Essay on Naturalism and Realism

1298 Words6 Pages
Beginning in the late 19th century, two separate movements spread across America know as realism and naturalism. While the two were very similar in their beliefs and ideals there were still many apparent distinctions to differentiate the two. Realism and naturalism showed themselves in many aspects of life, from art and sciences to new math techniques and even religion. However, above all else these movements may have been most evident in the literature of this time. Reading through American literature of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it becomes perceptible which short stories portray realism and which represent nationalism. Mark Twain’s humorous tale, “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras Country,” clearly shows Twain’s…show more content…
As Bierce explains, “The man who was engaged in being hanged was apparently about thirty-five years of age. He was a civilian, if one might judge from his habit, which was a planter.” An attention to specific details is given especially in Part I when the setting is being described. Countless adjectives are used, giving the reader the understanding of the scene so that they can feel as if they are sitting in and watching everything mentioned take place. Again, diction is used although not in the same way as Twain had used it. Instead, a type of southern slang is used, denoting people from the North as “Yanks” and to flax as “tow.” Finally, the last part of this story is made up on the lead character’s daydream which shows that Bierce was focusing on the psychology of the character, another very realist thing to do in literature. Stephen Crane’s ideas varied from those of Twain and Ambrose as shown in his short story, “The Open Boat.” In the story, the crewmates of a diminutive boat are caught in a storm. This is clearly more depressing than the stories of the other two authors cited but it also sanctions nature to play a substantial role. In naturalism, nature often acts as a force that humanity cannot control. The storm represents Crane’s belief in
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