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as a term in literary history, realism refers to fiction and drama of the late nineteenth century that concentrated on ordinary middle-class existence and its daily concerns like money, society, and marriage. The characters are bankers, farmers and housekeepers, not swashbuckling pirates, gallant knights, or supernatural beings. In a more general sense, realistic refers to a manner of representing life; it is the opposite of romantic.
a term used in different ways: for the main idea (but not necessarily the subject) of a work of literature; an idea which a work explores; or an argument that a work advances. Therefore, a theme can be identified in a complete sentence, a noun phrase, or a single word: in George Orwell's Animal Farm, "the corrupting influence of power," "power," or "Power corrupts."
the central problem or issue to be resolved in a plot, involving the main character struggling against another character(s) or obstacle (e.g., Janie's pursuit of love in Their Eyes Were Watching God). Conflict can also refer to the ideas in a literary work (e.g., "The Road Not Taken" dramatizes the conflicting values of conformity and independence).