Who transcends Naturalism in American fiction in twentieth century?The early decades of the twentieth century have witnessed the emergence of a few novelists  who wrote in the Naturalist tradition...

Who transcends Naturalism in American fiction in twentieth century?

The early decades of the twentieth century have witnessed the emergence of a few novelists  who wrote in the Naturalist tradition of Zola. But some of them transcended naturalism and celebrated the American dream. Name some of these novelists.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is little argument that many American writers can represent naturalism. The original topic was to suggest American writers who could represent naturalism, as well as an examination of the American Dream. Certainly, as post number 3, suggests other writers might embody the ideas in Zola's naturalism more than others.  My desire to suggest Crane was not a statement as the ultimate writer of naturalist ideas, but rather as an American artist who spoke of naturalism in his works and also explored the notion of the American dream, revealing its most pure essence within the individuals with in it.

scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Willa Cather, an Modern American author, demonstrates that while the road to achieving the American Dream might be a difficult one, the dream is achievable, and that not all humans are under fate's control.  O Pioneers fits well into this category.  Not all of her works follow this trend, but some do.

It is undeniable, however,--as Post #5 states--that Modern American Literature often takes the pessimism and determism of Naturalism even further into Existentialism which certainly does not present a positive view of the American Dream. 

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a challenging question. It's easy to think of numerous authors whose works suggests themes of naturalism and/or determinism, but it is difficult to think of characters whose lives are not ultimately controlled or directed by forces of nature and/or society. Who in modern American lit manages to take control of his or her own destiny in the pursuit of a dream--and succeed?

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Willa Cather, of course! My Antonia would be another good example of her work that surpasses naturalism. I haven't read it for a long time, but as I recall, Antonia triumphed over difficult circumstances to achieve a happy and fulfilling life. Another novel that now comes to mind is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It seems to me Stephen Crane might be an example of the American naturalist ideas.  Attempting to articulate a condition of humanity when stripped away from social elements, in the hopes of finding "the real essence" of human beings was prevalent in his work.

drrb | Student

It seems to me Stephen Crane might be an example of the American naturalist ideas.  Attempting to articulate a condition of humanity when stripped away from social elements, in the hopes of finding "the real essence" of human beings was prevalent in his work.

It was Theodore Dreiser who in reality goes beyond naturalism of Crane. Dreiser as Pizer analysed cannot be called a naturalist because in his novels humans are shown engaged in dreams unlimited. After all material success, Dreiser's Sister Carrie did not get happiness. She got fascinated by Ames.

The novel returns to Carrie at the end and shows that she is not satisfied with her life. Instead, she continues to sit in her rocking-chair and stare out the window dreaming of better things.

submitted by :Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee , Kolkata ,India