Brad Hutchinson
English 11
Realism was a literary movement that
attempted to portray the world as
realistically as possible to show problems
(expose readers to these problems) so
that people would work to solve them.
Main Contributors to Realism
Three writers made major contributions to
the literature of realism.
Mark Twain
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) contributed
the realistic portrayal of “the common
William Dean Howells
William Dean Howells contributed a realistic
portrayal of society as both a writer and
an editor.
Henry James
Henry James contributed a realistic portrayal
of human consciousness—the inner life of
Characteristics of Realism
1. Portray reality as closely as possible.
2. Its writers believed that accurate
portrayals of problems would cause
people to want to solve them.
3. Its writers believed that social and
political change was necessary.
Stories of Realism
Now, read the following stories noting
characteristics of realism in each:
“Editha” by W. D. Howells
“Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin—this story
has elements of both realism and
regionalism, note both.