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That Zolas is not purely romantic as was Hugos lies chiefly in the choice of milieu These great terrible dramas no longer happen among the personnel of a feudal and Renaissance nobility those who are in the forefront of the marching world but among the lower almost the lowest classes those who are falling by the roadway This is not romanticism this drama of the people working itself out in blood and ordure It is not realism It is a school by itself unique somber powerful beyond words It is naturalism Frank Norris Zola as a Romantic Writer Human progression and the coming of the industrial age brought forth great social and economic change in the United States A series of factors including rapid industrialization extensive European immigration and swift urbanization gave birth to a new social class in America the proletariat There emerged a noticeable class distinction between the affluent bourgeois capitalists and the impoverished working masses In a new world of poverty suffering and degradation the Romantic ideal seemed intangible and implausible Consequently a new philosophical and literary movement arose which sought to portray the reality of late nineteenth century capitalist America Naturalism Naturalist philosophy adopts the clinical method of empirical sciences to every aspect of human life As Canadian scholar Greig Henderson put it Zola and other naturalists argues for a literature of observation rather than one of fabrication In other words to the Naturalists the Romantic Movement was nothing but a series of fabrications manufactured by nave idealistic thinkers However other Naturalists such as Frank Norris believed Romanticism dealt with the atypical or that which was concerned with the variations from the type of normal life Conversely the Naturalist concerned himself with the normal aspects of life Norris called them the smaller details of everyday life things that are likely to happen between lunch and supper The Naturalist movement was a progression of the Realist movement
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