Realism Caitlin Janoff

Mid 19th Century - Early 20th Century(1860s-1900s)

A style of art, music, and literature that shows social realities and people's everyday lives.


  • Emphasis on psychological, optimistic tone, details, pragmatic, practical, slow-moving plot
  • Rounded, dynamic characters who serve purpose in plot
  • Characters dictate plot; ending usually open
  • Show us rather than tell us
  • Represents real life
  • Events make story plausible
  • People are in control of their own destiny and are superior to their circumstances


  • International novel--uses two or more continents; contrast of cultures gives character their identity.
  • Novel of manners--external focus on manners, customs of particular class at particular time.
  • Deals with people in society.
  • Writers uses customs for characterization


John Steinbeck - Of Mice and Men, Connery Row
Mark Twain- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Life on the Mississippi
  • William Dean Howells- A Hazard of a New Fortune, A Modern Instance
  • Henry James- The Portrait of a Lady, Daisy Miller
  • Edith Wharton- The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth
  • George Eliot- Middlemarch, The Mill on the Floss
Upton Sinclair- The Jungle, Oil!

Realism in ART

Early Sunday Morning- Edward Hopper(1930)
Cape Cod Evening- Edward Hopper(1939)
McSorley's Bar- John French Sloan(1912)

Realism in Music


Created with images by jill111 - "stack of books vintage books book" • C. VanHook (vanhookc) - "Painted!" • stevepb - "piano music score music sheet"

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