Naturalistic views of Jack London and Stephen Crane
Although authors discuss themes relating to life itself within the passages of their works, Jack London and Stephen Crane portray many characteristics of humanity relating to our place in the world of nature. As a result they write their novels in a naturalistic view, discussing the themes which relate to the many challenges the human being must contend with.
Naturalism in literature sometimes depicts the relationship between individuals and nature, focusing on the significance of characters in their environment. One such naturalistic theme explored in Stephen Crane's, The Open Boat is nature's indifference to humanities fate, a key point for which Stephen Crane attempts to portray in his works. Throughout the short story the four characters (the Captain, the Oilier, the Cook and the Correspondent) did not have full control of their lives, not knowing the result of their fate. In a sense Crane is depicting that nature is the player or force who holds all the cards or relating to, The Open Boat the lives of the four characters or man in general.
"The little boat, lifted by each towering sea, and splashed viciously by the crests, made progress that in the absence of sea-weed was not apparent to those in her. She seemed just a wee thing wallowing, miraculously, top-up, at the mercy of five oceans. Occasionally, a great spread of water, like white flames, swarmed into her."
As seen in this quote from the short story, Stephen Crane portrays or explains to the audience that man himself can not dictate the result of his/her life, that man can not control nature, rather nature controls man. At every step of the way nature is holding the their lives in its hands, playing with it and molding it as if it had a particular design for their lives or any individual. A design in the sense that nature chooses the particular path for which we must go upon, and we as individuals must be able to adapt and try to survive, making the statement of, "Survival of the fittest" by Charles Darwin, come to life. The imagery of man has always been seen as superior to the rest of the animal kingdom and nature itself, but as seen in naturalistic views we find that this is not the case.
In Jack London's, The Law of Life, the author also correlates his works to the meaning of life and nature. He supports Crane's concepts to a certain extent in respect to the their common theme Man vs. Nature. London discusses that only the young and the strong will survive; and that the old and the weak will perish, the design for which nature has formulated for billions of years. The image of the moose being separated from the herd is a...