Attendance and announcements Three corners activity Power point lecture/presentation on Realism Two pages of Cornell notes and graphic organizer Guided notes/Think, pair, share Exit activity – Evaluation question/debrief Homework- Complete your Cornell notes and graphic organizer
Common Core Standards
Reading Standards (RL): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 Writing Standards (W): 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 2f, 4, 7, 9, 10 Speaking and Listening Standards (SL): 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 2, 3, 5 Language Standards (L): 1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 5a, 5b, 6
Outcomes of the lesson Timeline overview of American Literary Movements Emphasis on Realism, beginning with the philosophic, historic and economic context. Literary Characteristics of Realism: Writing style, major themes, methods of interpretation and author’s intent of Realism works Notable writers of the Realism era and their works Introduce Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – major themes and analysis
Three-Corners Activity Essential question: To what degree does society shape who you are? Think about this question for one minute, and then move to corner of the room that best expresses your personal philosophy. Individualism. “Be yourself no matter what anyone says.” Adaption. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Conformity. “Tradition is a guide, not a jailer.” Once you are in your group, work together to develop a justification statement, with personal evidence, on why this philosophy holds true (two minutes). Select a spokesperson to share aloud.
Prior Knowledge Inquiry
Realism followed the Romantic and Transcendental eras of literature. Education and Literacy had become a major progressive reforms and this led to an increasing demand for literary work relevant to the working class. Knowing this, what themes do think were pronounced in realist literature? How do you think literature for the commoner might differ from the literature written for the elite?
Point of View Inquiry Of his literary masterpiece, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain described his novel as a conflict where, “a sound heart and a deformed conscience come into collision and conscience suffers defeat.”
Realism was a literary movement grounded in human experience. Innate moral reasoning clashes with the banked and hegemonic ideological “truth” to construct meaning and perception of real life. One complex theme of realism – the double consciousness – was widely applied by writers and artists of the era. Knowing that Twain, and other realist thinkers developed and intensified the tension between societal norms and a person’s instinctual moral reasoning, how do you think the concept of double consciousness might be defined?
Think, pair, share Knowing that Twain, and other realist thinkers developed and intensified the tension between societal norms and a person’s instinctual moral reasoning, how do you think the concept of double consciousness might be defined?
Modernism Romanticism Age of Reason
Contemporary and PostModernism
1600 - 1750 1750 - 1800 1800 - 1840 1840 - 1855 1865 1915
1916 - 1946
American Literature Timeline
Post-Modernism Realism Transcendental Era
Realism in American Literature circa 1860-1910
American Realism Timeline Charlotte Perkins Gilman (18601935) The Yellow Wallpaper
Willa Cather (18731947) My Antonia
Upton Sinclair (18781968) The Jungle
Mark Twain (1835-1910) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Stephen Crane (1871-1910)The Red Badge of Courage
Henry James (18431916) Portrait of a Lady
John Steinbeck (1902-1968) Of Mice and Men
Frederick Douglass (18181895) Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave
William Dean Howells (1837-1920) The Rise of Silas Lapham
Kate Chopin (1850-1904) The Awakening
Edith Wharton (18621937)The Age of Innocence
Jack London (1876-1916) White Fang
Introduction to American Realism http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/the-literary-realism-movementa-response-to-romanticism.html#lesson
American Realism Resources
Realism in Literature The literary movement, Realism was a reaction against Romanticism and Transcendentalism. Realism was given philosophical ground through German Idealism, American pragmatism, economic theories and further, it was assigned social obligations by the progressive movements. While the Romantics and Transcendentalists may have, at times, tried to escape the elements and conditions of space and time for a positive idealism, the Realists stared factual circumstances in the face, investigating and documenting them so that honest voices could be heard, and problems could be addressed and resolved.
Historic/Economic Context of American Realism 1860-1910
Industrial Revolution/Gilded Age Redistribution of wealth Captains of Industry/Robber Barons Social Darwinism/Laissez Faire economics Rise of the working/middle class Socialism/Communism/ Marxism Political Machines Unions
Major Historical Events 1860-1910
1861-1865 American Civil War 1862 Homestead Act/Unions 1862 - 1863 Emancipation Proclamation 1863 - 1870 Reconstruction of the South 1860 - 1990 Railroad development 1879 – Thomas Edison invents the first light bulb 1905 – Sherman Anti-Trust Act 1860 – 1910 numerous progressive reforms
Progressive social reforms Unions/Labor Muckrakers Immigration/Competitive labor force Slave trade/Emancipation/ Reconstruction/Freedman’s Bureau Education and literacy/literate working class/unions/worker’s rights Printing press and availability of books/widespread literacy Child labor/foundlings Suffrage Food and Drug Administration – Public Health Environmental conservation
Think, pair, share If you were to write a Realist novel in and about the early 20th century, which social problem would you have chosen to address? Do you have ethos with this subject? Explain why you would have chosen this topic and explain how you would have angled your work for a moral resolve and solution.
The Conscience and Consciousness of Realism “What’s the use of you learning to do right, when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same? I was stuck. I couldn’t answer that. So I reckoned I wouldn’t bother no more about it, but after this always do whichever come handiest at the time.” ~Huckleberry Finn
Christianity was seen as both institutional and hierarchical/divine ordering of authority vs. Social Justice and Social Gospel applications of Christian values developing community. The life of the mind, Moral development, double-consciousness, cognitive dissonance are primary themes in literature. Essential question: What role does society play in shaping who we are?
Primary Literary Characteristics of Realism Marriage between investigative journalism and literature – journalistic muckraking investigations were applied to the novel to expose a social problems. Renders reality closely and in comprehensive detail. Selective presentation of reality with an emphasis on verisimilitude. Character is more important than action and plot; complex ethical choices are often the subject. Characters appear in their real complexity of temperament and motive; they are in explicable relation to nature, to each other, to their social class, to their own past. Class is important; the novel has traditionally served the interests and aspirations of an insurgent middle class. (See Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel) Events will usually be plausible. Realistic novels avoid the sensational, dramatic elements. Diction is natural vernacular, not heightened or poetic; tone may be comic, satiric, or matter-of-fact. Objectivity in presentation becomes increasingly important: overt authorial comments or intrusions diminish as the century progresses. Internal thoughts or psychological realism is a variant form. In Black and White Strangers, Kenneth Warren suggests that a basic difference between realism and sentimentalism is that in realism, “the redemption of the individual lay within the social world,” but in sentimental fiction, “the redemption of the social world lay with the individual” (75-76). (from Richard Chase, The American Novel and Its Tradition)
Literary Characteristics of Realism – Character Development
Emphasis on the development of consciousness of the character over events and adventures Strength in characters and subject matter (development of consciousness about the themes) over the course of the plotline Characters were complex (rather than good or bad, hero or villain of myth, they mediated and reasoned in between) Character development is often internalized, it is a psychological process Psychological Motivations, interests, desires, fears Moral development – changes in mood, perception, consciousness, opinions and ideas constitute the turning points and climaxes, rather than events in the plot Realism did not follow the arch of events of traditional models, rather they tried to emulate life patterns, and psychological development, where the “life of the mind” collided with the external circumstance, and the characters had to discern a truth or make-making about their experience. These techniques made realist more like life, never completely knowable, always changing
Literary Characteristics – Style and Construction Often apply frame narratives, or story inside a story, and they are told by an unreliable narrator to be more honest about the way human experience life. “You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. This is nothing. I never see anybody but lied, one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly – Tom’s Aunt Polly, she is – and Mary, and the Widow Douglas, is all told about in that book – which is mostly a true book; with some stretchers,” as I said before” (3). No omniscient narrator, rather an unreliable narrator who may not have all the information or show bias, perceptions are colored by their beliefs, and have their own flaws and internal conflict Attention to minute details; effort to capture the true essence of reality without judgment Presence in time and in the moment; carefully constructed spaces, voices and conversations Objectivity and fidelity to the facts of the matter, rather than emotional responses
Added notes and
Realist writers, unlike the Transcendentalists (New England), came from all over the country. Realist writers that focused only on the peasantry and expendables were called Naturalists. Faithful representations of reality – verisimilitude Representation of middle class life, or the lower classes Realism has been called a “strategy for imagining and managing the threats of social change” Replicate natural speech phonetically – the vernacular speech patterns and local vocabulary were applied considering how they sound to the imagination Focused on middle and lower class characters, rather than the elite Double-consciousness, cognitive dissonance, playing double, moral development
Think, pair, share Select two or three of the literary characteristics of Realism and explain how they assign and support a moral and social imperative in Realist writing.
Read through the following quotes carefully and select one to write about for the following activity.
Quotes from/about some characters of American Realism “He became quicker of movement than the other dogs, swifter of foot, craftier, deadlier, more lithe, more lean with iron like muscle and sinew, more enduring, more cruel more ferocious, and more intelligent. He had to become all these things, else he would not have held his own nor survived the hostile environment in which he found himself.” ― Jack London, White Fang
“Its time we woke up,” pursued Gerald, still inwardly urged to unfamiliar speech. “Women are pretty much people, seems to me. I know they dress like fools - but who’s to blame for that? We invent all those idiotic hats of theirs, and design their crazy fashions, and what’s more, if a woman is courageous enough to wear common-sense clothes - and shoes - which of us wants to dance with her?” ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
“It was all so very businesslike that one watched it fascinated. It was porkmaking by machinery, pork-making by applied mathematics. And yet somehow the most matter-of-fact person could not help thinking of the hogs; they were so innocent, they came so very trustingly; and they were so very human in their protests - and so perfectly within their rights! They had done nothing to deserve it; and it was adding insult to injury, as the thing was done here, swinging them up in this cold-blooded, impersonal way, without pretense at apology, without the homage of a tear. ” ― Upton Sinclair, The Jungle
“A man with a full stomach and the respect of his fellows had no business to scold about anything that he might think to be wrong in the ways of the universe, or even with the ways of society. Let the unfortunates rail; the others may play marbles.” ― Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage “Women ought to be free - as free as we are,' he declared, making a discovery of which he was too irritated to measure the terrific consequences.” ― Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
Think, pair, share Choose one quote for this activity from one of these Realist works. Distinguish how the passage demonstrates the social conditions and environment within the personality and thinking of the character/creature. Do his/her circumstances result from social constructions or from their own free will? Explain. How does the personality of the character/narrator reveal traces of nature over nurture, vice versa or both? Explain your justification.
Mark Twain S. Clemens at age 15 (left) and Twain with his family (below).
Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910) in Florida, Missouri to Jane Lampton and John Marshall Clemens. Samuel was the sixth of seven children, however only three of the seven children survived to adulthood. When Samuel was four, the Clemens family moved to Hannibal, Missouri a port town on the Mississippi, which would provide the setting for both Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Missouri was a slave state, and from a young age, Samuel became acquainted with the institution of slavery and the language applied to justify it, which he explored and exposed in his writing. When his father passed away at age eleven (his father was an attorney and a judge), the young Samuel Clemens went to work to help support his family. He worked as a printing press assistant/typesetter and journalist, and a steam boat pilot. Young Samuel Clemens was autodidactic, or self-educated. He went to the libraries every evening and read from a wide variety of sources.
The Author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,
Think, pair, share Write three memorable facts about Mark Twain that inspired and informed his written work. How was Mark Twain shaped by society? How does this social influence resonate in his writing? How did he understand and respond to the stimulation of his environment? Was Twain’s interpretation of his environment good, bad or both? Explain.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Themes and Analysis: http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finnthemes-and-analysis.html#lesson Plot Summary and Characters: http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finnsummary-and-analysis.html#lesson
Evaluation Question “It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that n----’s owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out.” ― Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
This passage from Huckleberry Finn reveals Huck’s inner tension as he navigates (mediates) between the moral terrain of social norms, expectations and laws decreed by society, and what he instinctually senses to be true about the human condition. Huck states that he was “playing double.” Evaluate how the development of Huck’s internal consciousness pushes the external events of story forward, or how external conditions influence Huck’s evolving thinking and being.