Ch 20: PLACE English: Realism in American Literature

About This Chapter

Refresh your memory about the realism movement that took place in American literature during the 19th century. Learn about possible question topics on the PLACE English test by reviewing lesson transcripts and answering the quizzes.

PLACE English: Realism in American Literature - Chapter Summary

Every literary movement has different characteristics and the lessons from this chapter can help you get reacquainted with the elements of realism in American literature. During your study sessions for the PLACE English test, take some time to go over these key topics:

  • The movement into realism from romanticism
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Works by Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain and Willa Cather
  • Themes about human rights, abolition, and equality
  • Naturalism in literature

If you don't have a thorough background in American literature, this chapter can provide you with the facts you will need to know to answer questions about realism on the PLACE English test. Each lesson has been constructed around a single topic, allowing you to go over one item at a time. View the short videos to get a basic idea of the information, and feel free to re-watch each lesson to commit the major details to memory. You can also review terms by studying the lesson transcripts.

PLACE English: Realism in American Literature Chapter Objectives

The Department of Education in Colorado requires English teachers to take the PLACE English test as part of the process for gaining a subject-specific teaching license. All questions have been constructed with multiple-choice answers, and there is a 4.5 hour limit of time to complete this assessment. The test itself addresses five areas of expertise in the field. The goal of this Realism in American Literature chapter is to help you fulfill the objectives in the literature section. Our lessons assist you with recalling the specifics concerning the American cultural and social issues related to this literary movement. Likewise, after completing the chapter, you should have a better chance of identifying notable authors and their works that incorporated realism.

8 Lessons in Chapter 20: PLACE 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.

Uncle Tom's Cabin and the American Civil War

2. 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.

Frederick Douglass: Narrative and Style

3. Frederick Douglass: Narrative and Style

In this lesson, we will learn about Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave who became one of the most powerful voices in the abolitionist movement in the United States. In addition, we will examine his written work, most notably his first autobiography - ''Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.''

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

4. 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.

Willa Cather's My Antonia: Summary and Analysis

5. Willa Cather's My Antonia: Summary and Analysis

In this lesson, we will examine Willa Cather's most recognizable literary work, 'My Antonia'. We will take a look at the plot of this story while considering the ways in which this modernist novel uses language and setting to reflect character relationships and emotion.

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.'

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper: Summary & Analysis

7. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper: Summary & Analysis

In this lesson, we will examine the famous short story The Yellow Wallpaper. We will consider the ways in which Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses the story to communicate about her own difficult experiences post-birth. Additionally, we will discuss her use of fiction as a vehicle to reveal what she felt was the less-than-equal existence of women during the 19th century.

Naturalism in Literature: Authors and Characteristics

8. 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.

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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