19th Century Realism, Naturalism, and Symbolism

 

Realism

A literary and philosophical movement that was a reaction to the falseness and sentimentality of Romanticism

Defined as "the truthful treatment of material"

Characteristics:

Naturalism

The application of principles of scientific determinism to fiction and drama and makes the assumption that everything that is real exists in nature, which is defined as the world of objects, actions, and forces possessing significance revealed only through scientific inquiry

Uses aspects of reality that are representative of "the big picture"

Perspectives:

Biological Determinism (Darwinian)

Socioeconomic Determinism (Marxist)

Symbolism

Use of one object to represent or suggest another

Literary symbols are of two broad types:

1.     Those which embody within themselves universal suggestions of meaning, such as the sea or water imagery, sunset & dawn, etc…

2.     Another which secures its suggestiveness not from inherent qualities but from the way it is used in the work, such as the scarlet letter in Hawthorne's novel or Melville's white whale

 

 

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