1865 - 1914


Characters may be “larger than life” -- e.g. Rip Van Winkle, Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones, Natty Bumppo, Ralph Hepdurn, Bartleby

Characters resemble ordinary people -- e.g. Huck Finn, Editha, Frederick Winterbourne, Daisy Miller, Sylvia, Louisa, Edna Pontellier

Plot contains unusual events, mystery, or high adventure -- e.g. Poe's stories, Melville’s Typee Plot is developed with ordinary events and circumstances

Ending is often happy Ending might be unhappy

The language is often “literary” (inflated, formal, etc.) Writer uses ordinary speech and dialect -- common vernacular (the everyday language spoken by a people)

Settings often made up; if actual settings are used, the focus is on the exotic, strange, mysterious -- e.g. Melville’s Marquesas islands (S. Pacific), Cooper’s woods and frontier, Poe's gothic chambers

Settings actually exist or have actual prototypes
Writer is interested in history or legend -- e.g. Irving, Poe

Writer is interested in recent or contemporary life