What is naturalism in education

Naturalism 1880-1900

Literature of naturalism

As in most other epochs, all kinds of genres are represented in naturalism: lyric, epic and drama. However, their proportions of literary creations differ in different time periods. Between 1880 and 1885, alongside theories and proclamations, it was above all poetry that dominated, from 1885 to 1890 mainly prose and, since the 1990s, dramas and novels.

1. Term
Naturalism in general denotes a style in which reality is depicted exactly, without any embellishments or subjective views. Naturalism is also considered a radicalization of realism.

2. Development of naturalism
The current of naturalism can be divided into three main sections: early naturalism (1880-1889), high naturalism (1889-1895) and the disintegration of naturalism (1895-?). It should be noted, however, that the periods overflow into one another and the flow as a whole finally dissolves completely.

Two centers emerged in Germany: Munich and Berlin. Two years marked a decisive turning point in the development of naturalism: 1885 and 1889. The Munich newspaper Die Gesellschaft was founded in 1885, and Arno Holz published his collection of poems, Buch der Zeit.Lieder eines Modernern. In 1889 the "Free Stage" was founded in Berlin, and Hauptmanns Before Sunrise had its premiere.

In the centers of Berlin and Munich certain groups of naturalistic writers emerged. In Berlin there was a gathering of the Hart, Bölsche, Holz and Schlaf brothers around the magazine "Kritische Waffengang". In Munich in 1885 a group was formed around the magazine Die Gesellschaft von Conrads, to which Hermann Conradi also belonged. There were strong contrasts between the two groups. In 1886 the association "Durch!" Was founded in Berlin.

Auguste Comte and Hyppolite Taine also played a decisive role in the development of naturalism. Comte came up with a "positive" method of analysis rather than relying on speculation through observation and experimentation. Taine saw the unity of race, milieu and moment as the basis for positivist experiments. He formulated these aspects in his milieu theory.

Arno Holz found in his work Die Kunst in 1891. Their essence and their laws. a law in all events. The mathematical formula "Art = Nature - x" comes from him. The "x", the difference between nature and art, has to be as small as possible so that literature depicts reality as precisely as possible.

3. Poetry of Naturalism
The main problems that naturalistic poetry has dealt with are the "social question" and the big city. Although urban poetry appeared in Paris as early as the middle of the 19th century, the subject was first grasped lyrically by the naturalists. The problems of the urban way of life are expressed in a sensory overload that extends far into Expressionism. The big city is mostly perceived as a place of misery and filth, a place where all aspects of nature have been lost. This is shown e.g. B. in the big city morning (1886) by Arno Holz. The social poetry usually appeared together with the city poetry. Their content was mostly characterized by sharp social criticism.

Arno Holz, with his Book of Time (1886), is one of the most important naturalist poets. Important features of his poetry are central axis centering, renunciation of rhyme and metrics, which decisively influence the rhythm of a literary work.

4. Naturalistic prose
Epic small forms such as sketch, study, novella, short story, etc. were used primarily by the naturalists. The theme of the prose forms was, among other things, discussions about the relationship between poet and proletariat, big cities and industrialization.

A completely new narrative technique first used by the naturalists is the seconds style. With the help of this technique, space and time were depicted second by second, with the aim of reflecting reality. The term seconds style was invented by Hanstein in 1900. The technique of the seconds style was used, for example, by railway attendant Thiel von Hauptmann, or Papa Hamlet from Holz / Schlaf. Another technique that is often found in naturalistic prose is the inner monologue, which often coincides with the design elements of the second style.

Means of creation of the seconds style:

  • photographic and phonographic exact reproduction of reality
  • hardly any authorial narrative style, mainly personal narrative style and dialogues
  • Exact representation of the dialogues with all words, word fragments, pauses, dialect, etc.
  • Approximately time-covering narration (narration time = narrated time) up to the slow-motion effect (narration time longer than narrated time).

5. Naturalistic drama

In the 1890s, drama became the most important means of literary creation. The techniques already used in naturalistic prose, such as dialect, jargon, milieu descriptions and seconds style, were also expressed in the drama.

The drama in naturalism was criticized from many quarters at the time. Hauptmanns Before Sunrise, for example, was seen as a mixture of epic and drama. The plot in the naturalistic drama was reduced, the focus was on the representation of the characters.

In the drama of naturalism, the unity of place, action and time of the individual acts is maintained. It should realize the authenticity of the portrayed. Most plays have an open beginning and an open end.

The decline of the dramatic, the reduction of the plot, the concentration on certain objects was the starting point for the development of the epic theater for Brecht. The epic was necessary to represent the social.