4. Why did realism develop as a cultural art form in the 19
century? (5 marks)
Realism, which stressed that heredity and environment determined human behavior, replaced
romanticism as the dominant literary trend from the 1840s through the 1890s. Realist writers, led
by Zola, gloried in everyday life, taboo subjects, and the urban working class. The realists were
strict determinists and believed that human actions were caused by unalterable natural laws.
Balzac and Flaubert, along with Zola, were the leading French realists. Mary Ann Evans (George
Eliot) and Hardy in Britain, Tolstoy in Russia, and Dreiser in America were also great realists.
5. Discuss the social hierarchy of the industrial working class during the 19
The vast majority of people (4 out of 5) belonged to the working class, yet the class had varying
lifestyles and little unity. The most highly skilled workers constituted a fluid "labor aristocracy."
They developed a lifestyle of stern morality. They considered themselves the leaders of the
working class. They had strong political and philosophical beliefs. Next came the semiskilled and
unskilled urban workers. Many workers in the crafts and factory work were part of the semiskilled.
Domestic servants, mostly female, were a large unskilled subgroup. Women employed in the
"sweated industries" were another large group. Drinking was a favorite leisure activity of the
working class. Drunkenness often resulted in fights and misery but the "drinking problem"
declined in the late 19th century; Cafes and pubs became respectable, even for women. Pubs
became centers for working class politics. Other pastimes included sports and music halls. By the
late nineteenth century European urban working classes became less religious and more secular,
mostly the highly skilled workers. This was partly because of lack of churches, but also because
the church was seen as an institution that upheld the power and position of the ruling elites.
Religious organizations linked with an ethnic group (e.g., Irish and Jewish), and not the state,
tended to thrive.
6. Assess the impact of ‘science’ on culture in the 19
Scientific knowledge expanded rapidly--resulting in new products. Theoretical discoveries
resulted increasingly in practical benefits, as in thermodynamics, chemistry, and electricity.
Scientific achievements strengthened faith in progress and gave science unrivaled prestige. Many
thinkers, such as Comte, tried to study society scientifically--using data collected by the
government--and find general social laws. Comte argued that the third and final stage of
knowledge is that of science, or what he called the "positivist method." Positivism would allow
social scientists to develop a disciplined and harmonic society ruled by science and experts.
Theories of dynamic development and evolution fascinated the nineteenth century. Building on