Monday, January 24, 2011

Realism Projoct: Realism

According to the definition as found on, realism is an "interest in or concern for the actual or real, as distinguished from the abstract, speculative, etc." As profoundly obvious as that is, this literal definition does not quite reflect this section of American literature because it was truly more full of finding oneself in the world by searching for the American Dream, which, at the time, was to grow wealthy in knowledge through some plan of greatness, usually ridiculously confounded and self-destructive in the end (Campbell). Realists were consistently trying to broaden their moral boundaries and highten their inner senses (Campbell). Growing deeper below the American Dream lies Realism's "hero," who was not so much one of today's heroes but was an everyday citizen, looking to increase their capabilities of learning from past experiences (Campbell). Before this period in American literature, many writers were either of the higher class or wrote about the higher class, whereas Realism writers wrote about normal people in everyday situations (Campbell). Society did, however, play a small part in much of Realism writing. Since these writers stayed away from the higher class, they were also able to to see the troubles faced by the lower class, such as living without a home and being unable to buy the necessary food and clothing for a simple family, and they felt sorrow for having seen such diversity in the lives of various citizens. Most tales in Realism writing were made to be plausible, that is that they were realistic enough to be believed and were possible to have happened (Campbell). And, much unlike many other previous writers who had used a more poetic style of writing, Realism writers wrote in the same style they spoke, called the natural vernacular. Finally, Realism was only possible because of the boredom with the drury, monotonous, and seemingly endlessly repetitive styles of the Romanticism era, which was focused on tales of love and fantasies. Scientific advancements were rising all around and eventually integrated themselves into literature, creating a realistic view on the world, called Realism.

Works Cited

Campbell, Donna M. "Realism in American Literature, 1860-1890." Literary Movements. Dept. of English, Washington State University. 21 Mar. 2010. Web. 24 Jan. 2011. .

"Realism | Define Realism at" Web. 24 Jan. 2011. .

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