Criticism of Realism-
"When Huckleberry Finn was first published in the United States in 1885,a few libraries banned the book for its perceived offenses to propriety.After Twain's death his works gradually became elevated as national treasures, but following World War I commentators such as William Faulkner and Van Wyck Brooks cast doubt on the greatness of Huckleberry Finn. Hemingway's comments on the novel, along with the centenary of Twain's birth in 1935 and favorable comments by Lionel Trilling and T. S. Eliot in the late 1940s and early 1950s, revived the book's reputation. Later critics gave it nearly universal acclaim, praising its artistry and its evocation of important American themes. A recurrent critical concern was the role of Jim, who was variously called only a foil for Huck's exploits, a possible homosexual partner, or a father figure. Others critiqued Jim's role as a racial stereotype, while Twain defenders said he was used to expose the hypocrisy and bigotry of southern separatism."
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
"Dismissing realism as "the drama of a broken teacup," Frank Norris was just one of many writers seeking to document the harsh realities of American life in the transition from the 19th into the 20th century, as opposed to the trials of the parlor often described in realist texts such as those written by Henry James. Whereas literary realism tended to focus on the travails of life in the upper classes, naturalist writing featured characters surviving in far grittier surroundings, often in a universe indifferent to human suffering. Heavily influenced by social and scientific theories, including those of Darwin, writers of naturalism described—usually from a detached or journalistic perspective—the influence of society and surroundings on the development of the individual. Jack London and Stephen Crane also participated in this tradition of literary naturalism, writing about city life, social class, industry, and, in two memorable short stories, the callous indifference of nature."
Frank Norris' view of on Realism
Critcism of Naturalism-
"While The Grapes of Wrath is praised by most critics for the universality of its themes, it is sometimes faulted by others for excessive sentimentalism and melodrama. Initial reception of The Grapes of Wrath was distorted because the book caused a maelstrom of political controversy due to its castigation of agribusiness and the governmental system that contributed to the Dust Bowl predicament. The press and politicians attempted to discredit Steinbeck's book, accusing him of socialist sympathies. With its political implications now defused, critical study of The Grapes of Wrath has more recently focused on Steinbeck's religious and nature symbolism and the role of his female characters, which earlier critics had considered stereotypical and one-dimensional. But regardless of critical opinion, The Grapes of Wrath remains one of the most respected modern American novels."
Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
"Some reviewers have noted that the story exhibits many of the Aristotelian concepts of tragedy. Other critics perceive the protagonist as an Everyman who is punished for his transgression of natural laws and the unwritten code of the wilderness. A few reviewers regard the protagonist and his canine companion as archetypal characters. The dog is viewed as the foil to the young man, as the animal displays the instinct and wisdom that the man lacks. Commentators have analyzed the significance of the symbolism in the setting, particularly the whiteness of the landscape and the absence of sunlight."
Literary Writers of the time period