Literary Q&A

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1. According to the lecture notes, a Realist fiction “reflects a conflict with a society threatened with rapid change and a breakdown of traditional values”. (Perkins) A Realist hero would be a person who has seen the worst of what society has to offer within that time period. As a hero, I would believe that even though things are changing quickly, and with this “breakdown of traditional values” (Perkins), they are still strong enough to deal with them and overcome them. Though the definition of a hero was not described in the lecture notes provided, I believe that Aunt Rachel fits the role of a Realist hero perfectly. In Twain’s story Aunt Rachel is a realist hero because she aligns herself, even without her knowing, to this definition of Realism. Aunt Rachel’s struggles are something Mister C can possibly never relate to, and even as the times of the Civil War changed, from the early days of slavery, to letting her become a cook for the Generals of the Civil War. It was a struggle that was surely to have broken anyone, but as a Realist hero, it seems that Aunt Rachel has risen above them and become what a hero should be. By definition, a hero is a person of distinguished qualities who is admired for brave deeds. This is not to say that Mister C is not a distinguished man, or has no brave deeds under his belt, but after reading the story, it is safe to assume that Mister C’s struggles in no way compare to Aunt Rachel’s, which is the irony of the story. Mister C is Aunt Rachel’s master, and she is his slave, and yet she is the hero. Mister C reinforces this by being seemingly baffled by her positive and bright attitude. However, though Aunt Rachel keeps her spirit up, she is aware that her life has been a struggle. This f... ... middle of paper ... ...nkowitz, Jerome and Patricia B Wallace. The Norton Anthology of Americal Literature. Vol. Volume C. New York City: Norton, 2007, 2003, 1998, 1994, 1989, 1985, 1979. 5 vols. Twain, Mark. Mark Twain: A True Story, Repeated Word for Word as I Heard It. 1874. 30 June 2010 . Perkins, Dr. "American Realism." Prince George's County Community College. Largo. June 2010. Web. 5 July 2010. Dr., Perkins. "Naturalism." Prince George's County Community College. Largo. July 2010. Web. 5 July 2010.
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