A comprehensive study guide offering in-depth explanation, essay, and test prep for Frank Norris’s The Octopus, a novel based on the Mussel Slough Tragedy of 1880.
As a powerful work of fiction, The Octopus tells of the conflict between a railway company and ranchers in a fight for land rights. Moreover, Norris’s novel serves as a great example of romanticism, as he navigates the metaphor between an octopus and monopolization.
Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Norris Jr. (March 5, 1870 – October 25, 1902) was an American journalist and novelist during the Progressive Era, whose fiction was predominantly in the naturalist genre. His notable works include McTeague: A Story of San Francisco (1899), The Octopus: A Story of California (1901) and The Pit (1903).