Civil War PPT

Civil War Literature
Walt Whitman
• Last of the Romantic poets – bridges the gap between the Romantics
and Realists of the post Civil War Era
• Focused on the self, the physical body, and the potential of humanity
• Saw great potential in the country due to its immigrant roots and
incredible diversity
• Also understood the more unpleasant parts of being a growing nation
• Fear
• Anger
• anxiety
Whitman’s Structure – or lack thereof
• Free Verse – poetic verse that lacks a regular rhythm, rhyme and meter
• Anaphora – repetition of phrases throughout poetry
• Catalog – list of items in poetry
• Diction – word choice, how the author influences meaning and
interpretation with specific selection of words
Writer and Society
• Literary Forms for Expressing Social and Political Issues
Muckraking journalism
Slave spirituals
Slave narratives – Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs
Soldiers’ diaries and war journals
• Popular Literature
• Rags to riches tales
• Irony – Gift of the Magi
• Fantasy/escapist literature (Wizard of Oz)
• Realism, naturalism, and the Social and Political issues
• Depicts the reality and gruesomeness of war
• Rise of technology leads to fear and ill-favor
• Nature becomes the enemy of man
A man said to the universe:
"Sir I exist!"
"However," replied the
universe, "The fact has not
created in me A sense of
Place and Literature
• Writers of the North
• Tech advances -> movement into larger cities; bigger, stronger was better
• Writers focused on crowded environments, work, crime, immigrants, organized
• Southern Writers and the Physical Environment
• War destroyed the idyllic plantations of the south, leading to stories of loss and
• Southern writers focused on the distinctive qualities of the south, genteelism,
hospitality, racism,
• Expressions of Place in Civil War Writing
• Local color – dialects, accents, attitudes
• Mark Twain, Willa Cather, Zora Neale Hurston (later)
What makes American Literature American?
• Literary Elements
• Settings: wild west, riverboats, Yukon wilderness, battlefields, tenements,
• Language: common speech and dialects, vulgarities
• Humor: exposed corruption, dissect and deconstruct human problems
• Roles of Civil War Writers
• Realists – a more OBJECTIVE outlook, looked at hard facts not impressions
• Naturalists – pitted man against nature, with man losing more often than not
• People’s fate controlled by Heredity, environment, and social conditions
• People could NOT rise above their circumstances
• Writers tried to document the true settings and people of the time
Names and Terms to Know
• Fort Sumpter – Fort in SC where Civil War started
• Homestead Act – 1862, promised 160 acres to anyone who was willing
to work them
• Guilded Age – period of low wages, disease, child labor, very few
wealthy – conspicuous consumption
• Horatio Alger – wrote rags to riches tales for young adults
• The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Cranes novel about the Civil War,
depicts the loss of innocence
• Local Color – character and details particular to a specific region,
particularly the west and south.