ENGL 2210 World Literature II

Romantic (a) vs. Realistic (b) Fiction

  1. a. Plot dominates; characters serve plots and dramatize events
    b. Characters dominate; plots and events reveal character; "psychologization"
  2. a. Story is "told"
    b. Story is "shown"
  3. a. Representation by metaphoric means; comparisons between unlike levels
    b. Representation by metonymic means
  4. a. Metaphoric significance; "good" may triumph over "evil"
    b. Pragmatic significance; good guys may win through
  5. a. Idealization; ideal virtue, love, fidelity, and so on
    b. Unidealization; life as it is
  6. a. Hyperbolization; exaggeration to depict ideal
    b. Objectivity; persons, objects presented as they are
  7. a. Story material may come from supernatural or phenomenal ("real") world
    b. Story material always comes from phenomenal world
  8. a. Events range from impossible to probable; mysterious causes to some events
    b. Events range from possible to probable; all events are motivated
  9. a. Chronology disturbed; events reordered to exploit suspense
    b. Normal chronology; events presented as much as possible in order of occurrence
  10. a. Limited disclosure; reader denied certain information
    b. Full disclosure; all relevant facts disclosed
  11. a. Heterogeneous narrational means; variety of "voices"
    b. Homogeneous narrational means; one "voice," neutral exposition
  12. a. Intrusive "author"; addresses to reader, apostrophes to characters, and so on
    b. Absence of author; no narrator or voice addresses reader
  13. a. Capricious narrator; "author" breaks in, destroys illusion of reality
    b. Disciplines narrator; author never appears or disrupts illusion of reality
  14. a. Characters unusual; bandits, corsairs, homicides, gypsies, devils, and so on
    b. Characters prosaic; typical people in mundane situations, daily life, marriage
  15. a. Characters arbitrary and static, motivated by single passions, limited outlook
    b. Characters motivated, evolving; complex personalities are changed by events
  16. a. Characters; speech stylized; character types or passions thereby enhanced
    b. Characters; speech individualized; class, education, situation controls speech
  17. a. Characters' psychic states revealed through tirades, confessions
    b. Characters' psychic states shown through dialogue, inner monologue, dreams
  18. a. Characters' names metaphoric; e.g. Becky Sharp
    b. Characters' names motivated, plausible; e.g. Hucklberry Finn
  19. a. Characters with special physical properties; handsome or ugly, magnetic eyes
    b. Characters look like everyone else; mousy, balding
  20. a. Exotic settings; Transylvania, South Seas, fairy land, Hell, Venus
    b. Prosaic settings; familiar places, scenes of ordinary life
  21. a. Local color; exoticization by odd dress, strange diets, bizarre customs
    b. Local color used moderately to enhance verisimilitude
  22. a. Descriptions of unusual details; e.g. Gothic castles
    b. Descriptions of the typical, recognizable
  23. a. Choice of detail for effect; enhanced "atmosphere"
    b. Choice of detail for illusion of reality; stained teeth, smells, cracked masonry
  24. a. Absence of "inessential" details; all details serve story lien
    b. Peripheral details that enhance illusion of reality; walk-on characters
  25. a. Temporal setting usually in the exotic past or future
    b. Temporal setting usually contemporary
  26. a. Setting at service of plot
    b. Setting at service of characterization
  27. a. Framed tale very common; genesis of story is justified
    b. Framed tale uncommon; no motivation for genesis of story is needed