American Realism Essay

The American realism covers the period between civil war to the start of the 20th century when prominent writers, such as William Dean Howells, Rebecca Harding Davis, Henry James, and Mark Twain (Class Notes: Realism par. 1). These writers concentrated on writing fiction stories that focused on accurate accounts and representation of American lives. The American literature during that period concentrated on the life of Americans before and after the civil war. As such, it shifted from previous literature whose ideas and structures centered on Romanticism. Notably, the shift was prompted by realist writers’ belief that language is a powerful tool of representing reality aesthetically, commanding literacy skills, and promoting journalism.

I think that the most important changes that American experienced as far as its impact on the new emphasis towards realism and/ or realist writers were increased rate of literacy and democracy as readers became more interested in appreciating the rapid shifts in American cultures. Notably, realism acted as a strategy of understanding and controlling the threats of social transformations (Class Notes: Realism par. 3). In particular, realist writers used writing styles and themes to bring forth the impact of social changes such as the industrial revolution on Americans. Likewise, they brought social issues such as building the nation using the sweat of other people to light. Besides, American realism marked a shift from borrowing language, style, and ideas from English Romanticism writers. In particular, Whitman was the brainchild of realism in American literature; however, it was William Dean Howells and Mark Twain who took realism writing in another level (Class Notes: Realism par. 8). For instance, Mark Twain relied on his wit and humor to show the ills that American society committed to some of its citizens such as blacks. Overall, realism period marked the start of American enlightenment using literature.

Work Cited
Class Notes: Realism [Provided].

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