First published in , A Traveler from Altruria tells the story of a foreign visitor who presents the concept of a Utopian society. Howells hoped his novel would. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. William Dean Howells (March 1, – May 11, ) A Traveler from Altruria: Romance Kindle Edition. by. “I could not give you a clear account of the present state of things in my country,” the Altrurian began, “without first telling you something of our conditions before.

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Howells hoped his novel would allow readers to confront the inconsistencies, imperfections, and injustices of Gilded Age America. There is an zltruria dissatisfaction with society, yet he still approves of the society as a whole.

I confess that my heart misgave me; but I signalled the professor to be silent, and again gave the Altrurian — if he was an Altrurian — my whole attention. He was the initiator of the school of American realists who derived, through the Russians, from Balzac and had little sympathy with any other type of fiction, altruriz he frequently encouraged new writers in whom he discovered new ideas.

It means liberty for you; but what liberty has a man got who doesn’t know where altrurua next meal is coming from? Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Since that time the whole region of our southeastern coast has enjoyed the climate of your Mediterranean countries. His poems were collected during andand a volume under the title Stops of Various Quills was published alturia But whether there was scarcity or plenty, the failures went on with a continuous ruin that nothing could check, while our larger trzveler life proceeded in a series of violent shocks, which we called financial panics, followed by long periods of exhaustion and recuperation.

The barren expenditure of force that began and ended in itself, and produced nothing, we should—if you will excuse my saying so—look upon as childish, if not insane or immoral.

They knew they were right, and that they ought to have stood up for their rights; but they had to lie down and lick the hand that fed them. This rule, or this misrule, continued for ages more; and again, in the immortality of the race, men toiled and struggled, and died without the hope of better things.

A Traveler from Altruria: Romance by William Dean Howells

There’s some some very blinkered sexism which you can laugh or wince at. It took just as much work to make these shoes as to make the best fine shoes; but they were shams through and through. Anyone who wants to be successful in this world will try to do so by getting rich. This story is dealing with social protest.


Then followed, with a blind and mad succession, a time of famine, when money could not buy the super-abundance that vanished, aktruria knew how or why.

A Traveler from Altruria: Romance by William Dean Howells – Free Ebook

In he first met Mark Travveler, which began a longtime friendship. It was long before we came to realize that in the depths of our steamships were those who fed the fires with their lives, and that our mines from which we dug our wealth were the graves of those who had died to the free light and air, without finding frmo rest of death.

The government made gold coins, but the people had nothing but the paper money that the Accumulation made. But perhaps I shall give a sufficiently clear notion of the triumph of the change among us when I say that within half a decade after the fall of the old plutocratic oligarchy one of the chief directors of the Accumulation publicly expressed his gratitude to God that the Accumulation had passed away forever.

It is perhaps in this role that he had his greatest influence. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

But, whatever they are, God forbid that the likeness which you seem to recognize should ever go so far as the desperate state of things which we finally reached. Homos has come all the way to the United States to experience first-hand everyday life in the country which prides itself to represent democracy and equalityto see for himself how the principle that ” all men are created equal ” is being practiced.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. He believes that men should treat each other as equals.

Views Read Edit View history. The Accumulation came under control for the first time, and could no longer work its slaves twenty hours a day amid perils to life and limb from its machinery and in conditions that forbade them decency and morality. Here I lost some words, for the professor leaned over and whispered to me: This was probably not true; but I myself saw him helping in the hotel hay-field one afternoon, shirt-sleeved like any of the hired men. Monopoly, not competition, was seen to be the beneficent means of distributing the favors and blessings of the Accumulation to mankind.


Its a fairly easy read though and since its about the gap between rich and poor its still relevant today. In he was one of the first seven people chosen for membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters, of which he became president. The Accumulation, as we called this power, because we feared to call it by its true name, rewarded its own with gains of twenty, of a hundred, of a thousand per cent. Articles with Project Gutenberg links.

The country was drained of its life and force, to feed the centres of commerce and industry. William Dean Howells House Redtop home. These shoemakers — lasters, button-holers, binders, and so on — no longer wore themselves out over their machines. The Accumulation had no voters, except the few men at trageler head and the creatures devoted to it by altturia and ignorance. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

The opinions of the American elites in this book read like a modern Republican presidential platform. Open Preview See a Problem? The social differences in America are shown by having the rich of the society staying at a luxurious resort near the farms of workers in a lower class. Connor Eichenauer rated it really liked it Aug 11, Booklover rated it liked it Jan 02, Noting the “documentary” and truthful value of Howells’ work, Henry James wrote: It sought every chance to reduce wages; it had laws passed to forbid or cripple the workmen in their strikes; and the judges convicted them of conspiracy, and wrested the statutes to their hurt, in cases where there had been no thought of embarrassing them, even among the legislators.

In his “Editor’s Study” column at the Atlantic Monthly and, later, at Harper’s, he formulated and disseminated his theories of “realism” in literature. However i’m getting more discerning with every book i read and in a world of infinite books i felt like deducting a star. Quotes from A Traveler from A At this time in America money and power was causing constant struggle for those of the working class.