4. The Nature of Naturalism

Definitions and Backgrounds

  1. G. R. Thompson

Published Online: 14 OCT 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444344271.ch4

Reading the American Novel 1865-1914

Reading the American Novel 1865-1914

How to Cite

Thompson, G. R. (2011) The Nature of Naturalism, in Reading the American Novel 1865-1914, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444344271.ch4

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 OCT 2011
  2. Published Print: 16 SEP 2011

Book Series:

  1. Reading the Novel

Book Series Editors:

  1. Daniel R. Schwarz

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780631234067

Online ISBN: 9781444344271



  • nature of naturalism, and definitions;
  • naturalism, proximating to literary realism;
  • merging “objective” method and philosophical models;
  • determinism, event, act and decision, consequence of antecedents;
  • hard and soft determinism;
  • Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis;
  • Freud, and submerged feelings, neurosis and psychosis;
  • Superman and mass man, Nietzsche and Marx;
  • naturalism and the French Connection;
  • naturalism and the romance-novel


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Hard and Soft Determinism

  • Principal Conceptual Frames

  • The “Grandsons of Balzac”: Naturalism and the French Connection

  • Melodramas of the Beast: Naturalist Primitivism and Atavism

  • Naturalism and the Romance-Novel