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by: Amanda White

English 2202 BRIT LIT LECTURE NOTES WEEK 13 2202

Marketplace > Ohio State University > Foreign Language > 2202 > English 2202 BRIT LIT LECTURE NOTES WEEK 13
Amanda White
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These notes were from lecture on Tuesday April 5th and Thursday April 7th. They cover Woolf, Auden, and Ngugi
British Literature 1800-Present
Dr. Jill Galvan
Class Notes
English 2202 British Literature
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amanda White on Thursday April 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 2202 at Ohio State University taught by Dr. Jill Galvan in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 36 views. For similar materials see British Literature 1800-Present in Foreign Language at Ohio State University.


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Date Created: 04/07/16
SP 16 ENGLISH 2202: WEEK 13 NOTES TUESDAY 4/5 & THURSDAY 4/7 TUESDAY APRIL 5 IMPORTANT VOCABULARY WORDS: 1. STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS STYLE 2. ICARUS 3. END-STOPPED LINE 4. ENJAMBMENT WOOLF: A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN  Woolf aims to “kill” the angel in the house, opposes herself to Victorian ideals of gender  Woolf is implicitly focusing on psychology and strain women experience when they try to succeed—self doubt of women internalized because of socialization  Internal determines how they operate in life (women should be self- sacrificing for others, not self-assertive)  Gender and psychology interconnected  Modern focus on subjectivity: interested in the subject, thinking, feeling, ideas, point of view (saw this with Romantics, but modernists think differently—more modern ideas of psychology and rise of psycho- analysis  Complexity of subjectivity: different parts of psyche fights with other parts, self-fragmentation  Pg. 1203: A Room of One’s Own o Interest in vague, wanderings, unpredictable human thought o Trace the process of thought itself o Woolf writes about women as writers, in professions o Classic feminist text  Setting of piece is Oxbridge: Oxford + Cambridge (major universities in UK) o Very prestigious o Oxbridge: shorthand for both universities (like Ivy League)  Setting also in “Fernham”-Newnham + Girton (2 women’s colleges at Cambridge)  Occasion for book o Woolf was asked to give lectures at Newnham and Girton o Topic is Women and Fiction (women authors) o Begins the book itself, begins with “but) o Offers thesis at onset o Woolf: creative writer, formal experimentation o Combines her real experiences with fictional ones  Theses: “All I could do was to offer an opinion….” (1203-1204) o Woman must have money to write fiction  Woolf describes different things o Style of writing: trying to go to the Oxbridge Library and gets turned away o Talks about having lunch (pg. 1207)  Having an awesome lunch as a guest speaker  It produced a comfort that led to glimpses of intellectual security to have a rational, sustained intelligent conversation  How good life seemed then and there o Style: stream of consciousness (pg. 1207)  Says if she had had an ashtray and didn’t look around she would not have seen the cat with no tail walking around the quad  Thinks something is lacking—tail (thinks what else is not there)  Circular thoughts  A type of literary style that gets inside the individuals point of view to capture their stream of memories, thoughts, random associations right at which they occur and in the order which they occur *Something lacks from conversation now that she is thinking about other random things * have a thought, change a thought, try to trace back to how you got that thought---psychological awareness---not stable view of self, but fragmented psyche  What is lacking in the luncheon party for Woolf? o Missing undercurrent of the talk at lunch o Had to think back to the past to another luncheon party o Current: 1929, thinks about lunches before the war, years ago?? o Assumes: some kind of mood missing from the present. Before the war: at a luncheon people would have said same things but sounded different, accompanied by a humming noise—turns to Tennyson, hears him “singing” o Quotes Rossetti—sweet, simple o Picks out lyrics from Tennyson and Rossetti because they sound simple, less complex life before WW1 o Now, after WW1, new forms of modernity are needed o Implies Tennyson and Rossetti: simple, happiness that is not available now because of the darkness of war (1208) o Living poets: express a living feeling that was torn out of us o Feelings harder to capture now because they are more complex o Causes difficulty in remembering quotes from Modern Authors o Blame the war? Killed romance of Tennyson and Rossetti?  Woolf: committed suicide (put rocks In her pockets and drowned herself) o Because the world was on verge of WW2…among other reasons o Very influence by war and found it deeply disturbing  Arguments in A Room of One’s Own o Writing is speech-like, but morphs into a fictional story (1204: “fiction here contains more truth than fact” o Formal experimentation o Implicitly: calls into question all stable truths o But does want to give her historical and cultural truth through the mode of fiction o Wants to argue things about women that she finds true, but formally conveys it as fiction o 2 Major events mentioned (moment to moment style)  Walking at Oxbridge (1204)  Man rose to intercept her, mad, because she walked on grass  Expresses horror and indignation  Not a fellow of the university: can’t walk on grass  Starts to think about literature  Can’t go to the library because she is a woman (1205)  Majority of institution is for men; scholars here are not women  Need a man to accompany you to library  Makes her mad!  1205: “never will I wait….” o Seems to be effected by events, starts to imagine campus’ history o Shows stream of conscious (1206) o She can imagine how much money it must have taken to physically build the university o Imagines lectureships endowed, pay for teachers, sometimes it came from King, sometimes from manufacturers o Library, and other buildings: money turned this into a campus o “now imagine goes to lunch”-wine, salmon, etc. produces comfort  All contrasted with when she goes back to Fernham  Has a different kind of meal  Pg. 1209: plain soup, all broth, homely, non-fresh  Can’t say that dinner was bad because she is a guest, but it wasn’t good  Conversation: can’t really talk of money, the food, etc.  Can’t think well if you can’t eat well  In the good meal there was pleasant conversation because there was a bodily well-being, but can’t have that when you are not fed well  Talks about her host: good food breeds good easy talk  Relationship between material and intellectual!! o What goes on with body is important to what goes on with your mind  Host is Mary Seton o Talk about women’s college o Difficult to get money to found the college-very few public supporters o Why not fund the college themselves: 1211-women had no money to donate because they didn’t work in the public world, and also had the responsibility to have children  1211: “For to endow a college….” o steam of conscious (talks of raising kids) o women have had the domestic work concerns and don’t have financial means to work or time to work because of the “job” at home o separate spheres paradigm explained o intellectual always tied to material!! o Implicit thesis: Women need money and a room of their own to be able to write!  You never can get above material concerns  Implies that men can work for their money, women can’t  Material concerns of family responsibility of the women while men become geniuses in the outside world o Women’s ability to think and learn is hampered because no money, not well fed  A room of one’s own: o A private space for the mind to be free o Women don’t normally get this  (Chapter 2: more self-evident) o Woolf is now in a museum in London to look up women o See what people have said about women: sees that tons of men have written about women  Chapter 3: (reminiscent of “fan fiction”) o Thinks of what if Shakespeare had a sister (Judith) and had been as much of a genius as her brother? 1222 o William: got a girl pregnant, but didn’t have to stay around to deal with it, went off and became a writer, went off to London o Judith: extraordinarily gifted, but had domestic cares to tend to, was pressured to get married and didn’t want to  Judith ended up running away to London and tries to be successful  Theater manager laughs at her ambitions because she’s a woman  Taken advantage of sexually by theater manager  Gets pregnant: so devastated she kills herself o Idea that women’s absorption in domestic cares bars them from becoming geniuses o Implicit link to relation to intellectual-material o Women should be focused on the home  Point is you can’t have a female Shakespeare because they can’t be liberated from their concerns. THURSDAY APRIL 7 IMPORTANT VOCABULARY WORDS: 1. ICARUS 2. END-STOPPED LINE 3. ENJAMBMENT 4. POSTCOLONIAL LITERATURE 5. WORLD VIEW W.H. AUDEN: Pg. 1401: “Musee des Beaux Arts”  Getting to the end of modernism (1914-1940’s)-dates of modernism variable  Auden: later part of modernism (1939)  Connections of Auden and Ngugi (post colonial)  Literary, cultural, historical periods don’t end and start, but flow and overlap or remain, renamed too “Musee Des Beaux Arts”-museum of beautiful art, based on a museum in Brussels  speaker is a visitor to this museum  first lines: “about suffering….” o Art fro the “old masters”, classics—really understood the human position of suffering that it occupies In human life o What he sees as place of suffering in human life o “how suffering takes place while others are eating, walking…. etc.” o classical master painters understood that while one person is suffering, others are going on with their daily life (don’t have awareness of others tragedies) o line 5: also understand when the aged are waiting for the miraculous birth, others didn’t want it to happen”  “Miraculous” =reference to birth of Christ  suggests the reverent aged, older people are waiting for the advent of the Messiah to come---line 10; reference to martyrdom/crucifixion o shift to images of dogs and horses  mundane and almost profane (go from Christ to a beastly creature)  horse scratching it’s butt on a tree-crassness contrasted with the sacred birth happening  horse: allegory for Christ? o Even the sacred death of Christ can seem mundane, ordinary, unnoticed in everyday life o Main idea: what seems important to someone is nothing to another  Auden wants us to focus on that our most profound suffering is unnoticed by others (even the most famous suffering of all)  Implicit focus on fragmentation of individuals experiences and that they don’t care about others experiences  2 ndstanza: o speaker now looks at one specific painting (“Landscape with fall of Icarus”) o poem is an ekphrastic poem (about an inanimate object) o Greek Myth of ICARUS  Son of an inventor, Daedalus  Imprisoned in a labyrinth by a king that Daedalus made angry  Daedalus was an inventor so he crafted wings of wax and feathers so they could fly and escape  But Icarus flew too close to the sun, and the wings melted and he fell to the ground/ocean  Poem imagines fall of Icarus  Painting depicts land by the ocean, many ships, going own ways  In foreground, man drives a wheelbarrow-another tends sheep  In bottom right: pair of legs upside-down in water---Icarus!!  All go about work in the painting despite the tragic death of Icarus going on…they don’t notice it  Breugl tries to show this idea that Icarus’ death was irrelevant-can hardly notice Icarus is even there  Painting plays with point of view---subjectivity as a spectator of art  Modernist interest in point of view  Poem (lines 17-21) o 1 long sentence o flows o contrast with line 4: all one line, a stop at the end of the thought via a “;”—functions like a period o END-STOPPED LINE  A POETIC TERM  A line of poetry that ends with a conclusive punctuation mart (?, ., ;, etc.) o ENJAMBMENT  Poetic lines where thought runs into next line  Thought in a line of poetry flows over from one line to next, no punctuation at end of line (like 2ndstanza)  Comma a “soft stop”, but Auden accentuates enjambment in lines 17-18:  Author wants your mind to travel on like when looking at painting and looking past Icarus  Implied continuity, non-interruption, flowing form  No one stops what they are doing when Icarus falls—viewer just skims over he flailing legs  Form reflects poems ideas  Not particular to only modern poetry  Opposite of an end stopped line  Emphasizes modern themes of fragmentation o Social alienation and isolation POST-COLONIALISM/POST COLONIAL LITERATURE-Ngugii  1980s  pg. 1456- “Decolonizing the Mind”  recall Kipling: o British Imperialism/Colonization (Empire) o When a nation (usually Western) goes in and militarily, politically, economically controls another nation and makes its people their people o “White Man’s Burden” o Great Britain became huge empire by 1900 by invading other couthries (India, Africa, Middle East) o 20 cent: De-colonization  countries start to fight for their independence from Empires  want to be their own nation  1921: Ireland  getting rid of colonization: 1947 in India  1960’s: Different African countries gain independence o difficult times, not a smooth process, a lot of resistance and violence, a lot of protest, anger—Britain didn’t want to lose the countries, but colonial countries wanted to be free (like with Britain’s coming to America and trying to kick out the Native Americans)  New Genre: Post colonial literature o By authors who are citizens of Britain’s former colonies o Ngugi: Kenya (decolonizing the mind) o Gortimer: South Africa (Moment before gun went off)  Post=after colonialism had ended in a country o Also, seen as a reaction or commentary on colonialism and its effects in past and present or future o Things fall apart: post colonial literature o Look at the present and the lingering effects of having once been colonized  How does colonization effect history, culture, ethnic identity, language….??? NGUGI, “DECOLONIZING THE MIND”  Ngugi is a respected Kenyan author, works were translated into English  Imprisoned in Kenya after a writing of his stirred up controversy  Looks back at effects of British control on Kenya in regards to language as a part of the colonial experience  He was born into a peasant family and recalls stories he was told in Kenya  1457: “vividly recall evenings of fireside…. o Class issues apparent o Stories are told compared to fables (animals are main characters, cunning heroes, struggles against predators---learn that weak can outwit the strong) o True humans: concern for others, love, care o Non-humans: hatred, oppression, man eat man o Ethical, moral lessons taught to children  Childhood stories o Struggles between strong and weak reflect real world struggles  A clue that stories reflect struggles his country went through  Strong British vs. weak “animals” or indigenous Kenyans  Indigenous: born to the region, not Europeans who moved there  Stories help communities process the problems going on  They identified with the weak o Implies that its through language and stories that children develop values and truths  Language/stories: invent our sense of reality and truth  Ethical literature: share, work hard, be nice  Stories craft their idea of value  Learn what defines a hero: even if you are weak, if you are good and smart you will still win  Heroes care for and help others, cooperative  Villains: greedy, selfish, individualistic  Stories transmit values  Ngugi implies the power of language teaches how we should see the world (value: community, cooperation, kindness, etc.)  Language doesn’t just describe reality, but helps us shape the world  Pivotal moment: “in 1952 while Kenya was still under colonial control….” o Schools forced to adopt English as official language o If you spoke indigenous language, you were punished (1458) o Corporal punishment, humiliation, shaming o Read people like Dickens, Elliot, etc. o Imagine: if you lived in Kenya, different climate, poverty  Suddenly instead of stories based on your own environment, you are forced to read about people who live in a hugely different world  Environments, situations, things you don’t understand  Title of work, “decolonized” o “colonize the mind” through language o Ngugi says colonization happens when the mind is taken over through language  Pg. 1461: “but since the new imposed languages…..” o Real aim of colonialism to control wealth, but most important area of domination was the mental universe of the colonized and how people perceived themselves and their relationship to the world o Control culture: control self-definition


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