AMERICAN REALISTIC WRITING
Throughout the 19th century, in western Europe and the United States, a momentous economic process advanced, changing the nature of society. This process was industrialization. From the beginning of time, the life of man had been the land , the rhythm of planting, growth, and harvest, the cycle of the seasons. With few exceptions, men lived on farmsor in small towns. But industrialization changed this ancient environment of man. Factories and cities now surrounded him.
This process brought with it new social attitudes and new cultural values. During the first half of the 19th century, Romanticism had been the dominant cultural movement of the United States. With the overwhelming growth of industrialization after the Civil War, a newcultural movement appeared in the United States from Europe, Realism.
Realism was both a reaction to Romanticism and a development out of the accelerated social forces of the late 19th century. Romanticism had described a world of emotion and intuition which eventually appeared sentimental and arbitrary. Among American writers the most distinguished Realistic novelist was Henry James. Heis also one of the most profound literary artists the United States has ever produced.
Henry James (1843 – 1916)
One of America’s greatest writers, Henry James is best known for the way he creates very detailed and complex characters in his novels.
James was born in New York City into a wealthy and prominent family. The family moved frequently, and James lived in France,Germany, England, and Switzerland. At age 19 he enrolled in the Harvard Law School but preferred reading literature to studying law. He published his first story, ‘A Passionate Pilgrim’, two years later and became a regular reviewer and contributor for literary journals. Although only in his 20s, he was considered to be one of the country’s finest story writers.
In 1875 James settled inEurope. During his first years there he wrote novels that portrayed American living abroad in Europe; he was concerned with exploring the relationship between European and American cultures. The Portrayed of a Lady, one of his best stories from this period, is about a young American woman who visits England and Italy with her aunt. In the 1880s he began analyzing social ills in novels such as TheBostonians and Princess Casamassima. Then, the first stage of James’s writing was devoted to combining the previous two themes by analyzing moral questions through the experiences of individuals. It was in this period that James published his greatest novels: The Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors and The Golden Bowl.
In 1915 James became a British citizen in protest against the US’s refusalto enter World War I. He died in 1916, having written 20 novels, 112 stories, 12 plays and thousands of pages of literary criticism.
1. How was Realism a reaction to Romanticism?
2. What special themes did James developed as a novelist?
ESCRITO REALISTA AMERICANOS
Ao longo do século 19, na Europa Ocidental e osEstados Unidos, um processo importante de economia avançada, mudando a natureza da sociedade. Este processo estava a industrialização. Desde o início dos tempos, a vida do homem havia sido a terra, o ritmo de plantio, crescimento e colheita, o ciclo das estações. Com poucas exceções, os homens viviam em fazendas ou em cidades pequenas. Mas a industrialização mudou este ambiente antigo do homem. Asfábricas e as cidades agora rodeava.
Este processo trouxe consigo novas atitudes sociais e novos valores culturais. Durante a primeira metade do século 19, o Romantismo foi o movimento cultural dominante dos Estados Unidos. Com o crescimento avassalador da industrialização após a Guerra Civil, um novo movimento cultural surgiu nos Estados Unidos da Europa, o Realismo.