Impact of 19th-Century Russian History & Realism on Short Stories

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  • 0:03 Golden Age of Russian…
  • 0:54 19th Century Russian History
  • 1:29 Russian Realism Authors
  • 2:27 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we'll examine the impact of events in Russian history during the 19th century, such as the Industrial Revolution, on literature. Further, we will discuss the literary movement of realism and authors who most influenced the movement.

Golden Age of Russian Literature

Why is the 19th century referred to as the Golden Age of Russian literature? During the 1800s, two major literary styles emerged: Romanticism and Realism. Romanticism is a style of literature that encourages the incorporation of poetic language, creativity, and strong emotion to promote aesthetic escapism. Great Russian poets, such as Vasily Zhukovsky and Aleksandr Pushkin flourished as they pushed the artistic use of words to new levels. In contrast, Realism, which first became popular in Europe, spread through Russia and the United States. Realism describes a story objectively, using facts instead of feelings to describe what life is really like for regular people of all stations. Let's find out more about historical events in Russia that led to the Realism movement's appearance in Russian short stories.

19th-Century Russian History

In the early 1800s, an influx of Western ideas occurred after army officers return to Russia after fighting side-by-side with the European coalition to defeat Napoleon. Some of the political principles that were picked up in Europe planted ideas about the unfair class system that eventually led to the Russian Revolution in the early 1900s. Further, the Industrial Revolution expanded the middle class globally and made transportation between countries more accessible. These events led both to the spread of literary styles and a new level of interest in working-class and middle-class people.

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