Realism Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Realism.
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Class Conflict

One of the major themes addressed by realist writers is socioeconomic class conflict. Many realist writers, in their efforts to depict characters from all levels of society, highlighted differences between the rich and the poor.

In David Copperfield, by Dickens, the main protagonist experiences the suffering of impoverished children forced to work in industrial factories. In Germinal, Zola focuses on the conflict between working-class miners and wealthy mine owners, which erupts in a labor strike. In the process, Zola considers various political theories about the conditions of the working class. In A Hazard of New Fortunes, Howells portrays characters from various places on the spectrum of American political thought who come into conflict over their efforts to start a magazine. In the end of A Hazard of New Fortunes, a young man is killed during the violence that erupts in a workers' strike. In War and Peace...

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This section contains 660 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Realism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Realism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.