Week 1, ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800
Week 1, ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800 ENGL 231
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Marshall DeFor on Friday August 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 231 at University of Nebraska Lincoln taught by White, Laura in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 43 views. For similar materials see English Authors > 1800 in Education at University of Nebraska Lincoln.
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Date Created: 08/26/16
ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800: Week 1 Week 1 Recap Hello, fellow students! I’m Marshall DeFor. I am a Secondary English and Language Arts Education major at University of NebraskaLincoln. This week, we began discussing the history of the Romantic movement, aspects of the Romantic movement, and William Wordsworth’s poems and contributions, specifically how they relate to aspects of the Romantic movement. I wrote all of the following material, unless it is otherwise cited. Life gets crazy, so hopefully, this takes some of the pressure off of missing a day or missing a section of notes or reading. Table of Contents: Lectures Notes Monday Wednesday Friday Readings for the Week “The Romantics and their Contemporari1s” Selected Poetry of William Wordsworth Looking A head: ersuasion by Jane Austen, Summaries Ch. 18 Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Lectures Please keep in mind that this is supplemental material only. I am a human, and I make mistakes. I cannot write down everything that is said or presented. These notes should provide you with a large amount of what was presented but may not include all of the material that you need to know. The main goal of these lecture notes are to help you remember the major points of each lecture, as well as provide some background information on each key point. Monday I. Why study British literature from 1800 CE to 1940 CE? A. 1800 CE begins a period known as the Great Divide. C. S. Lewis remarked on this transitional period: 1. Politics: rulers were rejected in favor of leaders 2. Art: teaching based on pure aesthetics was rejected in favor of the ideals of irony and ambiguity within art 3. Religion: Christianity was rejected in favor of materialism 4. Popular mythology: machines restructured perceptions, creating the belief that newer is better 1 There is one thing that I would like to mention. I will not be doing an analysis of any poetry that we read because poetry is a personal experience and has many interpretations based on past experiences of the individual. I will, however, summarize other texts to the best of my ability! ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800: Week 1 B. Why are we stopping at 1940 CE? Well, friends, 1940 CE shows a transition from modernism to Postmodernism, and we can further extrapolate the views of modernism into Postmodernism ourselves. II. The Ptolemaic Universe A. The Ptolemaic Universe belief system held up until the Late Renaissance. The Earth was the center of the universe, and the order of orbit was as follows: Earth )) moon )) Sun )) other 7 planets )) sphere of stars/angels’ home B. Copernicus was the first to suggest that the sun was the center of the universe. 1. Galilei’s work was a main component of Copernicus’s belief. Galilei was put on house arrest by the Catholic Church because he insisted that the Earth moved. He recanted this belief, but on his deathbed, it is rumored that he said, “And yet, it moves!” 2. The Catholic Church disliked the belief that the Earth moved because somehow, they believed that this “displaced” the Catholic faith and religion. C. The Great Chain of Being 1. Based on hierarchy a) God > Angels > people > animate nature > inanimate nature > demons b) Angels, people, animate nature and inanimate nature all have inner hierarchies (1) Angels: archangels, [...] seraphim, [...] cherubim (2) King of beasts: lion, unicorn (3) King of insects: bees (4) King of trees: oaks (5) King of minerals: gold 2. Family crests often contained “kings,” like oak leaves, lions, unicorns, etc. D. Examples of belief in the Ptolemaic Universe theory in the preRomanticism era: 1. Robert Hooke, “Preface,” M icrographia, 1664, paragraph 19 Reiteration in the Truth of Scripture 2. John Donne, “Anatomy of a New World,” 1611, lines 205208 Labels the “new philosophy” as destructive, causing a “loss of the sun” 3. Joseph Wright of Derby, “An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump,” 1768 a) Depicts the artist killing a bird to prove the existence of a vacuum, depicts a heartless side of science b) Shows a possible belief that science should not cross ethical lines, showing a strong belief in Morality; however, it is a selfportrait with the artist as the scientist, which causes disharmony between the artist’s pursuit of science and this new belief. III. Change in beliefs: The French Revolution shows a shift from Catholicism to rationality, specifically in JeanJacquesFrançois Le Barbier’s depiction of France’s “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen,” produced in 1789 during the time of the French Revolution. A. The broken Great Chain of Being shows the dissemination of rank, i.e., the oppressed are hereby no longer oppressed. This is an intensely secular split from the belief in the “Divine Rule” of kings. B. The painting looks similar to the 10 Commandments of JudeoChristian fame, but instead show 17 Articles. This similarity is not coincidence; this document is a “replacement” of sorts for JudeoChristianic law. Once again, intensely secular. C. The Ouroboros symbol of a snake eating its own tail is a symbol of the belief that the rights of man preexist and are not necessarily from God. D. The Masonic symbol of the eye in a pyramid is a symbol of secular knowledge and reason to displace religion IV. British authors of the time fall to the liberal spectrum of belief A. Percy Shelley believed that God and Satan were just human projections of good and evil. He was an adamant atheist and also believed that astronomy disproved Christianity. ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800: Week 1 B. Thomas Hardy went against the belief that stars were an emblem of God’s perfection; he believed they were deep wells of nothingness. This shows a similarity to Nihilism. V. The End of Ptolemaic Thinking A. The Ptolemaic Universe theory fell apart by 1750. The divine right of kings is gone. B. The Great Chain belief of social hierarchy still hangs on, though, and a clashing of a hierarchical belief and a belief in pure rationale is just one example of the clashing beliefs leading up to 1800. C. However, interestingly enough, the 19th century is believed to have been the most Christian century of both England and the United States. Wednesday I. The Transformation of Worldviews from the Renaissance to ModernDay A. The coronation portrait of King George IV by Sir Thomas Lawrence in 1821 depicted the king about fifty pounds lighter, wearing royal robes and ornaments. This is one of the last depictions of royalty in a positive, “decorated” way during this time period. B. The French Revolution 1. The sacking of the Bastille (prison) occurred on July 14, 1789; there were only ten prisoners, so the effect was distinctly less than what the rioters were going for. One of the prisoners that they set free was the Marquis de Sade, who was quite crazy and really should have been kept under lock and key. 2. Thomas Paine was in France during the Revolution. He famously wrote the Rights of Man. He also declared that the king should not be killed, just imprisoned for life. Because of this declaration, he had to flee France to escape being killed by the revolutionists. 3. The Notre Dame Cathedral was in bad repair during this time. PreVictor Hugo’s The Hunchback of NotreDame, published in 1831, it was a lesserknown cathedral. During the French Revolution, revolutionists had an antiCatholic agenda. They replaced the Paschal candle with the “Flame of Reason” to symbolically place reason above religion. 4. The calendar was reinvented, with the first year of Liberty replacing the year 1789 CE. Month names, previously set by names of gods, were named for weather phenomenons. Days were given names based on items in nature, i.e. “potato day.” 5. Robespierre was the initial leader of the revolution. His execution was the beginning of a transition of leadership to a military rule under Napoleon Bonaparte. C. Britain’s Response to the French Revolution 1. Many Romantics in Britain were optimistic about the French Revolution at first, but this ceased once the heads started to roll. 2. The Revolution failed because it overestimated what Reason could do to human nature. 3. Condorcet, a contributor to the E ncyclopédie, did not believe that the king should be killed. He, like many others, was forced into hiding because of this belief. He hid in a friend’s attic and wrote “Sketch for a Historical Picture,” which explained how Calculus would fix everything by quantifying human nature, projecting human behavior into the future, seeing the problems with the outcome, and fixing the original flaws to project a better future. This utopian view of quantifying the world was simply not feasible. D. The Romantic Backlash against Reason: 1. Let poets rule everything! a) “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” ~P. B. Shelley b) “Genius has no error.” ~William Blake 2. Guide by emotion ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800: Week 1 3. Gothic style (mid18th century to 1820s) Friday I. A bard is more than a poet. A bard is also a prophet. Wordsworth believed that he, as a bard, had a moral and social responsibility to show his people a new way. II. Romantic poets were known for walking through nature as they composed poetry. A. They worked out the “feet” of the poetry by taking physical steps. A “foot” in a poem is a pair of syllables, the first stressed and the second unstressed. B. Walking was associated with creation. III. Wordsworth’s “Preface” reads as a poetic manifesto. A. Poetry is supposed to be a “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,” which was strikingly different to the common practice of careful, exact, meticulous structure. B. The poem’s emotional drive is then to be “recollected in tranquility.” This means that the overarching structure of the poetry would come from the emotion, as opposed to a set, “correct” structure. IV. The Commemoration of Children in the Romantic Period A. The Romantic view of children was that they were naturally born innocent, they were naturally good, and they could lead adults by example of goodness. This was a push against the previous, Calvinist view that children were born in sin and needed to be punished as they were raised to teach them good. B. A lot of children tragically die in Romantic poetry. This emblazons them in a state of innocence. They never have to grow up and become bad people. C. Rousseau was an advocate for child education. He believed that the city caused alienation and that children should be taken into a cottage in nature and taught by an old man all of the good things in life. However, he was a hypocrite who had five children with his mistress of low class and sent them all to French orphanages where they died by the age of five. V. Examples of Wordsworth’s Romantic Commemoration of Children A. In “We Are Seven,” Wordsworth assigns the wisdom of the immortality of the soul to a young girl. ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800: Week 1 with the page opened to his name; he has written in more details of his family onto this page. This page now includes the following: ● when he was born (March 1, 1760) ● when he was married to his wife Elizabeth (July 15, 1784) ● when his wife died (1800) ● when his daughter, also named Elizabeth, was born (June 1, 1785) ● when his daughter Anne was born (August 9, 1787) ● when his stillborn on was born (November 5, 1789) ● when his daughter Mary was born (November 20, 1791) ● when Mary was married (December 16, 1810) ● to whom she was married (Charles Musgrove, Esq. of Uppercross) ● the name of Mary’s son, (who is now Sir Walter Elliot’s heir,) William Walter Elliot, Esq. This is all extremely important to Sir Walter. Sir Walter’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth, is very similar to him when it comes to class. She values people of “high blood” more than those of lesser blood. She desires to marry someone of high blood in order to keep her and her father happy with his bloodline. Anne, the middle daughter, is somewhat disregarded by both Sir Walter and Elizabeth. She has lost her beauty quite young, but has a nice heart and elegant mind. She is the favorite of Lady Russell, an old family friend of Sir Walter and his late wife. Mary, the youngest daughter, married Charles Musgrove, who is rich, but not of high blood. Mary and her husband live three miles away, in a house known as Uppercross Cottage. Elizabeth wanted to marry one of her cousins, also with the last name Elliot, in order to keep her bloodline one of “high society.” The cousin, however, did not seem to care for her at all. He married a rich girl of “low blood” instead. This girl of low blood has recently died, which makes him once again available, but Elizabeth cannot forgive him for snubbing his own family and marrying someone else. Turns out, Sir Walter Elliot is becoming poor quickly. Sir Walter’s wife had been the one to manage the finances. Since the time of her death, Sir Walter has consistently overspent his budget. Now, he and Elizabeth must cut from their budget without hurting their aristocratic reputation. Sir Walter has mortgaged some of his land but refuses to sell any of it; he wants to pass along all of the Kellynch estate to his heir. They find budgetslashing impossible because they are accustomed to a certain status of living. They seek the help of a few family friends, Lady Russell and Mr. Shepherd. At the end of the chapter, Elizabeth and Sir Walter tell them of their financial situation. Chapter 2 Mr. Shepherd wants nothing to do with this, so he turns the task immediately over to Lady Russell. Lady Russell consults Anne for the budget cuts, and Anne just goes to town. (If you’ve seen Parks and Rec, she pulls a Season Three Ben Wyatt, slashing two horses here, one carriage here, etc.) She comes up with a plan that would leave her family debtfree in about seven years. Of course, when this plan is presented, Sir Walter Elliot is mortified at the idea of losing his accustomed way of life. Sir Walter suggests leaving Kellynch as a joke, but soon, it becomes a reality in order to save money. He must choose whether or not to settle nearby, in Bath, or in London. He decides, with the help of Lady Russell and Mr. Shepherd, to go to Bath. Anne does not want to go to Bath, but the decision is made regardless of what she wants. (Remember, she is pretty much disregarded by Sir Walter and Elizabeth.) 4 This is determined by who your family is in society. For example, barons are a pretty big deal. Class is a main theme of this book, and many of the characters often determine relationships with others based on the class of the possible friend or lover. 5 Kellynch Hall is Sir Walter Elliot’s home. This estate has been passed down in his family for generations. ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800: Week 1 Lady Russell was happy with this decision for three reasons: one, Sir Walter Elliot would be able to be of importance there without spending as much money; two, Lady Russell goes to visit Bath in the winter months; and three, this would keep Elizabeth away from Mrs. Clay, the daughter of Mr. Shepherd. Lady Russell does not think Mrs. Clay is good company for Elizabeth. Chapter 3 Mr. Shepherd starts speaking very positively of sailors in the Navy, pretty much out of nowhere. (I wonder why.) Sir Walter, at first, has negative feelings towards Navy men for two reasons: one, the Navy grants people of “low blood” distinction, and two, it causes men to age grotesquely. Remember, he only cares about his looks and his status, and the Navy seemingly lowers his importance by raising others. Also, it makes people look older, which is the worst thing that he can imagine. Finally, Mr. Shepherd is able to talk Navy men up enough (they work hard, they’re respectable, they’re very tidy, etc.) to bring a man by the name of Admiral Croft i nto the conversation. Admiral Croft is a Navy man who wants to let the Kellynch estate with his wife, Mrs. Croft. Sir Walter finally agrees to this because, as an admiral, Croft is of some importance and would not make a baronet look bad as a tenant. Chapter 4 Anne had fallen in love with a Captain Frederick Wentworth eight years prior, at nineteen. He had no fortune or status but promised wealth to her once he obtained his own ship. Lady Russell strongly advised against this relationship for Anne’s sake. However, since that time, the captain had grown a fortune, just like he said that he would. Although she has not heard of him for a while, Anne believes that he is still single. It turns out that the captain’s sister is married to Admiral Croft. Very few people knew of this previous relationship between Anne and the captain; only three that Anne knows of in her own household: ● Lady Russell, who will remain at Kellynch estate but will keep quiet about it, ● Sir Walter, who is too concerned about himself and his move to Bath to embarrass Anne by bringing it up, and ● Elizabeth, who is of the same prerogative as Sir Walter. Because of this, Anne feels that Admiral Croft will be able to move in without too much awkwardness. Chapter 5 The moving day arrives. Sir Walter and Elizabeth head off to Bath, and they bring along Mrs. Clay, which annoys Lady Russell. Elizabeth says openly that Anne does not need to come along because she would be of no help in Bath, yet she brings along Mrs. Clay. Anne and Lady Russell acknowledge this act for what it is: very rude. Mrs. Clay is not very pretty, but has an agreeable temperament. Anne warns Elizabeth that their father may try to pursue her. Elizabeth doesn’t think that this warning is warranted, but Anne feels better knowing that she said something before they left for Bath. Anne was planning to stay at Kellynch for a while longer, but Mary calls for Anne at Uppercross Cottage on account of illness. Really, Mary is just lonely, and after Anne listens to a few hours of Mary’s annoying pity party, Mary feels well enough to take a stroll. They walk up to the Great House and meet Mr and Mrs Musgrove, as well as their two daughters, Henrietta and Louisa Musgrove. The Musgroves are old family friends of the Elliots. The parents are jolly and uneducated. The daughters have been to school at Exeter and are now elegant, beautiful, and merry. Anne is jealous of the daughters’ closeness, but desires ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800: Week 1 nothing else about their lives. The chapter ends with Mary inviting Henrietta and Louisa to go on a walk with her and Anne. Chapter 6 Anne is excited to be at Uppercross and gets along with most everyone. Mary and Mrs Musgrove often tell Anne, individually, about their troubles with one another. Anne has to try and soothe both parties as best as she can. Anne could play the piano very well, but nobody really cared because Mr and Mrs Musgrove were partial to their own children’s playing. The Crofts arrive at Kellynch, and Mary visits them. They come for a visit at Uppercross in return. Anne was surprised to find out that Mrs. Croft knew that Anne had been “acquainted” with her brother. Anne also found out that Captain Frederick Wentworth would be coming for a visit. Chapter 7 Everyone was going to visit Captain Wentworth, but Anne did not want to see him again. One of Mary’s children fell, dislocated his collarbone, and severely damaged his back. Mary was going to stay with the children, and Anne hurriedly volunteered to stay with her. After hearing Mary whine about how she would have been as much help as her husband in this situation, Anne suggested that Mary go along with him and let Anne watch over the child. Mary agreed, and went with Charles. They came back after having a wonderful time. Everyone loves Frederick Wentworth. He was going shooting with Charles in the morning, which meant that he was going to stop by Uppercross Cottage. Anne just wanted the meeting to be over before it began. Their meeting was brief. Anne halfmet his eye, and they did not speak to each other. She realized that she was still very much in love with him, and disliked herself for it. He, on the other hand, had told Mary that she seemed “altered beyond his knowledge.” He had not found another woman who met her standards, but he disliked her because she had deserted him, which showed a feebleness of character that he couldn’t stand for. He let his sister know that he was on the market for a wife. Chapter 8 Anne and Captain Wentworth are now in the same circles. Anne misses his old presence in her life. One night, there is some conversation about Wentworth’s history as a sailor. His point of view about women on ships is horrendous, and Mrs Croft calls him out. He believes that women can never be comfortable on ships. He feels bad when he has to have a woman on board, and he tries his best to avoid this. Mrs Croft refutes him, saying that she has spent most of her life on a ship and that he will change his opinion when he gets married and wants his wife on board. The evening ends in a party. Anne plays the piano and thinks about how sad she is about Wentworth. He only speaks to her a few times, and she reflects that his minimal presence in her life is worse than when he was gone and there was nothing at all.
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