Nineteenth-Century Literary Realism argues for realism as a genre committed to depicting the imperilled ecological system of soul and society. More specifically: realism, Kearns argues, suggests to its readers that social and political and economic reforms are inextricably tied to spiritual well being. In the process of trying to communicate that suggestion, realism enters into a kind of considerate conversation with its readers which - through the slippage endemic to language - rapidly works to destabilise, even undermine, its own assumptions. Thus realism, in addition to bearing the burden of its own reformist agenda and the duty of character-enactment within a restricted environment, is charged with an alternative energy which can be seen at the same time to disrupt and to enrich its generic, formal bounds. She explores these concepts through five British and American novels - Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, The Blithedale Romance, Hard Times and The Awakening.
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(228mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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