What are the characteristics of literary naturalism such as that written by Stephen Crane?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Naturalism in literature as written by Steven Crane is defined as literature that applies scientific principles to the human being. Begun by French writer Emile Zola, naturalism refrains from judging human action and restricts itself to describing human thoughts, behavior and action. Characters can therefore be studied through their relationship...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Naturalism in literature as written by Steven Crane is defined as literature that applies scientific principles to the human being. Begun by French writer Emile Zola, naturalism refrains from judging human action and restricts itself to describing human thoughts, behavior and action. Characters can therefore be studied through their relationship to the environment and not just through their relationships with one another. The rationale for this objective and detached approach is that, according to naturalists and as Zola says, humans are in essence members of the animal kingdom and therefore beasts. The foundation is that Claude Bernard's medical model claims that human qualities like virtue and vice are chemical process products and therefore should be studied as such, nothing more. Naturalists, such as Steven Crane, write about how human lives are governed by instinct and passion as well as by heredity and environment.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team