10 characteristics of the realistic novel

1 year ago · Updated 1 year ago

The realistic novel emerged in the 19th century as a reaction to romanticism and as a search to portray reality faithfully and objectively. It is characterized by its meticulous description of the characters and their environment, as well as by the reflection on social, political and cultural aspects of the time. In this sense, authors such as Gustave Flaubert, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Charles Dickens stand out for their ability to address complex and controversial issues, such as social injustice, poverty and political corruption, with a critical and realistic vision.

The realist novel is also distinguished by its interest in detail and precision. The authors not only focus on the description of the characters, but also pay attention to objects and places, seeking to create an authentic and believable atmosphere. In addition, they use techniques such as the omniscient narrator, dialogue, and internal monologue to convey the thoughts and feelings of the characters. This allows the reader to connect with the experiences of the protagonists and understand the complexity of their internal world.

In short, the realistic novel represents an evolution in literature in seeking a faithful representation of reality. His detailed and critical approach allows for the exploration of social, political and cultural issues of his time, and his interest in the characters and their environment contributes to the creation of an authentic and believable atmosphere.

List of the 10 most important characteristics of the Realist novel



  1. Detailed description of reality: The realistic novel is characterized by presenting a meticulous and detailed description of the social, political and economic reality of the time in which it takes place.
  2. Emphasis on human behaviors: The characters in the realistic novel are presented in such a way that their behaviors, desires, and motivations are understood by the reader.
  3. Social criticism: Often, the realist novel presents a critique of society and the social and political systems of the time it was written.
  4. Focus on the middle and lower class: Unlike the romantic novel, the realist novel focuses on the popular classes and the middle class, showing their difficulties and daily struggles.
  5. Use of natural dialogues: The dialogues in the realistic novel are written in a natural way, often with a colloquial language and without artifice.


  6. Multiple points of view: The characters in the realist novel have different points of view and perspectives, which helps to present a complete and realistic picture of the society in which they live.
  7. Detailed atmosphere: The realistic novel is characterized by creating a detailed atmosphere that allows the reader to easily imagine the world in which the story takes place.
  8. Visual images: Often, the realistic novel uses visual images and details to describe reality and characters more effectively.
  9. Shades of gray: The characters in the realistic novel are not presented as heroes or villains, but rather have their shades of grey, with virtues and defects.
  10. Open end: The realist novel often presents an open and ambiguous ending, without a clear conclusion, reflecting the uncertain and changing nature of life and society.


Final comments about the Realist novel

In general terms, the Realist novel was a literary movement that developed in the 19th century in Europe, which was characterized by its intention to represent reality in a rigorous and objective way. This literary current focused on social, political and economic issues, reflecting a critical vision of the society of the time and trying to show the way in which people related to it.

Through their works, realist writers introduced us to complex, multidimensional characters, whose actions and thoughts were influenced by their environment and the circumstances in which they found themselves. The Realist novel, therefore, was a movement that transcended literary borders to become a reflection of the society of the time and, at the same time, an instrument to analyze and understand it more deeply.



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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2024) 10 characteristics of the realistic novel, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-the-realistic-novel/ (Consultado el: 12-06-2024)

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