Essay about Romanticism vs Realsim

1005 Words Sep 20th, 2014 5 Pages
Romanticism and Realism
Cheryl Hert
Western Governors University

Romanticism vs. Realism The French Revolution brought about enormous change in the world. With the collapse of the absolute monarchy, the rules of society began to shift in favor of the common people. Under the new laws writers and artists were given a considerable amount of freedom to express themselves which did well to pave the way to set a high standard for literature (Gregory, 1915). During the time following the French Revolution, two very different styles of Art were formed; Romanticism emerged in 1820 and lasted until 1865. Realism then took over in 1865 and lasted until 1914. Although the two have very different characteristics, they both share the
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Romantic artist strived to be utterly original, expressing a unique and unseen vision, by expressing themselves (Coconi, 2014).
Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelly, is the epitome of Romanticism in literature. Frankenstein tells the tale of a researcher, Victor Frankenstein who is consumed by the desire to create life. After conjuring up body parts and using electricity to bring it to life, he found the creature disgusting, and abandoned him. The creature begins to pursue Frankenstein for his acceptance, and when he does not get that, he seeks revenge, eventually killing all of his loved ones. Romantics glorified nature, dreams, visions, the power of the individual, and intuition. In regards to the character of Victor Frankenstein, Romantic characteristics exude from him.
The Civil war brought about enormous industrial, economic, social and cultural changes. To face the challenge of representing these dynamic cultural changes, American authors turned to the international aesthetic of realism. American realism was an attempt to accurately represent life as authors saw it through the use of concrete descriptive details that readers would recognize from their own lives (Overview, n.d.). The objects of art shifted from royalty and upper class to the middle class and the common people.
Realists were as objective as possible, focusing on the here and now. They painted pictures of nature, landscape, street life,

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