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20th Century Literature

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Deshun789
Words 841
Pages 4
Crystal Taylor
Professor Chambers
English 2333-53001 April 8 2014

From Romanticism to Realism in 19th Century

The late nineteenth century was a period of incredible change as political empires broke up, independence rose, the power of the middle class replaced that of the dignity, and colonization grew. Although there were efforts to recover spiritual interest, normally organized religion reduced in influence in the late nineteenth century and was replaced by personal spiritual, moral, or theoretical beliefs. Literature developed as the creative standard that best expressed the social, economic, and logical concerns of the day, moving away from the issues and styles associated with Romanticism earlier in the century. Although in literature romantic elements in the Elizabeth and dramas, the English literary romanticism from the publication of Wordsworth and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads shows romanticism in a different light than other stories. Wordsworth stated his belief that poetry results from "the natural overflow of powerful feelings," and pressed for the use of natural everyday expression in literary works. Coleridge emphasized, the importance of the poet's thoughts and discounted devotion to personal literary rules. William Blake was maybe the most outstanding of the English romantics. His poems and paintings are blissful, creative, and heavily descriptive, indicating the unworldly reality fundamental the physical reality. Romanticism stresses on self-expression and individual uniqueness that does not lend itself to detailed meaning. Romantics believed that men and women must be guided by warm emotions rather than the cold intangible rules and customs established by society. In People in realism, was guided by rules and the natural law not lead by emotions and feelings.
The late-nineteenth-century writers moved toward a new era called “realism” practiced by authors such as Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Maupassant, and Ibsen. Realists wanted a truthful portrayal of modern-day life, a “part of life,” from an objective viewpoint. Similar in principle to realism, “naturalism” placed greater importance on science and nature. The most important mid-nineteenth-century writer was Charles Baudelaire, whose writings initiated the movement in poetry that would become known as “symbolism. “Symbolist poets, like Verlaine, Mallarmé, and Rimbaud, believed that the concern of poetry should be the verbal itself and the expression of the inner self as it is indirectly revealed through the memories attached to words and the relationships between words.
The Realist movement began in France, and its greatest writers were all French: Balzac, Flaubert, and etc. Honoré de Balzac wrote The Human Comedy, in which he portrayed over two thousand characters from French society. He pictured French urban society as greedy, unethical, and heartless, and locked in a Darwinian struggle for fortune and power. Gustave Flaubert’s masterpiece was Madame Bovary, the story of a frustrated middle class housewife who has an adultery affair and is betrayed by her lover. Flaubert pictures the middle class as unimportant, self-righteous, and judgmental. The novel was prosecuted as an outrage against public morality and religion, but the prosecution failed. One of the Russian realist, was Count Leo Tolstoy, who wrote War and Peace, a huge in-depth novel of the attack of Russia by Napoleon in 1812. Tolstoy depicts history as accepting, free will is a delusion and the accomplishments of even the greatest leaders is little more than the controlling of past requirement. Realist writers believed that literature should show life as it was in fact, rather than a make-believe, romanticized delusion. They wrote style rather than poetry, and wrote from logical objective rather than an emotional viewpoint. They observed and recorded what they saw, and let the facts speak for themselves. Most focused on modern-day everyday life. Most realists came from the middle classes, and focused on the working class, especially the urban working class. Their work observed subjects that before were off limits for serious literature like sex, strikes, violence, and alcoholism. Unlike the Romanticists who glorified in individual freedom and a boundless universe, the realists presented human beings as part of the world; and argued that all human actions were determined by natural laws. The environment determined human behavior; good and evil were simply social foundations.


Works Cited
Baudelaire, Charles. "From Flowers of Evil." The Norton Anthology of World Literature. By Sarah Lawall and Maynard Mack. 2nd ed. Vol. E. New York: Norton, 2001. 1380-97. Print.
Flaubert, Gustave. "Madame Bovary." The Norton Anthology of World Literature. By Sarah N. Lawall and Maynard Mack. 2nd Ed. New York: Norton, 2001. 1088-300. Print.
Lawall, Sarah N., and Maynard Mack. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 2nd Ed. New York: Norton, 2001. Print.
Realism, Naturalism, and Symbolism in Europe." The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 2nd Ed. New York: Norton, 2001. 1072-79. Print.
Tolstoy, Leo. "The Death of Ivan Ilyich." The Norton Anthology of World Literature. By Sarah N. Lawall and Maynard Mack. 2nd Ed. New York: Norton, 2001. 1418-59. Print.
Wordsworth, Dorthy. "The Grasmere Journals." The Norton Anthology of World Literature. By Sarah N. Lawall and Maynard Mack. 2nd ed. Vol. E. New York: Norton, 2001. 801-10. Print.

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