About This Chapter
Who's it for?
Anyone who needs help learning or mastering American literature material will benefit from taking this course. There is no faster or easier way to learn American literature. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who have fallen behind in understanding the literary realism movement in American literature
- Students who struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
- Students who prefer multiple ways of learning American literature (visual or auditory)
- Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
- Students who need an efficient way to learn about realism in literature
- Students who struggle to understand their teachers
- Students who attend schools without extra American literature learning resources
How it works:
- Find videos in our course that cover what you need to learn or review.
- Press play and watch the video lesson.
- Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
- Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
- Verify you're ready by completing the Realism in Literature chapter exam.
Why it works:
- Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
- Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
- Be Ready on Test Day: Use the Realism in Literature chapter exam to be prepared.
- Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any realism in literature question. They're here to help!
- Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.
Students will review:
In this chapter, you'll learn the answers to the following questions:
- How is literary realism a response to romanticism in American literature?
- What defined the works and narrative styles of writers like Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain and Kate Chopin?
- What are some of the major themes found in My Antonia, Huckleberry Finn and The Yellow Wallpaper?
- How can we summarize the American experience in Europe, as described in novels like Henry James' Daisy Miller?
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.
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.
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.''
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.
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Themes and Analysis
In this lesson, we will continue our exploration of Mark Twain's most acclaimed work, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, through an analysis of plot, characters, and theme.
6. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Plot Summary and Characters
In this lesson, we will learn about Mark Twain's most acclaimed work, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, through a close examination of characters and plot.
7. Twain's Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
In this lesson, we will explore the characters and discuss the plotline of one of Twain's most popular short stories, 'The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.'
8. Mark Twain's The Million Pound Bank Note: Summary and Analysis
In this lesson we will examine the plot and characters of one of Twain's most imitated stories, 'The Million Pound Bank Note.' Find out how this story challenged socioeconomic beliefs and remains an interesting story even today.
9. 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.
10. 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.'
11. Kate Chopin's The Awakening: Summary and Analysis
In this lesson, we will examine the acclaimed feminist novel 'The Awakening' by regionalist writer Kate Chopin. We will take a look at the protagonist, who wishes for freedom from her role as traditional wife and mother, while considering the 19th century world in which the novel was written.
12. Kate Chopin's 'Story of an Hour': Summary and Analysis
In this lesson, we will examine the plot and characters of Kate Chopin's most widely read short story, 'The Story of an Hour.' We will consider the ways in which the author's topics of marriage and independence reflect her feminist sensibilities and make this an early work of feminist literature.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. The American in Europe: Henry James' Daisy Miller
In this lesson, we will examine the literary theme of the American abroad in the work of expatriate writer Henry James. Specifically, we will examine James's depiction of character relationships, behavior and social context within his novella Daisy Miller.
16. 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.
17. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Summary & Analysis
'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court' is a satiric novel by Mark Twain that pokes fun at the old traditions of Europe. Read the lesson and take the quiz about one of the first time-travel novels to ever be written.
18. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain: Summary, Characters & Analysis
During this lesson, we will learn about Mark Twain's classic novel, 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,' by studying an overview of both the plot and the main characters. We will also analyze the events that occur in the story.
19. After Twenty Years: Summary & Characters
When reading a story by O. Henry, you're almost always in for a surprise. But that doesn't mean you can't come prepared for the twists of 'After Twenty Years.' This lesson features a synopsis of the story and an introduction to its characters.
20. After Twenty Years: Themes & Analysis
Would you recognize your best childhood friend after 20 years of being apart? Come explore the complicated and surprising feelings and situations that such a reunion can bring in this lesson analyzing themes in O. Henry's 'After Twenty Years.'
21. Ivan Turgenev: Biography & Books
In this lesson we explore the biography and most important works of one of Russia's greatest authors and social commentators of the 19th century, Ivan Turgenev.
22. Satire in Tom Sawyer
'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' is widely considered to be one of the greatest works of American literature. Author Mark Twain used various forms of satire to portray and criticize society in a humorous way.
23. The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain: Summary & Quotes
''The Innocents Abroad'' is Mark Twain's account of a journey through various sites in the Middle East and parts of Europe. In this lesson, you will learn about the purpose of Twain's book, as well as important passages from it.
24. The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain: Themes & Analysis
Mark Twain wrote ''The Innocents Abroad'' as a precursor to the modern-day travel guide. His accounts of each region's attractions are both educational and enlightening, with themes typical of his writings, such as travel and humor.
25. Satire in the Innocents Abroad
Mark Twain is often forthright with his opinions and observances, especially abroad. Thus, in ''Innocents Abroad'', Twain explains his experiences as best he can, with satire. Read about it here.
26. Roughing It by Mark Twain: Summary & Quotes
Mark Twain's ''Roughing It'' is a travel log, a semi-autobiographical book, and a humorous depiction of his experiences traveling west. It contains adventure intermingled with quotes showcasing Twain's observations and wit.
27. Roughing It by Mark Twain Major Themes
''Roughing It'' by Mark Twain is a written account of his excursion to the West with Orion Clemens, his brother. In this lesson, we'll examine the book's numerous themes that are typical of Twain's work: humor, travel, adventure, and growth.
28. Life on the Mississippi: Summary & Analysis
''Life on the Mississippi'' by Mark Twain is a memoir of his education as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River. Travel from St. Louis to New Orleans in this lesson of expanded horizons that helped to further define Mark Twain's literary career.
29. Life on the Mississippi: Characters & Quotes
When Mark Twain embarked on a steamboat journey down the Mississippi, he surely could not anticipate the rambunctious characters he would meet along the way. Life on the Mississippi shares his observations and interactions during such an endeavor. Hop on board to meet some of the characters and see what Twain and others say about them.
30. Life on the Mississippi Themes
Mark Twain's 'Life on the Mississippi' is a chronicle of two journeys: memories of Twain's days on the river as a youth before the Civil War and an account of the changes he observed when he traveled along the river later after the war.
31. The Prince and the Pauper: Summary & Theme
What could go wrong when two identical boys, one a future king and one a beggar, trade clothes and end up changing places? In this lesson, which summarizes the story and themes of 'The Prince and the Pauper,' you'll find out!
32. The Prince and the Pauper: Characters & Quotes
Mark Twain's 'The Prince and the Pauper' introduces us to a bevy of characters. Who's involved in the prince's and the pauper's lives when they decide to switch roles? In this lesson, you will be introduced to important characters and quotes from the story.
33. The Prince and the Pauper Genre
'~'The Prince and the Pauper,'~' like many literary works, crosses into many genres. In this lesson, we'll take a closer look at what genres are and into which genres this Mark Twain story might fit.
34. Cause & Effect in the Prince and the Pauper
Mark Twain's ''The Prince and the Pauper'' studies the effects brought about by the smallest of causes. This lesson looks at how the plot develops through cause and effect and how to avoid faulty assumptions.
35. A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain: Summary & Quotes
Mark Twain's, ''A Tramp Abroad,'' takes his talents across the Atlantic to Europe. In this lesson, you will travel through his summary and review some of the more prominent quotes from the book.
36. Pudd'nhead Wilson: Summary, Analysis & Quotes
This lesson will provide a summary of Mark Twain's novel 'Pudd'nhead Wilson' (1894). We will look at some quotes from the text and offer a brief analysis of its historical context.
37. Pudd'nhead Wilson Setting
Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson is a novel about murder, slavery, switched identities, and fingerprints. Such events take place in Dawson's Landing during the mid-19th century. Hitch a ride to traverse along the Mississippi and learn more about the setting of this tale.
38. Pudd'nhead Wilson Characters
This lesson provides profiles of the principle characters in Mark Twain's ''Puddn'head Wilson'' (1894) and gives basic details about their roles in the novel.
39. Pudd'nhead Wilson Themes
This lesson will identify some major themes in Mark Twain's 1894 novel ''Puddn'head Wilson''. We will also provide a brief analysis of how each functions in a historical context.
40. Pudd'nhead Wilson Symbols
''Pudd'nhead Wilson,'' a novel by Mark Twain, contains various literary symbols, which represent hidden meanings, as well as the stylistic storytelling talent of one of literature's most celebrated authors.
41. Why is Pudd'nhead Wilson a Tragedy?
''Pudd'nhead Wilson'' is a book written by Mark Twain in which several catastrophes join forces to create colossal tragedy for the small town of Dawson's Landing, Missouri.
42. The Mysterious Stranger: Summary, Analysis & Quotes
This lesson will provide a summary of Mark Twain's ''The Mysterious Stranger''. We will then provide an analysis of its unusual characterization and its particularly harsh conclusions about human existence.
43. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Discussion Questions
Classrooms across the country continue to use Mark Twain's classic tale as a teaching tool. Here you will find intriguing discussion questions to use in your literature classroom for this novel.
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Other chapters within the American Literature: Help and Review course
- Literary Analysis
- Analysis of American Literature
- Literary Analysis: Help and Review
- Colonial and Early National Period in Literature: Help and Review
- Romantic Period in Literature: Help and Review
- Dark Romantics: Help and Review
- Transcendentalism in Literature: Help and Review
- Modernist Prose and Plays: Help and Review
- Modernist Poetry: Help and Review
- The Harlem Renaissance and Literature: Help and Review
- Literature of the Contemporary Period: Help and Review
- Research Skills for English Language Arts
- Parts of an Essay: Help & Review