Naturalism Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 32 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Naturalism.
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Naturalist writers apply scientific principles and methods to the writing of fiction. Like scientists conducting experiments, they introduce readers to a character or characters and then set the events of the novel in motion to see how the characters' inherited traits and environmental influences will determine their outcomes. In some cases, an unexpected opportunity is also introduced to give the character a chance to take it or to ignore it. Given extreme circumstances or desires or needs, characters make decisions they would not otherwise make. The naturalist writer believes that the characters' true natures emerge in these situations.

Another scientific idea used in naturalist writing is conditioned behavior. Characters learn how to behave when they are exposed repeatedly to the same environmental influences. A character such as Henry in The Red Badge of Courage quickly learns how to behave in order to survive in the extreme circumstances...

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This section contains 521 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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.