The Naturalistic Causal Setting
Within naturalistic causal settings, changes occur in the fictional universe due to the laws of nature, social forces, and the actions and reactions of individuals. Naturalistic narratives, then, are primarily driven by the characteristics, behaviors, and choices of its characters.
An example of naturalistic causality is evident in Sarah Fielding's The Governess. Here, Fielding creates a fictional universe in which characters are able to effect their own good ends through the exercise of virtue. Early in the novel, for instance, Miss Jenny Peace, an elder pupil in Mrs. Teachum's "little female academy," dissuades the younger Miss Sukey from her hatred for her classmates not with moral claims, but with those of utility: "Nothing
will show your sense so much, as to own that you have been in the wrong. . . .
Then you will have the pleasure of having caused the quiet of the whole school;
your governess will love you; and you will be at peace in your mind” (56). The validity of this causal claim is soon confirmed in the narrative, as Miss Sukey is, indeed, rendered happy by her change in attitude. Thus, Fielding has here created a causal setting in which natural human forces produce change.