Under the Lion's Paw Questions and Answers
by Hamlin Garland

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How is Naturalism portrayed in "Under the Lion's Paw" by Hamlin Garland? Please give specific examples from the story.

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"Under the Lion's Paw" certainly reflects the themes of naturalist literature. It aims to be realistic, trying to reveal the reality of life within agricultural communities.This is shown even in the story's very first paragraphs, which provide a detailed, heavily visual description of farm work and farm life. It attempts to depict what agricultural life actually entails, rather than provide an idealized vision of that life.

Additionally, this story reflects some of the larger sociological and thematic concerns that Naturalism as a movement seems to reflect. Not only is agricultural life described in detail, these descriptions establish agriculture as hard, incredibly grueling work. In essence, "Under the Lion's Paw" establishes its characters living their lives at the mercy of nature, and moreover, as the story ultimately establishes, at the mercy of their landlords: people such as Butler. Greed and exploitation are key themes within this story, and Haskins is rendered helpless in the...

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