Impressionism - Literature - Naturalism

4 important questions on Impressionism - Literature - Naturalism

Describe Naturalism of the 19th century's literature.

  • Countermovement by American women writers to the Romantic impulses of the 19th century.
    • Deals with concerns of middle-class women in naturalistic detail, with psychological realism reminiscent of Freud.
  • Naturalistic drama was also concerned with a realistic style and were staged to emphasize the authenticity of the characters, settings and situations.

What was the theory of the director of the Moscow Art Theater, Konstantin Stanislavsky, in the 19th century, that, together with Anton Chekov's plays, influenced modern realistic theater in the West?

The theory of Stanislavsky was that actors had to "live" their roles based on their own psychological reactions to the characters.

Who were the three great American women who wrote Naturalistic novels in the 19th century and where were they about?

  • Sara Orne Jewett (1849-1909) wrote about everyday lives of New England characters.
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1851-1904) focussed on how women were kept physically and psychologically imprisoned by 19th century attitudes.
  • Kate Chopin (1851-1904) depicts strong women who insist upon their independence and richt to determine their own destiny.
    • Depicted lives of the Creole, Cajun, African-American and Native American communities.
    • Best known work, the short novel The Awakening (1899), was considered obscene and was banned from libraries until the 1950s when her work was rediscovered.
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Who were the three great European Naturalistic dramatists of the 19th century and where was their work about?

  • Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), who touched on themes such as the roles and rights of women, scourge of venereal disease and the death of a child.
  • August Strindberg (1849-1912) who wrote in a strongly realistic style, with the same damatic intensity and electrifying revelations as Ibsen.
  • Anton Chekov (1860-1904), who did not build toward climactic climaxes but wrote about characters who are unable to find happiness and their indecisiveness in achieving their desires.

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