Crane Vs London

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Through Naturalist writing styles that would revolutionize literature of their time, Stephen Crane and Jack London became staples of American writing. Similarities and differences of theme and element can be drawn in both, Crane’s short story, “An Episode of war”, and London’s short story, “To Build a Fire”. Naturalistic literature is a writing style, which was popularized around the 1880’s to the 1930’s. Naturalism mainly focuses on scientific principles that are applied to human character and nature, and shares some similar philosophies to realism. Both writers express different and similar perspectives, but give very insightful views on their opinions. London’s “To Build a Fire”, focuses on a man who is faced with the forces of nature,…show more content…
In “To Build a Fire”, the man ignores the advice that he has been given to survive in the Yukon environment: “The man had been very serious when he said that no man should travel alone in that country after 50 below zero. Well, here he was; he had had the accident; he was alone; and he had saved himself. Those old men were rather womanish, he thought” (London 72). The egotistical nature of the man is harmful to his own survival, which leads to dire consequences later on in the story. Ignoring the advice he had been given, the man is used to portray how people can become very haughty, too prideful for their own good. A similar message is conveyed in Crane’s “An Episode of War”, in which arrogance leads to malicious warfare in our own society. When the lieutenant is shot and injured, his pride hinders him from accepting assistance from the men he is commanding: “There were others who proffered assistance. One timidly presented his shoulder and asked the lieutenant if he cared to lean upon it, but the latter waved him away mournfully. He wore the look of one who knows he is the victim of a terrible disease and understands his helplessness”(---). Injured and in need of help, the lieutenant warrants away assistance from his subordinates, as it would be modest to do so. His arrogance prevents his wound from receiving immediate and proper attention from those who rank below him, with the lieutenant only accepting help from other officers on the battlefield. Both London and Crane display similar examples of how human egotism and close-mindedness can lead to harmful effects, especially when people choose to ignore nature’s power. This naturalist style is incorporated in their perspectives, and helps shape some of the many ideas and themes that the reader can pick out from both author’s
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