Brad Hutchinson
English 11
Naturalism is a refinement of realism that
asserts that
• nature is indifferent to humanity
• nature shapes our fate.
Humans as Animals
Humans are natural objects subject to the
forces of biology and environment beyond
their control.
Basic Characteristics
Characteristics of (and ideas inherent to)
naturalistic literature—
1. Survival of the fittest
2. Nature is neutral and
indifferent—not good, not
Basic Characteristics
3. The individual does not matter. The
group (species, life itself) is what matters
4. Humans are not any more important than
any other form of life
5. The purpose of life is to
perpetuate life
Three Stories
Now, read the following stories, noting the
elements of naturalism in each:
“The Law of Life” by Jack London
“To Build a Fire” by Jack London
“The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane