This lesson will ask that you apply the philosophy of Naturalism to the modern world.
You will first need to be familiar with Naturalism as a literary form, and then you can
decide how much your philosophy aligns with that of the Naturalists.
Naturalism was popular during the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s and grew out of
Realism. Unlike the earlier Romanticism, which incorporated highly symbolic, even
supernatural elements, Naturalism used detailed realism to create a believable reality.
Because of this, Naturalist writers frequently portrayed nature as a brutal force beyond
our control. An example of this type of writing is Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat,”
written in 1897
Since Stephen Crane’s day, man has sought to control nature in many ways, such as
building levees and dams to control rivers and flooding, irrigation systems, hurricane
and tornado-proof homes and shelters, air conditioning, heating, insecticides,
antibiotics, unsinkable ships, and more.
Write a response to the following prompt:
In our modern world, man has sought to control nature. How have we
succeeded? How have we failed? Do you agree or disagree with the
philosophy of the Naturalists – that nature is brutal and beyond our
Questions to Consider:
What are some of the ways humanity has worked to control nature?
How has the progression of mankind changed since Crane wrote “The Open
Boat” in 1897?
If he were with us now, what might Stephen Crane’s perspective be on nature
and the world in which we live?
Since Stephen Crane’s day, man has sought to control nature in many ways, such as building levees and dams to control rivers and flooding, irrigation systems
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