English 2328 – American Literature II

Realism, Regionalism and Naturalism Unit Test

Part 2 – Essay

The following essay topic should be typed using MLA format. Remember, be as specific as possible with references from the stories. Make sure you have answered everything the question is asking. Obviously, you may use your notes and book. Do not simply rewrite your notes back to me as the answer to the essay.

This portion of the test is worth 60 points.

  1. Three literary movements dominated the short genre of this unit ­–Realism, Regionalism and Naturalism. Provide a thorough discussion of each movement, including the purpose, goals and characteristics for each. In addition to this background information, select one short story for each movement (see the list below) to use in a mini-analysis of how the purpose , goals and characteristics are evident in the actual writings of the period. When working with the stories for the analysis, you should consider the characters, settings, theme, and style. In the conclusion of this essay, discuss your favourite literary movement and short story. You are not limited to the listed stories for this portion of the essay, and your movement and story do not have to be matching.

Please use specific examples and references from each of the selected stories.

Select one short story from each group that follows-


“An occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”


“The Outcasts of Poker Flat”

“The Luck of Roaring Camp”

“The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”


“The Law of Life”

“The Build a Fire”

“The Open Boat”