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Reality Bites: American Realism in Literature


A little reality doesn’t hurt. It’s possible to live vicariously through imaginative fiction but the American Realism movement wanted arts and culture to reflect the harsher aspects of real life.

Stephen Crane, Upton Sinclair, Ellen Glasgow, Horatio Alger and many other writers produced books filled with tough, uncompromising storylines. Sometimes we may need a little escapism, but it’s good to steep ourselves in a good, healthy dose of reality from time to time.

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