Essay on modernism and realism

Essay by joanjettUniversity, Bachelor's June 2004

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The Romantic movement was engulfed with writers developing their intense passion into written works. Frederick Douglass wrote, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" during the year 1845 and in which he describes his tortured years as a slave and the courage and determination it took for him to overcome and succeed in his life. This piece remains a large part of the Romantic Period as described by the Norton Anthology as a "narrative constructed by a man who has finally, arduously, discovered his self-hood recapitulates the process of that discovery: a process with language at its heart."

The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces does a great job of explaining Romanticism as it, "implies new emphases on imagination, on feeling, on the value of the primitive and untrammeled, and particularly a narrowing of outlook from the universal to the particular, from humankind or 'man' to nation or ethnic group, and from the stability of community to the "fulfillment" of the individual."

The Era of Realism followed with playwrights Henrik Ibsen and Anton Chekhov who wrote such works as "Hedda Gabler" and "The Cherry Orchard" respectively. Advances in the 19th century and the Industrial Revolution which began in the 18th century were in large part the cause of the Realistic Movement. "The enormous increase in the speed and availability of transportation owing to the development of railroads and steamships and the rapid urbanization following from the establishment of industries changed the whole pattern of human life in most countries and made possible, within a century, an unprecedented increase in population, which was also fostered by the advances of medicine and hygiene." (The Norton Anthology 835) This movement brought forth writers with a point of view that can be used very well by humans living everyday...