Realism vs Romanticism

280 views 4 pages ~ 925 words Print

Realism and Romanticism are both diverse literary era, although they are similar in terms of history and time. Precisely, romanticism is considered as a movement of natural history, music, literature, art, and school of thought in the mid-eighteenth century. In fact, it was a product of Enlightenment period and the Industrial Revolution (Baym and Levine eds. 27). It was sparked by the fact that most individuals were opposed to scientific discoveries related to nature as they opined that nature should remain God’s work and pure, instead of scientific inventions. On the other hand, realism began in the mid-nineteenth century when people started to question the romantic ideas. Therefore, it was an attempt to know what caused the existence of things distinct from mystical explanations hence used science (Baym and Levine eds. 29). The paper analyses the description of nature based on realism and romanticism concepts.

Romantic literature demonstrated an intensified attention in nature, revering it above civilization. Moreover, it also paid close attention to the personal expression of imagination and emotion (Schneider 61). The writing style was characterized by departure from the forms and attitudes of other rebellion and movements against existing social conventions or rules. Significantly, the literary activities demoted the significance of reason. In so doing, it glorified feelings and hope as opposed to intellect and knowledge in one illustration (Baym and Levine eds. 32). In its explanations towards occurrence in nature, romanticism applies irrational and illogical approaches and it submitted into a mysterious world that was beautiful, surreal, and perfect. Therefore, based on this movement, there is the non-existent level of imperfection and such features turn out to be part of romanticism owing to the transformations in the industrial revolution (Harris 13).

Romanticism art described nature using Gothic architecture, storms, and landscape painting. Similarly, artists expressed using mystical features, which mainly evaded from classical drawing (Gajarawala 64). Similarly, romantic musicians applied more discretion to structure and compose their music hence utilized more intense and deeper emotions, feeling, and mood expressions. They stressed the existence of nature based on vision and imaginations (Baym and Levine eds. 36). Based romanticism reasoning, all the solutions that existed in the society were centered on nature since natural forces were observed as a spiritual and pure foundation of renewal. In the era of the invention of railways and other infrastructure, destruction of a wholesome natural landscape was considered unhelpful and undesirable (Schneider 65). Some of the notable authors motivated by romanticism reasoning included William Wordsworth.

On the other hand, realism is opposite to romanticism because it tends to accurately depict reality through facts to explain daily experiences. More significantly, it is founded on science and rational thinking (Gajarawala 69). Curiosity encouraged people to explain nature through science and factual narrative that illustrate the extensive variation existing in nature. It is pragmatic in the delivery of correct image of life without coloring it. In fact, realism was a reaction of romanticism after the latter failed to answer convincingly the occurrences in nature (Baym and Levine eds. 33). Furthermore, realism takes up circumstances from real life to develop its foundation in any sector be it literature or art. The idea of the work is understandable as opposed to metaphorical and it points out the actual happenings in nature hence does not apply conspiracies. The philosophical approach of realism is still utilized in the current era (Gajarawala 70).

Some of the authors of this literary movement attempted to oppose romanticism movement that commonly focused on nature relative to culture. Therefore, the authors tended to provide the wider picture of the society, city or village. Since it tends to deal with the broader view it is linked to a novel genre that is flexible and enormous (Gajarawala 71). Realism writers dealt with contemporary issues through rational reasoning. More notably, realism concentrated on historical references and period; hence, many authors provided information about situations and events that really occurred in real life. It is a product of fundamental social changes, which took part in the nineteenth across the growth. After the scientific revolution people’s curiosity increased on the way of life which led innovation. Realist authors utilized imagery in a concrete manner that is contained in the physical realm instead of spiritual and abstract ideas (Baym and Levine eds. 41). Characters were formulated from pragmatic relationships and experience with others. One of the key realism authors is Mark Twain. Most of his literacy products were produced in the late nineteenth century. His celebrated work is signified via realism era. He did not compose about mystical and magical issues about love but rather concentrated on portraying life in an accurate way (Gajarawala 76).


Realism and romanticism offer divergent views on nature. Romanticism used nature to explain the happening in the society or environment. It was also opposed to innovations in science on nature. Most people used literature and art to caution against destroying the natural world. For instance, they were against discoveries such as railway because it threatened the natural landscape. Similarly, they tended to argue that all solutions that existed in the society were centered on nature (Baym and Levine eds. 27). On the other hand, realism explained the happenings in the world through scientific reasoning. They studied and observed on the pragmatic nature of society using real experiences.


Baym, Nina, and Robert S. Levine, eds. The Norton Anthology of American Literature: Ninth International Student Edition. WW Norton & Company, 2011.

Gajarawala, Toral Jatin. Untouchable fictions: Literary realism and the crisis of caste. Oxford University Press, 2012.

Harris, Ronald Walter. Romanticism and the social order 1780-1830. Blandford, 1969.

Schneider, Joanne. The age of romanticism. Greenwood publishing group, 2007.

November 24, 2023

Art Literature

Number of pages


Number of words




Use this essay example as a template for assignments, a source of information, and to borrow arguments and ideas for your paper. Remember, it is publicly available to other students and search engines, so direct copying may result in plagiarism.

Eliminate the stress of research and writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro