Realism and Naturalism: A Comparison of Literatures Essay

Realism and Naturalism: A Comparison of Literatures Essay

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Realism is the creation of the effect of that which represents the historical concrete nature

of human life. It emerged as a result of the political and social changes as well as the scientific

and industrial advances of the late 19th

drawn from the context of their motivations, circumstances, environment, as well as cause and

effects. In simple, it is the representation of common life.

On the other hand, Naturalism can be defined as literature which attempts to use

scientific principles of objectivity and detachment to its study of human beings. It thus uses a

philosophical position in studying humans hence advocates for this study to be impartial and

devoid of character moralization. Characters are thus studied in relation to their surrounding how

they relate to it.

Analysis of Characters and Scenes in James’s Washington Square

Realists are generally believers in pragmatism, that is, they seek to find and express

pluralistic truth, associated with discernible consequences and verifiable by experience. They

are also firm believers in democracy, and the materials they expect to describe are the common,

century. It thus explores the human values and fate as

the average, the everyday. Realist believe that since there is no plot or symmetry in life, works

of fiction should also reflect life’s truths by avoiding the same and thus value individuals very

highly and to praise characterization as the center of the novel. That said a good example of

American realism would be in James’s Washington Square. It is the story of Catherine the

daughter of Dr. Sloper who is in Love with Townsend. Unknown to her in the beginning,

these two men in her life all want to use her for their own selfish gains with no re...


... middle of paper ...


...ful representation of life, Naturalism was more like a

despair chronicle, while in Realism the main focus was on the middle class and its problems,

Naturalism dove head first into the major societal drama, favoring the less educated or low class

for its characters and violence and taboos as its central themes. In conclusion Realism basis

its central role on the realities of life while Naturalism focuses on nature itself as an indifferent


Works Cited

Esch, Deborah. New essays on The House of Mirth. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University

Press, 2001. Print.

James, Henry. Washington Square. New York: Modern Library, 1950. Print.

"L-SAW." L-SAW. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.
viewarticle.php?id=435&layout=html>.

Singley, Carol J.. Edith Wharton's The house of mirth: a casebook. Oxford: Oxford University

Press, 2003. Print.

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