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Émile Zola is known as the father of naturalism. He advocated that literature needed to be as accurate as it could to be able to provide a record of modern history. Zola believed that literature could only be real if it examined life in a verifiable way. Zola’s naturalism was a method for writing novels. Naturalism is the belief that everything can be explained by natural causes which means that there are no supernatural causes. It was influenced by Darwinism which is the theory that all organisms develop through natural selection. Naturalism gave people different ways of believing how things happened. It was the belief that instinct and environment affects human behavior. Naturalism was the extension of Realism which was the belief that abstract things have a real and independent existence. Naturalist believed that people are governed by their instincts, passions, heredity, and environment. They believed that reality is brought on by nature and they focused on common people and ordinary life. Naturalistic writers used a version of the scientific method to create their novels which were usually about lower-class people. They wrote about people whose lives were governed by heredity. Writers usually would write stories based on the thought that the environment determines and governs a humans character. Usually naturalistic writers had certain themes that they stuck to when writing which included: man against nature, man against himself, forces of heredity and environments as they affect individual lives. Some naturalistic writers include Stephen Crane, Ambrose Bierce, Jack London, and Edith Wharton. Naturalist also created naturalism art. In art, naturalism refers to the illustration of realistic objects in their natural setting. Naturalism art is very precise to details and portrays things as they are in their natural environment. William Bliss Baker painted landscape paintings that are some of the greatest paintings from the naturalist movement. Some other naturalist painters are Gustave Courbet, Ilya Repin, Edward Hopper, Thomas Eakins and Gustave Caillebotte. In conclusion Naturalism was a big part of the Gilded Age because it created the idea that all things could be explained through natural causes in the environment. It brought new ideas to America and it had some flaws, which was a major part of the Gilded Age. Naturalism is gilded because it appeared to give new ways to prove how things happened in the world. It gave people a new way to explain how everything that happens can be explained by natural causes but there were also parts of the world that could not be completely explained by naturalistic theories.”Naturalism – The Gilded Age.” Google Sites, sites.google.com/site/thegildedageahmc/Home/social-darwinism/individualism/the-gospel-of-wealth/naturalism.Campbell, Donna M. “Naturalism in American Literature.” Naturalism in American Literature, public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/natural.htm.

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