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Ch 3: MTEL English: Realism in American Literature

About This Chapter

Watch these lesson videos to improve your understanding of the major works and authors of the literary realism movement in American literature as you study for related questions on the MTEL English exam.

MTEL English: Realism in American Literature - Chapter Summary

In these lessons, our professional instructors will help you review the causes and characteristics behind the literary realism movement and naturalism as well as some of the famous American authors and works of this movement, such as Uncle Tom's Cabin. Use these lessons to prepare for exam questions on the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) English exam related to the biography and classic works of:

  • Mark Twain
  • Stephen Crane
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Kate Chopin
  • Edith Wharton
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Willa Cather
  • Henry James

After watching these lesson videos, read the lesson transcripts to reinforce your understanding of the information presented and then take the lesson quizzes. These short assessments will help you discover topics you don't understand so that you may return to and re-study the parts of the lessons that explained them.

11 Lessons in Chapter 3: MTEL English: Realism in American Literature
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Literary Realism Movement: A Response to Romanticism

1. The Literary Realism Movement: A Response to Romanticism

In this lesson, we will learn about Realism in American literature, how this new literary movement grew out of Romanticism and what circumstances in our changing nation made that literary shift possible.

Mark Twain: Biography, Works, and Style as a Regionalist Writer

2. Mark Twain: Biography, Works, and Style as a Regionalist Writer

In this lesson, we will learn about Mark Twain's life, his most acclaimed writings and his place as a realist and regionalist writer in this country's literary history.

Stephen Crane: Biography, Poems & Books

3. Stephen Crane: Biography, Poems & Books

Stephen Crane was a 19th century American writer, and is considered to be one of the instigators of Naturalism in literature. In this lesson, read about the man who broke boundaries with his novels and poetry.

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Biography, Facts & Books

4. Harriet Beecher Stowe: Biography, Facts & Books

In this lesson, we will learn about the famous writer, Harriet Beecher Stowe. After a brief biography, we will explore a few fun facts about her, briefly examine her bibliography, and end with a short quiz.

Uncle Tom's Cabin and the American Civil War

5. Uncle Tom's Cabin and the American Civil War

In this lesson, we will explore the context, characters and plot of one of the country's most influential novels, Harriet Beecher Stowe's 'Uncle Tom's Cabin.' Then, find out how it inched America closer to the Civil War.

Kate Chopin: Biography, Works, and Style

6. Kate Chopin: Biography, Works, and Style

In this lesson, we will learn about Kate Chopin, a Southern regionalist writer. First, we will consider how her life created a framework for stories that reflect early feminist values in a very traditional world, then we will look at her two most famous works, 'The Story of an Hour' and 'The Awakening.'

Edith Wharton: Biography and Major Novels

7. 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.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Biography & Works

8. Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Biography & Works

Charlotte Gilman Perkins was a writer, feminist and social activist who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This lesson will begin with a biography and then focus on her most popular writing 'The Yellow Wallpaper'.

Author Willa Cather: Biography & Works

9. 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.

Naturalism in Literature: Authors and Characteristics

10. 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.

Author Henry James: Biography & Novels

11. Author Henry James: Biography & Novels

In this lesson, we will learn about the famous 19th-century American writer, Henry James. After an examination of his life, we will explore his prominent works and a few of his key thoughts before ending with a short quiz.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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