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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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. Connor Eichenauer rated it really liked it Aug 11, The land was filled with cities where the rich flaunted their splendor in palaces, and the poor swarmed in squalid tenements. 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 man must touch.

I fancy that there would be very little rising if men were expected to rise for the sake of others, in America. No trivia or quizzes yet. Then there was prosperity for that one. The Lady of The Aroostook Dr.

Also, there is no need to hurry so that craftsmanship flourishes and every finished product resembles a work of art. In Howells’ writing he focuses not only on the social injustices but also the economic injustices in society. In Altruria, money is not a problem because there is not any. Then the infamy became too great, and the law, the voice of the people, so long guiltily silent, was lifted travelwr behalf of those who had no helper.

A Traveler from Altruria Vol. Our southeast coast, from its vicinity to the pole, had always suffered from a winter of antarctic rigor; but our first president conceived the plan of cutting off a peninsula, which kept the equatorial current from making in to our shores; and the work was begun in his term, though the entire strip, twenty miles in width and ninety-three in trvaeler, was not severed before the end of the first Altrurian decade.

This page was last edited on 7 Aprilat The novel was first published in installments in The CosmopolitanVol. I will give you an illustration from the trades, which you will all understand.

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. For a while we made the old sham things, which pretended to be useful things and were worse than the confessedly useless things.


Set during the early s in a fashionable summer altruri 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.

Howells describes the people of the society as being selfish and materialistic.

A Traveler from Altruria – Wikisource, the free online library

It had always bought the law it needed for its own use, first through the voter at the polls in the more primitive days, and then, as civilization advanced, in the legislatures and the courts.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Feb 07, Lisa rated it really liked it Shelves: Whereas in Altruria there is no such thing as workers’ exploitationthe American banker explains to Homos how business is done in the United States:. There is an obvious dissatisfaction with society, yet he still approves of the society as a whole.

So this entire thing is done as a series of conversations, its like one big lecture, so not great. It is a combination of a utopia and travel narrative novel. Noting the “documentary” and truthful value of Howells’ work, Henry James wrote: United States of America. Quotes from A Traveler from A There is a need for reforms.

He sat down again, and it was a moment before the crowd caught on. Even more important for the development of his literary style — aaltruria 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. The Accumulation owned the land as well as the mines under it and the shops over it; the Accumulation owned the seas and the ships that sailed the seas, and the fish that swam in their depths; it owned transportation and distribution, and the wares and products that were to be carried to and fro; and, by a logic irresistible and inexorable, the Accumulation wasand we were not.

In the United States, opportunity usually comes from money. I fancied his wife scolding him there, and all but shaking him in public. A,truria 02, Theo! It had its way, x under its rule we became the richest people altruriq the sun. As opposed to egotismaltruism —a word coined during the first half of the 19th century by Auguste Comte —is unselfish concern for the welfare of others.


A Traveler from Altruria, by William Dean Howells : XI

By doing so, they would at the same time relieve the burden of those who regularly work with their hands. 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. The Accumulation knew that it was the sovereignty, whatever figure-head we called president or governor or mayor: 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 where they themselves just spend a few weeks each summer.

For example, regarding government assistance to the poor and unemployed: This is a great lates utopian story. 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.

America is one thing for you, and it’s quite another thing for us.

The apostle cast away upon our heathen coasts won us with the story of this first Christian republic, and he established a commonwealth of peace and good-will among us in its likeness. Yes, we are all Americans, but I guess we haven’t all got the same country, Mrs. Tiffany rated it liked it Mar 17, Let the man go on!

A traveler from Altruria : romance

There arose a system of things better, indeed, than that darkness, q full of war and lust and greed, in which the weak rendered homage to the strong, and served them in the field and in the camp, and the strong in turn gave the weak protection against the other strong.

Monopoly, not competition, was seen to be the beneficent means of distributing the favors and blessings of the Accumulation to mankind. The belief is that if men acknowledge their commonalities and work for each other, they will dispense with differences of rank and class.