The term naturalism describes a type of literature that applies scientific forms of detachment to the study of human beings. (Random House Inc.) Literary Naturalism can be vividly seen through the many different characters in the Stephen Crane novel Maggie: A Girl of the Streets.
The term naturalism describes a form of literature that applies scientific studies to the lives and actions of human beings. Realism focuses mainly on literal forms of literature, as naturalism shows a reflective position to literary naturalism. Naturalistic writers believe human life can be studied and understood just like any other scientific experiment. Naturalistic writers study the passions of people as well as the way heredity and environment play a part in the lives of the characters in which they write. Although realists invented some techniques used by naturalists, the naturalistic writers have a way in mind of which part of real life they wish to convey in their writings. Donald Pizer’s Realism and Naturalism in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction gives a more Americanized definition that is seen in Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane. “The naturalistic novel usually contains two tensions of contradictions… The two constitute the theme and for of the naturalistic novel. The first tension is that between the subject matter of the naturalistic novel and the concept of man, which emerges from the subject matter. The naturalist populates his novel primarily from the lower middle class of the lower class… “(Pizer)
Naturalistic novels often try to describe the harsh attempts of human beings to partake in free will, ironically revealing free will as an illusion. (Random House Inc.) In Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, the characters are lower-class characters whose lives are controlled by the forces of heredity and environment. Maggie’s attempts at exercising her free will or choice are contained by forces beyond her control. The...