The Naturalist Movement: The Monster, and The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

3096 Words 13 Pages
“A man said to the universe: ‘Sir, I exist!’ ‘However’ replied the universe, ‘the fact has not created in me a sense of obligation’”~ Stephen Crane. Crane was the champion of the American naturalist movement. Following the Civil War, American authors had to adjust and react to the astounding amount of death that occurred. Authors began to write more realistic stories and started the Realism movement. The Realist authors who took the foundations a step farther created the Naturalists. Naturalists believed that humans were hopeless and that the world was against human nature. These authors could touch on more controversial problems in life, such as racism and violence because they could create a realistic environment and make a comment on …show more content…
Frederick Treves. Finally, the lynching of Robert Lewis in Port Jervis, New York affected Crane (McMurray). Crane had some relation to the lynching through Judge William Crane who tried to resist the mob from lynching Robert Lewis (McMurray). Worse yet, no man was charged or investigated for the murder of the Robert as the coroner found Robert died “by being hung by the neck by a person or persons unknown to this jury.”(McMurray). The lynching showed Crane the evils of the racism that ran rampant during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. These events helped to create the basis for The Monster.
The Red Badge of Courage has a much different background. Crane never actually experienced being a solider in the Civil War. In fact, he was born six years after the war was over and found other books on the Civil War uninteresting and dry. Crane set to write about the war in a more novelistic way and place the reader into the shoes of a soldier. In this way Crane created a novel about the Civil War that is unlike any other one written before. For never being a part of the war, Crane writes a truly realistic portrayal of the life of a soldier.
In a broad sense the two stories have little in common. The Monster is unlike any of Crane’s other stories in the way that Crane blatantly attacks the racism of the American society of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. That novel also tends to be more negative to the American society than
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