Similarities and Differences Btw Realism and Naturalism in the Red Badge of Courage and to Build a Fire

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Similarities and Differences between Naturalism and Realism Both Naturalism and Realism were the genres of literature that appeared after the Civil War in the United States. The Realism and Naturalism first originated in Europe as a response to the Romanticism and Napoleonic War. People suffered from their misfortune and got depressed from the situation on which nothing had left but misery after the war. Likewise, in America, Realism and Naturalism came out in response to the miserable war, the Civil War. People lost their houses, families, properties and other things that they used to have. They realized the Romanticism on which emphasized imagination never worked to their wretched life and God would never salvage them from the misfortunate life. Because the two literature genres appeared at this hard time, they were often written in a pessimistic way. Most stories were based on the realistic and scientific method and characters in the story often suffered from the unsympathetic environmental forces. However, even though both genres appeared spontaneously, they shared some different views too. Social Darwinism, pre destination, and determinism were prevailed in naturalism literature, whereas Realism didn’t emphasize too much on them. The writing style of Naturalism was more uncaring and unemotional, while Realism story shows the feeling of characters. Their similarities and differences reveal in the story “To build the fire,” by naturalism writer Jack London, and “The red badge of Courage” by Stephen Crane who wrote Realism literature.

One of the similarities between Naturalism and Realism was that they didn’t mention God a lot in the story. People at this time viewed God as useless and just an idealistic symbol that would never rescue them from the concrete society that they were facing. In the story “To build the fire,” God never appears and doesn’t try to rescue the man from the freezing weather. No one comes out in the story and saves him. The destiny is already given to him, and neither he nor God can change the fate. In the story “The red badge of courage,” which has Realism characteristics, hardly describes God in this story. It only mentions how people die in the battle and describes people who badly got injured and cursed the war. Soldiers sometimes rely on God by saying “Oh, Lord” or “God is always with us,” when they were afraid, but most of the time they are pessimistic against God’s existence. If you look at Greek mythology, Gods appear several times during the war and try to figure out the war and conflict between people. However, in this story, God never comes out but everything is depending on human beings’ ability in the environment.

The pessimistic views that often time revealed in both genres are another similarity. The man in the story “To build the fire” first has positive thought that he could traverse the forest without companion. But, the weather is getting colder and colder, and he reached the moment that he could no longer endure the freezing weather. He decided to build the fire in the midst of journey. However, whenever he tired to build a fire, the environmental forces prevented him from making the fire. The book says “A certain fear of death, dull and oppressive, came to him. High up in the tree one bough capsized its load of snow. This fell on the boughs beneath, capsizing them. This process continued, spreading out and involving the whole tree. It grew like an avalanche, and it descended without warning upon the man and the fire, and the fire was blotted out!” This quote demonstrates the moment when the snow fell down to the fire the man built. After that, the man was so disappointed and became hopeless. As well, in “The red badge of courage,” soldiers were seriously wounded and had gory dresses after the some battle. They got tired and afraid of fighting again. They were stuck in the cruel situation and didn’t believe if they could survive from this hell. The quote “The awkward...
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