Distinctive features of Realism and Modernism I. Ideological and philosophical differences ( How Realists and Modernists viewed man) R: 1. Man is a social animal (Aristhotel called it a political animal) 2. Alienation is conditioned by society 3. Reality is solid and objective. The world is palpable and identical 4. Interaction between man and environment (it determines his development) 5. There is always a sense of progress M: 1. Man is seem as ahistorical being 2. Alienation is innate, inherent in man; the human condition is their major theme 3.
There`s no outer reality, only human consciousness; solipsism (the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist) 4. No interaction between man and reality 5. There is no sense of perspective, there is pessimism, despair, believe in the disintegration of humanity II. The purpose of literature R: 1. To create an illusion of reality, to reflect reality, mimesis (imitation), the imitative function 2. To criticize reality in order to transform it, to improve it; didactic element M: 1. To examine psychological depths, to question experience 2. There is no didactic element in their fiction
III. Subject and matter R: 1. Interest in society, in social issues, in the outside world, in all signs of class and social status, interest in the appearance of the characters (appearance is the reflection of environment) 2. Interest in history, it involves a panoramic view 3. Interest in moral, ethical issues 4. In realist novel there is attempt to trace a whole life (bildungsroman), a chain of chronological events in one`s life, contiguity (closeness) 5. Objectivity and rationality prevail 6. There is always affirmation of the values of life 7. Clear distinction between heroes and villains
M: 1. Interest in psychology, in the individual, in the consciousness of the individual, interest in the inner world, the subconscious illumine the life within; a shift from the perceived to the perceiver; interest in thought, dreams and memories 2. The methods of introspection, psychological analysis 3. Kunstlerroman, the character is usually an artist, the development of an artist, interest in art 4. There is a concentration on a short span of time 5. Not outside events, but the impression of the events is important; subjectivity of events prevail 6. A quest for the meaning of life 7.
No heroic characters, no clear distinction between villains and heroes, no truly liable characters IV. Formal aspects R: 1. The Realist novel gives priority to content 2. It deals with social types, social representativeness is important; a huge cast of characters 3. The plot is logically articulated 4. The setting (environment) is depicted in detail, solidly specified 5. Omniscient narrator (who has an access to the mind of every character), reliable narrator (we trust him), intrusive narrator 6. The basic structure in Realist novel is linear, chronological, spacial as well as temporal contiguity; metonymic structure, synecdoche . Lucidity of style, intelligibility, unity, coherence of the narrative 8. Closed ending 9. Metonymic symbols prevail (appropriate to the context) M: 1. The Modernist novel gives priority to form 2. Characters are of little importance. There is a very small cast of characters 3. Plot is unimportant (there are also plotless novels) 4. The setting is indefinite, very often it`s a wilderness 5. Subjective/ limited point of view; there is one narrator, the narrative locates itself in the minds of characters, with limited point of view; unreliable narrator 6.
Fluid handling of time, no linear structure, simultaneity; the structure of an experimental novel is circular 7. Verbal obscurity, unintelligibility 8. Open/ False ending, double ending (for the reader to choose) or non-ending 9. Metaphorical symbols prevail (inappropriate to the context) !!! Realism and Modernism have different attitude for life – this is the reason for the differences between them. What life to Realists means is what people do. To Modernists life is something confusing, illusive, multiple, subjective. That`s why Modernists employ complex techniques to identify the uniqueness of every individual.