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EN 220 Week 5 Notes

by: Rhiannon Hein

EN 220 Week 5 Notes EN 220

Rhiannon Hein
GPA 3.886

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These notes cover Frost, Eliot, and Fitzgerald, or the week of 2/15.
Honors American Literature II
Dr. Christopher Love
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rhiannon Hein on Sunday February 21, 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 16 views. For similar materials see Honors American Literature II in Foreign Language at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.


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Date Created: 02/21/16
Babylon Revisited Notes I. Fitzgerald a. Not as radically experimental in his work. i. This leads him to be associated with subtle or conventional modernism,  not high modernism like Eliot. b. He plays with subjective reality in Tender is the Night c. Zelda, Fitzgerald’s wife, became a model for eccentric behavior. i. She was considered the original flapper, became a role model for the  modern American woman. ii. Zelda did influence her husband very much. She is the model for Daisy  and other female characters in Fitzgerald’s work. d. Great Gatsby i. Parallels Fitzgerald’s own life. ii. Gatsby and Daisy are both shallow. e. What is the balance between freedom and morality? i. Are they separate issues? Are they compatible issues? ii. What do wealthy people do with their money and what should they do  with their money? iii. Fitzgerald mainly deals with upper class people and their problems. iv. These questions are moral and also have social consequences for the rest  of us. f. Fitzgerald lost popularity in the 1930s because people didn’t want to read about  millionaires wasting their money when they had nothing. g. The great depression is seen as a “hangover” of the roaring 20s. II. Babylon Revisited a. Asks the question above: What should wealthy people do with their money? i. There’s a lot of waste, a lot of money put towards vice. It highlights the  consumer society. b. Marion i. She holds Charlie responsible for her sister’s death. ii. There’s a hint of jealousy about how her sister and brother­in­law were  living. 1. The sense that they were just throwing their money away. c. Comparison to other texts i. The woman has a lot of power in the situation, and yet her emotions are  still tied to illness. ii. Marion’s anger is seen as sickness, a physical illness. iii. Her power allows her to lord his mistakes over him. d. “I lost everything in the boom” i. When he had a ton of money he actually lost everything. ii. His lifestyle and all his money allowed him to lose what was really  important. iii. Asks the question: once you’ve achieved the American Dream, what’s  next? 1. What do you do with your money? 2. Sense of boredom e. Tonal shift from Fitzgerald’s earlier work. f. Relationship between freedom, morality, and responsibility? i. How can you reconcile freedom to do what you wish with your money,  with what’s morally sound, with responsibility? ii. Fitzgerald asks this question but doesn’t particularly answer it. iii. He complicates the idea of “freedom” and the “American Dream” by  demonstrating what freedom can do, and how the American Dream (when  achieved) can influence individuals and society. Frost and Eliot Notes Day 2 I. “The Waste Land” a. What is going on? The Waste Land is a radical poem, unique among just about  every poem ever written. b. It defies the conventions of traditional poetry and the audience’s expectations  about how to read and experience a poem. c. The Waste Land is intentionally designed to alienate and disorient readers—it  challenges the audience to make sense of its fragmented narratives and erudite  references. d. It attempts to convey the alienation and fragmented experience of the modern  world. e. How do we make sense of a modern waste land brought about by war and the loss of meaning? II. The Burial of the Dead a. IT is after WWI, and the title of this section suggests ritual and sacrament of  burying millions who have perished in the war. b. Rituals and sacraments attempt to give spiritual meaning to events; here the  speaker struggles to make meaning out of the modern waste land. c. Thus the speaker calls on traditional ways to heal but finds them “broken” and  “dry” d. Modern religion consists of frauds like Madame Sosostris—who the modern  world mistakes as wise e. However, something is happening: the poem’s dark tone is ironic; despite April’s  cruelty, the land is slowly becoming fertile again. f. Eliot tries to reveal the purity of religion, that religion began from rituals designed to sanctify the dead in order to bring about fertility. i. Therefore, religion, in its pure form, is about regeneration and life. III. A Game of Chess a. The poem dramatically shifts in to the next section, where we get several voices  whose thoughts and words blend into one another. b. We eavesdrop on a couple having a disagreement. A man who sees disinterested  and a neurotic woman. i. These represent the modern couple, unable to communicate IV. Poetics a. The Waste Land uses many different meters, rhythms, and varieties of poetic  language. b. Some of it is written in free verse, some of it’s written in iambic pentameter, other parts make use of popular forms such as lyric poetry, popular songs, and other  styles. i. He uses tradition in new, innovative ways. V. Allusions and references a. In order to understand the world around you, you must understand the past. b. To understand the modern world takes immense intellect; thus Elliot challenges  his readers to become knowledgeable about the sheer complexity of the world. c. An immense knowledge of literature and history is important. VI. Frost is thematically Modernist. a. People believe he’s a Romantic poet but if you actually look at his poetry, you’ll  see that he’s not a Romantic poet. In many ways he’s quite naturalistic. b. Frost is the first to bring dramatic dialogue to poetry. c. Frost uses dialogue to demonstrate impersonal relationships and isolation i. These men are emotionally stoic and cold, communication was  complicated by gender. ii. The man tells her to calm down even though their child is dead (65) iii. The woman wants him to talk about their child but when he does, she  doesn’t like how he talks about the child. d. In “Death of a Hired Man,” pride gets in the way between Warren and Silas. i. Silas comes to die but cannot admit it, he arrives under the pretense of  working. ii. The wife wants Warren to see him as a member of the family and Warren  is reluctant to see that because he doesn’t think Silas has done a good job  in the past. e. Mocking the idea of “home” i. Warren says that home is something you haven’t deserved. ii. You come back and they have to take you in (121­123). f. Frost as an anti­Romantic/continuation of the transcendental tradition? i. He’s definitely influenced by Emerson and Thoreau. ii. Ironic contrast in “Stopping by Woods” between a traditional Romantic  lyric and how the nature makes him contemplate suicide. iii. Nature is indifferent—naturalistic view. iv. He’s not praising the beauty of nature, it’s often about the failure of nature to deliver the transcendental moment. v. However, nature does have an artistic purpose; it can provide the setting  for poetry.  1. But for Frost, inspiration to use nature to write poetry is a creation  of his own mind, there is no divine spirituality he’s connecting to. VII. Eliot and Frost a. Talking about dead children and abortion are taboo topics, talking about these  things is sort of a staple of the Modernist b. Frost depicts extremely private, personal moments c. Eliot makes more use of fragmentation than Frost does? i. Frost uses fragments by employing the use of vignettes. ii. Dramatic Dialogues give you a window, or a look at a particular scene  with so much on the outskirts that we don’t know. d. Eliot believed that poetry should be complicated and intellectually challenging  because the serious poet is dealing with all that has come before. i. Eliot wants to get emotion out of poetry.


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