American Realism

By: Morgan Salazar


American Realism began as a reaction to and rejection of romanticism. It was a style and type of writing that emerged during a specific time period in history and writers sought to portray life as it really was: real people with real jobs and problems.

Emergence of Realism

As the 19th century went on, the country's immigrant population and working base grew. At the same time changes in the industry became life-altering. Machines were built and manufacturing became easier. Urban areas expanded with both business and home life. Industrialization and Urbanization led to major economic and social changes. In this new world, there was a greater divide between rich and poor and for the first time there was a larger literate working class population. And there was a need for literature that reflected their lives.

Characteristics of Realism Literature

  • Life at this point wasn't about westward expansion anymore, it was more about working a job, and feeding a family.
  • People are in control of their own destiny and are superior to their circumstances.
  • Describes reality in detail
  • Reflection of the nations urbanization and industrialization.
  • An expression of exhaustion caused by the civil war.

Realism Authors

Works Cited

"Romanticism, Realism and Naturalism." Romanticism, Realism and Naturalism. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2014.

"American Realism: A Webliography and E-Anthology." American Realism. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.

"The Literary Realism Movement: A Response to Romanticism." Education Portal. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.

"Terms & Themes." Terms & Themes. Craig White, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.

"Mark Twain." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2014.

"William Dean Howells." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.