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What are five characteristics in Literary Naturalism?

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shanika07 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 18, 2009 at 2:56 AM via web

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What are five characteristics in Literary Naturalism?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 18, 2009 at 3:52 AM (Answer #1)

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One of the main characteristics of Literary Naturalism is the belief that man behaves in accordance with the laws of nature. Instinct and inherited traits, then, would drive his actions more than would free will. A second belief related to this first one is the idea that man is at the mercy of his environment. With this idea in mind, man reacts to what happens around him as opposed to drives it. Again, free will is not a factor in determining what happens in his life.

The tone of Naturalistic works is usually distant and non-judgmental. The author presents himself or herself as an objective observer, similar to a scientist taking note of what he or she sees. The Naturalistic writer believes that truth is found in nature, and thus is consistent. Everything follows preordained principles, patterns, and rules.  Naturalistic works are character-driven more than plot-driven. The focus is on human nature, a phenomenon that is predictable. Skinnerian principles of learning through conditioning and the Darwinian hierarchy of the survival of the fittest are the underlying themes involved in shaping the human character.

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