Naturalism By: Max Batson, Ian Metzger, Nick Vivona, and Lenny Natalini

What is Naturalism:

Naturalism is a literary genre that started as a literary movement in late nineteenth century in literature, film, theater and art. This movement suggested the role of family background, social conditions and environment in shaping human character.


Naturalism started to become a popular movement from 1880 to 1940

Naturalism began as a branch of literary realism, and realism had favored fact, logic, and personality over the imaginative, symbolic, and supernatural. Dreiser, Crane, and Norris were also journalists, and thus attempted to immerse themselves in the world of fact via the reporter's assumption of detached observation. Although they considered themselves realists, naturalistic authors selected particular parts of reality.

Examples of Naturalism:

  1. John Steinbeck is one of the most popular writers, coming from school a of American naturalism. In Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath portrays the Joad family and its changing environment from the naturalistic point of view during the times of Great Depression in the United States.
  2. In Stephen Crane’s short story, The Open Boat, it shows men on a boat, representing human endurance against indifferent nature where they feel themselves helpless.
  3. Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, shows the main character Edna Pontellier living in a world where no one understands her. She tries to solve this problem by using individual traits and societal forces inside the family.
  4. In Jack London's novel, To Build a Fire, it shows how human beings need to be careful at every corner, as death could reach them anywhere, waiting for them to commit a mistake and take their lives.
  5. Theodore Dreiser’s novel, Sister Carrie shows how Carrie begins to get wealthy, but finds that no amount of wealth or fame can make her anything other than the country girl she always was.

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