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Realism In Narrative Fiction


There is no universal, all encompassing definition of realism, nor is there agreement amongst academics and film-makers as to its purpose and use. But what we can say is that there are many ‘realisms' and these realisms share an interest in presenting some aspects of live as it is lived”. (Lay, 2002, pg.6)

This quote really helped me to understand the question in hand and what John Ellis meant when he said that there is no realism but there are realisms. In the context that I am writing in, about television drama, it means that different television dramas represent different aspects of reality and each one has its own unique function and purpose. For example, soap operas use realistic, life-like situations and issues such as divorce, death, teenage angst and relationships. These are topics that every person has had to deal with at some point in there life. Obviously the storylines on these programmes are greatly exaggerated but they can either help by showing people ways of getting through them or by showing them that their own lives are not as bad as they may think compared to those on screen. Other television dramas present other aspects of reality such as The Bill or Doctors illustrate what live is like in different institutions (i.e. the police force and a doctor's surgery) and the struggles that they face in the professional and personal life.

To begin with I shall present and explore the views and opinions on realism of other writers that I have researched into and observe their position on Ellis' statement that there is no one ‘realism'. In addition to this, I am going to be looking at two case studies. These studies will be regarding television dramas of different genres so that I can make comparisons between them. I will also look at how realism is used in these dramas and which theories relate to them. 
Then I shall look at Desperate Housewives, which is an American drama set in a cul-de-sac in suburbia where the residents are best friends but all hide dark secrets from one another. I will review Holby City, a drama set in a British hospital that explores not only the situations and issues of the patients, but also follows on going storylines about the lives and relationships concerning the staff. I shall then do my own analysis of each drama individually and comparatively, looking at conventions and how they relate to theories of realism such as ‘British Social Realism' and the ‘Classic Realist Text'.

John Ellis wrote about realism in his book ‘Visible Functions - cinema, television and radio', which is where the quote in the title is cited from. In his chapter on realism he says that “…the word ‘realism' is used to cover a whole series of ideas and expectations, some of which can conflict each other” (1992, pg.15). By this he is saying that there are so ma论文英语论文网提供整理,提供论文代写英语论文代写代写论文代写英语论文代写留学生论文代写英文论文留学生论文代写相关核心关键词搜索。

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