A literary analysis of the gilded age a tale of today

The Hawkins family speculates in Tennessee land and dreams of riches railroads and steamboats might haul out of the region. In the end, Laura fails to convince Congress to purchase the Hawkins land. After several adventures in Tennessee, the family fails to sell the land and Si Hawkins dies.

Gilded age definition

At the municipal level, this was the era of the political machine. Grant in to the elevation of reformer Theodore Roosevelt to the presidency at the turn of the 20th century, the term "Gilded Age" has survived because historians have found a great deal of validity in Twain's and Dudley's characterization of their own time. 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. The contrasts raise intriguing questions to ponder. Most modern historians are less willing to accept the period's casualties quite so philosophically, but many have concluded that the economic forces unleashed during these years were crucial to the development of American society. How can morals and materialism be squared? Elijah Kellogg, a minister from Harpswell, Maine, revived colonial values and virtues in Good Old Times published in But if we look closely at the Gilded Age itself, we can see considerable discomfort with the direction of American life much earlier than

Grant was a cesspool of graft and maladministration. Published inthis historical monograph celebrates an elite that embraced antimodernism as an antidote to the prevailing therapeutic culture of consumption. 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.

America's farmers also suffered during these years.

The gilded age a tale of today summary

The years between and can, with some justice, be labeled a "gilded age. Suggestions for Further Reading Session One The literary fortunes of Chicago during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are addressed in several classics of American literature. Bolton's land, wins Ruth Bolton's heart and appears destined to enjoy a prosperous and conventionally happy marriage. Nowhere was the attempt to record nostalgic values associated with the pastoral countryside, quaint seaside, and wild frontier more prevalent than in Maine. Another interpretation of the title, of course, is the contrast between an ideal "Golden Age" and a less worthy "Gilded Age," as gilding is only a thin layer of gold over baser metal, so the title now takes on a pejorative meaning as to the novel's time, events and people. By the last decades of the century, their share of the national wealth had precipitously declined and their iconic place in the American imagination was at risk. Washington counseled the former in Up from Slavery published in , while W. At the turn of the century, we can detect a shift in the public consensus, a growing sense that earlier confidences that industrial leaders would build a prosperous and equitable society may have been misplaced. Rapid economic growth generated vast wealth during the Gilded Age. Grant was a cesspool of graft and maladministration. In Twenty Years at Hull House published in , Addams reflects on her involvement beginning in with a settlement house that attended to the social and educational needs of a predominantly immigrant neighborhood. 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.

As the strikes multiplied and grew more violent, as farmers bolted from the traditional political parties and launched one of their own, and as political machine operatives boldly articulated new governing philosophies that violated traditional conceptions of disinterested public service, America's large middle class did embrace a new understanding of government and its role in society.

All could agree that profound changes were taking place in the country.

A literary analysis of the gilded age a tale of today

Is there purity to be redeemed from pollution? Henry and Sellers, presumably, will continue to live gaily by their wits while others pay their bills. He also appears ready to overcome his passivity: "The spell is broken, the life-long curse is ended! John D. The old-fashioned age of innocence is passing. 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. The Sellers character was modeled after James Lampton, Twain's maternal cousin, and the land-purchase plot parallels Twain's father's purchase of a Tennessee parcel whose prospective sale, Twain wrote in his autobiography "kept us hoping and hoping, during 40 years, and forsook us at last. In his leisure time, Lapham and his family vacation at mountain and seaside resorts. A review published in compared the novel to a badly mixed salad dressing, in which "the ingredients are capital, the use of them faulty. But corruption also plagued American politics. Twain and Warner wrote their satire of the times in , and they weren't alone. Gilded or Gold? 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. But perhaps worse, the restructuring of work—the subdivision of labor into its unskilled parts—left many workers with few marketable skills and little hope for occupational or social mobility.

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. The entire novel was completed between February and April This was the Gilded Age that Mark Twain lampooned so viciously.

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The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today?