Writing Styles in Naturalism

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Naturalist authors use symbolism to subtly convey a wealth of meaning in a few words or images. In McTeague: A Story of San Francisco, Norris uses McTeague's tooth-shaped sign as a symbol of how the character would like to perceive himself and be perceived by others. Although he has no license to practice dentistry, he wants the respectability such a profession would bring him. The tooth is gold, which symbolizes McTeague's drive to acquire wealth. In Sister Carrie, Dreiser introduces the rocking chair as a symbol during key moments in Carrie's life. Her rocking in it symbolizes her solitude in the world. As she rocks, she thinks about the state of her life, and the chair moves but never goes anywhere. Still another example of naturalist symbolism is the mountain in The Red Badge of Courage. It is ominous and immovable, and represents the power and permanence of...

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This section contains 367 words
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Buy the Naturalism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Naturalism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.