About This Chapter
19th & Early 20th-Century American Naturalist Short Stories - Chapter Summary
This chapter outlines important authors and short stories from 19th and early 20th-century American naturalist literature. As you progress through these engaging video and text-based lessons, you'll review the literary techniques and themes from important naturalist writers, such as Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, O. Henry and Stephen Crane. Each lesson comes with a short quiz, and the chapter concludes with a comprehensive exam. You can access this chapter at any time using your desktop, laptop or mobile device. If you have any questions, you can reach out to our instructors online. They're happy to help! When you're finished with the chapter, you should be equipped to:
- Describe the characteristics of naturalism in literature
- Identify literary analysis techniques for American short stories
- Evaluate the lives and works of Willa Cather and Edith Wharton
- Summarize/analyze ''A Wagner Matinee,'' ''An Episode of War'' and ''Hearts and Hands''
- Analyze the themes and symbols from Wharton's ''The Other Two''
1. Naturalism in Literature: Authors and Characteristics
Nature is indifferent; humans are just animals. So it goes in naturalism. In this lesson, we'll explore this literary movement. Authors discussed include Stephen Crane, Jack London and Theodore Dreiser.
2. Analyzing the American Short Story: Techniques and Examples
Identifying the tone, setting, and mood in a short story can help you analyze that story. In this lesson, we'll think about those literary features in the context of a few well-known American short stories.
3. Author Willa Cather: Biography & Works
A Pulitzer Prize winning author, Willa Cather is widely regarded as one of the great novelists who vividly depicted life on the American frontier. In this lesson, we will learn about Cather's experiences as a writer and editor. Her most notable novels and her unique, risk-taking style will be discussed as well.
4. A Wagner Matinee: Summary, Analysis & Theme
Have you ever made a decision you regret? In 'A Wagner Matinee,' we meet a woman whose choices have shaped her life and not for the better. This lesson will explain the story and analyze Cather's meaning and themes.
5. Edith Wharton: Biography and Major Novels
Who was Edith Wharton? Only the author of over 40 books and the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. In this lesson, we'll explore her life and major novels.
6. The Other Two by Edith Wharton: Themes & Analysis
Edith Wharton's short story ''The Other Two'' examines marriage from a different perspective. The story discusses divorce and society's view of it. From the topic of marriage, the themes of feminism and societal perception also arise in the story.
7. The Other Two Symbolism
In Edith Wharton's short story ~'The Other Two,~' a husband must come to terms with his new wife's past relationships. In this lesson, we will explore the symbols of the daughter, the business arrangement, and the offer of tea.
8. An Episode of War by Stephen Crane: Summary & Analysis
'An Episode of War' by Stephen Crane is a short story describing the injury of a young lieutenant during war - from the moment the man was shot until he faced his family. This lesson takes a look at a brief summary and analysis of the story.
9. Hearts and Hands by O. Henry: Summary & Characters
''Hearts and Hands'' by O. Henry is a story about two acquaintances who meet on a train. When Mr. Easton encounters Miss Fairchild, he is handcuffed to another man. One passenger on the train, however, realizes that things are not as they seem.
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Other chapters within the English 310: Short Stories course
- Introduction to English 310: Short Stories
- Short Story Analysis
- Historical Precursors to the Short Story
- 19th-Century Romantic Short Stories
- 19th-Century Russian Realism in Short Stories
- 19th-Century British Short Stories
- Early 20th-Century Feminist Short Stories
- Post-WWI Short Stories
- Literary Modernist Short Stories
- Short Stories in Multicultural Literature
- Short Stories in Postcolonial Literature