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In conclusion, Frank Norris wrote McTeague to illustrate the theory of Social Darwinism in a naturalistic work. The author’s description of McTeague, particularly the degradation of his Irish ancestry, symbolizes a naturalistic foundation for the novel. Similarly, Zerkow’s miserly tendencies reveal his biological inferiority as an individual of Jewish ethnicity. McTeague did receive criticism, especially for its illicit content and chauvinistic propositions. Lastly, the rise of the genre of Naturalism immensely attributed to the novel’s construction as a whole. Despite the novel’s universal popularity, one should not interpret Frank Norris’ McTeague through a literal lens.

In McTeague, Norris sought to describe the influence of heredity and environment on human life

This is not Henry James, Edith Wharton or Harriet Stowe. It is a gritty tale set in 1890's San Francisco with an ending that will leave you in nothing less than shock. Before Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck, there was Frank Norris and McTeague.


This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923

Frank Norris McTeague