This section provides a brief description of some of the critical approaches applicable to literary realism. The approaches do not necessarily exclude
one another, e.g. the general approach as expressed by this website incorporates both formalism, as well as
aesthetics and post-modern, post-structural and
reader-response theory. The most rewarding method is often to combine different forms of criticism; a single approach
will likely focus on certain particulars of a text or is characterized by particular perceptions or assumptions, which means that in order to acquire
a broader understanding, like the attitude of literary realists to their subject, one is best served with a combination of
The critical approaches I have chosen to include are formalism, reader-response theory, aesthetics, and Marxist, post-structural and post-modern criticism. In conjunction with the last two, I have also included a brief description of contemporary anti-realism.