American Realism was a literary and artistic movement that emerged in the late 19th century aimed at showing the real experiences of people in their everyday lives.
From 'The World Before Him'
Horatio Alger, Jr.
This American fable captures the hopeful vision of success for the "everyman" in America's Gilded Age.
Everyone succumbs to the unbridled power of fear, which takes the shape of a pigeon in this classic story.
After Twenty Years
After twenty years of silence, a policeman meets an old friend who is a wanted criminal in Chicago.
Excerpt from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Tom Sawyer starts the "Tom Sawyer Gang" and makes all his friends, including Huck, swear an oath.
The Guilty Party
The tragedy of Liz, a girl overcome with jealousy and driven to violence.
The Last Leaf
A young woman catches pneumonia and loses her will to live.
The Gift of The Magi
A man and a woman sacrifice their most prized possessions to buy one another a Christmas gift.
Excerpt from The Jungle
In this disturbing piece of political fiction, muckraker Upton Sinclair describes how the meatpacking industry benefits from its shockingly unsanitary practices.
To Build A Fire
A man ignores warnings and slowly freezes to death in the wilderness.
The Open Boat
A group of four men struggle to survive in a small dinghy.
The War Prayer
A country gone to war is visited by a mysterious messenger who explains the price of victory.
The Law of Life
An old man is left behind by his tribe to die of exposure. As he prepares for death, he reflects on a life spent fighting nature's brutal forces.
Extracts from Adam's Diary
In this comical take on the biblical creation story, Twain writes from the perspective of Adam as he struggles to comprehend the new, perplexing world around him.
A spin-off of "Extracts from Adam's Diary," in this piece Twain gives us the perspective of Eve--contrastingly self-assured and full of childlike wonder.
The Story of the Bad Little Boy
An ironic tale of a naughty child who doesn't quite get what he deserves.
A Retrieved Reformation
A notorious bank robber and lock-picker tries to escape his past and become a new man.
The Million Pound Bank Note
A man gains fame and fortune simply because he is in possession of a large bank note.
Casey at the Bat
Ernest Lawrence Thayer
In one of the most classic sports poems in history, an arrogant player approaches the base with the weight of the game on his shoulders.
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
A narrator attempts to do a friend a favor - and gets swindled into hearing a rambling and ridiculous story.