青海师范大学外国语学院
   课程资源
  • 课程资源

  当前位置:首页  >课程资源

英美文学串讲


Part One: English Literature

An Introduction to Old and Medieval English Literature

I  Understanding and application: (理解应用)

1. England’s inhabitants are Celts. And it is conquered by Romans, Anglo Saxons and Normans. The Anglo-Saxons brought the Germanic language and culture to England, while Normans brought the Mediterranean civilization, including Greek culture, Rome law and the Christian religion. It is the cultural influence of these two conquests that provided the source for the rise and growth of English literature.

2. The old English literature extends from about 450 to 1066, the year of the Norman conquest of England.

3. The old English poetry that has survived can be divided into two groups: The religious group and the secular one

4. Beowulf: a typical example of Old English poetry is regarded as the national epic of the Anglo-Saxons. It is an example of the mingling of nature myths and heroic legends.

5. After the Norman’s conquest, three languages co-existed in England. French is the official language that is used by king and the Norman lords. Latin is the principal tongue of church affairs and in universities. Old English was spoken only by the common English people.

6. In the second half of 14th century, English literature started to flourish with the appearance of writers like Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, John Gower, and others

II  Recite: (识记再现)

1. Romance:

It uses narrative verse or prose to sing knightly adventures or other heroic deeds is a popular literary form in the medieval period.

It has developed the characteristic medieval motifs of the quest, the test, the meeting with the evil giant and the encounter with the beautiful beloved.

The hero is usually the knight, who sets out on a journey to accomplish some missions. There are often mysteries and fantasies in romance.

Romantic love is an important part of the plot in romance.

Characterization is standardized, While the structure is loose and episodic, the language is simple and straightforward.

The importance of the romance itself can be seen as a means of showing medieval aristocratic men and women in relation to their idealized view of the world.

2. Heroic couplet:

Heroic couplet is a rhymed couplet of iambic pentameter. It is Chaucer who used it for the first time in English in his work The Legend of Good Woman.

3. The theme of Beowulf:

The poem presents a vivid picture of how the primitive people wage heroic struggles against the hostile forces of the natural world under a wise and mighty leader. The poem is an example of the mingling of the nature myths and heroic legends.

4.  The Wife of Bath in The Canterbury Tales:

The Wife of Bath is depicted as the new bourgeois wife asserting her independence. Chaucer develops his characterization to a higher artistic level by presenting characters with both typical qualities and individual dispositions.

5. Chaucer’s achievement:

He presented a comprehensive realistic picture of his age and created a whole gallery of vivid characters in his works, especially in The Canterbury Tales.

He anticipated a new ear, the Renaissance, to come under the influence of the Italian writers.

He developed his characterization to a higher level by presenting characters with both typical qualities and individual dispositions.

He greatly contributed to the maturing of English poetry. Today, Chaucer’s reputation has been securely established as one of the best English poets for his wisdom, humor and humanity.

6. “The Father of English poetry”:

Originally, Old English poems are mainly alliterative verses with few variations.

Chaucer introduced from France the rhymed stanzas of various types to English poetry to replace it.

In The Romaunt of the Rose (玫瑰), he first introduced to the English the octosyllabic couplet (八音节对偶句).

In The Legend of Good Women, he used for the first time in English heroic couplet.

And in his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, he employed heroic couplet with true ease and charm for the first time in the history of English literature.

His art made him one of the greatest poets in English; John Dryden called him “the father of English poetry”.

【例题】The work that presented, for the first time in English literature, a comprehensive realistic picture of the medieval English society and created a whole gallery of vivid characters from all walks of life is most likely ______________. (0704)

A. William Langland’s Piers Plowman

B. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales

C. John Gower’s Confession Amantis

D. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

【答案】B

Chapter 1: The Renaissance Period

General Introduction

考核要求:

1. 识记:

(1)文艺复兴时期的界定

(2)历史文化背景

2. 领会:

(1)文艺复兴运动的意义与影响

(2)文艺复兴时期的文学特点

(3)人文主义的主张及对文学的影响

3. 应用:文艺复兴,人文主义及玄学诗等名词的解释

考点串讲:

1.       The Renaissance:

The Renaissance marks a transition from the medieval to the modern world. Generally, it refers to the period between the 14th & 17th centuries. It first started in Italy, with the flowering of painting, sculpture & literature. From Italy the movement went to embrace the rest of Europe. The Renaissance, which means "rebirth" or "revival," is actually a movement stimulated by a series of historical events, such as:

The re-discovery of ancient Roman & Greek culture

The new discoveries in geography & astrology, the religious reformation & the economic expansion.

The Renaissance, therefore, in essence is a historical period in which the European humanist thinkers & scholars made attempts to get rid of those old feudalist ideas in medieval Europe, to introduce new ideas that expressed the interests of the rising bourgeoisie, & to recover the purity of the early church from the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church.

【例题】The Renaissance is actually a movement stimulated by a series of historical events EXCEPT_________.(0804)

A. the rediscovery of ancient Roman and Greek culture

B. the vast expansion of British colonies in North America

C. the new discoveries in geography and astrology

D. the religious reformation and the economic expansion

【答案】B

2. Humanism:

Humanism is the essence of the Renaissance. It sprang from the endeavor to restore a medieval reverence for the ancient authors and is frequently taken as the beginning of the Renaissance on its conscious, intellectual side, for the Greek and Roman civilization was based on such a conception that man is the measure of all things. Through the new learning, humanists not only saw the arts of splendor and enlightenment, but the human values represented in the works. Renaissance humanists found in the classics a justification to exalt human nature and came to see that human beings were glorious creatures capable of individual development in the direction of perfections, and that the world they inhabited was theirs not to despise but to question, explore, and enjoy. Thus, by emphasizing the dignity of human beings and the importance of the present life, they voiced their beliefs that man did not only have the right to enjoy the beauty of this life, but had the ability to perfect himself and to perform wonders. Thomas More, Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare are the best representatives of the English humanists.

3. The Renaissance in England:

The first-- the beginning (1485-1558) --- imitation and assimilation

Poetry: Wyatt & Surrey

The former introduced the Petrarchan sonnet into England, while the latter brought in blank verse.

The second -- (the peak) the Elizabeth Age (1558-1603) ---The Elizabethan drama

Poetry: Spenser & Marlowe

Spenserian stanza: Spenserian stanza was invented by Edmund Spenser. It is a stanza of nine lines, with the first eight lines in iambic pentameter & the last line in iambic hexameter, rhyming ababbcbcc.

Drama: Marlowe & Shakespeare

The Renaissance hero: A Renaissance hero refers to one created by Christopher Marlowe in his drama. Such a hero is always individualistic and full of ambition, facing bravely the challenge from both gods and men. He embodies Marlowe's humanistic ides of human dignity and capacity. Different from the tragic hero in medieval plays, who seeks the way to heaven through salvation and god's will, he is against conventional morality and contrives to obtain heaven on earth through his own efforts. With the endless aspiration for power, knowledge, and glory, the hero interprets the true Renaissance spirit. Both Tamburlaine and Faustus are typical in possessing such a spirit.

The Elizabethan drama:

It is the real mainstream of English Renaissance.

It could be dated back to the Middle Ages.

English material was put into the regular form of the Latin comedies of Plautus and Terence.

Tragedies were in the style of Seneca

The most famous dramatists in the Renaissance England are: Marlowe, Shakespeare & Ben Jackson

The third further development (1603---1660)

Poetry: John Donne & John Milton

Metaphysical poetry: The term "metaphysical poetry" is commonly used to name the work of the 17th century writers who wrote under the influence of John Donne. With a rebellious spirit, the metaphysical poets tried to break away from the conventional fashion of the Elizabethan love poetry. The diction is simple as compared with that of the Elizabethan or the Neoclassic periods, and echoes the words and cadences of common speech. The imagery is drawn from the actual life. The form is frequently that of an argument with the poet's beloved, with God, or with himself.

Drama: Ben Jackson

Essay: Francis Bacon

He is the first important English essayist, is known for his essays which greatly influenced the development of this literary form.

He is also the founder of modern science in England.

His writings paved the way for the use of scientific method

The typical authors during this period

考核要求:

1.一般识记:重要作家的文学生涯

2.识记:重要作品及主要内容

3.领会:重要作家的创作思想,艺术特色及其代表作品的主题结构,人物塑造,语言风格,艺术手法,社会意义等。

4.应用:

(1)莎士比亚诗歌的主题,意象

(2)喜剧《威尼斯商人》的主题和主要人物性格分析

(3)哈姆雷特的性格分析

(4)史诗《失乐园》的结构,人物性格,语言特点等的分析

考点串讲:

. William Shakespeare

1. The bibliography

William Shakespeare is one of the most remarkable playwrights and poets the world has ever known.

2. Viewpoints

Viewpoints on politics: necessity of mighty and just sovereign, and the condemn to the anti-nature and anti-humanism of the feudal warsanti-feudalism

Viewpoints on religion: against the religious persecution and racial discrimination, against the social inequality and the corrupting influence of the gold and money---anti-Catholicism

Viewpoint on literature: literature should be a combination of beauty, kindness and truth, and should reflect nature and reality---humanism

3. The major contributions

38 plays (historical plays, tragedies and comedies)

2 narrative poems: Venus, The Rape of Lucrece

154 sonnets

4. four stages for his play-creation

The first stage: his dramatic career is one of the apprenticeships

five historical plays: Henry IV, part I, II, and III; Richard III; and Titus Andronicus(泰特斯, 提图斯).

four Comedies, including: The Comedy of Errors; The Two Gentlemen of Verona(维罗纳); The Taming of the Shrew(泼妇的驯服), and Loves Labors Lost

The second stage, his style became highly individualized,

Five historical: Richard II, King John, Henry IV, part I, II, Henry V

Six comedies: A Midsummer Nights Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, As You like(皆大欢喜), Twelfth Night, and the Merry Wives of Windsor(温莎公爵的快乐情妇)

Two tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar

The Third stage is the peak of his creation, included his greatest tragedies and his so-called dark comedies:

Seven tragedies: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra(克利奥帕特拉), Troilus and Cressida(特洛伊罗斯和克雷西达), Coriolanus(科里奥兰纳斯)

Two comedies: All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure

The last period of Shakespeare’s includes his principal romantic tragicomedies:

Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest

Two final plays: Henry III, and The Two Noble Kinsmen

5. About his dramas

historical plays

Shakespeare’s history plays are mainly written under the principle that national unity under a mighty and just sovereign is a necessity.

The three history plays in the reign of Henry VI are the beginning of Shakespeare’s epic treatment of English history.

Romantic Comedies

In his romantic comedies, Shakespeare takes an optimistic attitude toward love and youth, and the romantic elements are brought into full play. They are The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Nights Dream, As You like, Twelfth Night, but the most important one is The Merchant of Venice.

Tragedies

The successful romantic tragedy is Romeo and Juliet, which eulogizes the faithfulness of love and the spirit of pursuing happiness.

Shakespeares greatest tragedies are Hamlet,--the first of greatest tragedies, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth(麦克白.)

They have some characteristics in common

William Shakespeares four great tragedies are Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth.

They have some characteristics in common. Each portrays some noble hero, who faces the injustice of human life and is caught in a difficult situation and whose fate is closely connected with the fate of the whole nation.

Each hero has his weakness of nature: Hamlet, the melancholic scholar prince, faces the dilemma between action and mind; Othello's inner weakness is made use of by the outside evil force; the old king Lear who is unwilling to totally give up his power makes himself suffer from treachery and infidelity; and Macbeth's lust for power stirs up his ambition leads him to incessant crimes.

Romantic tragicomedies

The Tempest is a typical example of his pessimistic view towards human life and society in his late year

6. About his sonnets

Lyric: A poem, usually a short one, which expresses a speaker’s personal thoughts or feelings. The elegy, ode, and sonnet are all forms of the lyric

The theme: most of the sonnets concerns with the flying of the time, and the youth, beauty, belief and the love are also gone.

7. Shakespeare’s writing characteristics

The progressive significance of the theme--humanism

The successful character portrayalwomen’s characters

The masterhand in constructing the plot

The ingenuity of his poetry

The mastery of his language

8. About selected reading

about sonnet 18

Sonnet 18 is one of the most beautiful sonnets written by Shakespeare, in which he has a profound meditation on the destructive power of time and the eternal beauty brought forth by poetry to the one he loves.

Typical lines:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

The theme: Immortality, Beauty and love

about The Merchant of Venice

Major characters:

Bassanio: -- a young Venetian court Portia, accepted

Antonio: --a merchant of Venice, all money invented in ships, at sea, return not on time

Shylock:--the Jewish usurer (放高利贷者)

Portia:-- standing for the great beauty, wit and loyalty

Main plot:

Bassanio, a young Venetian, would like to travel to Belmont to woo the beautiful and wealthy heiress Portia. He approaches his friend Antonio, a merchant, for three thousand ducats needed to subsidize his traveling expenditures as a suitor for three months. As all of Antonio's ships and merchandise are busy at sea, Antonio approaches the Jewish moneylender Shylock for a loan, and the reward of breaking the returning oath is a pound of fresh from Antonio’s body.

Court happening:  unsuccessful persuading, no more and no less than one pound of flesh, spilling no drop of blood

The analysis to the personalities:

Antonio: --faithful to friend,

Shylock:--greedy, brutal and inhuman

Portia:-- beautiful, witty and loyal

Theme: traditional theme of the play is to praise the friendship between Antonio and Bassanio, to idealize Portia as a heroine of the great beauty, wit and loyalty, and to expose the greed and brutality of the Jew.

Typical lines:

"Superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer." (Act i. Sc. 2.)

"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose." (Act i. Sc. 3.)

"Mislike me not for my complexion, the shadowd livery of the burnishd sun." (Act ii. Sc. 1.)

"In the twinkling of an eye." (Act ii. Sc. 2.)

"All that glisters is not gold." (Act ii. Sc. 7.)

about Hamlet

The Major characters:

Hamlet: the title character, is the son of the late king, for whom he was named. He has returned to Elsinore Castle from Wittenberg, where he was a university student.

Claudius: is the King of Denmark, elected to the throne after the death of his brother, King Hamlet. Claudius has married Gertrude, his brother's widow.

Gertrude: is the Queen of Denmark, and King Hamlet's widow, now married to Claudius.

the Ghost: appears in the exact image of Hamlet's father, the late King Hamlet.

Major plot:

Hamlet feels a responsibility to avenge his father’s murder by his uncle Claudius, but Claudius is now the king and thus well protected. Moreover, Hamlet struggles with his doubts about whether he can trust the ghost and  whether killing Claudius is the appropriate thing to do.

The personality of Hamlet: Brave, justified and clever but indecisive

Views of Hamlet

Perhaps the most straightforward view sees Hamlet as seeking truth in order to be certain that he is justified in carrying out the revenge called for by a ghost that claims to be the spirit of his father. The most standard view is that Hamlet is highly indecisive,

Others see Hamlet as a person charged with a duty that he knows and feels is right, yet is unwilling to carry out. In this view, all of his efforts to satisfy himself of King Claudius' guilt, or his failure to act when he can, are evidence of this unwillingness, and Hamlet berates himself for his inability to carry out his task.

Theme: The impossibility of certainty; the complexity of action; the mystery of death; the nation as a diseased body

motifs: Incest and incestuous desire; ears and hearing; death and suicide; darkness and the supernatural; misogyny

Symbols: The ghost (the spiritual consequences of death);  Yorick’s skull (the physical consequences of death)

Typical Lines:

“To be or not to be, that is a question”

What are the questions:

Whether believe the ghost’s words or not

Whether kill his uncle or not

What should he do, die or live

. John Milton

1. Personal introduction

Milton’s life

Born in puritan family in London,

Mother interested in religion and local charity,

Father a well-to-do scrivener and musician

 

Educated at Cambridge

Graduated: study and writing of poetry

Began traveling abroad in 1638, returned London to write pamphlets and tracts to support the revolution

 

In 1649 Latin secretary corresponding foreign government

 

In 1652 went blind completely and incurably at 43 due to hard work day and night

King Charles II restoration: Keeping writing against kingship

Arrested and fined and released

Left in peace to produce his poetic works

In 1674 died peacefully in a small house

The greatest English poet after Shakespeare, polemicist (辩论家)

2. Literature achievements

Milton's literary achievements can be divided into three groups: the early poetic works, the middle prose pamphlets & the last great poems.

Early Poetry

Lycidas(利西达斯)is a collection of elegies dedicated to Edward king, a fellow undergraduate of Milton's at Cambridge, who was drowned in the Irish Sea. The poem begins with grief & a feeling of immaturity; then the grief is deepened by the sense of irrecoverable loss in the silencing of a young poet. With this bitter sense of loss, Milton asks why the just & good should suffer. These emotions swell to a passionate call for the consolation of art. The poem moves from a sad apprehension of death, through regret, to passionate questioning, rage, sorrow & acceptance. The feelings begin in a low key but move on to the large questions of divine justice & human accountability. The climax of the poem is the blistering attack on the clergy, i.e. the "Shepherds," who are corrupted by self-interest.

Middle Period & Prose Pamphlets

Later Years & Major Poetry

After the Restoration in 1660, Milton was imprisoned. His release was brought about mainly through the efforts of his friends, notably the poet Andrew Marwell, after that time he devoted himself to his 3 major poetical works: Paradise Lost (1667), Paradise Regained (1671), & Samson Agonistes (1671). Among the three, the first is the greatest, indeed the only generally acknowledged epic in English literature since Beowulf; & the last one is the most perfect example of the verse drama after the Greek style in English.

Paradise Regained

Main plot: show how mankind, in the person of Christ, withstands the tempter and is established once more in the divine favor.

Theme: Christ’s temptation in the wilderness

Samson Agonistes

Milton's last important work was the magnificent poetic drama Samson Agonistes, which presents the Biblical story of Samson in the form of a Greek tragedy. The blind & suffering Samson is strongly reminiscent of Milton himself.

The theme of Samson Agonistes is a more vital & personal one. The picture of Israel's mighty champion, blind, alone, afflicted by thoughtless enemies but preserving a noble ideal to the end, is a fitting close to the life work of the poet himself. The poet's aim was to present in English a pure tragedy, with all the passion & restraint which marked the old Greek dramas. The whole poem strongly suggests Milton's passionate longing that he too could bring destruction down upon the enemy at the cost of his own life. In this sense, Samson is Milton.

3. About selected reading

The greatest work of Milton, Milton’s masterpiece.

The only generally acknowledged epic in English literature since Beowulf;

A long epic divided into 12 books.

The story is taken from the Old Testament

The theme is the “Fall of Man”.

Main plot: In heaven, Satan led a rebellion against God. Defeated, he and his rebel angels were cast into Hell. However, Satan refused to accept his failure, vowing that “all was not lost”. The poem goes on to tell how Satan took revenge by tempting Adam and Eve, the first human beings created by God, to eat fruit from the tree of knowledge against God’s instructions. For their disobedience, Adam and Eve were driven out of  Paradise. They were sorry for what they had done and prayed to God. In the last book they were given the hope for redemption. The poem ended with Adam and Eve walking away from Paradise, hand in hand, and the gates of Eden were closed behind them.

【例题】Paradise Lost is actually a story taken from ______________. (0704)

A. the Renaissance

B. the Old Testament

C. Greek Mythology

D. the New Testament

【答案】B

Chapter 2: The Neoclassical Period

General Introduction

考核要求:

1. 识记:

1)新古典主义时期的界定

2)政治经济背景

3)启蒙运动的意义与影响

2. 领会:

1)启蒙运动的主张与文学的特点

2)新古典主义时期文学的艺术特点

3. 应用:启蒙运动,新古典主义,英雄双行诗,英国现实主义小说等名词的解释

考点串讲:

1. Duration:

Neoclassical period is the one in English literature between the return of Stuarts to the English throne in 1660 and the full assertion of Romanticism which came with the publication of Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge in 1978. It’s in fact a turbulent period.

2. Political Background:

The marking events:

The restoration of Charles II in 1660

The Glorious Revolution in 1689

Constant strife between the monarch and the parliament

Constant strife between big partiesthe Tories and Whigs

Constant strife between ruling class and the laboring poor

Constant strife between religious sects, such as the Roman Catholicism and protestants (church of England)

The eighteenth century saw the fast development of England as a nation

3. Social Background:

The eighteenth century saw the fast development of England as a nation. Abroad, a vast expansion of British colonies in North America, India, the West Indies, and a continuous increase of colonial wealth and trade provided England with a market for which the small-scale hand production methods of the home industry were hardly adequate, towards the middle of the eighteenth century; England had become the first powerful capitalist country in the world. The British bourgeois or middle class also grew rapidly. It was the major force of the Revolution and was mainly composed of city people. The British bourgeois or middle class believed in self – reliance, self – restraint and hard work.

The marking events:

Industrial revolution

A vast expansion of British colonies

A continuous increase of colonial wealth

4. Cultural Background::(Enlightenment)

The 18th-century England is known as the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason.

Definition: The Enlightenment Movement was a progressive intellectual movement which flourished in France & swept through the whole Western Europe at the time.

The movement was a furtherance of the Renaissance of the 15th & 16th centuries. (Function)

Its purpose was to enlighten the whole world with the light of modem philosophical & artistic ideas.

The enlighteners celebrated reason or rationality, equality & science. They called for a reference to order, reason & rules & advocated universal education.

Famous among the great enlighteners in England were those great writers like John Dryden, Alexander pope & so on.

In the field of literature, the Enlightenment Movement brought about a revival of interest in the old classical works. This tendency is known as neoclassicism.

5. Viewpoints on literature:

According to the neoclassicists:

All forms of literature were to be modeled after the classical works of the ancient Greek and Roman writers (Homer, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, etc.)

They believed that the artistic ideals should be order, logic, restrained emotion and accuracy,

Literature should be judged in terms of its service to humanity. This belief led them to seek proportion, unity, harmony and grace in literary expressions,

In an effort to delight, instruct and correct human beings, primarily as social animals. Thus a polite urbane, witty, and intellectual art developed.

6. Fixed laws and rule on literature:

Neoclassicists had some fixed laws and rules for almost every genre of literature.

①  Prose should be precise, direct, smooth and flexible.

Poetry should be lyrical, epical, didactic, satiric or dramatic, and each class should be guided by its own principles.

Drama should be written in the Heroic Couplets.

7. The literature forms and streams during this period:

essay: Alexander Pope

John Bunyan

Daniel Defoe

Realism   novel  Jonathan Swift

Henry Fielding

Samuel Johnson

poetry:   Thomas Gray

drama:    Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Horace Walpole

Neoclassicism:                         Ann Radcliffe

novel                      gothic story

Clara Reeve

Sentimentalism          M.G. Lewis

James Thomason

poetry  William Collins      graveyard school

William Cowper

Romanticism

In the last few decades of the 18th century however, the neoclassical emphasis upon reason, intellect, wit and form was rebelled against or challenged by Sentimentalists, and was, in due time, gradually replaced by Romanticism.

The neoclassical period witnessed the flourishing of English poetry in the classical style from Restoration to about the second half of the century, climaxing with John Dryden, Alexander Pope and the last bearer of the school, Samuel Johnson.

The middle of 18th century was, however, predominated by a newly rising literary form ---- the modern English novel, which, contrary to the traditional romance, gives a realistic presentation of life of common English people.

8. Gothic novels:

Gothic novels are mostly stories of mystery and horror which take place in some haunted or dilapidated Middle Class castles. They appeared from the middle part of the 18th century and were turned out profusely by male and female writers.

During this period, Richard Brinsley Sheridan was the leading figure among a host of playwrights.

And of the witty and satiric prose, those written by Jonathan Swift are worth studying, and his A Modest Proposal is generally regarded as the best model of the satire.

【例题】The British bourgeois or middle class believed in the following notions EXCEPT ______. (0904)

A. self - esteem              B. self - reliance

C. self - restraint                  D. hard work

【答案】A (P80.para.2)

The typical authors during this period

考核要求:

1,一般识记:笛福,斯威夫特和菲尔丁的创作生涯

2,识记:笛福,斯威夫特和菲尔丁重要作品及主要内容

3,领会:笛福,斯威夫特和菲尔丁的创作思想,艺术特色其代表作的主题结构,人物刻画,语言风格,艺术特色,社会意义等。

4,应用:

(1)《鲁滨逊漂流记》中"鲁滨逊"的人物原型。

(2)《格列佛游记》的社会讽刺。

(3)菲尔丁的"散文体史诗"。

考点串讲:

. Daniel Defoe

1. Daniel Defoe’s major works:

(Daniel Defoe’s) His works are the first literary works devoted to the study of problems of the lower-class people.

The Shortest Way with the Dissenters.

The True-born Englishman

The Review

Robinson Crusoe (most famous of his work, his masterpiece)

Captain Singleton《辛格尔顿船长》

Moll Flanders《摩根.佛兰德斯》

Colonel Jack《杰克上校》

Roxana《罗克珊娜》

A Journal of the Plague Year. 《大疫年日记》

2. Characteristics of his works:

Defoe was a very good story-teller. He had a gift for organizing minute details in such a vivid way that his stories could be both credible& fascinating.

His sentences are sometimes short, crisp & plain, & sometimes long & rambling, which leave on the reader on impression of casual narration.

His language is smooth, easy, colloquial & mostly vernacular. There is nothing artificial in his language: it is common English at its best.

3. About selected reading:

Theme

(1) his marvelous capacity for work,

(2) his boundless energy and persistence in overcoming obstacles

(3) his hard struggle against nature and making all bend to his will

The personality of Robinson

The protagonist of Defoe's fictional autobiography, Crusoe is an adventurous man who rejects the expectations of his family and the constraints of the English middle class for a life on the high seas. After a devastating wreck at sea — of which he is the only survivor — he is forced to live confront his fear about being alone in order to survive the harsh demands of his lonely and solitary existence.

Crusoe is not by nature a brave man. In time, his reason grows sharper and he conquers his fears. In fact, for a time he wanders the island without any weaponry. He learns how to do many diverse tasks, such as making an ax, baking bread, and building an elaborate shelter. When faced with marauding cannibals, he attacks them and rescues their captives. Finally, when he returns to London, he is able to readjust to English life and even gets married and has a family.

The symbolic meaning of Robinson

He was the real hero here, the typical 18th English middle class man, with a great capacity for work.

He was also the very prototype(原型) of the empire builder

He was also the representative of the human labor and puritan fortitude which save him from despair and are a source of pride and happiness

. Jonathan Swift

1. Introduction

He was poor himself all his life; that is why he was very sympathetic toward the poor and political corruption in his writings.

He had a deep hatred for all the rich oppressors and a deep sympathy for all the poor and oppressed.

His understanding of human nature is profound.

He is making the most devastating protest against the inhuman exploitation and oppression of the Irish people by the English ruling class.

The apparent eagerness, sincerity and detachment of the author adds force to the bitter irony and biting sarcasm.

2. Masterpieces

A Tale of a Tub (satirist) 《木桶的故事》

The Battle of the Books 《书籍之战》

The Examiner 《主考》

Gulliver’s Travels (his greatest satiric work) 《格列佛游记》

A Modest Proposal (more powerful) 《一个温和的建议》

The Drapier’s Letters《专培儿之信》

3. Writing styles:

Swift is a master satirist. His satire is usually masked by an out word gravity &an apparent earnestness which renders his satire all the more powerful.

Swift is one of the greatest masters of English prose. He is almost unsurpassed in the writing of simple, direct, precise prose. He defined a good style as "proper words in proper places." Clear, simple, concrete diction, uncomplicated sentence structure, economy & conciseness of language mark all his writings-essays, poems & novels.

4. About selected reading:

The theme: exploration into human nature and satire to English and European life

Main plot—part one:

His experiences in Lilliput where the inhabitants are only 12 times smaller than normal human being

Author satire the weakness of human being and the absurd actions of the English government before the nature

Main plot—part two:

His experiences in Brobdingnag where are 10 times taller and larger than normal human being and superior in wisdom

Here, the author gives a vivid description to the crankiness and arrogance(狂妄自大) of the authority in England

Main plot—part three:

The experiences in Flying Island where the philosophers and projectors devote all their time and energy to the study of some absurd problems

Here is the criticism of the western civilization and false illustration about science, philosophy, history and even immortality

Main plot—part four:

The experience in Houyhnhnm where horses are endowed with reason and all good and admirable qualities, and are the governing class

Here, the author compared the differences and similarities between horses and human being, lead readers to think about a problem: what on earth are human beings?

Social achievement:

The book is one of the most effective and devastating criticisms and satires of all aspects in the then English and European life—socially, politically, religiously, philosophically, scientifically and morally.

Artistic achievement:

In structure, the four parts make an organic whole, with each contrived upon an independent structure, and yet complementing the others and contributing to the central concern of study of human nature and life

. Henry Fielding

1. Introduction:

He first tried his luck in play writing

During 9 years, he produces 26 plays

He was poor himself all his life; That is why he was very sympathetic toward the poor and political corruption in his writings; he adopted “the third-person narration”

2. Contributions:

Father of the English Novel—because of his contribution and establishment of the form of the modern novel

Of all the eighteenth-century novelists he was the first to set out, both in theory and practice:

First: give the modern novel both its structure and its style

Second: adopted the “third-person narration” in which the author became the all-knowing God

3. Main works:

The earlier essays:

The True Patriot and the Liberty of Our Own Times

The Jacobite’s Journal

The Convent-garden Journal

Plays:

The Coffee-House Politician

The Tragedy of Tragedies

Pasquin

The Historical Register for the Year

Novels:

The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of his friend Mr. Abraham Adams

The History of Jonathan Wild the Great

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling –masterpiece on subject of human nature

The history of Amelia- a story of the unfortunate life of an idealized woman, a maudlin picture of the social life

4. Writing style:

The writing Tropism(取向)of his plays:

witty comedies of manners or intrigues(诡计) in Restoration tradition

farces(滑稽剧) or ballad operas with political implications(政治影射)

burlesques(闹剧) and satires that bear heavily upon the status-quo(现状) of England

The writing Tropism of his novels:

the ordinary and usually ridiculous (absurd life of the common people, from the middle class to the underworld

The orientation(定位) of his novels:

Try to retain the grand epical form of the classical works but keep faithful to his realistic presentation of common life as it is

The object of his novels:

Not just to amuse but to instruct, and to present a faithful picture of life,”the just copy of human manners”

The writing characteristics:

His language is easy, unlabored and familiar, but extremely vivid and vigorous.

His sentences are always distinguished by logic and rhythm,

His structure carefully planned towards and inevitable ending.

His works are also noted for lively, dramatic dialogues and other theatrical devices such as suspense(悬念), coincidence(偶合) and unexpectedness(始料不及).

5. About selected reading:

Generally regarded as Fielding’s masterpiece

Include 18 books, each with an essay before it

Plot: Tom, a foundling, was drove from the house of the Mr. Allworthy and took a series of adventure in London, and at last, Tom married Sophia after some misunderstanding between them.

The personality of Tom: a national hero, honest, kind-hearted, high-spirited, loyal, and brave, but impulsive(冲动)

It was Tom Jones that brought his author the name of the “prose Homer”

Writing characteristics:

The panoramic view is superb(辉煌全景)

The language is clarity and suppleness

The plot construction is excellent

Chapter 3: The Romantic Period

General Introduction

考核要求:

1.识记:浪漫主义时期的界定和历史文化背景

2.领会:浪漫主义思潮的意义与影响以及浪漫主义文学创作的基本主张及对后世文学的影响。

3.应用:名词解释浪漫主义以及浪漫主义时期文学特点的分析

考点串讲:

1. Historical background:

Internationally,

The French Revolutions: --the great event, arouse great sympathy and enthusiasm in the English liberals and Conservatives, they all declared Liberty, Equality and Fraternity

Rousseau--the great French Philosopher. Influence by Rousseau, the writers began to explore the new ideas about Nature, Society and Education

These paved the way for the development of Romanticism in the literature internationally

Nationally,

Industrial revolution (Industrialization, Further capitalization and Urbanization)

The survival of fittest (the sharper contradiction between capitalists and the labors)

These are the national basis of the production of Romanticism

2. Literature background:

The early works with Romantic tendency are following:

Thomas Paine’s The Declaration of Rights of Man claiming Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

Edmund Burke published his Reflections on the Revolution in France.

William Godwin’s Inquiry Concerning Political Justice. Against the injustice, economic system and the oppression of the poor.

Mary Wollstonecraft urged the equal rights for women in her A Vindication(辩护) of the Right of Woman.

3. The definition, duration and characteristics of the Romanticism:

The definition:

The Romantic Movement, which associated with vitality, powerful emotion and dreamlike ideas, is simply the expression of life as seen by the imagination rather than by prosaic common sense.

The contrast between Romanticism and Neoclassicism:

Romanticism: associated with vitality, powerful emotion and dreamlike ideas

Neoclassicism: associated with order, common sense and controlled reason

Duration:

Beginning time: 1798 marked by the publication of Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge

Ending time: 1832 marked by the death of Scott and the passage of the first Reform Bill

【例题】Which of the following poems is a landmark in English poetry? (0704)

A. Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge

B. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth

C. Remorse”by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

D. Leaves of Grass Walt Whitman

【答案】A

Characteristics:

The spontaneous overflow(自然流露的) of powerful feeling

The creation of a world of imagination

The return to nature for materials

Sympathy with the humble and glorification of the common place

Emphasis upon the expression of individual genius

A sense of melancholy and loneliness of the character

The rebellious spirits of the author

The major achievements are poetry

4. The viewpoints of Romanticists on society and literature:

Socially:

Romanticist saw man essentially as an individual in the solitary state

The Romanticist emphasized the special qualities of each individual’s mind

The Romanticists changed the direction from attention to the outer world of social civilization to the inner world of the human spirits

On Literature:

In essence it designates a literary and philosophical theory which tends to see the individual as the very center of all life and all experience

It also place individual at the center of the art

Make the literature most valuable as an expression of his or her unique feeling and particular attitudes

Value its accuracy in portraying the individual’s experiences

5. The development of Romanticism and its principles:

The development

In this period, we note a new interest in literatures and legends other than those of Greece and Rome. It was in effect a revolt of the English imagination against the neoclassical reason

They started a rebellion against the neoclassical literature, which was later regarded as the poetic revolution.

Major Representatives of this movement: Wordsworth and Coleridge

The principles

General principles:

They saw poetry as a healing energy

They believe that poetry could purify both individual soul and society

They explored the new theories and innovated new techniques in poetry:

a. Poetry should be free from all rules in forms

b. Humble people and the common everyday life should be describe in subject

c. Employ the commonplace, the natural and the simple as the poetic materials

d. Seek for the Absolute

e. Bold experiments in poetic language, versification and design

Wordsworth:

Call for simple themes drawn from humble life

The poet as a “man speaking to men”,

Poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”

Coleridge:

Imagination is the vital faculty that creates new wholes out of disparate elements.

Regard the concepts of spontaneity and inspiration as something crucial for true poetry

Nature is the major source of poetic imagery and nature is a dominant subject

6. Main representatives:

Main representatives—poets:

Pre-Romanticism: (Blake and Burns)

The first generation: (Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey)

The younger generation: (Byron, Shelley and Keats)

Main representatives—novelists

Jane Austen --- love and marriage

Walter Scott --- main works (book) human nature

Gothic novelists

Ann Radcliffe and Mary Shelley

Gothic novel:

It is a type of romantic fiction that predominated in the late 18th century & was one phase of the Romantic Movement

Its principal elements are violence, horror & the supernatural, which strongly appeal to the reader's emotion.

With its descriptions of the dark, irrational side of human nature, the Gothic form has exerted a great influence over the writer of the Romantic period.

Works like The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) by Ann Radcliffe & Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley are typical Gothic romance

The typical authors during this period

考核要求:

1.   识记:浪漫主义时期的重要作家,代表作品及其主要内容。

2.   领会:重要作家的创作思想,艺术特色及其代表作品的主题结构,人物塑造,语言风格,社会意义等。

3.应用:

a.浪漫派诗歌(所选作品)的主题,意象分析

b.小说《傲慢与偏见》的主题和主要人物的性格分析。

考点串讲:

.William Blake

1Introduction:

English poet, artist, & philosopher, born in London England, Nov 28, 1757, and died in London, Aug 12,1827.

Blake made distinguished contributions to both Literature & art.

He ranks with great poets in the English language & may be considered the earliest of the major English Romantic poets.

His poems range from lyrics of childlike simplicity to mystical or prophetic works of great complexity.

As an artist he is best known for his engravings, which are among the masterpieces of graphic art.

2. Viewpoints on politics and religion:

Blake never tried to fit into the world; he was a rebel innocently & completely all his life.

He was politically of the permanent left & mixed a good deal with the radicals.

Blake strongly criticized the capitalists' cruel exploitation, saying that the "dark satanic mills left men unemployed, killed children & forced prostitution."

Meanwhile he cherished great expectations & enthusiasm for the French Revolution, & regarded it as a necessary stage leading to the millennium predicted by the biblical prophets(圣经)

3. Viewpoint on literature:

The first important Romantic poet,

Showing contempt for the rule of reason

Opposing the classical tradition of the 18th century

Treasuring the individual's imagination.

4. Main works:

Early works: Poetical Sketches《诗学札记》 -- A collection of youthful verse. Joy, laughter, love and harmony are the prevailing note and hint his later innovative style and theme

Masterpieces

Songs of Innocence《天真之歌》

Songs of Experience《经验之歌》

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell《天堂与地狱的婚姻》

The similarities and differences between two volumes:

Generally:

Hold the similar subject-matter

The childhood is the central to his concern

The tone, emphasis and conclusion differ

Specifically:

Infant Joy against Infant Sorrow

Lamb against Tyger

Chimney Sweeperagainst Chimney Sweeper

Similarity: to reveal the relation between an economic circumstance and an ideological circumstance socially.

Difference: the former indicates the condition which makes religion a consolation, a prospect of illusory happiness

The later reveals the true nature of religion which helps bring misery to the poor children

Later works -- reveal him as the prophet of universal political & spiritual freedom and show the poet himself as the spokesman of revolt(反抗).

The Book of Urizen

The Book of Los

The Four Zoas

Milton

【例题】William Blake’s central concern in the Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experiences_______, which gives the two books a strong social and historical reference. (0804)

A. youth hood          B. childhood

C. happiness           D. Sorrow

【答案】B

5. Language styles:

he write his poems in plain and direct language.

His poems often carry the lyric beauty with immense compression of meaning.

He distrusts the abstractness and tends to embody his views with visual images.

Symbolism in wide range is also a distinctive feature of his poetry.

6. Selected reading:

Selected reading I

“The Chimney Sweeper” from Songs of Innocence

In the 18th century, small boys sometimes no more than 4 or 5 years old were employed to climb up the narrow chimney flues & clean them, collecting the soot in bags. Such boys, sometimes sold to the master sweepers by their parents were miserably treated by their master & often suffered disease & physical deformity.

This poem, in fact, is a protest against the harm that society does to its children by exploiting them for labor of this kind, The poem was written in the child's-eye point of view, & the dramatic irony (what the speaker says in the poem is different from what the poet means) arises from the poet's knowing more or seeing more than the child does.

Selected reading II

“The Chimney Sweeper” from Songs of Experience

Songs of Experience paints a different world, a world of misery, poverty, disease, war & repression with a melancholy tone,

The benighted England becomes the world of dark wood & of the weeping prophet. The poem selected here reveals the true nature of religion which helps bring misery to the poor children.

The poem also reveals the relation between economic circumstance, i.e. the exploitation of child labor & an ideological circumstance, i.e. the role played by religion in making people compliant to exploitation.

Selected reading III

“Tyger” from Songs of Experience

The Tyger, included in Songs of Experience, is one of Blake's best-known poems.

It seemingly praises the great power of tiger, but what the tiger symbolizes remains disputable: the power of man? Or the revolutionary force? Or the evil? Or as it is usually interpreted, the Almighty Maker who created both the meek & gentle lamb & the terrible & awesome tiger?

The poem is highly symbolic with a touch of mysticism & it is open to various interpretations. The poem contains six quatrains in rhyming couplets & its language is terse & forceful with an anvil rhythm.

. William Wordsworth

1. Introduction:

William Wordsworth, known as “the Lake Poets” together with Coleridge and Southey, is the leading figure of the English Romantic poetry, the focal poetic voice of the period

He is the voice of searchingly comprehensive humanity and one that inspires his audience to see the world freshly, sympathetically and naturally

The most important contribution he has made is that he has not only started modern poetry, the poetry of growing inner self, but also changed the course of English poetry by using ordinary speech of the language and by advocating a return to nature

2. Types of his poem according to his poetic outlook:

According to the subjects, Wordsworth’s short poems can be classified into two groups: poems about nature and poems about human life.

Poems about nature:

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud is perhaps the most anthologized poem in English literature, & one that takes us to the core of Wordsworth's poetic beliefs

An Evening Walk

My Heart Leaps up

Tintern Abbey -- remains a profoundly original & imaginative achievement; the valley of the Wye itself, the quiet center of the returning wanderer's thoughts, is described with a detail that conveys a sense of natural order at once vivid & eternal

Nature outlook:

Wordsworth is regarded as a “worshipper of nature." He can penetrate to the heart of things & give the reader the very life of nature.

To Wordsworth, nature act as a substitute for imaginative and intellectual engagement with the development of embodied human beings in their diverse circumstances

It is nature that gives him "strength & knowledge full of peace."

Poems about human life:

The Thorn

The Sailor’s Mother

The Affliction of Margaret

The Old Cumberland Beggar

The old man in the poem, is seen as precious for his unique self and the benevolence he evoke s in the small rural community

Michael

Suggests the grave and tender dignity of the author’s meditation on man, the heart of man, and human life

Lucy Poem

Is the verse of love and loss which hold within its delicate simplicity a meditation on time and death which rises to universal stature

The Idiot Boy

The irrational mind sees more deeply into the nature of life than the commonsensical

The Solitary Reaper

To a Highland Girl

Use rural figure to suggest the timeless mystery of sorrowful humanity and its radiant beauty

The Ruined Cottage

Rouse the tender, quiet compassion of those who are at one with the timeless truth of existence

In his daring use of subject matter and sense of the authenticity of the experience of the poorest, “resolution and independence” is the triumphant conclusion of ideas first developed in the Lyrical Ballads

Human life outlook:

Common life is Wordsworth's only subject of literary interest.

The joys & sorrows of the common people are his themes.

His sympathy always goes to the suffering poor.

3. Creative principles:

Wordsworth's deliberate simplicity & refusal to decorate the truth of experience produced a kind of pure & profound poetry which no other poets has ever equaled poetry.

His premise was that the source of poetic truth is the direct experience of the sense

He asserts poetry originates from "emotion recollected in tranquility."

Rejecting the contemporary emphasis on form & intellectual approach that drained poetic writing of strong emotion,

He maintains that the scenes & events of everyday life & the speech of ordinary people are the raw material of which poetry can & should be made.

4. Selected reading:

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" is perhaps the most anthologized poem in English literature, & one that takes us to the core of Wordsworth's poetic beliefs.

Wordsworth wrote this beautiful poem of nature after he came across a long belt of gold daffodils(水仙花) tossing & reeling & dancing along the waterside. There is a vivid picture of the daffodils here, mixed with the poet‘s philosophical & somewhat mystical thoughts.

The poem consists of four 6-lined stanzas of iambic tetrameter with a rhyme scheme of ababcc in each stanza.

The last stanza describes the poet's recollection in tranquility from which this poem arose. The poet thinks that it is bliss to recollect the beauty of nature in his mind while he is in solitude

Composed upon Westminster Bridge

This sonnet, written on the roof of a coach as Wordsworth was on his way to France, was published in Poems in Two Volumes, 1807.

The poem presents the speaker's view of London in the early morning. The speaker is not only profoundly touched by its beauty & tranquility of the morning, but even surprised to realize that London is part of Nature just as much as is his own beloved Lake Country.

Wordsworth is regarded as a " worshipper of nature." Even in this poem, though he is looking at London, he is thinking of home where the sun steeps in his first splendor, valley, rock, or hill."

The poem is written after the pattern of the Italian sonnet. The octave recreates the experience of London at morning, and the sestet enlarges on his reaction to the scene. The rhyme scheme of the poem is abbaabba, cdcdcd.

She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways

This is one of the "Lucy poems," written in 1799.

The "Lucy Poems" describe with rare elusive beauty of simple lyricism & haunting rhythm a young country girl living a simple life in a remote village far from the civilized world.

They are verses of love & loss which hold within their delicate simplicity a meditation on time & death which rises to universal stature.

The Solitary Reaper

Wordsworth thinks that common life is the only subject of literary interest. The joys & sorrows of the common people are his themes.

"The Solitary Reaper" is an example of his literary views. It describes vividly a young peasant girl working alone in the fields & singing as she works.

The plot of the little incident is told straightforwardly in stanzas 1, 3, & 4. Stanza 2, with its comparison of the girl's song to the cuckoo & the nightingale cannot be dismissed as vaguely ornamental comparisons.

They are much more than that, & the impression of the girl's singing on the traveler is heightened through these comparisons.

This poem is an iambic verse. Most of the lines in the poem are octosyllabics(八音节诗). The rhyme-scheme for each stanza is

. Percy Bysshe Shelley

1. Introduction:

Shelley is one of the leading Romantic poets, an intense & original lyrical poet in the English language.

Though gentle by nature, his rebellious qualities were cultivated in his early years.

2. His Literary and political Outlook:

Shelley grew up with violent revolutionary ideas under the influence of the free thinkers like Hume & Godwin, so he held a life-long aversion to cruelty, injustice, authority, institutional religion & the formal shams of respectable society, condemning war, tyranny & exploitation

However, under the influence of Christian humanism, Shelley took interest in social reforms. He realized that the evil was also in man's mind.

So he predicted that only through gradual & suitable reforms of the existing institutions could benevolence be universally established & none of the evils would survive in this "genuine society", where people could live together happily, freely & peacefully.

3. His major works:

Early works:

Necessity of Atheism

Queen Mab: A philosophical Poem: emphasizes how the Spirit of Nature pulses in all people and makes an absurdity of selfishness and pride

Alastor or The Spirit of Solitude: is a record of author’s intense consciousness of his own loneliness in life and a passionate contemplation of the mystery of death

Hymn to Intellectual Beauty

Mont Blanc

Lyric:

Julian and Maddalo

The Revolt of Islam

The Cenci

Hellas

The Cloud: Shelley created a Platonic symbol of the spirit of man, a force of beauty and regeneration

To a Skylark:the bird, suspended between reality & poetic image, pours forth an exultant song which suggests to the poet both celestial rapture & human limitation.

:

Adonais: is an elegy for John Keats. In it, these men become the embodiments of philistinism and reaction, the enemies of truth

Ode to the west Wind:

Best of all the well-known lyric pieces

Here Shelley's rhapsodic & declamatory tendencies find a subject perfectly suited to them.

The autumn wind, burying the dead year, preparing for a new spring, becomes an image of Shelley himself, as he would want to be, in its freedom, its destructive-constructive potential, its universality.

"I fall upon the thorns of Life! I bleed!" calls the Shelley that could not bear being fettered to the humdrum realities of everyday! The whole poem has a logic of feeling, a not easily analyzable progression that leads to the triumphant, hopeful & convincing conclusion: "If winter comes, can Spring before behind?"

The poem is written in the terza rima form Shelley derived from his reading of Dante. The nervous thrill of Shelley's response to nature however is here transformed through the power of art & imagination into a longing to be united with a force at once physical & prophetic.

Here is no conservative reassurance, no comfortable mysticism, but the primal amorality of nature itself, with its mad fury & its pagan ruthlessness. Shelley's ode is an invocation to a primitive deity, a plea to exalt him in its fury & to trumpet the radical prophecy of hope & rebirth.

Ode to Liberty

Ode to Naples

Sonnet: England in 1819

Shelley expressed his love for freedom and his hatred toward tyranny in several of his poem, such as, Ode to Liberty, Ode to Naples, Sonnet: England in 1819

Men of England: One of the greatest political lyrics. Not only a war cry calling upon all working people to rise up against their political oppressors but also an address to them pointing out the intolerable injustice of economic exploitation. The poem was later became a rallying song of British Communist Party

Major prose essay: Defense of Poetry

Poetic drama: Prometheus Unbound

Shelley's greatest achievement is his four-act poetic drama, Prometheus Unbound.

According to the Greek mythology, Prometheus, the champion of humanity, who has stolen the fire from Heaven, is punished by Zeus to be chained on Mount Caucasus & suffers the vulture's feeding on his liver.

Shelley based his drama on Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus, in which Prometheus reconciles with the tyrant Zeus. Radical & revolutionary as Shelley, he wrote in the preface: "In truth, I was averse from a catastrophe so feeble as that reconciling the Champion with the oppressor of Mankind." So he gave a totally different interpretation, transforming the compromise into liberation. With the strong support of Earth, his mother; Asia, his bride & the help from Demogorgon & Hercules, Zeus is driven from the throne; Prometheus is unbound.

The play is an exultant work in praise of humankind's potential, & Shelley himself recognized it as “the most perfect of my products."

4. Characteristics of his Poetry:

Shelley is one of the lending Romantic poets, an intense & original lyrical poet in the English language.

Like Blake, he has a reputation as a difficult poet: erudite, imagistically complex, full of classical & mythological allusions.

His style abounds in personification & metaphor & other figures of speech which describe vividly what we see & feel, or express what passionately moves us.

5. Selected Readings:

A Song: Men of England

This poem was written in 1819, the year of the Peterloo Massacre. It is unquestionably one of Shelley's greatest political lyrics.

It is not only a war cry calling upon all working people of England to rise up against their political oppressors, but also an address to point out to them the intolerable injustice of economic exploitation.

In the poem Shelley pictured the capitalist society as divided into two hostile classes: the parasitic class ("drones") & the working class ("bees").

Ode to the West Wind

The poem Ode to the West Wind was the best known of Shelley's shorter poems.

In the poem the poet describes vividly the activities of the West Wind on the earth, in the sky & on the sea, & then expresses his envy for the boundless freedom of the West Wind & his wish to be free like the wind & scatter his words among mankind.

He gathered in this poem a wealth of symbolism, employed a structural art & his powers of metrical orchestration at their mightiest. The autumn wind, burying the dead year, preparing for a new Spring, becomes an image of Shelley himself, as he would want to be, in its freedom, its destructive-constructive power, its universality, "I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!" calls the Shelley that could not bear being fettered to the humdrum realities of everyday!

.Jane Austen

1. Introduction:

It was Jane Austen who brought the English novels, as an art of form, to its maturity and she had been regarded as one of the greatest of all novelists.

Although she lived in 19th century (Romantic period), she was a realistic writer. She upheld the traditional ideas of order, reason, proportion and gracefulness in novel writing

Austen is universally regarded as the founder of the novel which deal with unimportant middle-class people.

2.       Major works:

In her lifelong career, Jane Austen wrote altogether six complete novels, which can be divided into two distinct periods.

Sense and Sensibility 理智与情感Her first novel

Pride and Prejudice傲慢与偏见The most popular of her novels dealing with the five Bennet sisters & their search for suitable husbands

Northanger Abbey 诺桑觉寺satirizes those popular Gothic romances of the late 18th century

Mansfield Park曼斯菲尔德庄园presents the antithesis of worldliness & unworldliness

Emma  爱玛gives the thought over self-deceptive vanity

Persuasion  劝导contrasts the true love with the prudential calculations

3. Writing styles:

Austen's main literary concern is about human beings in their personal relationships. Because of this, her novels have a universal significance. She is particularly preoccupied with the relationship between men & women in love. Stories of love & marriage provide the major themes in all her novels.

The works of Jane Austen, delightful &profound are part of the supreme achievements of English literature. With trenchant observation & in meticulous detail, she presents the quiet, day-to-day life of the upper-middle-class English. Her characteristic theme is that maturity is achieved through the loss of illusions. Faults of character displayed by the people of her novels are corrected when, through tribulation, lessons are learned. Even the most minor characters are vividly particularized in Austen's lucid style. All these show a mind of the shrewdest intelligence adapting the available traditions & deepening the resources of art with consummate craftsmanship. Because of her sensitivity to universal patterns of human behavior, Jane Austen has brought the English novels, as an art form, to its maturity, & she has been regarded by many critics as one of the greatest of all novelists.

4. Characteristics of her works:

Austen‘s novels describe a narrow range of society & events: a quiet, prosperous, middle class circle in provincial surroundings, which she knew well from her own experience

Her subject matter is also limited, for most of her novels deal with the subject of getting married, which was in fact the central problem for the young leisure-class lady of that age, who had no other choice in her life but to find a good husband.

Austen‘s interest was in human nature; in her depiction of human nature, instead of being fascinated by great waves of elevated emotion, by passion or heroic experience, she focused on the trivial & petty details of everyday living, which became very interesting through her truthful & lively description.

Austen's novels are brightened by their witty conversation & omnipresent humor. Her language shines with an exquisite touch of lively gracefulness, elegant & refined, but never showy.

5. Selected reading:

Pride & Prejudice, originally drafted as "First Impressions" in 1796, is the most delightful of Jane Austen's works. The title tells of a major concern of the novel pride & prejudice. If to form good relationships is our main task in life, we must first have good judgment. Our first impressions, according to Jane Austen, are usually wrong, as is shown here by those of Elizabeth. In the process of judging others, Elizabeth finds out something about herself: her blindness, partiality, prejudice & absurdity. In time she discovered her own shortcomings. On the other hand, Darcy too learns about other people & himself. In the end false pride is humbled & prejudice dissolved.

【例题】“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” The quoted part is taken from ______. 0804

A. Jane Eyre

B. Wuthering Heights

C. Pride and Prejudice

D. Sense and Sensibility

【答案】C

Chapter 4: The Victorian Period

General Introduction

考核要求:

1.识记:维多利亚时期的界定和社会政治,经济,文化背景。

2.领会:维多利亚时期的文学特点和批判现实主义小说对后世文学的影响。

3. 应用:宪章运动,功利主义,批判现实主义,戏剧独自等名词的解释

考点串讲:

1. Duration: 1836—1901 (Critical Realism)

2. Position: one of the most glorious in the history

3. Social background:

A. Economically, the working classes were striking for the basic right and better living and working conditions. (Economic contradiction—the New Poor Law of 1834)

B. politically, the English working class were organized for their basic right, this movement  is the early sign of the awakening of the poor, oppressed people. (Political contradiction—the Chartist Movement of 1836)

C. Ideologically, the Victorians experienced fundamental changes. The rapid development of science and technology, new inventions and discoveries in geology, astronomy, biology and anthropology drastically shook people’s religious convictions. (Religious contradiction—Darwin’s theories)

4. Literature features:

took on its quality of magnitude and diversity. It was many-sided and complex, and reflected both romantically and realistically the great changes that were going on in people’s life and thought.

the novel became the most widely read and the most vital and challenging expression the progressive thought. According to D.H. Lawrence, George Eliot was the first novelist that “start putting all the action inside” and Thomas Hardy is not only continued to expose and criticize all sorts of social iniquities, but finally came to question and attack the Victorian conventions and morals.

also produced a host of great prose writers

the poetry of this period was mainly characterized by experiments with new styles and new ways of expression.

It is truthfully represents the reality and spirit of the age. The high-spirited vitality, the down-to-earth earnestness, the good-natured humor and unbounded imagination are all unprecedented.

5. Main writers:

Novelists:

Charles Dickens

The Bronte Sisters

George Eliot

Thomas Hardy

William Makepeace Thackeray

Mrs. Gaskell

Anthony Trollope

Poets:

Robert Browning-create the verse novel

Alfred Tennyson

Matthew Arnold

Edward Fitzgerald

Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Christina

Gerald Manley Hopkins

Algernon Charles Swinburne

The typical authors during this period

考核要求:

1.一般识记:重要作家的生平与创作生涯

2.识记: 重要作品及主要内容

3.领会:重要作家的创作思想,艺术特色及其代表作品的主题思想,人物塑造,语言风格,社会意义等。

4.应用:

(1)狄更斯作品的批判现实主义思想及各自的创作手法,艺术特色。

(2)小说《简·爱》,《呼啸山庄》的主题思想与人物塑造。

(3)哈代小说中环境,氛围描述与人物内世界的展示。

考点串讲:

. Charles Dickens

1. His Life & Literary Career:

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was born at Portsmouth. His father, a poor clerk in the Navy Pay office, was put into the Marsalsea Prison for debt when young Charles was only 12 years old. The son had to give up schooling to work in an underground cellar at a shoe-blacking factory - a position he considered most humiliating. We find the bitter experiences of that suffering child reflected in many of Dickens's novels. In 1827, Charles entered a lawyer's office, & two years later he became a Parliamentary reporter for newspapers. From 1833 Dickens began to write occasional sketches of London life, which were later collected & published under the title Sketches by Boz (1836). Soon The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1836-1837) appeared in monthly installments. And since then, his life became one of endless hard work. In his later years, he gave himself to public readings of his works, which brought plaudits & comfort but also exhausted him. In 1870, this man of great heart & vitality died of overwork, leaving his last novel unfinished

2. His Major Works:

Period of youthful optimist

Sketches by Boz (1836); The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1836-1837); Oliver Twist (1837-1838);                       Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839); The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841); Barnaby Rudge(1841)

Period of excitement & irritation

American Notes (1842); Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-1845); A Christmas Carol (1843); Dombey & Son (1846-1848); David Copperfield (1849-1850)

Period of steadily intensifying pessimism

Bleak House (1852-1853); Hard Times (1854); Little Dorrit (1855-1857); A Tale of Two Cities (1859); Great Expectations (1860-1861); Our Mutual Friend (1864-1865); Edwin Drood (unfinished)(1870)

【例题】Among the works by Charles Dickens _______ presents his criticism of the Utilitarian principle that rules over the English education system and destroys young hearts and minds. 0804

A. Bleak House

B. Pickwick Paper

C. Great Expectations

D. Hard Times

【答案】D

3. Distinct Features of His Novels:

Character Sketches & Exaggeration

In his novels are found about 19 hundred figures, some of whom are really such " typical characters under typical circumstances," that they become proverbial or representative of a whole group of similar persons.

As a master of characterization, Dickens was skillful in drawing vivid caricatured sketches by exaggerating some peculiarities, & in giving them exactly the actions & words that fit them: that is, right words & right actions for the right person.

Broad Humor & Penetrating Satire

Dickens is well known as a humorist as well as a satirist. He sometimes employs humor to enliven a scene or lighten a character by making it (him or her) eccentric, whimsical, or laughable. Sometimes he uses satire to ridicule human follies or vices, with the purpose of laughing them out of existence or bring about reform.

Complicated & Fascinating Plot

Dickens seems to love complicated novel constructions with minor plots beside the major one, or two parallel major plots within one novel. He is also skillful at creating suspense & mystery to make the story fascinating.

The Power of Exposure

As the greatest representative of English critical realism, Dickens made his novel the instrument of morality & justice. Each of his novels reveals a specific social problem.

4. His Literary Creation & Writing characteristics:

Charles Dickens is one of the greatest critical realistic writers of the Victorian Age.

In his works, Dickens sets a full map & a large-scale criticism of the 19th-century England, particularly London.

Charles Dickens is a master story-teller.

Dickens also employs exaggeration in his works.

Dickens's works are also characterized by a mixture of humor & pathos.

Writing characteristics

It is his serious intention to expose & criticize in his works all the poverty, injustice, hypocrisy & corruptness he saw all around him.

In his works, Dickens sets a full map & a large-scale criticism of the 19th-century England, particularly London.

A combination of optimism about people & realism about society is obvious in these works. His representative works in the early period include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield & so on.

His later works show a highly conscious modern artist. The settings are more complicated; the stories are better structured. Most novels of this period present a sharper criticism of social evils & morals of the Victorian England, for example, Bleak House, Hard Times, Great Expectations & so on. The early optimism could no more be found.

His language could, in a way, be compared with Shakespeare's. His humor & wit seem inexhaustible. Character-portrayal is the most outstanding feature of his works. His characterizations of child (Oliver Twist, etc.), some grotesque people (Fagin, etc.) & some comical people (Mr. Micawber, etc.) are superb.

5. Selected Reading:

Summary (plot)

19世纪30年代,雾都伦敦,小男孩奥利佛·特维斯特自幼被父母抛弃,孤独地在教区抚幼院里长大,随后他被迫进入苛刻的巴姆鲍经营的棺材店里做学徒,由于不能承受繁重的劳动和老板的打骂,他逃到伦敦街上,成为一名雾都孤儿。在伦敦游荡的时候,独自一人的奥利佛被当地一个扒手黑帮盯上,并且被险恶的费金骗进充满罪恶和肮脏的贼窝,费金希望能够将奥利佛训练成一位盗窃能手以成为自己的"孩子盗窃集团"的一员,从而又多了一个可以为自己获取不义之财的途径。身陷囫囵的奥利佛得到和蔼 的布郎罗先生的帮助,但仅仅是他一系列冒险经历的开始。恶劣的环境、重重的误会、人性的黑暗包围着奥利佛,在流浪中他历尽艰辛,但奥利佛始终保持纯真的心,对生命抱有希望,甚至让二号贼首赛克斯的情妇南希良心发现,在他天真纯洁的身上看到往日清白的自己,最终冒着生命危险将奥利佛救出贼窟。然而,南茜为了救这位可怜的孤儿而被杀,奥利佛·特维斯特经过百般周折之后,终于知道了自已真实的身份……

Main characters

Oliver Twist – the title character, an orphan boy born in a workhouse

Fagin – a man who recruits and trains boys for thievery

Bill Sikes – a violent thief and eventual murderer

The Artful Dodger aka Jack Dawkins – one of Fagin's boy pickpockets

Charley Bates – another of Fagin's boy pickpockets

Nancy – Bill's girl; a thief trained by Fagin who longs for a better life

Mr. Brownlow – Oliver's saviour, a kindly old gentleman

Monks, aka Edward Leeford – Oliver's half-brother, a criminal type bent on destroying Oliver.

Theme: Charity and Love

Position

The novel is famous for its vivid descriptions of the workhouse & life of the underworld in the 19th-century London. The author's intimate knowledge of people of the lowest order & of the city itself apparently comes from his journalistic years.

Here the novel also presents Oliver Twist as Dickens's first child hero & Fagin the first grotesque figure.

This section, Chapter III of the novel, is a detailed account of how he is punished for that " impious & profane offence of asking for more" & how he is to be sold. At three pound ten, to Mr. Gamfield, the notorious chimneysweeper. Though we can afford a smile now & then, we feel more the pitiable state of the orphan boy & the cruelty & hypocrisy of the workhouse board.

. Charlotte Bronte

1. Charlotte's Literary Creation and her Writing Characteristics:

Charlotte Bronte's works are all about the struggle of an individual towards self-realization, about some lonely & neglected young women with a fierce longing for love, & understanding & a full, happy life.

All her heroines' highest joy comes from some sacrifice of self or some human weakness overcome.

Besides, she is a writer of realism combined with romanticism.

On the one hand, she presents a vivid realistic picture of the English society by exposing the cruelty, hypocrisy & other evils of the upper classes & by showing the misery & suffering of the poor.

Her works are famous for the depiction of the life of the middle-class workingwomen, particularly governesses.

On the other hand, her writings are marked throughout by intensity of vision & of passion.

By writing from an individual point of view, by creating characters who are possessed of strong feelings, fiery passions & some extraordinary personalities, by using some elements of horror, mystery & prophesy, she is able to recreate life in a very romantic way.

 

The vividness of her subjective narration, the intensely achieved characterization, especially those heroines who are totally contrary to the public expectations & the most truthful presentation of the economical, moral, social life of the time -all this earns her works a never dying popularity.

2. Selected ReadingJane Eyre:

Summary (plot)

(1) Jane's childhood at Gateshead, where she is abused by her aunt and cousins;

(2) her education at Lowood School, where she acquires friends and role models but also suffers privations;

(3) her time as governess at Thornfield Manor, where she falls in love with her Byronic employer, Edward Rochester;

(4) her time with the Rivers family at Marsh's End (or Moor House) and at Morton, where her cold clergyman-cousin St. John Rivers proposes to her; and

(5) her reunion with and marriage to her beloved Rochester at his house of Ferndean.

Main characters

Jane Eyre: The protagonist and title character, a plain-featured and reserved but talented, empathetic, hard-working, honest (not to say blunt), and passionate girl. Skilled at studying, drawing, and teaching, she works as a governess at Thornfield Manor and falls in love with her wealthy employer, Edward Rochester. But her strong sense of conscience does not permit her to become his mistress, and she does not return to him until his insane wife is dead and she herself has come into an inheritance. Then their marriage is blissful because it is between equals.

Edward Rochester: The owner of Thornfield Manor, and Jane's lover and eventual husband. He possesses a strong physique and great wealth, but his face is ugly and his moods mutable. Impetuous and sensual, he falls in love with Jane because her simplicity, bluntness, and plainness contrast so much with those of the shallow society women he is accustomed to. But his unfortunate marriage to the maniacal Bertha Mason postpones his union with Jane, and he loses a hand and his eyesight while trying to rescue his mad wife after she sets a fire that burns down Thornfield. He is what is referred to as a Byronic hero.

Theme

The criticism of the bourgeois system of education, the aim of bourgeois principles of education is to bring up obedient slaves for the rich.

The English country squires---uncultivated and narrow-minded ( Rochester is an exception)

The position of woman in society ( the heroine maintains women should have equal rights with men.)

Position

The work is one of the most popular & important novels of the Victorian age.

It is noted for its sharp criticism of the existing society, e.g. the religious hypocrisy of charity institutions, the social discrimination & the false social convention as concerning love & marriage.

At the same time, it is an intense moral fable. Jane, like Mr. Rochester, has to undergo a series of physical & moral tests to grow up & achieve her final happiness.

The success of the novel is also due to its introduction to the English novel the first governess heroine.

Jane Eyre is a completely new woman image. She represents those middle-class workingwomen who are struggling for recognition of their rights & equality as a human being. The vivid description of her intense feelings & her thought & inner conflicts brings her to the heart of the audience

Typical lines

If God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you.

Jane’s characters

Jane Eyre, an orphan child with a fiery spirit & a longing to love & be loved, a poor, plain, little governess who dares to love her master, a man superior to her in many ways, & even is brave enough to declare to the man her love for him, cuts a completely new woman image.

In this novel Charlotte characterizes Jane Eyre as a naive, kind-hearted, noble-minded woman who pursues a genuine kind of love.

Jane Eyre represents those middle-class workingwomen who are struggling for recognition of their basic rights & equality as a human being.

. Thomas Hardy

1. His Life & Literary Career:

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was born near Dorchester, the area that later became the famous "Wessex" in many of his novels.

Hardy is often regarded as a transitional writer.

His novels are all Victorian in date. Most of them are set in Wessex

2. His Major Works:

Poetry: the most famous is The Dynasts, a long epic-drama about the Napoleonic Wars.

Hardy himself divided his novels into three groups:

1) Romances & Fantasies

A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873); The Trumpet Major (1880)

2) Novels of Ingenuity

Desperate Remedies--his first novelThe Hand of Ethelberta

3) Novels of Character & Environment

Under the Greenwood Tree – the most and idyllic

The Return of the Native – the tragic sense becomes a keynote

The Mayor of Casterbridge – reveals the conflict in a deeper and fuller sense

Tess of the D'Urbervilles – conflict between old and modern becomes more intense

Jude the Obscure – the tragic sense turns into despair

3. Features of His Writings:

Past & Modern

Living at the turn of the century, Hardy is often regarded as a transitional writer. In him we see the influence from both the past &the modern. As some people put it, he is intellectually advanced& emotionally traditional. In his Wessex novels, there is an apparent nostalgic touch in his description of the simple & beautiful though primitive rural life, which was gradually declining & disappearing as England marched into an industrial country. And with these traditional characters he is always sympathetic. On the other hand, the immense impact of scientific discoveries & modern philosophic thoughts upon the man is quite obvious, too.

Determinism

In his works, man is shown inevitably bound by his own inherent nature & hereditary traits which prompt him to go & search for some specific happiness or success & set him in conflict with the environment. The outside nature-the natural environment or Nature herself-is shown as some mysterious supernatural force, very powerful but half-blind, impulsive & uncaring to the individual's will, hope, passion or suffering. It likes to play practical jokes upon human beings by producing a series of mistimed actions & unfortunate coincidences. Man proves impotent before Fate, however he tries, & he seldom-escapes his ordained destiny.

Critical realism

Though Naturalism seems to have an important part in Hardy's works, there is also bitter & sharp criticism & even open challenge of the irrational, hypocritical unfair Victorian institutions, conventions & morals which strangle the individual will & destroy natural human emotions & relationships. The conflicts between the traditional & the modern, between the old rural value of respectability & honesty & the new utilitarian commercialism, between the old, false social moral & the natural human passion, etc. are all closely set in a realistic background true to the very time & the very place.

4. Selected Reading:

Fate of Tess

Tess is a beautiful, innocent peasant girl. The poverty of the family forces her to claim kinship with the sham but rich d’Urbervilless. Alec, the young master of the d’ Urbervilles, a dandy, seduces Tess and impregnates her. Tess, finally kills him and she flees with Angel but is caught by the police and hanged.

Tess is actually a victim of her society. Hardy created the heroine Tess in Tess of the D’ Urbervilles just to criticize the society in his time. Hardy’s works are known as “novels of the character and environment.” Tess is a tragic person simply because she is not accepted by the society in which agriculture is menaced by the forces of imvading capitalism. So in a way, we say, Tess’ fate is decided by her society.

【例题】Thomas Hardy's pessimistic view of life predominated most of his later works and earns him a reputation as a ______ writer. 0904

A. realistic                  B. naturalistic

C. romantic                 D. stylistic

【答案】B

Chapter 5: The Modern Period

General Introduction

考核要求:

1.识记:

A. 20世纪英国社会的政治、经济、文化背景

B.英国20世纪批判现实主义文学

C.现代主义文学的兴起与衰落

2.领会:

A. 现代主义文学创作的基本主张

B.英国现代主义文学思潮

(1)诗歌

(2)小说

(3)戏剧

3.应用:

A.名词解释:现代主义

B.英国现代主义文学的特点

C.现代主义文学对当代文学的影响

考点串讲:

1. Modern period: from the second half of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century.

2. The social, historical background of the modern English literature

First World War tremendously weakened the British Empire and brought about great sufferings to its people as well

The Second World War marked the last stage of the disintegration of the British Empire

The Great Depression made the English think about the life of the poor

People were in economic, cultural, and belief crisises.

3. The ideological background of the modern English literature

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ scientific socialism

Darwin's theory of evolution

Einstein's theory of relativity

Freud's analytical psychology

Irrationalism philosophers

4. Modernism

Original source: skepticism and disillusion of capitalism.

Basis: the irrational philosophy and the theory of psycho-analysis

Theme: the distorted, alienated and ill relationships between man and nature, man and society, man and man, and man and himself.

Concentration: more on the private than on the public, more on the subjective than on the objective.

Concerning: the inner being of an individual.

Characteristics:  "the dehumanization of art". And pay more attention to the psychic time than the chronological one. In their writings, the past, the present and the future are mingled together and exist at the same time in the consciousness of an individual.

The relation with realism: a reaction against realism. Rejection to rationalism, which is the theoretical base of realism; it excludes from its major concern the external, objective, material world, which is the only creative source of realism; by advocating a free experimentation on new forms and new techniques in literary creation, it casts away almost all the traditional elements in literature such as story, plot, character, chronological narration, etc., which are essential to realism. As a result, the works created by the modernist writers are often labeled as anti-novel, anti-poetry and anti-drama

Definition: It is a reaction against realism. It rejects rationalism which is the theoretical base of realism; it excludes from its major concern the external, objective, material world, which is the only creative source of realism; by advocating a free experimentation on new forms and new techniques in literary creation, it casts away almost all the traditional elements in literature such as story, plot, character, chronological narration, etc.. which are essential to realism. Modernism takes the irrational philosophy and the theory of psycho-analysis as its theoretical base.

5. The development Novels in the 20th century;

Realistic novelists (at the early age):

John Galsworthy, H.G. Well and Arnold Bennett (their styles are the continuity of Victorian tradition)

Modernist novelists  (the streams of consciousness in 1930s):

James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Richardson, E.M. Forster and D.H. Lawrence (This is the golden age)

The Angry Young Men:

Kingsley Amis (the first to attack the privileges), John Wain John Braine and Alan Sillitoe

【例题】______________ is the most outstanding stream of consciousness novelist, with ___________ as his encyclopedia like masterpiece .

A. James Joyce, Ulysses

B. E.M. Foster, A Passage to India

C. D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers

D. Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

【答案】A

6. The development Dramas in the 20th century:

Modernism:

Oscar Wilde —the pioneer of modern drama

George Bernard Shaw –best known since Shakespeare

Galsworthy

Irish National Theater Movement:

W.B. Yeats, Lady Georgory, J.M. Synge and Sean O’Casey

Poetic drama:

T.S. Eliot regarded drama as the best medium

English Dramatic Revolution:

The working class drama and The Theater of Absurd

The typical authors during this period:

考核要求:

萧伯纳

1.一般:萧伯纳的生平与文学生涯。

2.识记:

A.萧伯纳的政治改革思想和文学创作主张

B.萧伯纳的戏剧创作

1)早期主要作品:《鳏夫的房产》、《华伦夫人的职业》、《康蒂坦》、《凯撒和克莉奥佩特拉》

2)中期作品:《人与超人》、《巴巴拉少校》、《皮格马利翁》

3)晚期作品:《伤心之家》、《回到麦修色拉》、《圣女贞德》、《苹果车》

3.领会:

A.萧伯纳戏剧的特点与社会意义

B.萧伯纳的戏剧对20世纪英国文学的影响

4.应用:

A.《华伦夫人的职业》的故事梗概、情节结构、人物塑造、语言风格、思想意义

B.选读:所选作品的主要内容、人物塑造、语言特点、艺术手法等

TS.艾略特

1.一般识记:艾略特的生平及创作生涯

2.识记:艾略特的主要诗歌作品

1)《普鲁弗洛克的情歌》

2)《荒原》

3)《灰星期三》

4)《四个四重奏》

3.领会:

A.艾略特的文学理论与文艺批评观

B.艾略特诗歌的艺术特色及社会意义

C.艾略特的戏剧

D. 文略特的艺术成就

E.艾略特的文学创作及文艺批评思想对现当代英国文学的影响

4.应用:

A.《荒原》主题、结构、神话、象征、语言特色及社会意义

B.选读:所选作品的主题结构、思想内容、语言特点、艺术手法等

戴维·赫伯特·劳伦斯

1.一般识记:劳伦斯的生平及文学生涯

2.识记:劳伦斯的主要小说

1)《儿子与情人》

2)《虹》

3)《恋爱中的女人》

3.领会:

A.劳伦斯的创作思想

B.劳伦斯小说的主要艺术特色及社会意义

C.劳伦斯的小说对现当代英国文学的影响

4.应用:

A.《儿子与情人》的故事梗概、情节结构、人物塑造、语言风格、思想意义

B.选读:所选作品的主要内容、人物性格、语言特点、艺术手法等

考点串讲:

. George Bernard Shaw

1. His life and writing:

Bernard Shaw, a brilliant dramatist, was born in Dublin, Ireland, of English parentage. He once worked in a landagent's office where he had much contact with the poor people in Dublin and came to know their miserable life. This experience surely enriched his understanding of the society and the sufferings of the people. In 1876 Shaw gave up his job and went to London, where he devoted much of his time to self-education by wide reading. Shaw came under the influence of Henry George and William Morris and took an interest in socialist theories. He started to attend all kinds of public meetings and to read Karl Marx in the British Museum. In 1884 Shaw joined the Fabian Society and became one of its most influential members.

2. Shaw's reform ideas:

He regarded the establishment of socialism by the emancipation of land and industrial capital from individual and class ownership as the final goal.

But on how to achieve it, he differed greatly from the Marxists. He was against the means of violent revolution or armed struggle in achieving the goal of socialism; he also had a distrust of the uneducated working class in fighting against capitalists.

This reformist view of his caused him a painful, often conscious, inner conflict between his sincere desire for the new world and his inability to break out of the snobbish intellectual isolation throughout his life and work.

3. His major works:

Five novels -- best one Cashel Byron's Profession (1886)

Criticism -- Our Theaters in the Nineties (1931).

Plays of a variety of subjects:

His early plays were mainly concerned with social problems and directed towards the criticism of the contemporary social, economic, moral and religious evils. Widowers' House is a grotesquely realistic exposure of slum landlordism;  Mrs. Warren's Profession is a play about the economic oppression of women.

Shaw wrote quite a few history plays, in which he kept an eye on the contemporary society. The important plays of this group are Caesar and Cleopatra (1898) and St. Joan (1923).

Shaw also produced several plays, exploring his idea of “Life Force," the power that would create superior beings to be equal to God and to solve all the social, moral, and metaphysical problems of human society. The typical examples of this group are Man and Superman (1904) and Back to Methuselah(1921).

Besides, Shaw wrote plays on miscellaneous subjects: The Apple Cart; John Bull's Other Island; Pygmalion; Getting Married ;Misalliance; Fanny's First Play ; The Doctor's Dilemma.

With the author's almost nihilistic bitterness on the subjects of the cruelty and madness of World War I and the aimlessness and disillusion of the young.

Too True to Be Good (1932) is a better play of the later period,

4. Shaw's literary ideas:

Shaw held that art should serve social purposes by reflecting human life, revealing social contradictions and educating the common people.

Being a drama critic, Shaw directed his attacks on the Neo-Romantic tradition and the fashionable drawing-room drama. His criticism was witty, biting, and often brilliant.

Shaw was strongly against the credo of "art for art's sake" held by those decadent aesthetic artists.

In his critical essays, he vehemently condemned the "well made" but cheap, hollow plays which filled the English theater of the late 19th century to meet the low taste of the middle class.

5. The main characteristics of Bernard Shaw's plays:

Structurally and thematically, Shaw followed the great traditions of realism.. Most of his plays, termed as problem plays, and are concerned with political, economic, moral, or religious problems.

One feature of Shaw‘s characterization is that he makes the trick of showing up one character vividly at the expense of another. Another feature is that Shaw’s characters are the representatives of ideas, points of view, that shift and alter during the play, for Mr. Shaw is primarily interested in doctrines.

The inversion, a device found in Shaw from beginning to end, is an integral part of an interpretation of life. Inversion is also used in character portrayal to achieve comic effects.

Shaw's plays have plots, but they do not work by plots.

6. Selected Reading:

An Excerpt from Act II of Mrs. Warren's Profession:

Plot Summary

Mrs. Warren's Profession is a play about the economic oppression of women. Mrs. Warren's profession is keeping brothels. Sir George Crofts, an old aristocrat, is her partner in this business. Vivie, Mrs. Warren's daughter, is educated in a very moral atmosphere at a boarding school. Upon graduation, she returns home and by accident discovers the source of her mother's income. Her conversations with Mrs. Warren and Sir George Crofts reveal the unscrupulousness of these members of the ruling class. It must be noted, however, that while protesting strongly against bourgeois exploitation and the immorality of the English ruling classes, Shaw points out no corrective. His heroine Vivie simply leaves her mother and, living independently, tries to earn her bread by honest work. Like Shaw, she is under the delusion that piecemeal, pretty and gradual reform will eventually do away with the evils of capitalism.

Main Characters

Mrs. Kitty Warren

Mrs. Warren can sometimes play the actress when she does not get what she wants. Her best role is that of a devoted mother, which she trots out in front of Crofts when he expresses his intentions to marry Vivie and in front of Vivie when she shows no sympathetic understanding of her mother's choice of profession. Her love for her daughter becomes evident, though, in the pain she feels when Vivie rejects her.

Ultimately, she appears to have been weakened by the lifestyle she has lead. She convinces herself that prostitution is not a bad life for a woman and that she is truly helping the women she employs to better themselves. Vivie, however, forces her to face reality, and Mrs. Warren must admit that she has grown too comfortable in the life her profession has afforded her, which Vivie determines makes her quite conventional after all.

Vivie Warren

Vivie is an attractive, sensible, highly educated young woman whose intense self-confidence can sometimes be overwhelming. She refuses to act in a traditional feminine manner, always speaking her mind and demanding that others treat her as an individual. Her relationship with her mother is more complex. At first, she appears a moralistic prig in her disapproval of her mother's profession, but she shows real sympathy when her mother explains the difficult circumstances that led her into prostitution. Vivie's ultimate decision to turn her back on her mother after she discovers that she has not given up her profession appears cold, especially when she dismisses her mother's real suffering and quickly and happily returns to her work at the end of the play.

Themes:

Oppression and Freedom

The social significance:

The play tells an outrageous truth: in a moribund capitalist society, even prostitution can be made a means of exploitation by an ex-prostitution Mrs. Warren, and a sound investment by a respectable aristocrat Sir George Crofts.

Here he exposes and satirizes the entire capitalist system, shows his infinite sympathy for the exploited, and therefore sharply and daringly touches on the most fundamental being of the capitalist system.

. T. S. Eliot

1. His life and writing:

Thomas Steams Eliot was born at St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

Eliot was first educated at Smith Academy and then at Harvard where he concentrated his energies on studying philosophy and logic. He took interest in Elizabethan literature, the Italian Renaissance and Indian mystical philosophy of Buddhism. He was also attracted by the French symbolist poetry. He worked as the editor of The Egoist and The Criterion, the two most influential literary reviews of 20th century.

He won various awards, including the Nobel Prize and the Order of Merit in 1948.

2. His poetic career and major achievements:

Eliot had a long poetic career, which was generally divided into two periods: the early one from 1915 to 1925, and the later one from 1927 onward.

Most of his early poems are about a state of mind. There is little “action” in a physical sense; the action is totally psychological. The poems are dominated by the dark horror of an earthly hell. The more important poems of this period are: Profrock, Gerontion(is a poem of dramatic monologue), The waste Land, The Hollow Men. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Burial of the Dead, Unreal city, A Game of Chjess, HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME, The Fire Sermon, Death by Water, What the Thunder Said.

The Waste Land

The position and the theme: The Waste Land, Eliot's most important single poem, has been hailed as a landmark and a model of the 20th-century English poetry, comparable to Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads.

With bold technical innovations in versification and style, the poem not only presents a panorama of physical disorder and spiritual desolation in the modern Western world, but also reflects the prevalent mood of disillusionment and despair of a whole post-war generation.

The main ideas of each section:

Section I, "The Burial of the Dead," deals chiefly with the theme of death in life.

Section II, "A Game of Chess," gives a rather concrete illustration of the sterile situation.

Section III, "The Fire Sermon," expresses a painfully elegiac feeling by juxtaposing the vulgarity and shallowness of the modern with the beauty and simplicity of the past.

Section IV, "Death by Water," the drowned Phoenician Sailor is an emblem of futile worries over profit and loss, youth and age.

Section V, “What the Thunder Said,” appears to be derived from an Indian myth, in which the supreme Lord of the Creation speaks through the thunder.

The poem's social significance:

The Waste Land is a poem concerned with the spiritual breakup of a modem civilization in which human life has lost its meaning, significance and purpose. The poem has developed a whole set of historical, cultural and religious themes; but it is often regarded as being primarily a reflection of the 20th-century people's disillusionment and frustration in a sterile and futile society. The horror and menace, the anguish and dereliction, and the futility and sterility expressed in his poetry had been afflicting all sensitive members of the postwar generation.

【例题】T. S. Eliot’s most important single poem _______has been hailed as a landmark and a model of the 20th-century English poetry. 0804

A. The Hollow Man

B. The Waste Land

C. Murder in the Cathedral

D. Ash Wednesday

【答案】B

3. T. S. Eliot's major achievement in drama writing:

He was one of the important verse dramatists in the first half of the 20th century. Besides some fragmentary pieces, Eliot had written in his lifetime five full-length plays:

Murder in the Cathedral (1935)大教堂谋杀案

The Family Reunion (1939)团员

The Cocktail Party (1950)鸡尾酒会

The Confidential Clerk (1954)机要秘书

The Elder Statesman (1959) 资深政客

All the plays have something to do with Christian themes. His three later plays are also concerned with the subject of spiritual self-discovery but in the form of a sophisticated modern social comedy.

Eliot's major achievement in play writing has been the creation of a verse drama in the 20th century to express the ideas and actions of modern society with new accents of the contemporary speech.

4. Selected Reading:

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is Eliot's most striking early achievement. It presents the meditation of an aging young man over the business of proposing marriage.

The poem is in a form of dramatic monologue, suggesting an ironic contrast between a pretended "love song" and a confession of the speaker's incapability of facing up to love and to life in a sterile upper-class world.

Character: Prufrock, the protagonist of the poem, is neurotic, self-important, illogical and incapable of action. He is a kind of tragic figure caught in a sense of defeated idealism and tortured by unsatisfied desires.

The setting of the poem resembles the "polite society" of Pope's “The Rape of the Lock," in which a tea party is a significant event and a game of cards is the only way to stave off boredom.

Style: The poem is intensely anti-romantic with visual images of hard, gritty objects and evasive hellish atmosphere.

. D. H. Lawrence

1. His life and writing:

His life and writing: David Herbert Lawrence was born at a mining village in Nottinghamshire. His father was a coal-miner with little education; but his mother, once a school teacher, was from a somewhat higher class, who came to think that she had married beneath her and desired to have her sons well educated so as to help them escape from the life of coal miners.

The conflict between the earthy, coarse, energetic but often drunken father and the refined, strong-willed and up-climbing mother is vividly presented in his autobiographical novel, Sons and Lovers (1913).

2. Lawrence's major works:

As a novelist:

The White Peacock-- first novel; The Trespasser --second novel; Sons and Lovers; The Rainbow; Women in Love

The Rainbow:

The story: The Rainbow is a story about the three generations of the Brangwen family on the Marsh farm. The first part is about the marriage and life of Tom Brangwen and Lydia Lensky, a Polish widow. They have a deep and loving understanding of each other in spite of the utter foreignness between them. They can also communicate with the mysterious natural world. Their relationship is presented as the model one in the novel. The second part of the novel is about Anna Lensky, Lydia's daughter by her first husband, and Will, Tom's nephew. They have physical passion for each other; but, in Lawrence's words, "their souls remain separate." Their relationship is fraught with conflicts, and their marriage fails to achieve the final fulfillment of the older generation. The last part of the novel deals with Ursula, the eldest daughter of Will and Anna, who carries the story on into the third generation. This part of the novel traces Ursula's life from childhood through adolescence up to adulthood. At the end of the novel; Ursula is left with much experience behind her, but still "uncreated" in face of the unknown future.

The social significance of The Rainbow: In this novel, Lawrence illustrates a terrible social corruption that accompanies the progress of human civilization. In Lawrence's opinion, the mechanical civilization is responsible for the unhealthy development of human personalities, the perversion of love and the failure of human fulfillment in marital relationships. In reading the novel, the reader often feels the threatening shadows of the disintegration and destructiveness of the whole civilized world which loom behind the emotional conflicts and psychological tensions of the characters. As a matter of fact, it is the first time for Lawrence to make a conscious attempt to combine social criticism with psychological exploration in his novel writing.

Women in Love

The story: As its title implies, Women in Love is a novel about two pairs of lovers, around whom a series of episodes are dramatically presented. The two heroines are Ursula Brangwen and her younger sister Gudrun; and the two chief male characters are Gerald Crich, a young coalmine owner, and Rupert Birkin, a school inspector. At the opening of the story, Ursula and Birkin strike an immediate kin ship with each other, while Gudrun is attracted by Gerald's physical energy. The rest of the novel is a working out of the relationships of these four through interrelating events and conflicts of personalities. After a series of ups and downs, Birkin and Ursula have reached a fruitful relationship by maintaining their integrity and independence as individuals and decided to get married in the end. But the passionate love between Gudrun and Gerald experiences a process of tension and deterioration. As both of them have let their "will-power" and "ideals" interfere with their proper relations, their love turns out to be a disastrous tragedy.

The symbolic meanings in this novel: Women in Love is rich in its symbolic meanings. Gerald Crich, an efficient but ruthless coalmine owner, who makes the machine his god and establishes the inhuman mechanical system in his mining kingdom, is a symbolic figure of spiritual death, representing the whole set of bourgeois ethics. Whereas Birkin, a self-portrait of Lawrence, who fights against the cramping pressures of mechanized industrialism and the domination of any kind of dead formulas, is presented as a symbolic figure of human warmth, standing for the spontaneous Life Force. Women in Love is a remarkable novel in which the individual consciousness is subtly revealed and strands of themes are intricately wound up. The structural pattern of the book derives from the contrast between the destinies of the two pairs of lovers and the subordinate masculine relationship between Birkin and Gerald. The two sisters, the two male friends, and the two couples are closely paralleled in ideas, actions and relations so that each is corresponding to and contrasting with the other. Thus, Women in Love is regarded to be a more profoundly ordered novel than any other written by Lawrence.

As a poet

Lawrence is also a proficient poet. He began his poetry writing very early and wrote quite a large number of poems in his whole career. His poems fall roughly into three categories - satirical and comic poems, poems about human relationships and emotions, and poems about nature.

As a dramatist:

Lawrence's three influential plays are known as the Lawrence trilogy: A Collier's Friday Night; The Daughter-in-Law; The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyed.

They have in common the typical working-class environments set in Nottinghamshire. What the plays focus on is the direct and violent emotions of the main characters in times of crisis in their married life. The plays are presented with a higher degree of objectivity and detachment than the novels by Lawrence.

3. The creative features and the social significance of Lawrence's writing:

Lawrence is one of the greatest English novelists of the 20th century. The major characteristics of his novel are that he combined social criticism with psychological exploration in his novel writing. He was not concerned with technical innovations; his interest lays in the tracing of psychological development of his character and in his energetic criticism of the dehumanizing effect of the capitalist industrialization on human nature.

The theme: In his writings, Lawrence has expressed a strong reaction against the mechanical civilization.

Lawrence's influence to modern and contemporary English literature: He was one of the first novelists to introduce themes of psychology into his works.

Lawrence's artistic tendency is mainly realism, which combines dramatic scenes with an authoritative commentary.

In presenting the psychological aspects of his characters, Lawrence makes use of poetic imagination and symbolism in his writing.

4. Selected reading: Sons and Lovers:

Plot summary

Sons and Lovers is largely an autobiographical novel told by means of straight-forward narrative and vivid episodes in chronological sequence.

The story starts with the marriage of Paul's parents. Mrs. Morel, daughter of a middle-class family, is "a woman of character and refinement", a strong-willed, intelligent and ambitious woman who is fascinated by a warm, vigorous and sensuous coal miner, Walter Morel, and married beneath her own class. After an initial stage of happiness in their marriage, the class difference between them starts to estrange them from each other. The disillusion in her husband makes her lavish all the affections upon her sons. She determines that her sons should never become miners; they will be educated to realize her ideals of success, happiness and social esteem. Thus, the sons gradually come under the strong influence of the mother in affections, aspirations and mental habits, and see their father with their mother's eyes, despising their father whose personality degenerates step by step as he feels his exclusion.

Later Mrs. Morel stands in the way of her second son Paul's love affairs first with Miriam, a farmer's daughter, and then with Clara, a married woman who lives separated from her husband.

In the near-end of the story, Mrs. Morel suffers from a terminal disease. Paul casts off his mistress and attends to his dying mother. It is only after his mother's death that he feels free. Resisting the urge to follow his mother into darkness, he walks towards life.

Major characters

Paul Morel: Paul is the protagonist of the novel, and we follow his life from infancy to his early twenties. He is sensitive, temperamental, artistic (a painter), and unceasingly devoted to his mother. They are inseparable; he confides everything in her, works and paints to please her, and nurses her as she dies. Paul has ultimately unsuccessful romances with Miriam Leiver and Clara Dawes, always alternating between great love and hatred for each of them. His relationship fails with Miriam because she is too sacrificial and virginal to claim him as hers, whereas it fails with Clara because, it seems, she has never given up on her estranged husband. However, the major reason behind Paul's break-ups is the long shadow of his mother; no woman can ever equal her in his eyes, and he can never free himself from her possession.

Gertrude Morel: Mrs. Morel is unhappily married to Walter Morel, and she redirects her attention to her children, her only passion in life. She is first obsessed with William, but his death leaves her empty and redirects her energies toward Paul. She bitterly disapproves of all the women these two sons encounter, masking her jealousy with other excuses. A natural intellectual, she also feels society has limited her opportunities as a woman, another reason she lives through Paul.

Walter Morel: Morel, the coal-mining head of the family, was once a humorous, lively man, but over time he has become a cruel, selfish alcoholic. His family, especially Mrs. Morel, despises him, and Paul frequently entertains fantasies of his father's dying.

Paul’s characterization

Paul’s psychological development is traced with great subtlety. He depends heavily on his mother’s love and help to make sense of the world around him. In order to become an independent man and a true artist he has to make his own decisions about his life and work, and has to struggle to become free from his mother’s influence. However, Paul is proved to be incapable of escaping the overpowering emotional bond imposed by his mother’s love, so he fails to achieve a fulfilling relationship with Miriam or Clara. Finally, his mother died and he was left alone in despair. But the book ends with Paul’s determination to face the unknown future.

Sensitive, temperamental, artistic

Part Two: American Literature

Chapter 1: The Romantic Period

General Introduction

考核要求:

1.识记内容:美国浪漫主义文学产生的社会历史及文化背景

2.领会内容: 美国浪漫主义在文学上的表现

a.欧洲浪漫主义文学的影响

b.美国本土文学的崛起及其待证

3."应用"内容:清教主义、超验主义、象征主义、自由诗等名词的解释

考点串讲:

1. Duration and the symbols of beginning and ending:

Duration: from end of 18th century to the outbreak of the Civil War.

Beginning: publication of Sketch Book by Washington Iving

Ending: Leaves of Grass by Whitman

It is a great flowering of American literature; it is also called “American Renaissance”

2. Social background:

Historically, westward territorial expansion provided rich materials for the development of Romanticism

Economically, the industrial transformation set up the background for the development of Romanticism

Politically, democracy and equality stimulated the desires for the development of a national literature -- Romanticism

3. Literary background:

Common feature:

American writers share certain common with English Romanticists

New forms of fiction and poetry

Emphasis on the imaginative and emotional qualities of literature

Emphasis on free expression of emotion

Emphasis on individual exalt

Typical American features:

Influenced by American Puritanism and New England Transcendentalism, revealed the unique characteristics of their own.

American Puritanism:

Puritanism is the practices and beliefs of the Puritans. The Puritans were originally members of a division of the Protestant Church. The first settlers who became the founding fathers of the American nation were quite a few of them. They were a group of serious, religious people, advocating highly religious and moral principles. As the word itself hints, Puritans wanted to purity their religious beliefs and practices. They accepted the doctrine of predestination, original sin and total depravity, and limited atonement through a special infusion of grace form God. As a culture heritage, Puritanism did have a profound influence on the early American mind. American Puritanism also had a enduring influence on American literature.

New England Transcendentalism:

Started by a group of people who were members of the transcendental club.

Two most significant writers: Emerson and Thoreau

Emphasis: the nature and individual

Definition:  Transcendentalists goes from the romantic literature of Europe. They spoke for cultural rejuvenation and against the materialism, or the oversoul, They stressed the importance of the individual. To them, the individual was the most important element of society. They offered a fresh perception of nature as symbolic of the Spirit of God. Nature was, to them, alive, filled with God’s overwhelming presence. Transcendentalism is based on the belief that the most fundamental truths about life and death can be reached only by going beyond the world of the senses. Emerson’s Nature has been called the “Manifesto of American Transcendentalism” and his The American Scholar has been rightly regarded as America’s “Declaration of Intellectual Independence”.

4. Major writers:

Poets:

Philip Freneau; William Cullen Bryant; Henry Wordsworth Longfellow; James Russel Lowell; John greenleaf Whitter; Edgar Ellen Poe; Walt Whitman

Fictionists:

Washington Iving; James Fenimore copper; Herman Melville; Nathaniel Hawthorne; Ralph Waldo Emerson

The typical authors during this period

考核要求:

考点串讲:

.Nathaniel Hawthorne

1. Hawthorne's life and writing career:

Imbued with an inquiring imagination, an intensely meditative mind, and unceasing interest in the "interior of the heart" of man's being, Nathaniel Hawthorne remains one of the most interesting, yet most ambivalent writers in the American literary history

From Emerson, Thoreau and Melville, he was affected by transcendentalist theory, and all the three people had played an indispensable role in Hawthorne's literary career

2. Hawthorne's major works:

Twice-Told Tales故事重述 a collection of short story

Mosses from an Old Manse古宅青苔

The Snow-Image and Other Twice-Told Tales

Best demonstrate Hawthorn's early obsession with the moral and psychological consequences of pride, selfishness, and secret guilt that manifest themselves in human beings

The Scarlet Letter红字 always regarded as the best of his works, tells a simple but very moving story in which four people living in a Puritan community are invo1ved in and affected by the sin of adultery in different ways

The House of the Seven Gables有七个尖角阁楼的房子was based on the tradition of a curse pronounced on the author's family when his great-grandfather was a judge in the Salem witchcraft trials;

The Blithedale Romance福谷传奇 is a novel he wrote to reveal his own experiences on the Brook Farm and his own methods as a psychological novelist

The Marble Faun大理石雕像  is a romance set in Italy, concerned about the dark aberrations of the human spirit

Young Goodman Brown年轻小伙子布朗 Selected reading

3. His thematic concerns:

The "black" vision

His "black" vision of life and human beings refers to his concern with human sin and evil

According to Hawthorne, "There is evil in every human heart, which may remain latent, perhaps, through the whole life; but circumstances may rouse it to activity." A piece of literary work should "show how we are all wronged and wrongers, and avenge one another.

One source of evil that Hawthorne is concerned most is over-reaching intellect, which usually refers to someone, who is too proud, too sure of himself.

View of Puritanism:

Hawthorne's view of man and human history originates, to a great extent, in Puritanism.

He believed that “the wrong doing of one generation lives into the successive ones, This sensibility led to his understanding of evil being at the very core of human life

In many of Hawthorne's stories and novels, the Puritan concept of life is condemned, or the Puritan Past is shown in an almost totally negative light, especially in his The House Of the Seven Gables and The Scarlet Letter.

Hawthorne is attracted in every way to the Puritan world, even though he condemns its less humane manifestations. On the one hand, it provides him with a subject, He inherited the Puritan tradition of moral earnestness, and he was deeply concerned with the concepts of original sin and guilt and the claims of law and conscience; and on the other, with the Puritan world or society as a historical background, he discusses some of the most important issues that concern the moral life of man and human history.

4. His masterpiece The Scarlet Letter:

Hawthorne's remarkable sense of the Puritan past, his understanding of the colonial history in New England, his apparent preoccupation with the moral issues of sin and guilt, and his keen psychological analysis of people are brought to full display in his masterpiece The Scarlet Letter.

Psychological analysis in the novel:

With his specia1 interest in the psychological aspect of human beings, there isn't much action, or physical movement going on in his works and he is good at exploring the complexity of human psychology. So his drama is thought, full of mental activities. Thought propels action and grows organically out of the interaction of the characters, as we can find in The Scarlet Letter.

Symbolism in this novel:

Hawthorne is a master of symbolism, which he took from the Puritan tradition and bequeathed to American literature in a revivified form.

The symbol can be found everywhere in his writing, and his masterpiece provides the most conclusive proof.

The scarlet letter "A" is the central symbol of The Scarlet Letter, with which Hawthorne proves himself to be one of the best symbolists. As a key to the whole novel, the letter A takes on different layers of symbolic meanings as the plot develops.

At the beginning of the novel Hester was discovered to have committed adultery and was punished to wear a scarlet letter "A" made of cloth at her bosom and the letter symbolized her sin-"adultery".

Then when Hester became gradually accepted by the community through her honesty and hard work, it stands for Hester's intelligence and hard work-"able".

At the end of the novel the symbol has evolved to represent the high virtues of Hester-"angelic". So the letter changes from a symbol of sin to a symbol of ability and at last of the high human virtue.

By using Pearl as a thematic symbol, Hawthorne emphasizes the consequence the sin of adultery has brought to the community and people living in that community.

5. Hawthorne's writing style:

As a man of literary craftsmanship, Hawthorne is extraordinary in that

The structure and the form of his writings are always carefully worked out to cater for the thematic concern.

With his special interest in the psychological aspect of human beings, there isn’t much action, or physical movement going on in his works and he is good at exploring the complexity of human psychology. So his drama is full of mental activities. Thought propels action and grows organically out of the interaction of the characters, as we can find in The Scarlet Letter.

Hawthorne is also a great allegorist and almost every story can be read allegorically, as is the case in "Young Goodman Brown." Allegory is used to hold fast against the crushing blows of reality. Its hero, a naive young man who accepts both society in general and his fellow men as individuals worth his regard, is confronted with the vision of human evil in one terrible night, and becomes thereafter distrustful and doubtful. Allegorically, our protagonist, becomes an Everyman named Brown, a "young man" who will be aged in one night by an adventure that makes everyone in this world a fallen idol.

Hawthorne is a master of symbolism, which he took from the Puritan tradition and bequeathed to American literature in a revivified form. The symbol serves as a weapon to attack and penetrate reality. The symbol can be found everywhere in his writing.

His masterpiece provides the most conclusive proof. The scarlet letter "A" is the central symbol of The Scarlet Letter. With which Hawthorne proves himself to be one of the best symbolists. As a key to the whole novel, the letter A takes on different layers of symbolic meanings as the plot develops.

In "Young Goodman Brown", by using the black forest as a thematic symbol, Hawthirne emphasizes the consequences of sin on the community and people living in that community. The other symbols are the name of his wife "Faith", the pink ribbon of her cap, the black mass of cloud, the blazing pines, the rock, etc.

The scarlet letter A is ambiguous. People come up with different interpretations and they do not know which one is definite. So, ambiguity is one of the salient characteristics of Hawthorne's art.

6. Selected Reading:

Young Goodman Brown

Plot summary

Goodman Brown, a Puritan who lives in the village of Salem, leaves his wife Faith who pleads him not to go, to attend a witches' Sabbath in the woods. A satanic figure leads the credulous protagonist to a witches' Sabbath. There, he astonishingly finds lots of prominent people of the village and the church. When he is about to be confirmed into the group, he finds his wife Faith is also there beside him. He immediately cries out" look up to Heaven and resist the wicked one," only to find he is alone in the forest. He returns to his home, but since then lives a dismal and gloomy life because he is never able to believe in goodness or piety again.

Major characters

Young Goodman Brown

His name suggests he represents the average man. Brown makes his journey into the dark forest because he is curious and even tempted by the darker side of life. His brush with evil, however, leaves a permanently negative mark. In the end, Brown is unable to accept the duality of human nature-that a person can possess both good and evil qualities and for this he suffers.

Faith Brown

Faith Brown serves an allegorical purpose in this story. It is Faith that Brown leaves behind, presumably for one night, in order to keep his appointment with the Devil. Explaining to the old man why he is late Brown says, Faith kept me back a while. She represents the force of good in the world. Thus, when Brown perceives that she too has been corrupted, he shouts My Faith is gone! and rushes madly toward the witchess gathering.

The pink ribbons that decorate Faith’s cap have drawn more critical attention than any other symbol in the story. On one hand they have been said to represent female sexuality, while on the other, innocence

The Devil

The figure of the Devil in Young Goodman Brown appears as an older though not ancient man who carries a twisted, snake-like staff. He seems to resemble Brown somewhat, and it has been suggested that he is a reflection of the darker side of Browns nature.

【例题】In Young Goodman Brown by Hawthorne, the name of Goodman Browns wife is ______________, which also contains many symbolic meanings. 0704

A. Ruth

B. Hester

C. Faith

D. Mary

【答案】C

【解析】(P434. selected reading)

霍桑是象征主义大师,他的作品中的人物或是其他大多都有象征意义,如:《红字》中的字母 “A”, 《好人歌德曼.布朗》中的 “Goodman” “Faith”等。

Theme

"Young Goodman Brown" is one of Hawthorne's most profound tales. The story illustrates Hawthorne's allegorical theme of human evil. In the manner of its concern with guilt and evil, it exemplifies what Milville called the" power of blackness" in Hawthorne's work.

In "Young Goodman Brown," he sets out to prove that everyone possesses some evil secret. "Evil is the nature of mankind." Its hero, a naive young man who accepts both societies in general and his fellow men as an individual worth his regard, are confronted with the vision of human evil in one terrible night, and becomes thereafter distrustful and doubtful.

Writing styles

Allegory

In "Young Goodman Brown." Allegory is used to hold fast against the crushing blows of reality. Its hero, a naive young man who accepts both society in general and his fellow men as individuals worth his regard, is confronted with the vision of human evil in one terrible night, and becomes thereafter distrustful and doubtful. Allegorically, our protagonist, becomes an Everyman named Brown, a "young man" who will be aged in one night by an adventure that makes everyone in this world a fallen idol.

Symbolism

“Young Goodman Brown” takes the form of an allegory. An allegory uses symbolic elements to represent various human characteristics and situations. Brown represents Everyman (Goodman was a title for those under the social rank of “gentleman”) while Faith represents his faith in humanity and society. the pink hair ribbons represents Faiths innocence, and the snake-like staff, which is symbolic of the form the Devil takes to corrupt Adam and Eve in the Bible.

Foreshadowing预示

Hawthorne hints both at Browns later confusion over whether he had dreamed his experience and the symbolic death of Faiths innocence at the Black Mass.

Romanticism

It is clear Hawthorne subscribes to this theory as well. Unable to accept the duality of human nature that good and evil can and often do exist side by side Goodman Brown lives out the rest of his days as a stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man.”

. Walt Whitman

1. Whitman's life:

Whitman is a giant of American letters. His Leaves of Grass has always been considered a monumental work which commands great attention because of its uniquely poetic embodiment of American democratic ideals.

He is the poet of the common people and the prophet and singer of democracy.

During the years in New York City, Whitman began to show his democratic partisanship. And this ideas governing Whit’s poetry-writing gradually took place

2. Whitman's democratic ideals:

Whitman’s democratic ideas govern his poetry-writing. In his famous poetry, openness, freedom, and above all, individualism (the belief that the rights and freedom of individual people are most important) are all that concerned him.

Whitman brings the hard-working farmers and laborers into American literature ,attack the slavery system and racial discrimination. In this book he also extols nature ,democracy, labor and creation ,and sings of man’s dignity and equality, and of the brightest future of mankind

Whitman believed that poetry could play a vital part in the process of creating a new nation. It could enable Americans to celebrate their release from the Old World and the colonial rule. And it could also help them understand their new status and to define themselves in the new world of possibilities.

3. The themes in Whitman's poetry:

His poetry is filled with optimistic expectation and enthusiasm about new things and new epoch, so the abundance of themes in his poetry voices freshness.

He shows concern for the whole hard-working people and the burgeoning life of cities. To Whitman, the fast growth of industry and wealth in cities indicated a lively future of the nation, despite the crowded, noisy, and squalid conditions and the slackness in morality.

 

He advocates the realization of the individual value. Most of the poems in Leaves of Grass sing of the “en-masse” and the self as well.

 

Pursuit of love and happiness is approved of repeatedly and affectionately in his lines. Sexual 1ove, a rather taboo topic of the time, is displayed candidly as something adorable. The individual person and his desires must be respected.

 

Some of Whitman's poems are politically committed. Before and during the Civil War, Whitman expressed much mourning for the sufferings of the young lives in the battlefield and showed a determination to carry on the fighting dauntlessly until the final victory

4. Leaves of Grass:

The title:

It is significant that Whitman entitled his book Leaves of Grass. He said that where there is earth, where there is water, there is grass. Grass, the most common thing with the greatest vitality, is an image of the poet himself, a symbol of the then rising American nation and an embodiment of his ideals about democracy and freedom.

Theme:

In this giant work, openness, freedom, and above all, individualism (the belief that the rights and freedom of individual people are most important) are all that concerned him.

Whitman brings the hard-working farmers and laborers into American literature ,attack the slavery system and racial discrimination. In this book he also extols nature, democracy, labor and creation ,and sings of man's dignity and equality, and of the brightest future of mankind. Most of the poems in Leaves of Grass sing of the "en-masse" and the self as well

Essential purpose

His aim was nothing less than to express some new poetical feelings and to initiate a poetic tradition in which difference should be recognized.

The genuine participation of a poet in a common cultural effort was, according to Whitman, to behave as a supreme individualist; however, the poet's essential purpose was to identify his ego with the world, and more specifically with the democratic "en-masse" of America, which is established in the opening lines of "Song of Myself".

5. Whitman's poetic style and language:

Poetic style:

To dramatize the nature of these new poetical feelings, Whitman employed brand-new means in his poetry, which would first be discerned in his style and language.

(1) Whitman’s poetic style is marked, first of all, by the use of the poetic I. Whitman becomes all those people in his poems and yet still remains Walt Whitman, hence a discovery of the self in the other with such an identification. In such a manner, Whitman invites his readers to participate in the process of sympathetic identification.

 

(2) Whitman is also radically innovative in terms of the form of his poetry. He adopted “free verse”

(3) Whitman is conversational and casual, in the fluid, expansive, and unstructured style of talking. However, there is a strong sense of the poems being rhythmical. The reader can feel the rhythm of Whitmans thought and cadences of his feeling. Parallelism and phonetic recurrence at the beginning of the lines also contribute to the musicality of his poems.

Whitman's language:

(1) Most of the pictures he painted with words are honest, undistorted images of different aspects of America of the day. The particularity about these images is that they are unconventional in the way they break down the social division based on religion, gender, class, and race. One of the most often-used methods in Whitman's poems is to make colors and images fleet past the mind's eye of the reader.

(2) Another characteristic in Whitman's language is his strong tendency to use oral English.

(3) Whitman's vocabulary is amazing. He would use powerful, colorful, as well as rarely-used words, words of foreign origin and sometimes even wrong words.

6. Selected Readings:

There Was a Child Went Forth

This poem describes the growth of a child who learned about the world around him and improved himself accordingly. In the poem Whitman's own early experience may well be identified with the childhood of a young, growing America. Young American nation were creating a new life with their own hands.

The poem describes the influence of environment on the child, and the poet divides these influences into the animal and vegetable world of nature and the human world of the home. It is interesting to reexamine the sequence of the items listed in this poem which "became part of the child." They reflect the natural process of a boy's growth. At first, his world was limited within the barnyard. Later, he sought into fields and streets. Then, he became interested in something more mysterious -his fellow human beings. Finally, he was on the symbolic threshold of the outside world, the sea. He had grown into a young man from a baby.

Cavalry Crossing a Ford

This poem is grouped under the Drum-Taps section in the 1881 edition of Leaves of Grasswhich reminds its readers of a picture, or a photo, of a scene of the American Civil War. (purpose)

All the movements described in this picture  are frozen. And while sounds are depicted, it's more likely that they come out of the watcher's imagination, rather than from the picture itself.

This poem incorporates his emotions and feelings during the war period. Not a lover of violence and bloodshed, Whitman expressed much mourning for the sufferings of the young lives in the battlefield and showed a determination to carry on the fighting dauntlessly until the final victory.Whitman uses colors and images in this poem.

Song of Myself

The two principal beliefs embodied in this poem:

In this poem Whitman sets forth two principal beliefs: the theory of universality, which is illustrated by lengthy

catalogues of people and things, and the belief in the singularity and equality of all beings in value.

He extols whole universe and the world. He is thinking of the self as a powerful and sensitive instrument for receiving and expressing. He moves from himself to you to others, to all humanity all together about him.

. Herman Melville

1. His life and his career as a writer:

Herman Melville is best-known as the author of his mighty book, Moby-Dick(1851), which is one of the world's greatest masterpieces.

In 1841, Melville went to the South Seas on a whaling ship, where he gained the first-hand information about whaling that he used later in Moby Dick.

Hawthorne's black vision regarding the evil of human beings had in some way changed Melville's outlook on life and the world and his allegorical way of exposition had affected his writing technique. Shakespearean tragic vision and Emersonian Transcendentalism also produced some positive effects on his writing.

2. Major works:

The first period:

Typee  泰比

Omio 欧穆

Mardi 玛地

Redburn 莱德伯恩

White Jacket 白外套

Moby Dick 白鲸(莫比迪克)

The second period:

Pierre 皮埃尔

Billy Budd 比利巴德

The Confident Man

Bartleby, the Scrivener

Benito Cereno

3. The differences between Melville's early works and later ones:

Melvilles writings can be well divided into two groups, each with something in common in the light of the thematic concern and imaginative focus.

 

His early works were sea adventures, considered to be the best. Melville relates his life on a United States man-of-war. Of all these sea adventure stories, Moby-Dick proves to be the best. By writing such a book Melville reached the most flourishing stage of his literary creativity.

 

Pierre is a popular romance intended for the feminine market but provoking an outrageous repudiation. While in the late works, Melville becomes more reconciled with the world of man, in which, he admits, one must live by the rules. However, the purpose of Melville's fictional tales, exotic or philosophical, is to penetrate as deeply as possible into the metaphysical, theological, moral, psychological, and social truths of human existence.

4. Moby-dick

Moby-dick is regarded as the Great American Novel, the first American prose epic(散文史诗: a long narrative poem telling of heroic deeds of reflecting the values of the society from which it originated), though it is presented in the form of a novel.

Surface and the deep meaning

its surface meaning: It is a whaling tale or sea adventure, dealing with Ahab, a man with an overwhelming obsession to kill the whale which has crippled him, on board his ship Pequod in the chase of the big whale. The dramatic description of the hazards of whaling makes the book a very exciting sea narrative and builds a literary monument to an era of whaling industry in the nineteenth century.

The deep symbolic theme: Moby-Dick is not merely a whaling tale or sea adventure, considering that Melville is a great symbolist. It turns out to be a symbolic voyage of the mind in quest of the truth and knowledge of the universe, a spiritual exploration into man's deep reality and psychology. This is shown in Captain Ahab's rebellious struggle against the overwhelming mysterious vastness of the universe and its awesome sometimes merciless forces.

The Peduod is the miscrocosm of human society and the voyage becomes a search for truth; Moby Dick symbolizes nature for the author, evil for the character Ahab;

Mixture of romanticism and realism

Romantic features: Ahab is a Byronic hero, a man with an overwhelming obsession or consuming desire to take revenge against the whale which has crippled him. His revenge ends in tragedy and he, who burns with a baleful fire, becomes evil himself in his thirst to destroy evil. Moby Dick, for the writer, symbolizes the unknown, mysterious natural force, an unreal world of speculation and mystery which is very hard for man to manipulate.

Realistic features: The dramatic description of the hazards of whaling makes the book a very exciting sea narrative and builds a literary monument to an era of whaling industry in the nineteenth century.

Allegory and symbolism

Symbolism: Moby-Dick is not merely a whaling tale or sea adventure, it is also a symbolic voyage of the mind in quest of the truth and knowledge of the universe, a spiritual exploration into man’s deep reality and psychology.

 

Like Hawthorne, Melville is a master of allegory and symbolism.

Allegory: For the author, as well as for the reader and Ishmael, the narrator, Moby Dick is still a mystery, an ultimate mystery of the universe, inscrutable and ambivalent, and the voyage of the mind will forever remain a search, not a discovery of the truth.

【例题】The white whale, Moby Dick, symbolizes ________ for Melville, for it is complex, unfathomable, malignant, and beautiful as well.

A. society

B. nature

C. ocean animals

D. both A and C

【答案】B

Chapter 2: The Realistic Period

General Introduction

考核要求:

1.识记:美国现实主义文学产生的社会和文化背景

a)美国南北战争

b)威廉·迪安·豪威尔斯:美国现实主义的先驱

c)达尔文主义和法国小说家佐拉的影响

2.领会:

A.美国现实主义文学的特点

a)占主导地位的美国现实主义小说

b)现实主义文学中的地方色彩小说

c)现实主义文学中的自然主义倾向

B.现实主义文学和自然主义倾向之异同

C.达尔文主义、法国自然主义作家的主张以及对现实主义时期美国文学的影响

3.应用:

A. 名词解释:现实主义、达尔文主义、自然主义、地方色彩主义

B.现实主义文学和自然主义倾向在美国19世纪小说中的反映

考点串讲:

1. Historical duration and historical position:

The period ranging from 1865 to l914 has been referred to as the Age of Realism in the 1iterary history of the United States, which is actually a movement or tendency that dominated the spirit of American literature, especially American fiction, from the 1850s onwards.

Realism was a reaction against Romanticism or a move away from the bias towards romance and self-creating fictions, and it paved the way to Modernism.

Instead of thinking about the irrational, the imaginative, realists touched upon social and political realities and pressures in the post-Civil war society. Three dominant figures are William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, and Henry James

【例题】Realism was a reaction against Romanticism or a move away from the bias towards romance and selfcreating fictions, and paved the way to ______________. 0704

A. Cynicism

B. Modernism

C. Transcendentalism

D. NeoClassicalism

【答案】B

2. Historical and social background:

A. the American society after the Civil War provided rich soil for the rise and development of Realism

B. People became dubious about the human nature and the benevolence of God, which the Transcendentalists cared most. What Mark Twain referred to as “the Gilded Age” replaced the frontier and the spirit of the frontiersman, which is the spirit of freedom and human connection.

C. the literary scene after the Civil War proved to be quite different a picture. The harsh realities of life as well as the disillusion of heroism resulting from the dark memories of the Civil War had set the nation against the romance. The Americans began to be tired of the sentimental feelings of Romanticism. Thus, started a new period in the American literary writings known as the Age of Realism, characterized by a great interest in the realities of life.

3. Characteristics of Realism:

Guided by the principle of adhering to the truthful treatment of life, the realists touched upon various contemporary social and political issues.

In their works, instead of writing about the polite, well--dressed, grammatically correct middle--class young people who moved in exotic places and remote times, they introduced industrial workers and farmers, ambitious businessmen and vagrants, prostitutes and unheroic soldiers as major characters in fiction.

They approached the harsh realities and pressures in the post-Civil War society either by a comprehensive picture of modern life in its various occupations, class stratifications and manners, or by a psychological exploration of man's sub-consciousness.

The three dominant figures of the period are William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, and Henry James. Together they brought to fulfillment native trends in the realistic portrayal of the landscape and social surfaces, brought to perfection the vernacular style, and explored and exploited the literary possibilities of the interior life.

The three dominant figures of the Realistic period differed in their understanding of the “truth”

While Mark Twain and Howells paid more attention to the "life" of the Americans, Henry James laid a greater emphasis on the" inner world" of man. He came to believe that the literary artist should not simply hold a mirror to the surface of social life in particular times and places. In addition, the writer should use language to probe the deepest reaches of the psychological and moral nature of human beings. He is a realist of the inner life.

Though Twain and Howells both shared the same concern in presenting the truth of the American society, they had each of them different emphasis. Howells focused his discussion on the rising middle class and the way they lived, while Twain preferred to have his own region and people at the forefront of his stories, which is known as “local colorism”, a unique variation of American literary realism.

4. The American naturalism:

Theory basis

Reason: The impact of Darwin's evolutionary theory on the American thought and the influence of the 19th century French literature on the American men of letters gave rise to yet another school of realism: American naturalism.

Theory basis: natural selection

Definition: (naturalism)

American Naturalism: American naturalism was a new and harsher realism. American naturalism had been shaped by the war; by the social upheavals that undermined the comforting faith of an earlier age. Americas literary naturalists dismissed the validity of comforting moral truths. They attempted to achieve extreme objectivity and frankness, presenting characters of low social and economic classes who were determined by their environment and heredity.

Subject and theme

They chose their subjects from the lower ranks of society and portrayed the people who were demonstrably victims of society and nature. And one of the most familiar themes in American Naturalism is the theme of human bestiality, especially as an explanation of sexual desire.

Characteristics

Artistically, naturalistic writings are usually unpolished in language, lacking in academic skills and unwieldly in structure.

 

Philosophically, the naturalists believe that the real and true is always partially hidden from the eyes of the individual, or beyond his control. Devoid of rationality and caught in a process in which he is but a part, man cannot fully understand, let alone control, the world he lives in; hence, he is left with no freedom of choice.

In a word, naturalism is evolved from realism when the author's tone in writing becomes less serious and less sympathetic but more detached, ironic and more pessimistic. It is no more than a different philosophical approach to reality, or to human existence. Notable writers of naturalistic fiction were Frank Norris, Sherwood Anderson, and Theodore Driser.

The similarity and difference between realism and naturalism

Naturalism is evolved from realism when the author's tone in writing becomes less serious and less sympathetic but more detached, ironic and more pessimistic. It is no more than a different philosophical approach to reality, or to human existence.

The distinction lies, first of all, in the fact that Realism is concerned directly with what is absorbed by the senses; Naturalism, a term more properly applied to literature, attempts to apply scientific theories to art. Second, Naturalism differs from Realism in adding an amoral attitude to the objective presentation of life. Naturalistic writers, adopting Darwins biological determinism and Marxs economic determinism, regard human behavior as controlled by instinct, emotion, or social and economic conditions, and reject free will. Third, Naturalism had an outlook often bleaker than that of Realism, and it added a dimension of predetermined fate that rendered human will ultimately powerless.

The typical authors during this period

考核要求:

马克·吐温

1.一般识记:马克·吐温的生平及创作生涯

2.识记:马克·吐温的主要作品

3.领会:马克·吐温作品中的地方色彩、幽默及语言特色

4.应用:

1)选读《哈克贝里·费恩》第三十一章:主题结构、人物刻画、语言特色

2)哈克的性格分析及其社会意义

亨利·詹姆斯

1.一般识记:詹姆斯的生平和创作生涯

2.识记:詹姆斯的早期作品

3.领会:

1)詹姆斯的“现实主义”

2)詹姆斯的小说艺术特色:“视角”与心理分析

4.应用:

1)选读《黛西·米勒》第一章:主题结构、人物刻画、语言风格

2)《黛西·米勒》的主题和人物分析

艾米莉·狄金森

1.一般识记:狄金森的生平及创作生涯

2.识记:狄金森的诗歌

1)狄金森有关“永恒”主题的诗

2)狄金森的爱情诗

3)狄金森的自然诗

3.领会:狄金森诗歌的主题结构,创新和艺术特色

4.应用:选读狄金森诗歌第441465585712首的结构、主题、语言特色

西奥多·德莱塞

1.一般识记:德莱塞的生平及创作生涯

2.识记:德莱塞的主要作品

3.领会:德莱塞小说的语言风格

4.应用:(1)达尔文主义与德莱塞作品中的自然主义倾向

2)选读《嘉丽妹妹》的最后一章节选:主题结构、人物刻画、语言风格

考点串讲:

. Mark Twain

1. Mark Twain’s life and position:

Mark Twain is a great literary giant of America, whom H.L.Mencken considered “the true father of our national literature. With works like Adventure of Huckleberry Finn (1884) and Life on the Mississippi (1883) Twain shaped the world’s view of America and made a more extensive combination of American folk humor and serious literature than previous writers had ever done.

Mark Twain, Pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was born on November 30, 1835, in Missouri, and grew up in the river town of Hannibal. After his father died, he began to seek his own fortune .He once worked as a journeyman printer, a steamboat pilot, a newspaper colunist and as a deadpan lecturer. Twain's writing took the form of humorous journalism of the time, and it enabled him to master the technique of narration.

2. Writing features:

Local colorist

Twain is also known as a local colorist, who preferred to present social life through portraits of the local characters of his regions, including people living in that area, the landscape, and other peculiarities like the customs, dialects, costumes and so on. Consequently, the rich material of his boyhood experience on the Mississippi became the endless resources for his fiction, and the Mississippi valley and the West became his major theme. Unlike James and Howells, Mark Twain wrote about the lower-class people, because they were the people he knew so well and their 1ife was the one he himself had lived. Moreover he successfully used local color and historical settings to illustrate and shed light on the contemporary society.

Vernacular (language style)

Another fact that made Twain unique is his magic power with language, his use of vernacular. His words are colloquial, concrete and direct in effect, and his sentence structures are simple, even ungrammatical, which is typical of the spoken language. And Twain skillfully used the colloquialism to cast his protagonists in their everyday life. What's more, his characters, confined to a particular region and to a particular historical moment, speak with a strong accent, which is true of his 1ocal colorism. Besides, different characters from different literary or cultural backgrounds talk differently, as is the case with Huck, Tom, and Jim. Indeed, with his great mastery and effective use of vernacular, Twain has made colloquial speech an accepted, respectable 1iterary medium in the literary history of the country. His style of language was later taken up by his descendants, Sherwood Anderson and Ernest Hemingway, and influenced generations of letters.

Humor

Mark Twain's humor is remarkable, too. It is fun to read Twain to begin with, for most of his works tend to be funny, containing some practical jokes, comic details, witty remarks, etc., and some of them are actually tall tales. By considering his experience as a newspaperman, Mark Twain shared the popular image of the American funny man whose punning, facetious, irreverenl articles filled the newspapers, and a great deal of his humor is characterized by puns, straight-faced exaggeration, repetition, and anti-climax, let alone tricks of travesty and invective. However, his humor is not only of witty remarks mocking at small things or of farcical elements making people laugh, but a kind of artistic style used to criticize the social injustice and satirize the decayed romanticism.

3. Selected Reading:

Theme

The novel is a vindication of what Mark Twain called “ the damned human race.”

That is the theme of mans inhumanity to man---of human cruelty, hypocrisies, dishonesties, and moral corruptions.

Mark Twains thematic contrasts between innocence and experience, nature and culture, wilderness and civilization.

Position

The book marks the climax of Twain's literary creativity.

Hemingway once described the novel the one book from which all modern American literature comes.

【例题】Hemingway once described Mark Twains novel ______________ the one book from which all modern American literature comes.

A. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

B. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

C. The Gilded Age

D. The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg

【答案】A

. Henry James

1. His life and writing:

Henry James was the first American writer to conceive his career in international terms. Today with the development of the modern novel and the common acceptance of the Freudian approach, his importance, as well as his wide influence as a novelist and critic, has been all the more conspicuous.

Henry James was born in New York City. His father was a theological writer and his elder brother was the distinguished philosopher and psycho1ogist Wil1iam James, who made a great contribution to the theory of the stream-of-consciousness technique. James was one of the few authors in the American literary history who was not ob1iged to work for a living. He exposed early to an international society. In 1862, he entered Harvard Law School where he developed a lifelong friendship with William Dean Howells. There he read intensively Balzac, Merimee , George Sand, George Eliot and Hawthorne. Later, he toured Europe and met Flaubert, Maupassant, Zola and Turgenev, who exerted a great influence on him. While Mark Twain and William Dean Howells satirized European manners at times, Henry James was an admirer of ancient European civilization. The materialistic bent of American life and its lack of culture and sophistication, he believed, could not provide him with enough materials for great literary works, so he settled down in London in 1876, and in 1915 he became a naturalized British citizen.

2. His major works:

In the first period (1865-1882), James took great interest in international themes.

Daisy Miller (l878),

The Europeans (l878),

The Portrait of A Lady (188l )- masterpiece

The second period: exploring the relationship of the artist to the society

The Bostonians (1886)

The Princess Casamassima (l886)  .

The Private Life (1893)

The Death of a Lion (1894)

The Middle Years (posthumously 1917)

The Turn of the Screw (1898)

The Beast in the Jungle (1903)

Last and major periodJames returned to his "international theme."

What Maisie Knows (l897).

The Wings of the Dove (l902),

The Ambassadors (1903)

The Golden Bowl (1904).

Literary criticisms: The Art of Fiction is the most famous.

3. Writing features:

International themeJames's fame generally rests upon his novels and stories with the international theme. These novels are always set against a large international background, usually between Europe and America, and centered on the confrontation of the two different cultures with two different groups of people representing two different value systems.

Literary criticism: James's literary criticism is an indispensable part of his contribution to literature. It is both concerned with form and devoted to human values. The theme of his essay The Art of Fiction clearly indicates that the aim of the novel is to present life, so it is not surprising to find in his writings human experiences explored in every possible form: illusion, despair, reward, torment, inspiration, delight, etc. He also advocates the freedom of the artist to write about anything that concerns him, even the disagreeable, the ugly and the commonplace. The artist should be able to "feel" the life, to understand human nature, and then to record them in his own art form.''

Psychological realism: James’s realism is characterized by his psychological approach to his subject matter. His fictional world is concerned more with the inner life of human beings than with overt human actions. His best and most mature works will render the drama of individual consciousness and convey the moment-to-moment sense of human experience as bewilderment and discovery. And we observe people and events filtering through the individual consciousness and participate in his experience. This emphasis on psychology and on the human consciousness proves to be a big breakthrough in novel writing and has great influence on the coming generations. James is generally regarded as the forerunner of the 20th century "stream-of-consciousness" novels and the founder of psychological realism.

Narrative point of view: One of James's literary techniques innovated to cater for this psychological emphasis is his narrative point of view. James avoids the authorial omniscience as much as possible and makes his characters reveal themselves with his minimal intervention. So it is often the case that in his novels we usually learn the main story by reading through one or several minds and share their perspectives. This narrative method proves to be successful in bringing out his themes.

Language: James is not so easy to understand. He is often highly refined and insightful. With a large vocabulary, he is always accurate in word selection, trying to find the best expression for his literary imagination .Therefore Henry James is not only one of the most important realists of the period before the First World War, but also the most expert stylist of his time.

4. Selected Reading:

Characterization of Daisy Miller:

In this novel, the Americanness in Daisy is revealed by her relatively unreserved manners.

Daisy Miller, a typical young American girl who goes to Europe and affronts her destiny. The unsophisticated girl is cruelly wronged because of the confrontation between the two value systems. (reason for the tragedy of Miller)

Miller has ever since become the American Girl in Europe, a celebrated cultural type who embodies the spirit of the New World. However, innocence, the keynote of her character, turns out to be an admiring but a dangerous quality and her defiance of social taboos in the Old World finally brings her to a disaster in the clash between two different cultures. In this novel James’s sympathy for Daisy could be easily felt when we think of a tender flower crushed by the harsh winter in Rome.

. Emily Dickinson

1. Dickinson’s life and writing:

Miss Emi1y Dickinson was born into a Calvinist family of Amherst, Massachusetts. She attended Amherst Academy for seven years and suffered serious religious crisis. After affected by an unhappy 1ove affair with Reverend Charles Wadsworth, she became a total recluse, 1iving a normal New England village life only with her family. Her private life was pretty much in order. She wrote poetry, and read intensively by herself. Her favorite writers were Keats, the Brontes, the Brownings, and George E1iot; classic myths, the Bible, and Shakespeare were what Emily drew commonly on for allusions and references in her poetry and letters. She also drew intellectual resources from her contemporary American, Thoreau and Emerson. In general, Dickinson wanted to live simply as a complete independent being, and as a spinster.

Dickinson's poetry writing began in the early 1850s. Altogether she wrote 1,775 poems, of which only seven had appeared during her 1ifetime. Most of her poems were published after her death. Her fame kept rising. She is now recognized not only as a great poetess on her own right but as a poetess of considerable influence upon American poetry of the 20th century.

【例题】Altogether, Emily Dickinson wrote 1775 poems, of which only ______ had appeared during her lifetime. 0804

A. three

B. five

C. seven

D. nine

【答案】C

2. Dickinson’s poems:

Her religious poems

She wrote about her doubt and be1ief about religious subjects. While she desired salvation and immortality, she denied the orthodox view of paradise. Although she believed in God, she sometimes doubted His benevolence.

Her poems on death and immortality

Her poems concerning death and immortality: These poems are closely related to her religious poetry, ranging over the physical as well as the psychological and emotional aspects of death. She showed her ambiguous attitude towards death and immortality. She looked at death from the point of view of both the living and the dying. She even imagined her own death, the loss of her own body, and the journey of her soul to the unknown. Perhaps her greatest rendering of the moment of death is to be found in "I heard a Fly buzz -- when I died --", a poem universally considered one of her masterpieces.

Her love poems

Love is another subject Dickinson dwelt on. One group of her love poems treats the suffering and frustration love can cause. These poems are clearly the reflection of her own unhappy experience, closely related to her deepest and most private feelings. Many of them are striking and original depictions of the longing for shared moments, the pain of separation, and the futility of finding happiness. The other group of love poems focuses on the physical aspect of desire, in which Dickinson dealt with, allegorically, the influence of the male authorities over the female, emphasizing the power of physical attraction and expressing a mixture of fear and fascination for the mysterious magnetism between sexes. However, it is those poems dealing with marriage that have aroused critical attention first and showed Dickinson's confusion and doubt about the role of women in the 19th century America.

Her nature poems

Her nature poems: More than 500 of her poems are about nature, in which her general skepticism about the relationship between man and nature is well-expressed. On the one hand, she shared with her romantic and transcendental predecessors who believed that a mythical bond between man and nature existed, that nature revealed to man things about mankind and universe. On the other hand, she felt strongly about nature's inscrutability and indifference to the life and interests of human beings. However, Dickinson managed to write about nature in the affirmation of the sheer joy and the appreciation, unaffected by philosophical speculations. Her acute observations, her concern for precise details and her interest in nature are pervasive, from sketches of flowers, insects, birds, to the sunset, the fully detailed summer storms, the change of seasons; from keen perception to witty ana1ysis.

3. Features:

Themes:

Dickinson’s poems are usually based on her own experiences, her sorrows and joys. But within her little lyrics Dickinson addresses those issues that concern the whole human beings, which include religion, death, immortality, love, and nature.

Artistic features

Her poetry is unique and unconventional in its own way.

Her poems have no titles, hence are always quoted by their first lines.

In her poetry there is a particular stress pattern, in which dashes are used as a musical device to create cadence and capital letters as a means of emphasis.

Most of her poems borrow the repeated four-line, rhymed stanzas of traditional Christian hymns, with two lines of four-beat meter alternating with two lines of three-beat meter.

A master of imagery that makes the spiritual materialize in surprising ways, Dickinson managed manifold variations within her simple form: She used imperfect rhymes, subtle breaks of rhythm, and idiosyncratic syntax and punctuation to create fascinating word puzzles, which have produced greatly divergent interpretations over the years.

Dickinson’s irregular or sometimes inverted sentence structure also confuses readers. However, her poetic idiom is noted for its laconic brevity, directness and plainness.

Her poems are usually short, rarely more than twenty lines, and many of them are centered on a single image or symbol and focused on one subject matter. Due to her deliberate seclusion, her poems tend to be very personal and meditative. She frequently uses personae to render the tone more familiar to the reader, and personification to vivify some abstract ideas.

Dickinson's poetry, despite its ostensible formal simplicity, is remarkable for its variety, subtlety and richness; and her limited private world has never confined the limitless power of her creativity and imagination

4. Selected Readings:

This is my letter to the World

This poem expresses Dickinson 's anxiety about her communication with the outside world and her vision of the poet’s task and function.

I heard a Fly buzz -- when l died

This poem is a description of the moment of death. Dickinson’s attitude toward death is that of peaceful acceptance. She looked at death from the point of view of both the living and the dying. She even imagined her own death, the loss of her own body, and the journey of her soul to the unknown. This poem, universally considered one of her masterpieces, is perhaps her greatest rendering of the moment of death.

I like to see it lap the Miles

This poem is an interesting study of how Dickinson makes the train part of nature by animalizing it.

Because I could not stop for Death

This is one of Dickinson’s most celebrated poems describing death. It possesses many features typical of her poetry. She holds ambivalent attitudes towards death. On the one hand, death is a stage of life, where man bids farewell to the human world of transience and goes to the Heaven of immortality; death is a release from a lifetime of work and suffering to a lasting peace in heaven. Therefore, she depicts the dark subject of death in a light tone. In this poem Dickinson personifies death and immortality so as to make her message strongly felt and vivify the abstract ideas. On the other hand, she feels uncertain about immortality of death. Many rhetorical devices are used in this poem, such as personification (Death and immortality are personified as He.), image or symbols especially in the third stanza. Other symbols include “Carriage”(hearse), “House”(Ground) etc. She also uses punctuation for musicality and capitalization for emphasis.

. Theodore Dreiser

1. Dreiser’s life and position:

Theodore Dreiser is generally acknowledged as one of America's literary naturalists. He possessed none of the usual aids to a writer’s career: no money, no friend in power, no formal education worthy of mention, no family tradition in letters. With every disadvantage piled upon him, Dreiser, by his strong will and his dogged persistence, eventually burst out and became one of the important American writers.

2. His major works:

Sister Carrie 嘉丽妹妹--the best-known

Nigger Jeff

Old Rogaum

His Theresa

Jennie Gerhardt

Trilogy of Desire:

Financier 金融家

The Titan 巨头

The Stoic 斯多噶

The Genius

The American Tragedy

Dreiser Looks at Russia

An American Tragedy 美国的悲剧

3. Dreiser's style:

Dreiser's style has been a controversial aspect of his work from the beginning. For lack of concision, his writings appear more inclusive and less selective, and the readers are sometimes burdened with massive detailed descriptions of characters and events. Though the time sequence is clear and the plot straight forward, he has been always accused of being awkward in sentence structure, inept and occasionally flatly wrong in word selection and meaning, and mixed and disorganized in voice and tone. For him language is a means of communication rather than an art form. However, Dreiser's contribution to the American literary history cannot be ignored. He broke away from the genteel tradition of literature and dramatized the life in a very realistic way. There is no comment, no judgment but facts of life in the stories. His style is not polished but very serious and well calculated to achieve the thematic ends he sought

4. An analysis of Sister Carrie:

Sister Carrie best embodies Dreisers naturalistic belief that men are controlled and conditioned by heredity, environment and chance, but a few extraordinary and unsophisticated human beings refuse to accept their fate wordlessly and instead strive, unsuccessfully, to find meaning and purpose for their existence. Carrie, as one of such, senses that she is merely a cipher in an uncaring world yet seeks to grasp the mysteries of life and thereby satisfies her desires for social status and material comfort. In Sister Carrie, Dreiser expressed his naturalistic pursuit by expounding the purposelessness of life and impotence of men.

5. Dreiser’s literary naturalism (or American naturalism):

As a genre, naturalism emphasized heredity and environment as important deterministic forces shaping individualized characters who were presented in special and detailed circumstances. At bottom, life was shown to be ironic, even tragic. Dreiser described earthly existence as a welter of inscrutable forces, in which was trapped each individual human being. In his words, Man is a victim of forces over which he has no control. To him, life is "so sad, so strange, so mysterious and so inexplicable." No wonder the characters in his books are often subject to the control of the natural forces -- especially those of environment and heredity.

6. Dreiser’s naturalism in his works:

Dreiser’s naturalism found expression in almost every book he wrote.

In Sister Carrie Dreiser expressed his naturalistic pursuit by expounding the purposelessness of life and attacking the conventional moral standards.

An American Tragedy proves to be his greatest work and by entitling this book with such a name, Dreiser intended to tell us that it is the social pressure that makes Clyde's downfall inevitable.

Clyde's tragedy is a tragedy that depends upon the American social system which encouraged people to pursue the "dream of success" at all costs.

7. Dreiser’s exploration of human desire and revelation of the dark side of human nature:

From the first novel Sister Carrie on, Dreiser set himself to project the American values for what he had found them to be --materialistic to the core. Living in such a society with such a value system, the human individual is obsessed with a never-ending, yet meaningless search for satisfaction of his desires. One of the desires is for money which was a motivating purpose of life in the United States in the late l9th century. For example, in Sister Carrie, there is not one character whose status is not determined economically. Sex is another human desire that Dreiser explored to considerable lengths in his novels to reveal the dark side of human nature. In Sister Carrie, Carrie climbs up the social ladder by means of her sexual appeal. Also in the Trilogy of Desire, the possession of sexual beauty symbolizes the acquisition of some social status of great magnitude. However, Dreiser never forgot to imply that these human desires in life could hardly be defined. They are there like a powerful "magnetism" governing human existence and reducing human beings to nothing. So like all naturalists he was restrained from finding a solution to the social problems that appeared in his novels and accordingly almost all his works have tragic endings.

Chapter 3: The Modern Period

General Introduction

考核要求:

1. 识记:

A.两次世界大战期间美国文学产生的历史及文化背景

(1)两次世界大战

(2)移居国外的美国人

(3)马克思主义理论和弗洛伊德学说

(4)欧洲现代派艺术

B.战后美国文学产生的历史及文化背景

2. 领会:

A. 两次世界大战期间的美国文学

(1)诗歌:意象派诗人;象征主义

(2)小说;"迷恫的一代"

(3)戏剧:表现主义

B.战后美国文学

(1)诗歌:"垮掉的一代"等

(2)小说:黑人小说、犹太人小说、实验小说(荒诞派 小说)等

(3)美国现代文学多元化的现象

C.美国现代文学写作手法的创新

3.应用

A.名词解释:"迷惘的一代",意象派诗歌,象征主义,表现主义,意识流

B."荒原"意识在美国20世纪文学中的反映

C.分析选读作品的主题结构、艺术特色、人物刻画和语言风格

考点串讲:

1.The historical and socio-cultural background of the American literature between the two World Wars:

The two Wor1d Wars, especially the First World War (l914--l918), became the emblem of all wars in the twentieth century, which means violence, devastation, blood and death, and made a big impact on the life of the American people and their literary writings.

The impact of Marxism, Freudianism and European modern art on American modern literature: Between the mid-l9th century and the first decade of the 20th century, there had been a big flush of new theories and new ideas in both social and natural sciences, as well as in the field of art in Europe, which played an indispensable ro1e in bringing about modernism and the modernistic writings in the United States.

a. Marxism and Freudianism

William James, an American psychologist famous for his theory of "stream of consciousness," and Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, noted for his "collective unconscious" and "archetypal symbol" as part of modern mythology. Their theories, plus Freud's interpretation of dreams, have infused modern American literature and made it possible for most of the writers in the modern period to probe into the inner world of human reality.

b. European modern art:

The implications of modern European arts to modern American writings can also be strong1y felt in the American literature between the wars, even thereafter.

The expatriate movement

There was a spiritual crisis in the modern period, but a full blossoming of literary writings. The expatriate movement, also called the second American Renaissance, is the most recognizable literary movement that gave rise to the twentieth century American literature. When the First World War broke out, many young men volunteered to take part in "the war to end Wars" only to find that modern warfare was not as glorious or heroic as they thought it to be. Disillusioned and disgusted by the frivolous, greedy, and heedless way of life in America, they began to write and they wrote from their own experiences in the war. Among these young writers were the most prominent figures in American literature, especially in modern American 1iterature. They were basically expatriates who 1eft America and formed a community of writers and artists in Paris, involved with other European novelists and poets in their experimentation on new modes of thought and expression. These writers were later named by an American writer, Gertrude Stein, also an expatriate, "The Lost Generation."

2. The historical and socio-cultural background of the American literature after the World War Ⅱ:

What happened immediately after the Second World War in the United States and other parts of the world exerted a tremendous influence on the mentality of Americans. It changed man's view of himself and the world as well.

First of all, the dropping of an atomic bomb over Hiroshima in Japan shocked the whole world and made possible the destruction of the Western civilization. Then a mutual fear and hostility grew between the Eastern and Western courtries with the Cold War, the effect of which could be felt in the form of McCarthyism in the Unites States. Besides, the Korean War and the Vietnam War broadened the gap between the government and the people. The assassination of John F. Kennedy, and of Martin Luther King, spokesman of the American Civil Rights Movement, the resignation of Nixon because of the Water-Gate scandal, etc. intensified the terror and tossed the whole nation again into the grief and despair. The impact of these changes and upheavals on the American society is emotional. People start to question the role of science in human progress and the fear of the misuse of modern science and technology is spreading. They no longer believe in God but start to reconsider the nature of man and man's capacity for evil. They begin to think of life as a big joke or an absurdity. The world is even more disintegrating and fragmentary and people are even more estranged and despondent.

3. American literature between the two world wars:

The Imagist Movement and the artistic characteristics of imagist poems:

Led by the American poet Ezra Pound, Imagist Movement is a poetic movement that flourished in the U.S. and England between 1909-1917. It advances modernism in arts which concentrates on reforming the medium of poetry as opposed to Romanticism, especially Tennyson's worldliness and high-flown language in poetry. Pound endorsed three main principles as guidelines for Imagism, including direct treatment of poetic subjects, elimination of merely ornamental or superfluous words, and rhythmical composition should be composed with the phrasing of music, not a metronome. The primary Imagist objective is to avoid rhetoric and moralizing, to stick closely to the object or experience being described, and to move from explicit generalization. The leading poets are Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, D.H.Lawrence, etc.

The Lost Generation

It refers to, in general, the post-World Wargeneration, but specifically a group of expatriate disillusioned intellectuals and artists, who experimented on new modes of thought and expression by rebelling against former ideals and values and replacing them only by despair or a cynical hedonism. The remark of Gertrude Stein, "You are all a lost generation, "addressed to Hemingway, was used as an epigraph to the latter's novel The Sun Also Rises, which brilliantly describes those expatriates who had cut themselves off from their past in America in order to create new types of writing.

What is Expressionism?

Expressionism is used to describe the works of art and literature in which the representation of reality is distorted to communicate an inner vision, transforming nature rather than imitating it. In literature it is often considered a revolt against realism and naturalism, a seeking to achieve a psychological or spiritual reality rather than to record external events.

The concept of "wasteland" in relation to the works of those writers in the twentieth-century American literature

The Waste Land is a poem written by T.S.Eliot on the theme of the sterility and chaos of the contemporary world. This most widely known expression of the despair of the post-War era has appeared over and again in the works of those writers in the twentieth-century American literature.

4. Postwar American literature:

The Beat Generation

Also called Beat Movement, it is an American social and literary movement originating in the 1950s. Beat Generation writings expressed profound dissatisfaction with contemporary American society and endorsed an alternative set of values. They rejected traditional forms and advocated personal release, purification, and illumination through the heightened sensory awareness.

The pluralism of postwar American fiction

5. The literary characteristics of American modern literature:

Theme: In general terms, much serious literature written from 1912 onwards attempted to convey a vision of social breakdown and mora1 decay and the writer's task was to develop techniques that could represent a break with the past. Thus, the defining formal characteristics of the modernistic works are discontinuity and fragmentation.

Technical experimentation: An awareness of the irrational and the workings of the unconscious mind are pervasive in much modernistic writing. Technically, modernism was marked by a persistent experimentalism. It rejected the traditional framework of narrative, description, and rational exposition in poetry and prose, in favor of a stream of consciousness presentation of personality, a dependence on the poetic image as the essential vehicle of aesthetic communication, and upon myth as a characteristic structural principle.

Compared with earlier writings, modern American writings are notable for what they omit -- the explanations, interpretations, connections, and summaries. There are shifts in perspective, voice, and tone, but the biggest shift is from the external to the internal, from the public to the private, from the chronological to the psychic, from the objective description to the subjective projection. Modern American writers in general emphasize the concrete sensory images or details as the direct conveyer of experience. They strive for directness, compression, and vividness and are sparing of words. Modern fiction prefer suggestiveness and tend to employ the first person narration or limit the reader to the "central consciousness" or one character's point of view. This limitation accorded with the modernistic vision that truth does not exist objectively but is the product of a personal interaction with reality. As a result, the effect of modern American writings is surprising, unsettling, and shocking.

The typical authors during this period

考核要求:

罗伯特·弗洛斯特

1.一般识记:弗洛斯特的生平及创作生涯

2.识记:弗洛斯特的诗歌:田园诗;自然诗

3.领会:

1)弗洛斯特诗歌的艺术特色

2)弗洛斯特的诗论

4.应用:

(1) 弗洛斯特的自然诗

(2),《摘苹果后》《未选择的路》《雪夜停马在林边》:主题、 象征与比喻、语言

司各特·菲兹杰拉德

1.一般识记:菲兹杰拉德的生平及创作生涯

2.识记:

1)菲兹杰拉德与"爵士时代"

2)主要作品:短篇小说集:《爵士时代的故事》 中、长篇小说:《人间天堂》《了不起的盖茨比》《夜色温柔》〈〈最后一个巨头》

3.领会:

1)《了不起的盖茨比》与"美国梦

2)菲兹杰拉德的小说艺术

4.应用:《了不起的盖茨比》第三章:主题结构、人物刻画、语言风格

欧内斯特·海明威

1.一般识记:海明威的生平及创作生涯

2.识记:海明威的主要作品

1)短篇小说集:《在我们的时代里》-一涅克的故事

2)长篇小说:《太阳照样升起》〈〈永别了,武器》《丧钟为谁而鸣》《老人与海》

3.领会:海明威与"迷惘的一代"

4.应用:

1)海明威小说的艺术特色:"硬汉"形象、"重压下的风 ""冰山"原则等

2)《在我们的时代里》选篇:主题结构、人物刻画、语言 风格

威廉·福克纳

1.一般识记: 福克纳的生平及创作生涯

2.识记:

l)福克纳的主要作品:中、短篇小说:《给艾米莉小姐的玫瑰》《老人》《熊》等;长篇小说:《喧嚣与骚动》 《八月之光》《我弥留之际》《押沙龙,押沙龙!》

2)福克纳的"约克纳帕塔法'神话王国

3.领会:

1)福克纳小说的艺术特色:"意识流""内心独白""时序颠倒""对位式结构""象征隐喻"

2)福克纳的文体

3)福克纳与美国南方文学

4.应用:《给艾米莉小姐的玫瑰》:主题结构、人物刻画、语言风格

考点串讲:

. Robert Lee Frost

1. His life and writing:

Frost is an important poet in the 20th century .He won the Pulitzer Prize four times and read poetry at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy in 1961.

He spent his early childhood in the Far West and later the family moved to New Hampshire. He went to Harvard but left in the middle because of his tuberculosis. When he was 28, he began to venture on writing.

2. His major works:

His first book A Boy's Will (1913), whose lyrics trace a boy's development from self-centered idealism to maturity, is marked by an intense but restrained emotion and the characteristic flavor of New Eng1and life.

His second book, a volume of poems North of Boston (1914), is described by the author as "a book of people," which shows a brilliant insight into New England character and the background that formed it.

Mountain Interval (19l6) contains such characteristic poems as "The Road Not Taken," "Birches". New Hampshire (1923) that won Frost the first of four Pulitzer Prizes includes "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", which stems from the ambiguity of the speaker's choice between safety and the unknown.

The collection West-Running Brook (1928) poses disturbing uncertainties about man's prowess and importance.

Collected Poems (l930) and A Further Range (1935) gathered Frost's second and third Pulitzer Prizes. Both translate modern upheaval into poetic materia1 the poet could skillfully control.

Frost's fourth Pulitzer Prize was awarded for A Witness Tree (l942) which includes "The Gift Outright," the poem he later recited at President Kennedy's inauguration.

Frost took up a religious question most notably in "After Apple-Picking:" can a man's best efforts ever satisfy God? A Masque of Reason (l945) and A Masque of Mercy (1947) are comic-serious dramatic narratives, in both of which biblical characters in modern settings discuss ethics and man's re1ations to God.

3. His thematic concerns:

(1) Generally Frost is considered a regional poet whose subject matters mainly focus on the landscape and people in New England. These thematic concerns include the terror and tragedy in nature, as well as its beauty, and the 1oneliness and poverty of the isolated human being. But first and foremost Frost is concerned with his love of life and his belief in a serenity that only came from working usefully, which he practiced himself throughout his life.

(2) Frost wrote many poems that investigate the basic themes of man's life: the individual's relationships to himself, to his fellow-man, to world, and to his God. Profound meanings are hidden underneath the plain language and simple form. His poetry, by using nature as a storehouse of analogy and symbol, often probes mysteries of darkness and irrationality in the bleak and chaotic landscapes of an indifferent universe when men stand alone, unaided and perplexed.

4. His nature poems:

Robert Frost is mainly known for his poems concerning New England life. He learned from the tradition, especially the familiar conventions of nature poetry and of classical pastoral poetry, and made the colloquial New England speech into a poetic expression.

5. Frost's style in language:

By using simple spoken language and conversational rhythms, Frost achieved an effortless grace in his style. He combined traditiona1 verse forms -- the sonnet, rhyming coup1ets, blank verse with a clear American local speech rhythm, the speech of New England farmers with its idiosyncratic diction and syntax. In verse form he was assorted; he wrote in both the metrical forms and the free verse, and sometimes he wrote in a form that borrows freely from the merits of both, in a form that might be called semi-free or semi-conventional.

【例题】Though Robert Frost is generally considered a regional poet whose subject matters mainly focus on the landscape and people in ______ , he wrote many poems that investigate the basic themes of man's life in his long poetic career.

A. the west                       B. the south

C. New England            D. Alaska

【答案】C

5. Selected Readings:

After Apple-Picking

This poem is so vivid a memory of experience on the farm in which the end of labor leaves the speaker with a sense of completion and fulfilment yet finds him blocked from success by winter's approach and physical weariness. On the one hand, Frost expressed his love of life and his belief in a serenity that only came from working usefully. On the other hand, the poet was concerned with individual's relationships to himself, to his fellow-man, to world, and to his God. He took up a religious question: can a man's best efforts ever satisfy God?

Besides this is a typical lyric poem describing the pastoral landscape in New England. Symbols and images from the pastoral landscape to refer to the great world beyond the rustic scene.

The language of this poem is characterized by simple spoken language and conversational rhythms, the combination of traditiona1 verse forms -- the sonnet, rhyming coup1ets, blank verse with the speech of New England farmers with its idiosyncratic diction and syntax. Frost wrote in both the metrical forms and the free verse, in a form that might be called semi-free or semi-conventional.

The Road Not Taken

The theme: This poem seems to be about the poet, walking in the woods in autumn, hesitating for a long time and wondering which road he should take since they are both pretty. In reality, this is a meditative poem symbolically written. It concerns the important decisions which one must take in the course of life, when one must give up one desirable thing in order to possess another. Then, whatever the outcome, one must accept the consequences of one's choice for it is not possible to go back and have another chance to choose differently. In the poem, he followed the one which was not frequently travelled by. Symbolically, he chose to follow an unusual, solitary life; perhaps he was speaking of his choice to become a poet rather than some common profession. But he always remembered the road which he might have taken, and which would have given him a different kind of life.

Language: This poem is written in classic five-line stanzas, with the rhyme scheme a-b-a-a-b and conversational rhythm. The poet uses "the road " to symbolize life's journey.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

The theme: This is a deceptively simple poem in which the speaker literally stops his horse in the winter twilight to observe the beauty of the forest scene, and then is moved to continue his journey. Philosophically and symbolically, it stems from the ambiguity of the speaker's choice between safety and the unknown.

This poem suggests deep thought about death and about life. The strange attraction of death to man is symbolized by the dark woods silently filled up with the coldness of snow. Frost frequently uses the technique of symbolism in his poetry. Some critics think that the "village" stands for the human world, "woods" for nature, "horse" for the animal world, and "promises" for obligations. The poem represents a moment of relaxation from the burdensome journey of life, an almost aesthetic enjoyment and appreciation of natural beauty which is wholesome and restorative against the chaotic existence of modern man.

The last stanza shows a kind of sad, sentimental but also strong and responsible feeling. The attraction of the beauty of the nature makes the speaker stop in the journey. He finally turns away from it, with a certain weariness and yet with quiet determination, to face the needs of life. This stresses the central conflict of the poem between man's enjoyment of nature's beauty and his responsibility in society. This shows a man's despairing courage to seek out the meaning of life.

In the last stanza, the three adjectives "lovely" "dark" "deep" reinforce one another. Not only do they represent beauty and terror of nature symbolized by the dark woods, but they also reveal the speaker's love for nature and human isolation from it. Besides, the word "sleep" here means "die" symbolically.

. Scott Fitzgerald

1. His life and writing:

Francis Scott Fitzgerald was a most representative figure of the 1920s, who was mirror of the exciting age in almost every way. An active participant of his age, he never failed to remain detached and foresee the failure and tragedy of the "Dollar Decade." Thus he is often acc1aimed literary spokesman of the Jazz Age.

2. His major works:

His novels and short stories chronicled changing social attitudes during the 1920s, a period dubbed "The Jazz Age". His first novel This Side of Paradise won for him wealth and fame.

His second novel, The Beautiful and Damned increased his popularity, which also portrays the emotiona1 and spiritual collapse of a wealthy young man during an unstable marriage.

The coup1e in the novel were undoubtedly modeled after Fitzgerald himself and Zelda.

His masterpiece The Great Gatsby (1925) made him one of the greatest American novelists.

Afterwards, Fitzgerald wrote one more important novel Tender is the Night (l934), in which he traces the decline of a young American psychiatrist whose marriage to a beautiful and wealthy patient drains his personal energies and corrodes his professional career. His last novel The Last Tycoon remains unfinished.

Fitzgerald also wrote short stories of great popularity. His short story collections include Flappers and Philosophers (l92l), Tales of the Jazz Age (1922), All the Sad Young Man (l926) and Taps at Reveille (1935). One of his best short stories is "Babylon Revisited," which depicts an American's return to Paris in the 1930s and his regretful rea1ization that the past is beyond his reach, since he can neither alter it nor make any amends.

3. Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age:

(1) The Jazz Age: It refers to the 1920s, a time marked by frivolity, carelessness, hedonism and excitement in the life of the flaming youth. Fitzgerald is largely responsible for the term and many of his literary works portray it. The Jazz Age is brought vividly to life in The Great Gatsby.

(2) Most critics have agreed that Fitzgerald is both an insider and an outsider of the Jazz Age with a double vision of fascination and aloofness.

(3) Fitzgerald's fictional world is the best embodiment of the spirit of the Jazz Age, in which he shows a particular interest in the upper--class society, especially the upper-class young people.

【例题】Most critics have agreed that Fitzgerald is both an insider and an outsider of ______ with a double vision.

A. the Gilded Age               B. the Rational Age

C. the Jazz Age           D. the Magic Age

【答案】C

4. Fitzgerald and the American Dream:

(1) Fitzgerald's fictions often deal with the bankruptcy of the American Dream, which is high1ighted by the disillusionment of the protagonists' personal dreams due to the clashes between their romantic vision of life and the sordid reality.

(2) Fitzgerald's own life was a mirror of the 1920s. He was the victim of his "American Dream."

5. Fitzgerald's style:

He is a great stylist in American literature.

His style, closely re1ated to his themes, is explicit and chilly. His accurate dialogues, his careful observation of mannerism, styles, models and attitudes provide the reader with a vivid sense of reality. He fol1ows the Jamesian tradition in using the scenic method in his chapters, each one of which consists of one or more dramatic scenes, sometimes with intervening passages of narration, leaving the tedious process of transition to the readers' imagination. He also skillfully employs the device of having events observed by a "central consciousness" to his great advantage. The accurate details, the completely original diction and metaphors, the bold impressionistic and colorful quality have all proved his consummate artistry.

6. Selected Reading:

An Excerpt from Chapter IlI of The Great Gatsby

1The theme of the novel: The Great Gatsby, by summarizing the experiences and attitudes of the glamorous and wild 1920s, deals with the bankruptcy of the American Dream, which is high1ighted by the disillusionment of the protagonist's personal dream due to the clashes between his romantic vision of life and the relentless reality.

2Chapter of the novel, a vivid description of one of Gatsby's fabulous parties, presents a vivid atmosphere of paradox. Gatsby's party, characteristic of the roaring twenties in the U.S. evokes both the romance and the sadness of the Jazz Age. On the surface, the party is crowded, yet empty of warmth or friendship, with people coming to the party eagerly but appearing indifferent and contemptuous of their host. Gatsby himself as the host is a paradox -- exceedingly courteous but keeps himself detached from the noisy and confusing crowd, because he, though fascinated with the wealth, was fully aware of the corruptive nature of the society and the Vanity Fair. The charm and sweetness of the youth is spoiled by triviality and tawdriness; The splendid house and garden is purchased not for enjoyment but for impression. There is every sign of merriment, with guests eating, drinking, laughing, moving about and dancing, but people get dead drunk, break down in tears or quarrel over trivialities. So beneath the wealthy people's masks of relaxation and joviality there was only sterility, meaninglessness and futi1ity, and amid the grandeur and extravagance a spiritual waste1and and a hint of decadence and moral decay. This undeniable juxtaposition of appearance with reality, of the pretense of gaiety with the tension underneath, is easily recognizable in Fitzgerald's novels and stories.

. Ernest Hemingway

1. His life and writing:

Hemingway was a myth in his own time and his life was colorful. He was born in Oak Park, Illinois. Hemingway loved sports and often went hunting and fishing with his father, which provided him with writing materials. After high school, he worked as a reporter. During World War I he served as an honorable junior officer in the American Red Cross Ambulance Corps and in 1918 was severely wounded in both legs. After the war, he went to Paris as a foreign reporter. Influenced and guided by Sherwood Anderson, Stephen Crane and Gertrude Stein he became a writer and began to attract attention. Later he actively participated in the Spanish Civil War and World War II. In 1954, he was awarded the Nobe1 Prize for literature. In 196l, in ill hea1th, anxiety and deep depression, Hemingway shot himself with a hunting gun.

2. His major works:

Greatly and permanently affected by the war experiences, Hemingway formed his own writing style, together with his theme and hero.

His first book In Our Time (1925) presents a Hemingway hero called Nick Adams. Exposed to and victimized by violence in various forms, Nick becomes the prototype of the wounded hero who, with all the dignity and courage he could muster, confronts situations which are not of his own choosing yet threaten his destruction.

The Sun Also Rises(l926), Hemingway's first true novel, casts light on "The Lost Generation." The young expatriates in this novel are a group of wandering, amusing, but aimless peop1e, who are caught in the war and removed from the path of ordinary life.

Hemingway's second big success is A Farewell to Arms (1929) wrote the epitaph to a decade and to the whole generation in the 1920s. It tells us about the tragic 1ove story about a wounded American soldier with a British nurse. Frederick Henry represents the experience of a whole nation, who is wounded in war and disi11usioned with the insanity and futility of the universe. In this novel, Hemingway not on1y emphasizes his belief that man is trapped both physically and mental1y, but goes to same lengths to refute the idea of nature as an expression of either God's design or his beneficence and to suggest that man is doomed to be entrapped.

For Whom the Bell Tolls concerns a volunteer American guerrilla Robert Jordan fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Although fully aware of the doomed failure of his struggle, he keeps on striving because it is a cause of freedom and democracy. In the end, the manner of his dying convinces people that life is worth living and there are causes worth dying for.

The Old Man and the Sea, capping his career and leading to his receipt of the Nobel Prize, is about an old Cuban fisherman Santiago and his losing battle with a giant marlin. In a tragic sense, it is a representation of life as a struggle against unconquerable natural forces in which only a partial victory is possible. Nevertheless, there is a feeling of great respect for the struggle and mankind.

Hemingway's other important works include Men Without Women (1927), Death in the Afternoon (l932), The Green Hills of Africa (1935), The Snows Of Kilimanjaro (1936) and To Have and Have Not (1937).

3. The thematic patterns of his works:

The Lost Generation: It refers to, in general, the post-World Wargeneration, but specifically a group of expatriate disillusioned intellectuals and artists, who experimented on new modes of thought and expression by rebelling against former ideals and values and replacing them only by despair or a cynical hedonism.

The Hemingway Code Hero: It refers to some protagonists in Hemingway's works. In the general situation of Hemingway's novels, life is full of tension and battles; the world is in chaos and man is always fighting desperately a losing battle. Those who survive and perhaps emerge victorious in the process of seeking to master the code with a set of principles such as honor, courage, endurance, wisdom, discipline and dignity are known as "the Hemingway code".

4. Hemingway's style:

His style is probably the most widely imitated of any in the 20th century. He is generally known for his "mastery of the art of modern narration." Hemingway himself once said, "The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. Typical of this "iceberg" analogy is Hemingway's style.

According to Hemingway, good literary writing should be ab1e to make readers feel the emotion of the characters directly and the best way to produce the effect is to set down exact1y every particular kind of feeling without any authoria1 comments, without conventionally emotive language, and with a bare minimum of adjectives and adverbs. Seemingly simple and natural, Hemingway's style is actually polished and tightly contro1led, but highly suggestive and connotative. While rendering vividly the outward physical events and sensations Hemingway expresses the meaning of the story and conveys the complex emotions of his characters with a considerable range and astonishing intensity of feeling. Besides, Hemingway develops the style of co1loquia1ism initiated by Mark Twain. The accents and mannerisms of human speech are so well presented that the characters are fu11 of flesh and blood and the use of short, simple and conventional words and sentences has an effect of clearness, terseness and great care. This ruthless economy in his writing stands as a striking app1ication of Mies van der Rohe's architectural maxim: "Less is more." No wonder Hemingway was highly praised by the Nobel Prize Committee for "his powerful style-forming mastery of the art" of creating modern fiction.

5. Selected Reading: Indian Camp

Theme: Hemingway's concern about violence and death by revealing Nick's feeling of perplexity, anxiety and terror over the misery of life and death.

Characterization: "Indian Camp" relates the story of young Nick watching his father deliver an Indian woman of a baby by Caesarian section with a jack-knife and without anesthesia to relieve the pain. The cries of the mother and the cruel death of the husband brings the boy into contact with something that is perplexing and unpleasant. And this is actually Nick's initiation into the pain and violence of birth and death. The reader is impressed by Nick's innocence and perplexity over the misery of life and death.

Nick Adams is, when he first grows up, the early Hemingway protagonist, introduced to a world of violence, disorder, and death, and learning the hard way about what the world is like. Growing up in violent and dismal surroundings, Nick is psychologically and emotionally wounded and is later alienated from the society. The wound is a symbol and the climax for a process of the development of the character of Hemingway Hero; it is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual disgrace.

Language: Hemingway sought to endow prose with the density of poetry, making each image, each scene and each rendered act serve several purposes.

. William Faulkner

1. His life and writing:

Faulkner is the most powerful and eloquent representative of American Southern writers. American Southern writers mainly write about the history, customs, people and social change of the American South, a region that contains much beauty, violence, passion, courage and, finally tragedy. It was from the region's characteristics that Faulkner drew the material for most of his fiction.

2. His major works:

Of Faulkner's literary works, four novels are masterpieces by any standards: The Sound and the Fury, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom! and Go Down, Moses.

The Sound and the Fury is his acclaimed masterpiece, an account of the tragic downfall of the Compson family. It is a story of "lost innocence," which proves itself to be an intensification of the theme of imprisonment in the past. Faulkner develops the theme of deterioration and loss by juxtaposing the childhood of the Compson brothers with their present experience. As a resu1t, the novel not merely relates Quentin's nosta1gic feeling about the past, or a Southern family that remains trapped within its past, but conveys a strong sense of grief over the deterioration of the South from the past to the present.

The major concern of Light in August is primarily about the South as a state of mind. In this novel, different attitudes towards life - plainly obsessions with the past, with blood or race and solely concern with bringing forth and preserving life - represented by different major characters.

 

Absalom, Absalom! is a novel entirely of the attempts to explain the past, characterized by involutions of narrative structure. It is immensely complex, for it is both a "historical novel" and a novel about history as an epistemological problem.

Go Down, Moses is in a sense a companion piece to Absalom, Absalom! But at the same time another and very different attempt to handle the Southern reality of land, family and the plantation as a form of life. In this book, Faulkner illuminates the problem of b1ack and white in Southern society as a close-knit destiny of blood brotherhood.

The best story to highlight Faulkner's concern is "The Bear" in which the view of the moral abomination of slavery and the human entanglements goes beyond history, to the beginnings, to the mythic time. In this story, Fau1kner skillfully emp1oys an o1d crafty bear as a symbol of the timeless freedom of the wilderness.

3. Yoknapatawpha County as the setting:

Most of Faulkner's works are set in the American South, with his emphasis on the Southern subjects and consciousness.

4. The thematic pattern:

Most of the major themes are directly related to the tragic collision or confrontation between the old South and the new South (or the civilized modern society) represented by different characters in his novels.



 
青海师范大学外国语学院《综合英语》精品课 Copyright(c) 2010 All rights reserved 未经许可,请勿转载
建议使用:1024*768分辨率,16位以上色、Nestcape6.0、IE6.0以上版本浏览器浏览本站
地址:青海省西宁市城北区海湖大道延长段28号东二楼415室