专八考试辅导:

Chapter 4 American Naturalism



I.Backgroundwww.for68.com

1.Darwin's theory: "natural selection"

2.Spenser's idea: "social Darwinism"

3.French Naturalism: Zora


II.Features

1.environment and heredity

2.scientific accuracy and a lot of details

3.general tone: hopelessness, despair, gloom, ugly side of the society


III.significance

It prepares the way for the writing of 1920s’

“lost generation” and T. S. Eliot.


IV.Theodore Dreiser

1.life

2.works

(1)Sister Carrie

(2)The trilogy: Financier, The Titan, The Stoic

(3)Jennie Gerhardt

(4)American Tragedy

(5)The Genius


3.point of view

(1)He embraced social Darwinism – survival of the fittest. He learned to regard man as merely an animal driven by greed and lust in a struggle for existence in which only the "fittest", the most ruthless, survive.

(2)Life is predatory, a "game" of the lecherous and heartless, a jungle struggle in which man, being "a waif and an interloper in Nature", a "wisp in the wind of social forces", is a mere pawn in the general scheme of things, with no power whatever to assert his will.

(3)No one is ethically free; everything is determined by a complex of internal chemisms and by the forces of social pressure.


4.Sister Carrie

(1)Plot

(2)Analysis


5.Style

(1)Without good structure

(2)Deficient characterization

(3)Lack in imagination

(4)Journalistic method

(5)Techniques in painting