Realism

1850s - 1890s

Influenced by the events preceding and following the Civil War, literature from this period is less philosophical in nature than the romantic period and more cynical and questioning. This period reflects a concern for the everyday experiences of the common man.


Featured author for this period...

Kate Chopin

Kate Chopin

    • Kate Chopin- biographical information from the Kate Chopin International Society.
    • School House Rock's "Sufferin' Till Suffrage" - check out the lyrics to this great song about the 19th Amendment. Go to this link for more Schoolhouse Rock.
    • Living the Legacy: The Women's Rights Movement 1848 - 1998 - a great resource from the National Womens' History Project with a wealth of information about the ongoing struggle for Women's rights spanning over 150 years.
    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:
        • Short Story: "The Story of an Hour" -p. 642


Even more to explore...


Ambrose Bierce

    • Ambrose Bierce- an informative resource from the Poetry Foundation.
    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:
        • Poem: "An Occurrence" -p. 518


Stephen Crane

    • Stephen Crane- interesting information about Crane from Biography.com.
    • Stephen Crane- links to some of Crane's works as well as biographical information from the Poetry Foundation.
    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:
        • Short Story: "An Episode of War" p. 486

Mary Chestnut



Frederick Douglas


Paul Lawrence Dunbar

    • Paul Lawrence Dunbar- biographical information as well as links to some of his works, from the Academy of American Poets.
    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:
        • Poem: "Douglass" -p. 652
        • Poem: "We Wear the Mask" p. 654


Stephen Foster (composer) & George Cooper (lyricist)

    • Stephen Collins Foster- interesting biographical information from the University of Pittsburgh
    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:
        • Song: "Willie Has Gone to the War" -p. 491

Warren Lee Goss

    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:
        • Excerpt from Journal: "recollections of a Private" -p. 554


Bret Harte

    • Bret Harte- from the University of Washington, biographical information and links to e-texts.
    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:
        • Short Story: "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" -p. 592


Stonewall Jackson

    • Virginia Military Institute: Stonewall Jackson Resources
    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:
        • Letter: "An Account of the Battle of Bull Run" -p. 558


Robert E. Lee

    • Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial- this National Park Service site will let you explore the memorial and learn more about Lee.
    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:
        • Letter: "Letter to His Son" -p. 535


Abraham Lincoln

    • The White House: Abraham Lincoln- interesting biographical information
    • The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:
        • Speech: "The Gettysburg Address" -p. 532
        • Speech: “Second Inaugural Address” –p. 533
        • Public Document: “Emancipation Proclamation” –p. 541

Audio Book/MP3



Randolp McKim

    • Documenting the American South: Randolph McKim- A Soldier's Recollections: Leaves from the Diary of a Young Confederate with an Oration on the Motives and Aims of the Soldiers of the South- a comprehensive resource from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:
        • Excerpt from Diary: "A Confederate Account of the Battle of Gettysburg" -p. 556


Spiritual

    • Negro Spirituals- an interesting site with lots of information about the history of early gospel songs.
    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:
        • Traditional: "Go Down, Moses" -p. 500
        • Traditional: "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" -p. 498


Sojourner Truth


Reverend Henry M. Turner

    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:
        • Nonfiction: "Reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation" - p. 559



Overall "Text to World" & "Text to Text" Connections for this Literary Period

    • American Memory Timeline - from the Learning Page at The Library of Congress, this link will help you connect American history to American literature.