According to the powerpoints provided by the reporters, Naturalism exhibits the helplessness of man against nature; man is dependent on nature for survival reasons but nature does not depend on man in order to exist. Man’s struggle to overcome nature and have full reign over it would be futile as nature has its way that man would not be capable of predicting and avoiding, thus, leading to his defeat, which is ultimately death. It presents nature as indifferent, making use of environmental and social illustrations. It also juxtaposes man’s reason and his animal instinct and contrasting them. In addition, it makes use of the two kinds of tensions (internal and external) to further illustrate naturalism.
A common setting is apparent in Naturalistic pieces. Generally, it is of places of urban decay as in slums and factories and the characters are often of the lower class. The short stories (To Build Fire by Jack London and An Experiment in Misery by Stephen Crane) given by the reporters as examples of Naturalism in literature exhibit naturalistic characteristics mentioned above. In An Experiment in Misery, Crane demonstrated naturalism by making use of the setting and characters commonly seen in naturalist texts. It happened in a place where a person who appears like a bum or a hobo would blend in perfectly. The character, who was often referred to as “the youth,” wandered aimlessly, looking for a familiar place and failing to do so. He was looking for a place to take shelter in, illustrating the fact that a person seeks refuge from nature and its harshness. A man referred to as “the assassin” led him to a place that displays more of the urban decay that the youth had seen during his walks: men (some not even clothed, those who are have tattered clothes) slept in a room full of cots, which the youth looked upon as graves; the stench reeked of “human bodies closely pack in dens.” Later on in the story, the narrator describe the sun rising making it...
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