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徐向南 09301082. industrialization. urbanization. American Literature in Realism. backgroud. The victory of the bourgeoisie in the civil war was a political assurance. Advanced science and technology from abroad and home made life entirely changed.

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American Literature in Realism



  • The victory of the bourgeoisie in the civil war was a political assurance.
  • Advanced science and technology from abroad and home made life entirely changed.
  • New means of transportation accelerated the circulation of labor forces, raw materials and capital.

A new manufacturing district in the west formed.

  • The agricultural output value accounted for a less percentage, while industry more.
  • The wealth gap between the rich and poor was overly enlarged.


  • From the east to the west. From the north to the south.
  • Peasants were forced to leave their lands and tried to make a living in cities.
  • The cities became excessively crowded. Slums were densely distributed.
  • The waste water and gases aggravated the environment pollution.

Racial discrimination was serious.

  • People’s morality greatly declined. Crimes were rampant.
  • The government ganged up with the enterprises. Corruption erupted


  • American literature in realism replaced the romanticism.
  • The new generation of writers noticed the savagery, darkness and class struggling during the industrialization and urbanization.
  • The themes were mainly about the hardship in countryside, the painfulness in cities, industrial dispute, racial discrimination and overseas invasion.

Works in realism reflected the real life in the west, the south and the east and described a wide range of different types of people.

  • (workers, peasants, tramps, prostitutes, soldiers)
  • William Dean Howeils paid much attention to the changes of people’s lifestyle.
  • (The Rise of Silas Lapham, A Woman’s Reason)
  • Henry James emphasized people’s inner world.
  • (The American, The Europeans, The Wings of The Dove)

7. Mark Twain satirized and revealed the social darkness.

  • (The Gilled Age, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,
  • One Million Pounds)
  • Sarah Orne Jewett, Joseph Kirkland, Hamlin Garland focused on expressing their nostalgia for the disappearing lifestyle by depicting personal experiences and special environment.