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Word Count: 392
Naturalism Related in Literature Naturalism in literature is the attempt to apply scientific theory and methods to imaginative writing Naturalists concentrate on the physical world to the exclusion of the supernatural Also naturalists believe that everything a person does is determined by his or her heredity or environment or both They try to show that people are trapped by one or both of these great forces over which they have no control An excerpt that shows an example of Naturalism is from the book To Light a Fire by Jack London The excerpt states A man has three matches left to light a fire that will provide warmth against a snowstorm The first is too wet the second breaks off the third is blown out by the wind There is no heroic action taking place within the statement Rather than struggling against forces greater than him the leading man is simply a pawn who is eventually abolished by an agent he neither agrees or disagrees with The man in this story had no control over whether or not the matches would work Science and his environment both played a role in whether the matches would light or not Science says that you need two factors in order to light a fire and keep it burning - oxygen and a dry surface In this mans case the first match is too wet the second is too brittle and breaks and the third is blown out by factors beyond his control The environment also plays a very large part in this excerpt The weather around the man was a snowstorm This makes the reader initially think of cold wind and wetness Therefore it makes sense that the first match would be too wet to light The second match breaks off This could lead the reader to think that it had possibly frozen and that is why it broke The third match was blown out
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