Post Civil War Realism in Literature

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Realism is recognized as the first modern movement in art, literature, and social organization (Realism Movement, Artists). Realism began as early as the 1830s, but the realism movement did not become important until the end of the Civil War until around the end of the nineteenth century. It began as a reaction to the rejection of romanticism, attempted to show the actuality of real life (American Realism).

Realism is usually drawn from a real-life experience and the setting is usually one that is familiar to the author. According to Jesse Hwa, Samuel Langhorne Clements was born in 1835. After being hired as a journalist for a newspaper, he began going by the name of Mark Twain. He was known for his books The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Carew-Miller, Anna, and Andrea Di Gennaro).

In Twain workers, he used long sentences, but he formed his sentences in a simple, conversational manner. Twain was known as a realist writer. Most of his works came from his previous experiences. According to Dr. James McPherson, The American Civil War started in 1861 and ended in 1865 because of the differences between the free states and the slave states fighting for the power of the national government to end slavery all over. The end of the American Civil War brought out writers like Mark Twain to express the reality of real life and how the world should be viewed, instead of focusing on the fancies, feeling, and emotions that romanticism tried to portray.

According to Michael Lind, after the civil war, the north and the south are separated by cultures. During this time, writers had a chance to write about the differences between the Southerners and the Northerners. In Mark Twains The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he displayed realism in serval ways one way is Regionalism. Regionalism is a section of realism it focuses on a specific region that put emphasis on the dialect and characters. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Twain largely captures the southern region. Throughout the story, a great deal of dialect is used such as The Missouri Negro, backwoods Southwestern, and the ordinary Pike County (Twain 1). In Mark Twains Huckleberry Finn, Jim, a poorly educated runaway slave, uses a mixture of chopped words that is difficult to understand. Well you wouldnt ?a ben here ?f it hadnt ?a ben for Jim. Youd ?a ben down dah in de woods widout any dinner (Twain 44).

The way he speaks shows he is southern and uneducated, a representation of the Missouri Negro Speech. Also, the way he refers to himself in the first person shows his lack of education. Although he is poorly educated, he is very intelligent and wise because he managed to escape from Miss Watson without her noticing it. Also, in Chapter eight of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jim explains his escape to Huck using broken words like doan les nuffin and po that shows his inability to use correct grammar. By the word choice it is very clear he has a heavy southern accent and it is likely he got all his education from another slave.

However, Huck, an educated free thirteen years ago white southern, throughout Huckleberry Finn the reader was able to tell he had some type of education, but he did not have the best education. He is a representation of the backwoods southwestern. Throughout the story, Huck uses words such as aint warnt tother and ?stead. Although these words are improper, they are recognizable and understandable, and it shows his heavy southern accent. I haint ever come back Well I well, that ought to settle it and No. I warnt ever murdered (Twain 196).

The way Huck speaks shows the reader is aware that Huck has some education, but his southern heredity is overpowering the little education he has. Tom Sawyer, a middle-class white southerner and Hucks best friend, throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the reader was able to tell he came from a well-educated family. He uses words like haint aint and mustnt although these words are easy to understand and are normally used among the southern people, they are still improper words. Tom is very similar to Huck because both grow up in the same region, but Tom has a better education than Huck because of the way they speak. He is a representation of the ordinary Pike County. Now, well start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyers gang (Twain 8). Tom makes complete sentences and does not use the southern slang all the time. In Conclusion, Twain had a major impact on literature overall.

After the civil war, Twain was one of the writers to highly enforce realism to show to reality to the world. In his story The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Post Civil War Realism In Literature. (2019, May 23). Retrieved May 29, 2024 , from

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