Naturalism Based on Pessimism by 5KxFLO6

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 (1875 – 1900)
Based on Pessimism
Emile Zola – the founder
           In literature, the theory that
            literary composition should be
            based on an objective,
            empirical presentation of
            human beings

           Naturalistic writers regard
            human behavior as
            controlled by instinct,
            emotion, or social and
            economic conditions, and
            reject free will
               View of Man
 1.   A pawn controlled by heredity or
 2.   Often overwhelmed by life
 3.   Amoral: unable to distinguish
      between right and wrong
 4.   Faces a hopeless downhill struggle
 5.   Victim of basic instincts
View of Man
         View of Society

 1. Ruled by materialistic
 2. Often heartless, greedy, and
 3. Destructive
         View of Nature

 1. Animals and man are subject to
  the same laws; Darwin’s survival
  of the fittest
 2. A force beyond man’s control
          View of God

 1. Unresponsive
 2. Amoral attitude: good and bad
     are only relative terms
             Key Words

 Downhill  struggle
 Disillusionment
 Quiescence: absence of activity;
 Frankness
 Materialistic determinism: which is the
  theory that a person’s fate is determined
  solely by heredity and environment
               Major Writers
   Stephen Crane
   Jack London
    Edgar Lee Masters
   Frank Norris
   John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath
                 The Dust Bowl
 The Dust Bowl of the 1930s lasted about a
 Its primary area of impact was on the southern
 The northern Plains were not so badly effected, but
  nonetheless, the drought, windblown dust and
  agricultural decline were no strangers to the north.
 In fact the agricultural devastation helped to
  lengthen the Depression whose effects were felt
 The movement of people on the Plains was also
The Dust Bowl (con’t.)
          The Dust Bowl (con’t.)
   As John Steinbeck wrote in his 1939 novel The Grapes
    of Wrath:
    "And then the dispossessed were drawn west- from
    Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; from Nevada
    and Arkansas, families, tribes, dusted out, tractored out.
    Car-loads, caravans, homeless and hungry; twenty
    thousand and fifty thousand and a hundred thousand
    and two hundred thousand. They streamed over the
    mountains, hungry and restless - restless as ants,
    scurrying to find work to do - to lift, to push, to pull, to
    pick, to cut - anything, any burden to bear, for food. The
    kids are hungry. We got no place to live. Like ants
    scurrying for work, for food, and most of all for land."
The Dust Bowl (con’t.)
 Hundreds  of thousands of homes
  had no running water, indoor
  plumbing or electricity.
 Homes were not insulated.
 Poorly crafted windows had
  chinks and cracks; wind, dust,
  and snow came inside.
 Farming   still was done mostly with horses.
 Social programs we take for
  granted today were either not yet
  in place or in their infancy.
 The Great Depression was at its
  worst when the great droughts hit.
 Banks had failed; no credit to be
 Tens of thousands of people had
  already lost their homes,
  businesses or farms.
 Families had no choice but to move on.
 Many were bound for California, a
  promised land of sunshine and oranges,
  along U.S. 66, main route of the migrants.
 Migrants found an unfamiliar system:
  seasonal hiring for low wages, a rootless
 John Steinbeck made the Okies into tragic
  heroes in his novel The Grapes of Wrath.

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