Teaching Naturalism in literature exposes a new generation to some of the world's greatest authors.
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Introducing the Topic
After hearing the same 13 excuses for nearly an entire year, I decided to introduce Naturalism as follows:
Ask if any student at any point in the semester didn't do a homework assignment. Ninety-eight percent will raise their hand.
Assign each student to write a one-page note excusing their missing assignment. The excuse must clearly show that the missing homework assignment was not their fault and that circumstances beyond their control caused the assignment not to be turned in.
Collect the excuses and tell the class they have experienced Naturalism in Literature.
Tell the class that each student who completed the assignment will have their zero replaced by an 'A'.
On the way to your desk, trip and "accidentally" throw the papers in a trash can.
Explain that due to circumstances beyond your control the zeroes will remain.
Tell the class they have once again experienced Naturalism in Literature.
Naturalism is a literary movement in the late 19th and early 20th century, characterized by the application of scientific determinism to literature. The assumption with naturalism is that everything that is real exists in nature. Realism and Naturalism are often linked due to its emphasis on realistic people in realistic settings, featuring ordinary people struggling against unseen forces over which they have no control. Realism and Naturalism differ insomuch that Realism focuses on literary technique whereas Naturalism focuses on a specific philosophy. Naturalist writers include: