American Realism

Tyler Tomoda - 6th


American Realism stemmed from the times of the Civil War. Some of the themes of the movement are using characters and everyday situations to show what true life was like. The authors of this time that are well known are Mark Twain, WEB Dubois, and Kate Chopin.

The lives of ordinary people are used in the realist works in different contexts. The Civil War ended and soon after, the US had more change with "increasing rates of democracy and literacy, the rapid growth in industrialism and urbanization, an expanding population base due to immigration" (Campbell). Because of the changes in culture, like the growing middle class and new educational opportunities for people of all backgrounds, readers were eager to read about other people and to understand how people from other backgrounds lived.

The realist writers used the character of the story or novel to center the story on. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer shows the life of a young boy who grows up along the Mississippi River. The characters are interesting and there is a good use of humor by Mark Twain. The Story of an Hour is a good example of realist writing by Kate Chopin. She takes the woman who thinks she is going to be a window and writes a creative, humorous ending.

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Works Cited

"American Realism: A Webliography and E-Anthology." American Realism. Web. 16 Dec. 2014. < 336/american_realism.htm>.

Campbell, Donna. "Realism in American Literature." Realism in American Literature. 4 July 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2014. <>.