ENGLISH 2202 LECTURE NOTES WEEK 11
ENGLISH 2202 LECTURE NOTES WEEK 11 2202
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amanda White on Friday March 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 2202 at Ohio State University taught by Dr. Jill Galvan in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 43 views. For similar materials see British Literature 1800-Present in Foreign Language at Ohio State University.
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Date Created: 03/25/16
SPRING 2016 ENGLISH 2202-BRITISH LITERATURE LECTURE NOTES WEEK 11 (March 22 & 24) TUESDAY MARCH 22 IMPORTANT VOCABULARY WORDS 1. IRONY 2. ALLUSION *20TH CENTURY (1900s): -Ideas seem more contemporary and complex, more familiar -more “modern” th -subsection of 20 century: MODERNISM (Modernist Movement) -Owen, Yates, Elliot, Wolfe, Mansfield -early idea: Period designated from WW1-1940s, today: 1890s-1950s and beyond *What is modernism and who were modernists: -Modernists: groups of British/European artists (visual and literary) -seemed to share similar preoccupations, concerns and stylistic tendencies -didn’t really know each other, but doing same things in different areas -Britain, Germany, France, and America! (Faulkner, Hemingway, Stein, Fitzgerald, etc.) -time period and countries are “fuzzy”-so what defines it? -Modernism: preoccupation with “modern” -modern condition of life, in art, society…. what is new, a break from the old -associated with model of life and artistic theories *Wilde: a transition figure, avant-garde, breaks from old ideas=a modernist! -art for arts sake, not interested in content or meaning of something -in literature: sound, rhythm, meter: things that play on the senses *Emphasis on form, surface, manner vs. hidden meaning and content *Cultural ideas and how modern contrast with Victorian -Victorians: clear and orderly idea of how to live earnestly, morally, shared values -what it means to be a “good” person and live a good life -dominant sense of morality ex. Ellis, Daughters of England (how to be good woman) *But, Victorian period ideals much more complicated -critiques of moral stigmas (Rossetti) -questioning Christian faith (Hardy) -visions of the past stifled (Dickens) **Ideas of repression challenged -always counter currants in Victorian literature -Modernists: counter currents are the main idea! -actively and overtly question social and moral norms and ideas of the self -Why do modernists become this way? *social and cultural developments—live in a new, complex world -questioning of social truths: CULTURAL PHENOMENA: 1. WW1: 1914-1918 -Huge war, different (trench warfare, mustard gas, advanced weapons) -major technological innovations -Britain: “The Great War” America: WW1 -Britain entered WW1 with lots of support: limited intelligence about war -when people started to process war and lost lives it was disorienting -average number of British truths killed was 1500 per day -public dismay is processed in writing of the period 2. Various political upheavals -Communist Revolution in Russia, 1917 -Desire for independence in colonial and imperial holdings -ex: Ireland, an active Home Rule movement-want to rule themselves but leads to turmoil and death (Yates, Easter 1916) 3. Continuing Industrialization and Urbanization -a legacy of Victorian period continuing -cities become more complex and grow -side effect: introduces stranger relations as a common element of life -in country: you tend to know the people around you -in city: used to crowds, used to strangers because city is so packed -people are “atomized”-separated from each other, anonymity and fragmentation 4. increasing bureaucracy/office culture -growth of corporate mentality and stranger relations in workplace -work in close proximity and knew people by name -but in 20 c.: more atomized relationships, typing pools, sales people 5. New Sciences -reveal the world and ourselves to be more complex than thought before -Einstein’s theory of relativity: makes universe uncertain, unknowable -Sigmund Freud: Psychoanalysis -Ideas known in Britain around 1910s -More widespread in 50s and 60s -important figure in giving us idea of the unconsciousness -human mind works like an iceberg (water level: above shows what we know and what we are conscious of, but underwater: unconsciousness, and unknown, repressed ideas -huge part of our psyche that reveals itself in indirect ways (Freudian slips) -say things you don’t always mean to -a disorienting thought at this time that we don’t know others, but we also don’t know everything about ourselves, we are fragmented CURRANTS/THEMES OF MODERNISM 1. Moral uncertainty a. Loss of stable sense of traditional truths b. Religion and in general: right and wrong, truth and falsity 2. Social disorder and atomization a. Political rebellious movements b. Strangers, loss of sense of community or coherent social fabric 3. Recurrent themes of war and national conflict a. WW1 4. Fragmentation a. Psychological, self, and social b. Artistic, stylistic, formal 5. Mood of Loss, despair, disillusionment **Challenging norms, but can also be fun! **When things become new: moral norms change, politics change ex. Wolfe, explores possibility of opportunity (new, modern) not always bleak and sad PICTURE: pg. 1046-Wyndham Lewis, Workshop, 1915 *Vorticism Movement: associated with modernism -view of a modern city, fragmentation -unsure exactly what you are seeing: part of the point! Antirealism! -art does not always have to depict an exact reality -challenge conventional, highly ordered point of view -not easy to find a coherent picture, but through style it conveys lack of order -people cannot agree on what is depicted -experiment with perspective, and messing with way a viewer/reader sees the story/picture -urge to defy realism -all see world from different perspectives, narrative point of view -2D look by play of color and shade *Cubism (Picasso) related to Vortism -play a lot with perspective, not recognizable images WILFRED OWEN PG. 1147: DULCE ET DECORUM EST -Owen considered to be a “war poet”-poetry related to experience of WW1 -famous war poem, Owen fought in WW1-then had a nervous breakdown -during this breakdown was when poem was written, he returned to front and was killed at 25 -his own experience reflected in poem, a soldier’s intimate point of view, particular perspective -many may not know this perspective -1 stanza: -modes of poem: IRONY *opposite of what you expect (verbal=sarcasm, situational=get the opposite of what you expect) *Ironic image of the soldier at war -bent double like old beggars, coughing, going thorough sludge -describe soldiers of WW1: 2 similes that are ironic (not what we would expect of a soldier at war) 1. Like beggars under sacks: disadvantaged person, not self sufficient, not strong a. A need for others: iconic ideal of masculinity is contrasted here 2. Coughing like hags a. Sickness, disability, weakness b. Hags: age and femininity (less than men) *They are this way because of the difficulty of war - “marched asleep”-so tired they can’t stop -no shoes, feet are bloody, lame, weakened, blind, drunk, poison gas -senses all dulled by fatigue and weakness nd -2 stanza: -commanding officer says to get masks on! -fumbling, stumbling, drowning -suggests picture of physical inadequacy that we don’t always associated with soldier rd -look on helplessly as one gets gassed -3 stanza -now in the future, after war -haunted by image of soldier succumbed by the gas -sees him in a dream -addresses reader: asks if we could hear, see, smell, experience what happened we would be more shocked and wouldn’t talk about war so zestfully. Graphic! -we are so familiar now with PTSD, but back then it was still a new idea —can’t forget what he saw -if reader could have seen this, then we would not tell it to children -ALLUSION: to a roman poet -Brief reference to a historical, biblical, mythological—creates meaning -different than allegory which lasts the whole story -if we experienced this, we would not talk about what it means to die for our country-we talk about it so simplistically -not how a boy becomes a man like in Kipling, but that idea of becoming ideal man through war is blinding and does not address unmanly war actually is -war is not full of ideals that we must live up to, but it ugly, dirty, and depressing ARMS AND THE BOY -boy given weapon items to play with like toys -indoctrinating children from a young age on how to be a man -pg. 1146: implies there will be a hard awakening for this boy because no one will ever be tough enough to NOT be traumatized by war -Owen suggests this boy will become an animal and so tough that this won’t effect him -people will always be effected by war THURSDAY MARCH 24 IMPORTANT WORDS: no vocab terms today OWEN: final thoughts -famous war poet -Dolce and Decorum Est: allusion to ancient roman saying that glorifies patriotism and dying for your country - “Arms and the Boy” also an allusion to Virgil (roman author) and his Epoch, Aeneid -Of arms and the man I sing…..going to sing about a warrior (military arms) -Owen highlights war differently: the experience of the boy and what are the “fictions” by which this boy is raised (opportunities for adventure, fun, arms are toys) -Owen wants to show the boys vulnerability and that boy’s body will never be an animal, will never be a killing machine/beast, but will always be human and always be vulnerable to tragedies of war -Allusion to Horace in Dolce and Decorum, Owen wants to uncover an old lie or patriotic cliché, falseness in glorifying war YEATS *Modernist -interest in the occult, ancient wisdom, magic---not very foreign ideas -ideology heightened up around WW1 because of all the mourning and death around them -Yeats was interested in contacting the spiritual world, wise spirits -on his honeymoon he discovered his wife was a medium, could hold a séance -wants his wife to channel her spiritual wisdom to him -A Vision, Yeats: a look into historical patterns and spiritual history of the world The Second Coming, pg. 1178 -spiritual wisdom and ideas shown -Yeats saw history as composed of 2000 year cycles, a revelation of the spirits -history: an alternation between Christian Era and the Antichristian era *”Gyres”-like an inverted cone with 1 A.D. at bottom with birth of Christ and beginning of Christian era (very tiny part of the cone) -as it goes up the cone the ideas become more diffused *Yeats saw history as a series of cones, at the same time a cone is forming, another is forming and overlapping the first (the inverse=the antichristian or Pagan set of values) *Pagan=conventional idea of non Christian beliefs, polytheism, mythology, etc. -As 1 A.D. was happening on one cone, it was happening differently on the other *as Christian beliefs strengthen, pagan beliefs diminish -at 2000 A.D.: a new cone starts, and cones keep moving in opposition *In poem: -gstdual approach of the “second coming”-not of Jesus, but different -1 stanza: -“turning and turning….”-mere anarchy upon the world -innocence drowned, “things fall apart” -metaphor: the falconer is a man who controls the falcon, lets the bird go, turns in a gyer (falconer: social, political, moral stability and human control) *but lets bird go and it gets more out of his control-a vision of what Yeats sees as the anarchy of the present moment in 1920 -represents chaos, things fall apart, falcon out of control -political and social upheaval seen by Yeats as a sign of the waning of Christian values and the waxing of anti Christian values -“ceremony of innocence”-Christian ritual of celebrating birth of Christ, moral clarity and goodness done away with, unguided -“passionate intensity”-the worst of the social and political activists are brutally passionate and don’t realize the havoc they cause -men, here, are shown as brutal and beast like, violent, revolutionary (even the best of them are not good because they lack conviction) don’t believe in their cause, just want to cause agitation and pessimism -2ndstanza: -speaker becomes a “seer” or “prophet” into the future nd -2 coming: judgment day, Christ returns=NOT Yeats’ vision -something else is coming: the birth of the anti Christian era!!=Yeats’ second coming -we are all as humans spiritually inherent, but he presents it to us here -alludes to Sphinx, Egypt: a figure in the desert, but also a Pagan symbol of Mythology -the one that tells the riddle -Sphinx: paganism, anti Christian, pitiless and merciless, violent (orders death if wrong) -birds around sphinx; vultures, birds of prey, brutal -troubling idea that Yeats feels the violence is part of the human and in the Sphinx, too -Light of the Christian era and moral order is dropping and now we have darkness -2000 years of “stony sleep” while Christianity grew bigger, anti Christian is waking up -this is the “rocking of the cradle” …the waking up -“slouches toward Bethlehem to be born”-visualize sphinx moving across desert, slinking and sneaking up on you, now this is coming to be born!! Leda and the Swan -literal sexual bestiality (human and swan) -going back to anti Christian era and time of Zeus and Agamemnon -this era was born with Leda’s conception of Helen of Troy, Trojan War -pre-era to Christina era MANSFIELD-“Miss. Brill” -emphasis on character of Miss Brill -bright sunny day, glad to be out and about, touches her fur coat -coat: rubbed the life back into it, seems like a little pet to her, fox with a head that wrapped around her neck, has eyes and a nose -wearing the coat to the park -excited to be taking her old, stored coat away: the beginning of the season, Sunday, Band plays -Musical in the park -Miss Brill has her own, “special” seat (shared with old man in velvet coat and big, knitting woman) -Miss Brill looks forward to their conversation, comes every Sunday, likes to people watch and eavesdrop---disappointed when there is not more to see -still can watch the crowd, listen to them -describes what she sees in the park: like a play or performance, all people are the audience and the actors…even she has a part in the “performance” -explained her strict routine each Sunday: always does a performance each Sunday -always in Miss Brill’s head: thinks she is needed and is an actor in a play -Play: busy spectacle, lots going on, routine nature/repeat performance -troubled and complex: thinks of it as a play because she wants to think she is essential, does not just come to people watch but wants to feel unified with others -thinks people will notice if she is not there -she knows this is strange to think this way, won’t tell her students -old man (to her) knows he is being read to by an actress -Her imagination really gets away: puts herself In that position of being an actress all the time -flight of fancy -back story: start to wonder about her life, comes to part, pretends she is an actress, eavesdropping is highlight of her work, tends to a man and she thinks he knows she is an actress -leads a lonely life: -notice what she notices: busy social coupledom and togetherness of everyone but her -pg. 433: -“two young girls, two young soldiers, two peasant women….” -focus on couples, and also domestic intimacy -a Mini-climax: one couple is rude (pg. 435)—“boy and girl…..” -hero and heroine -talk about Miss Brill and make fun of her -Miss Brill no longer feels a part of the scene or wanted -couple is intimately paired and she is an outsider -Subtle modernism: sense of loneliness, fragmentation, emphasis of individual as apart from others -emphasis on psychological fragmentation too (Freud) -own psyche can be fragmented, oppressing ideas or feelings that are sad, disturbing **focus on compartmentalization (of psyche) -gives intimate insight into a character’s point of view, there are things she distances about herself (her unhappiness, etc.) -looks at going to the park in an old fur and pushes the moment of sadness immediately away, doesn’t want to admit she is the outsider, but when she hears the couple talk she can’t push it away anymore - “almond”: highlight of her day is whether there is an almond in her cake: very bleak life, but today she skips this, too -goes home, puts fur away: thought she hears the fur crying *crying: she’s crying? Distances emotion? *projects that the fur is crying? (rejection of something taken out to have a good time, but always returns to the box) Miss Brill’s life like the fur’s life