American Lit 2 - Test 1
American Lit 2 - Test 1 EH 201
Jacksonville State University
Popular in American Literature I
Popular in Foreign Language
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American Lit 2 – Test 1 • Overview of Am Lit 1 o Colonial Period § Settling the Colonies, come to America to escape religious persecution § Themes: travel, religion, interaction with Indians, life in the colonies st § 1 publisstd poet = Anne Bradstreet § 1607 – 1 settlement in Jamestown § 1765 – American Revolution; colonists had no say in British Parliament • Stamp Act – anything w/ stamp is taxed – all paper must be stamped o Revolutionary & Early National Period § Write about Revolution § Thomas Paine – Common Sense – unite & separate from Britain § Thomas Jefferson – Declaration of Independence • Omitted – slavery clause & British citizens – so South Carolina would sign § Ben Franklin = 1 American • Poor Richard’s Almanac – tells people how to rise in social standing o Franklin’s bio inside o American ethos: work hard, make money § Writers start a new American style – fresh, truly American – Washington Irving o Romantic Period § Romantic love of nature – awe § Transcendentalists • Thoreau – Walden – about living in a cabin by a pond – “in a rut” happens anywhere § 1865 – end civil war st § Political writings – Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1 best seller, catalyst for war • Realism o Civil War fought over states’ rights – 2 ways of life battling each other § South – agriculture, kept old, British ways – slaves=serfs § North – Industrial, progress, child slavery in factories o Characteristics: § 1) The character is more important than the plot § 2) Humans control their destiny § 3) Reality if described in great detail § 4) Events are plausible (possible, could really happen) § 5) Social class is important – focus: middle class § 6) Diction – word choice, middle level/readable § 7) Writers play with structure – life isn’t concrete beginning, middle, end th • Emily Dickinson – 19 century poetic genius o Born in Massachusetts to a rich family o After 1 year of college, left school & progressively became more reclusive – spent entire life in father’s home o Thought eccentric b/c she always wore white o Only published a dozen poems in her lifetime – wrote hundreds – 366 in 1862 alone o May have been discouraged by editor of Atlantic Monthly – editors wouldn’t publish the way she wrote o Accumulated poems in bureau drawer o In 1955, all of her poems were published as she had written them o Brought up protestant – used religious symbols/spiritual themes = often blasphemous o Invented a free form of England’s most common poem – the hymn § Hymn – poem expressing religious emotion & generally intended to be sung • Originally referred to any song of any praise – there are secular hymns o Poetry characterized by the use of many dashes & slant rhyme (approximate rhyme) o Preferred thematic form is riddle – like “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” § Riddle – poem characterized by powerful description with imagery – subject inferred o 3 categories: § Metaphysical – poems that question life, death, spirituality, afterlife, heaven, God, etc. • “Dickinson in White” – more positive view of death & afterlife tinged w/ negative “Because I could not stop for death” (712) • “Dickinson in Black” – negative, terrifying view of death, speaker is dying & imagines funeral, questions existence of afterlife - “I felt a Funeral in my brain” (280) • “Dickinson in Black” – sensations of a dying person described, the planning of death alongside the unplanned – “I heard a Fly buzz – when I died” (465) § Nature Poems – lover & avid observer of nature, awe of nature • Contrast of nature’s cycle with human life “Nature – sometimes sears a Sapling” (314) • Celebration of Summer, describes it slipping to Fall “As imperceptibly as grief” (1540) • Fall changing to winter, symb olic of nearing death “Besides the Autumn poet sings” (131) • Isolation & starkness of winter & death “There’s a certain Slant of light” (258) • Awe & terror snake evokes, symbol of the unknown, biblical associations “Narrow Fellow” § Psychological Poems – analyzes the mind, emotions, etc., & often her own mental state • Dealing with death just after it happens, hope of afterlife – “The bustle in the house” (1078) • The psychological process of coping with death, the various stages of grief describ– “After great pain, a formal feeling comes” (465) st o 1 line of poems is title o Poem 236 “Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church” § Extended metaphor – compare church to not going to church § “And an Orchard for a dome -/ Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice/ I, just wear my wings / And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,/ Our little Sexton – sings./ God preaches, a noted clergyman -/ And the sermon is never long,/ So instead of getting to Heaven, at last - / I’m going all along.” • Orchard is the roof, instead of surplice (fake wings) she has the birds (sexton) • Clergyman = understatement, at last = when I die, natural church is heaven o Poem 1096 “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” – riddle § Assonance – repeat vowel sound – “A narrow fellow in the Grass: § Connotation – feeling/attitude about a word – “fellow”, “Nature’s People” § Inverted syntax – sentence structure –“ His notice instant is” § Onomatopoeia – words that create sound something makes –“His notice instant is” § Simile – comparison using like or as – “The Grass divides as with a comb” § Poet – female writer; speaker – male, narrates – “But when a Boy and Barefoot” o Poem 479 “Because I could not stop for Death” § Most positive death poem § Personification of death as a Gentleman Caller – “He kindly stopped for me” § “The carriage held but just ourselves -/ And Immortality” – chaperone, not supposed to be alone § Grave compared to nice house – “We paused before a House that seemed/ A swelling of the ground” § Speaker dead for centuries – proves afterlife – “Since then – ‘tis centuries – and yet” § “At recess – in the ring -/ We passed the fields of Gazing Grain -/ We passed the setting sun” • Beginning of life, adulthood, old age/death § My Tippet – only Tulle” – burial clothes o Poem 340 “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” § Ambiguous – could be positive of negative § Speaker – hears his/her own funeral – only sense she has is hearing § Funerals in 1800s – family prepares body to be viewed in dead person’s home on kitchen table § “And mourners to and fro/ Kept treading . . .” – viewing/ visitation § “And then I heard them lift a Box/ And creak across my Soul/ With those some Boots of Lead, again, Then space – began to toll” – coffin being hammered closed § “And then a Plank in Reason, broke,/ And I dropped down, and down -/ And hit a World, at every plunge,/ And finished knowing – then” – coffin going into ground, can’t hear anymore o Poem 591 “I heard a fly buzz – when I died” § Most negative poem § Speaker – has plan for death but you can’t plan everything § Fly is a symbol of death & decay § “Between the Heaves of Storm -/ The Eyes around – had wrung them dry -/ And Breaths were gathering firm/ For that last Onset – when the King/ Be witnessed – in the Room” • Flies buzz around gross/decaying things, mourners cried out, know the speaker is dying • King = God o Poem 269 “Wild Nights” § Sailing terminology to describe an affair - 50 shades of Emily Dickinson § Speaker – could be man or woman § “Wild nights – Wild nights!/ Were I with thee/ Wild nights should be/ Our luxury!” • Wild nights like a wild see § “Futile – the winds -/ To a Heart in port -/ Done with the Compass -/ Done with the Chart!” • Winds can’t stop a heart with the one it loves, navigation & reason aren’t needed § “Bowing in Eden -/ Ah – the Sea!/ Might I but moor – tonight –/ In thee!” • Moor – park/dock boat • Mark Twain – “Old Times on the Mississippi” – semi autobiographical o Born Samuel Langhorne Clemons – worked to support his family after his father died o Apprentice to a printer, worked on a steamboat, began writing, took pen name “Mark Twain” § Guy on the boat held a rope in the water & yelled out “Mark Twain” if water is clear b/c he was literally marking twain – where he got his pen name – means “two fathoms deep” o Had earliest success as a lecturer & storyteller (ex. “Notorious Frog”) o Mainly wrote about Mississippi River culture & the West – most famous for Adventures of Huck Finn o Wrote his autobiography before he died – in will, said to wait 100 years after his death to publish o Local Color Writing – sub category of Realism § Focus of specific region – Mississippi River § Dialect of characters – speak dialect of the specific region § Narrator is often an outsider – not from that area – learn things through narrator’s eyes § Humor, stereotypical stock characters (experienced pilot, newbie) § Not much of a plot – setting, dialect, & characters are more important § More of a travel magazine for people who can’t travel o “Old Times on the Mississippi” § 5 challenges to overcome: • You can’t only learn the river on a sunny day – weather, night, all times (p.18) • Nature constantly changes – constantly re-learn river (p.19) • Learn river both directions (p.21) • Shoals (ripples/waves on surface) – something in water (p.22) • Instinct of where your ship needs to be (p.26) § 3 Comparisons of navigating the river • Like reading a book that’s different ever y time (p.26) • Like walking down your hall at night (p.18) • Like a doctor sees a blush as a fever – once you learn to navigate, looses it’s mystery (p.28) • Ambrose Bierce – “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” o Born in Ohio to very religious parents – unhappy childhood, cut himself off from parents as adult o Volunteered in the Union army – experience led to some of his best fiction o After war, he moved to San Francisco & became a journalist o Friends with Twain & Harte o Disappeared in Mexico o Known for cynicism, def eatist attitude, & black or “gallows” humor § “The Devil’s Dictionary” – example of his humor § Pessimistic attitude gave him the nickname “Bitter Bierce” o Theme – Illusion (something not real – escape) vs. Reality (he’s hung) o Order of the Story – 2, 1, 3 – in media res o Section 1 § Reader is manipulated by learning the main character’s physical characteristics, family, name (p.399) § Hanged (people) vs. hung (stuff) § Setting = train bridge in Alabama § Peyton is on the end of plank balanced on the bridge – civilian southerner, hanged by North soldiers § Peyton’s senses are heightened by adrenaline • Hear a loud ticking – it’s just his watch § Reader left hanging o Section 2 § All about Peyton § He is caught up in the illusion of war & serving b/c he wants to be a hero – manly § Confederate soldier comes to his house – but he’s really a Federal Scout (union army) • Trick Peyton into trying to burn the bridge o Section 3 § Going through the stages of dying/being hanged § Illusion – the rope breaks (hands & neck get free), soldiers try to s hoot him but miss every time, & the current deposits him on shore • Roams through unfamiliar, yet very familiar woods & road – really being led to death • Hears whispers in unknown tongue – really soldiers above the water talking • Tired, thirsty, eyes won’t clo se – symptoms of hanging • Illusion breaks as he tries to hug his wife – his neck broke • Jack London – To Build a Fire o Born in San Francisco – given his Step Father’s name o Held many dangerous, low -paying jobs – joined a protest group for working for economic reform o Didn’t receive much schooling o Believed in Darwinian Theory – survival of the fittest in an evolutionary necessity o Much of his writing is based on his own experiences in the Klondike gold rush & at sea § Theme is often a strong or weak indiv idual struggling with nature o Savvy writer – studied the market & wrote adventure stories that would sell o Most popular novel: The Call of the Wild st o 1 American to become a millionaire solely on his writings o Naturalism – sub genre of Realism – very concerned w/ nature § Influenced by Charles Darwin “survival of the fittest” § Amoral Universe – without morals – stuff happens & not b/c you’re good or bad § Basic instincts for survival: food, water, shelter – politeness, not love – just survival o Protagonist is trying to make it back to camp – in the Klondike b/c of gold § Thinks he can handle traveling alone – he has no imagination (can’t see anything bad happening) • Worst that can happen = a little frostbite § Newcomer – doesn’t listen to the old timer § Spits tobacco – lands in his beard & freezes o Dog – companion – depressed by the cold o Instinct vs. Intellect (Dog vs. Man) o Foreshadowing – traps on the trail – running water under ice § Uses the dog to test the traps – dog has to lick ice of his legs o Tries to eat lunch – forgets to make a fire, his hands turn numb o Being able to build a fire – fine line between life & death o Dog does not want to leave the fire – knows it’s too cold o Turning point – man falls into water – build another fire, thinks he has saved himself § Old timer warned him not to travel alone § Builds fire under tree – snow melts & puts fire out • Now believes he needs a trail mate • Still no imagination – thinks he may just loose some toes § Looses feeling in his hands & tries to light all matches at once – hands start burning • Scatters twigs, makes fire go out • Considers killing the dog - realizes he can’t b/c of numbness o Tries to run away – realizes he’s going to die o Old timer was right o Dog survives & goes to find someone else to warm & feed him • Booker T. Washington – Up From Slavery o Born in Virginia – born a slave o Educated – Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute (in Virginia) § Teacher school, geared towards all things agriculture o Emerges as national figure in 1895 w/ The Atlanta Composition Exposition Address § Critics called in the “Atlanta Compromise” o In his writing: theory of peaceful coexistence, separate but equal, start at bottom not top, “cast down bucket” o Up From Slavery § 1 of the first to stand up for African Americans & had to be careful § Booker doesn’t know his birthday § Cabin – Ironically has cat hole but the cabin had lots of holes § Mother woke him to feed him chicken she stole § Wants to be in school – sees it as paradise § Slaves cannot read but they have a “group -vine” § 1 shoes he owned were made of wood § Brother offers to break in flax (coarse fiber) shirt for him § Slaves are not bitter – he repeats this a lot • Decrease racial tension, prepare for peaceful coexistence § Tries to put a positive spin on slavery – they could cook & plant – white people couldn’t § Hearing the Emancipation Proclamation • Think: where do they live, what do they do • To test freedom – they changed their names & left plantation § Old people wanted to learn to read the Bible § Moves clock ahead so he can get to school § Lacks a cap & wants one – mom makes his one out of jeans § Finds out he needs 2 names for school – gives himself the last name Washington • Step Father’s first name § The Atlanta Exposition Address • Tries to promote peaceful coexistence • “Cast down you bucket where you are” – metaphor for Blacks to remain in the South • Start at the bottom, not at the top – there is as much dignity in tilling as writing poetry • Starts talking to white people o It’s smart to hire Blacks b/c they know them – don’t trust carpet baggers o We’re all on the same hand, but separate like the fingers – separate but equal § Same hand progressing the South; finger – separate social groups • W.E.B Du Bois – The Souls of Black Folk o Born 1868 in Massachusetts – born free o Educated – Fisk, Howard, PhD at the University of Berlin o Emerged as a national figurthin 1903 w/ publishing of The Souls of Black Folk o In his writing: problem of 20century is problem of color line, “veil” metaphor, notion of “twoness”, challenging Washington, Talented Tenth o The Souls of Black Folk th § 20 century problem is the color line – gender line problem at the same time § How does it feel to be a problem? • At school – kids exchanged calling cards – new girls refuses his, realizes he’s different • Veil – people don’t see the real him – separated o Seeing through lens of being black in America – can’t be seen through veil o “Twoness” – feels separateness between two identities – black & American § Challenging Booker T. Washington • Calls him a “thing” • South loved, North admired, Negroes confused – Atlanta Exposition Add ress reactions • Washington asked for too little • Says Washington asked for 3 things but doesn’t present the way Washington intended § W.E.B asks 3 things of this nation: right to vote, civic equality, education of youth by ability § Talented Tenth – negroes able to start at the top – vs. Washington saying start at the bottom • Paul Laurence Dunbar - poet o 1 of the first professional African American literary figures – published 6 volumes of poetry o Father escaped on the Underground Railroad & served in the Union army o Mother – former slave, separated from Paul’s father, encouraged Paul in his education o Initially wanted to be a lawyer – decided instead to interpret his people through song & story o Loved English Romantic Poetry o Invited to read a poem at Western Associatio n of Writers o Went to Columbia Exposition & met Frederick Douglas who hired him as a clerk o Began selling his book Oak and Ivy o Best known work – Lyrics of the Lowly Life o Committed to rendering the voice of the black speaker, inspired by Shakespeare, ShellKeats, & Tennyson o Published in newspapers, magazines, & journals with majorly white readers o Married Alice Moore, lived in Le Droit Park, Washington D.C (black middle class was accepted) o Became a writer of fictional works – best novel = The Sport of the Gods o Pioneer in creating new black poetic diction o “We Wear the Mask” – pg. 1033 § “We wear the mask that grins & lies” § “Why should the world be overwise,/ In counting all our tears & sighs?” § Mask separates you from the world – similar to Du Bois’ “veil” § Written after Atlanta Exposition – he’s living the life after o “Sympathy” – pg. 1034 § “For he must fly back to his perch & cling/ When he rain would be on the bough a -swing;/ And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars/ And they pulse with a keener sting -/ I know why he beats his wing!” - fake perch, wants to be on a real tree § “But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,/ But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings -/ I know why the caged bird sings!” – prayer to be set free § Spring, “caged bird” wants to be free & be a part of things • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman – The New England Nun o Local Color Writing - Best known for her depiction of New England village life § Writing contains a distinct sense of place & local dialect § In New England Nun – dialogue/diction, stock characters, not much plot o Born in Randolph, Massachusetts o Raised in a very religious home, family struggled w/ poverty b/c business failure, parents die soon after o Freeman supports herself by selling poems & short stories to magazin es § Wrote about potential for “revolt” in her meek characters, psychic oppression, rebellion of women o Married at 49, her husband became an alcoholic o Won many honors women never had won before for her writing o A New England Nun § Louisa is a rebel in 1891 – didn’t get married, rebelled against all women needing a man § Daily routine/chores that give her pleasure: sewing, gardening, pets, tea w/ her china, cleaning st § Louisa & Joe’s 1 meeting of the story : awkward, strained, canary freaks out when Joe comes • Foreshadow – Joe blushes at the mention of Lily’s name § Simile to describe when Joe comes to Louisa’s house • Joe is a bear in a china shop; Louisa is the owner of the china shop § Why Joe and Louisa won’t break engagement: obligation, respect, Joe = jerk, Louisa = nooffers § When Joe returns home after 14 years • Joe – happy, until he realizes he has feelings for Lily • Louisa – not happily surprised § Caesar is always kept chained in Louisa’s back yard b/c he bit someone as a pup • Chained for 14 years like Louisa § Joe & Lily are in love – Joe is bound to Louisa; Lily is bound to respectful honor § Similes comparing Louisa to a Nun • Each day is perfect like pearl Rosary beads • She’s a free un-cloistered Nun • Charlotte Perkins Gilman – The Yellow Wallpaper o Advocacy of women’s rights, separate spheres, lecturer/writer of sociological themes, social issues § Separate spheres –relation between female households & male economies o Mother is directly related to Harriet Beecher Stowe § Gilman paradoxically upheld the supposedly enslaving institut ions of hearth, home, & marriage • Gilman experienced the paradox o Father left when she was a child – experienced early life of poverty & instability o Studied art & spent time as an art teacher, then married Charles Stetson (an artist) o Became depressed after b irth of only child – Dr. Mitchell prescribed the “rest cure” § “Rest Cure” – total bed rest & isolation from all physical & mental activities • Drove Gilman near insanity – escaped by fleeing to California o Turned experience into The Yellow Wallpaper to expos e women being reduced to helpless children o Married George Gilman – did not quiet her critic of male society o Committed suicide after to avoid the torments of inoperable cancer o Gothic Horror Story Elements: § Setting in a Castle – old, seemingly abandoned § Atmosphere of mystery & suspense – threatening feeling, fear enhanced by unknown, mystery § High & even overwrought emotion – narration is sentimental, characters overcome by sorrow, surprise, or terror § Women in distress – appeal to pathos & sympathy of read er, lonely/oppressed heroine § Women threatened by tyrannical male – 1 or more male characters have power over woman § Metonymy of gloom & horror – subtype of metaphor, like rain being used to express sorrow • Characters trapped in a room, footsteps approaching, eerie sounds § Vocabulary of gothic – mystery, fear/terror/sorrow, surprise, haste, anger, largeness o The Yellow Wallpaper § Feminist work & gothic horror § Hysteria – term used for women who require the “rest cure” – depression, shutting down • “hyster” = uterus; only for women § Unreliable narrator – narrator cannot be trusted; She’s crazy & not everything she says is true § Husband is a physician – she is on “rest cure” for hysterical tendencies § Says she is staying in a mansion – probably a place for psychiatric patients • “It was a nursery first & then playroom & gymnasium; for the windows are barred, & there are rings & things in the walls. \ It is stripped off – the paper – in great patches . . . about as far as I can reach . . . sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin . . . uncertain curves … suddenly commit suicide.” (793) - rings in walls (restraints), she’s pulling the paper off o Projection – when you see through something else § We see her mental state through her describing the wal lpaper • “He said that after the wall-paper was changed it would be the heavy bedstead, & then the barred windows, & then that gate at the head of the stairs, & so on.” (794) § “There is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck & two bulbou s eyes stare at you upside down.” (795) - Suicidal tendencies, paranoia (feels like she’s being watched) • “Sticketh closer than a brother” = hard to peel off § “But in the places where it isn’t faded & where the sun is just so – I can see a strange, provoking, formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about behind that silly & conspicuous front design.” (795) • Figure in the wallpaper is her shadow § “I’m getting really fond of the room in spite of the wall -paper. Perhaps b/c of the wallpaper. It dwells in my mind so. I lie here on this great immovable bed – it is nailed down, I believe – and follow that pattern about by the hour.” (796) • Feels more positive about wallpaper ; Bed nailed down, lays for hours – strapped down § “ . . . a kind of ‘debased Romanesque’ with delirium tremens – go waddling up & down in isolated columns of fatuity.” (796) – She’s shaking • Delirium tremens – when whole body shakes from withdraws or side effects from medicine § “There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will. Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer every day. It is always the same shape, only very numerous. & it is like a woman stooping down & creeping about behind that pattern. I don’t like it a bit.” (797) • “The faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out.” (797) • Sees woman creping about – shaking the pattern • Shadow –symbol of being trapped by husband & doctor § “On a pattern like this, by daylight, there is lack of sequence, a defiance of law, that is a constant irritant to a normal mind. The color is hideous enough, & unreliable enough, & infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing. You think you have mastered it, but just as you get well underway in following, it turns a back- somersault & there you are. It slaps you in the face & knocks you down, & tramples upon you. It is like a bad dream.” (798) • Her mind is not normal; she has the yellow color on her clothes from running into wall § Paranoia, obsession, possessive; dots break up paragraphs – becoming more broken, like her mind • “A night in any kind of light, in twilight, candlelight, lamplight, & worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars! The outside pattern, I mean, & the woman behind it is as plain as can be. I didn’t realize for a long time what the thing was that showed behind, the dim sub -pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman.” (799) • “I have watched John when he did not know I was looking, & come into the room suddenly on the most innocent excuses, & I’ve ca ught him several times looking at the paper! & Jennie too. I caught Jennie with her hand on it once . . . I asked her in a quiet, a very quiet voice, with the most restrained manner possible, what she was doing with the paper – she turned around as if she had been caught stealing, & looked quite angry –asked me why I should frighten her so! . . . Did not that sound innocent? But I know she was studying that pattern, & I am determined that nobody shall find it out but myself!” (799) § “But there is something else about that paper – the smell! . . . A yellow smell.” (800) • Yellow smell = urine; restrained & can’t go to the bathroom § “There is a funny mark on this wall, low down, near the mopboard . . . . It goes behind every piece of furniture except the bed, a long, straight, even smooch, as if it had been rubbed over & over . . .”(800) • She’s making the smooch; but the bed is nailed down § “I think that woman gets out in the day time . . . I see her out every one of my windows . . .” (801) • She’s the woman moving; se es her reflection in the windows • “. . . wonder if I could see her out of all the windows at once . . .I can only see out of one at a time .” (801) § “Hurrah! This is the last day, but it is enough . . . I pulled & she shook, I shook and she pulled . . . that awful pattern began to laugh at me . . . no person touches this paper but me – not alive!” (802) • “ . . .bedstead is fairly gnawed . . . locked the door & thrown the key down” (802) • Possessive of the wallpaper; she is gnawing the bed; tried to take bars of windows § “I wonder if they all came our of that wall -paper as I did . . . I suppose I shall have to get back behind the pattern when it comes night, & that is hard! . . . & I said it again, several times, very gently & slowly . . . ‘I’ve got out at last,’ said I, ‘in spite of you & Jane’ . . .” (803) • She becomes the woman – it’s so hard to get back in the paper • Talks to John like he’s the child now, instead of him treating her like a child • She keeps creeping in her smooch • Woman came out on top – crawls over man & talks to him like a child, but she’s crazy o Jane is her name • Henry James – Washington Square o Born in NYC – son of famous philosopher & brother to accomplished siblings o Age 12 – taken to Europe for his education – not formal, immersion into languages, arts, lit, & culture o Settled permanently in England – never married, preferred writing lifestyle § Became a naturalized British citizen b/c of America’s reluctance to enter WW1 o Set out to be a “literary master” – never got rich off his writing b/c he ran co unter to Twain & others like him o Writer of novels, plays, autobiographies, criticism, travel pieces, & biograph– huge amount of works o Didn’t receive critical acclaim until thehalf of the 20 century o Career divided into 3 parts: § Career until 1881, culminating in The Portrait of a Lady , this work centered upon his “international theme” – “the drama, comic & tragic, of Americans in Europe & occasionally Europeans in America” § Period of experimentation until 1908 – wrote social & political works that e xplored artist’s relationship to society st § Major phase, 1908 to death in 1916 – returned to his 1 cosmopolitan subjects & international theme o Publication of Daisy Miller in 1878 gave him widespread popularity o Theory of writing = dramatize, dramatize, drama tize – emphasized the art of showing rather than telling, which removed the author from the work & left reader to draw conclusions o Washington Square § Dr. Sloper’s opinion of Catherine – looks down on her, protects her to protect himself, clumsy, plain, dim witted, dull, annoying, silly; resents that she lived instead of her mother § Dr. Sloper is cruel in his honesty; protective of his money; getting Catherine back for her mother’s death; his opinion changes a little in the end § Dr. Sloper is not sympathetic after everything that has happened to him • Son dies, wife dies, daughter isn’t good enough, has to move his sister in § Catherine- ideal Victorian Era daughter: pure, innocent, musically talented, obedient, seeks approval § Disapproves of Morris b/c he is unempl oyed, can’t support Catherine, believes he is after money § Dr. Sloper married a rich woman for love; Morris can’t love Catherine b/c she isn’t lovable § Aunt Lavinia – pushy, nosey, scheming, bored, gossips for fun, lives through Catherine • She’s a chaperone & mediator/go between (helps characters get together) • Keeps a lock of Morris’s hair “for Catherine”; has a crush on Morris • Doesn’t really care about Catherine § “The day Lavinia gets in your boat it capsizes.” – she hurts the couple; her for it = Sloper against it § Catherine never cares about her father’s money § Catherine changes over the course of story b/c she stops thinking the best of people • Loses trust, joy; becomes solemn; realizes no one cares for her § Trip to Europe • On mountain – Dr. Sloper tells Cather ine: “How obscene that your mother should die so that you could inhabit space on this Earth.” • She remains obedient b/c she has no other choice • Begs Morris to marry her to get her out of her father’s house § Catherine & father – stubborn, independent, cold (in the end) • Catherine – warm, kind, dependent; father – confident, cold § Morris’ intention were not pure - He didn’t want to marry her when money wasn’t a factor • When they leave for Europe, he gets comfortable in the mansion life style • At his sister’s house – he seems cheap & dirty § Women’s roles – daughter, wife, chaperone, mother, homemaker • Women with the most freedom – widow, Aunt Lavinia • Women that are most content – married women • Roles for women changing – Catherine opens a daycare b/c mothers are working now § Marriage plot – couple that wants to get married, obstacles, happy ending • Marriage plot is in the background w/ Catherine’s cousin – everything works out for her as a back drop to Catherine’s life leading up to misfortune • Cousin = foil – person who highlights the opposites of the protagonist § Catherine is a rebel – like New England Nun – doesn’t need a man • Father thought she should marry a widower – much like himself § Everyone in Washington square pretend & lie about who they really are; cruel to each ot her
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