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Realism And Naturalism

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6) Realism: XIX century. The aim was to portray life with fidelity and as Wordsworth wrote in the Preface to Lyrical Ballads with “little falsehood of description”. This movement was a reaction against Romanticism and the idealization of reality. While de romantics sought to transcend the immediate to find the ideal, the realists focused on the immediate, the here and now, the specific action, what they could actually see or hear. One-to-one correspondence between the representation and the subject. “The truthful treatment of material” (William D. Howells) The realist emphasized detachment, objectivity, accurate observation, lucid but restraint criticism of social environment and mores. Portray the lives, appearances, problems, customs and mores of the common people. Realism captured accents.

Simple, clear; direct prose was their way of expressing objectivity. They didn’t seek to find beauty or mystery in their subjects but to reveal them as they saw them.

Representatives: Charles Dickens and George Eliot (England), William Dean Howells (USA).

Naturalism: Late XIX and early XX. Assumption of scientific determinism: human beings are like animals responding to environmental forces and internal drives over none of which they have control. Their behaviour is determined by blood or heredity, environment and historical context. Suicide, alcoholism, prostitution, and insanity: result of heredity or environment. Characters lack free will, they are amoral (not responsible for their actions). The novelist is not a mere observer but a detached experimenter who subjects his characters to a series of tests and works with emotional and social facts. DETERMINISM governs everything. Emphasize the animal nature of human beings: engaged in the endless and brutal struggle for survival. They also emphasized SOCIOECONOMICS DETERMINISM, portraying the characters as



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