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American Literature Since 1880 Week

by: Morgan Smith

American Literature Since 1880 Week 2203

Marketplace > University of Connecticut > Foreign Language > 2203 > American Literature Since 1880 Week
Morgan Smith
GPA 3.9

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CT Yankee in King Arthur's Court and Stephen Crane's Bride Comes to Yellow Sky
American Literature Since 1880
Eric Goldman
Class Notes
American Literature since 1880, ENG 2203, Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Bride Comes to Yellow Sky, Mark Twain, Stephen Crane
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Morgan Smith on Tuesday February 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 2203 at University of Connecticut taught by Eric Goldman in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see American Literature Since 1880 in Foreign Language at University of Connecticut.

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Date Created: 02/09/16
CT yankee in KA Court • Deconstruction o Take a binary § Rational/irrational § Science/religion § Proof/faith § Humanizing/dehumanizing § Democracy/monarchy § Industrialism/rural § Capitalist/arbitrary controlled market § Pragmatism/idealism o Hank thinks his culture is a binary to King Arthur’s culture o Novel challenges these binaries § Pragmatism can seem like a good thing but look at the way you look at education ú Only look at major requirements/only pass value of the diploma § Slave driver that stands near burning witch ú Hank condemns this but it is pragmatic like him § Hank and Morgan Le Fey ú Modern person doesn’t look better than the medieval person ú Hank is just as bad as Morgan Le Fey o You can really only make progress past your fixed points of view by experience § “Words are but painted fire” ú you can’t convey fire through words ú Twain is conveying doubt that you can’t change people through words- have to have that experience • Hank is not the hero even though he’s the main character o Orchestrates mass murder of so many people o Lose the part you wanted to like in him o Wants to eliminate the knighthood and oppression § Hank is a proponent of democracy § So can democracies end up acting like genocidal imperialists? o Application/pace of his plan is too hasty but his ideals are correct § Should have just planted the seeds rather than force ideals upon people • Individualism o How do you make progress on a large scale as an individual agent? § Hank cannot give up proprietorship of this change • What is valuable in life? What gives life value and meaning? o Hank is utilitarian § Sees newsboy ú Happy because society is running or happy because he knows that Clarence is still alive? § Marrying Sandy ú Pragmatic at first- he knows that she has use and that she saved him which is why he marries her ú Then finds a true friendship with her ú Talks about her as a prize chapter 41- doesn’t want her reputation to suffer • Hanks’ downfall o Wants to give women the vote but only at middle age o Throughout the novel doesn’t provoke violence and actively attack § Things change in the final chapters o Duel with Sir Sagamore § Steals his lasso and he has to use his revolver- this is the suit of armor at the beginning of the story § Pg. 355 reads the newspaper and chooses to accelerate things o When did you get uncomfortable with his use of violence? § After he kills Sir Sagamore and starts shooting all the other knights- scaring them into submission § Slavery was dead, all men were equal, building train lines ú Everything seems retroactively justified ú Forget about the way it was accomplished- means justify the ends CT Yankee in King Arthur’s Court • Asymmetrical warfare o One-on-one combat in Arthur’s Court to mass killings in modern warfare • Deconstruction of binaries o Not always black and white o Democracy does not always mean valiancy o American hero is not always without fault • Clarence develops into a little Hank o Shaped by Hank in good and bad ways § Absorbs Hank’s bad nature o Progress can get in the way § Talks about the “cost” of electrocuting the knights § Takes away the humanity o Is large industry (labor unions, child labor, business manipulation in the government) cohesive with democracy? • Ironic that Huck Finn is banned and not CT Yankee o CT Yankee more dangerous § Challenges some principles upon which America functions § Challenges the status quo o Vietnam comparable to Hank’s task § Valiant principles behind it (eliminating communism) § Ends up totally backwards • Irony in CT Yankee o Ends up in a cave at the end of the novel o Hank ends up being changed by Camelot much more than he manages to change it § Hank in the beginning: lamenting the loss of conveniences he had- no coffee, tea, sugar or tobacco. Has to be like Robinson Crusoe § Hank at the end: values have shifted to missing family and friends ú The change in Hank occurs too late ú Has already lost everything • Review of Important Features of CT Yankee o Twain § Dual identity as Southerner and Northerner § Early enthusiasm for tech § Use of unreliable first person narration in Huck Finn § “Mark Twain” pseudonym connected to steamboat and his experience on it ú creates personas like Clarence/Hank Morgan ú at the end have a post script by M.T • is that Mark Twain or is Mark Twain already a persona of Clemens § most famous realist writer of the time o CY § Genre is science fiction/fantasy also connected to utopian and dystopian novels of the late nineteenth century ú Does democracy create a good or bad society? § Also functions as an allegory of American South § Uses a frame narrative/narrative nesting device to introduce Hank’s tale § Uses a streamlined, colloquial way of writing o Historical contexts § The antebellum south and Cy as an allegory of its dysfunctionality, resistance to progress § The civil war (conclusion of novel) ú Mass causalities § The industrial revolution transforming America from rural to urban § The Gilded Age § Modern analogues ú American foreign policy (Vietnam/ Iraq) • Asymmetrical warfare, colonialism, civilizing missions ú American imperialism • Internal colonization of America (Indian removal after attempts at modernizations) • External colonization • Conquistadors o Cultural contexts § The gilded age ( JP Morgan, robber barons, railroad tycoons) § Pre-Raphaelitism and the medieval vogue in the south § Popularization of romanticism o Intellectual contexts § Pragmatism § Utilitarianism § Laisse-fair capitalism, self interest and social good § Darwin’s books o Hanks character traits § Pragmatic, democratic, capitalistic, opportunistic, o Key symbols § Palimpsest § Blacksmith ú Common democratic person ú Morgan’s Name ú The cave at the end encircled by technology • Regression to something more primitive o Themes § Progress and consequences ú Modernization and warfare ú Modern science vs. margin and religion ú Chivalric code and pragmatism o Formal features § Perspective/ pov § Frame narrative and narrative nesting § Metaphors and similes § Colloquial style of expressed (opposed to stilted language of the court) o Questions Raised § Those with demo values be as oppressive as monarchial one § Can people overcome heredity and training as individuals § How important are the comforts provided by progress for a meaningful life and what makes life worth living o Modern transitions and transformations § Shift from rural to industrial § Growing gap between rich and middle class § Economic modernization § Epistemological modernization ú Scientific method § Political modernization ú Universal suffrage § Technological leaps ú Communication revolution ú Transportation trains ú Electricity ú Information age (wide distribution of facts and knowledge) ú Modernization of warfare ú Rapid expansion of market commodity Stephen Crane • most famous for the Red Badge of Courage • Realism in Twain to Naturalism in Crane (1890s-1910) o Naturalists take romantic themes and show ugliness and gritty detail o Interested in how environment shapes people (Darwin) § Product of forces beyond their control § In Romantic literature individuals are very powerful § In Naturalism they are governed by larger forces that are out of their control Bride Comes to Yellow Sky (1900) • Disappearance of “Old West” • Old West had been romanticized o Target of Crane’s humor • Frontier closed in 1893 • Train scene o Out of place on the train o The butler had to guide them through their dinner o Fish out of water § Plunged into a new environment § Not well adapted to it § They stand out o Goes back to Darwin § Raised in one environment then plunged in another § Darwin said that it depends on the environment not the innate characteristics of a species ú Focus on the negro porters ú Crane seems to be saying that relations of superiority and inferiority is not based on race but on being well adapted to the environment § Sudden changes in environment make the strong become weak o Train represents modernization § Exact time § Train arrives at a very specific time § Very fancy decorations inside the train § Jack Potter feels like he is part of something bigger than himself when he is on the train • Expectation vs. Reality o Jack thinks they will be concerned about his marriage o The townspeople are more concerted with Scratchy Wilson § Drummer (salesperson from North): concerned about the gunfight § Devolves into random violence o Scratchy is ironic § Slinks away at the end § He’s drunk and misses the mark on the bar door § Not really a serious threat more like a brat with a gun § Lays down his gun at a kind of inconsequential marriage ú Marriage has an talismanic power ú Jack has reevaluated what he wants in life ú Train has exposed him to something different ú Potter and Wilson are no longer equals § Resigned to his fate, not morally improved at the end ú Has no power over his environment ú His environment is changing and he is becoming irrelevant ú Cannot survive in the modern world ú Goes away in the starboard side • Details about what time it is very specific o Very preoccupied with watches and clocks o “’Due in Yellow Sky at 3:42’, he said looking tenderly into his eyes” o flirting over telling time § irony o they are not talking romantically about their wedding or their lives together § they are talking about time § they are both uncomfortable • this marriage is also a sudden change o behaving how they think they are supposed to behave o they are traditional people- embarrassed about the wedding night that is upcoming • P.O.V o Third person omniscient § Introduction to Scratchy Wilson- where his shirt was made o Cruel/satirical narrator § Enjoys position of superiority over characters


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