A Simple Heart Historical Context

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Romanticism and Realism in Nineteenth-Century France

Flaubert figures as one of the leading authors of the realist movement, and "A Simple Heart" is typical of his work in this regard. Realistic writers sought to represent life in its purest form, without exaggeration or embellishment. They considered themselves reporters, attempting to chronicle their worlds honestly and objectively. Conventional morality was not a concern: logic, common sense, and pragmatism informed their literary endeavors. Realism was in many ways a reaction to and a movement away from romanticism, which had dominated French literature in the earlier part of the century. The romantic movement, an artistic and literary tradition established in late eighteenth-century Europe, had been characterized by an interest in nature and an emphasis on individualism, imagination, and emotion. Ultimately, realism became the dominant literary style until the end of the century.

Political and Social Influences in Nineteenth-Century France

The school...

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Short Stories for Students
A Simple Heart from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.