Wednesday, 6 May 2015



Naturalism, a literary and cultural movement, grew out of realism in 19th century. It gives a more accurate depiction of life than realism. It is a mode of writing fiction that was deeply influenced by the Darwinian theory of evolution and focused on the gloomy aspects of life and the animal aspects hidden behind rational side of man.

Philosophical Influences on Naturalism: Darwin’s theory of evolution that destroys the possibility of connection of man with the higher spiritual order and considers man as an animal of higher-order whose character and behaviour are determined by heredity and environment. Thus it rejects the concept of the divine origin of man and shows man as helpless victim of his instincts and environment. Thus it postulates the central notion of Naturalism.

Proponents of Naturalism and their works:
  • Emile Zola- Nana, Germinal (France)
  • Thomas Hardy- Jude the Obscure (England)
  • Edith Wharton- The House of Mirth (America)
  • Ellen Glasgow- Barren Ground (America)

Difference between Realism and Naturalism:

                Though Naturalism grows out of realism, it gives a more accurate picture of life than Realism does. While Realism gives a general picture of life, Naturalism focuses on the darker aspects of life and presents ma as nothing but an animal of higher-order whose behaviour and character are determined by heredity and environment. Lastly, Naturalism was greatly influenced by Darwin’s theory of evolution. But in case of realism, there was no such philosophic influence.

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