The two literary periods of realism and naturalism have similarities and differences. The realism work read in class, “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” can be compared and contrasted to a naturalism work “To Build a Fire”. Though they are different types of works, they can relate to each other. A similarity between the two works is that they both talk about ordinary people in everyday life situations, and the differences are that they believe in too different ways of life and they were written in different literary periods.
The literary period of realism started in 1865 and focused on plain, normal, and reality writing. Naturalism on the other hand began coming up in 1890 and it focused on nature controlling an individual and how humans cannot control their own fate. The book “A notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” can be called a realism work because, Smiley, the main character ended up getting tricked when betting on his frog. He lost this bet, because the other man:
took a tea- spoon and filled him full of quail shot filled him pretty near up to his chin and
set him on the floor…"’Now, if you're ready, set him alongside of Dan'l, with his fore-
paws just even with Dan'l, and I'll give the word… him and the feller touched up the
frogs from behind, and the new frog hopped off, but… he was planted as solid as an
anvil, and he couldn't no more stir than if he was anchored out. Smiley was a good deal
surprised, and he was disgusted too, but he didn't have no idea what the matter was, of
course.’” (Twain 585) This explanation is a perfect example of a realism work because it shows that people in reality can be tricked and you can lose something in life. This could not be a naturalism work because naturalism believes in fate. As in “To Build a Fire” he says, “At a place where there were no signs, where the soft, un broken snow seemed to advertise solidity beneath, the man broke through… he was angry, and cursed his luck aloud”...
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