Gilded Age | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 39 pages of analysis & critique of Gilded Age.
This section contains 10,558 words
(approx. 36 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Alan Trachtenberg

SOURCE: “Fictions of the Real,” in The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age, Hill and Wang, 1982, pp. 182-207.

In the essay below, Trachtenberg follows the development of Realism during the Gilded Age as a reaction against the sentimentalism of earlier romances and dime novels.

I

“Realism,” complained Hamilton Wright Mabie, erstwhile critic for the Christian Union, seemed bent on “crowding the world of fiction with commonplace people, whom one could positively avoid coming into contact with in real life; people without native sweetness or strength, without acquired culture or accomplishments, without the touch of the ideal which makes the commonplace significant and worthy of study.” In such chiding remarks, the voices of gentility insisted on their view of art: on one side, “culture,” “sweetness,” “the ideal”; on the other, crowds of “commonplace people,” with a broad hint of city streets and slums. Fiction, the...

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This section contains 10,558 words
(approx. 36 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Alan Trachtenberg
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Critical Essay by Alan Trachtenberg from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.