Naturalism and Realism in Literary Works

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Naturalism and Realism
Realism and naturalism are two schools of thought that are closely linked but have a significant difference in what they mean in literature (Pizer 23). Realism helps in describing any play that shows ordinary people in their everyday situations (Pizer 27). On the other hand, naturalism focuses on how science and technology impact lives of individuals in the society. Additionally, it also evaluates how genetics and society affect individuals (Pizer 25). Realism and Naturalism have many aspects in common, for example, they both focus on families and individuals in their day to day events. Variously, they depict events that have a possibility of happening in real life, even to the members of their audience (Pizer 48).
Though similar, Realism and Naturalism have some components that separate their school of thought. For example, naturalism approaches events in a more scientific manner as compared to realism (Pizer 78). On the other hand, realism involves characters whom the audience can readily sympathize and relate with in everyday life. Naturalism approaches every situation from a scientist point of view bringing in detachment with the ordinary life (Pizer 85). On the contrary, realism shows how characters break from different situations in life allowing the audience to empathize with their success and hard work. Lastly, naturalism aim to study the characters and the situation they are passing through without interfering (Pizer 105).
Survival of the fittest was coined Charles Darwin and tries to inform on social determination and Natural determination for the survival of the strongest in the society. “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane may be seen as an extension of Charles Darwin’s story on how man is connected to nature (Crane 584). His story explores the idea coined by Charles Darwin of “Survival of the fittest”. In nature, man has come to understand that nature is never against him and therefore in the story, all the characters are struggling with the boat to survive. Even though Oiler seemed like the strongest, he perished in his struggle for survival (Crane 586). This event would have stood against the “survival of the fittest” argument by Darwin, but to me, it wholly supports the ideas of survival of the fittest. This is because, the correspondent, cook, and captain relied on man-made devices to survive while Oiler took his path relying on his natural human strength. For example, Cook and correspondent as heard arguing “… soon as they view us, they will come off in their boat and rescue us” pg. 585. It indicates their belief in social beings for survival. But, according to this story, the fittest are the three men who relied on the man-made ability to adapt and create a way to save themselves“…bully good thing it’s an on-shore wind,” if not ….”Where would be”. This shows their faith in natural course in saving life. (Crane 587). The same issue is echoed in “What life Means to me” by Jack London (London 563). He culminates a social Darwinism where through his struggles and belief in the human spirit to achieve regardless of challenges exposed in his environment. Jack London believes in the excellence and nobility of human to achieve (London 564). Therefore, he argues that only the strong in heart, unselfish and with spiritual sweetness with surviving in this cruel world (London 565). Frank Norris and Theodore Dreiser ideas revolve around the role and importance of limited free will and morality in pursuit of the “survival of the fittest”. For example Theodore “tell the truth to express what we see honest and without subterfuge” tries to show the importance of truth in making people free in a given society They may be considered as advocates of Social Darwinism. For example, Theodore Dreiser insists on the importance of speaking the truth as a moral virtue in the society. Only the morals have a better place to survive in the society. The two examples confirm the fact that only the fit have a chance of surviving in the current revolutionizing world (Dreiser 562). Fitness does not imply physical strength but the ability to use available natural and man-made abilities to achieve goals in life (Pizer 113).

Work cited
London, Jack. “What Life Means to Me.” (1906). Print.
Norris, Frank. The Pit: The Epic of the Wheat; a Deal in Wheat, and Other Stories of the New and Old West. New York: Collier, 1903. Print.
Dreiser, Theodore. Best Short Stories of Theodore Dreiser. Cleveland: World Publishing Co, 1956. Print.
Crane, Stephen. The Open Boat. St. Clair Shores, Mich: Scholarly Press, 1969. Print.
Pizer, Donald. Documents of American Realism and Naturalism. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1998. Print.

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