A literary analysis of the gilded age a tale of today

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A literary analysis of the gilded age a tale of today

Search The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today? This series will examine one the most pivotal yet most neglected eras of United States history, one that began to define the parameters of the modern world in which we live. Rising out of the carnage of four years of civil war and a failed attempt both to reconstruct the South and reconcile race relations, Americans turned their attention during the last quarter of the nineteenth century from political debates over the nature of the nation and moral considerations of civil rights to economic projects of physical expansion and material wealth.

The people of principle—of states rights versus federal union, of popular sovereignty versus free soil, of slave power versus abolition—became the people of progress—of railroad building, corporate trusts, street-car suburbs, and social and geographic mobility.

In addition to industrialization, urbanization, and migration, the modernization of the United States brought with it the rise of a leisure class and a new therapeutic consumer culture. The people of principle — of states rights versus federal union, of popular sovereignty versus free soil, of slave power versus abolition — became the people of progress — of railroad building, corporate trusts, street-car suburbs, and social and geographic mobility.

The series will begin at the culmination of the era in Chicago, the city that most epitomized the dramatic transformations of the age. The Devil and the White City by Erik Larson has garnered much popular attention and critical acclaim since its publication in The debauchery of the imposter Dr.

Henry Holmes, who hailed from a small town in New Hampshire, highlighted the underside of urban life — anonymity, disorder, and outright evil.

In contrast, or perhaps in response, the architect Daniel Burnham made it his mission to design a fairground that would come to be known as the White City. Giving rise to the city beautiful movement, the project was premised on the belief that soaring stately architecture, neat orderly landscapes, and essential civic institutions could elevate the morals of the urban masses.

Holmes did not fare so well in either the scales of justice or annals of history. The authors shared writing responsibilities for a sprawling novel that intertwines several story lines, bound together by two main themes — romance and speculation, love and money, each of which can lead to ruin.

The Hawkins family speculates in Tennessee land and dreams of riches railroads and steamboats might haul out of the region. Colonel Sellers is an indiscriminate speculator in slaves, mules, sugar, hogs, and railroads, while the Sterling and Bolton families build a coal empire in Pennsylvania.

Along the way, a colorful cast of characters pass through the sordid halls of Congress seeking subsidies and doling out bribes, and, in a New York courtroom, a damsel in distress seeks sympathy for shooting her lover.

Proving that fact is indeed stranger than fiction, Twain and Warner based many of their characters and scenes on actual events of the era. Hard work was the only real road to success and the rule of law was the only real guarantor of justice. In contrast to the unbounded social fluidity described by Twain and Warner, Wharton focuses on the entrenched, but beset, ruling commercial elite of the Gilded Age.

Theirs was a leisured life filled with teas and dinner parties, banquets and balls, openings and operas, art and literature, polo matches and yacht races undergirded by rigid rules of propriety, ritual, and fashion.

Change is in the air, however. The social mores of marriage, moral integrity, and female dependence are threatened. Commerce, not custom, is king.

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The old-fashioned age of innocence is passing. The Gilded Age distinguished between two wealthy classes, the Antiques and the Parvenus. Set in the hub of New England commerce and culture during the s, the novel exemplifies a realism Howells hoped to bring to the study of urban life.

It charts the fortunes of a Vermont farm boy, who comes to prominence in the city as a successful paint manufacturer, until he gets caught up in the competitive struggles, speculative fevers, and rollercoaster business cycles of a laissez-faire economy.

During his rise, Silas Lapham sets about becoming a solid and accepted member of the urban upper middle class, learning the social customs of Boston Brahmin aristocracy, building a new home in the Back Bay, and attending to the affairs of his two marriageable daughters. In his leisure time, Lapham and his family vacation at mountain and seaside resorts.

In a twist on the prevailing Horatio Alger self-made-man myth, Lapham eventually falls, in part, ironically, because he cannot betray an old-fashioned morality for the prospect of modern-day riches. In the end, he finds a measure of social, if not economic, redemption back home on a farm in his native Vermont countryside.

A Tale of the Gilded Age. Published inthis cultural study by David Richards traces the transformation of a tired family farmstead into a prosperous Victorian resort during the last half of the nineteenth century.

The people of progress were partly pushed out of the city during the summertime by the heat, the pollution, the immigrant masses, the labor strife, and the general busyness of modern urban life. They were also pulled toward the ocean, mountains, and countryside by yearnings for historical nostalgia, pastoral landscapes, and natural beauty.

Competing with the anti-urban and anti-modern allures of Gilded-Age resorts like Poland Spring were the modern values they reinforced and promoted in their roles as social mecca, therapeutic spa, and recreational playground.

The following year, the Maine State Building provided some of the modern cultural amenities expected by the leisure class — a museum, a library, and an art gallery.

The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today? - Maine Humanities CouncilMaine Humanities Council

The contrasts raise intriguing questions to ponder. What is the place of nostalgia in an era marked by rampant progress? Is it more important to be solid or fashionable? How can morals and materialism be squared? Where does the center of American culture and civilization reside, in the country or the city?And research papers A daily roundup of all the newest free Kindle eBooks in easy to navigate format You can also sign up for our newsletter a literary analysis of the gilded age a tale of today if you wish and have a daily email alert with Peters Fraser and a literary analysis of the gilded age a tale of today Dunlop is one of the longest-established literary .

The Gilded Age Essay Examples. 11 pages.

A literary analysis of the gilded age a tale of today

A Literary Analysis of the Gilded Age: A Tale of Today. words. 1 page. Materialism in George Orwell's , Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, and the General American Culture. words.

Introduction

The Gilded Age in the World and the Reforms it Bought to the People. words. Go to: Distributed Proofreaders Thanks for the primary chromosomal sex determination in mammals joining us a literary analysis of the gilded age a tale of today this summer as we revisited some of the memorable lives featured in The New York Timess archive We wandered back into a fatal Literature & Language Questions including "How.

The Gilded Age Mark Twain collaborated with Charles Dudley Warner on The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today. Published in , as Twain’s earliest work of extended fiction, The Gilded Age gives a name to the period of opulence and corruption at the end of the 19th century.

The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today is a novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner first published in It satirizes greed and political corruption in post-Civil War America in the era now referred to as the Gilded Age. Although not one of Twain's best-known works Literary Gilded Age: A Tale /5().

The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today? A Let’s Talk About It Book Discussion Series. Developed by David Richards. This series will examine one the most pivotal yet most neglected eras of United States history, one that began to define the parameters of the modern world in which we live, the Gilded Age.

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