EN 220 Week 4 Notes
EN 220 Week 4 Notes EN 220
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rhiannon Hein on Sunday February 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to EN 220 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Dr. Christopher Love in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Honors American Literature II in Foreign Language at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 02/14/16
2/9/16 To Build A Fire Notes I. London, in “To Build A Fire” deals with the “nature” part of naturalism. a. Nature doesn’t care, it’s indifferent to the man’s suffering and to his struggle. It simply exists. b. Dog is indifferent to the man, after the man has died the dog simply goes to a new master who can provide it with another home. c. A line that suggests it would’ve been cold whether or not the man was there. II. Themes of isolation in naturalism a. Both protagonists (in Yellow Wallpaper and To Build a Fire) are by themselves and isolated from society. b. He believes he can travel alone as long as he’s “a man.” “Any man who was a man could travel alone” (1053) i. Perhaps both this story and “The Yellow Wallpaper” both point out the error in the arrogance of masculinity. ii. Perhaps gender is a part of nature, which we are powerless against? III. Darwinism a. The natural condition of the dog allows it to live while the human dies. The dog, instinctually and naturally, is better built to survive these types of environments than the man. b. Man’s will has nothing to do with his survival. Naturalists believed that your destiny is completely determined by your environment. c. Less societal pressures, more just an uncaring nature. d. The man doesn’t have the foresight but the dog does through instinct. e. The man in “To Build a Fire” is as trapped as the woman in “The Yellow Wall paper” IV. Gender identity a. Both characters (Gilman’s and London’s) are trapped in their gender roles. The man in “To Build a Fire” has to go alone, he has to prove that he is a man and can do manly things. b. The woman is also characterized by her gender. 2/11/16 T.S. Eliot and Robert Frost Notes I. Modernism a. Modernism began in Europe around 1890 b. Modernism was heavily influenced by Naturalism’s turn toward psychological realism as experienced by individuals. c. Modernism features more intense psychological exploration of its characters. d. Modernist writers were more interested in how and what types of realities characters construct for themselves rather than an external monolithic reality e. Modernists therefore experimented highly with form to accommodate this new idea. f. Fragmented reality g. People who believe they have an objective truth—there is an illusion of objective truth. i. Modernists wanted people to acknowledge that they don’t have a monopoly on objective truth. h. Modernists wanted to challenge and disorient the reader, to challenge them with subjective reality. i. Ezra Pound, an American expatriate, stated for the modernist artist: Make it new —break with traditional forms and subject matter. i. Led to various literary movements, such as imagism and vorticism j. Modernist works experimented with form, voice, language, point of view, chronology, and themes. i. Using jazz music, blues etc. to play with language. ii. Stream of consciousness, interior monologues, fragmented narratives, abrupt shifts in chronological times. iii. Texts were often radically experimental. 1. These make it a drastic departure from Realism and Naturalism. k. Modernists were varied in their attitudes toward politics, some modernists expressed hope in progressive fascism while others expressed isolation and indifference toward political movements. i. Modernists could often be nostalgic. ii. Modernists often tried to portray how characters tried to find meaning in an impersonal, industrialized world, thus they portrayed everyday struggles, events, and ordinary people as heroic. iii. Clash of modern values with traditional values. l. Modernism was more optimistic before WWI, but the war caused a great shift toward more cynical, pessimistic views of the modern world. m. American modernism was both global and national; the expatriates like Pound and Eliot left American forever, but modernists like Robert Frost and Faulkner returned to the US after stays abroad. n. Much of clearly American Modernism examines the effects of modernity on the particular issues of the American nation. o. American Modernism written by those in the US tends to be regional in nature, meaning these writers pay attention to the uniqueness of America’s varied regions such as the South, New England, and the Midwest and how modernity effects these particular regions. p. American Modernism even more directly challenged the divide between America’s founding ideals and the material reality of social, political, and gender inequality. q. Modernists shared a belief that the 20 century makrs a significant turning point in human history. They saw it as a clear definitive departure from the “Old World” r. Modernists also began to discuss more graphically and explicitly violence, racism, sexism, sex, poverty, and the modern world’s influence over such forces. i. Expanded what could be portrayed in literature and art. II. The Waste Land a. The puzzle is intentional i. Eliot wants you to be confused b. Every line makes allusions to classical texts. i. Snobby, called “high modernism” ii. Calls attention to your ignorance in order to appeal to your sense of curiosity. It asks for you to go look it up. 1. Demonstrates how complex the world is. If you want to understand the world, you have to understand everything about it. c. Section 1: The Burial of the Dead i. Burials are important, rituals are important, traditions are important. 1. Eliot is arguing that these rituals are important to help us psychologically.
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