The Later Realism: A Study of Characterization in the British Novel

By Walter L. Myers | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
GENERAL ASPECTS OF RECENT CHARACTERIZATION

1. THE INCONGRUOUS

In the summaries of novels from Group III with which the preceding chapter concludes, there is an abundance of highly suggestive material. Even a rapid survey of those narratives will, for example, do much to demonstrate that the thing called here incongruity must be recognized in the more extreme of recent characterizations. From the reading of these summaries and the matter introductory to them should come, too, a clearer notion of what the term incongruity implies. To say that the characters in Group III display incongruity is but a manner of saying that under the sanction of all the larger powers and forces at work upon the literature of the period, realists now feel that they have attained a new freedom. By virtue of this freedom they present in the assured and insistent manner of realism, characters that to the reader trained in the older conception of normality and the older technique of fiction seem highly extraordinary, particularly in their possession of antithetical traits.

An attempt to get at the source of the incongruity in these portrayals will show that the effect has two general origins. It may result when the author relates compulsive assertions of the unconscious, or it may result

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The Later Realism: A Study of Characterization in the British Novel
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Chapter I - Preliminaries 1
  • Chapter II - Influences Shaping the Later Realism 22
  • Chapter III - General Aspects of Recent Characterization 58
  • Chapter IV - The More Pictorial Elements In Recent Characterization 94
  • Chapter V - The Less Imageal Elements 123
  • Chapter VI - Conclusion 161
  • Bibliography 163
  • Index 167
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