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Lesson 6-8 Notes

by: Whitney Lynn

Lesson 6-8 Notes ENG 3310

Whitney Lynn
American Literature

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American literature, English 3310 notes for lessons 6-8. Lesson 6: Modernism and Modernist Literature Lesson 7: American Modernist Fiction Lesson 8: The Harlem Renaissance
American Literature
Class Notes
american literature, Literature, notes, lesson notes, modernism, modernist literature, modernist fiction, harlem renaissance, english
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Whitney Lynn on Thursday September 17, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ENG 3310 at University of Missouri - Columbia taught by in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see American Literature in Foreign Language at University of Missouri - Columbia.


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Date Created: 09/17/15
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OIIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Lesson 6 Modernism and Modernist Literature Early 20th century Increasing urbanization industrialization immigration technology WWI PTSD began to be known Disillusionment from the poor relationships of civilization Elements of the literature alienation and loneliness disillusionment Yearning for lost values Inability to actdecide Inability to communicate Inability to express or feel love Selfdoubt Fear of rejection Fear of deathaging Chaos breakdown disorder Artificialgloomysterile environment Less bound by traditional poem structure such as rhyming EA Robinson Not properly a modernist poet Precursor of modernism Rhymed and metrical but about modernism subjects Interest in psychology Alienation Pessimistic tone Credo Latin for I Believe Human in the poem is lost spiritually and geographically Alone in the darkness without even a star There is nothing to see or hear He knows of a previous time that was better The poem ends with a bit of hopefulness Most of his poems have loneliness Richard Cory Told by the townspeople who envy Richard Cory Kineg in appearance and behavior Rich Townspeople work and suffer without basic needs OOOOOOOOOOIOOOOOOOOOOOII OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Waiting for the light Any would trade places with Cory Richard Cory was alienated from society Cory killed himself most likely due to alienation Townspeople are left with a sense of loss for Cory and the dreams he embodied Miniver Cheevy Lighter than most of his poems Humorous Drunk character mourns the loss of a distant past Thinks he could have been a nobler man Talks of his past with great ideas when really was not as colorful Would do anything to be in presence of money and famousinfluential figures Miniver s life is all thought Thinking leads nowhere Has a desire for the past and inability to act in the present Themes loneliness isolation alienation desire disillusionment Mr Flood s Party Another story of a drunk mourning a lost past Mr Flood tenderly cares for his booze He talks to himself Time passes and life changes and that is what he is mourning Unlike Miniver he had friends and a good past to mourn Learns through life that many things are broken and will come to an end Mr Flood issues a quiet cry for help Robert Frost Says that a poem is at its best when it is tantalizineg vague Desert Places Alone in a great space Snowcovered field Absentspirited and unaware Loneliness of the snowcovered field includes him Lonely inner space is worse than the lonely outer space Both Frost and Robinson use space and externalinternal to express loneliness Design Spidermothflower Flower is genetically messed up and white instead of blue White spider hides on white flower to catch white moth Frost uses the color white atypically to symbolize death and isolation The second stanza is the speaker asking why The speaker is talking more broadly about human existencewhy Poem makes it seem like an intentional dark force is in control of the earth 00 00000000 O 000 OOOIOOOOOOOOOOO There is a design causing things to happen that produce shock horror and disgust In the end humans are as powerless as insects The ending line provides a twist that maybe there is no design but actions happen at random for no reasons There is no comfort found within the poem for the readers or the speaker Mending Wall Two rural New England land owners meeting to make a wall to separate their properties Conflict of viewpoints throughout the poem One values walls but one does not The wall is a concept separating humans in different ways The neighbor is the one who wants the wall The speaker wants to break through barriers and shows concern about offensiveness of walls The speaker actually initiates the building of the wall he isn39t opposed but doesn t exactly agree The speaker is playing both sides of the fence The barrier actually brings these two men together After ApplePicking Describes the thoughts and sensations of a person falling asleep after a long day of picking apples Feels as if he is still on the ladder picking Ladder is pointing toward heaven Applepicking is a metaphor of reflecting on life Mistakes are like fallen apples Is this just regular sleep or a hibernationdeath Uses apples just like the Garden of Eden The Road Not Taken Praising nonconformity Speakers satisfaction comes from taking the road less traveled in life Both roads are walked upon to a similar degree But at the end he refers to it as the one less traveled by This is from a different perspective He is really talking about decisions not literally paths He believes he will look back on this decision later Says the paths are more equally traveled but he took the one less traveled he could be living a lie but he wouldn t understand that until time passes and he moves forward looking back Could also be thinking that the decisions are the road less traveled but it may just be less traveled for him Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening O 00000 00000000000000 Woods are lovely but dark and deep Speaker is torn between watching the snow and needing to fulfill promises Seems as if the speaker is falling asleep Using snow sleep and woods for symbolization of death To fully appreciate Frost don t look for a single ultimate meaning but recognize the vagueness and ambiguity T 8 Eliot Prufrock References Dante s Inferno perhaps connecting the speaker of the poem to show he is living in some hell Prufrock is speaking to the reader Foreshadows inability to act Bleak environment common in modernism There is an overwhelming question that exists but unanswered Prufrock s life is trivial and without meaning or greatness More aware of what he is unable to do than what he is able to do Inability to decide act communicate Reference to Hamlet to be or not to be He can t approach a woman very selfconscious Doesn t expect to be understood even if he does speak Selfconscious about age and lack of selfworth In the end identifies with a creature scuttling across the floor not even humans Not really a love song at all but titled as irony of the lack of love in his life Lost unloved unable to take action unable to connect to others living a trivial life Lesson 7 American Modernist Fiction See features of modernism above Ernest Hemingway The Snows of Kilimanjaro Snow mountaintops African savannah Harry is suffering from severe gangrene and will die if a rescue plane doesn39t arrive soon he can do nothing but wait Unable to be mobile but attended by his wife and African servant He drinks argues with his wife remembers the past and drifts in and out of consciousness Harry wanted to go to Africa to recover his ability to write Harry does not love his wealthy wife Blames his wife for his sad life because her money can support him to do nothing and be nothing Feels dead inside like the gangrene is eating away at his physical being his spiritual death painless Came to Africa to start again The italicized passages are memories he hoped to write Memories are images of better times frequently concerned with now Suffering from failure and fever so his mind offers him relief by thoughts of happier times 0 Snow is refreshing to a feverish man 0 The snow is white white suggests purity one must ascend to a mountain to reach it 0000000 associated with attaining something greater to transcend Thoughts of the snow represent his desire to write again The only way to achieve transcendence is in his final moment at death Harry is a very modern character instead of striving for greatness he settles He is spiritually dead F Scott Fitzgerald Babylon Revisited Charlie Wales has a contrast between past and present Wales made a lot of money during the 1920s Story is set in Paris Socialites like Charlie stayed up all night going from bar to bar and were careless of responsibilities Charlie argues with his wife Helen and goes home alone locking the door Figured she wouldn t come home Locked her out in the snow storm on accident She becomes ill because of it Dies soon after from heart problems Death blamed on Charlie by Helen s sister Marion Charlie was committed to regain his own health and Care of their daughter Honoria fell to Marion Three years pass while Charlie gets his life back on track exhausting his fortune Goes back to reclaim his daughter or reclaim his honor Marion is concerned Charlie has not changed Charlie goes to visit an old hangout where he mentions his daughter they did not know about showing his priorities in the past He still has one drink a day does this mean he can control it or that he can t let go of it Marion is not convinced and it is easy to share the skepticism Charlie reminisces on the old days showing he misses them but at times he realizes they were a waste At times the daughter seems more mature than Charlie even though she is just in her youth Ending is ambiguous Marion agrees to let Charlie have Honoria Some of his friends from the old days drunkenly barge into in where they are not welcome showing that Charlie may not have changed even though he tried to get them to go away Charlie shows change but also still habit he is in a transition period stuck between his old self and stable self Theme of suspension His final bankruptcy also symbolizes his moral bankruptcy Charlie is a modern character experiencing a sense of loss Lesson 8 The Harlem Renaissance After WWI Black Americans in many cities one was Harlem predominantly black section of New York City Harlem became the site of black art culture intellectualism literary movement of black writers 1920s Also concerned with modernism Nella Larsen Quicksand Comparative to Prufrock Helga is lonely and feels alienated in the world wherever she is Mixed black and white and is unable to find a sense of self She is not comfortable with whites or blacks Moves from place to place searching for belonging She can take action because she is moving but is disillusioned each time She is running away than dealing with her problems IIIIIOIIIIIIIIO IIIIOIIIIIIIIIOII Trapped like she is caught in quicksand Love is elusive for Helga rage Plot is in many places in search for identity The SouthNaxos Teacher at a black college at a school named Naxos Finds the place oppressive because it tolerates no innovations or individualism Confused and oppressed racial identity is a major theme Lack of family gives discomfort Admits she doesn39t love her own fiance James Vayle Decides she is a failure at teaching and doesn t fit in Feels relief leaving her fiance Doesn t realize she is attracted to him Chicago Denied entrance to her uncles house because of her race Feels comfortable in her home town at first Still feels isolated spending time alone in her room No job and lack of funds she fritters away money Her sense of home is soon replaced by loss and loneliness People do not recognize Helga as she actually is she has to deny a part of herself to satisfy other expectations indifferent unkindness 1553 Employed by Mrs HayesFlore a wealthy black woman speaking on racial issues New YorkHarlem Locks away her white self She feels there are people with tastes and ideas similar to her own After one year she started to feel trapped again Those she liked are now irritating to her At first Helga admires Anne Greay but then becomes bothered by her Helga finds Anne s behavior inconsistent Anne s hatred of whites hurts Helga s half white side Audrey Denney is also a contrast to Helga Audrey and Anne don t get along either Copenhagen Receives 5000 from her uncle along with official termination of their relationship Sails to Denmark where her aunt lives Her aunt is accepting of her Anticipated to fit in amongst all whites On the ride over she considers that she might be in love with Dr Anderson but quickly forgets that The beginning of her stay is nice as usual She is feeling appreciated by her aunt She recieves a lot of attention IIIIIOI IIOOIIIIIIIOIII The painter Axel Olsen is personally and professionally attracted to her and starts to paint her Watching blacks perform in the circus she feels that she has just been entertainment over the two years Axel Olsen proposes and wasn t sure if she was propositioned or proposed to She is offended that he is more so wanting a prostituteslave and refuses to be owned by any white man She sees her portrait as a disgusting sensual creature and soon leaves New York again She sees the division of her life in two parts Helga s insite poses a problem not a solution Dr Anderson is now married to Anne Helga is kissed by him and her emotional life is in upheaval She feels like moving toward life than away from it He asks to see her alone and she expects to fulfill her newly found desires but he only wants to apologize and she is distraught by his rejection She overcame repressed sensuality and was ready to recognize and act on her desires The rejection was not embarrassing but unbearable She stumbles across a congregation orgy and it is not clear whether she was lost or saved She has a sexual encounter with Reverend Mr Pleasant Green She had deliberately stopped thinking Not sure if she is moved by God or man she sees the reverend as both Immediately marries him The South again Returns with her husband She is first satisfied as wife of a preacher Seen as socially elite Gives herself to her dirty fat husband each night Pregnant three times She hated her husband Finally in circumstances she can t escape Children Bedridden from pregnancies and despair Stuck in quicksand Ends with her about to have her fifth child and escaping into memories Claude McKay Outcast OOO OOOOOOOOOOOO Desire for peaceful life in Africa Feels a spiritual connection to the regions whence my fathers came Resides in the white Western world Leads the life of a ghost and is forever lost The Harlem Dancer Image of Harlem nightlife Female dancer is looked upon admiringly by men and women white and black The sense of self is open for interpretation The speaker of the poem sees the dancers pride and strength rather than her sensuality Theme of difficulty determining a black woman s identity Harlem Shadows Difficulties of the black woman trying to survive in the black world and Harlem night or the brightness of day and white world These women seem to be for sale Wandering and searching Speaker feels a bitterness about the way blacks are treated in America Zora Neale Hurston How It Feels to Be Colored Me Hurston is astonished when she is discriminated against She is confident and excited about life s possibilities Firm sense of identity She knows how white people view her Sees herself as having a doubleconsciousness Hurston feels the need to flee Hurston strengthens herself


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