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William Dean Howells William Dean Howells was an author during the 19th and 20th centuries He used his position as editor of the Atlantic Monthly as well as his criticism and works to influence the world of realist literature during his time William Dean Howells influenced the realism of his time greatly with his writings and criticism but his most profound influence came from his position as editor of the Atlantic Monthly With the power of his position Howells had the opportunity to pick the literature which he wanted to showcase in his magazine It gave him the chance to act as a sort of patron to many of the young realist writers during the time Howells gave moral and critical support to these authors Mark Twain and Henry James are just a few of these authors that Howells was compelled to help Howells positions as editor of the Atlantic Monthly was definitely a blessing to the world of literature Another way William Howells affected realism was with his criticisms Since his word was held in high regard virtually any author who received Howells endorsement was destined to be received more kindly by the public Howells used this gift to bring attention to many of the realist authors that were trying to be noticed Good criticism was a good way that Howells helped realist literature William Dean Howells affected realism with his own writing as well His development of character analysis and his emphasis on the darker more real side of life are both important parts of realism This emphasis of the character rather than the plot is most evident in Howells novel The Rise of Silas Lapham Howells was recognized as the foremost realist author of his day and made many contributions through his writing William Dean Howells is known today as more of a patron of realism that an actual participant Though he produce a vast array of works his contributions
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