  • What is ironic and how is irony it displayed in this story?
  • How would you describe the Mallard’s marriage? Is Mrs. Mallard justified in her reaction to the news? Does she hate her husband or the institution of marriage?
  • What does the author mean by having Mrs. Mallard say, “Free, free, free”?