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Chapter 10 American Naturalism Crane Norris Dreiser Robinson. I. Naturalism II. Stephen Crane III. Theodore Dreiser IV. Other Authors of the Period. I. Naturalism. 1. Background

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chapter 10 american naturalism crane norris dreiser robinson

Chapter 10 American Naturalism Crane Norris Dreiser Robinson

I. Naturalism

II. Stephen Crane

III. Theodore Dreiser

IV. Other Authors of the Period

i naturalism
I. Naturalism

1. Background

  • Industrialism: Industrialism produced financial giants as well as an industrial proletariat. Slums appeared in great numbers and the city poor lived a life of insecurity, suffering, and violence. Self-reliance disappeared in the fast development of economy
  • Charles Darwin’s theory: the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest, and natural selection.
  • Herbert Spencer’s social Darwinism --- the weak and stupid would fall victim in the natural course of events to economic forces.
  • Emile Zola’s theory: The purpose of a novelist was to be a scientist, to place his characters in a situation and then to watch the influences of heredity and environment destroy them, or, if they were good enough, to watch them overcome the inimical force of heredity and environment.
slide3
2. Features
  • Humans are controlled by law of heredity and environment. And since they are controlled, they lack freedom of their own will.
  • The universe is cold, godless, indifferent and hostile to human desires. Life becomes a struggle for survival.
  • The naturalists dismiss the realists as far too “genteel”. They find real life at the violent, sensational, sordid, unpleasant, and ugly aspects of life. They write about the life of poverty and crime, and all of these other aspects of life that are not too pleasant to consider.
  • 3. Representatives: Stephen Crane, Norris and Theodore Dreiser
    • Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893) is the first naturalistic novel in America.
    • Norris’ McTeague is the “first full-bodied naturalistic American novel” and “a consciously naturalistic manifesto.”
    • Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie is the greatest naturalistic work.
ii stephen crane
II. Stephen Crane
  • novelist, poet
  • pioneer in the naturalistic tradition
  • precursors of Imagist poetry: Crane, Dickinson

1. life (1871-1900)

  • Crane was born in a clergyman’s family.
  • He attended a military preparatory school where he stayed for less than a year.
  • He moved into New York to earn his living as a journalist.
  • Crane wrote his first book, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893).
  • In 1895 the publication of The Red Badge of Courage and of his first book of poems, The Black Riders, brought him international fame.
  • He died of tuberculosis in Germany at the age of 28.
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2. Works
    • Maggie: A Girl of the Streets 1893 《街头女郎麦琪》
    • The Red Badge of Courage 1895 《红色英勇勋章》
    • The Black Riders 1895 《黑衣骑士》 诗集
    • The Open Boat 《海上扁舟》
iii theodore dreiser
III . Theodore Dreiser

1. life (1871-1945)

  • Dreiser was born in Indiana, in a German-speaking family.
  • His childhood was in extreme poverty.
  • After some months at Indiana University, he became a reporter on the Chicago Globe before arriving in New York in 1894.
  • His first novel, Sister Carrie, was rejected many times because of his relentless honesty in presenting the true nature of American life.
  • In his later life, he turned to Communism.
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2. Works
    • Sister Carrie 1900 《嘉莉妹妹》
    • Jennie Gerhardt 1911 《珍妮姑娘》
    • The Financier 1912 《金融家》
    • The Titan 1914 《巨人》
    • The Genius 1915 (autobiography)《天才》
    • An American Tragedy 1925 《美国悲剧》
    • Dreiser Looks at Russia 1928 《德莱赛看俄罗斯》
    • The Stoic (posthumously) 《斯多葛》
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3. Sister Carrie
  • 4. Evaluation
  • Dreiser has been a controversial figure in American literary history.
  • His works are powerful in their portrayal of the changing American life, but his style is considered crude.
  • It is in Dreiser’s works that American naturalism is said to have come of age.
iv other authors of the period
IV . Other Authors of the Period
  • 1.Edwin Arlington Robinson(1860 --- 1935)
  • a. Introduction
  • Robinson is the first important poet of the twentieth century
  • Poet of transition
  • Pulitzer Prize winner for three times
  • b. Works
  • The Man Against the Sky
  • The Three Taverns
  • Richard Cory
  • Miniver Cheevy
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2. Jack London (1876 – 1916)
  • The Call of the Wild
  • White Fang
  • The Sea Wolf
  • Martin Eden
  • 3. O. Henry(1862 --- 1910)
  • The Gift of the Magi
  • The Cop and the Athem2. Jack London (1876 – 1916)
  • The Call of the Wild
  • White Fang
  • The Sea Wolf
  • Martin Eden
  • 3. O. Henry(1862 --- 1910)
  • The Gift of the Magi
  • The Cop and the Athem