How is realism shown in "Seventeen"?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

William Saroyan's short story "Seventeen" reveals the following elements of Realism are in bold.

Characters resemble ordinary people: Sam Wolinsky is a realistic teen with problems.  He's obsessed with sex, angry, disillusioned, confused.

Plot is developed with ordinary events and circumstances: Sammy wanders the streets of Chinatown, looking for a prostitute, sleeps with her, and then goes home, disappointed in his first sexual experience.

Ending might be unhappy: Sammy cries in his room, much to the delight of his parents, who are glad he finally shows human emotions.  They are happy that he releases his pent-up fear.

Writer uses ordinary speech and dialect -- common vernacular (the everyday language spoken by a people): Sammy rarely speaks, typical of a teen.  He mutters, "I want...," which reveals his fear and confusion.


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