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Realistic fiction: Social Realism. ENG 201 Introduction to Literature Prof. Everson. Realistic fiction. A form of fiction that presents average or common people experiencing events that could happen in real life.

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realistic fiction social realism

Realistic fiction:Social Realism

ENG 201 Introduction to Literature

Prof. Everson

realistic fiction
Realistic fiction

A form of fiction that presents average or common people experiencing events that could happen in real life.

Sometimes are based on “true stories”: especially crime or extreme event type of stories

Set in contemporary (same) period of author’s writing.

Is contrasted to other genres: romance, fantasy, myth, legend, fairy tales, science fiction, and historical fiction.

Young children (ages 2-6) need help to distinguish between realistic fiction and fantasy .

social realism
Social Realism
  • a subgenre (type) of realistic fiction
  • associated with social movements, especially social justice movements in the United States – such as workers rights, Civil Rights, women’s rights, human rights, animal rights, environmentalism, etc.
  • Should not be confused with “socialist realism” which was a specific type of social realism that was promoted as the official style for communist Russia (USSR)
social realism definition

An international movement in literature and art that began in the 1930s to the 1950s – mostly in response to the Great Depression and then aftermath of World War II.

U.S. American writers and painters inspired by the Mexican muralist painting of Diego Rivera (and others) in the 1920s-1930s.

Themes: social and racial injustice and economic difficulties by showing real people’s struggle to survive;

Main characters: working class people (trabajadoras) or marginalized people (ethnic minorities, homeless, disabled etc.) as heroic;

Purpose: to valorize the poor and working class; to expose the greed or indifference of the rich and powerful people

Social realism - definition
reading 9 i want to work
Reading 9: I Want to Work

Read the information about the author and think about the rhetorical situation.

Then read the story, first in Spanish, then in English.

Answer the after reading questions for discussion.

before you read
Before You Read

Think about or analyze the rhetorical situation:

AUTHOR – Who is he? Why is he writing this story?

AUDIENCE: Who is it (originally)? What did they know about the author? What did they expect from him or the story?

TEXT: When was it written and published? Where was it published? How has the text changed?

  • Answer the questions about the story:
  • In your own words, explain why this capable, experienced workman does not have a job.
  • What attitude do the factory managers have toward the machines? What are the positive and the negative effects of machines, as shown in this story?
  • The workman says he was "born a Yank" (a "Yankee"). What other information does he give about his background and childhood?