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  • Naturalism And Realism Emile Zola

  • Biography Born in Paris, 1840

    Only child of Italian immigrant and French mother

    Father died when Zola at 9, leaving him in extreme poverty

    Learning about poverty, often appearing in many subsequent novels

  • Biography(Cont.)1862 to 1877, struggling along, publishing about a novel a yearWith L'Assommoir, becoming famous, gaining profit

  • Biography(Cont.)Rougon-Macquart series, his great contribution to French literature

    Twenty volumes depicting various aspects of life and society under second empire in France

    Nana, the most successful

    Reading from one to another, struck by tremendous imagination

  • Biography(Cont.)Later life, becoming a champion of many causes

    Intervention in Dreyfus affair

    Famous article "J'accuse"(I Accuse) A bible for left-wing radicals

  • Biography(Cont.)Famous for views about naturalismNovelists utilize scientific method in creating characters for fictionTheoretical criticism influenced course of modern literatureMaking his presence felt in almost every area of literary worldCalled father of naturalism

  • Introduction To RealismBy 1840 Romanticism worn outVariety of factors: political, economic, social, scientific, incidentalDeath of main RomanticsRejection of metaphysical / transcendentalNew set of ethical, political, social challenges

  • Introduction To Realism(Cont.)Reflection, mirror, reproductionEmphasis on daily lifeObjectivityVisible, observableMiddle class

  • The Medieval OutlookWorld and our lives Teleological (They have a purpose, an aim)Absolutist world in religious and political thoughtEarths design and purpose centers on Gods plan for our Earthly existenceEarth, center and centerpiece of Gods creations

  • Challenges to the Old World ViewCopernican Model of UniverseEarth no longer center of Gods universeNew timetables for Earths age

  • Challenges to the Old World View(Cont.)Shift from Religious tradition and authority to Scientific MethodRise of inductive methods of scholarshipMechanistic view of NatureExpansion of Secular LearningRise of Humanism and democratic reform

  • The Rise of NaturalismDescartes: Universe purely mechanical and materialistic

  • The Rise of Naturalism(Cont.)Newton: Detailed formulas for physical determinism with study of inertia and gravity

  • The Rise of Naturalism(Cont.)Hegel: Theory of historical determinismwe all play scripted parts in progress of world

  • The Rise of Naturalism(Cont.)Charles Darwin: Theory of biological determinism

  • The Rise of Naturalism(Cont.)Karl Marx: Idea of economic determinismArguing social class and economic conditions in which humans found themselves largely responsible for what they are

  • The Rise of Naturalism(Cont.)Freud: Psychological determinismPrenatal and early childhood experiences determine much of life

  • The Rise of Naturalism(Cont.)B. F. Skinner similar theory of psychological determinismHuman shaped by stimulus-response conditioning same Pavlovs dogs Much of modern psychology based on such theories.

  • Characteristics Of NaturalismHumanity trapped by forces out of controlRestricted life to ugly and unpleasantReduced to level of animalCaught in hostile universePessimistic determinism

  • Characteristics Of Naturalism(Cont.)ObjectiveDetached method of narration Darwinist--survival of the fittestLanguage--formal; piling on of images ("wretched excess")Deterministic natural and socioeconomic forces stronger than manHuman unable to stand against enormous weight of circumstances

  • Characteristics Of Naturalism(Cont.)Characters--lower socioeconomic classAttention to setting, point of saturationHeredity determines characterViolence--force against forceStatic charactersAnimal imageryTaboo topics

  • Characteristics Of Naturalism(Cont.)Naturalists observe, then write. About the black, darker side of life."Pessimistic materialistic determinism" Characters conditioned or controlled by environment, heredity, instinct or chance but they have compensating humanistic value affirms the significance of individualCharacters not have free will (determinism)

  • Zola And NaturalismSystematic, objective, and scientific extension of Realism

    Duty of the novelist: Presenting as accurate a picture of life as possible

    Functioning as scientifically and as objectively as possible

    Representatives of working class

  • Zola And Naturalism(Cont.)Purpose: presenting understanding contemporary social milieu

    A "corner of reality seen through a temperament

    Character shown as product of his environment and heredity

    People's actions, like those of a beast

  • Zola And Naturalism(Cont.)Themes:Conflict 'man against nature' or 'man against himself

    Characters struggling to retain a 'veneer of civilization' despite external pressures that threaten to release 'brute within'

    Nature, indifferent to man

    Universe, deterministic

  • The Experimental Novel Importance of hereditary and environmental determinismApplication of scientific method to literatureMan seen as another animalNovel as laboratoryGodless universe

  • The Experimental Novel(Cont.)History, social and economic conditions shaping protagonists

    Collective protagonists

    Including all aspects of human experience

  • The Experimental Novel(Cont.)Not focusing on beautiful

    Sex, brutality, violence, crude language

    Image of reality emphasizing social injustices and defects

    Readers saw in it a means of rebellion against dominant classes