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"Man is the cruelest animal"

"Is man only a blunder of god or god only a blunder of man"

-Friedrich Neitzsche




Characters frequently are ill-educated or lower-class whose lives are governed by the forces of heredity, instinct and passion. The main challenge often is their attempts at exercising free will or choice that are beyond their control. Social Darwinism and other social theories explain their fates and situations in life to the reader. The main setting for naturalistic novels tend to be urban, and seem to depict an endless cycle of despair.

      1. Survival, determination, violence and taboo are often displayed in a naturalistic novel
      2. The "brute within", "man against nature" or "man against himself" are all conflicts that surface in a naturalistic novel. Usually the character must fight off external temptations or pleasures that might release the "brute within".
      3. Nature often acts as an indifferent force that governs the lives of human beings.
      4. Forces of heredity and environment
      5. Naturalistic novels display the futile attempts of individuals to exercise their free will.
      1. Emile Zola
      2. Stephen Crane
      3. Theodore Dreiser
      4. James T. Farrell
      5. Henrik Ibsen
      6. Frank Norris
      7. Sherwood Anderson



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