Realism And The Realist Movement Essay

1105 Words Jul 15th, 2015 null Page
Realism is a period of art that started in the 1850’s and has continued on in various forms since then. In a literary sense Realism is the attempt to portray life as it is and not, like the Romantics, as it should be. This philosophy is the heart of Realism and “has its origins in Descartes and Locke” who laid the groundwork for Empirical thought (Ian Watts, Rise of the Novel). Realism portrays society by using Empirical methods, the human senses, to create an objective view of reality in the eyes of those that live it everyday. It is this humanistic factor that came to define the Realist movement.
The Romantics that preceded the Realists are one of the largest influences on the Realist movement. The Romantics painted a portrait of life that was often mythical and legendary, featuring larger than life heroes, grand gestures of love, and fantastic narratives. The Realists saw this - it was unavoidable, as an inaccurate portrayal of life and corrected this. They favored smaller means and the works often depicted situations of families and social struggles. This is clear through novels like Dicken’s Bleak House and Beecher-Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. We get to see the day to day of the normal person and see society through their eyes.These views were often bleak and depressing with the characters reflecting this lifestyle. With the flair of the Romantics in mind it is clear how Realism started as a reaction to the prior movement and grew to define itself as its own period. As…

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