Communication in American Literature Essay example

2606 Words 11 Pages
American literature has changed since the industrial revolution. As a child matures into an adult, so has American literature grown to include the problems faced in reality. The word “fiction” transformed from the fairy tales of romanticism to the reality of realism in America. Authors such as: Clemens, Howells, Chopin, Eliot, Faulkner, and Anderson have all assisted the move from dreams to reality. Dramatists O’neill and Miller have written plays that have changed the way social circumstances are viewed by Americans. Americans, as portrayed by American writers, have been plagued with an inability to communicate feelings through speech, yet from the industrial revolution to post second World War, American writers have …show more content…
I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: ‘All right, then, I’ll go to hell’”(Clemens 168). The dilemma of whether to turn in a runaway slave grips Huck’s heart, and like most all human beings the struggle is not put into words to others, but is sounded silently within. Clemens understood realism, and placed an emphasis on a social issue burning hot in his day. He took a fictional character and gave him a mind, and let the audience, the reader, view his expression of communication within himself. Words communicate thoughts, yet thoughts in fictional realism are the expressions of characters that cannot express their thoughts into words.

Clemens barely scratched the surface depicting the problems with communicating in America. W.D. Howells, a realist, focused his works on the here and now, the immediacy of time, and critical social issues. In Howells’ text’s, human beings are exposed as creatures of thought, not expression. Alan Trachtenburg, author of The Incorporation of America, spoke of Howells as a writer who was notorious for “creating fictions of fact rather than fable” (202). Trachtenburg also quotes Howells as saying, “Realists want to know the world as it really is, to create a world of fiction congruent with ‘real life’”(184). Howell’s realism depicts characters unable to communicate their feelings and feeling unfulfilled in their attempts to express themselves. In…