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Unit 4: Capturing the American Landscape

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Angela Garrett

on 26 January 2015

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Transcript of Unit 4: Capturing the American Landscape

Unit 4: Capturing the American Landscape
I. Regionalism & Naturalism
A. Reconstruction's Failures and Successes
B. A Transforming Nation
1. Condition in the South was tragic
2. Freed slaves became citizens and were given right to vote
3. The Confederacy was readmitted to the Union
4. Regionalism celebrated local culture and differences
1. The Transcontinental Railroad
a. brought settlers West
b. expanded industry
c. grew cities
II. Cultural Influences
A. The Gilded Age
1. $ in the hands of very few
2. Retail and tech explosion:
department stores
amusement parks
light bulbs
Sears Catalog
B. The Have-Nots
1. Native Americans were forced onto reservations
2. Racist "Jim Crow" laws kept South segregated
3. Immigrants lived in crowded slums and worked sweatshop jobs for miniscule pay
4. Farmers' situation: huge crops -> low prices -> loan defaults -> farm loss
5. Political reaction: labor unions and Populist party formed
6. Literary reaction: Naturalism - nature and society are uncontrollable, unforgiving forces that the individual struggles against
III. Ideas of the Age
A. Laissez-Faire vs. Progressivism
1. Darwinism = social survival of the fittest
2. Gov't role in this belief = "Stay out."
3. Gov't role in Progressive belief - help maintain social equality
IV. Regional & Naturalist Literature
A. "Local Color" writing
1. Wrote about the unique qualities of each region
2. Realism was a non-sentimental look at ordinary life
3. Fate of Native American Literature: almost wiped out through "Americanization," but some upheld the tradition
4. "The Adventure of Huck Finn" is considered the first "real" American novel (regional with no European influence)
B. Rise of Naturalism
1. Naturalist work reflected harsh society and people helpless in an uncaring world
2. Inspired by Have vs. Have-Not situation
C. New Role for Women
1. Realists
2. Wanted voting rights and university education
3. Naturalist views: Women vs. World
Full transcript