Literature Midterm Study Guide
Literature Midterm Study Guide ENGL 2260 - 009
Popular in American Literature after 1865
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This 14 page Study Guide was uploaded by Hannah Notetaker on Monday September 19, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ENGL 2260 - 009 at Auburn University taught by TBA in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 27 views.
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Date Created: 09/19/16
Test 1: Info from Class and Study Guide Answers Information Covered in Class: Realism: the practice of regarding things in their true and natural state and dealing with them as they are; the showing of life as it is o challenge with reality - everyone’s reality is different and we convey our experiences differently; what is real vs. what is true Fidelity to nature in representation; close resemblance to what is real “honest and accurate” representation what might be the inherent flaw in the concept of literary realism? o in the past, reality for a woman was different when compared to a male writer - their’s didn’t end with happily ever after but started with marriage so we get an idea of domesticity and servanthood which we were not aware of before… we were not aware of that kind of reality before o ex. The Yellow Wallpaper - husband locks wife in room and she goes insane so you ask what is the reality for her at that moment o ex. Olympics describe woman athletes by her marriage or her children — as if they have to confirm her womanhood before they can talk about her as an athlete; if a woman doesn’t have a husband or child then she feels diminished o these woman writers try to present reality as it is so that they can change the reality o open to interpretation - how we interpret a set of facts means there are different ways for the story to be told and understood The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain Jim Smiley is the protagonist in the story who loves to bet. He has bet on everything in town including against people’s wives, the sickness and health of people, animal fights, etc. Bets that his frog, who he has been training for 3 months against another townsman. He leaves the frog alone with him with faith that the man will not do anything to the frog. However, the man does tamper with the frog and the frog looses, costing Smiley $40. Smiley has a loss of innocence in this situation and it shows that he is too trusting. Realism is shown through the dialect of the script and the gambling. Both of these show class levels. Names of dog (Andrew Jackson) and frog (Dan’l) show Smiley knew about politics Editha by Howells Editha and George are an engaged couple in the story. War comes about and Editha wants George to fight, but he does not want to. In the end he ends up going to war because she has convinced him that it is the right thing to do and we see all of his opinions change. He is then killed at war. Howells uses gender roles to unpack the meaning of war because at the time in which the story was written, the women were suppose to be the ones who did not want their husband to go off to war and the man was supposed to want to fight for his country and show his bravery. George is shown as a pushover because his actions go against everything his heart stands for; additionally though, he did everything to save his engagement even though if Editha would have truly loved him she wouldn’t have made him go; he never was for the war and by trying to live up to this idealistic version of a soldier (or Editha’s version of one) he gets himself killed passages about thinking or not thinking are always attached to women in literature from this age - Howells even uses the term”silly” to make the reader think that women are flighty and not of sound mind the note she wrote to George — “he had to love his country more than her” and she expects for certain events to play out because of the note o she is emotional and not thinking clearly which is what men thought of woman at the time o also hard to tell if she has always had patriotism or if it is just spurred because of the war happening o why did she give him the letter even though he came home and had joined and was made captain? she did it not only to prove she was right and incase he ever changed his mind, but also he will know how much it means to him and how much he loves her through the letter The Cult of True Womanhood was also relevant to this story because they were ideals women were supposed to adhere to at the time – and Editha did not: Piety, Purity, Domesticity, and Submissiveness God plays a role in the text because George wanted to be a preacher if he didn’t go to war and so Editha uses religion to sway his thoughts on war. She says God meant for war to happen while George disagrees at first. Howells assigns them different opinions of God and War to show Editha’s persuasiveness and how different submissive and dominate gender roles were supposed to be back in that time – even though in the story they are switched Editha is supposed to represent patriotism in the text because when George decides to go to war and comes to see her she describes her as red, white, and blue… and she is trying to hard to get him to go to war Editha values appearances and wants George as her trophy – describes him as a material object many times: “The arm” page 51 George represents innocence and when he dies so does innocence Yellow Wallpaper by Gilman Examines medicine and marriage as tools to control women and drive them mad John (husband) diagnoses the protagonist, Jane (his wife) with depression (we know it as post-partum depression) and when they rent an old house he makes her stay home with no social interaction or stimulus that she wants – he treats her like a child and because men were dominate in the time period, he has the right to control her body Their room has bars on the windows and the wallpaper is a yellow color with some sort of design on it that she compares to a maddened brain committing suicide – but it is ripping off the walls; yellow is supposed to be cheery but it is faded and sickly like she is Slowly she begins making the wallpaper out to have a woman trapped inside the pattern and she has to help her escape by ripping off the wallpaper She used to write but now has become fixated on this wallpaper and it becomes oppressive – she cannot cope with the wallpaper because it is a symbol of domesticity and she is experiencing female oppression because domesticity can be a prison They apparently have a baby but it is never referred to as she or he – showing lack of emotional connection to it Gilman connects to the woman in this story because she suffered from post-partum depression and female oppression as well Sheriff’s Children by Chesnut About race, miscegenation, social authority, and power Set in Branson County, NC where the war robbed them of manhood, buden of taxation, doubt, uncertainty, and the sting of ultimate defeat Old Captain Walker was murdered and a mulato (mixed man) was seen leaving his house around the same time, so he was blamed for it The townspeople want to kill the mualto who is now in jail and someone runs to warn the sheriff who then leaves his daughter alone at the house to go to the jail and block the mob – doing his job but being a bad parent – shows where his priorities are While warding them off he is too trusting of the prisoner and leaves his gun out for the prisoner to then hold him up with; the prisoner tells the sheriff that he was his son who he had sold (along with his mother) into slavery (20 years earlier) and when he is about to shoot him the daughter of the sheriff comes in and shoots him in the leg – they bandage him up and leave him overnight but he takes the bandage off and dies by him pulling a gun, the reader thinks he is guilty; however, he knows that the system is going to fail him and they will assume he is guilty regardless so his only option is to escape Overnight the sheriff considers his past and what he should do – let him escape or do his job, once again showing that he is a bad parent and showing where his priorities are The sheriff sees goodness in men when he decides to put the gun down – showing ignorant trust in his other child even though he does not yet know that it is his child; trust plays a large role in this story as well as the cult of masculinity or fatherhood because fatherhood is earned it is not given and we see how bad of a father the sheriff is – even when he seems like a good guy for standing up for his job The Souls of Black Folk by DuBois Booker T. Washington is called the most striking in Negro history because he linked industrial education, conciliation of the South, and submission and silence as to civil and political rights through Tuskegee and the Atlanta Compromise – he became the leader for Negros but his program accepts the inferiority of the Negro race because he believed that self-respect is worth more than land and houses. He asks Negros to give up political power, is insistence on civil war rights, and higher education of Negro youth The Atlanta Compromise o between Washington, the President of the Tuskegee Institution, other African American leaders, and Southern white leaders o Du Bois later opposes the deal o Souther Blacks would: work diligently submit to white political rule Southern whites agreed that Blacks would receive basic education and due process in law o Blacks would give up their push toward equality, integration, and justice o Northern whites would fund Black educational charities o if he opposes this it is weird because he too is Black Criticism is talked about as the soul of democracy and the safeguard of modern society The American Negro’s history has influenced three attitudes: the feeling of revolt and revenge, the attempt to adjust all thought and action to the will of the greater group, and the determined effort at self-realization and self-development despite evolving opinions There were two movements at persistence of slavery and serfdom; the abolition movement was the final refuge All of these events led to three things: disfranchisement of Negros, legal creation of a distinct status of civil inferiority for Negros, and steady withdraw of aid from institutions for higher ranking DuBois - very important author for Black History o leader of protest in intellectuality o “The Souls of Black Folk” becomes one of his most famous works o “Of Mr. Washington and Others” - at the time that this is written, Booker T. Washington was the highest black intellectual o "Black Reconstruction in America” is another piece written by him that challenges the idea that blacks are responsible for the failure of reconstruction; this forces conversations to change o The Talented Ten - says that the most talented among Black people comes from around them, whether it be a craftsman or an intellectual, etc then the top 10% of them will be responsible to lead o writes from later 1800s to 1960s “Of Mr. Washington and Others” is one of the most famous parts of this The South Since Reconstruction Douglas wrote The Future of the Negros because he was an experienced black writer who wanted blacks to be considered apart of the nation because they were not leaving and so we all needed to live in harmony Cable wrote Freedman’s Case in Equity and he is from Louisiana but was exiled from the South for his writing, they had the theme of freedom without actually being free Grady wrote The New South to tell northerners that the south needed new investments for business and industry. He says that relations with Negros are cordial and brags about the South’s accomplishments The US Supreme Court case: Plessey v. Ferguson argued the separate but equal clause was unconstitutional. Plessey sat in a white railroad car and it led to this case that ultimately led to many segregation laws Wolcott was an FSA photographer and wanted to change the attitudes for the underprivileged Mencken wrote Sahara of the Bozart and mocked the south Documentary – Slavery by a Different Name How does the literature by black writers, and the documentary both reflect a “new form of slavery” that is supported or encouraged by new legal practices or social customs after the Civil War? slavery has been abolished and they are considered equal under the law but former slave owners continue to help black people “grow in wealth” while not actually giving them the freedom while the Blacks wanted freedom to move around and live - wanted church, school, etc. They were willing to work very hard and exploit themselves with long work days but they wanted to own their own land and control their hours and decide their futures 1865 marked the end of the civil war and the passage of the 13th amendment the war devastated the southern economy - cotton fields destroyed and equipment gone and slaves gone small slave holding elite held all the slaves and 8 million whites in the South did not own slaves and were in poverty so they saw the new blacks as competitors - they sided with Andrew Jackson and the conservative whites to intimidate the blacks; Lucinda Comer was one of the elites Radical Reconstruction - bring the South into submission and protect all American citizens o 14th and 15th Amendment passed o allowed for Black politicians Pig Laws - enhancing penalties for what used to be mis- demeanor crimes o Vagrancy statues - you became a criminal if you could not prove at any given movement that you were employed o courts run by white former slave holders so most prisoners were black but the prisoners could be rented to people as workers Convict leasing came from all of this - slavery is abolished except in the punishment of a crime o Alabama earned 164 thousand dollars in 1900 from this o allowed private industries to rent the prisoners Milner - engineer and business man in Birmingham, AL who was known to be exceedingly racist o laid out some of the first railroad lines across AL and was the father of industry for the South o industrialists replaced slaves with prisoners and they didn’t have to worry about labor disputes o used them to work in his mines J.W. Comer was another one who acted like Milner and used them to work in the mines convict labor system compared as worse than slavery - $9 a month for the prisoners o maximum return with social cost - depress wages and resist unions 15 thousand in 1886 and 19 thousand by 1890 - some boys younger than 16 o women were also forced into labor by 1890s white voters reversed gains made in the reconstruction - racial segregation was mandated by law o upheld by supreme court - Plessy v. Ferguson James Weldon Johnson poet who was from Florida who wrote “Lift Every Voice and Sing” that later became the Negro National Anthem because a group of school children all sang it together – it deals with African American experiences in America and highlights power and perseverance o slavery is the dark past and the hope of the present is freedom from slavery and encouragement to move forward o paints a picture of what it has been like to live in a country where people have been devalued yet standing in a place where they are legally free o last stanza brings in religious parts and saying there is a way to stay true to God and true to Africa he encourages African Americans to fight for freedom but also to reflect on how far they have come 1912 publishes The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man believes the blacks have already given America their gift by creating Jazz which helped stem so many other things - they are already giving the world so much unlike DuBois says when he believes the world has not been given anything from blacks he also writes “O Black and Unknown Bards” which shows that in the midst of oppression they still had culture and created beauty Paul Laurence Dunbar died of tuberculosis but before hand wrote Sympathy and We Wear the Mask his parents were enslaved before the Civil War became friends with Fredrick Douglas Sympathy creates a cage in the poem and talks about how he knows what a caged bird feels like because he feels still enslaved by the segregation We Wear the Mask is about blacks have to wear this mask that everything is okay even when it is not - even though slavery is over and it is post-reconstruction, the blacks are still not truly free in America but they have to put on a mask to pretend they are okay; people thought they were happy under slavery (paternalism) Robert Frost Married Eleanor White and had a difficult relationship because their kids died young, but she remained an inspiration for him 1912 moved to England and became a writer and became friends with Ezra Pound and Edward Thomas wrote The Road Not Taken, Fire and Ice, Nothing Gold Can Stay, and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening “The Road Not Taken” - about life choices and how he comes to a fork in the road and has to make a decision both paths look the same in the beginning later on an older speaker wonders about which road and then comments about how it looks less traveled and invites travelers justify the choice he has already made at the end he figures out that the path he has already chosen will ultimately lead to other forks in the road so he won’t have time to go back to that first fork in the road titles it what he does to show the road he did not chose yet the whole poem talks about the road he did chose - reflection about the decision made poem about justifying one’s choices took the one less traveled by and it has made all the difference Trifles by Glaspell work of feminism and women’s literature, public v. private lives, law and justice, power and powerless, and male and female forms of perception Mr. Hale was a witness to the aftermath of when Mrs. Wright’s husband (John) was strangled in their sleep and the story begins by him telling the County Attorney his recollection He says Mrs. Wright looked queer and they are all commenting that she cares more about her fruit and jam than her dead husband – saying “women are used to worrying over triffles” and that they stay “loyal to their sex” all comments that are meant to downgrade women and say all they care about is housework and silly things The other women at the house find a bird cage that has been broken then later find the bird who had also been strangled Story represents the downgrading attitudes towards women at the time and how they were not supposed to care about anything and they seemed so innocent and naive to the world Study Guide Answers Part 1: Matching “Editha” – Howells “We Wear the Mask” – Dunbar “The Yellow Wallpaper” – Gilman “The Sheriffs Children” – Chesnut “Oh Black and Unknown Bards” – Johnson “The Road Not Taken” – Frost “Lift Every Voice and Sing” - Johnson “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” – Frost “Sympathy” – Dunbar “The Notorious Jumping Frog” – Twain “Of Mr. Washington and Others” – DuBois Part 2: Identifications Mark Twain: He was ***get info about twain from book** Twain wrote “The Notorious Jumping Frog” about a man named Smiley who was addicted to betting. He bet his frog against another townsman and after trusting the stranger alone with the frog before the race, he lost the bet because the stranger tampered with the frog, showing a loss of innocence when he was too trusting of the man. William Dean Howells: Howells was not in America during the Civil War times so when he came home during the post- reconstruction period, he was very angry with all the violence that was going on. He wrote “Editha” during the Spanish- American war and therefore the story is about a man named George who is facing the decision to go to war or not. His fiancé, Editha, has the reversed gender role as the dominate one in the relationship and in the end, despite his hatred for war, she convinces him to go off to war. Charlotte Perkins: *** Gillman: Gillman suffered from post-partum depression and oppression of domesticity just like her character, Jane, in “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Gillman wrote Jane to be this wife who’s husband is a doctor and diagnoses her with depression and will not allow her to have social interactions or stimulus in her life – therefore she becomes obsessed with the wallpaper in the house they are renting and begins to feel trapped by it. The story shows that both medicine and marriage are used by men to oppress women into domesticity. Charles Chesnut: Chesnut was a lawyer who felt strongly about racism, black and white relationships, and pushing these hard topics at the public. He wrote the story, “The Sheriff’s Children” about a man who struggles between being a good father and doing his job. He is guarding a prisoner who the town is trying to kill and he later finds out it is his illegitimate son with a black woman. He struggles between these two identities, showing the struggles going on in that time period. W.E.B. DuBois: One of the most influential black writers of his time because he formed the Atlanta Compromise and accepts the inferiority of Negros because he believes self-respect is better than property or material gains. He produces “The Souls of Black Folk” to show what should truly be important to them. He links industrial education and the silencing of rights for Negros. Part of this work is “Of Mr. Washington and Others” where he talks about Booker T. Washington because he agreed with his ideals and he was the highest black intellectual of the time. James Weldon Johnson: Johnson was a poet from Florida who wrote “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” When written, he did not intend for this to become the black national anthem, but after school children began singing it, it caught on and it is still known as that today. It is about their past and seeing how far they have come and still how far they can go; it also is about how they can worship God while not forgetting their native land of Africa. Robert Frost: He loved to write about nature, especially in New England, and life in his poems. He wrote one called, “The Road Not Taken” about life’s decisions and how one road ultimately leads to another so you do not have time to go back and see where the other road would have led. Paul Laurence Dunbar: Dunbar’s parents were enslaved before the Civil War and he becomes the first well-known African American poet. He was friends with Fredrick Douglas and wrote a poem entitled “We Wear the Mask” about how blacks in society have to put on a good face in society rather than show their true feelings. Part 3: Short Answer 1. How does “The Yellow Wallpaper” address marriage and gender roles in the late 19 century? Why does this text live on as a major piece of early feminist writing? The Yellow Wallpaper shows how marriage can become a way for husbands to control their wives and how easily domesticity can become a form of oppression. Jane, the protagonist, is diagnosed with depression from her husband who is a doctor – showing that the husband has authority over his wife’s body and health because he is the dominate in the relationship. His wife wants stimulus and social interaction but he refuses her of both these things. She tries to explain to him her feelings about the wallpaper but he will not acknowledge her because he does not agree with her feelings towards it. Both these are examples of how he treats her like a child and thinks of her as lesser. This text will remain a piece of feminist writing because the author, Gillman, wrote Jane to mirror her own feelings towards marriage and medicine and the oppression of domesticity. The text highlights the hardships that come with womanhood at the time and portray how diminishing it can be when not allowed to be one’s own person, aside from their husband. 2. What is realism and how has it impacted American Authors? Where are there clear instances of realism in the texts we have read so far? Realism is a way of writing that tells a story that has accurate depictions of the time period. It explains facts in their true and natural state through the events in the story being told. American Authors have been impacted by realism many times in history, but mainly after the Civil War in the Reconstruction Period and Post-Reconstruction period. Events such as slavery, segregation, oppression of women, and marriage struggles are all evident in this time period and thus evident in the stories written in those time periods. The authors compare their characters to real situations that people could have been in at the time to show the hardships that our country was facing. For example, in “The Sheriff’s Children” the sheriff has a son with a black woman and has to face the reality of this after the Civil War has ended. He has to define his own morals and make a decision based on his feelings towards this issue. Also, in “Editha” we see the struggle in relationships and gender roles because she wishes for George to go off to war and be her prize, yet he doesn’t want to go – and ultimately dies because he was swayed by her and her dominate role in the relationship. Lastly, we see it in “The Yellow Wallpaper” because men used medicine and marriage to control women and we see the effects of oppression as well. 3. How does the short story “Editha” demonstrate the author’s sentiment regarding war? Is it considered an antiwar story? Why or why not? “Editha” demonstrates the sentiment regarding war because of her and George’s opposing views. Because George has to be convinced that war is a good idea and then he dies, we are to assume that the author sides with George in the story. Editha is portrayed as an ignorant, manipulative woman who has fallen subject to the propaganda of war and takes George down with her. This is definitely an anti-war story because of George’s opposition to the war and then his ultimate death. Editha is the only character in the story who is for the war and her opinion gets George killed. 4. How does “Lift Every Voice and Sing” tell a story that is as relevant today as it was at the turn of the century? What connections can be made between patriotism and race? “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is relevant still today because it talks about the hardships that went on in the past and how they can move and grow from those. It was relevant at the turn of the century because segregation was still present and their hardships were very relevant and apparent in society. Today, they still face many hardships and in both times the song can serve as a reminder to keep persevering and working for the greater good of their people. It reminds them not to try to leave the situation but to make the best of the situation and it helps them to remember to stay true to themselves now and their God now, but also to never forget where they came from. Patriotism and race are easily connected in this song because racial tensions and racial differences can split a country and bring violence and turmoil into it, but this poem reminds everyone that no matter what we are one country and we must be proud of where we are today. 5. How does “The Sheriff’s Children” both condemn slavery and explore fatherhood? What significant role, if any, does race play in our understanding of fatherhood and judicial fairness? “The Sheriff’s Children” condemns slavery because it shows the sheriff feeling horrible about his decision to sell his son and mistress into slavery, back before the civil war. It also condemns slavery because the people of the town believe that Tom is guilty without even taking the time to figure out the true verdict, simply because of his race. The town in North Carolina that it is set in is still very much racially segregated and Tom even says that he will be found guilty regardless because of his race. The story explores fatherhood because it examines the choices that the sheriff makes. First he leaves his daughter home alone when there is a mob coming and second he sold his son into slavery and then questions letting him go or not. Both of these decisions are in comparison to his job and as readers we see that his job is more important than his fatherly duties. We see that fatherhood must be earned and he is not earning his title as father. Race plays a very significant role in fatherhood for this story because race allows the sheriff to have sold his son. True fatherhood should not care about race, but it proves that the sheriff is not an adequate father because he cared about the race of his son. Judicial fairness also is affected by race because the people of the town assume Tom is guilty simply because of the color of his skin.
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