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Realism

Madison Gilbert & Caroline Savage


Main Definition and Characteristics
Groupism: the idea that human existence is tied to groups of various size and
quality

Egoism:The egoism of individuals and groups, grounded in the so-called


human nature, as the primary motivation of all.

Anarchy: the absence of government on the international (and traditionally also


domestic) level

Power Politics: power politics as the dominant ordering principle, arising


from inequalities of social influence and material resources
Famous Author/Key Works
● Alexander Pushkin (Russian)
● Stendhal
● Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
● The Portrait of a Lady
○ Hundreds of pages with little action
● The Human Comedy
○ Relied on small events and experiences to create a wholesome theme and message

Major Themes
● Character: the overriding concern of all realistic fiction. Intricate characters were
created via monologues and an understanding of psychology.
○ During this time, psychology was becoming a true profession and field of study
○ The idea that internal struggles, and shifts in mood convey turning points within the text
● Plot: wasn’t constricted to a single story (according to a plot diagram). Designed to
follow real life without great disturbance from external circumstances.
○ Sometimes nothing earth-shattering occurs
○ Symmetry is not ideal
● Narrator: the idea of an omniscient, all-knowing narrator is abandoned. Unreliable
narrators are introduced, influenced by their own bias, prejudice, and motivations
○ Nick in The Great Gatsby