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Realism and Naturalism

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Title: Realism and Naturalism


1
Realism and Naturalism
  • second half of 19th Century

2
  • By 1840 Romanticism is worn out
  • Variety of factors political, economic, social,
    scientific, incidental (death of main Romantics)
  • Rejection of the metaphysical / transcendental in
    favor of the epistemological
  • A new set of ethical, political, social challenges

3
Romanticism
4
Realism
Gustave Caillebotte, A Rainy Day (1877)
5
Realism
  • Reflection, mirror, reproduction
  • Emphasis on daily life
  • Objectivity
  • Representation of what is visible, observable
  • Urban
  • Middle classes
  • Well defined space and time (contemporary)

6
Influences
7
Auguste Comte (1798-1857)
  • Positivism
  • Rejection of metaphysics
  • Faith in observable and verifiable facts, natural
    laws
  • Belief in positive and material progress through
    science

8
Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
  • Evolution
  • Survival of the fittest
  • Herbert Spencer applied darwinism to social and
    political sphere

1859
9
Hippolyte Taine
  • literary work informed by authors
  • race
  • environment
  • historical moment

10
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
11
Gustave Courbet
  • Aim to represent the customs, the ideas, the
    appearance of the times without prejudice or
    value judgment
  • Represents humble, common figures

Stone breakers (1840)
12
Naturalism Emile Zola (1840-1902)
  • principal theorist and practitioner of naturalism
  • art critic supporter of impressionists
  • Rougon-Macquart series (20 volumes), including
    LAssommoir
  • JAccuse (1898), considered by some the most
    important newspaper article ever written
  • caricature that appeared in Punch

Zola at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
13
Naturalism
  • Not a break with realism, but an extension of it.
    Takes from realism
  • the representation of daily life, average
    characters (slice of life technique)
  • set in contemporary period
  • plots that progress by means of causality
  • the rejection of the fantastic and extraordinary
  • the attempt to reproduce real language
  • Basis on research

14
Caillebotte, Floor Scrapers
15
Naturalism
  • The Experimental Novel (1879), Application of
    the scientific method to literature novel as a
    laboratory
  • Importance of hereditary and environmental
    determinism
  • Man seen as another animal (la bête humain)
  • A Godless universe
  • History, social and economic conditions shape
    protagonists
  • Collective protagonists
  • Includes all aspects of human experience (does
    not focus on the beautiful) sex, brutality,
    violence, crude language
  • Image of reality emphasizes the social injustices
    and defects many readers saw in it a means of
    rebellion against the dominant classes

T. Lautrec, Medical Inspection
16
Germinal (1885)
  • Part of the Rougon-Macquart series (20 volumes)
  • History of two related families
  • Rougons upper middle-class
  • Macquarts proletarian
  • Chronicles private and public lives during Second
    Empire
  • Deals with alcoholism, industrial confrontation,
    prostitution, etc.
  • Title taken from the French Revolutionary
    Calendar first month of spring

17
  • Beginning
  • landscape?
  • The mine (Le Voreux) forum
  • Village 240
  • Étienne Lantier
  • Initial presentation/characterization
    (description, values, characteristics, narrators
    language/tone) of
  • Bonnemort
  • Catherine
  • Zacharie
  • Jeanlin
  • Maheu
  • Maheude
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