Presentation on theme: "Realism and Naturalism. Age of Science Influence Technological Advances Changes in Natural Sciences Thought became science could be applied to all aspects."— Presentation transcript:
Age of Science Influence Technological Advances Changes in Natural Sciences Thought became science could be applied to all aspects of life Literature became intermingled with sociology, psychology, and “scientific philosophies”
Changes in Natural Sciences Publication of Origin of Species EVOLUTION
Rise of Naturalism Writers now show concern with human character Characters are less “free”, less self- determined Heredity became a determinant of character Evolution also provided writers with new metaphors with which to compare literature to social environment
By 1890 Authors began titling work with some of these metaphors…metaphors that viewed life as a struggle and drew upon the predatory aspect of nature for ways to describe the social environment “Under the Lion’s Paw”---Midwestern farmers under grip of capitalistic land owners The Jungle---Upton Sinclair’s look at the Chicago meat packing industry
Rise in Utopian novels Edwards Bellamy’s Looking Backward –Scientifically planned society where citizens of Boston in year 2000 enjoy abundance of materials, advanced technology, no conflict, competition, inequality, or crime Increase in Bellamy Clubs
Realism to Naturalism Realism is nothing more than a call to accurate observation-limited in scope and depth especially about human character Naturalism emphasizes human experience by focusing on Heredity and Environment
2 approaches to Naturalism 1. Pessimistic extension of realism 2. Different from realism
Ever look at the world and feel small and powerless? The philosophy of "Naturalism" says you are, but you don't know it. Your "self," full of ambition and hope, is what your brain fabricates to deny the larger environmental forces governing your behavior: social class, economics, war, biology, climate, geography. The place creates the "person"
Emile Zola “Father of naturalism” Writers must examine human character and society “scientifically” Laws of individual and society are as fixed as laws of science
Determinism Free will or self-determination is an illusion Characters cannot exercise free will because it doesn’t exist in the universe Universe is indifferent to you Chance is granted a role in human affairs, BUT chance is destroyed by inherited traits and the environment
A writer must study the inherited traits of a character and the social condition of the time These 2 things determine the course of any action and the outcome of any life TRAITS & SOCIAL CONDITION
Subject matter of Naturalism Raw and unpleasant experiences which reduce characters to “degrading” behavior in their struggle to survive Characters are usually from lower middle or lower classes –Poor, uneducated, and unsophisticated
Naturalistic Character Conditioned and controlled by the environment, heredity, chance, or instinct They have compensating humanistic values which affirm their individuality and life (values compensate for flaws) Their struggle becomes heroic and the character maintains human dignity
Characters Governed by heredity, passion, instinct, and environment “brute within”= warring emotions (ie: love of another and duty to wife) and the fight for survival
Why no true Naturalist? No American writer is considered solely naturalist because of the strict limitations prescribed by Zola 1.Hard to study inherited traits of long family histories (immigrants) 2.Social issues are too complex to study “scientifically”---the laws keep changing
Not solely Naturalist Works London’s “To Build a Fire” Crane’s Maggie, a Girl of the Street Wharton’s Ethan Frome
Ethan Frome Omniscient Narrator Sources of information vary from hearsay to direct interaction The story frame is Prologue and Epilogue with the main story told in the chapters in between –Story is told as a flashback Similar to The Catcher in the Rye perhaps in structure (book end style), but very different in effect because of POINTS OF VIEW
Framed-story technique Story within a story Helps to position the reader’s attitude toward the tale Draws attention to the narrator's unreliability.narrator's unreliability –By explicitly making the narrator a character within the frame story, the writer distances himself from the narrator –he may also characterize the narrator to cast doubt on his truthfulness.
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