(early 19th century movement)
Cera Connors, Ryan Cameron, Tyler
Given, Eli Greene, and Mick
What is Naturalism?
Naturalism is a movement in literature that
developed out of realism.
Naturalism was a literary movement that originated
in France in the late 1800’s.
Like the realists, the naturalist sought to render
common people and ordinary life accurately.
However, the naturalist’s emphasized how instinct
and environment affect human behavior.
Strongly influenced by Charles Darwin’s ideas, the
naturalists believed that the fate of humans is
determined by forces beyond individual control.
Naturalism almost entirely dispensed with the notion
of free will, or at least a free will capable of enacting
real change in life’s circumstances.
Key Elements in Naturalism
Naturalism was from 1900 to 1914
It was during World War 1
They analyzed human behavior as a scientist would and attempted to
study their characters.
They believed that human behavior is shaped by heredity and
environment. A person can never completely escape either influence.
Because of this, humans can’t control their own destinies
Thus, life is often depicted as a losing battle against an uncaring universe.
Naturalistic Authors
Stephen Crane- Maggie: A Girl of the
Streets(1893), The Red Badge of
Edith Wharton- The Age of Innocence
(1920); Fast and Loose (1878), Verses(1878)
Frank Norris- Blix (1899), McTeague (1899)
Emile Zola- Les Rougon-Macquart (18711893), The Fortune of the Rougons (1871). A
French author who inspired the start of
naturalism in the late 1870’s in France.
Stephen Crane
Emile Zola
Man vs. Nature
Characters can be studied through their relationships to
their surroundings.
Writers studied human beings governed by their instincts
and passions as well as the ways in which the characters'
lives were governed by forces of heredity and
Naturalism dramatizes the loss of individuality.
George Becker- naturalism's philosophical framework can
be simply described as "pessimistic materialistic
“When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as
important, and that she feels she would not maim the
universe by disposing of him, he at first wishes to throw
bricks at the temple, and he hates deeply the fact that there
are no bricks and no temples. “
- Stephen Crane, "The Open Boat"
Illustration from The Open
Boat by Stephen Crane.
Stylistic Devices used by Writers
Naturalists’ ideas reflected intellectual trends emerging in Europe in biology,
economics, and psychology.
- Emile Zola wrote novels of human behavior under the influence of heredity and
environment. He used ideas that were mostly scientific.
Origin of Species (1859) Darwin proposed his theory that species evolve through
natural selection, where those with the most favorable traits adapt and survive (survival
of the fittest).
Writers believed that the fate of humans was determined by the forces beyond
individual control.
*Characters are crushed by the force of a universe they can neither understand or
- Ex: Man vs. Nature (man fights to survive a snow storm, but in the end nature is
dominate and the man can freeze to death.)
Writers also focus on the filth of society and the hard labor of the lower classes as the
focal point of their writing.
Some devices used were metaphors, similes, and personification but were not a driving
force through the movement.
Naturalist writers apply scientific
principles and methods to the writing of
Authors introduce readers to a character
and then set the events of the novel in
motion to see how the characters’
inherited traits and environmental
influences will determine their
Unexpected opportunities is also
introduced to a character for a chance
for him/her to take it or leave it.
Environmental setting
Characteristics of heroes/main
Unaffected, honest, and simple people in
natural setting/jobs.
Writers focused on Charles Darwin's
theory of evolution.
They believed that one's heredity and
social environment determine one's
They worried about the problems in the
Antigna, Alexandre
Comparison to Naturalism
-They believed that one's
heredity and social
environment determine
one's character.
-Characters were in full
-Focused on the problems
in the world.
-They were also described
for the different social
classes they were in
-Stayed away from the
conventional writings.
-Focused on the inner
problems of man.
-Characters were not
explained in full detail.
-The characters were
The End!
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