The Rise of Silas Lapham

ebook: The Rise of Silas Lapham

Sprache - Englisch

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About the eBook

In 'The Rise of Silas Lapham,' William Dean Howells masterfully charts the journey of a self-made man within a society in flux at the brink of the Gilded Age. With acute detail, Howells paints a portrait of Silas Lapham's ascent from humble origins to the pinnacle of economic success, only to encounter the challenges of moral integrity in the face of material wealth. Howells' finest novel unfolds with a deftly crafted narrative, marked by a distinctive realist style that eschews the hyperbole of romanticism, instead offering a nuanced study of character and social mores. As themes of true value versus superficiality and personal ethics against societal expectations emerge, readers glimpse the tapestry of the period's upper-class Bostonian life through the lens of Lapham's experiences.

William Dean Howells, known as a pioneer of literary realism in America, draws upon his own experiences and social observations in crafting this influential work. Born shortly before the Civil War, Howells' formative years and subsequent career as an author and critic reflected the nation's evolving consciousness about wealth, class distinctions, and the American Dream. His participation in American literature as an editor and advocate for new voices, including Mark Twain and Henry James, undoubtedly informed his writing, imbuing 'The Rise of Silas Lapham' with an authenticity and a critical perspective on American society.

'The Rise of Silas Lapham' remains a seminal piece in American literature, essential reading for those interested in the Realist tradition. Its exploration of socio-economic issues, character development, and ethical quandaries resonates as deeply today as at its debut. Readers seeking a rich, thought-provoking narrative steeped in the complexities of human nature and societal values will find much to admire and ponder in Howells' incisive exploration of wealth, morality, and social status. This novel is a pinnacle of its genre, offering a window into the soul of an America still grappling with its own burgeoning identity.

About the Author

William Dean Howells (1837–1920) stands out as one of the foremost figures in American literature during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born on March 1, 1837, in Martinsville, now known as Martins Ferry, Ohio, Howells became a man of letters who wore many hats – as a novelist, literary critic, playwright, and editor. As a proponent of Realism, he championed the portrayal of ordinary life devoid of romantic idealization or dramatic elements, which was quite revolutionary at the time and influenced the path of American writing (Goodman, 1999). His seminal work, 'The Rise of Silas Lapham' (1885), exemplifies this style, detailing the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by its eponymous protagonist amidst the backdrop of the Gilded Age. Notably, the book provides a nuanced view of the American Dream through its depiction of social class and business ethics (Crowley, 2001). Howells served as the editor of the Atlantic Monthly and was in regular correspondence with other literary giants of his time such as Mark Twain and Henry James, helping to shape the discourse of American literary naturalism. The body of his work extends over a hundred volumes, including fiction, plays, and essays. Howells was not only an influential writer but also a critic who championed the work of other realists, and in doing so, profoundly shaped the standards by which literature was judged in his era (Kaplan, 1989).

Product Details

Publisher: DigiCat

Genre: Sprache - Englisch

Language: English

Size: 350 Pages

Filesize: 518.1 KB

ISBN: 8596547390985