American Naturalism in Short Fiction Criticism: Overviews And General Studies - Essay

June Howard (essay date 1985)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Howard, June. “Preface and Casting Out the Outcast: Naturalism and the Brute.” In Documents of American Realism and Naturalism, edited by Donald Pizer, pp. 386-403. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1985.

[In the following essay, Howard discusses the defining characteristics of American literary naturalism, describing it as a literary form “that unremittingly attends to the large social questions of its period.”]


The present study is a detailed reading of a single literary genre, American literary naturalism, as a distinctive response to its historical moment. As I make that statement its implications...

(The entire section is 9843 words.)

Stanley Wertheim (essay date fall 1991)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Wertheim, Stanley. “Frank Norris and Stephen Crane: Conviction and Uncertainty.” American Literary Realism 1870-1910 24, no. 1 (fall 1991): 54-62.

[In the following essay, Wertheim contrasts the naturalism of Stephen Crane and Frank Norris.]

Frank Norris and Stephen Crane met in mid-May, 1898. Norris, a fledgling correspondent for McClure's Magazine, Crane, and his bureau chief Sylvester Scovel set forth aboard the New York World's dispatch tug Three Friends to garner what news they could of the stalled war from the American battleships blockading the coast of Cuba. They anxiously awaited the arrival of the missing Spanish Atlantic...

(The entire section is 3846 words.)

Louis J. Budd (essay date 1995)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Budd, Louis J. “The American Background.” In The Cambridge Companion to American Realism and Naturalism: Howells to London, edited by Donald Pizer, pp. 21-46. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

[In the following essay, Budd traces the origins and development of American literary naturalism.]


Although realism and naturalism could have sprung up independently in the United States, the historical fact is that they flourished earlier in the European countries all the way eastward to Russia and that American writers were especially stimulated by British and French models. On the other hand, though a still...

(The entire section is 10728 words.)