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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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8. Regional Realism   

8. Regional

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
- Author
- Context
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Overview Questions

Instructor Overview
A brief description of the literary movement within its historical context.
• How do regionalist writings reflect the distinct cultures and experiences of different ethnic groups? • How do realist texts represent gender? Are women authors' interpretations of realism different from male authors' interpretations? How?

• What kinds of narrative conventions structure oral and visual autobiographies?

• What regional and ethnic dialects were represented in late-nineteenth-century literature? Why were dialect stories so popular in late-nineteenth-century America?

• What are the distinguishing characteristics of realism? What cultural values does realism reflect and promote?

• What is regionalist writing? What historical events and cultural anxieties fueled regionalism's popularity in the late nineteenth century?

• In the popular imagination of the late nineteenth century, what distinguished certain regions of the country from one another?

• In what ways can regionalist texts be representative of the general "American" experience?

• How did technology bind together the United States in the late nineteenth century?

• What is dialect? How did different authors represent dialect?

• How do narrators affect the tone of a fictional text? What kinds of narrators emerge in realist writing of the late nineteenth century?

• What is a trickster figure? What cultural work do trickster figures perform?

• How do regionalist texts participate in or challenge racial stereotypes?

• How does class-consciousness inflect realist representations of American life? What classes of people are depicted in realist texts?

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