Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Realism and Naturalism

Juniors - As a way to reinforce our discussion of Realism today, please read, watch, and respond to the following thoughts and video that I have included below.

 I told you that in order to differentiate between many of the literary time periods, it is important to understand the motivation, the mindset, and the time period of the author. In class I shared an analogy that was shared with me a few years back that went something like this:

If we examined a spider in terms of how authors would write about the creature during different literary time periods, the spider would be revealed in many different ways. The Romantics would look at the spider and see its beauty, appreciate its connection with nature and write an imaginative poem about it. The Realists would pick up the spider and study it, smell it, watch it crawl and write a story that delivers the facts that are revealed through the senses in a straight forward way. The Naturalist would pick up the spider, hold it between its fingers, under the hot sun, watch it squirm and write about the effects the environment had on the spider. The Modernist would see the spider and step on it.


With this in mind, please watch the following video and consider my presentation, our discussion, and  the story that we read yesterday, "Coup de Gras" by Ambose Bierce. In a comment below, explain how this story is a good example of Realism.



39 comments:

  1. Coup de Gras is a good example of realism because it shows the horrors that are actually involved in war instead of stories that we're used to with a hero that always gets a happy ending (every Disney movie ever). In this story there is no remorse in it and it is completely unforgiving. In a romanticized story, the soldier would have saved 20 people, scared of the opposing enemy army, had his last words, and gone down in history has a hero.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I can't believe you removed your comment, I was looking forward to reading your lies and slander.

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  2. In the Story, there were no in depth descriptions of insignificant things. There was no happy ending. The narrator described everything how it was. Just like when the soldier killed his best friend, right as he finally killed him medics and his brother showed up. There was also the irony that comes with situations like this, the soldier used his last bullet to kill the horse and then was left to stab his childhood friend. I feel like if this was from a different literary period, they would have had another bullet to shoot him with. Also they would not have been as descriptive about his intestines hanging out of him.

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  3. Coup de Grass is an excelemt example of realism becuase it was not a happy ending. The main charachter had to kill his best friend with a sword and moments later the medics show up with a stretcher. In romanticism the medics would have showed up just in time to save the man's best friend, or he would have died a very heroic death after saving dozens of people. It was indeed a "slice of someone's life". It was exactly what happend withough exageration.

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    1. I like how you tied that in with a "slice of someone's life"

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  5. The story "Coup de Gras" is a great example of realism.The story is very straight forward, it is told how it is, details arent used to enhance the happinss of the story. The war hero of the story dies a horrible death, no last words are given by him, he will be forgotten.Like the "Coup de Gras," realism stories do not always have a happy ending.

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    1. I like your idea that he will be forgotten! Sad, but true.

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  6. Coup de Gras is a very good example of realism because it doesn't have a happy ending. There is no gallant rescuing or whatnot, a man has to shoot his old childhood friend. The irony behind it is when only seconds later the medics come out to help him. In a romantic form of writing, they would have come out right before Madwell shot Caffal. Nothing is hidden from the reader, every gore-filled detail is put out for them to read and experience in their heads.

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  7. "Coup de Gras" was a great example of Realism because the story was blunt and to the point. There are no hyperboles and heroic characteristics that differenciate the story from Romanticism. For example, when the Colonel is going to kill his life-long friend and fellow soldier he kills the horse first by accident before his friend. It describes the suffering of his friend and what he is dying of exactly. The author describes the wound in fine detail and only shows the brutality of the suffering that the soldier is goiing through. Then the colonel quickly kills him and that is the end of the story. No happy endings just dead.

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    1. I think that you make a great point about the bluntness of the story and how unhappy the endig is. Saying that the author did not use hyperbole is also a great description of how he wrote the sttory.

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  8. The entire story was a good example of realism; it was to the point and was honest, nothing was exaggerated or implied. The war was not glorified or watered-down in any way. The death of Caffal was a perfect example because of the specificity Bierce included: the moaning, the cut on his stomach and an intestine falling out. It was to the blunt and to the point.

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    1. I like that you pointed out that the story was honest and that it was not watered-down.

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  9. Coup de grace is definitely a realistic story. There isn't something that comes out at the last second to save Caffal. It was Realistic in the way that Creede and the medics didn't get there until after Carrow died and the fact that Carrow was crying in his death and wanted to die sooner. There was no dignity in his death, Carrow didn't kill a lot of enemies or save a lot of allies, there were no last words, the medics and Creede arrived there to late, Creede and Madwell never made up in there hatred, and there was no extra bullet to put Carrow out of his misery quicker. There was no amazing speech about friendship and hope by any of the characters, there was no outside amazing intervention that made everything all right. It was as if it was an actual true story from real life, it seemed real, as a realism short story should be.

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    1. *their
      also I liked how you interpreted how believable the author was trying to make the story.

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  10. This story is a great example of realisim. It is told throught the perspecrive of Madwell describing the horrors of the battlefield that his best friend grimly dies on. The writer uses some great imagery to portray the battlefield, and the terrible things that it holds. The writer again does not try to over-analyze the situation, instead he provides the reader with the facts and he lets you figure out the importance of it for yourself. He keeps the story imaginable, and disturbingly realistic.

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    1. I like your ideas about the author not trying to over analyze - however, through his grim details there are many things that are implied - which you have highlighted at the end of your post.

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  11. Coup de Gras is a good example of realism because there isn't a happy ending, "The blade sank into the man's body-- through his body into the earth;Captain Madwell came near falling forward upon his work... by a violent but vain effort to withdraw the blade the wound was enlarged; a rill of blood escaped, running sinuously...at that moment three men stepped silently forward... two were hospital attendants and and carried a stretcher."

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  12. This story had many examples of realisim. It is not exaggerated or sugar coated. The author keeps the story believable. This story doesnt have a hero or a happy ending, which is another reason why it is an example of realism.

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  13. Coup de Gras is a good example of realism because it shows what really happenes in war. Most of the time when people die in war they don't always get to say their last words, or get remembered for the things they did, they just die and that's it. The death in the story is that way and that's why it connects to realism.

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  14. Coup de Gras is a good example of realism because it doesn't decorate the truth. This story about war left the truth in it's natural form. The truth can be just as powerful. This story had a purpose that was discovered by the reader, but I don't think it was intended. Most romantic stories have intended messages. Although they are different, both kinds of writing can have an affect on the reader.

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  15. The "Coup De Graz" is a great example of realism because it is straight and to the point, leaving no room exaggerations. Everything in the story is blunt but very factual. It can give the reader the same image in their head as a romantic approach can, except there are less words used to paint that picture. In the story the author could have gone on about the tragedy of this soldier's death at the hand of his friend. But I think the realistic approach did it justice because in reality his death wouldn't be stretched out in order to give extra detail. This story reminds me of Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" because it is modernist as well as being about war.

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  16. This is a good example of realism because it explains situations straight forward as they would happen in real life, and because there wasn't a happy ending to it. He used his last bullet to shoot the horse with and then stabbed his best friend. The author didn't but too much effort into all the details about it all.

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  17. this is a god example of realis because it focusses on the cold hard facts. The mans death was blunt and to the point. If it was part of the romantic era then the death would ahve been glorified and drawn out. Also the details about the dead were very descriptive but, at the same time one hundred percent factual; nothing was embelished when the stroy was written.

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  18. The Coup de Grace is an excellent example of realism. It is an unflinching story of the graphic and terrible nature of the Civil War. The Realists don't throw any language in there that a romanticist might have such as "he died for his country" or "He died for glory". There was none of that. Just a horrible description of a battle feild and a freind's horrible, godforsaken mercy that he gives a close friend who is dying.

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  19. "Coup de Grace" portrays realism in a fantastic manner. It does not deviate from its style, and remains with the necessary points of the story. This story simply describes the horrible events taking place upon a battle field. No more, no less. It does go into detail, not about Romantic concepts, but about the gore and death. "Coup de Grace" is a great example of the Realistic literary style.

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  20. First and foremost, his mustache is legendary. But more importantly, his speech made me understood what a literary time period represents. These different periods are all reactions to the one before it. The concepts from each time period are basically just the opposite of the concepts before it.

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  21. Coup de Gras is a good example of realism because the author writes the story in a very straight forward manner. Unlike most styles of writing, Realism is detailed even where the reader might not want it to be. For example, in Coup de Gras, the man's wound is vividly described. The author writes of how the man's guts are hanging out. Coup de Gras is a good representation of realism because it is not sugar coated; it is brutally honest.

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  22. Coup de gras is a good example of realism. It is honest and portrays war as it really is. The narrator explains the wound in great detail and in a realism style. It talks about the guts and the goriness. The story also has a lot of irony. The narrator killed his best friend with a knife because he used his last bullet on a horse. He also killed him to put him out of his misery, but the medics and surgeons showed up just a moment later. This story shows detail and does this in a way that doesn't change the facts. It is honest and real.

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  23. Coup de Gras is a great example of realism because the author doesn't go into to much detail, but enough to create an imagine in your mind. Ambrose Bierce describes the guts on the battle field and how he is grabbing the ground in pain. There is a lot of irony in the story too. For example the medics come after he stabs himself and the last bullet is used on the horse, but he could have used it on his friend instead of the using the knife. This story is straight forward and honest.

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  24. Coup de Gras portrays realism very well because it is written raw, and shows war for what it really is. The story doesn't sugar coat anything and it bases everything on facts. The irony in the story also supports its realistic intentions. The story is very real, and nothing is sugar coated.

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  25. Coup de Gras exemplifies realism because it both shows emotion and at the same time is completely void of it. The events in the story by Ambrose Bierce are straightforward and unclouded by human emotion, which ultimately displays the stabbing in the end with more clarity, because on the surface the deed lacks emotion. Yet, given the relationship between the two soldiers, we understand the action as the man committing "Coup de Gras" by putting his dearest friend out of his misery, which is an action of mercy which is deliberated with great emotion.

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  26. The "Coup de Gras" is a great example of realism. It is blunt and factual about the horrors of war. It give great detail about all the blood and body's, but it does not sugar coat or give noble characteristics to anything. Realism does not always have a happy ending, like in the "Coup de Gras" the captain has to kill his best friend in a very painful way.

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  27. "Coup de Gras" is a perfect example of realism because it shows the everything the way it is. Nothing is hidden behind the details. Most of the writing is blunt and to the point. It tells the fact of war and death and the pain the main character of the story had to witness. It also shows that a lot of realism stories do not have happy endings.

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  28. "Coup de Gras" is a perfect example of realism. It is a blunt story full of the hard truth and the author doesn't try to cover it up at all. He talks in great detail of the pain and the guts and the terrible sorrow that occurs. A good example of the realism in this story is when the man is laying on the ground in agony and his friend realizes he used the last bullet on the horse so he has to stab his friend to put him out of his misery. This is also very blunt because he has to feel pain as he dies. The story shows things that are very hard to accept but that all show realism very well.

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  29. "Coup de Grace" shows the truth about war including all its bloody fightings and death, or how war goes on in reality. The author doesn't look for the beauty in the war so it is not an example of romanticism. It is not about naturalism either because no relationship between the environment and the war is established. The incidents are described without any imagination and changings in the truth. That's why this story is a great example of realism.

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  30. I tried to comment but word press erased it twice and told me to sign in when I was already signed in. Story is realism because it described a single event in great detail.

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  31. The story "Coup de Grace" is a perfect example of realism reveals the truth and horror of war and is a perfect example of realism. It doesn't glamorize and hide the truth but gives facts. For example, when Captain Madwell see his friend "who had suffered these monstrous mutilations was alive" (3) he sees that his friend moves his limbs and moaned in agony. It is descriptive and straight to the point.

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