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American Naturalism featuring Stephen Crane.  In 1860, most Americans lived on farms or in small villages.  Over 23 million foreigners flowed into the.

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Presentation on theme: "American Naturalism featuring Stephen Crane.  In 1860, most Americans lived on farms or in small villages.  Over 23 million foreigners flowed into the."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Naturalism featuring Stephen Crane

2  In 1860, most Americans lived on farms or in small villages.  Over 23 million foreigners flowed into the United States between 1860 and 1910.  By 1919 half of the population concentrated in about 12 cities. Changing American Face

3  Problems of urbanization and industrialization: poor and overcrowded housing unsanitary conditions low pay (called "wage slavery") difficult working conditions inadequate restraints on business Rapid Urbanization

4 In 1860, there were fewer than 100 millionaires; by 1875, there were more than 1,000. From 1860 to 1914, the United States was transformed from a small, young, agricultural ex-colony to a huge, modern, industrial nation. A debtor nation in 1860, by 1914 it had become the world's wealthiest state, with a population that had more than doubled, rising from 31 million in 1860 to 76 million in 1900. By World War I, the United States had become a major world power. Wealth and America

5 As industrialization grew, so did alienation. Characteristic American novels of the period Stephen Crane's Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Jack London's Martin Eden Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy depict the damage of economic forces and alienation on the weak or vulnerable individual. Alienation

6 Realism developed as a reaction against Romanticism and stressed the real over the fantastic. The movement sought to treat the commonplace truthfully and used characters from everyday life. Writers probed the recesses of the human mind via an exploration of the emotional landscape of characters. This emphasis was brought on by societal changes sparked by The Origin of Species by Darwin, the Higher Criticism of the Bible, and the aftermath of the Civil War. Realism

7 A deeper, more pessimistic, literary movement called Naturalism grew out of Realism and stressed the uncaring aspect of nature and the genetic, biological destiny of humanity. Naturalists believed that humanity's instinctual, basic drives dominated its actions and could not be evaded. Life was viewed as relentless, without a caring presence to intervene. Twain (late works), Crane, London, Norris, Sinclair, and Dreiser were the major writers of this movement. Naturalism

8 Donald Pizer suggests specific changes in subject matter and characterization in Naturalism:  The subject matter deals with those raw and unpleasant experiences which reduce characters to “degrading” behavior in their struggle to survive. These characters are mostly from the lower middle or the lower classes--they are poor, uneducated. Naturalism’s Qualities

9  The milieu (world, universe) is the commonplace and the unheroic; life is usually the dull round of daily existence.... The suggestion is that life on its lowest levels is not so simple as it seems to be.  There is discussion of fate and “hubris” that affect a character; generally the controlling force is society and the surrounding environment. Naturalism’s Qualities, continued

10  Characters are conditioned and controlled by environment, heredity, chance, or instinct;  Compensating humanistic values that affirm their individuality and life  Struggle for life becomes heroic: maintain human dignity. The Naturalistic Character

11 Stephen Crane (1871-1900) American Naturalist

12 Stephen Crane  Born in New Jersey, roots in Revolutionary War soldiers, clergymen, sheriffs, judges, and farmers who had lived a century earlier.  Primarily a journalist who also wrote fiction, essays, poetry, and plays, Crane saw life at its rawest, in slums and on battlefields.  His short stories--in particular, “The Open Boat,” “The Blue Hotel,” and “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”--exemplified the short story form.

13 Stephen Crane’s Work His haunting Civil War novel, The Red Badge of Courage, was published to great acclaim in 1895, but he barely had time to bask in the attention before he died. He was virtually forgotten during the first two decades of the 20th century, but was resurrected through a laudatory biography by Thomas Beer in 1923. He has enjoyed continued success ever since--as a champion of the common person, a realist, and a symbolist.

14 Early Life  Crane was born in Newark, New Jersey, on November 1, 1871, as the 14th child of a Methodist minister.  He started to write stories at the age of eight, and at 16 he was writing articles for the New York Tribune.

15 School  At 14 Crane enrolled at Pennington Seminary in Pennington, NJ.  Two years later, Crane withdrew from Pennington in protest of hazing charges.  In January, 1888, Crane enrolled at Hudson River Institute (Claverack College) in Claverack, NY. Claverack College

16 More School  September, 1890, entered Lafayette College as a mining engineering student, but he did not regularly attend class.  1891 transferred to Syracuse University and became a correspondent for the New York Tribune.  June of ’91, quit college

17 Later life  After mother's death in 1890, moved to New York, living a bohemian life and working as a free-lance writer and journalist.  Supported self by his writings, living among the poor in the Bowery slums.

18 His Works  First published story, "The King's Favor," in the Syracuse University Herald's May ’91 issue.  1895, published his first collection of poems, The Black Rider.  1899 published The Monster and Other Stories.

19 Selected Stories and Novels  “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”  “The Open Boat”  “Death and the Child”  “The Blue Hotel”  Active Service  Maggie: A Girl of the Streets  The Red Badge of Courage The Blue Hotel

20 Novels: George’s Mother (1896) Poetry collections: The Black Riders and Other Lines (1895) War Is Kind (1899) Additional Works

21 The First Novel  Crane's first novel, Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets (1893) was a milestone in the development of literary naturalism.  Crane had to print the book at his own expense, borrowing the money from his brother.  One of the best naturalistic novels/novellas.

22 A harrowing story of a poor, sensitive young girl  Whose uneducated, alcoholic parents utterly fail her  Who is seduced and abandoned  Who turns to prostitution and suicide Crane’s earthy subject matter and his objective, scientific style, devoid of moralizing, earmark Maggie as a naturalist work.

23 The Red Badge of Courage  In 1893 began writing The Red Badge of Courage, based on the Civil War.  1894 sold an abridged version for $90, and it first appeared in the Philadelphia Press.  Full version published in 1895 brought him international fame.

24 The Red Badge of Courage (1895) In The Red Badge of Courage, Crane’s greatest novel, the accidents of war make a young man seem to be a hero. The story is set in the Civil War. In the view of the author, war changes men into animals. Seeing that he is about to be killed, young Henry Fleming runs like a coward. Then, he is accidentally hit on the head. The other soldiers, thinking it is a battle wound, call it his “red badge of courage.” Later, in another battle, Fleming again behaves like an animal. But this time he is a fighting, “ heroic” animal. The world, like the battlefield, is filled with meaningless confusion. Good and bad, hero and coward are merely matters of chance, of fate.

25 “The Open Boat”  Crane traveled to Greece, Cuba, Texas and Mexico, reporting mostly on war. "The Open Boat" is based on a true experience when his ship sank on a journey to Cuba in 1896.  With a small party of other passengers, spent several days drifting in an open boat before being rescued.  Experience impaired his health permanently.

26 The Real Boat  After the success of The Red Badge of Courage and book of poetry, The Black Riders, became obsessed with war.  Hired to go to Cuba as a journalist to report on the rebellion against the Spanish.  Shipwrecked on the way to the island  Originally reported dead.

27 The Real Boat, II  He rowed to shore in a dinghy, along with three other men, having to swim to shore and drop his money in the sea to prevent from drowning.  This experience directly led to his most famous short story "The Open Boat" (1897).

28 Post-Boat  For various reasons, Crane stopped writing novels during this time and moved primarily to short stories probably because they could sell in magazines better but also because he was constantly moving.  When staying in Jacksonville, Florida, he met the owner of a brothel, Cora Taylor.

29 Cora Taylor  Taylor, by chance, had just been reading his novella, George's Mother. When she presented the book to Crane for his autograph, he inscribed it "To an unnamed sweetheart."  Thus began their love affair; she accompanied him to Greece as he reported on the Greco-Turkish War for New York newspapers and stayed with him until his death.

30 Last Years  1898 settled in Sussex, England, with Taylor  1899 published Active Service, based on the Greco-Turkish War.  1899 returned to Cuba, to cover the Spanish- American War.  Due to poor health, he was obliged to return to England.

31 His Death  Died at 28 on June 5, 1900, in a Badenweiler, Germany, sanitorium for tuberculosis, which was worsened by a malarial fever he had caught in Cuba.

32 Major Themes  In his themes and styles, Crane is an avant-garde writer.  Crane writes about extreme experiences that are confronted by ordinary people.  His characters are not larger-than-life, but they touch the mysterious edges of their capacities for perception, action, and understanding.

33 Significant Style  Crane's works reflect many of the major artistic concerns at the end of the nineteenth century, especially naturalism, impressionism, and symbolism.  His works insist that we live in a universe of vast and indifferent natural forces, not in a world of divine providence or a certain moral order. "A Man Said to the Universe" is useful in identifying this aspect of Crane.

34 A More Artistic Naturalist  Crane's vivid and explosive prose styles distinguish his works from those by many other writers who are labeled naturalists.  Many readers (including Hamlin Garland and Joseph Conrad) have used the term impressionist to describe Crane's vivid renderings of moments of visual beauty and uncertainty.

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