American Realism Criticism: Women And Realism - Essay

Louise Duus (essay date 1974)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Duus, Louise. “Neither Saint Nor Sinner: Women in Late Nineteenth-Century Fiction.” American Literary Realism 7, no. 3 (summer 1974): 276-78.

[In the following essay, Duus suggests that realist fiction of the late nineteenth century allowed for more variety in the representation of women than previously possible.]

In “Seduced and Abandoned in the New World,” Wendy Martin argues that American heroines, the daughters of Eve, “are destined to lives of dependency and servitude as well as to painful and sorrowful childbirth because, like their predecessor, they have dared to disregard authority or tradition in the search for wisdom or...

(The entire section is 1531 words.)

Alfred Habegger (essay date 1982)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Habegger, Alfred. “Realism.” In Gender, Fantasy, and Realism in American Literature, pp. 103-12. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982.

[In the following essay, Habegger discusses American Realism not as an independent form, but as a reaction against women's fiction of the mid-nineteenth century.]

What was realism, exactly? Up to this point I've assumed that we share a rough sense of what it was. If the reader has followed my contentions without any uneasiness over what I understand by realism, then all is well; there is communality. But if there is only uneasiness, then it is high time I admit that I have adhered all along to René Wellek's...

(The entire section is 5872 words.)

Josephine Donovan (essay date 1983)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Donovan, Josephine. “Toward the Local Colorists: Early American Women's Traditions.” In New England Local Color Literature: A Women's Tradition, pp. 25-37. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing, 1983.

[In the following essay, Donovan discusses the origins of women's literary realism in America and the place of the women local colorists within that tradition.]

Three novels which are representative of early and divergent traditions in American women's literature are Susanna Rowson's Charlotte, A Tale of Truth (first published in this country in 1794, and better known as Charlotte Temple); Tabitha Tenney's Female Quixotism: Exhibited in the...

(The entire section is 5349 words.)

Cheryl Walker (essay date 1991)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Walker, Cheryl. “Nineteenth-Century Women Poets and Realism.” American Literary Realism 23, no. 3 (spring 1991): 25-41.

[In the following essay, Walker assesses the works of nineteenth-century female poets as part of the realist tradition.]

Since the 1940s, poetry has been virtually excluded from most discussions of realism. One argument against including poetry as a vital element in realism asserts that realism usually involves a type of content and an attitude toward that content, whereas poetry is preeminently a matter of form. “No other kind of writing holds its own words up to the light as poetry does,” states Jan Montefiore,1 and it is...

(The entire section is 5975 words.)