The Gilded Age

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What is Realism and Naturalism? While being two separate literary movements, realism and naturalism have been at times used as interchangeable terms, sharing some deep-running similarities. They are both basic views of life and humanity, stripping away the layers of romanticism to present a natural or real outlook of the work. Realism, and naturalism refuse to idealize or flatter their subject. Both of these pessimistic views emerged in the 19th century, a period known for its trials and turmoil. Realism sought to be a faithful representation of life, while naturalism was more like a chronicle of despair. In realism the main focus was on the middle class and its problems, naturalism often focused on poorly educated or lower-class characters, and on themes involving violence and taboo activities. These two concepts affected literature in the U.S. For half a decade the Civil War gripped an entire nation as if with two clenched fists tearing in opposite directions. War, invoked didactic endeavors aimed at mass appeal, none greater than the literary movement of realism and naturalism. In literature, romanticism and…show more content…
First of all, it received its name from the title of an 1873 novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner that satirized the excesses of that much maligned era in our history. The Gilded Age was expanded to include the period from the end of Reconstruction to the early twentieth century. Now it is regarded as covering the period during which we have the beginnings of modern America - our modern industrialization and urban society. These were turbulent years that saw labor violence, rising racial tension, militancy among farmers, and discontent among the unemployed. The 1880s and 1890s were years of unprecedented technological innovation, mass immigration, and intense political partisanship, including disputes over currency, tariffs, political corruption and patronage, and railroads and business

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