William Dean Howells and Realism

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Introduction to Realism

1. What are the basic tenants of Realism in literature? In art? The main, basic tenants of Realism in literature include, importance is given to character rather than whole plot, responds negatively/attacks romanticism, emphasis on morality, and character goes through a type of realization which often is a self-realization. Realism in art has a different basic principle. Its basic tenet can be described as an artistic approach to imitate and capture nature using a paintbrush. It focuses more on the accurate and truthful depiction of the subject which is through nature and life; this is a rejection to romanticism’s artificiality.

2. Who are some of the best known authors of American Realism? Some of America’s best known Realist authors include Mark Twain, Henry James, and William Dean Howells.

3. What countries were affected by literary Realism?
Literary Realism began with 19th century French literature, then spread to England, United States, and Russia.

4. Realism spanned which years?
Realism had developed and occurred between the years of 1865-1910.

5. What are some of the best known texts of American Realism? A few examples of some well-known American Realism literary works include Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, and Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.

6. Compare and contrast Realism in art and Realism in literature. Realism in art and literature were similar in that they both were in response to Romanticism. They both attacked romantic art and literature which were based on a ‘fairy tale’ type subjects; realism art and literature focused more on ordinary, real life situations. Yet Realism in art and literature differed in that in art, the artist would draw what they had seen without any bias, but realism in literature would primarly write about ordinary subjects of middle or lower class society.

7. Characterize Stephen Crane and explain his beliefs...
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