In the Middle of the Fields Historical Context

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Realism

In last half of the nineteenth century, writers turned away from the earlier romantic style, which idealized nature and rural life. Writers in the late 1800s, who were later called realists, focused more on the actual difficulties of common life and the natural and social forces that determined people's lives. They rejected the celebration of the imagination typical of Romantic literature and instead took a practical look at what shapes personality and what kinds of problems confront people, both in society and in nature. Realists focused on the hardships in the commonplace and how people often succumbed to them. Their depiction of the human condition was not embellished by happy coincidences and providential help, which are central parts of romanticized literature.

Writers who embrace realism use settings and plots that reflect their characters' daily lives and realistic dialogue that replicates natural speech patterns. Literary movements such as...

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