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An Essay on Romanticism and Realism Writers, Frederick Douglass, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Henrik Ibsen and Anton Chekhov
Word Count: 960
In this essay I would like to explore writers of both Romanticism and Realism including Frederick Douglass 1818-1895 Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1712-1778 Henrik Ibsen 1828-1906 and Anton Chekhov 1860-1904 These writers and their works Hedda Gabler The Cherry Orchard and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave to name a few were instrumental to the development of the Romantic genre then changing to Realism as we know it to be today Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in the year 1818 Slavery and the harsh reality it carries with it was all he knew His mother was a slave and his father was said to have been a white man his mothers master He spent many years writing what is referred to as his autobiography This was a very important piece because it gave insight into the world of slavery and the devastation it caused to the people who lived through it Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born in the year 1712 His works define the ideas of the eighteenth century The emphasis on imagination and passion for him seems not a matter of ideology but of experience life presents itself to him in this way The fact emphasizes the degree to which the movement we call Romanticism involved genuine revision World Masterpieces p427 Ibsen and Chekhov were very important figures in the beginning and throughout the development of the Age of Realism Writers were starting to shift their views from the imaginative romantic times to a more real portrayal of life and its ups and downs The Realists wanted a truthful representation in literature of reality - that is of contemporary life and manners World Masterpieces p837 In the eyes of a Realist writer everything must be portrayed As described by Chekhov A writer must be as objective as a chemist he must abandon the subjective line he must know that dung heaps play a very respectable part in a landscape and that evil
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