American Literature of the 1890’s

The 19th century closed with ominous portents familiar to our own circumstances: disparities of wealth reflected in labor unrest and calls for progressive reform, racial divisions as voter suppression and social divides were reimposed, and war with a weak regime. We will consider five authors (in the following order) whose responses to these conditions varied: Twain’s darkly satiric The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson; Sarah Orne Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs; Edwin Arlington Robinson’s psychological portraits set in midcoast Maine; Paul Laurence Dunbar’s dialect poems; and a melodramatic family drama by James A. Herne, Shore Acres. MSC

Required Books: Mark Twain, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson (any edition); Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs (any edition); James A. Herne, Shore Acres and Other Plays, ISBN 978-1434407320.

David Miller had a long career as an English teacher and administrator in independent schools across the country. Annie Miller provides research and technical support.

Return to the Fall 2019 Courses Page

Print Friendly, PDF & Email