What is the literary style of Harte, Twain, London, Chopin, Herman Melville, Mary Wilkins Freeman, and Sara Orne Jewett?For example, is their work classified as realism, regionalism, naturalism, or...

What is the literary style of Harte, Twain, London, Chopin, Herman Melville, Mary Wilkins Freeman, and Sara Orne Jewett?

For example, is their work classified as realism, regionalism, naturalism, or romanticism?

Expert Answers
Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In addition to the above, Jack London is considered a naturalist, which is kind of a kicked up version of realism.

London tried to do everything realists did but represented the real world in specific ways.  He emphasized humans as victims of natural forces and social environments.  London's real world is a nasty place.  Humans are creatures like any other creatures in London's works, and in fact are inferior to other creatures in many ways.

For instance, in London's classic short story, "To Build a Fire," the human protagonist cannot overcome the force of nature, while the dog traveling with him survives with no trouble. 

copelmat eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Harte, Twain, London, Chopin, Melville, Freeman, and Jewett all fell within the period of American Realism (1860-1890).

As a movement and a kind of literary philosophy, realism was a reaction to romanticism. The central tenet of realism was the idea of accurately portraying the "real" lives of "real" Americans in literature. Because of the rapid industrialization and urbanization of the United States during this time period, there was a keen interest in how these changes would affect society. These questions and ideas were thoroughly explored in literature of this period.