Naturalistic styles cannot be defined in an exclusive sense. They can be listed, perhaps, as documentary, satiric, impressionistic, and sensational; but these are not very accurate terms for describing styles, and they are certainly not exclusive.
The naturalistic novel is a development out of realism, and it is, again, in France that its first practitioners are to be found, with Émile Zola leading. It is difficult to separate the two categories, but naturalism seems characterized not only by a pessimistic determinism but also by a more thoroughgoing attention to the physical and biological aspects of human existence.
Naturalism was perhaps the late-c19th's most significant contribution to the repertoire of plots and descriptive techniques available for figuring (and figuring out) human experience. Although it took various forms, in fiction, drama, and the visual arts, and subsequently in film, its primary aim was to explore and exploit (physical, moral, and social) 'lowness'.
English writers of realistic and naturalistic novels attempted to understand the numerous aspects of individuals as well as individuals as well as individuals' relationships to society; then they attempted to present their understanding in fictional form. They depicted individuals adjusting or not adjusting to the developments and changes that rapidly shaped society.
Naturalistic writers believed that the laws of behind the forces that govern human lives might be studied and understood through the objective study of human beings. Naturalistic writers used a version of the scientific method to write their novels; they studied human beings governed by their instincts and passions as well as the ways in which the characters' lives were governed by forces of heredity and environment. This is a logical extension of Realism.
Naturalistic writers--including Zola, Frank Norris, Stephen Crane, and Theodore Dreiser--try to present their subjects with scientific objectivity. They often choose characters based on strong animal drives who are "victims both of glandular secretions within and of sociological pressures without" (Abrams 175). Typically, naturalist writers avoid explicit emotional commentary in favor of medical frankness about bodily functions and biological activities that would be almost unmentionable during earlier literary movements like transcendentalism, Romanticism, and mainstream Victorian literature. The end of the naturalistic novel is usually unpleasant or unhappy, perhaps even "tragic," though not in the cathartic sense Aristotle, Sophocles, or Elizabethan writers would have understood by the term tragedy.
The term naturalism describes a type of literature that attempts to apply scientific principles of objectivity and detachment to its study of human beings. Unlike realism, which focuses on literary technique, naturalism implies a philosophical position: for naturalistic writers, since human beings are, in Emile Zola's phrase, "human beasts," characters can be studied through their relationships to their surroundings.
Naturalism (1890 - 1915): The term Naturalism describes a type of literature that attempts to apply scientific principles of objectivity and detachment to its study of human beings. Unlike Realism which focuses on literary technique, naturalism implies a philosophical position: for naturalistic writers, since human beings are, in Emile Zola's phrase, "human beasts," characters can be studied through their relationships to their surroundings. The Naturalist believed in studying human beings as though they were "products" that are to be studied impartially, without moralizing about their natures.
Naturalism Defined: “A term used by (French novelist Emile Zola) to describe the application of the clinical method of empirical science to all of life. . . . If a writer wishes to depict life as it really is, he or she must be rigorously deterministic in the representation of the characters’ thoughts and actions in order to show forth the causal factors that have made the characters inevitably what they are. . . . Unlike realism, which also seeks to represent human life as it is actually lived, naturalism specifically connects itself to the philosophical doctrine of biological and social determinism, according to which human beings are devoid of free will” (Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown, Glossary of Literary Theory).
NATURALISM: A literary movement seeking to depict life as accurately as possible, without artificial distortions of emotion, idealism, and literary convention. The school of thought is a product of post-Darwinian biology in the nineteenth century. It asserts that human beings exist entirely in the order of nature. Human beings do not have souls or any mode of participating in a religious or spiritual world beyond the biological realm of nature, and any such attempts to engage in a religious or spiritual world are acts of self-delusion and wish-fulfillment. Humanity is thus a higher order animal whose character and behavior are, as M. H. Abrams summarizes, entirely determined by two kinds of forces, hereditary and environment. The individual's compulsive instincts toward sexuality, hunger, and accumulation of goods are inherited via genetic compulsion and the social and economic forces surrounding his or her upbringing.