The Literature of Urban America

Authors and Books

  • Mark Twain- was a southern writer who wrote Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He wrote these books about an older more natural world in response to the new industrial civilization.
    • mark_twain.jpgad_hf.jpgtom-sawyer.jpg
      • Pictured: Mark Twain, Illistration of Huckleberry Finn, A Version of Tom Sawyer
  • Stephen Crane- wrote The Red Badge of Courage and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. The novel, The Red Badge of Courage, was written to show the cruelty of the Civil War. It is a story about a boy overcoming his fears and becoming a war hero. In a different light there is Maggie: A Girl of the Streets.This was written to depict urban poverty and life in the slum. This book pushed to re-create urban social reality. It was a movement toward realism.
    • stephen-crane.jpgmaggie.jpg the_red_badge_of_courage.jpg
      • Pictured: Stephen Crane, A Verison of The Red Badge of Courage, A Verison of Maggie:a girl of the streets
  • Theodore Dreiser- Writer of An American Tradegy and Sister Carrie. An American Tradegy is about a boy and his life story. The name is truely fitting because throughout the book this boy is followed by tradegy. Sister Carrie, it is a story about a girl who realizes the American Dream when she moves to a big city. These books focused on social dislocations and injustices of the present rather then the traditions of earlier times.
    • theodore_d.jpgan_american_tragedy.jpgsister_carrie.jpg
      • Pictured:Theodore Dreiser, A Verison of An American Tradgedy, A Verison of Sister Carrie
  • Frank Norris- author of The Octopus. This book told of the struggle between wheat farmers and railroad interests in California. He wrote this to show the opression of America's poor.
    • frank_norris.jpgocto.jpg
      • Pictured:Frank Norris, A Version of the Octopus
  • Upton Sinclair- captured readers with his reviting stories, such as The Jungle, this was about the corruption of capitalism. The Jungle talked about the American meatpacking industry, which in the 1900's was unsanitary. It promoted legislation to be passed by the federal government to deal with these issues.
    • upton-sinclair.jpgjungle.jpgmeathouse.jpg
      • Pictured: Upton Sinclair, A Version of The Jungle, A meatpacking industry
  • Kate Choplin- wrote a contraversal novel called The Awakening, which was about a woman who left her husband and kids to live a self fulfilling life. She was greatly scrutinized for her topic. It was a revolutionary idea for a woman to even consider leaving her husband.
    • Kate_Chopin.jpgthe_a.jpg
      • Pictured: Kate Choplin, A Verison of The Awakening
  • William Dean Howells- wrote The Rise of Silas Lapham. The book talked about the shallowness and corruption in the typical American's life.
    • william_dean.jpgthe_rise_of.jpg
      • Pictured: William Howells, A Verison of The Rise of Silas Lapham
  • Henry Adams- a historian who wrote an autobiography called The Education of Henry Adams. It talked about him living in a society that he couldn't relate to, but was required to live in.
    • Henry_Adams.jpgthe_education.jpg
      • Pictured: Henry Adams, A Verison of The Education of Henry Adams
  • Henry James-wrote many novels including: The American, Portrait of a Lady, and The Ambassadors. They were all realistic novel about the modern, industrial civilzations, mainly about America.
    • henry_james.jpgthe_american.jpgambass.jpgportrait.jpg
      • Pictured: Henry James, A Verison of The American, The Ambassadors, and The Portrait of a Lady


With America turning into an Urbanized nation, literature changed dramatically. With a revolutionary era begining, many writers wrote about these new changes, and there mosly negitive impact. Writers mainly told their side and ideals of the new America. The Urbanization of America


There were two major outcomes with the exspansion of literature.
  1. There was a creation of book clubs. These clubs were mainly formed by women, both white and african american.
  2. Discussing literature became a social experience for women because of the book clubs. These book clubs have continue into the present era.