Lukács and the Limitations of Zolaesque Naturalism: A Critical Approach to Dreiser's Sister Carrie

Hossein Fathi Pishosta


This study addresses Georg Lukács’ critique of Zolaesque naturalism; for this purpose it draws on Theodore Dreiser's novel Sister Carrie as a case study. As a champion of realist novel, Lukacs emphasizes the totality of human experience and those dimensions of reality that are permanent and are objectively depicted in the works of art. From this perspective, he presents his critique of Zola's scientific method which, according to him, distorts reality, always seeks the average and is blind to the completeness of human experience. In this study, it is argued that a reading of Dreiser's Sister Carrie in the light of Zola's ideology testifies to the fact that although the philosophical roots of naturalism in America have been associated mainly with Zola's ideology but in some cases like Dreiser's Sister Carrie Zola's tenets prove to be inadequate or inept.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2016.v7n2s1p225

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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