Taking a Look at Realism

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Throughout history man has used his writings to record events, tell stories, inspire others, and share his opinions on certain subjects. Many intellectual movements in history have been carried along by the writings of influential authors and leaders. The literary works are then read by the common man and his opinions may or may not be influenced. Changes in his actions based on his readings will, in turn, affect how others act. The advancement of ideas and concepts eventually lead to a change in the thinking of an entire population and sometimes the world. This is true of the Realism Movement which started in the eighteenth century and has continued to the modern day. The Realism Movement would not have been nearly as far reaching if not for its counterpart: the Romantic Era. Without having first experienced the passionate, spiritual, and fairytale like qualities of the Romantic Era, the world would not have been able to appreciate the realism movement as well (Wurst). Because of the offsetting traits of these two ideologies people many times discuss realism and romanticism as opposites that go hand in hand. This leads to the labeling of music, actions, plays, and characters in literature as being of either realistic or romantic origins. The Realism Movement’s progression and rising popularity can be seen through both literature and American music. In literature, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, and Mark Twain’s writings contained many realistic elements.
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