The Realist Literary Movement : The American Journey West And The Great Migration

1081 Words Jun 7th, 2015 5 Pages
The Realist literary movement brought many influential novels and short stories into American literature. The movement lasted for about fifty years, beginning around 1850 and ending in 1900. This was a huge time for change in America with rising tensions between the North and South, the Civil War, westward expansion, and The Great Migration. Cities were quickly expanding and teaming with people looking for homes. Factory jobs were rapidly replacing farming and many Americans lived in city slums. Authors adapted to these changing times through their literature. Realism was greatly influenced by the Civil War (1861-1865) and the post-war period. The Civil War influenced authors to write about the lives of soldiers and the average American person in a new light. Literature about the war at this time was rare and consisted mostly of letters and personal soldier diary entries. This literary time period was also greatly influenced by the westward expansion of America. Many Americans were settling West in hopes of a new life and opportunities for making a living. Numerous Realist stories focused on the American journey West and the struggles that were faced on the way. Realism consists of many distinct traits that shaped it into what we know it to be today. Perhaps one of the most important traits of Realism is the portrayal of normal or ordinary people in daily life. Authors no longer wrote about the typical hero in their writings, realism brought on an age of the…

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