Presentation on theme: "Naturalism 1890 to 1920. What exactly is Naturalism? Naturalism is a type of literature that attempts to apply scientific principles of objectivity."— Presentation transcript:
What exactly is Naturalism? Naturalism is a type of literature that attempts to apply scientific principles of objectivity and detachment to its study of human beings. Harsher version of Realism.
How is Naturalism different from Realism? Realism emphasizes the depiction of life as it is lived. Naturalism emphasizes the more brutal aspects of existence.
What are the characteristics of Naturalism? Characters - ill-educated or lower-class governed by forces of heredity, instinct, and passion. Exercise free will. Urban Setting
What are the major themes of Naturalism?? Survival Determination Nature as an indifferent force acting in human lives The “brute within”- strong emotions-- conflict-- man vs. nature or man vs. himself Violence Taboo Difference, deterministic universe Forces of heredity and environment as they affect the individual
Major Writers Jack London Jack London Stephen Crane Stephen Crane John Steinbeck (1902-1968), The Grapes of Wrath (1939) Kate Chopin – The Awakening Upton Sinclair Mark Twain
Jack London 1876-1916 Often explored the Darwinian contiguity between humans and animals and how the otherwise buried animalistic survival instinct surfaces in extreme circumstances. Distinctions between human and animal behavior were often blurred in his writing Two popular novels – The Call of the Wild (1903) and White Fang (1906).
Upton Sinclair September 20, 1878 – November 25, 1968 Wrote close to one hundred books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, acquiring particular fame for his classic muckraking novel, The Jungle (1906). It exposed conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry, causing a public uproar that contributed in part to the passage a few months later of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. Time magazine called him "a man with every gift except humor and silence. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Kate Chopin February 8, 1850 — August 22, 1904 Wrote both short stories and novels. Wrote The Awakening (1899), in which she expresses through the character Dr. Mandelet the naturalist view that romantic love is an illusion damaging to women's social status since it determines for them the biological role of motherhood. The illusion of love, he says, is "a provision of Nature; a decoy to secure mothers for the race." In spite of this, Chopin's heroine, Edna Pontellier, maintains a romantic view of experience and her suicide is a triumphant expression of individual will over circumstance.
Stephen Crane November 1, 1871 – June 5, 1900 Novelist, short story writer, poet and journalist. He is recognized by modern critics as one of the most innovative writers of his generation. Crane’s most celebrated and often misunderstood novel is The Red Badge of Courage. The novel was set during the Civil War, and follows one young soldier’s experience of that war. What’s truly remarkable is that Crane wrote with no actual experience of battle. His descriptions and scenery were inspired by war and history magazines, which he found dry and too matter-of-fact. To Crane’s mind, the stories lacked any connection to the real feeling warfare, as dates and locations of battles cannot even begin to reproduce the essence of combat. He saw an opportunity to craft the first novel that explored warfare from the point of view of the psyche.
Legacy Naturalism was a relatively short-lived philosophical approach to crafting novels. Few writers of the period experienced real success in the style, but those that did became titans of the art form. It is difficult to gauge the total effects of Naturalism on the path of American literature. The fact that Social Darwinism eventually came to be seen for the disguised racism that it is probably marred the reputation of Naturalist writing. However, the sheer art and craft of the literature that the greatest novelists of the period generated overcomes such handicaps