American Realism and Henry James

The author of realism literature during America's Time Era.

Short Bio of Henry James

When Henry was a young boy he was a shy, book-addicted boy who was always a quiet observer beside his active older brother. He was taken aboard as a child and was schooled with tutors and governesses and spent his preteen years in Manhattan. When he was 19 he enrolled in Harvard Law School, but then he committed his study time to reading Charles Agustin Sainte- Beuve, Honre de Balzac, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. His first story appeared two years later and unidentified in the NY Continental Monthly and his first book review in the North American Review. When William Howells became editor of The Atlantic Monthly, Henry found William as a friend and a mentor who published him regularly and between them both they initiated the era of American realism. in James's mid 20's he was considered as one of America's most skillful short story writer. He wrote stories, reviews, and articles for almost a decade before he attempted a full-length novel. Traditionally there was a Grand Tour and James went abroad for his first adult encounter with Europe in 1869 moreover he finally set the stage for lifetime in his wandering years in England, France and Italy of travel in those countries. In his later years, James lived in retirement in an 18th-century house, though on completion of The Golden Bowl he revisited the United States. His observation of the land and its people led him to write, on his return to England, a poetic volume of rediscovery, The American Scene(1907). He dedicated 3 years to rewrite and revise his principal novels and tales for the highly selective "New York Edition". For this publication, James wrote 18 significant prefaces, which contained both a recollection of past events and expositions of his theories of fiction.

Most Famous Work: The Portrait of a Lady (1881)

When James began this book he was a promising young writer with a special line to portray the lives of Americans in Europe. When he finished he became a figure in the history of the novel itself. This story is about a young American woman in England and Italy that prevented marriage and her desperate fight for freedom. It’s the bridge on which the loose expansive Victorian novel flowed over into the formal concentration of modernism.



He sits in his room
Startled by what he sees
Not knowing what to think
Not knowing what to believe

The trembling he feels
Strickins pain inside
He can't run from his fears
He has no where to hide

'What is this curse
that has fallen on me'
'What did I learn'
What did I see

He knows so little
He suffers so much
He hears every whisper
He feels every touch

Finally he gives in
To whatever he's done
The game still continues
But no one has fun




T- I believe this poem will be about the different ways people think curse is and how it happens in reality.

P- A character struggles with real life events as he starts to think and take responsibility of it knowing that he can't do anything about it but deal with it.

C- (+) "What did I learn, What did I see" "Finally he give in"

(-) "Not knowing what to think, not knowing what to believe" "Stricken pain inside" "He can't run from his fears" "What is this curse" "The trembling he feels" "But no one has fun".

A- The character's attitude in this poem was mainly fear and terror by the way he describes his emotions and feelings.

S- He faces fear, confusion and terror but at the end he takes responsibility and he stays firm.

T- My prediction towards the title was incorrect for which now its known that the poem is mainly about the character's realistic troubles and his own personal curse he will be facing.

T- There's no escaping of the real life events but facing it and going through it, it won't be easy but its the only way to proceed in life.

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