A Comparison of Jack London and Stephen Crane.
Jack London and Stephen Crane were both well-known literary naturalists who died at relatively early ages. Despite having lived such a short life, Jack London lived a full life. He has achieved wide popularity abroad, with his work being translated into more than fifty languages, as well as having written fifty literary works in eighteen years. His stories in the naturalistic mode still continue to influence writers today. Stephen Crane was also an accomplished writer as well as a poet. He was among the first to express in writing a new way of looking at the world. Although Crane is also seen as one of the first American naturalistic writers, a Symbolist, and Imagist, the achievements which justify these labels all derive from his impressionistic view of the world. Both London and Crane were considered naturalist authors who presented elements of naturalism in many of their literary works, but most predominantly in their two short stories, “To Build a Fire” and “The Open Boat” When London wrote "To Build a Fire" he embraced the idea of naturalism because it mirrored the events of daily life. In James Feast’s criticism of “To Build a Fire”, he portrays nature as the antagonist, the foe against which the man is pitted for survival. He believed that London used naturalism, the most realistic literary movement; to show how violent and uncaring nature really is and how no matter what you do nature will always be there. However, Feast states that “Nature doesn't act deliberately, it simply is, and it is the man's own folly and arrogance that causes his death at the end of the story” (5). "To Build a Fire” embodies the idea of naturalism and how, if one is not careful, nature will gain the upper hand and they will perish. When Crane wrote “The Open Boat” he portrayed nature as “uncaring in his descriptions of the unforgiving and relentless sea” (9). In Edwin Moses criticism of “The Open Boat” he states that the...
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