A comprehensive study guide offering in-depth explanation, essay, and test prep for William Dean Howells’s The Rise of Silas Lapham, one of the many in Howells’ movement into strong anti-romantic realism and social criticism.
As a novel of the realism movement, The Rise of Silas Lapham began Howells’ trend of incorporating Christian Socialism in his writing—a theory that the common welfare could be improved along guidelines of Christian ethical principles. Moreover, Howells is considered to be the father of American realism.
William Dean Howells (; March 1, 1837 – May 11, 1920) was an American realist novelist, literary critic, and playwright, nicknamed "The Dean of American Letters". He was particularly known for his tenure as editor of The Atlantic Monthly, as well as for his own prolific writings, including the Christmas story "Christmas Every Day" and the novels The Rise of Silas Lapham and A Traveler from Altruria.