This essay Influence Of Realism On Literature has a total of 2223 words and 11 pages.
Influence of Realism on Literature
After World War I, American people and the authors among them
were left disillusioned by the effects that war had on their society.
America needed a literature that would explain what had happened and
what was happening to their society. American writers turned to what
is now known as modernism. The influence of 19th Century realism and
naturalism and their truthful representation of American life and
people was evident in post World War I modernism. This paper will try
to prove this by presenting the basic ideas and of these literary
genres, literary examples of each, and then make connections between
the two literary movements. Realism Modernism not only depicted
American society after World War I accurately and unbiasedly, but also
tried to find the solutions brought upon by the suffering created by
the war (Elliott 705).
The realistic movement of the late 19th century saw authors
accurately depict life and it?s problems. Realists attempted to ?give
a comprehensive picture of modern life? (Elliott 502) by presenting
the entire picture. They did not try to give one view of life but
instead attempted to show the different classes, manners, and
stratification of life in America. Realists created this picture of
America by combining a wide variety of ?details derived from
observation and documentation...? to ?approach the norm of
experience...? (3). Along with this technique, realists compared the
?objective or absolute existence? in America to that of the ?universal
truths, or observed facts of life? (Harvey 12). In other words,
realists objectively looked at American society and pointed out the
aspects that it had in common with the general truths of existence.
This realistic movement evolved as a result of many changes
and transitions in American culture. In the late 1800?s, the United
States was experiencing ?swift growth and change? as a result of a
changing economy, society, and culture because of an influx in the
number of immigrants into America. Realists such as Henry James and
William Dean Howells, two of the most prolific writers of the
Nineteenth-century, used typical realistic methods to create an
accurate depiction of changing American life. William Dean Howells,
while opposing idealization, made his ?comic criticisms of society?
(Bradley 114) by comparing American culture with those of other
countries. In his ?comic? writings
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