Frank Norris Writing Styles in The Octopus

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Frank Norris' writings, especially his earlier novel McTeague, are considered by literary critics to mark the very first experiments in the American strain of naturalism. Naturalism is often spoken of along with realism because both came about as reactions to the same trends. Realism developed first, in the mid-1800s, a rejection of the unearned optimism that the romantic movement proposed. If romanticism showed humans as innately kind and sympathetic, naturalism focused on the harsher elements of life. Realistic literature reminded its readership of the many social ills that humanity created for itself. Artists of the realist movement tried to capture all of the details of their subject, regardless of how unpleasant they may be, with a sharp focus that modern audiences take for granted because of the wide-spread ease of photography. Writers who were realists strove to shock audiences with their frankness and honesty about the unappealing...

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This section contains 1,034 words
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The Octopus from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.