Verisimilitude in Realist Literature

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Verisimilitude in Realist
Literature
A really big word used to describe
“truth” in literature.
Definitions
• The faithful representation of reality.
• The quality of seeming true, of
believability.
• The action represented must be
convincing according to the reader’s
knowledge.
Setting
• Does this work actually reflect the
time period’s attitudes and historical
facts?
Characterization
• Do the characters possess recognizable
human qualities?
• Do the characters closely imitate real
people in their speech, mannerisms,
dress, and material possessions?
• How realistic is the character?
• Are the actions/reactions of the
characters authentic?
Narrative
• Could this really happen? If not, is
that the author’s point?
• Is the outcome too predictable?
• Does what is probable take
precedence over what is merely
possible?
Verisimilitude in…
• Frederick Douglass’s My Bondage
and My Freedom (p. 430)
• Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at
Owl Creek Bridge” (p. 530)
• Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”
(p. 550)
• Kate Chopin’s “Desiree’s Baby”
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