The Rise to Realism

Topics: Thought, Theodore Roosevelt, Human Pages: 2 (392 words) Published: May 14, 2013
Define the term "Muckraker." Be sure to include the name of the person who created it. A muckraker is one who inquires into and publishes scandal and allegations of corruption among political and business leaders. President Theodore Roosevelt is credited with originating the term 'muckraker.'

Naturalism was a literary movement of the late 19th century that was an extension of Realism. What was the main focus of the Naturalistic writer? Naturalistic writers believed that the laws behind the forces that govern human lives might be studied and understood through their objective study of human beings. Naturalistic writers thus used a version of the scientific method to write their novels; they studied human beings governed by their instincts and passions as well as the ways in which the characters' lives were governed by forces of heredity and environment. Although they used the techniques of accumulating detail pioneered by the realists, the naturalists thus had a specific object in mind when they chose the segment of reality that they wished to convey.

American Realists believed that humanity's freedom of choice was limited by the power of outside forces. How would this view differ from the perspective of the Romantic writer (think of someone like Emerson)? The Romantics believed that free will was part of human nature, and they really replaced 'reason' with 'emotion' as the major driving force behind each human being. Realists thought that people are only free because of reason--because they could know the alternatives of one choice and choose which direction they wanted to go in. Unlike romantics, realists thought that human beings do NOT act on instinct. In your opinion, based on what you have read, why would post Civil War, newly industrialized America be attracted to the Realistic movement? It was full of strife. The blacks in the south were free but now in poverty, and the south itself was destroyed. In the north,...
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