REALISM in Literature

Realism is a modern concept often used in judgment of art and literature. It studies the relation of the sphere of art to the world of reality to depict life as it is to hold the mirror up to nature. It underlies Aristotle’s definition of poetry as a ‘Mimetic’ art signifying the imitation of what we see, what is real. The realist thinks that the aim of the artist is to create something which conveys a correct impression of reality. However, every artist has two aspects, his individual entity and his immediate surroundings providing material for art. What we call real is, in fact, the mixing of individual conscience and the world outside. But there may be, in realism, romantic or idealistic elements, the result of the emotional or idealistic bias of the artist. A true realist tries to express himself not by denying himself but having a vital sympathy for life in its totality. His human sympathy will not allow him to distort what he sees, Shakespeare had no sympathy for the unruly mob but he recognized their utility in a specific sphere. Shaw gave many opportunities even to a devil to present his side of the story. Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, and W.H. Auden did not falsify what was real to them. At the same time, the artist must be able to see beyond their stream of life is moving towards higher fulfillment.

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