The difference between Realism and Idealism

The difference between Realism and Idealism


Idealism and Realism are although interlinked to each other but are two divergent ideologies; they stand absolutely opposite to each other in every aspect.

Origin of Idealism & Realism

Idealism is derived from a Greek word ‘ideal’ means ‘a new thought which comes to mind’ in the form of signs ideas, images, symbols etc introduced by Plato whereas Realism is derived from the word ‘Real’ introduced by Aristotle in Medieval age means ‘something different’.

Aristotle Realism versus Plato Idealism

Aristotle was pupil of Plato but gave rise to different perspective. Plato believes that the only reality is an ideal world. He was of the view that this physical world is always ever evolving, so we can’t analyze or state what is reality? Further to intensify his logic he states that we can make perception of morally perfect person however we know that morally perfect person does not exists in reality. However, Aristotle believes that ‘real exists in a sensible world’. Realists sees the things as they are, based on facts rejects impracticality & visionary concepts where as Idealism believes in visionary metaphysical state. When it comes to a situation, idealists looks at how the situation could be however realists look at what the situation is. One believes in perfection the other in actuality. Idealist believes in looking at the things as they want to look and perceive while realists look at the things as they are meant to be in actual form in the physical world. Idealist’s lives in fantasy build castles of ambitions however unattainable, raise clouds of hopes, and become more optimistic in their world however realists had few goals but planned ones, gloomy life perspectives & are more pessimistic as they believe this is reality. They criticize idealists for not believing the realities of human nature. If we try to analyze idealists in success or failure situation, they seem to overcome quickly from the setback as compared to realists who blame themselves for every situation. Moreover, Idealists talk about metaphysical beliefs, abstract concepts they are the people who says we can save the humanity while realists rejects abstract concepts & mythical beliefs. In literary writings, different writers have different point of view; some are Realists while others are Idealists.

Examples of Realism

Henrik Ibsen, famous Norwegian playwright deployed ‘Theme of Realism’ in his writings. In ‘An Enemy of the People’, he says, “You see, the point is that the strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.” At another instance, he quoted, “Money may be the husk of many things but not the kernel. It brings you food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; acquaintance, but not friends; servants, but not loyalty; days of joy, but not peace or happiness.”

Examples of Idealism

 John Galsworthy, a famous English Novelist & Playwright is Idealist in his approach.  As he quotes in his writings, ‘If you do not think about your future, you cannot have one. ...’ at another place he quoted, ‘When Man evolved Pity, he did a queer thing - deprived himself of the power of living life as it is without wishing it to become something different’.

So, we can say that there is a thin line between Idealism & Realism. It depends upon an individual how he can scroll his believes between the two & uphold which theory or follow both in a varied situations.


What other's say about : How ThePhone thriller..

Leave a Comment