Crane And Chopin Realism

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Crane &Chopin’s Naturalism Realism and its subcategory, Naturalism made their debut as literary movements in American fiction in the latter portion of the 19th into the beginning of the 20th centuries. These literary styles resulted from the profound changes that the nation experienced. Post-Civil War Americans were propelled from their previous ways of life into an entirely different physical world. Industrialization and modernization transformed the landscape from rural to urban. The ascent of business activity resulted in dramatic population increase within cities. Additionally, the environment became more culturally diverse with the introduction of the transcontinental railroad. The literary themes that began to emerge in American fiction…show more content…
Advances in the fields of Science and Psychology provided additional fuel for authors and artists to express their impressions and to explore new concepts. The Norton website’s overview, American Literature "1865-1914" states that “Naturalist writers thought of their work as scientific in its exploration of deterministic effects—and thus truly realistic…” (1865-1914, 2012).While realism primarily sought to represent the world honestly and objectively with the use of literary embellishment and stylistic manipulation, naturalism extended that sentiment of an objective portrayal to focus on a detached representation of man in opposition to the natural world and to illustrate how mankind falls short. In his article, Donald Pizer, American Naturalism, And Stephen Crane, Nagle says that Crane’s “… focus has not been the artistic nature of the movement, the handling of narrative voice, imagery, structure, and characterization, but rather the philosophical and social aspects of naturalistic thought” (Nagel, 34) Overall, the characters of naturalism tend to be average lower class and static, but the things that happen to them are extraordinary, thus illustrating the character’s deterministic outcome. This deterministic perspective is demonstrated in naturalist stories such as “The Open Boat” by Steven…show more content…
The men work hard and long rowing against the waves, as nature is portrayed as indifferent and detached from humanity to the point of cruelty. Crane’s narrator explains, “…it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe by disposing of him...” (Baym, 1011). It is made apparent that at any moment, the boat could capsize and all four men could die, thus illustrating the fragility of human life. The environment in which these characters are placed is an uncontrollable force that guides and determines the final outcome. It is through these characters’ struggle with this sort of environment that we can see some common naturalist themes such as man vs. nature, man against himself, and the fate of man determined by outside forces. Despite this harsh reality and the adversity the men on the boat face while working together to survive these cruel conditions, the oiler’s death illustrates the deterministic outlook that is one of the key characteristics of naturalism. Stephen Crane creates a suggestive view of humanity, while exploring the implications of how humans interact with each other as well. While Crane’s characters fight for their lives, their interdependence on one another becomes prevalent. In the end, the men who survive walk away with an understanding that humanity is no match for

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