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Realism In The Real World Essay

  • Submitted by: rsj07
  • on February 19, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 2,679 words

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Below is an essay on "Realism In The Real World" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Realism in the Real World
The era of Realism in American literature began in 1865 at the end of the Civil War when “American authors and scholars turned against the irrationality and vanity of contemporary literature” (American Realism Criticism).   Many writers felt it essential that literature should include a moral intent in a time when nothing existed to assist people in dealing with ethical concerns. Therefore, the style of the realistic authors included writing about particular topics or groups, emphasizing the harsh realities of daily life.   They depicted “the growing plight of the new urban poor,” detailing very precise images of a growing, suffering society (American Realism).   All of this was an “attempt to depict life as it is usually experienced, without recourse to miraculous events” (A Dictionary of Literary and Thematic Terms, Second Edition).   One way in which they accomplished this was to portray the characters in their writings as far more important than the plot, allowing the reader to be able to connect with the protagonist in the story.   Of course, this was the exact opposite the writers of the earlier era of Romanticism, where stories were concentrated on ideas such as supernatural occurrences and distant times and places.   Instead, the Realists focused on things that were close to people.   They achieved these goals by writing of the truthful concerns that were happening at the time.   The Realistic authors defined their genre as “nothing more and nothing less than the truthful treatment of material” (Encyclopedia of American Literature).  
Three of the most important Realistic authors were Stephen Crane, Jack London, and Hamlin Garland.   Stephen Crane was thought of as one of the most important writers in the genre,   his most famous piece of work being his short Civil War novella,   The Red Badge of Courage which “aimed for honesty and a complete lack of hypocrisy” (Facts On File Companion to the American Novel).   In this novel, Crane wrote a...

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