Naturalism in Miss Julie and Six Characters In Search of an Author
In not more than 300 words, make an analytical description of naturalism and one kind of anti-naturalism. In not more than 1200 words, demonstrate what each description might contribute to an understanding of one scene from 'Miss Julie', (pages 78 to 88) and one scene from 'Six Characters in Search of an Author,' (pages 39 to 48.)
The term 'naturalism' takes in two concepts: that of a philosophical theory, and an artistic, or more specifically, theatrical movement. The philosophy behind naturalism is a product of post-Darwinism, and proposed that man belongs to the natural order, with no higher spiritual or religious aspirations. His character and fate is simply defined by heredity and environment. As Abrams puts it:
"Man inherits his personal traits and his compulsive instincts, especially hunger and sex, and he is subject to the social and economic forces in the family, the class, and the milieu into which he was born." (Abrams, 1993, p.175)
Naturalism as a theatrical movement was an attempt to create, as Ibsen proposed, a 'perfect illusion of reality.' The theatre was to be made less artificial and more realistic - snubbing the stage conventions of the outmoded romantic tradition.
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