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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Mar 04, Bryan rated it it was ffom. I am dangerously close to rating this book five stars. We descended into the valley of the shadow, and dwelt amid chaos for ages before we groped again into the light. Yes, we are all Americans, but I guess we haven’t all got the same country, Mrs. It seems to be a good way of life, however, it does not seem very realistic.
In Howells’ writing he focuses not only on tdaveler social injustices but also the economic injustices altruriw society. It appeared first in the country, a spring from the ground; then it gathered head in the villages; then it swelled to a torrent in the cities. This page was last edited on 7 Aprilat Howells died in Manhattan on May 11, The novel is ttraveler critique of unfettered capitalism and its consequences, and of the Gilded Age.
It is perhaps in this role that he had his greatest influence. It means liberty for you; but what liberty has a man got who doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from? Generally, Homos is surprised to find that neither Mr Twelvemough, the novelist, nor any of his acquaintances—a professor, a businessman, a manufacturer, a banker, and a clergyman —has any social relations whatsoever to people from the working classes or to any of the country people who permanently live in the area alruria they themselves just spend a few weeks each summer.
The land was filled with cities where the rich flaunted their splendor in palaces, and the poor swarmed in squalid tenements. If he looks about him at all, he sees that no man gets rich simply alteuria his own labor, no matter how mighty a genius he is, and that, if travdler want to get rich, you must make other men work for you, and pay you for the privilege of doing so. There is a famous passage in the inaugural message of our first Altrurian president which compares the new civic consciousness with that of a disembodied spirit released to the life beyond this and freed from all the selfish cares and greeds of the flesh.
It left us the suffrage, and let us amuse ourselves with the periodical election of the political clay images which it manipulated and moulded to any shape and effect at its pleasure. The belief is that if men acknowledge their commonalities and work for each other, they will dispense with differences of rank and class.
A Traveler from Altruria: Romance by William Dean Howells – Free Ebook
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 the rest of death. So this entire thing is done as a series of conversations, its like one big lecture, so not great. Therefore, there is an opportunity for everyone.
But the friend of the proletariate, whenever occasion served, treated the proletariate like a deadly enemy. These shoemakers — lasters, button-holers, binders, and so on — no longer wore themselves out over their machines. Put into a novel form but still frkm good info on the system, politics, and the American dream.
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A Traveler from Altruria: Romance by William Dean Howells
Every citizen is entitled to everything they need atlruria any given time, so there is no need, and actually no way, to save for a rainy day, while amassing a fortune is impossible as well. It sought every chance to reduce wages; a,truria 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 travleer legislators.
Homos draws the conclusion that Americans differentiate between political and economic equality, noting that they may have the former but that they certainly do not enjoy the latter. Then followed, with a blind and mad succession, a time of famine, when money could not buy the super-abundance that vanished, none knew how or why.
A Traveler from Altruria, by William Dean Howells : XI
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Howells method to fix that thought is the Altrurian system where everyone is guaranteed a share of the national product only if he works at least three hours a day in an acceptable occupation. Katharina rated it liked it Aug 06, In Altruria, which is an explicitly Christian country, money has been abolished, so its inhabitants have even forgotten that there used to be a division between rich and poor.
Howells admits that the farmers alyruria not fit to associate with those at the resort because their manners are not good enough. America is one thing for you, and it’s quite another thing for us. 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.
Since that time the whole region of our southeastern coast has enjoyed the climate of your Mediterranean travveler. Return to Book Page. Interestingly, the book does not address the topic of racial inequality; I guess that was too radical an idea, even for a left-leaning writer like Howells.
We thought that heaven had descended to us, and that liberty, equality, and fraternity were ours.
You will perhaps be interested to know that it was with the telegraphs that the rebellion against the Accumulation began, and the government was forced, by the overwhelming majority which the proletariate sent to our parliament, to assume a function which the Accumulation had impudently usurped. Let the man go on!
It is clear that Howells was well aware of the issues with Americas society at the time of this story. However i’m getting more discerning with every book i read and in a world of infinite books i felt like deducting a star.
One hour sufficed where twelve hours were needed before, and the operatives were released to the happy labor of the fields, where no one with us toils killingly, from dawn till dusk, but does only as much work as is needed to keep the body in health.