Naturalism is a complex literary movement which infiltrated many books in the 1800s. One book in particular best shows the themes of Naturalism. The book, Ethan Frome, displays a multitude of motifs which further the main ideas and themes of the story. Motifs are used to highlight the theme. Due to the complex nature of the book, Ethan Frome written by Edith Wharton, motifs are used to further the ideas and themes presented in this tale.
Naturalism is an ongoing literary movement that has been apparent since the 1900’s. It depicts how the environment, social conditions, and even hereditary characteristics influence and shape the way a human character will develop. It is believed that there is no escaping this realism, and each situation one experiences is what will establish the route of life that they will partake. A short story called “My Antonia”, written by Willa Cather is merely categorized with Realism and Naturalism, though it is evident that several aspects portray supernatural occurrences. The specific characters throughout these excerpts show the reflection of Naturalism by experiencing struggles of deprivation which resulted in their lives being shaped by
“[E]nvironment is a tremendous thing in the world, and frequently shapes lives regardless.” (“Although it’s origins…”) Stephen Crane was influenced to write his 1893 novella, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, as a result of his religious family, the secrecy to publish a novel that reveals the reality and impurity of the real world and from the impact of needy, urban landscapes that ended realism and began naturalism.
The novel, Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets, by Stephen Crane, takes place in the slums of New York City during the 1890&#8217;s. It is about a girl, Maggie Johnson, who is forced to grow up in a tenement house. She had a brother, Jimmie, an abusive mother, Mary, and a father who died when Maggie was young. When Maggie grew up, she met her boyfriend, Pete. In Maggie&#8217;s eyes, Pete was a sophisticated young man who impressed Maggie because he treated her better than she had been treated to all of her life. Once Maggie&#8217;s mother and brother found out that Maggie was sleeping with this man, Mary threw Maggie out into the streets, condemning her to a life of evil. Eventually, Pete decided he no longer wished to see Maggie.
In "Living like Weasels", author Annie Dillard uses rhetorical devices to convey that life would be better lived solely in a physical capacity, governed by "necessity", executed by instinct. Through Dillard's use of descriptive imagery, indulging her audience, radical comparisons of nature and civilization and anecdotal evidence, this concept is ultimately conveyed.
“Maggie: A Girl of the Streets,” is a novella written by Stephen Crane and published in the year 1893. This work was published during the time of the Industrial Revolution, when factories were appearing everywhere. Their workers were often not paid enough to lead a decent life, and suffered from their situation. They were not very civilized and sometimes aggressive in their behavior. Perhaps because of this radical change from a more agricultural lifestyle to one of industry and factories, some pieces of literature were starting to transition from the classification of Realistic writings to works that are now categorized as works of Naturalism. While the two categories are
Anne Dillard uses diction and juxtaposition in both “Living like Weasels” and “Sojourner” to establishes her distaste towards the actions and cognition of the human race. Personification of the inhabitants in nature is done in order to prompt changes on people’s opinion on the universally accepted biotic hierarchy. Humans believe themselves to be the most advanced creature on earth and rebuff any teaching by the natives. Dillard portrays her disagreement with such notion by using story telling techniques to enchant and then preach the lessons she herself learns from nature.
At least every person has felt different or set apart from others before sometime in their life. Yet we all know everyone is different and no two people are the same, and the society constructed by Nancy Farmer in “The House of the Scorpion” is no different- except for the anti-hero Matt. After facing reality that he was cloned from a cow, Matt finds it incredibly difficult to live a normal life. He is consistently mistreated by everyone, especially Rosa, who is supposed to care for him but treats him like an actual animal. In “The House of the Scorpion” Nancy Farmer uses italics, em dashes, and description to stir the reader’s empathy.
Naturalism is a literary movement that encapsulates the struggles of the common population. Hamlin Garland presents an excellent example of Naturalist literature in his short story “Under the Lion’s Paw”, published in 1889. In this short story, many of Dr. Stephen doCarmo’s characteristics of Naturalism are visible. Dr. doCarmo describes three broad characteristics of Naturalism: individuals are subjected to larger uncontainable forces, political undertones are prevalent within the work, and the subject matter of the work appeals to the middle-class. “Under the Lion’s Paw” possesses all three of these characteristics and radiates naturalism.
Challenging the strict deterministic confines of literary naturalism, which hold that "the human being is merely one phenomenon in a universe of material phenomena" (Gerard 418), Edith Wharton creates in The House of Mirth a novel which irrefutably presents the human creature as being subject to a naturalistic fate but which conveys a looming sense of hope that one may triumph over environment and circumstance if one possesses a certain strength of will or a simple faith in human possibility.
Stephan Crane and Jack London incorporate naturalism, title significance and representation effectively through the relationship between God, man and nature, and life and death. Naturalism represents our individual control over our destiny and our actions as determined and limited through the natural world, specifically humanity. Stephan Crane and Jack London depict descriptive images of human despair illustrated by distressing environments and environmental forces within in their stories.
Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth chronicles the tale of Lily Bart, a young socialite stuck at the crossroads of rejection her society to pursue her ambitions or relenting to societal expectations placed on her. In literature, naturalism, a philosophy that frequently overlaps with the theory of Social Darwinism, applies “scientific principles of objective observation to the study of human behavior and characters within the context of their surroundings” (“American Literary Naturalism” Twentieth-Century). In short, naturalistic novels explore the interactions between humans and their environment as the human tries to navigate it. House of Mirth is a naturalistic novel in that it explores Lily’s attempt to survive in her own cruel environment.
Naturalism is a theory in writing that focuses on the indifferent characteristics of nature. Naturalism was an extension of the outgrowth of literary realism in the mid 19th century. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution influenced the thinking of these naturalistic writers. Two authors depict naturalism in their stories heavily. Stephen Crane tells a story about a lifeboat lost at sea in “The Open Boat” and Jack London depicts a man’s trials in the wilderness through “To Build a Fire”.
Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets opening scene features violence, which is a taboo subject during the time period he wrote the piece; “His coat had been torn to shreds in a scuffle, and his hat was gone. He had bruises on twenty parts of his body, and blood was dripping from a cut in his head”(946). The three children experience abuse, both physical and emotional, from the mother and the father in the early chapters of this work. Stephen Crane states, [ Youse allus fightn’, Jimmie, an’yeh knows it puts mudder out when yehs come home half dead, an’ it’s like we’ll all get a poundin’ (949).] Furthermore, this abuse is evidenced by the following quote from Stephen Crane [The mother’s massive shoulders heaved with anger. Grasping the urchin by the neck and shoulder she shook him until he rattled(949).] Violence is a
Both nature and the natural world in Canadian literature are viewed as significant themes in representing an alternative composition to a landscape. It insists on painting a bigger picture and changing the perspective on how we interpret the world. The natural world is diverse with the notion that it can be seen through malevolency, in which it can instill fear or be seen as a threat. In addition, it can be seen as nuanced and viewed in a more positive structure, where it is celebrated. In the coming of age story, Anne of Green Gables, Montgomery represents nature in an optimistic standpoint and therefore, establishes that nature is emphasized through the genre of romanticism. It can be argued that in the novel, Anne of Green Gables by