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The primary conventions of realism are its deflation of ambition and passion, its anti-heroism, its tendency to see all people and things within large containing social organizations and, hence, its apparently digressive preoccupation with surfaces, thing - Essay Example

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It is critical of Levine to refer to realism as a “deflation” of “ambition and passion, its anti-heroism, its tendency to see all people…
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The primary conventions of realism are its deflation of ambition and passion, its anti-heroism, its tendency to see all people and things within large containing social organizations and, hence, its apparently digressive preoccupation with surfaces, thing
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Extract of sample "The primary conventions of realism are its deflation of ambition and passion, its anti-heroism, its tendency to see all people and things within large containing social organizations and, hence, its apparently digressive preoccupation with surfaces, thing"

George Levine argues on the standards of realism, that is, a portrayal of actual events rather than imaginary or pretend chronicles. It is critical of Levine to refer to realism as a “deflation” of “ambition and passion, its anti-heroism, its tendency to see all people and things within large containing social organizations…” because these themes richly exist in all cultures. To deflate these themes does not mean to completely rid but to use them as part of the context in which artistic works are created.
Jude the Obscure describes a common scenario: a working class man who aspires to become a scholar and a woman who embraces extreme realism. By and large, the themes used in the novel rotate around the matters of class, education, religion, and marriage. The novel exemplifies a real societal consequence as Hardy draws the storyline from the transformation of England from an “agricultural society to an industrial one” (Hardy 2000). Hardy portrays this transformation by writing about the movement of people from one town to another in order to find jobs. Furthermore, the novel touches on insecurity of the future and the doubt in the existence of God (Prentiss 1995). This is consistent to the plot of the novel wherein Sue and Jude are embracing avant-gardism and industrialism, which really took place during the time when Hardy wrote this book. Levine is accurate in this regard by describing the conventions of realism as a deflation of ambition and passion and passion and more of what really happens in reality. And in Jude the Obscure it does not simply uses a realistic narrative but links it to the prevailing developments in the society, particularly in England.
Dickens’ Great Expectations likewise represents a certain level of realism. Upon closely reading it, one would observe that the life of Pip is one that is so difficult to describe in one phrase. There is so much fatness and complicatedness in the way the narratives are being patterned. The point is that so much is happening in the novel that it resembles day to day life of random individual. But despite this, Shaw (2006) describes it as “all of once piece and consistently truthful.” What could be truthful about this novel may be explained by filling up every angle of the story with things that happen in real life, which consequently allows for a good feeling of the daily realistic elements of a particular time and place. Levine argues that the conventions of realism deviate from the “preoccupation of surfaces, things, traits, and social manners”, which is clearly what Dickens did in this novel. Dickens did not put more melodramatic themes on the story, for instance, because he is an orphan and has an abusive sister, he did not opt to include a heroic saviour that would somehow deflate the burden he Pip experiences. These things simply do exist in real life. It is as if readers of the novel would automatically hook up to the story because of its constancy with truthful human emotions and perceptions: in the novel, Pip started off as a kid who is always afraid of what is out there; then, he ended up as an old man who fell in love and stuck in huge debt. It is merely a showing of natural human development and the common and rare issues associated with it.
In a nutshell, George Levine’s argument on the conventions of realism has been proven by two famous novels that clearly embraced realism as the basis of their narratives. Both novels exude realism not by simply choosing themes or concepts that describe reality but richly relate every detail of the novels to the real happening s in life: childhood, seeking job, romance, marriage, forgiveness, and fear among others.
Bibliographic Entry
Hardy, T. 2000. Jude the obscure.Pearson Education Factsheet, [online] Available at:
Prentiss, N.D. 1995. The tortured form of Jude the Obscure.Colby Quarterly, [e-journal] 31(3).
Available through: Colby College website Shaw, G.B. Charles Dickens; Modern critical views.In: Bloom, H., ed. 2006. New York:
InfobasePublishings.p. 60. Read More
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