Realism and Naturalism


Realism and Naturalism – In prose that we term realist (small R), the style of expression is “realistic,” meaning “as things actually happen,” not exaggerated for emotional effect. A real story, with real people, drives the power of the text. The style of content is that of a “real” story, in which a true-to-life seeming [...]

Period, literary–historical

Period, literary–historical – In the study of literature, we often group texts according to when they were written. Writings in the same period often (but not always) share similar points of style. By “style,” we mean style of expression and style of content. The first concerns writing. What sort of words, punctuation, etc. More pathetic [...]



Romanticism – In prose that we term romantic (small R), the style of expression is exaggerated. Look for exclamation points and em dashes. Actions and feelings are often expressed via conventions—symbols the reader and writer would both have “agreed upon,” already understand. For example, when talking about how powerful you, you compare yourself to Julius Caesar. [...]



Postmodernism – Just as modernity is the period after the Middle Ages, so is postmodernity the period of modernity after modernity’s global (but incomplete) ascendancy—after the exhaustion of the modern and its turn toward severe self-awareness. Generally, we talk about postmodernity as beginning after World War II. The style or movement in art, thought, and [...]