The 19th Century Critical Realism and Charles Dickens Essay

The 19th Century Critical Realism and Charles Dickens Essay

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Chapter I. Introduction

In the 1830s, as the capitalist system had established and consolidated in Europe, the drawbacks of the capitalist society appeared, and the class contradictions also sharpened day by day. The capitalist mode of production "has left no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than calloused `cash payment'. It has drowned out the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom --- Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation."(Marx, Engels 1972: 253). Additionally, the development of natural science and the victory in objecting to the religion and idealism struggle of materialism impelled the writers to break the traditional concept and illusion, and to watch the world and research the social realistic problems with the relatively objective even scientific eyes, so that Realism replaced Romanism to become the principal school of European literary circles. Since at that time the realistic literature was good at ferreting out to capitalist society and criticism, Maxim Gorky called it as "the criticized realism"(Gorky 1978: 110-111).

Chapter II. The History and Background of Critical Realism

From the 1830s, the power of capitalism in both France and Britain got success in their countries. The capitalist regime increasingly got consolidated and developed. In the 1830s, the French July Revolution broke out, and the big b...


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...could not dig the contradiction between the proletariat and the propertied class more deeply. The main purpose is still supporting the rotten capitalist system and guaranteeing the benefits of the propertied class. With regard to the technique of expression, it made a point of the details and a depiction of the typical model, took note of plots and the arrangement of composition. In each realm of literature particularly in novel, Critical Realism has done a precious quest, enriched the means the artistic performance, strengthened the depth of thought, and accumulated precious wealth of art. It was the product of the establishment and development of capitalism; it was the artistic record of this period complex history. As Gorky said,the critical realism was the "19th century's chief, most glorious and most profitable" (Gorky 1978: 333-334) literature trend.

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