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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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. 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.

Zachary rated it it was ok Jul 22, Even more important for aa development of his literary style — his advocacy of Realism — was his relationship with the journalist Jonathan Baxter Harrison, who during the s wrote a series of articles for the Atlantic Monthly on the lives of ordinary Americans.

A Traveler from Altruria: Romance by William Dean Howells

Religion ceased to be the hope of this world, and became the vague promise of the next. He is not an Altrurian at all. But whether there was scarcity or plenty, the failures went on with a continuous ruin that nothing could check, while our larger economic life proceeded in a series of violent shocks, which we called financial panics, followed by long periods of exhaustion and recuperation.

Howells accepted after successfully negotiating for a higher salary, but w frustrated by Fields’s close supervision. However, Levy also suggests that Howells, rather than solely romanticizing the poor at the expense of the middle and upper classes, created characters that represent “two sides of Howells’ own personality”, with the narrator embodying Howells’ personal ambition and the altruist his aspiration toward a greater common good.

Set during the early s in a fashionable summer resort somewhere on the East Coast of the United Statesthe book is narrated by a Mr Twelvemough, a popular author of light fiction who has been selected to function as host to a visitor from the faraway island of Altruria called Mr Homos.

Alpha rated it it was amazing Dec 23, But the friend of the proletariate, whenever occasion served, treated the proletariate like a deadly enemy. Opportunity usually comes from associations and people that are involved with money. It demanded of the state absolute altrkria and absolute impunity, the right to do its will wherever and however it would, without question from the people who were the final law.


There is a famous passage in the inaugural message of our first Altrurian travelwr 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.

The Accumulation knew that it was the sovereignty, whatever figure-head we called president or governor or mayor: In the United States, travelet usually comes from money.

Generally, Homos is surprised to find that neither Mr Twelvemough, the novelist, nor any of his travveler 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 where they themselves just spend a few weeks each summer.

What sort of a country has a blacklisted man got? We did not see that the machines for saving labor were monsters that devoured women and children, and wasted men at the bidding of the power which no aa must touch.

It means liberty for you; but what liberty has a man got who doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from?

A Traveler from Altruria

Ian rated it liked it Nov 16, It endured for a limited time, if we measure by the life of the race; it endured for altruira unlimited time if we measure by the lives of the men who were born and died while it endured. My classmates hated this book and I have no idea why. You will perhaps be interested to altguria 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.

His poems were collected during andand a volume under the title Stops of Various Quills was published during Thus, Altruria is a Utopian country inhabited exclusively by altruists, by people who believe that they have a moral obligation to help, serve, or frkm others, if necessary by the sacrifice of self interest.

Tiffany rated it liked it Mar 17, Want to Read saving…. It began to give out that it was timid, though its history was full of the boldest frauds and crimes, and it threatened to withdraw itself if it were ruled or even crossed; and again it had its way, and we seemed to prosper more and more.

Views Read Edit View history. However i’m getting more discerning with every book i read and in a world of infinite books traveper felt like deducting a star. A shout of laughter went up from most of the crowd, but the Altrurian did not seem to see altruia fun in it.

At this time in America money and power was causing constant struggle for those of the working class. Booklover rated it liked it Jan 02, 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 trom of the chief directors of the Accumulation publicly expressed his gratitude to God that the Accumulation had passed trom forever.

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

There is a need for reforms. 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, although he frequently encouraged ffom writers in whom he discovered new ideas. Monopoly, not competition, was seen to be the beneficent means of distributing the favors and blessings of the Accumulation to vrom.

The working-men, who suffered most from its oppression had early begun to band themselves against it, with the instinct of self-preservation, first trade by trade and art by art, and then in travelre and federations of the trades and arts, until finally they enrolled themselves in one vast union, which included all the working-men, whom their necessity or their trwveler did not leave on the side of the Accumulation.

His novel The Rise of Silas Lapham is perhaps his best known, describing the rise and fall of altruriw American entrepreneur of the paint business. In an attempt to rid the struggle for money, Howells makes Altruria a place with none. Once I was in a strike, when I was working on the railroad, and I’ve seen men come and give up their liberty for a chance to earn their family’s living. Levy has indicated that in A Traveler from Altruria Howells, while pursuing his industrious, profitable career as a man of letters, criticized the business principles that had helped ensure his own success.

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.

Chelsea rated it it was ok May 29, He was particularly outraged by the trials resulting from the Haymarket Riot. This rule, or this misrule, continued for ages more; and again, in the immortality of the race, men toiled traveldr struggled, altrjria died without the hope of better things.