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NEWSPEAK the New Literature e-xperience

the New Literature e-xperience
5th year course for High School


The Victorian Age

Thomas Hardy

Robert Luis Stevenson

Charles Dickens

Emily Bront

Oscar Wilde

Walter Whitman

Year 1832

Reform 1st reform Act

Effect Regulation of the number of MPs in proportion to the inhabitants represented Limited number of hours of employment per week for children Establishment of workhouses Reduced the price of corn Limited the amount of hours of work per person Vote to skilled working men Made elementary education free Legalized Trade Unions Provided clean water and sanitation Right to vote to male householders, secret ballot and payment for MPs

1833 1834 1846 1847 1867

Factory Act Poor Law Act Corn Law 10 Hours' Act 2nd Reform Act Elementary Education Act Trade Union Act Public Health Act 3rd Reform Act

Historical Backround

1870 1871 1875 1884

Victo!an A"

The Chartist Movement

Chartism was a Victorian Age working class movement for political reform in Britain between 1838 and 1848. It takes its name from the People charter of 1938. 1. A vote for every man over the age of 21; 2. A secret ballot; 3. No property qualication for members of Parliament; 4. Payment for MP's (so poor men could serve); 5. Constituencies of equal size; 6. Annual elections for Parliament. Eventually, the rst four goals were achieved, but that happened long after Chartism with different progressive reforms.

Currents of the Victorian Age

Year Evangelicalism Details Commitment to the Church Strict code of Morality Bible Reading An action is right if has positive consequences, Wrong if has negative ones Application of Darwin's principles over society Economic competition = natural selection Man is result of work activities Distrust in the bourgeois class Religion is the people's opium Art for Art's Sake Art is an aim itself The artist is the creator of beautiful things

Utilitarianism Social Darwinism Marxism


Factors which caused the prominence of the novel genre

- Novel starts from a humble situation - It acquires recognition thanks to three main factors: 1. Growth of the reading public due to the growing interest of the bourgeoisie, the new dominant class in the affairs of the country 2. Publication of novels in installments at the price of 1 shilling 3. Technological development of printing machines which allowed newspapers to be sold at a much cheaper price - After acquiring recognition, it becomes the perfect way to depict social issues such as the inequality of richness and conditions of work.


Victorian Age
Types of novels:


Thomas Hardy

Robert Luis Stevenson

Charles Dickens

Emily Bront

Oscar Wilde

Walter Whitman

-The novel of manners takes origin from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and reaches its highest point during this era with William Thackeray's Vanity fair. -The humanitarian novel which dealt with social issues such as Charles Dickens's criticism against poor conditions against workhouses is remarkably known thanks to his Oliver Twist. -The Bildungsroman or Novel of Formation takes the protagonist as a child and analyses its growth through every step of existence until oldness. David Coppereld is regarded as the most successful prose work of this category. -The realistic novel, mastered by Hardy, dealt with limits imposed by society, its excessive traditionalism and its narrow-mindedness. -The nonsensical novel took the distance from the serious issues of society and politics in favour of the breaking of the cause/effect relation and the creation of a nonsensical universe. This kind of easy and detached novel gave birth to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Carroll.

"Justice was done, and the President of the Immortals,(in Aeschylean phrase) had ended his sport with Tess 1
Year 1840 1856 1862 1872 1874 1914 1928 Events He was born at Upper Bockhampton He leaves school in order to become a church restorer He starts attending architecture in London He starts publishing his novels He marries with Emma Gifford and moves to Dorchester He marries again, with Florence Emily Dugdale He dies after suffering pleurisy Main Works

Thomas Hardy

Prose -Under the Greenwood tree -Far From the MaddingCrowd -The return of the native -How I Built Myself a House -The mayor of Casterbridge -The Woodlanders -Tess of the DUrbevilles -Jude the Obscure

Poetry -Wessex Poems -The Dynasts -Times laughtingstocks -Satires of Circumstance

Victo!an A"

The sentence in the bracket is in the first official edition and in all the followings and it is intended to underline Hardys deterministic view explained in the next page.

Tess of the DUrbevilles

Tess Durbeyeld is a country girl living in the late 19th century in an English village that seems excluded, even though it's only a four-hour journey from London. Her father learns in the rst chapter that he is the last lineal descendent of the D'Urbervilles one of the oldest, most aristocratic, families in all of England. He foolishly assumes that his aristocratic heritage will sufce to pull his family out of poverty, and so he sends Tess to work at a branch of the rich family to claim her nobility. Tess is a very pretty girl and the son of the wealthy D'Urbervilles, Alec, tries to seduce her. He nds her too proud and modest to fall into his snares, and so he tricks her into accepting a ride from him back to the family house at night, and cuts through the woods.(see visual analysis of the the passage Alec and Tess in the Chase). After getting lost (possibly on purpose), Alec leaves Tess to fall asleep under a tree while he tries to nd the path. He comes back, and, nding her asleep, takes advantage of their solitude to rape her under the trees. The next phase of the book ("Maiden No More") opens with Tess back at her parents' house in the village of Marlott. She's had a baby as a result of her connection with Alec, and has excluded herself from her former friends out of a combination of shame and pride. After the child's sudden death Tess is more worried about the baby's soul than anything else, so she buries it in the churchyard on the sly. Time passes, and she stars working at a dairy farm where nobody knows her. One of the other workers at the dairy, Angel Clare, is the son of a gentleman. Angel is learning about farming so that he can move to the colonies in America and become a wealthy farmer there. He and Tess gradually fall in love. After a long hesitation, the night before they're supposed to get married, she slips a note under his door confessing everything about her past. When he doesn't say anything about it the next morning, she assumes all is forgiven but really, he never saw the note. On their wedding night, he confesses to her that he'd had a brief ing with a strange woman in London long before he'd met Tess. So Tess feels like she can tell him about Alec, since that wasn't her fault.

But Angel doesn't see it that way. He's shocked and horrified that she's not a virgin, and runs off to South America to try and forget about her. Tess is heart-broken, and wanders from job to job, trying to leave her problems behind her. But her problems keep finding her. Alec runs into her on the road, and even though he's become a Christian, he becomes obsessed with her again. Eventually he persuades her to live with him, even though she's legally married to Angel. But she's given up hope that Angel will ever come back to her. But he does come back to her, and when she sees Angel, she stabs Alec in their hotel room. Angel realizes that he's partly responsible for the murder, and runs away with her. They flee together across the countryside, and are finally caught by the authorities at Stonehenge ancient monument of huge stones in the English countryside that was built by the druids or even earlier. "Justice" catches up with Tess, and she is hanged. Tess of the D'Urbevilles is generally regarded as his masterpiece since the reader can easily recognize elements of Hardy's criticism against the issue of fallen women which arose during the Victorian age due to the narrowmindedness of the hypocrite middle class. Another key-theme is the difficulty of being alive: the protagonist Tess of the D'Urbevilles is the victim of a male society that is represented by his father John and the villain Alec Stoke, who tries to seduce her by many attempts. For instance, at the beginning of the novel, Tess is obliged to start working as a poultry maid on the D'Urbevilles estate since his father believed that they were descendant of the D'Urbevilles family. Another important example is given by the passage where Alec has decided to take the girl home on his horse ,where the reader can immediately recognize that an immeasurable social chasm was to divide our heroine's personality thereafter from that previous self of hers who stepped from her mother's door to try her fortune at Trantridge poultry-farm. Even the poor girl defines herself as the poor Queen of Sheba2 who lived in the Bible. The novel is surrounded by a deterministic conception which recalls Hardy's first philosophical credo. The author, in fact, takes inspiration from Greek literature in which characters were obliged to follow God's plans and here Tess is just under the control of the hand of a blind fate.

Queen of Sheba was a monarch of Sheba and after seeing Solomon's fortunes she had no more spirit in her. Anyway there is no historical proof of her rule since she is thought to be a queen consort.

Hardy draws fatal coincidences as Tess's letter to Angel that she accidentally slips under the carpet. Although the novel has a circular development Tess was born as a victim and dies as a victim of the men around her. At rst her father who compels her to a sad life, secondly the villain Alec who deceives and takes advantage on her and nally Angel whose self-contradiction emerges with the conventional Victorian frame of mind. On one hand he falls in love with Tess but on the other hand he gives up after understanding that she had had a previous sexual relationship because he is too unromantic to accept that.

Sophocles and Euripides Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet) Hardy

Fatalistic view


Free will

This easy scheme introduces to the nal consideration about Tess of the D'Urbevilles in which the protagonist, after reaching Stonehenge , fells doomed to a tragic end and does not react against the police who has come to kill her after the murder of Alec Stoke. In fact the reader can understand that the girl is completely aware of her situation by a famous sentence in which,referring to Angel, she says that this happiness could not have lasted. It was too much. I have had enough and now I shall not live for you to despise me. I am almost glad yes, glad! Therefore the setting contributes to this tragic destiny with his reserve, taciturnity and hesitation. Stonehenge is a circle of gigantic stones which was built in very ancient times on Salisbury Plain:in this novel it represents the cult of Fate, identified with the sun which rises in the moment in which Tess realised that she cannot escape.

Alec and Tess in the chase

In this passage the concepts previously mentioned are clearly summarized: fog and wood hide the crime, although Hardy elegantly describes it through a circumlocution recalling the images of ancestors. His deterministic view is underlined in the final sentence.

She was silent, and the horse ambled along for a considerable distance, till a faint luminous fog, which had hung in the hollows
all the evening, became general and enveloped them. It seemed to hold the moonlight in suspension, rendering it more pervasive than in clear air. Whether on this account, or from absent-mindedness, or from sleepiness, she did not perceive that they had long ago passed the point at which the lane to Trantridge branched from the highway, and that her conductor had not taken the Trantridge track. She was inexpressibly weary. She had risen at ve o'clock every morning of that week, had been on foot the whole of each day, and on this evening had in addition walked the three miles to Chaseborough, waited three hours for her neighbours without eating or drinking, her impatience to start them preventing either; she had then walked a mile of the way home, and had undergone the excitement of the quarrel, till, with the slow progress of their steed, it was now nearly one o'clock. Only once, however, was she overcome by actual drowsiness. In that moment of oblivion her head sank gently against him. D'Urberville stopped the horse, withdrew his feet from the stirrups, turned sideways on the saddle, and enclosed her waist with his arm to support her. This immediately put her on the defensive, and with one of those sudden impulses of reprisal to which she was liable she gave him a little push from her. In his ticklish position he nearly lost his balance and only just avoided rolling over into the road, the horse, though a powerful one, being fortunately the quietest he rode. "That is devilish unkind!" he said. "I mean no harm-only to keep you from falling." She pondered suspiciously; till, thinking that this might after all be true, she relented, and said quite humbly, "I beg your pardon, sir." "I won't pardon you unless you show some condence in me. Good God!" he burst out, "what am I, to be repulsed so by a mere chit like you? For near three mortal months have you tried with my feelings, eluded me, and snubbed me; and I won't stand it!" "Ill leave you tomorrow, sir." "No, you will not leave me tomorrow! Will you, I ask once more, show your belief in me by letting me clasp you with my arm? Come, between us two and nobody else, now. We know each other well; and you know that I love you, and think you the prettiest girl in the world, which you are. Mayn't I treat you as a lover?" She drew a quick pettish breath of objection, writhing uneasily on her seat, looked far ahead, and murmured, "I don't know - I wish - how can I say yes or no when-"


He settled the matter by clasping his arm round her as he desired, and Tess expressed no further negative. Thus they sidled slowly onward till it struck her they had been advancing for an unconscionable time--far longer than was usually occupied by the short journey from Chaseborough, even at this walking pace, and that they were no longer on hard road, but in a mere trackway. "Why, where be we?" she exclaimed. "Passing by a wood." "A wood--what wood? Surely we are quite out of the road?" "A bit of The Chase--the oldest wood in England. It is a lovely night, and why should we not prolong our ride a little?" "How could you be so treacherous!" said Tess, between archness and real dismay, and getting rid of his arm by pulling open his ngers one by one, though at the risk of slipping off herself. "Just when I've been putting such trust in you, and obliging you to please you, because I thought I had wronged you by that push! Please set me down, and let me walk home." "You cannot walk home, darling, even if the air were clear. We are miles away from Trantridge, if I must tell you, and in this growing fog you might wander for hours among these trees." "Never mind that," she coaxed. "Put me down, I beg you. I don't mind where it is; only let me get down, sir, please!" "Very well, then, I will--on one condition. Having brought you here to this out-of- the-way place, I feel myself responsible for your safe-conduct home, whatever you may yourself feel about it. As to your getting to Trantridge without assistance, it is quite impossible; for, to tell the truth, dear, owing to this fog, which so disguises everything, I don't quite know where we are myself. Now, if you will promise to wait beside the horse while I walk through the bushes till I come to some road or house, and ascertain exactly our whereabouts, I'll deposit you here willingly. When I come back I'll give you full directions, and if you insist upon walking you may; or you may ride--at your pleasure." She accepted these terms, and slid off on the near side, though not till he had stolen a cursory kiss. He sprang down on the other side. " I suppose I must hold the horse ? " said she "Oh no; it 's not necessary, "replied Alec, patting the panting creature ."He 's had enough t for tonight . " He turned the horse ' she ad into the bushes , hitched him onto a bough, and made a sort of couch or nest for her in the deep mass of dead leaves. Now, you sit there," he said. "The leaves have not got damp as yet. " Just give an eye to the horse--it will be quite sufcient." He took a few steps away from her, but, returning, said, "By the bye, Tess, your father has a new cob today. Somebody gave it to him." "Somebody? You!" D'Urberville nodded. "O how very good of you that is!" she exclaimed, with a painful sense of the awkwardness of having to thank him just then. "And the children have some toys." "I didn't know--you ever sent them anything!" she murmured, much moved. " I almost wish you had not--yes, I almost with it !"


"Why, dear?" "It --hampers me so." "Tessa- -don't you love me ever so little now?" "I'm grateful," she reluctantly admitted. "But I fear I do not- --" The sudden vision of his passion for herself as a factor in this result so distressed her that, beginning with one s low tear, and then following with another, she wept outright. Don't cry, dear , dear one! Now sit down here, and wait till I come. She passively sat down amid the leaves he had heaped, and shivered slightly. "Are you cold?" he asked. "Not very- -a little." He touched her with his ngers, which sank into her as into down. "You have only that puffy muslin dress on--how's that?" "It 's my best summer one. 'Twas very warm when I started, and I didn't know I was going to ride, and that it would be night." "Nights grow chilly in September . Let me see." He pulled of f a light overcoat that he had worn, and put it round her tenderly. "That 's it --now you'll feel warmer," he continued. "Now, my pretty, rest there; I shall soon be back again." Having buttoned the overcoat round her shoulders he plunged into the webs of vapour which by this time formed veils between the trees. She could hear the rustling of the branches as he ascended the adjoining slope, till his movements were no louder than the hopping of a bird, and nally died away. With the setting of the moon the pale light lessened, and Tess became invisible as she fell into reverie upon the leaves where he had left her. In the meantime Alec d'Urberville had pushed on up the slope to clear his genuine doubt as to the quarter of The Chase they were in. He had, in fact, ridden quite at random for over an hour, taking any turning that came to hand in order to prolong companionship with her, and giving far more attention to Tess 's moonlit person than to any wayside object. A little rest for the jaded animal being desirable, he did not hasten his search for landmarks. A clamber over the him into the adjoining vale brought him to the fence of a highway whose contours he recognized, which settled the question of their whereabouts. D'Urberville there upon turned back; but by this time the moon had quite gone down, and partly on account of the fog The Chase was wrapped in thick darkness, although morning was not far of f. He was obliged to advance with outstretched hands to avoid contact with the boughs, and discovered that to hi t the exact spot from which he had started was at rst entirely beyond him. Roaming up and down, round and round, he at length heard a slight movement of the horse close at hand; and the sleeve of his overcoat unexpectedly caught her foot. "Tess!" said d'Urberville. There was no answer . The obscurity was now so great that he could see absolutely nothing but a pale nebulousness at his feet, which represented the white muslin gure he had left upon the dead leaves. Everything else was blackness alike. D'Urberville stooped; and heard a gentle regular breathing. He knelt and bent lower, till her breath warmed his face, and in a moment hi s cheek was in contact with her s. She was sleeping soundly, and upon her eyelashes there lingered tear s. Darkness and silence ruled everywhere around. Above them rose the primeval yews and oaks of The Chase, in which there poised gentle roosting birds in their last nap; and about them stole the hopping rabbits and hares . But, might some say, where


was Tess 's guardian angel? where was the providence of her simple faith? Perhaps, like that other god of whom the ironical Trilobite spoke, he was talking, or he was pursuing, or he was in a journey, or he was sleeping and not to be awaked. Why it was that upon this beautiful feminine tissue, sensitive as gossamer, and practically blank as snow as yet , there should have been traced such a coarse pattern as it was doomed to receive; why so often the coarse appropriates the ner thus, the wrong man the woman, the wrong woman the man, many thousand years of analytical philosophy have failed to explain to our sense of order. One may, indeed, admit the possibility of a retribution lurking in the present catastrophe. Doubtless some of Tess d'Urberville's mailed ancestors rollicking home from a fray had dealt the same measure even more ruthlessly towards peasant girls of their time. But though to visit the sins of the fathers upon the children may be a morality good enough for divinities, it is scorned by average human nature; and it therefore does not mend the matter. As Tess 's own people down in those retreats are never tired of saying among each other in their fatalistic way: "It was to be." There lay the pity of it. An immeasurable social chasm was to divide our heroine's personality thereafter from that previous self of her who stepped from her mother 's door to try her fortune at Partridge poultry- farm.
Atmosphere conveyed in the Novel


"My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly I am Heathcliff.
Year 1818 1831 1836 1838 1845 1847 1848 She was born in Thornton She starts writing about a collection called Islanders She writes her most ancient poem Will the day be bright or cloudy She begins working as a teacher in Halifax Her sister Charlotte decides to publish Emilys rst collection of poems She publishes her masterpiece Wuthering Heights under the name of Ellis Bells She dies of tuberculosis at the age of 30 Events

Emily Bront
Main Works Prose -Whutering Heights -Our fellows -Tales of islanders -Islanders Poetry Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell

Victo!an A"

Whutering Heights

The most relevant and atypical of her works is Wuthering Heights, a commingling of romantic, Gothic and Victorian features resulting in a prose-work characterized by the atmosphere of a Gothic novel, the psychological analysis of romantic interest and the social background so deep in the Victorian frame of mind. This mixture has also been compared to a Shakespearian tragedy for its rendering of turbulent passions, unnatural crimes and cruelty: Matthew Arnold dened it a Shakespearian tragedy with Macbeth's Atmosphere while Rossetti thought action takes place in hell due to the Gothic atmosphere of the novel. The novel is set in England during the 19th century and develops around the lives of the owners of two different houses: Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. At the beginning of the novel, the narrator is Mr Lockwood, a third person who enters Wuthering Heights' family by renting the house.

After introducing the most important characters, the reader is told about the events by the voice of Nelly Dean, Mr Lockwoods housekeeper, with the use of the technical device of ashback. Nelly Dean consents to tell the whole story to his tenant: the woman remembers her childhood when she worked as a servant at Wuthering Heights for the owner of the manor, Mr. Earnshaw, and his family. One day Mr. Earnshaw goes to Liverpool and returns home with an orphan boy whom he will raise with his own children. At the beginning, the Earnshaw children, a boy named Hindley and his younger sister Catherine, detest the dark-skinned Heathcliff.


But Catherine quickly comes to love him and even Mrs Earnshaw takes care of his new son. Three years later, Mr. Earnshaw dies, and Hindley inherits Wuthering Height. He marries a girl, named Frances, and immediately seeks revenge on Heathcliff since the foundling has always wanted to take his place at the head of the family. Thus he is forced to work in the elds for Hindley, but in the meanwhile he continues his close relationship with Catherine. One night Heathcliff and Catherine wander to Thrushcross Grange, hoping to tease Edgar and Isabella Linton, the snobbish children who live there. Catherine is bitten by a dog and is forced to stay at Thrushcross Grange where she becomes infatuated with Edgar Linton. When Heathcliff discovers that, he decides to part and improves his condition in mysterious ways, not described by the author. This was a typical feature of Byron's romantic hero, personality embodied by Heathcliff himself. When Frances dies after giving birth to a baby boy named Hareton, Hindley descends into the depths of alcoholism, and behaves even more cruelly and abusively toward Heathcliff. Eventually, Catherines desire for social advancement prompts her to become engaged to Edgar Linton, despite her overpowering love for Heathcliff. When Heathcliff returns, he immediately sets about seeking revenge on all who have wronged him. Having come into a vast and mysterious wealth, he deviously lends money to the drunken Hindley, knowing that Hindley will increase his debts and fall into deeper despondency. When Hindley dies, Heathcliff inherits the manor. He also places himself in line to inherit Thrushcross Grange by marrying Isabella Linton, whom he treats very cruelly. Catherine becomes ill, gives birth to a daughter, and dies. Shortly thereafter, Isabella ees to London and gives birth to Heathcliffs son, named Linton after her family. She keeps the boy with her there. Young Catherine is beautiful and headstrong like her mother, but her temperament is modied by her fathers gentler inuence. Young Catherine grows up at the Grange with no knowledge of Wuthering Heights; one day, however, wandering through the moors, she discovers the manor, meets Hareton, and plays together with him. Soon afterwards, Isabella dies, and Linton comes to live with Heathcliff. Heathcliff treats his sickly, whining son even more cruelly than he treated the boys mother. Three years later, Catherine meets Heathcliff on the moors, and makes a visit to Wuthering Heights to meet Linton.


She and Linton begin a secret romance conducted entirely through letters. However, it quickly becomes apparent that Linton is pursuing Catherine only because Heathcliff is forcing him to; Heathcliff hopes that if Catherine marries Linton, his legal claim upon Thrushcross Grangeand his revenge upon Edgar Lintonwill be complete. One day, as Edgar Linton grows ill and nears death, Heathcliff lures Nelly and Catherine back to Wuthering Heights, and holds them prisoner until Catherine marries Linton. Soon after the marriage, Edgar dies, and his death is quickly followed by the death of the sickly Linton. Heathcliff now controls both Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. He forces Catherine to live at Wuthering Heights and act as a common servant, while he rents Thrushcross Grange to Lockwood. Nellys story ends as she reaches the present. Lockwood, appalled, ends his tenancy at Thrushcross Grange and returns to London. However, six months later, he pays a visit to Nelly, and learns of further developments in the story. Although Catherine originally mocked Haretons ignorance and illiteracy, Catherine grows to love Hareton as they live together at Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff becomes more and more obsessed with the memory of the elder Catherine, to the extent that he begins speaking to her ghost. Everything he sees reminds him of her. Shortly after a night spent walking on the moors, Heathcliff dies. Hareton and young Catherine inherit Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, and they plan to be married on the next New Years Day. After listening to the end of the story, Mr Lockwood goes to visit the graves of Catherine and Heathcliff and hears the wind that blew gently in the trees. He did not believe that the dead walked the moors as ghost, but he was sure that the two lovers were at peace leaving the living to nd happiness at last. The technique of the two narrators implied by Emily Bront offers us two point of views. The one from Mr. Lockwood is generated by his fear, his appalled sensations after the rst visit at Wuthering Heights while Nelly's point of view is perfectly believable and rational. She is the Victorian pragmatic woman with commons sense, practical-minded but also able to describe her feelings for the different inhabitants of the houses the lived in.


Heathcliff is the embodiment of the Romantic hero: he suffers and dies because he lives in a society far from the ideals he follows. He cannot survive with the conventions and rules of such a world, he cannot accept not to be loved by Catherine so he ees and comes back stronger and more handsome. Catherine Earnshaw Linton is considered the central character and the co-protagonist together with Heathcliff, since she evolves during the novel: even though she loves Heathcliff she realizes the impossibility of their love due to the clashes of personality between them. During her weeks of recovery at Thrushcross Grange, Catherine is made into a groomed and civilized young lady. She returns to Wuthering Heights as a true woman, now aware of the comfortable life she could enjoy at Thrushcross Grange. This is the future Catherine Linton: a privileged and indulged lady of the house. Therefore she excepts to marry Edgar Linton in order to improve her social condition and to aid Heathcliff to rise, and place him out of my brother's power. In this way there is a strong similarity with Tess Durbeyeld, protagonist of Thomas Hardy's masterpiece Tess of the d'Urbevilles.
Catherine and Tess Differences Tess is predestined, Catherine is able to make choices They have different social status Tess does not evolve: she is a victim both at the beginning and at the end while Catherine is a protagonist with free will Similarities They love or are loved by two men, different and contrasting between them They both die for love The are dominated by strong, uncontrollable passions


Catherines Resolution
'You accepted him! Then what good is it discussing the matter? You have pledged your word, and cannot retract.' 'But say whether I should have done so - do!' she exclaimed in an irritated tone; chang her hands together, and frowning. 'There are many things to be considered before that question can be answered properly,' I said, sententiously. 'First and foremost, do you love Mr. Edgar?' 'Who can help it? Of course I do,' she answered. Then I put her through the following catechism: for a girl of twenty-two it was not injudicious. 'Why do you love him, Miss Cathy?' 'Nonsense, I do - that's sufcient.' 'By no means; you must say why?' 'Well, because he is handsome, and pleasant to be with.' 'Bad!' was my commentary. 'And because he is young and cheerful.' 'Bad, still.' 'And because he loves me.' 'Indifferent, coming there.' 'And he will be rich, and I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighbourhood, and I shall be proud of having such a husband.' 'Worst of all. And now, say how you love him?' 'As everybody loves - You're silly, Nelly.' 'Not at all Answer.' I love the ground under his feet, and the air over his head, and everything he touches, and every word he says.' I love all his looks, and all his actions, and him entirely and altogether. There now!' 'And why?' 'Nay; you are making a jest of it: it is exceedingly ill-natured! It's no jest to me!' said the young lady, scowling, and turning her face to the re. 'I'm very far from jesting, Miss Catherine,' I replied. 'You love Mr. Edgar because he is handsome, and young, and


cheerful, and rich, and loves you. The last, however, goes for nothing: you would love him without that, probably; and with it you wouldn't, unless he possessed the four former attractions.' 'No, to be sure not: I should only pity him - hate him, perhaps, if he were ugly, and a clown.' 'But there are several other handsome, rich young men in the world: handsomer, possibly, and richer than he is. What should hinder you from loving them?' 'If there be any, they are out of my way: I've seen none like Edgar.' 'You may see some; and he won't always be handsome, and young, and may not always be rich.' 'He is now; and I have only to do with the present. I wish you would speak rationally.' 'Well, that settles it: if you have only to do with the present, marry Mr. Linton.' 'I don't want your permission for that - I shall marry him: and yet you have not told me whether I'm right.' 'Perfectly right; if people be right to marry only for the present. And now, let us hear what you are unhappy about. Your brother will be pleased; the old lady and gentleman will not object, I think; you will escape from a disorderly, comfortless home into a wealthy, respectable one; and you love Edgar, and Edgar loves you. All seems smooth and easy: where is the obstacle?' 'Here! and here!' replied Catherine, striking one hand on her forehead, and the other on her breast: 'in whichever place the soul lives. In my soul and in my heart, I'm convinced I'm wrong!' 'That's very strange! I cannot make it out.' 'It's my secret. But if you will not mock at me, I'll explain it: I can't do it distinctly; but I'll give you a feeling of how I feel.' She seated herself by me again: her countenance grew sadder and graver, and her clasped hands trembled. 'Nelly, do you never dream queer dreams?' she said, suddenly, after some minutes' reection. 'Yes, now and then,' I answered. 'And so do I. I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind. And this is one: I'm going to tell it - but take care not to smile at any part of it.' 'Oh! don't, Miss Catherine!' I cried. 'We're dismal enough without conjuring up ghosts and visions to perplex us. Come, come, be merry and like yourself! Look at little Hareton! He's dreaming nothing dreary. How sweetly he smiles in his sleep!' 'Yes; and how sweetly his father curses in his solitude! You remember him, I daresay, when he was just such another as that chubby thing: nearly as young and innocent. However, Nelly, I shall oblige you to listen: it's not long; and I've


no power to be merry to-night.' 'I won't hear it, I won't hear it!' I repeated, hastily. I was superstitious about dreams then, and am still; and Catherine had an unusual gloom in her aspect, that made me dread something from which I might shape a prophecy, and foresee a fearful catastrophe. She was vexed, but she did not proceed. Apparently taking up another subject, she recommenced in a short time. 'If I were in heaven, Nelly, I should be extremely miserable.' 'Because you are not t to go there,' I answered. 'All sinners would be miserable in heaven.' 'But it is not for that. I dreamt once that I was there.' 'I tell you I won't hearken to your dreams, Miss Catherine! I'll go to bed,' I interrupted again. She laughed, and held me down; for I made a motion to leave my chair. 'This is nothing,' cried she: 'I was only going to say that heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they ung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy. That will do to explain my secret, as well as the other. I've no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn't have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from re.' Ere this speech ended I became sensible of Heathcliff's presence. Having noticed a slight movement, I turned my head, and saw him rise from the bench, and steal out noiselessly. He had listened till he heard Catherine say it would degrade her to marry him, and then he stayed to hear no further. My companion, sitting on the ground, was prevented by the back of the settle from remarking his presence or departure; but I started, and bade her hush! 'Why?' she asked, gazing nervously round. 'Joseph is here,' I answered, catching opportunely the roll of his cartwheels up the road; 'and Heathcliff will come in with him. I'm not sure whether he were not at the door this moment.' 'Oh, he couldn't overhear me at the door!' said she. 'Give me Hareton, while you get the supper, and when it is ready ask me to sup with you. I want to cheat my uncomfortable conscience, and be convinced that Heathcliff has no notion of these things. He has not, has he? He does not know what being in love is!' 'I see no reason that he should not know, as well as you,' I returned; 'and if you are his choice, he'll be the most


unfortunate creature that ever was born! As soon as you become Mrs. Linton, he loses friend, and love, and all! Have you considered how you'll bear the separation, and how he'll bear to be quite deserted in the world? Because, Miss Catherine - ' 'He quite deserted! we separated!' she exclaimed, with an accent of indignation. 'Who is to separate us, pray? They'll meet the fate of Milo! Not as long as I live, Ellen: for no mortal creature. Every Linton on the face of the earth might melt into nothing before I could consent to forsake Heathcliff. Oh, that's not what I intend - that's not what I mean! I shouldn't be Mrs. Linton were such a price demanded! He'll be as much to me as he has been all his lifetime. Edgar must shake off his antipathy, and tolerate him, at least. He will, when he learns my true feelings towards him. Nelly, I see now you think me a selsh wretch; but did it never strike you that if Heathcliff and I married, we should be beggars? whereas, if I marry Linton I can aid Heathcliff to rise, and place him out of my brother's power.' 'With your husband's money, Miss Catherine?' I asked. 'You'll nd him not so pliable as you calculate upon: and, though I'm hardly a judge, I think that's the worst motive you've given yet for being the wife of young Linton.' 'It is not,' retorted she; 'it is the best! The others were the satisfaction of my whims: and for Edgar's sake, too, to satisfy him. This is for the sake of one who comprehends in his person my feelings to Edgar and myself. I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is or should be an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. - My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I AM Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being. So don't talk of our separation again: it is impracticable; and - ' She paused, and hid her face in the folds of my gown; but I jerked it forcibly away. I was out of patience with her folly.


Only on one point were they agreed; and that was the haunting sense of deformity with which the fugitive impressed his beholders.
Year 1850 1867 1871 1875 1880 1890 19894 Events He was born in Edinburgh He starts attending Engineering at Edinburgh University He starts working as a literate at the Edinburgh University Magazine He graduates in law He marries Fanny Osbourne He moves to Samoa islands to recover his weak health ence Emily Dugdale He dies of brain haemorrhage

Robert Luis Stevenson

Main Works -Kidnapped .Treasure Island -The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

His life was characterised by the pursuit of the model of the Bohemian 1
Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often along with people sharing this lifestyle, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic, or literary pursuits. Bohemians did not have a house, were generally homeless or vagabonds.

Victo!an A"

The strange case of Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hide

The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is his masterpiece, originated from a dream and from the state of melancholy2 Stevenson lived with. As the story itself, the dream was set in a Gothic, gloomy and sinister town later identied with London and Edinburgh. The plot, linear and clear tells the story of a man divided into two different identities, a respectable man named Dr Jekyll and a monstrous creature, an evil genius, the perfect personication of pure evilness. The pure evil personality will overcome the good one causing him to commit suicide in order to avoid a life of crime and depravity. It has been lmed many times since 1912 and it has become one of the most famous works of English Literature, especially for the theme of the double, studied by philosophy and psychology and few years later by Oscar Wilde. This theme is also present in the setting: both Edinburgh and London, probably cities which inspired Stevenson, were divided into deeply different
Melancholy is one of the four fundamental humors of the theory of humors already used by Shakespeare in Hamlet and many other of his works. Ancient medicine thought the spleen had to purge these humors to make a personality balanced and steady. When one of them prevailed, an aspect of personality overcame the others. Phlegm, connected to water, caused a phlegmatic personality. Blood, connected to the element of air, causes a sanguine personality to be revealed. Melancholy, together with the element of earth gave origin to a melancholic personality. Choler, along with fire was thought to be the prevailing element of choleric people.


districts: West End and New Town with rich and luxurious buildings and East End and Old Town with the poor and criminal life dominated the scene. Light and darkness play opposite roles if referring to The Rime of The Ancient Mariner because good events take place under the edges of the sun while night takes crimes, murders and the nal suicide. The novel itself is the portrayal of the theme of the double of the two characters. Dr Jekyll is virtuous, handsome and proportioned while My Hyde is monstrous, even though Stevenson never tells us its deformity just saying it had a haunting sense of unexpressed deformity. The narrative technique used comes from Samuel Richardson's epistolary novel. Stevenson in fact employs four narrators to offer us different point of views.




Dr Jeckyll


A distant relative


Internal point of view

This novel had a strong impact on future English Literature as Joseph Conrad will deepen the analysis of human psychology with Heart of Darkness.


The Carew Murder Case

In this passage a maid witnesses the murder of a man killed by the monstrous creature. The character of Mr Utterson shows the use of the typical character similar to Arthur Conan Doyle's Scherloch Holmes, using clues and developing hypotheses.
Nearly a year later, in the month of October, 18 , London was startled by a crime of singular ferocity and rendered all the more notable by the high position of the victim. The details were few and startling. A maid servant living alone in a house not far from the river, had gone up-stairs to bed about eleven. Although a fog rolled over the city in the small hours, the early part of the night was cloudless, and the lane, which the maids window overlooked, was brilliantly lit by the full moon. It seems she was romantically given, for she sat down upon her box, which stood immediately under the window, and fell into a dream of musing. Never (she used to say, with streaming tears, when she narrated that experience), never had she felt more at peace with all men or thought more kindly of the world. And as she so sat she became aware of an aged and beautiful gentleman with white hair, drawing near along the lane; and advancing to meet him, another and very small gentleman, to whom at rst she paid less attention. When they had come within speech (which was just under the maids eyes) the older man bowed and accosted the other with a very pretty manner of politeness. It did not seem as if the subject of his address were of great importance; indeed, from his pointing, it sometimes appeared as if he were only inquiring his way; but the moon shone on his face as he spoke, and the girl was pleased to watch it, it seemed to breathe such an innocent and old-world kindness of disposition, yet with something high too, as of a well-founded self-content. Presently her eye wandered to the other, and she was surprised to recognise in him a certain Mr. Hyde, who had once visited her master and for whom she had conceived a dislike. He had in his hand a heavy cane, with which he was triing; but he answered never a word, and seemed to listen with an ill-contained impatience. And then all of a sudden he broke out in a great ame of anger, stamping with his foot, brandishing the cane, and carrying on (as the maid described it) like a madman. The old gentleman took a step back, with the air of one very much surprised and a trie hurt; and at that Mr. Hyde broke out of all bounds and clubbed him to the earth. And next moment, with ape-like fury, he was trampling his victim under foot and hailing down a storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly shattered and the body jumped upon the roadway. At the horror of these sights and sounds, the maid fainted.


It was two oclock when she came to herself and called for the police. The murderer was gone long ago; but there lay his victim in the middle of the lane, incredibly mangled. The stick with which the deed had been done, although it was of some rare and very tough and heavy wood, had broken in the middle under the stress of this insensate cruelty; and one splintered half had rolled in the neighbouring gutter the other, without doubt, had been carried away by the murderer. A purse and a gold watch were found upon the victim: but no cards or papers, except a sealed and stamped envelope, which he had been probably carrying to the post, and which bore the name and address of Mr. Utterson. This was brought to the lawyer the next morning, before he was out of bed; and he had no sooner seen it, and been told the circumstances, than he shot out a solemn lip. I shall say nothing till I have seen the body, said he; this may be very serious. Have the kindness to wait while I dress. And with the same grave countenance he hurried through his breakfast and drove to the police station, whither the body had been carried. As soon as he came into the cell, he nodded. Yes, said he, I recognise him. I am sorry to say that this is Sir Danvers Carew. Good God, sir, exclaimed the ofcer, is it possible? And the next moment his eye lighted up with professional ambition. This will make a deal of noise, he said. And perhaps you can help us to the man. And he briey narrated what the maid had seen, and showed the broken stick. Mr. Utterson had already quailed at the name of Hyde; but when the stick was laid before him, he could doubt no longer; broken and battered as it was, he recognised it for one that he had himself presented many years before to Henry Jekyll. Is this Mr. Hyde a person of small stature? he inquired. Particularly small and particularly wicked-looking, is what the maid calls him, said the ofcer. Mr. Utterson reected; and then, raising his head, If you will come with me in my cab, he said, I think I can take you to his house. It was by this time about nine in the morning, and the rst fog of the season. A great chocolate-coloured pall lowered over heaven, but the wind was continually charging and routing these embattled vapours; so that as the cab crawled from street to street, Mr. Utterson beheld a marvellous number of degrees and hues of twilight; for here it would be dark like the back-end of evening; and there would be a glow of a rich, lurid brown, like the light of some strange conagration; and here, for a moment, the fog would be quite broken up, and a haggard shaft of daylight would glance


in between the swirling wreaths. The dismal quarter of Soho seen under these changing glimpses, with its muddy ways, and slatternly passengers, and its lamps, which had never been extinguished or had been kindled afresh to combat this mournful re-invasion of darkness, seemed, in the lawyers eyes, like a district of some city in a nightmare. The thoughts of his mind, besides, were of the gloomiest dye; and when he glanced at the companion of his drive, he was conscious of some touch of that terror of the law and the laws ofcers, which may at times assail the most honest. As the cab drew up before the address indicated, the fog lifted a little and showed him a dingy street, a gin palace, a low French eating-house, a shop for the retail of penny numbers and twopenny salads, many ragged children huddled in the doorways, and many women of different nationalities passing out, key in hand, to have a morning glass; and the next moment the fog settled down again upon that part, as brown as umber, and cut him off from his blackguardly surroundings. This was the home of Henry Jekylls favourite; of a man who was heir to a quarter of a million sterling. An ivory-faced and silvery-haired old woman opened the door. She had an evil face, smoothed by hypocrisy; but her manners were excellent. Yes, she said, this was Mr. Hydes, but he was not at home; he had been in that night very late, but had gone away again in less than an hour; there was nothing strange in that; his habits were very irregular, and he was often absent; for instance, it was nearly two months since she had seen him till yesterday. Very well, then, we wish to see his rooms, said the lawyer; and when the woman began to declare it was impossible, I had better tell you who this person is, he added. This is Inspector Newcomen of Scotland Yard. A ash of odious joy appeared upon the womans face. Ah! said she, he is in trouble! What has he done? Mr. Utterson and the inspector exchanged glances. He dont seem a very popular character, observed the latter. And now, my good woman, just let me and this gentleman have a look about us. In the whole extent of the house, which but for the old woman remained otherwise empty, Mr. Hyde had only used a couple of rooms; but these were furnished with luxury and good taste. A closet was lled with wine; the plate was of silver, the napery elegant; a good picture hung upon the walls, a gift (as Utterson supposed) from Henry Jekyll, who was much of a connoisseur; and the carpets were of many plies and agreeable in colour. At this moment, however, the rooms bore every mark of having been recently and hurriedly ransacked; clothes lay about the oor, with their pockets inside out; lock-fast drawers stood open; and on the hearth there lay a pile of grey ashes, as though many papers had been burned. From these embers the inspector disinterred the butt-end of a green cheque-book, which had resisted the action of the re; the other half of the stick was found behind the door. and as this clinched his


suspicions, the ofcer declared himself delighted. A visit to the bank, where several thousand pounds were found to be lying to the murderers credit, completed his gratication. You may depend upon it, sir, he told Mr. Utterson: I have him in my hand. He must have lost his head, or he never would have left the stick or, above all, burned the cheque-book. Why, moneys life to the man. We have nothing to do but wait for him at the bank, and get out the handbills. This last, however, was not so easy of accomplishment; for Mr. Hyde had numbered few familiars even the master of the servant-maid had only seen him twice; his family could nowhere be traced; he had never been photographed; and the few who could describe him differed widely, as common observers will. Only on one point, were they agreed; and that was the haunting sense of unexpressed deformity with which the fugitive impressed his beholders.


All art is quite useless

Year 1854 1881 1883 1891 1898 1900 He was born in Dublin He edited Poems He came back to Europe and married Constance Lloyd He met Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed Bosie He wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol He died of meningitis in Paris Events

Oscar Wilde

His life was characterised by the pursuit of the model of the Dandy1 Main Works Prose -The Picture of Dorian Gray -The Importance of Being Earnest Poetry -Poems -The Ballad of Reading Gaol

Victo!an A"

The term was first used by strong troops during the American Revolution. In the XIX Century it was considered a doctrine of elegance and originality made of people who distinguished themselves for a certain intellectual and stylistic extroversion. Their motto was first said by Wilde: My life is like a work of art and the manifesto of English aestheticism written by him summarises the concept of Art for Art's Sake followed by the author.


Wilde is an exceptional poet, playwright and novelist of the Victorian Age. His aim, summarised in the expression pater le bourgeois, (shock the bourgeois) coming from the Decadentist movement, was perfectly reached in all of the works mentioned above, even if with different methods and at different levels. Both dealing with Uthopin Socialism, aestheticism and the theatre satire of The importance of Being Earnest, he was successful in reaching the attention of the public opinion, reason why he was considered a rebel or an outcast, even reminding the sexual affair he had with Bosie, love who put him on the edge of the narrow-minded strict Victorian society.

The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things. The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban 2 not seeing his own face in a glass. The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable
Caliban is one of the antagonists of the Tempest by Shakespeare. He is depicted as: a wild man, or a deformed man, or a beast man, or sometimes a mix of fish and man, stemming from the confusion of two of the characters about what he is, found lying on a deserted island. Caliban is the son of Sycorax, a witch.


mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor's craft is the type. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless.

This short introduction was rstly written as the independent Maniphesto of English Aestheticism and became the introduction of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Most of its sentences deal with the theme of Art, the role of the artist in relation to society and a strong defence towards the artist himself as creator of beautiful things, even though useless but still admirable.

Oscar Wilde dressed as a Dandy


The picture of Dorian Gray

The novel tells the story of a young and handsome dandy named Dorian who signs a pact to keep his youth and make the signs of his age appear on a portrait painted by his close friend and admirer Basil Hallward. A third and important character is Lord Henry, a cynic man who make criticism of Dorian's dissolute conduct of life. At the end of the novel Dorian wants to free himself from the pact with the portrait and stabs it but in doing so he kills himself instead and the portrait takes it original form of beauty and perfection. Though the plot is easy and linear, the allegorical meaning hiding behind it plays the central role of the work. The origin of the myth dates back to the myth of Faust and reminds Christopher Marlowe's poem from the XVI Century. Unlike other novels of the Victorian Age written to denounce a particular social situation, The Picture of Dorian Gray has a moral aim: it expresses that every excess of a dissolute life must be paid one way or another and there is no pact or deal to make us avoid such a punishment. This opens the very complex and interesting issue of essence and appearance, solved by Wilde in behalf of the first: the protagonist, seen as a dandy with intellectual and social advantage and depicted as an overreacher cannot stand the weight of appearance and stabs the painting, killing himself.
Clip: The Picture of Dorian Gray -Trailer


Dorians Death
It was a lovely night, so warm that he threw his coat over his arm and did not even put his silk scarf round his throat. As he strolled home, smoking his cigarette, two young men in evening dress passed him. He heard one of them whisper to the other, "That is Dorian Gray." He remembered how pleased he used to be when he was pointed out, or stared at, or talked about. He was tired of hearing his own name now. Half the charm of the little village where he had been so often lately was that no one knew who he was. He had often told the girl whom he had lured to love him that he was poor, and she had believed him. He had told her once that he was wicked, and she had laughed at him and answered that wicked people were always very old and very ugly. What a laugh she had!--just like a thrush singing. And how pretty she had been in her cotton dresses and her large hats! She knew nothing, but she had everything that he had lost. When he reached home, he found his servant waiting up for him. He sent him to bed, and threw himself down on the sofa in the library, and began to think over some of the things that Lord Henry had said to him. Was it really true that one could never change? He felt a wild longing for the unstained purity of his boyhood-- his rose-white boyhood, as Lord Henry had once called it. He knew that he had tarnished himself, lled his mind with corruption and given horror to his fancy; that he had been an evil inuence to others, and had experienced a terrible joy in being so; and that of the lives that had crossed his own, it had been the fairest and the most full of promise that he had brought to shame. But was it all irretrievable? Was there no hope for him? Ah! in what a monstrous moment of pride and passion he had prayed that the portrait should bear the burden of his days, and he keep the unsullied splendour of eternal youth! All his failure had been due to that. Better for him that each sin of his life had brought its sure swift penalty along with it. There was purication in punishment. Not "Forgive us our sins" but "Smite us for our iniquities" should be the prayer of man to a most just God. The curiously carved mirror that Lord Henry had given to him, so many years ago now, was standing on the table, and the white-limbed Cupids laughed round it as of old. He took it up, as he had done on that night of horror when be had rst noted the change in the fatal picture, and with wild, tear-dimmed eyes looked into its polished shield. Once, some one who had terribly loved him had written to him a mad letter, ending with these idolatrous words: "The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold. The curves of your lips rewrite history." The phrases came back to his memory, and he repeated them over and over to himself. Then he loathed his own beauty, and inging the mirror on the oor, crushed it into silver splinters beneath his heel. It was his beauty that had ruined him, his beauty


and the youth that he had prayed for. But for those two things, his life might have been free from stain. His beauty had been to him but a mask, his youth but a mockery. What was youth at best? A green, an unripe time, a time of shallow moods, and sickly thoughts. Why had he worn its livery? Youth had spoiled him. It was better not to think of the past. Nothing could alter that. It was of himself, and of his own future, that he had to think. James Vane was hidden in a nameless grave in Selby churchyard. Alan Campbell had shot himself one night in his laboratory, but had not revealed the secret that he had been forced to know. The excitement, such as it was, over Basil Hallward's disappearance would soon pass away. It was already waning. He was perfectly safe there. Nor, indeed, was it the death of Basil Hallward that weighed most upon his mind. It was the living death of his own soul that troubled him. Basil had painted the portrait that had marred his life. He could not forgive him that. It was the portrait that had done everything. Basil had said things to him that were unbearable, and that he had yet borne with patience. The murder had been simply the madness of a moment. As for Alan Campbell, his suicide had been his own act. He had chosen to do it. It was nothing to him. A new life! That was what he wanted. That was what he was waiting for. Surely he had begun it already. He had spared one innocent thing, at any rate. He would never again tempt innocence. He would be good. As he thought of Hetty Merton, he began to wonder if the portrait in the locked room had changed. Surely it was not still so horrible as it had been? Perhaps if his life became pure, he would be able to expel every sign of evil passion from the face. Perhaps the signs of evil had already gone away. He would go and look. He took the lamp from the table and crept upstairs. As he unbarred the door, a smile of joy itted across his strangely young-looking face and lingered for a moment about his lips. Yes, he would be good, and the hideous thing that he had hidden away would no longer be a terror to him. He felt as if the load had been lifted from him already. He went in quietly, locking the door behind him, as was his custom, and dragged the purple hanging from the portrait. A cry of pain and indignation broke from him. He could see no change, save that in the eyes there was a look of cunning and in the mouth the curved wrinkle of the hypocrite. The thing was still loathsome--more loathsome, if possible, than before--and the scarlet dew that spotted the hand seemed brighter, and more like blood newly spilled. Then he trembled. Had it been merely vanity that had made him do his one good deed? Or the desire for a new sensation, as Lord Henry had hinted, with his mocking laugh? Or that passion to act a part that sometimes makes us do things ner than we are ourselves? Or, perhaps, all these? And why was the red stain larger than it had been? It seemed to have crept like a horrible disease over the wrinkled ngers. There was blood on the painted feet, as though the thing had dripped--blood even on the hand that had not held the knife. Confess? Did it mean that he was to confess? To give himself up and be put to death? He laughed. He felt that the idea was monstrous. Besides, even if he


did confess, who would believe him? There was no trace of the murdered man anywhere. Everything belonging to him had been destroyed. He himself had burned what had been below-stairs. The world would simply say that he was mad. They would shut him up if he persisted in his story.... Yet it was his duty to confess, to suffer public shame, and to make public atonement. There was a God who called upon men to tell their sins to earth as well as to heaven. Nothing that he could do would cleanse him till he had told his own sin. His sin? He shrugged his shoulders. The death of Basil Hallward seemed very little to him. He was thinking of Hetty Merton. For it was an unjust mirror, this mirror of his soul that he was looking at. Vanity? Curiosity? Hypocrisy? Had there been nothing more in his renunciation than that? There had been something more. At least he thought so. But who could tell?... No. There had been nothing more. Through vanity he had spared her. In hypocrisy he had worn the mask of goodness. For curiosity's sake he had tried the denial of self. He recognized that now. But this murder--was it to dog him all his life? Was he always to be burdened by his past? Was he really to confess? Never. There was only one bit of evidence left against him. The picture itself-- that was evidence. He would destroy it. Why had he kept it so long? Once it had given him pleasure to watch it changing and growing old. Of late he had felt no such pleasure. It had kept him awake at night. When he had been away, he had been lled with terror lest other eyes should look upon it. It had brought melancholy across his passions. Its mere memory had marred many moments of joy. It had been like conscience to him. Yes, it had been conscience. He would destroy it. He looked round and saw the knife that had stabbed Basil Hallward. He had cleaned it many times, till there was no stain left upon it. It was bright, and glistened. As it had killed the painter, so it would kill the painter's work, and all that that meant. It would kill the past, and when that was dead, he would be free. It would kill this monstrous soullife, and without its hideous warnings, he would be at peace. He seized the thing, and stabbed the picture with it. There was a cry heard, and a crash. The cry was so horrible in its agony that the frightened servants woke and crept out of their rooms. Two gentlemen, who were passing in the square below, stopped and looked up at the great house. They walked on till they met a policeman and brought him back. The man rang the bell several times, but there was no answer. Except for a light in one of the top windows, the house was all dark. After a time, he went away and stood in an adjoining portico and watched. "Whose house is that, Constable?" asked the elder of the two gentlemen. "Mr. Dorian Gray's, sir," answered the policeman. They looked at each other, as they walked away, and sneered. One of them was Sir Henry Ashton's uncle.


Inside, in the servants' part of the house, the half-clad domestics were talking in low whispers to each other. Old Mrs. Leaf was crying and wringing her hands. Francis was as pale as death. After about a quarter of an hour, he got the coachman and one of the footmen and crept upstairs. They knocked, but there was no reply. They called out. Everything was still. Finally, after vainly trying to force the door, they got on the roof and dropped down on to the balcony. The windows yielded easily--their bolts were old. When they entered, they found hanging upon the wall a splendid portrait of their master as they had last seen him, in all the wonder of his exquisite youth and beauty. Lying on the oor was a dead man, in evening dress, with a knife in his heart. He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was.


The Ballad of Reading Gaol

This ballad shows a different side of Wilde's eclectic personality. The dandy has left space to the Wildean conception of Utopian Socialism in his essay Soul of man under Socialism, an essay on socialism revisited by an aesthete. Though this interpretation of socialism has no real application, its project is to dene a world of with the abolishment of private property where man is happy and in harmony with himself and his environment and art is no longer a public product but a product only appreciated by an artistic public. Is this Utopian? Wilde asked himself and answers Yes, but a map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. Wilde changes personality but always keeps his creative attitude and states that the true perfection of man lies not in what man has, but in what man is. This work is the most famous of his poetical compositions and the only one he wrote after being released from prison. It is made of 109 stanzas grouped in six sections.


I. He did not wear his scarlet coat, For blood and wine are red, And blood and wine were on his hands When they found him with the dead The poor dead woman whom he loved, And murdered in her bed. He walked amongst the Trial Men In a suit of shabby grey; A cricket cap was on his head, And his step seemed light and gay; But I never saw a man who looked So wistfully at the day. I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky, And at every drifting cloud that went With sails of silver by. I walked, with other souls in pain, Within another ring, And was wondering if the man had done A great or little thing, When a voice behind me whispered low, "That fellows got to swing." Dear Christ! the very prison walls Suddenly seemed to reel, And the sky above my head became Like a casque of scorching steel;


And, though I was a soul in pain, My pain I could not feel. I only knew what hunted thought Quickened his step, and why He looked upon the garish day With such a wistful eye; The man had killed the thing he loved And so he had to die. Yet each man kills the thing he loves By each let this be heard, Some do it with a bitter look, Some with a attering word, The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword! Some kill their love when they are young, And some when they are old; Some strangle with the hands of Lust, Some with the hands of Gold: The kindest use a knife, because The dead so soon grow cold. Some love too little, some too long, Some sell, and others buy; Some do the deed with many tears, And some without a sigh: For each man kills the thing he loves, Yet each man does not die. [...] Like two doomed ships that pass in storm We had crossed each other's way:


But we made no sign, we said no word, We had no word to say; For we did not meet in the holy night, But in the shameful day. And twice a day he smoked his pipe, And drank his quart of beer: His soul was resolute, and held No hiding-place for fear; He often said that he was glad The hangman's hands were near. [...] We were as men who through a fen Of lthy darkness grope: We did not dare to breathe a prayer, Or give our anguish scope: Something was dead in each of us, And what was dead was Hope. [] They hanged him as a beast is hanged: They did not even toll A requiem that might have brought Rest to his startled soul, But hurriedly they took him out, And hid him in a hole. They stripped him of his canvas clothes, And gave him to the ies; They mocked the swollen purple throat And the stark and staring eyes:


And They withstripped laughterhim loud of they his canvas heaped clothes, the shroud In And which gave their him convict to the ies; lies. They mocked the swollen purple The Chaplain would not kneel tothroat pray And the stark and staring eyes: By his dishonored grave: And with laughter loudthat theyblessed heapedCross the shroud Nor mark it with In which their convict gave, lies. That Christ for sinners The Because Chaplain thewould man was not one kneel of to those pray Whom By Christ his dishonored came down grave: to save. Nor mark it with that blessed Cross [] That Christ for sinners gave, Vwas one of those Because the man Christ came down to save. IWhom know not whether Laws be right, Or whether [] Laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol V Is that the wall is strong; I And know that noteach whether day is Laws likebe a year, right, A Or year whether whose Laws days be are wrong; long. All that we know who lie in gaol But this I know, that every Law Is that wall is strong; That menthe have made for Man, And that each day is like a year, Since rst Man took his brother's life, AAnd year whose days are long. the sad world began, But straws But this the I know, wheatthat and every saves Law the chaff ThatWith men a have most made evil fan. for Man, Since rst Man took his brother's life, This too I know--and wise it were And the sad world began, If each could know the same-But That straws the wheat saves the chaff every prisonand that men build With a most evil Is built with bricks offan. shame, And bound This too with I know--and bars lest Christ wise itshould were see How If each men could their know brothers the same-maim. That every prison that men build


With bars they blur the gracious moon, And blind the goodly sun: And they do well to hide their Hell, For in it things are done That Son of God nor son of Man Ever should look upon! [] VI In Reading gaol by Reading town There is a pit of shame, And in it lies a wretched man Eaten by teeth of ame, In burning winding-sheet he lies, And his grave has got no name. And there, till Christ call forth the dead, In silence let him lie: No need to waste the foolish tear, Or heave the windy sigh: The man had killed the thing he loved, And so he had to die. And all men kill the thing they love, By all let this be heard, Some do it with a bitter look, Some with a attering word, The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword!


The prisoner and the narrator are presented without almost in medias res during the common actions of their dull day in the prison. The climax is reached when the narrator is informed about the situation of that fellow who got to swing. Even the inanimate elements like walls start react to this terrible sentence and start moving and shaking in terror. The second part is the most documentary: many details of the situation before, during and after the hanging are given. -The condemned has no privacy -Institutions are indifferent to the situation -Hard labour is described in detail -Death is a constant threatening presence which weighs on everyone

The last part brings the reection of the author about the condition of prisoners and prisons, the unjust laws written by men and a strong criticism against the Church.


Oliver remained a close prisoner in the dark and solitary room to which he had been consigned.
Year 1812 1824 1827 1830 1836 1840 1870 Events He was born in Landport, Portsmouth He starts working in a workhouse He starts studying stenography He becomes a journalist He publishes monthly his rst novel, Morning Chronicle, he marries Catherine H. He spent his years travelling round the world He dies of brain haemorrhage, he's buried in poet's corner (Westminster Abbey)

Charles Dickens

Main Works -Oliver Twist -David Coppereld -Little Dorrit -Bleak House -Hard Times -Great Expectations

Victo!an A"

Dickens starts writing as a journalist, his rst works were published in instalments so his plots can be considered a bit articial and episodic, stereotypes of the narrow-minded Victorian society he aims to criticize. His themes were inuenced by his past life, the poverty and his employment in a workhouse spur him on to write about social inequity, corruption, children exploitation and low classes people's problems. He does not write about his task, he does not encourage a revolution but his aim is to make people aware about the material corruption of their society and the decadence of the political classes. Most of his prose works are set in London so he spent his time observing people to catch the essence of its inhabitant; the result is a large variety of caricatures: the poor, the prostitute, the beggar etc.; he also plays with the name of his characters which are meaningful and anticipate the deepest aspects of their personality.

Characters Twist Murdstone Verb

Name origin

Meaning Sudden changes of fortune Murder is the way he educates David Coppereld while Stone represents his harshness He grinds the fantasy of scholars and equals them to the same level The school is meant to chock children's fantasy and grade them to the same level, like Mr Gradgrind does.

Murder + Stone

Mr. Gradgrind MChoakumchild

Grade + Grind Choke + Them + child


Oliver Twist

This is the story of an orphan, Oliver Twist, who since the age of nine was living in an orphanage, suffering pangs of hunger and pain. In a second time he was sold to an undertaker but he nally managed to escape to London after being left to sleep in a cofn, macabre detail of his sad stay with his master. He was recruited by a gang of young beggars guided by Fagin; after the failure of a robbery Oliver was shot, and captured. Oliver was cured by Maylie and Rose and he remained at their home until Fagin tried to catch him with the help of Monk (Oliver' s brother ). At the end Oliver was discovered to be the nephew of Rose, Monk had tried to kill him in order to get the heritage of their father but Fagin was imprisoned, Oliver and Rose went to live with Mr. Brownlow, a man who tried to help Oliver during his misfortunes and the heritage was split between the two brothers. Dickens wrote this novel to make people aware of the consequences of industrialism, from which derives that rich became richer end poor poorer. This gap between the two social classes were supposed to be lled up by work houses . The principles that set up them was that poverty is a consequence of people' s laziness, so the workhouses had to inspire poor to improve their social status with hard work and strictness. In the reality they were places were youth was destroyed, and kids were employed in hard labour.


He described three different social classes, each of them with strong and defects: The parochial one, referring to the workhouses; the criminal world of pickpockets and murderers and the world of the Victorian middle class made up of respectable people respecting the strict moral values of the Victorian Age. In writing the story of this boy Dickens was inspired by Fielding's Tom Jones. Here is an extract describing the terrible world of the workhouses: the violent treatment is rendered to the refuse of the child's demand and the punishment caused by it.

Oliver wants some more

The room in which the boys were fed, was a large stone hall, with a copper at one end: out of which the master, dressed in an apron for the purpose, and assisted by one or two women, ladled the gruel at mealtimes. Of this festive composition each boy had one porringer, and no more--except on occasions of great public rejoicing, when he had two ounces and a quarter of bread besides. The bowls never wanted washing. The boys polished them with their spoons till they shone again; and when they had performed this operation (which never took very long, the spoons being nearly as large as the bowls), they would sit staring at the copper, with such eager eyes, as if they could have devoured the very bricks of which it was composed; employing themselves, meanwhile, in sucking their ngers most assiduously, with the view of catching up any stray splashes of gruel that might have been cast thereon. Boys have generally excellent appetites. Oliver Twist and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation for three months: at last they got so voracious and wild with hunger, that one boy, who was tall for his age, and hadn't been used to that sort of thing (for his father had kept a small cook-shop), hinted darkly to his companions, that unless he had another basin of gruel per diem, he was afraid he might some night happen to eat the boy who slept next him, who happened to be a weakly youth of tender age. He had a wild, hungry eye; and they implicitly believed him. A council was held; lots were cast who should walk up to the master after supper that evening, and ask for more; and it fell to Oliver Twist. The evening arrived; the boys took their places. The master, in his cook's uniform, stationed himself at the copper; his pauper assistants ranged themselves behind him; the gruel was served out; and a long grace was said over the


short commons. The gruel disappeared; the boys whispered each other, and winked at Oliver; while his next neighbours nudged him. Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity: 'Please, sir, I want some more.' The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupied astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear. 'What!' said the master at length, in a faint voice. 'Please, sir,' replied Oliver, 'I want some more.' The master aimed a blow at Oliver's head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arm; and shrieked aloud for the beadle. The board were sitting in solemn conclave, when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said, 'Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!' There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance. 'For MORE!' said Mr. Limbkins. 'Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?' 'He did, sir,' replied Bumble. 'That boy will be hung,' said the gentleman in the white waistcoat. 'I know that boy will be hung.' Nobody controverted the prophetic gentleman's opinion. An animated discussion took place. Oliver was ordered into instant connement; and a bill was next morning pasted on the outside of the gate, offering a reward of ve pounds to anybody who would take Oliver Twist off the hands of the parish. In other words, ve pounds and Oliver Twist were offered to any man or woman who wanted an apprentice to any trade, business, or calling.


David Copperfield

This novel tells the story, the growth and the success of David Coppereld, a poor boy who managed to become an important journalist. His father died before his birth but his youth was joyful until the coming of his stepfather Mr. Murdstones and his sister Clara . Their evil presence brought his mother to illness so David was sent away, in a school where he was terrorized and brutalised by the headmaster. Consequently, after his employment in a wine' s warehouse, Oliver escaped to his aunt who provide him an excellent education that allows David to become a Parliamentary chronicler. Dickens decided to write this novel in rst person to stress his identication with the main character who also has his own initials reversed (C and D), his composition is called bildungsroman : a novel that follows the character from his birth to his adulthood through his maturing process. David is a mix of personalities: -he is adventurous, insolent without a discipline -he makes difcult choices that deprives him his integrity Victorian hero Romantic Hero

On the other hand David is not an ordinary hero: he is not integer, nor brave as a hero should be, he lacks discipline and is lead to disaster more than once in the novel.


Shall I ever forge those lessons?

Shall I ever forget those lessons! They were presided over nominally by my mother, but really by Mr. Murdstone and his sister, who were always present, and found them a favourable occasion for giving my mother lessons in that miscalled rmness, which was the bane of both our lives. I believe I was kept at home for that purpose. I had been apt enough to learn, and willing enough, when my mother and I had lived alone together. I can faintly remember learning the alphabet at her knee. To this day, when I look upon the fat black letters in the primer, the puzzling novelty of their shapes, and the easy good-nature of O and Q and S, seem to present themselves again before me as they used to do. But they recall no feeling of disgust or reluctance. On the contrary, I seem to have walked along a path of owers as far as the crocodile-book, and to have been cheered by the gentleness of my mother's voice and manner all the way. But these solemn lessons which succeeded those, I remember as the death-blow of my peace, and a grievous daily drudgery and misery. They were very long, very numerous, very hard - perfectly unintelligible, some of them, to me - and I was generally as much bewildered by them as I believe my poor mother was herself. Let me remember how it used to be, and bring one morning back again. I come into the second-best parlour after breakfast, with my books, and an exercise-book, and a slate. My mother is ready for me at her writing-desk, but not half so ready as Mr. Murdstone in his easy-chair by the window (though he pretends to be reading a book), or as Miss Murdstone, sitting near my mother stringing steel beads. The very sight of these two has such an inuence over me, that I begin to feel the words I have been at innite pains to get into my head, all sliding away, and going I don't know where. I wonder where they do go, by the by? I hand the rst book to my mother. Perhaps it is a grammar, perhaps a history, or geography. I take a last drowning look at the page as I give it into her hand, and start off aloud at a racing pace while I have got it fresh. I trip over a


word. Mr. Murdstone looks up. I trip over another word. Miss Murdstone looks up. I redden, tumble over half-a-dozen words, and stop. I think my mother would show me the book if she dared, but she does not dare, and she says softly: 'Oh, Davy, Davy!' 'Now, Clara,' says Mr. Murdstone, 'be rm with the boy. Don't say, "Oh, Davy, Davy!" That's childish. He knows his lesson, or he does not know it.' 'He does NOT know it,' Miss Murdstone interposes awfully. 'I am really afraid he does not,' says my mother. 'Then, you see, Clara,' returns Miss Murdstone, 'you should just give him the book back, and make him know it.' 'Yes, certainly,' says my mother; 'that is what I intend to do, my dear Jane. Now, Davy, try once more, and don't be stupid.' I obey the rst clause of the injunction by trying once more, but am not so successful with the second, for I am very stupid. I tumble down before I get to the old place, at a point where I was all right before, and stop to think. But I can't think about the lesson. I think of the number of yards of net in Miss Murdstone's cap, or of the price of Mr. Murdstone's dressing-gown, or any such ridiculous problem that I have no business with, and don't want to have anything at all to do with. Mr. Murdstone makes a movement of impatience which I have been expecting for a long time. Miss Murdstone does the same. My mother glances submissively at them, shuts the book, and lays it by as an arrear to be worked out when my other tasks are done. There is a pile of these arrears very soon, and it swells like a rolling snowball. The bigger it gets, the more stupid I get. The case is so hopeless, and I feel that I am wallowing in such a bog of nonsense, that I give up all idea of getting out, and abandon myself to my fate. The despairing way in which my mother and I look at each other, as I blunder on, is truly melancholy. But the greatest effect in these miserable lessons is when my mother (thinking nobody is observing her) tries to give me the cue by the motion of her lips. At that instant, Miss Murdstone, who has been lying in wait for nothing else all along, says in a deep warning voice: 'Clara!' My mother starts, colours, and smiles faintly. Mr. Murdstone comes out of his chair, takes the book, throws it at me or boxes my ears with it, and turns me out of the room by the shoulders.


Hard Times

Dickens decided to divide his novel into three parts and each of them in three chapters, because they represent three stages of characters' lives. They are: - Sowing : the education of the children - Reaping : consequence of their education - Garnering : details of their life

Mr. Gradgrind is the founder of a dystopian city called Coketown where fantasy and joy are replaced by machineries, smoking chimneys and red brick turned into grey ones. He believed he could build a perfect industrial society changing men during their youth with a strict discipline and grinding their personalities. The two protagonists are Louisa and Tom and this novel tells how their lives were ruined by their father. Louisa had an unhappy marriage with a banker man in order to give her brother a job but Tom robbed the bank and at the end of the novel he is obliged to leave the city.


Coketown, to which Messrs Bounderby and Gradgrind now walked, was a triumph of fact; it had no greater taint of fancy in it than Mrs Gradgrind herself. Let us strike the key-note, Coketown, before pursuing our tune. It was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but as matters stood, it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted face of a savage. It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves for ever and ever, and never got uncoiled. It had a black canal in it, and a river that ran purple with ill-smelling dye, and vast piles of building full of windows where there was a rattling and a trembling all day long, and where the piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness. It contained several large streets all very like one another, and many small streets still more like one another, inhabited by people equally like one another, who all went in and out at the same hours, with the same sound upon the same pavements, to do the same work, and to whom every day was the same as yesterday and tomorrow, and every year the counterpart of the last and the next. These attributes of Coketown were in the main inseparable from the work by which it was sustained; against them were to be set off, comforts of life which found their way all over the world, and elegancies of life which made, we will not ask how much of the ne lady, who could scarcely bear to hear the place mentioned. The rest of its features were voluntary, and they were these. You saw nothing in Coketown but what was severely workful. If the members of a religious persuasion built a chapel there as the members of eighteen religious persuasions had done they made it a pious warehouse of red brick, with sometimes (but this is only in highly ornamented examples) a bell in a birdcage on the top of it. The solitary exception was the New Church; a stuccoed edice with a square steeple over the door, terminating in four short pinnacles like orid wooden legs. All the public inscriptions in the town were painted alike, in severe characters of black and white. The jail might have been the inrmary, the inrmary might have been the jail, the town-hall might have been either, or both, or anything else, for anything that appeared to the contrary in the graces of their construction. Fact, fact, fact, everywhere in the material aspect of the town; fact, fact, fact, everywhere in the immaterial. The MChoakumchild school was all fact, and the school of design was all fact, and the relations between master and man were all fact, and everything was fact between the lying-in hospital and the cemetery, and what you couldnt state in gures, or show to be purchasable in the cheapest market and salable in the dearest, was not, and never should be, world without end, Amen.


I celebrate myself, and what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
Year 1819 1831 1849 1855 1855 1884 1892 Events He was born in New York He starts working as an ofce boy in a doctor studio and in a typography He travels from New York to New Orleans He publishes the rst edition of Leaves of Grass He helps the wounded soldiers during the civil war He retires in Camden, New Jersey ence Emily Dugdale He dies

Main Works


Prose -Complete Prose Works (his only prose work)

Poetry -9 editions of Leaves of Grass

Victo!an A"

That of Whitman is the perfect example of a self-taught culture, his family belonged to the working class so he has to work at the age of eleven after nishing the public school. His political maturation is due to his travel around the USA. During this travel he could admire the variety of his country, he visited the Niagara Falls, the Great Lakes and he ended to write at the Hudson: an abolitionist journal. The democratic ideals grew up in Whitman's mind, he linked them to the connection between man and nature, he becomes a poet of sex, harmony and freedom; in his rst edition of Leaves of Grass he only wrote twelve poems with no title and no precise structures, no metaphors and similes. He wrote in free verse because he thought poetry is like a process, a natural process that comes from our unity with nature. The main features of his poetry can be found in his American roots, his dedication to Emerson's transcendentalist philosophy and the triple conception of the being. Here is a simple scheme to dene the main inuential currents of thought his poetry embodies. America is the ideal country of democracy. His poetry Is the expression of the American dream he Strongly believed in



Man should not seek himself outside himself

Triple concepion of being

-The I which is the myself of Whitman's poetry -The real me -Me self, the inner personality of the author


His gure has been dened as a Democratic Bard, a defender and symbol of the development of democratic ideals. He celebrated America and the American working class, main source of economic development in the poem I hear America Singing. The 12-line poem expresses Whitman's optimism and appreciation for the American model. Another typically American poem is the celebration of the great gure of Abraham Lincoln, the father of democracy in O Captain, my captain, a masterpiece of his composition whose main lines were used in Dead Poets Society, a lm telling the story of an English Teacher who inspired his students to change their lives through literature. Lincoln is a Champion of Democracy but the loss caused by his death is not only the loss of a great statesman but is felt by the poet as a personal one. He has led the American ship of Democracy to the harbour but has not survived to his enemies since he was killed by John Wilkes Booth. In the second stanza he prays his captain to rise up because people are celebrating his arrival but in the third he realizes nothing can be done and the nation is now without a guide.


I Hear America Singing

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear, Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong, The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam, The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work, The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck, The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands, The woodcutters song, the ploughboys on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown, The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing, Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else, The day what belongs to the dayat night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly, Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.


O Captain My Captain

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring: But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up--for you the ag is ung--for you the bugle trills; 10 For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding; For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head; It is some dream that on the deck, You've fallen cold and dead. My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still; My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done; From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; 20 Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! But I, with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead


Song of myself

The triple conception of being implies the existence of a you, whoever you are the poet is speaking to. Whitman did not consider important who the listener is because he assumes everyone is part of the same nature, the same system of relations linked through senses. His nal masterpiece summarizes this conception of the world as an ensemble of natural elements people should feel part of.

1 I celebrate myself; And what I assume you shall assume; For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you. I loafe and invite my Soul; I lean and loafe at my ease, observing a spear of summer grass. Houses and rooms are full of perfumesthe shelves are crowded with perfumes; I breathe the fragrance myself, and know it and like it; The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it. The atmosphere is not a perfumeit has no taste of the distillationit is odorless; It is for my mouth foreverI am in love with it; I will go to the bank by the wood, and become undisguised and naked; I am mad for it to be in contact with me. 2 The smoke of my own breath; Echoes, ripples, buzzd whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine; My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing of blood and air through my lungs;


The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore, and dark-colord sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn; The sound of the belchd words of my voice, words loosd to the eddies of the wind; A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms; The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag; The delight alone, or in the rush of the streets, or along the elds and hill-sides; The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun. Have you reckond a thousand acres much? have you reckond the earth much? Have you practisd so long to learn to read? Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems? Stop this day and night with me, and you shall possess the origin of all poems; You shall possess the good of the earth and sun(there are millions of suns left;) You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books; You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me: You shall listen to all sides, and lter them from yourself.


Dramatic Monologue
The dramatic monologue is almost the only poetry form which survived and developed during the Victorian Age which saw the prevalence of novels thanks to its objectivity and other factors described in the historical introduction to the Victorian Age. Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson were the two best interpreters of this genre: the latter, entitled Poet Laureate by Queen Elizabeth, wrote the best example of Victorian poetry in the following monologue. The central theme which emerges from the reading is the contrast between the Romantic man and the Victorian man, their different attitudes and different conceptions of life.

Extra Material

Victo!an A"

Alfred Tennyson

Robert Browning

Alfred Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Matchd with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life to the lees: All times I have enjoyd Greatly, have sufferd greatly, both with those That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when Thro scudding drifts the rainy Hyades Vext the dim sea: I am become a name; For always roaming with a hungry heart Much have I seen and known; cities of men And manners, climates, councils, governments, Myself not least, but honourd of them all; And drunk delight of battle with my peers, Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethro Gleams that untravelld world whose margin fades For ever and forever when I move. How dull it is to pause, to make an end,


To rust unburnishd, not to shine in use! As tho to breathe were life! Life piled on life Were all too little, and of one to me Little remains: but every hour is saved From that eternal silence, something more, A bringer of new things; and vile it were For some three suns to store and hoard myself, And this gray spirit yearning in desire To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus, To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle, Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil This labour, by slow prudence to make mild A rugged people, and thro soft degrees Subdue them to the useful and the good. Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere Of common duties, decent not to fail In offices of tenderness, and pay Meet adoration to my household gods, When I am gone. He works his work, I mine. There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail: There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners, Souls that have toild, and wrought, and thought with me That ever with a frolic welcome took The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed Free hearts, free foreheadsyou and I are old; Old age hath yet his honour and his toil; Death closes all: but something ere the end,


Some work of noble note, may yet be done, Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods. The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks: The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, Tis not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Tho much is taken, much abides; and tho We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Tennyson's conceptions of Ulysses is much closer to the one given by Dante rather than the original one by Homer. The Greek poet made Ulysses stay in Ithaca after his wanderings all over the Mediterranean Sea while the Italian Vate put him in the hell of the Divine Comedy because he went over the divine rules by overtaking the Gibraltar Strait (Pillars of Hercules) with his mariners: he was condemned in this quest for extreme knowledge. The Romantic Ulysses is a brilliant speaker who convinces his shipmates to follow him, he regrets the present life of Telemachus and Penelope. His thirst for knowledge is stronger than the attachment for his family and his homeland.


The delight alone, or in the rush of the streets, or along the elds and hill-sides; The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun. Have you reckond a thousand acres much? have you reckond the earth much? Have you practisd so long to learn to read? Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?


Stop this day and night with me, and you shall possess the origin of all poems; You shall possess the good of the earth and sun(there are millions of suns left;) You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books; You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me: You shall listen to all sides, and lter them from yourself.


The delight alone, or in the rush of the streets, or along the elds and hill-sides; The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun. Clicca sulla risposta che ritieni corretta e verifica la risposta Have you reckond a thousand acres much? have you reckond the earth much? Have you practisd so long to learn to read? Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems? Stop this day and night with me, and you shall possess the origin of all poems; You shall possess the good of the earth and sun(there are millions of suns left;) Domanda 1 dihand, 8 You shall no longer take things at second or third nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the He thought characters had free will. spectres in books; You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me: You shall listen to all sides, and lter them from yourself.


A. B.


Verifica risposta




The delight alone, or in the rush of the streets, or along the elds and hill-sides; The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun. Have you reckond a thousand acres much? have you reckond the earth much? Have you practisd so long to learn to read? Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?


Stop this day and night with me, andDomanda you shall 1 possess di 8 the origin of all poems; You shall possess the good of the earth and sun(there are millions of suns left;) Wuthering Heights is a typical Victorian novel in You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the all its aspects. spectres in books; You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me: You shall listen to all sides, and lter them from yourself.

A. B.


Verifica risposta




The delight alone, or in the rush of the streets, or along the elds and hill-sides; The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun. Have you reckond a thousand acres much? have you reckond the earth much? Have you practisd so long to learn to read? Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?


Stop this day and night with me, andDomanda you shall 1 possess di 6 the origin of all poems; You shall possess the good of the earth and sun(there are millions of suns left;) Stevenson lived as a bohemian, a man of virtue and You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the wealth spectres in books; You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me: You shall listen to all sides, and lter them from yourself.

A. B.


Verifica risposta




The delight alone, or in the rush of the streets, or along the elds and hill-sides; The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun. Have you reckond a thousand acres much? have you reckond the earth much? Have you practisd so long to learn to read? Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?


Stop this day and night with me, andDomanda you shall 1 possess di 8 the origin of all poems; You shall possess the good of the earth and sun(there are millions of suns left;) Wilde was a _________ You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books; You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me: You shall listen to all sides, and lter them from yourself.

A. B. C. D.


Verifica risposta




The delight alone, or in the rush of the streets, or along the elds and hill-sides; The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun. Have you reckond a thousand acres much? have you reckond the earth much? Have you practisd so long to learn to read? Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?


Stop this day and night with me, andDomanda you shall 1 possess di 8 the origin of all poems; You shall possess the good of the earth and sun(there are millions of suns left;) Dickens was __________ You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books; You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me: You shall listen to all sides, and lter them from yourself.

A. B. C. D.


Verifica risposta




The delight alone, or in the rush of the streets, or along the elds and hill-sides; The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun. Have you reckond a thousand acres much? have you reckond the earth much? Have you practisd so long to learn to read? Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?


Stop this day and night with me, andDomanda you shall 1 possess di 6 the origin of all poems; You shall possess the good of the earth and sun(there are millions of suns left;) Whitman was the bard of republican culture. You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books; You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me: You shall listen to all sides, and lter them from yourself.

A. B.


Verifica risposta




The Modern Age

War Poets



W.B Yeats






Year 1901 1904 1906 1911 1911 1911 1914 1917 Queen Victoria dies


England signed Entente Cordiale with France Liberals win election Welfare state is established in England The Parliament Act made it impossible for the Lord to reject a bill about money George the V was crowned The First World War breaks out USA enters the War The war ends Easter Rising in Ireland General strike in England Economic crisis breaks out in the USA Hitler invades Poland: the Second World War begins USA enter the war The war ends and the so-called Cold War between URSS and USA has its origin

Historical Background

1918 1918 1926 1929 1939 1941 1945

Modern A!

Infuelncing thoughts of the Age

Year S. Freud Thought He studied psychoanalysis stating that man has a subconscious and an unconscious hidden in his psyche. This influences his behaviour, his physical condition and his mental flow. Also dreams, childhood and relationships were at the core of his studies. He gave birth to a parallel conception of psychoanalysis claiming the existence of a collective consciousness belonging to people of the same culture. He stated the difference between symbol and sign. He gave birth to a parallel conception of psychoanalysis claiming the existence of a collective consciousness belonging to people of the same culture. He stated the difference between symbol and sign. He criticised the traditional idea of Christianity claiming its tendency in behalf of nihilism and against the Ja-Sagen principle (Say yes to life). He reverted the relationship man-God in behalf of the first who should evolve into a Ubermensch, an overman who overcomes common values. The associationist philosopher expressed his theories about the Stream of Consciousness, writing that Consciousness does not appear to itself chopped up in bits. It is nothing jointed; it flows. A river or a stream are the metaphors by which it is most naturally described. V. Woolf and J. Joyce will give life to his theory through the means of the interior monologue, the best way to render the thoughts of a character.

C.J. Jung

H. Bergson

F. Nietzsche

W. James


Modern Poetry

Oxford poets New Romantics Social aspects Love, Sex, Birth, Death

Georgian poets Themes Idylls

War poets

Victorian Age
Imagist Symbolists Any Unconscious Hard images, short poems Achieve precision, discipline, dry hardness, the exact curve of things Free verse, musicality of words Explore experience Slang, Jazz Rhythm Romantic

Horrors of modern warfare Experimental ism, violent language Describe the pity of war


Victorian and romantic tradition Any



Appeal to emotions

Thomas Hardy

Robert Luis Stevenson

Charles Dickens

Emily Bront

Oscar Wilde

Walter Whitman

Modern Novel

Modern novel saw a strong break from the traditional form of novel: a movement towards a more complex vision man characterised this new literary current. A new generation of poets began to question about the objectivity of previous novels and decided to dig into the apparently rational surface of conscious dedicating much more time and attention to the unconscious. Linked to his new view of writing novels, V. Woolf, the greatest theorist of these new conceptions said that new novels were written to lead readers into the house instead of letting them watch what is happening from a window or a door. Novels shifted from being matter of objective facts to matter of subjective impression. V. Woolf also stated that if writers were free men, there would be no plot but only impressions and collections of those impressions called novels. Stream of consciousness, personal analysis and not necessarily chronological order of events became the dominating words of this current. In Modern Fictions she wrote: Is it not the task of the novelist to convey this varying, this unknown and uncircumscribed spirit, whatever aberration or complexity it may display, with as little mixture of the alien and external as possible? We are not pleading merely for courage and sincerity; we are suggesting that the proper stuff of ction is a little other than custom would have us believe it.


Though novel developed in this common way, it took different directions depending of personal experiences and considerations by every author, thus:




Psycological Novel

J. Conrad D.H. Lawrence E.M. Forster G. Orwell A. Huxley

Particular attentions to inner sensations and personal feelings. These novels go beyond human surface to a deeper analysis of the unconscious. They attack and criticise the newborn totalitarianism of the Thirties in the attempt to make people aware of their risks and the limited freedom in which they lived. They shifted from the external point of view of the Victorian Age to the internal mind of characters.

Social and Anti-Utopian Novel

Modern Novel

J. Joyce V. Woolf


Tone of the poems R.Brooke Emphatic, war is a way to rise you social position Accusatory, the criticism is moved against the old generation and the tradition Accusatory and choleric, poems are an impulsive reaction to the pain of war Bitter

The soldier Hero of patriotism

War and Nature Idealistic, has a symbolic meaning Realistic, it has nothing to do with proud and honour


A man object of the thirst of power of political classes


Scapegoat of society's faults




Nature is indifferent to war

War Poets

Before going forward to analyse one poem each and see reference to the table above, it is relevant to see the unofcial Maniphesto of War Poetry written by Owen, in which he states the role of English poetry during the war. These lines were intended to be Preface to one of his books of poems. This book is not about heroes. English Poetry is not yet fit to speak of them. Nor is it about deeds, or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, might, majesty, dominion, or power, except war. Above all I am not concerned with Poetry. My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity. Yet these elegies are to this generation in no sense consolatory. They may be to the next. All a poet can do today is warn. That is why true Poets must be truthful.

Modern A!



The Soldier
If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, A body of England's, breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home. And think, this heart, all evil shed away, A pulse in the eternal mind, no less Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given; Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
Rupert Brooke

Hear the reading of the poem


Wilfred Owen

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind. Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . . Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;


If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori. Wilfred Owen

Hear the reading of the poem


Siegfried Sassoon
Hear the reading of the poem

Suicide in the Trenches

I knew a simple soldier boy Who grinned at life in empty joy, Slept soundly through the lonesome dark, And whistled early with the lark. In winter trenches, cowed and glum, With crumps and lice and lack of rum, He put a bullet through his brain. No one spoke of him again. You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you'll never know The hell where youth and laughter go. Siegfried Sassoon


Isaac Rosenberg
Break of Day in the Trenches
Bonds to the whims of murder, Sprawled in the bowels of the earth, The torn fields of France. What do you see in our eyes At the shrieking iron and flame Hurled through still heavens? What quaver -what heart aghast? Poppies whose roots are in men's veins Drop, and are ever dropping; But mine in my ear is safe, Just a little white with the dust.

The darkness crumbles away It is the same old druid Time as ever, Only a live thing leaps my hand, The pastoral world is A queer sardonic rat, reverted by the sardonic As I pull the parapet's poppy look of the rat To stick behind my ear. Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew Your cosmopolitan sympathies, Now you have touched this English hand You will do the same to a German Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure To cross the sleeping green between. It seems you inwardly grin as you pass Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes, Less chanced than you for life,

Isaac Rosenberg

Hear the reading of the poem


Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

Year 1865 1877 1885 1889 1893 1922 1923 1939 He was born in Dublin

Events He moves to London and enters the Godolphin School He publishes his rst poem The poetry of Sir Samuel Ferguson He falls in love with Maud Gonne, a fervent patriot He writes a series of essays about Irish nationalism called Celtic Twilight He becomes a senator in the upper house of the Dail He receives the Nobel Prize for Literature He dies in France (Menton)

William B. Yeats

Main Works -A coat -Adam's curse -Easter 1916 -Death -His phoenix -Sailing to Byzantium

Modern A!

William B. Yeats conceived history as a tragic vision of 2000-year cycles of civilizations changing from an era of sterility to one of fertility. This thinking matures after the horror of the so called Easter 1916 where he decided to investigate theories of the occult: although a committed nationalist, Yeats generally disapproved of violence, as a means to securing Irish independence. History follows this process: -An age of selshness, violence and subjectivity started when Juppiter, in a shape of a swam, decided to rape the nymph Leda in 2000 B.C. -An age of objectivity and love which coincides with Birth of Christ in 0 A.D -A third era, which should start in 2000 B.C. announced by the rough beast of the so called The second Coming(one of his most famous poems) In the poem A vision he works upon this process conceiving even civilization as a sort of process turning on the so called gyre1 and presenting it as a wheel of 28 phases: -An age of growth which shall last 14 phases -An age of maturity which shall be the 15th (full moon)

-An age of decline which lasts the remaining 13 phases. This process was also helped by the reading of some philosophies such as Nietzsche which contributed to emphasize his strong mysticism.
A gyre is a geometric figure similar to a funnel, which begins at a fixed point. From this point the spiral grows wider and wider until he reaches his maximum growth. Yeats employs this particular technique in order to better emphasize his poems' themes.


Easter 1916
The horror of the Easter Rising in Dublin on 24th April 1916 inspired him to write a poem about this tragic event. The poem effectively describes the poet's torn of emotions regarding this military action. In fact many nationalists and republicans decided to struggle to get free attacking the general post English ofce during the First World War while they were focused on the German front. The oxymoron a terrible beauty is bornwhich closes 3 of the 5 stanzas is linked to an idea of fear and terror and at the same time conveys a sense of peace and regeneration. In the third stanza the term stone occurs several time since it stands for the constant presence of the conict between Ireland and England. In the second stanza he celebrates the heroes of the revolution such as Constance Markievicz, James Patrick, Thomas MacDonagh, John MacBride and James Connolly, the leader of Irish Labour Movement. In this way he wants to make them eternal since the aim of poetry is to achieve this purpose and the poet is seen as the spokesman of the revolution. In the fourth and fth stanza he wonders whether the sacrice was useful or not for Ireland and England, reecting on the several contradictions of the revolution.

I have met them at close of day Coming with vivid faces From counter or desk among grey Eighteenth-century houses. I have passed with a nod of the head Or polite meaningless words, Or have lingered awhile and said Polite meaningless words, And thought before I had done Of a mocking tale or a gibe


To please a companion Around the re at the club, Being certain that they and I But lived where motley is worn: All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born. That woman's days were spent In ignorant good-will, Her nights in argument Until her voice grew shrill. What voice more sweet than hers When, young and beautiful, She rode to harriers? This man had kept a school And rode our winged horse; This other his helper and friend Was coming into his force; He might have won fame in the end, So sensitive his nature seemed, So daring and sweet his thought. This other man I had dreamed A drunken, vainglorious lout. He had done most bitter wrong To some who are near my heart, Yet I number him in the song; He, too, has resigned his part In the casual comedy; He, too, has been changed in his turn, Transformed utterly: A terrible beauty is born

Hearts with one purpose alone Through summer and winter seem Enchanted to a stone To trouble the living stream. The horse that comes from the road, The rider, the birds that range From cloud to tumbling cloud, Minute by minute they change; A shadow of cloud on the stream Changes minute by minute; A horse-hoof slides on the brim, And a horse plashes within it; The long-legged moor-hens dive, And hens to moor-cocks call; Minute by minute they live: The stone's in the midst of all. Too long a sacrice Can make a stone of the heart. O when may it sufce? That is Heaven's part, our part To murmur name upon name, As a mother names her child When sleep at last has come On limbs that had run wild. What is it but nightfall? No, no, not night but death; Was it needless death after all? For England may keep faith For all that is done and said.


We know their dream; enough To know they dreamed and are dead; And what if excess of love Bewildered them till they died? I write it out in a verse MacDonagh and MacBride And Connolly and Pearse Now and in time to be, Wherever green is worn, Are changed, changed utterly:


The lake of Innisfree

Yeats used a wide range of themes, changing from the theme of death to the one of life and regeneration: the following poem deals with the theme of life and especially it evolves around the poet's birthplace in Ireland. The lake isle of Innisfree is a poem written when Yeats was over 25 and it perfectly reects his attachment to his own country and a wonderful atmosphere of peace, even though the tone is nostalgic and sad and the language is concrete and simple. Therefore, one of the most important theme is that of the contrast between the bribery of the city and the fertility of nature. The rst stanza describes his dream of going back to Innisfree and live happily together with Nature, in the second stanza he takes great images from the world of Nature and each of the senses is involved in order to make the scene more vivid. In the last stanza his masterpiece ends with the nal contrast between reality and Nature: the poet has the awareness that that world he describes, so spoilt by civilization and uncorrupted, is unreal but he wants to enjoy the moment by remembering all the great adventures of his past. In this sense the poem can also be considered as a romantic one since the sense of pride together with the emphasis on senses emphasizes the role of Nature as an uncorrupted and perfect element.


I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made; Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee, And live alone in the bee-loud glade. And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; There midnights all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, And evening full of the linnets wings. I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep hearts core.


The second coming

From the collection of Michael Robartes and the Dancer Yeats composed another important poem called The Second Coming. It was written by the poet as a reaction to the growing murderousness of the world. The theme of the poet is an apocalyptic vision of a new world, of the future of mankind.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


The poem is full of symbolism and it deals with Yeats's concept of history and the gyre: for instance the second line perfectly represents the idea of confusion and chaos symbolized by the falcon which stands for either the young generation or the mind and the falconer which refers either to those who are much wiser and more experienced or to the Thebody. poem is full of symbolism and it deals with Yeats's concept of history and the gyre: for instance the second line The two of them cannot communicate because the new generation hates the falcon old one who sent them toeither war and mind and perfectly represents the idea of confusion and chaos symbolized by the which stands for the young body are in or contrast dueand to the new developments of philosophy and psychology. generation the mind the falconer which refers either to those who are much wiser and more experienced or to In the second stanza the poet is sure that some type of revelation is going to happen soon and his role is actually to warn the body. future generation against a vaste imagebecause of Spiritus as a prophet. The two of them cannot communicate theMundi new generation hates the old one who sent them to war and mind In the third stanza the poet focuses on the aspect of the so called rough beast which should change the future decisively. and body are in contrast due to the new developments of philosophy and psychology. The monster isstanza presented a sphinx shape with lion body and head a man.soon and his role is actually to In the second the as poet is surewith thata some type of revelation isthe going to of happen There is also a strong reference to Christianity in line 20 where the poet challenges the conventional image seen as a warn future generation against a vaste image of Spiritus Mundi as a profhet. weak religious belief unable to contrast the the Second coming. In the third stanza the poet focuses on aspect of the so called rough beast which should change the future decisively. The monster is presented as a sphinx with a shape with lion body and the head of a man. There is also a strong reference to Christianity in line 20 where the poet challenges the conventional image seen as a weak religious belief unable to contrast the Second coming.


Sailing to Bysantium

The following poem is full of symbolism and it deals with Yeats's history and the gyre: for instance the second line The poem, Sailing to Byzantium, was written byconcept Yeats at of the age of 60 and represents the poet's worries and the perfectly represents the idea of confusion and chaos symbolized by the falcon which stands for either the young disillusionment with the Irish Civil War of 1922 connected with old age. generation or a the mind and falconeras which refers either to those journey who aresince much wiser and more experienced or to The poet uses metaphor to the Byzantium a metaphor for a spiritual the Turkish people was the centre of the body. European civilization and the source of spiritual philosophy. The rst two of them cannot communicate the new generation hates the and old one who sent them to war mind The part deals with the descriptionbecause of the country the poet wants to leave Yeats introduces himself asand a tattered and body are in contrast due to the new developments of philosophy and psychology. coat upon a stick clapping his hands and singing louder and louder. In the second stanza the poet isthese sure three that some of revelation is going to happen soon and his role is actually to The whole poem evolves around main type concepts: warn future generation against a vaste image of Spiritus Mundi as a profhet. In the third stanza the poet focuses on the aspect of the so called rough beast which should change the future decisively. The monster is presented as a sphinx with a shape with lion body and the head of a man. There is also a strong reference to Christianity in line 20 where the poet challenges the conventional image seen as a Immorality weak religious belief unable to contrast the Second coming.

Human art

The poet works on how they may converge

Human spirit


That is no country for old men. The young In one another's arms, birds in the trees - Those dying generations - at their song, The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas, Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long Whatever is begotten, born, and dies. Caught in that sensual music all neglect Monuments of unageing intellect. An aged man is but a paltry thing, A tattered coat upon a stick, unless Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing For every tatter in its mortal dress, Nor is there singing school but studying Monuments of its own magnificence; And therefore I have sailed the seas and come To the holy city of Byzantium. O sages standing in God's holy fire As in the gold mosaic of a wall, Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre, And be the singing-masters of my soul. Consume my heart away; sick with desire And fastened to a dying animal It knows not what it is; and gather me Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take My bodily form from any natural thing, But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make Of hammered gold and gold enamelling To keep a drowsy Emperor awake; Or set upon a golden bough to sing To lords and ladies of Byzantium Of what is past, or passing, or to come.


Datta, Dayadhvam, Damyata.

Year 1888 1910 1915 1922 1925 1984 1965 He was born in Missouri He goes to Europe and studied at the Sorbonne following Henri Bergson's lectures He marries the dancer Vivien Haigh-Wood He publishes The Waste Land He becomes director for Faber and Faber He won the Nobel Prize for Literature He died of emphysema in London Events

Thomas Stearns Eliot

Prose -The Criterion -Murder in the Cathedral -Family Reunion -Tradition and the Individual Talent

Main Works Poetry -Prufrock and Other Observations -Gerontion -The Waste Land -The Hollow Men -Journey of the Magi -Ash-Wednesday -Four Quartets

Modern A!

The Waste Land

The Waste Land is an anthology of fragmentary passages dealing with some of the most famous Greek myths, collected in a poem which escapes any categorization. The epigraph opening the work is once more very esoteric: I saw with my own eyes the Sibyl at Cumae hanging in a cage, and when the boys said to her: Sibyl, what do you want? she answered: I want to die. This lines refer to Petronius's Satyricon telling the misadventures of a former gladiator through the Roman Empire in the rst century A.D. Sibyl of Cumae was a prophetess in service to Apollo and a great beauty. Apollo wished to take her as his lover and offered her anything she desired. She asked to live for as many years as there were grains in a hand full of dust. Though Apollo granted her wish, she still refused to become his lover and in time Sibyl came to regret her deal as she grew old but did not die. She lived for hundreds of years, each year becoming smaller and frailer, Apollo having given her long life but not eternal youth. When Trimalchio speaks of her in the Satyricon, she is little more than a tourist attraction, tiny, ancient, conned, and longing to die. The personality experiencing all the events of the work is Tiresias, the Theban prophet who predicted Ulysses's death. He has an androgynous appearance and the gift of prophecy was given him by Jupiter after Juno made him blind because he revealed that women prove a nine time greater the sexual pleasure than men.


He moves through the whole post-war Europe in the ve sections of which the poem is composed:

N 1 2 3 4 5

Name The Burial of the Dead A Game of Chess The Fire Sermon Death by Water What the Thunder Said

Content A Sterile London is presented through the eyes of Tiresias. Two situations dealing with squalor and splendour are presented juxtaposing present sterility and past fertility A mechanical sexual encounter is described in parallel to the myth of Narcisus and Echo A shipwreck symbolising the shipwreck of society is presented The nal journey to the holy grail is performed and the thunder suggests the members of the group a possible solution to sterility

The central theme emerging from all the ve sections is the juxtaposition of present sterility and past fertility, emphasized by the Technique of Juxtaposition belonging to the mythical method the poet uses. History, a mere repetition of event is now conceived in a parallel view which constantly put past myths in front of present dullness and vice versa. This contrast rendered through mythical allusions was explained by Eliot as a simply way of controlling, or ordering, of giving shape and a signicance to the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history.


Other contributes accounting for the complexity of the poem were given by Ezra Pound who suggested T.S. Eliot removed all the explanatory notes, by the presence of the references to the myth of the Fisher King and inspirational features came from From Ritual to Romance by Weston and from The Golden Bough by Frazer. Eliot did not only use the technique of Juxtaposition:



Technique of Juxtaposition

Coming from the symbolist Jule Laforge, it is used to juxtapose squalid elements of the present to sublime and mythical ones, generally drawn from the past Eliot makes the reader experience the same facts as the character himself, thus involving him even more in the reading Eliot dened it as a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula for a particular emotion. This way the poet could evoke a particular emotion by evoking in the reader images connected to the emotion rather than the emotion itself

Technique of Implication

Technique of the objective correlative


The burial of the Dead

The title of the section is drawn from an Anglican Rite belonging to common funeral service as it describes how meaningless, hollow and dull the life of people is. Eliot probably is conscious of the parallels with the opening of Chaucer's Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

April is the cruellest month1 , breeding Lilacs 2 out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers. [...] Unreal City 3, Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,

The opening line is parallel to the opening of Chaucer's Prologue to the Canterbury Tales . The first of many references to flowers throughout this section, and the poem as a whole. Lilacs are associated with desire, romantic promise, and rejuvenation. Quotation from the French poet Baudelaire


I had not thought death had undone so many 4. Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled5, And each man fixed his eyes before his feet. Flowed up the hill and down King William Street 6, To where Saint Mary Woolnorth kept the hours With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine. There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying: 'Stetson!7 You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!8 That corpse you planted last year in your garden, Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed? O keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men9 , Or with his nails he'll dig it up again! You! hypocrite lecteur! - mon semblable, - mon frere!' 10
Quotation from the Italian poet Dante, Inferno III from the Divine Comedy Quotation from the Italian poet Dante, Inferno IV from the Divine Comedy One of London's streets The name means little, Eliot then denied he had anyone in particularly is his mind. Mylae here refers to a battle in the first Punic War between the Romans and Carthaginians. The dislocation of space and time achieved here is example of the mythical method. Eliot refers to John Webster, an Elizabethan playwright, particularly from his work The White Devil.

The words are from the introductory poem,in Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal, a collection of late nineteenth century poems which speak of hypocrisy and corruption. This is an example of the technique of implication.


The Fire Sermon

Unreal City Under the brown fog of a winter noon11 Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants C.i.f.12 London: documents at sight, 210 Asked me in demotic French To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel Followed by a weekend at the Metropole13 . At the violet hour, when the eyes and back Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits Like a taxi throbbing waiting, 14 I Tiresias , though blind, throbbing between two lives, Old man with wrinkled female breasts 15, can see


The brown fog of the first section is repeated here, with a time difference referring to the opposition of dawn with noon. Cost, Insurance, Freight A Hotel in Brighton Another example of technique of implication involving the reader as the character experiencing the scene himself.




The particular feature of Tiresias's life is underlined here.


At the violet 16 hour, the evening hour that strives Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea, The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights Her stove, and lays out food in tins. Out of the window perilously spread Her drying combinations touched by the sun's last rays, On the divan are piled (at night her bed) Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays. I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest I too awaited the expected guest. He, the young man carbuncular, arrives, A small house agent's clerk, with one bold stare, One of the low on whom assurance sits As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.17 The time is now propitious, as he guesses, The meal is ended, she is bored and tired, Endeavours to engage her in caresses Which are still unreproved, if undesired.18 Flushed and decided, he assaults at once; Exploring hands encounter no defence; His vanity requires no response, And makes a welcome of indifference. (And I Tiresias have foresuffered all


Twilight, probably also a reference to violeNt The silk hat is a sign of recognition for the nouveau rich man. The two lovers show lack of communication which will cause sufferance to the woman.




Enacted on this same divan or bed; I who have sat by Thebes19 below the wall And walked among the lowest of the dead.) Bestows one final patronising kiss, And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit... She turns and looks a moment in the glass, Hardly aware of her departed lover; Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass: 'Well now that's done: and I'm glad it's over.' When lovely woman stoops to folly and Paces about her room again, alone, She smoothes her hair with automatic hand, And puts a record on the gramophone.

The whole passage is an example of the mythical method as the sexual act between the typist and the clerk can be seen from a mythological point of view and interpreted as a parallel with Narcisus and Echo. Narcisus is a character of Greek mythology famous from his beauty, Echo is a nymph who fell in love with him: though she was very beautiful too, Narcisus preferred to watch his face mirrored on a lake and never considered her as a lover. In the end he fell in the lake and died without ever experiencing her love, just like the clerk, so self condent and satised of his condition to never consider the typist's opinions, desires and needs.


Example of mythical method. Thebes is an ancient town left deserted because a malefic curse.


Death by Water

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead, Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell And the profit and loss. A current20 under sea Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell He passes the stages of his age and youth Entering the whirlpool. Gentile or Jew O you who turn the wheel and look windward, Consider Phlebas 21, who was once handsome and tall as you.


This is probably a pun connected to the currants of The Fire Sermon The pot warns the reader about the mortality of human race



What the thunder said

After the torchlight red on sweaty faces After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places The shouting and the crying Prison and palace and reverberation Of thunder of spring over distant mountains He who was living is now dead We who were living are now dying With a little patience Here is no water but only rock Rock and no water and the sandy road The road winding above among the mountains Which are mountains of rock without water If there were water we should stop and drink Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand If there were only water amongst the rock Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit Here one can neither stand not lie nor sit There is not even silence in the mountains But dry sterile thunder without rain There is not even solitude in the mountains But red sullen faces sneer and snarl


From doors of mudcracked houses If there were water And no rock If there were rock And also water And water A spring A pool among the rock If there were the sound of water only Not the cicada And dry grass singing But sound of water over a rock Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop But there is no water Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are only you and I together But when I look ahead up the white road There is always another one walking beside you22 Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded I do not know whether a man or a woman - But who is that on the other side of you? What is that sound high in the air Murmur of maternal lamentation Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth Ringed by the flat horizon only What is the city over the mountains

Reference to the journey of Jesus and Emmaus.


They stripped him of his canvas clothes, And gave him to the ies; Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air They mocked the swollen purple throat Falling towers And the stark and staring eyes: Jerusalem Athens Alexandria And with laughter loud they heaped the shroud Vienna London In which their convict lies. Unreal The Chaplain would not kneel to pray A woman drew her long black hair out tight By his dishonored grave: And fiddled music those strings Cross Nor whisper mark it withon that blessed 23 And bats with baby faces for in the violet light That Christ sinners gave, Whistled, and beat their wings Because the man was one of those And crawled head downward a down blackened wall Whom Christ down came to save. And upside down in air were towers [] Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours And voices singing out of empty cisterns V and exhausted wells. I know hole not among whether be right, In this decayed the Laws mountains Or whether be wrong; In the faint moonlight, the Laws grass is singing All that we know who lie in gaol Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel Ischapel, that the wall strong; There is the empty only the is wind's home. And that each day is like a year, It has no windows, and the door swings, A year whose days Dry bones can harm no one.are long. Only But a cock stood on thethat rooftree this I know, every Law Co co rico co co rico That men have made for Man, In a flash of rst lightning. Then a his damp gust Since Man took brother's life, Bringing rain world began, And the sad But straws the wheat and saves the chaff With a most evil fan. This too I know--and wise it were If each could know the same-23 Terrible visions referring to the quest for the grail haunt the travellers That every prison that men build


Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves Waited for rain, while the black clouds Gathered far distant, over Himavant. The jungle crouched, humped in silence. Then spoke the thunder DA what have we given? 401 My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract By this, and this only, we have existed Which is not to be found in our obituaries Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor In our empty rooms DA 25 Dayadhvam : I have heard the key Turn in the door once and turn once only We think of the key, each in his prison thinking of the key, each confirms a prison Only at nightfall, aethereal rumours Datta24:


Meaning to give, from Upanishad sacred text, it also remember the sound of the thunder Be sympathetic, the second advice from the thunder, an Indhu imperative



Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus26 DA 27 Damyata : The boat responded Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar The sea was calm, your heart would have responded Gaily, when invited, beating obedient To controlling hands

I sat upon the shore with the arid plain behind me Shall I at least set my lands in order? London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down29 Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina 30 Quando fiam uti chelidon31 - O swallow swallow Fishing28 ,


Roman general who betrayed his people for excess of in self confidence Practise self control, the third advice from the thunder, a superior and mysterious entity The protagonist of the passage is now revealed and probably refers to the myth of The Fisher King, taken from From Ritual to Romance by Weston Verse from a famous English rhyme Quotation from the Italian poet Dante, Purgatory XXVI from the Divine Comedy Quotation from a Provencal poem







Le Prince d'Aquitaine la tour abolie 32 These fragments I have shored against my ruins Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo's mad again33 Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata. Shantih shantih shantih 34


Quotation from El Desdichado by Gerard de Nerval Quotation from The Spanish Tragedy by Kyd Peace, peace, peace, the final message of the whole poem from Upanishad sacred text




The Hollow Men

Sometimes read as an extension of The Waste Land, the poem open with two shocking epigraphs: 1. A penny for the Old Guy in relation to the Gunspowder plot by Guy Fawkes 2. Mistah Kurtz he dead in relation to Heart of Darkness by J.Conrad The second epigraph briey allows the explanation of the central theme of the poem: degradation due to the rejection of good is inevitable for men who will eventually be taken to despair by the realization of their guilt.

We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Leaning together Headpiece filled with straw. Alas! Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rats feet over broken glass In our dry cellar Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion; Those who have crossed With direct eyes, to deaths other Kingdom Remember usif at allnot as lost Violent souls, but only As the hollow men The stuffed men.


[...] III This is the dead land This is cactus land Here the stone images Are raised, here they receive The supplication of a dead mans hand Under the twinkle of a fading star. [...] IV The eyes are not here There are no eyes here In this valley of dying stars In this hollow valley This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms In this last of meeting places We grope together And avoid speech Gathered on this beach of the tumid river Sightless, unless The eyes reappear As the perpetual star Multifoliate rose Of deaths twilight kingdom The hope only Of empty men.


V Here we go round the prickly pear Prickly pear prickly pear Here we go round the prickly pear At five oclock in the morning. Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow

V For Vendetta (2005) inspired to the facts of 5th of November


Stop all the clocks.

Year 1907 1925 1928 1930 1937 1939 1946 1973

Events He was born in York from a middle class family He attends Oxford University founding a literary circle named Auden Circle He lives under the republic of Weimar in Germany ir Samuel Ferguson He publishes his rst collection of poems called The Poems shes his rst of poems called He takes partcollection in the Spanish civil war The Poems He moves to USA because of the second world war He becomes an American citizen He dies of heart attack in Vienna

Wystan Hugh Auden

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Main Works Poems The orators Look, stranger! Letters from Iceland Refugee Blues Another time The Unknown Citizen New Year Letter The Sea and the Mirror The age of anxiety The Shield of Achilles Homage to Clio

Modern A!


Wystan H. Auden called his rst collection simply The Poems because he wanted the reader to confront poetry itself. In fact most of his rst poems gained different interpretations due to the absence of the title. According to Auden the nature of the writer is like the dyer's hand, it is subdued by the material in which it operates: the expressive forms, reports, metrics, prosody, scan and rhymes. Anyway even the poet had many inspirations since he was really involved in political problems and issues of the time. As he attended the Oxford University he started studying and appreciating two different currents of thoughts which are: Freudian concept of subconscious: he conceived that the psychologists theories did not just open a new eld but created a new way of being. Therefore he stated that they are still alive but in a world he changed simply by looking back with no regrets referring to Freud's patients. Furthermore he wrote a poem named In Memory of Sigmund Freud in 1939 which celebrated the philosopher's death and reected on the similarities between the work of the poet and the one of the philosopher. Theory of Marxism: together with a group of young artist, he expressed a left-winged viewpoint which believes in the principles of Marxism such as abolition of private property and social equalities and follows the ideas of some revolutionary thinkers such as W. Yeats. The year 1939 was to become one of the most important of his life, since he decided to move to America in order to avoid all the homosexual sentences he received and the outbreak of the Second World War. There he established a new culture centre, getting involved in New York's university where he taught for some years. Auden stressed the popularising function of verse and wanted to avoid any sense that modernism was uniform or restrictive orthodoxy. He employed a great variety of intricate and extremely difcult technical forms and he nearly used language that is interesting in texture as well as brilliant verbally. One of the most regarded of Auden's attributes was the ability to think symbolically and rationally at the same time, so that intellectual ideas were transformed into a uniquely personal, idiosyncratic, often witty imagistic idiom. One of the best poems which better represents this thought is Funeral Blues (1940) in which the reader is taken in medias res of the poem immediately from the beginning with the famous sentence Stop all the clocks.


Since the poet has travelled throughout the world it is important to divide all his poems into three sections which better suit the themes and the poet's attitude: -People and place = these poems deal with the theme of sorrow and the relationship between man and nature. -Lighter poems = this genre includes some poems that may astonish readers with their lights comic tone and domesticity. Funeral Blues is probably the best of Auden's poems and perfectly represents these thoughts and the awareness that nothing lasts forever. -Occasional poems = they celebrate the death of great gures such as Freud or Yeats and tries to interpret great historical events as the German invasion of Poland experienced in September 1, 1939


Another Time: Funeral Blues

The following poem Funeral Blues was written by Auden in 1940 and belongs to the poetical collection called Another Time which best expresses the moment when Auden decided to leave Great Britain. The reader can nd different version of this poem and the title itself was chosen three years after the poet's death. In the rst lines of this free and anguished funeral poem, readers are unaware of what has happened. Auden speaks in the present, using an arresting demanding tone to grab the attention of the reader. He chooses to mention an instrument that measures time, his second image relates to communication - or the lack of it. He wishes time to stand still, and for silence. For now, this may be in respect for the dead, but later it seems to be because he feels that the loss of a loved one leaves no meaning in time, or in senses such as hearing. His demands suggest a need to regain control over his helplessness in the face of death. In line 5 the author emphasizes the uselessness of living condition and in line 9 he focuses on the lost of directions due to this fatal event. The whole poem ends with the nal paradox which greatly represents the the theme of the lyric and the task of the poet.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead. Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policeman wear black cotton gloves.


He was my north, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now; put out every one, Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun, Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods; For nothing can ever come to any good.

Hear the reading of the poem


In memory of W. B.Yeats

The next poem belongs to the so called occasional poems and it is dedicated to Sir William Butler Yeats. The poem, entitled In Memory of William Butler Yeats, is an elegy written to mourn the death of the famous author, but it is different from the traditional elegy. Conventionally in an elegy all nature is represented as mourning the death, here nature is presented as going on its curse indifferent and unaffected. The great poet's death goes unnoticed both by man and nature: human life goes on as usual and so does nature. Secondly, in the traditional elegy the dead is gloried and his death is said to be a great loss for mankind at large. Auden does not glorify Yeats. The whole poem is divided into three sections, each of the three deals respectively with the theme of nature and human life, the task of the author and role of the poetry, the social aim of the poet in giving voice to such funeral. In the rst section it is particular relevant the third stanza where he compares with four brilliant metaphors the body of the poet with a region whose provinces revolted, his mind with a town whose squares are empty, his heart with the suburbs dominated by complete silence and his feelings with the current without electricity. The second section lasts only 10 lines, but they are enough to explain that poetry makes nothing happen but at the same time is a way of happening, a mouth to mean something which lives, a message. In the nal section Auden express all his contempt for the contemporary society which is inadequate and indifferent to the death of Yeats and therefore he wants to express that poetry is the only means to heal all the evils of society and hope.


I He disappeared in the dead of winter: The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted, And snow disfigured the public statues; The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day. What instruments we have agree The day of his death was a dark cold day. Far from his illness The wolves ran on through the evergreen forests, The peasant river was untempted by the fashionable quays; By mourning tongues The death of the poet was kept from his poems. But for him it was his last afternoon as himself, An afternoon of nurses and rumours; The provinces of his body revolted, The squares of his mind were empty, Silence invaded the suburbs, The current of his feeling failed; he became his admirers. Now he is scattered among a hundred cities And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections, To find his happiness in another kind of wood And be punished under a foreign code of conscience. The words of a dead man Are modified in the guts of the living. But in the importance and noise of to-morrow When the brokers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the Bourse, And the poor have the sufferings to which they are fairly accustomed, And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom, A few thousand will think of this day As one thinks of a day when one did something slightly unusual. What instruments we have agree The day of his death was a dark cold day. II You were silly like us; your gift survived it all: The parish of rich women, physical decay, Yourself. Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry. Now Ireland has her madness and her weather still, For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives In the valley of its making where executives Would never want to tamper, flows on south From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs, Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives, A way of happening, a mouth.


III Earth, receive an honoured guest: William Yeats is laid to rest. Let the Irish vessel lie Emptied of its poetry. In the nightmare of the dark All the dogs of Europe bark, And the living nations wait, Each sequestered in its hate; Intellectual disgrace Stares from every human face, And the seas of pity lie Locked and frozen in each eye. Follow, poet, follow right To the bottom of the night, With your unconstraining voice Still persuade us to rejoice; With the farming of a verse Make a vineyard of the curse, Sing of human unsuccess In a rapture of distress; In the deserts of the heart Let the healing fountain start, In the prison of his days Teach the free man how to praise.


September 1, 1939

The last poem is one of the most famous ever composed by Auden. It is entitled September 1, 1939 and was written as a reaction of the German invasion of Poland. Here Auden's great inspiration comes from Yeats's Easter 1916, as the stanza scheme can prove. Easter 1916 is in fact another important poem about a historical event which, exactly as Auden's poem, moves from a description of historical failures and frustrations to a possible transformation in the present or future. Anyway this poem is certainly a poem about war and shares collective guilt, apathy of the modern society, unable to x a situation which was getting worse and worse week by week. The language employed is dramatic and concrete and best suits the task of the poem itself and even the tone is declamatory in order to better emphasize the state. In the rst lines there is a consideration about war which is presented by Auden as obsess(es) our private lines and brings the unmistakable odour of death. The references to English poetry are several and especially in the last two stanza of the poem the reader can notice two lines: the rst one is no one exists alone which refers to John Donne (metaphysical poetry), the second one is show an afrming ame which ends the poem referring to England 1819 of P.B Shelley's glorious phantom to illumine the tempestuous day of England.
Hear the reading of the poem


Exiled Thucydides knew All that a speech can say About Democracy, And what dictators do, The elderly rubbish they talk To an apathetic grave; Analysed all in his book. The enlightenment driven away, The habit-forming pain, Mismanagement and grief: We must suffer them all again. Into this neutral air Where blind skyscrapers use Their full height to proclaim The strength of Collective Man, Each language pours its vain Competitive excuse: But who can live for long In a euphoric dream; Out of the mirror they stare, Imperialism's face And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar Cling to their average day: The lights must never go out, The music must always play, All the conventions conspire To make this fort assume The furniture of home; Lest we should see where we are, Lost in a haunted wood, Children afraid of the night Who have never been happy or good. The windiest militant trash Important Persons shout Is not so crude as our wish: What mad Nijinsky wrote About Diaghilev Is true of the normal heart; For the error bred in the bone Of each woman and each man Craves what it cannot have, Not universal love, but to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark Into the ethical life The dense commuters come, Repeating their morning vow, "I will be true to the wife, I'll concentrate more on my work," And the helpless governors wake To resume their compulsory game: Who can release them now, Who can reach the deaf, Who can speak for the dumb? All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of Authority Whose buildings grope the sky: There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen of the police;

Defenceless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed


I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
Year 1882 1902 1904 1914 1917 1934 1934 He was born in Dublin He graduates in modern languages On the 16th of June he steps out with Nora Barnacle for the rst time He publishes Dubliners He receives an anonymous donation to overcome economic hardships He marries Nora Barnacle Ulysses is published in the USA after a trial for the accuse of pornography He dies in Switzerland after moving there to avoid Hitler's advance over Europe Main Works Prose Dubliners A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Ulysses Finnegans Wake Exiles Poetry Collection Chamber Music Events

James Joyce


Modern A!

Joyce can be said to be an unconventional Irishman because unlike most of Irish people of the early XX Century he had a particular attitude towards nationalism which caused him to be dened as a rebel among rebels. He disliked the common way nationalism was interpreted and preferred to think that the only way to create a national conscience was to increase the awareness of Ireland from a European and cosmopolitan point of view. Though he believed in this European dimension most of his works are set in Dublin which even becomes a character thanks to the precision Dublin is portrayed through his citizens, people and town live in a mutual relationship which covers all of his literary works. Though being educated as a Jesuit, he refuses the ofcial doctrine and is hostile to the church identication and control over Irish minds. He was a talented singer and musician though suffering from a poor eye sight: this gives us one more reason to read his works aloud because he claimed that the way a text sounds is much more important than the way it is written. He offers a new conception of time shared with Virginia Woolf. Time is not spatial but subjective, it elapses or compresses depending on the situation characters are living. A clear example of this compressing time is Bloomsday, the 16th of June, in memory of the day Nora Barnacle made her fondness clear to him. His masterpiece Ulysses takes place in one day only. The author believes in the impersonality of the artist: his view of nationalism is not shown but many different conceptions are offered: in doing so he takes the distance from the authors trying to inspire Irish Renaissance such as William Butler Yeats with this Easter 1916 poem.



Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories, the last of which, The Dead, is considered the rst of Joyce's Masterpieces. The aim of such a collection was to describe the centre of paralysis: Joyce saw Dublin as the best symbol to depict a moral history of Ireland. The collection was reviewed by the illustrious poet Ezra Pound with whom Joyce collaborated in some of his literary achievements. The short stories are divided into 4 sections:

Childhood The sisters An encounter Araby

Adolescence After the Race The Boarding House Eveline Two Galliants

Maturity A little cloud Clay Counterparts A Painful Case

Public Life Ivy Day in the Committee room A mother Grace


The 15th story, The Dead, escapes any order of categorization.

Even if the stories are short stories and can be read singularly, they present common features and themes which make thempart of a collection and belong to the same meaning area
Theme Nationalism Epiphany1 East Paralysis The window Industrial preminence Presented in: A Little Cloud, The Dead The Sister, Eveline Araby, The Sister Eveline, The Sister Eveline, The Dead After the Race Brief explanation of each situation A Little Cloud: Mr Duffy thinks of nationalism as movement which cannot change things, useless. he sister: Father Flynn is shocked by the destruction of the chalice, event which causes his mental decline he sister: Father Flynn is shocked by the destruction of the chalice, event which causes his mental decline Eveline suffers from paralysis of the will as she cannot escape her fate while Father Flynn suffers from physical paralysis In both the short stories the window is the place where G.Conroy and Eveline reect upon the delusions and pain of their lives. Cars dominate the scenes with their sounds and colours.

Epiphany is a moment of sudden revelation triggered by a trivial event, sound or sensation which leads the character to a sudden self-realisation about himself.


She sat at the window watching the evening invade the avenue. Her head was leaned against the window curtains and in her nostrils was the odour of dusty cretonne. She was tired. Few people passed. The man out of the last house passed on his way home; she heard his footsteps clacking along the concrete pavement and afterwards crunching on the cinder path before the new red houses. One time there used to be a eld there in which they used to play every evening with other people's children. Then a man from Belfast bought the eld and built houses in it--not like their little brown houses but bright brick houses with shining roofs. The children of the avenue used to play together in that eld --the Devines, the Waters, the Dunns, little Keogh the cripple, she and her brothers and sisters. Ernest, however, never played: he was too grown up. Her father used often to hunt them in out of the eld with his blackthorn stick; but usually little Keogh used to keep nix and call out when he saw her father coming. Still they seemed to have been rather happy then. Her father was not so bad then; and besides, her mother was alive. That was a long time ago; she and her brothers and sisters were all grown up her mother was dead. Tizzie Dunn was dead, too, and the Waters had gone back to England. Everything changes. Now she was going to go away like the others, to leave her home. Home! She looked round the room, reviewing all its familiar objects which she had dusted once a week for so many years, wondering where on earth all the dust came from. Perhaps she would never see again those familiar objects from which she had never dreamed of being divided. And yet during all those years she had never found out the name of the priest whose yellowing photograph hung on the wall above the broken harmonium beside the coloured print of the promises made to Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque. He had been a school friend of her father. Whenever he showed the photograph to a visitor her father used to pass it with a casual word: "He is in Melbourne now." She had consented to go away, to leave her home. Was that wise? She tried to weigh each side of the question. In her home anyway she had shelter and food; she had those whom she had known all her life about her. O course she had to


work hard, both in the house and at business. What would they say of her in the Stores when they found out that she had run away with a fellow? Say she was a fool, perhaps; and her place would be lled up by advertisement. Miss Gavan would be glad. She had always had an edge on her, especially whenever there were people listening. "Miss Hill, don't you see these ladies are waiting?" "Look lively, Miss Hill, please." She would not cry many tears at leaving the Stores. But in her new home, in a distant unknown country, it would not be like that. Then she would be married... she, Eveline. People would treat her with respect then. She would not be treated as her mother had been. Even now, though she was over nineteen, she sometimes felt herself in danger of her father's violence. She knew it was that that had given her the palpitations. When they were growing up he had never gone for her like he used to go for Harry and Ernest, because she was a girl but latterly he had begun to threaten her and say what he would do to her only for her dead mother's sake. And no she had nobody to protect her. Ernest was dead and Harry, who was in the church decorating business, was nearly always down somewhere in the country. Besides, the invariable squabble for money on Saturday nights had begun to weary her unspeakably. She always gave her entire wages--seven shillings--and Harry always sent up what he could but the trouble was to get any money from her father. He said she used to squander the money, that she had no head, that he wasn't going to give her his hard-earned money to throw about the streets, and much more, for he was usually fairly bad on Saturday night. In the end he would give her the money and ask her had she any intention of buying Sunday's dinner. [...] She was about to explore another life with Frank. Frank was very kind, manly, open-hearted. She was to go away with him by the night-boat to be his wife and to live with him in Buenos Aires where he had a home waiting for her. How well she remembered the rst time she had seen him; he was lodging in a house on the main road where


she used You mayto depend visit. It upon seemed it, sir, a few he weeks told Mr. ago. Utterson: He was I standing have him at in the my gate, hand. hisHe peaked mustcap have pushed lost his back head, on or his he head never and would have left the stick or, above all, burned the cheque-book. Why, moneys life to the man. We have nothing to do his hair tumbled forward over a face of bronze. Then they had come to know each other. He used to meet her outside but wait for him at the bank, the He handbills. the Stores every evening andand see get herout home. took her to see The Bohemian Girl and she felt elated as she sat in an unaccustomed partwas of the theatre with him. He was awfully fond of music and sang a little. People knew they This last, however, not so easy of accomplishment; for Mr. Hyde had numbered few familiars eventhat the master of thecourting were servant-maid and, when had only he sang seenabout him twice; the lass his that family loves could a sailor, nowhere she always be traced; felthe pleasantly had never confused. been photographed; He used to call and Poppens the few who could him widely, as common will. Only on one point, they agreed; her out of fun.describe First of all it differed had been an excitement for observers her to have a fellow and then she were had begun to like and that wastales the haunting sense of unexpressed deformity withboy which the fugitive impressed his of beholders. him. He had of distant countries. He had started as a deck at a pound a month on a ship the Allan Line going out to Canada. He told her the names of the ships he had been on and the names of the different services. He had sailed through the Straits of Magellan and he told her stories of the terrible Patagonians. He had fallen on his feet in Buenos Aires, he said, and had come over to the old country just for a holiday. Of course, her father had found out the affair and had forbidden her to have anything to say to him. "I know these sailor chaps," he said. One day he had quarrelled with Frank and after that she had to meet her lover secretly. The evening deepened in the avenue. The white of two letters in her lap grew indistinct. One was to Harry; the other was to her father. Ernest had been her favourite but she liked Harry too. Her father was becoming old lately, she noticed; he would miss her. Sometimes he could be very nice. Not long before, when she had been laid up for a day, he had read her out a ghost story and made toast for her at the re. Another day, when their mother was alive, they had all gone for a picnic to the Hill of Howth. She remembered her father putting on her mothers bonnet to make the children laugh. Her time was running out but she continued to sit by the window, leaning her head against the window curtain, inhaling the odour of dusty cretonne. Down far in the avenue she could hear a street organ playing. She knew the air Strange that it should come that very night to remind her of the promise to her mother, her promise to keep the home together as long as she could. She remembered the last night of her mother's illness; she was again in the close dark room at the other side of the hall and outside she heard a melancholy air of Italy. The organ-player had been ordered to go away and given sixpence. She remembered her father strutting back into the sickroom saying: "Damned Italians! coming over here!"


As she mused the pitiful vision of her mother's life laid its spell on the very quick of her being--that life of commonplace sacrices closing in nal craziness. She trembled as she heard again her mother's voice saying constantly with foolish insistence: "Derevaun Seraun! Derevaun Seraun!" 2 She stood up in a sudden impulse of terror. Escape! She must escape! Frank would save her. He would give her life, perhaps love, too. But she wanted to live. Why should she be unhappy? She had a right to happiness. Frank would take her in his arms, fold her in his arms. He would save her. She stood among the swaying crowd in the station at the North Wall. He held her hand and she knew that he was speaking to her, saying something about the passage over and over again. The station was full of soldiers with brown baggages. Through the wide doors of the sheds she caught a glimpse of the black mass of the boat, lying in beside the quay wall, with illumined portholes. She answered nothing. She felt her cheek pale and cold and, out of a maze of distress, she prayed to God to direct her, to show her what was her duty. The boat blew a long mournful whistle into the mist. If she went, tomorrow she would be on the sea with Frank, steaming towards Buenos Ayres. Their passage had been booked. Could she still draw back after all he had done for her? Her distress awoke a nausea in her body and she kept moving her lips in silent fervent prayer.A bell clanged upon her heart. She felt him seize her hand: "Come!" All the seas of the world tumbled about her heart. He was drawing her into them: he would drown her. She gripped with both hands at the iron railing. "Come!" No! No! No! It was impossible. Her hands clutched the iron in frenzy. Amid the seas she sent a cry of anguish. "Eveline! Evvy!" He rushed beyond the barrier and called to her to follow. He was shouted at to go on but he still called to her. She set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal. Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition.

In Gaelic, the end of pleasure is pain.



The whole simple plot takes place is a single day, the 16th of June 1904, the so called Bloomsday when Joyce and Nora Barnacle met for the rst time Leopold (Ulysses) wakes up at 8am and spends his day in common actions of every day. He goes to buy sweets, posts a letter, goes to the library, attends a funeral and visits a brothel where he is saved by Stephen (Telemachus) In the meanwhile Molly, Leopold's wife (Penelope), wakes up at 2.15am and thinks of her future day (see next given passage to deepen about her monologue). Stephen and Leopold present a very interesting parallel. While Stephen (the author's alter ego trying to teach art to Dubliners) is looking for a father and a guide to help him. Leopold feels the need of a son, found in Stephen Dedalus, very close to the Stephen protagonist of A portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
Stephen Is looking for a father Leopold Is looking for a son

Has rejected Catholic Is a Jew faith

They meet and satisfy their respective desires. They complete each other as outcasts.


Like Eliot Joyce makes use of the mythical method in which he juxtaposes the glorious deeds told by Homer in the Odyssey to the common, banal actions of every day habits carried out by Leopold. In doing so past becomes a model to follow, a fallen perfect world which cannot be reached anymore. The sorcerer Circe (name from which the world sorcerer comes) is now linked to a brothel, the visit to Hades is a common funeral. Part of the mythical method is also the division in 18 books chosen by Joyce according to Homer. Chapters 1-3 are Telemachiad, 4-15 Odyssey and 16-18 Nostos (Coming Home): it's clear that every section deals with the deeds of particular character. The setting of the whole work is Dublin: the description of places of interests, roads and building is so clear and precise that critics have said Dublin becomes a character of the novel: Leopold's mood and the places he visits become almost undisinguishable. Though this prose work is considered an overall achievement of world literature, at the beginning it could only be published in the US because of the accuse of pornography it received. In the end the question was solved thanks to an enlightened judge who upheld the integrity of the Joycean novel allowing it to be published anywhere. The style is typical revolutionary prose followed by Joyce: he makes use of paradoxes, quotations, puns and the dream language exemplied by Molly's monologue is one of the greatest achievements of British Literature.


Mollys monologue
The following passage taken from Ulysses is considered one of the most complex, powerful and revolutionary monologue in literature. Joyce makes use of the interior monologue, medium of the stream of consciousness3, the perfect attempt to render the thoughts of a character as they gash up in his/her mind. The monologue has been dened the Yes I will sermon thanks to the repetition of word yes Molly uses so many times especially in the middle of the extract. The revolutionary prose with total absence of punctuation was chosen by Joyce to give the idea of stream of thought unstopped by any linguistic convention in the effort to render the ow as good as possible. Love for owers is the leitmotiv of the extract as Molly connects all her sensations to a ower, its colour and its shape. The monologue can be divided into many steps summarised in the table below to make the reading of the passage clearer. Colours are used to identify which section we are referring to:
Molly wakes up and realizes it is late She is not able to fall asleep and thinks of here immediate future (clean the piano, buy a cake, prepare for Stephen's visit) and her past in Lombard Street. She deals with the beauty of nature and her love for owers. She scorns atheist because they declare themselves as atheists by pray a friar to be forgiven before death because they are afraid of hell She remember the rst day she met Leopold and why she liked him so much. He was aware she could always get round him. She remembers her days in Gibraltar, the curious people she met from a different culture and her love for owers which grew thanks to the favourable climate.

Stream of Consciousness is an expression taken from William James' studies of philosophy in which he stated that consciousness is river or a stream and does not appear chopped up in bits. See Modern History introduction for more.


...a quarter after what an unearthly hour I suppose they're just getting up in China now combing out their pigtails for the day well soon have the nuns ringing the angelus they've nobody coming in to spoil their sleep except an odd priest or two for his night ofce the alarm clock next door at cock shout clattering the brains out of itself let me see if I can doze off 1 2 3 4 5 what kind of owers are those they invented like the stars the wallpaper in Lombard street was much nicer the apron he gave me was like that something only I only wore it twice better lower this lamp and try again so as I can get up early Ill go to Lambes there beside Findlaters and get them to send us some owers to put about the place in case he brings him home tomorrow today I mean no no Fridays an unlucky day rst I want to do the place up someway the dust grows in it I think while I'm asleep then we can have music and cigarettes I can accompany him I must clean the keys of the piano with milk what'll I wear shall I wear a white rose or those fairy cakes in Liptons I love the smell of a rich big shop a 7d a lb or the other ones with the cherries in them and the pinky sugar 11d a couple of lbs of course a nice plant for the middle of the table Id get that cheaper in wait where's this I saw them not long ago I love owers I'd love to have the whole place swimming in roses God of heaven there's nothing like nature the wild mountains then the sea and the waves rushing then the beautiful country with elds of oats and wheat and all kinds of things and all the ne cattle going about that would do your heart good to see rivers and lakes and owers all sorts of shapes and smells and colours springing up even out of the ditches primroses and violets nature it is as for them saying there's no God I wouldn't give a snap of my two ngers for all their learning why don't they go and create something I often asked him atheists or whatever they call themselves go and wash the cobbles off themselves rst then they go howling for the priest and they dying and why why because they're afraid of hell on account of their bad conscience ah yes I know them well who was the rst person in the universe before there was anybody that made it all who ah that they don't know neither do I so there you are they might as well try to stop the sun from rising tomorrow the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes rst I gave him the bit of seed cake out of my mouth and it was leap year like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said I was a ower of the mountain yes so we are owers all a woman's body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes and I wouldn't answer rst only looked out over the sea and the sky I was thinking of so many things he didn't know of Mulvey and Mr Stanhope and Hester and father and old captain Groves and the sailors playing all birds y and I say stoop and washing up dishes they called it on the pier and the sentry in front of the governors house with the thing round his white helmet poor devil half roasted and the Spanish girls laughing in their shawls and their tall combs and the auctions in the morning the Greeks and the jews and the Arabs and the devil knows who else from all the ends of Europe and Duke street and the gowl market all clucking outside Larby Sharons


and the poor donkeys slipping half asleep and the vague fellows in the cloaks asleep in the shade on the steps and the big wheels of the carts of the bulls and the old castle thousands of years old yes and those handsome Moors all in white and turbans like kings asking you to sit down in their little bit of a shop and Ronda with the old windows or the posadas glancing eyes a lattice hid for her lover to kiss the iron and the wineshops half open at night and the castanets and the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchman going about serene with his lamp and 0 that awful deep down torrent 0 and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like re and the glorious sunsets and the g trees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain ower and rst I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.


Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semitransparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.

Year She was born in London


1882 1905 1912 1913 1927 1940 1941

She gives life to the Bloomsbury Group She marries Leonard Woolf ir Samuel Ferguson She make an attempt to suicide shes his rst collection of poems called The Poems She publishes To The Lighthouse She publishes her last work, Between the Acts She commits suicide 1 Main Works

Virginia Woolf

-Mrs Dalloway -To the Lighthouse -Orlando -A Room of One's Own

Modern A!

Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came. I can't fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can't even write this properly. I can't read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. V


Virginia Woolf is a modern novelist, literature theoretician and activist considered one of the most inuential of the XX Century. Her interest was always directed towards giving voice to the interior sensations and feeling of character (like Proust, Joyce, Svevo) rather than describing events as a previous novels used to do. In doing so, she preferred to write novels which last a very little amount of time by compressing it or a very wide one by elapsing time over centuries. In Modern Fiction she theorised that :

If a writer were a free man and not a slave, if he could write what he chose, not what he must, if he could base his work upon his own feeling and not upon convention, there would be no plot, no comedy, no tragedy, no love interest or catastrophe in the accepted style and said that Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semitransparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end. Is it not the task of the novelist to convey this varying, this unknown and uncircumscribed spirit, whatever aberration or complexity it may display, with as little mixture of the alien and external as possible?
Though she was very close to Joyce for many of the techniques they implied she took the distance from his conception of interior monologue preferring to keep punctuation and order and using a more traditional, poetic, allusive and emotional language rather than following the language drastic experimentation from the Irish author.


She also made use of different cinematic techniques:

Technique Flashback Tracking shot

Description Events are not described chronologically but as they gash up in the characters' mind As in a cinematic technique where pictures are taken from a moving camera, in literature the point of view moves along a line or a track Characters do not move, they stay xed in space while their consciousness moves The spatial element changes, consciousness stays xed

Time-montage technique Space-montage technique

She also drew the distinctions between Edwardians novelists and Georgians accusing the rst ones not to be able to build the interior essence of characters as they were describing houses with no one in them, material bodies without a soul, as she wrote in Mr. Bennett e Mrs. Brown. Her ability in treating time has been recognised as one of the greatest ever in literature: she could compress it as in Mrs. Dalloway and in the rst and third section of To the Lighthouse or let it be elapsed as in Orlando, taking place over three centuries.


Mrs Dalloway

Though Mrs Dalloway has been dened as a novel of train of thoughts, a novel where the plot plays a secondary role, some main events must be summarised. The novel begins when Mrs Dalloway wakes up at 10am in her at on and ordinary Wednesday of an ordinary June. She goes to Bond Street to buy owers for the party she is giving that same evening (she is the wife of a rich Conservative MP): there our point of view shifts from the ower shop to the outside road where the sound of a car has attracted Mrs Dalloway's actions. The scene has in fact moved to Septimus, Virginia Woolf's alter ego and Lucrezia Warrensmith's husband. He is a shell-shocked soldier, sexual impotent and sometimes feeling confused because of the shock he suffered during the war: he currently undergoes medical treatment. Then the scene moves back to Clarissa Dalloway who has gone back home where Peter Walsh, the man she loved but did not marry for social and economic reasons, makes a visit. After he leaves, she goes to Regent Park where the Warrensmiths are walking to visit Sir William Bradshaw for a medical treatment. Soon later, Septimus jumps out of the window committing suicide and Clarissa is told about this event by the Bradshaws who attended her party. Suddenly she feels an immediate and close relationship with Septimus though they had never met or shared a word. The setting, London, is described in detail and reminds of Joyce's Dublin for its precision and attention paid to every detail. Being said that all the cinematic techniques mentioned above are constantly used in this novel, it is particularly interesting how Septimus constitutes a double with Virginia Woolf herself. The two of them suffer from a king of mental illness even if caused by different situations, they love literature and are writers, they are attracted by suicide. Also Clarissa and Septimus are similar in some aspects as they depend upon their partner but while Septimus loses awareness of the outside world, Clarissa never does so even though she feels frustrated because of her relationship which makes her life a series of silly events.


Clarissas Party
What business had the Bradshaws to talk of death at her party? A young man had killed himself. And they talked of it at her party--the Bradshaws, talked of death. He had killed himself--but how? Always her body went through it rst, when she was told, suddenly, of an accident; her dress amed, her body burnt. He had thrown himself from a window. Up had ashed the ground; through him, blundering, bruising, went the rusty spikes. There he lay with a thud, thud, thud in his brain, and then a suffocation of blackness. So she saw it. But why had he done it? And the Bradshaws talked of it at her party! She had once thrown a shilling into the Serpentine, never anything more. But he had ung it away. They went on living (she would have to go back; the rooms were still crowded; people kept on coming). They (all day she had been thinking of Bourton, of Peter, of Sally), they would grow old. A thing there was that mattered; a thing, wreathed about with chatter, defaced, obscured in her own life, let drop every day in corruption, lies, chatter. This he had preserved. Death was deance. Death was an attempt to communicate; people feeling the impossibility of reaching the centre which, mystically, evaded them; closeness drew apart; rapture faded, one was alone. There was an embrace in death. But this young man who had killed himself--had he plunged holding his treasure? "If it were now to die, 'twere now to be most happy," she had said to herself once, coming down in white. Or there were the poets and thinkers. Suppose he had had that passion, and had gone to Sir William Bradshaw, a great doctor yet to her obscurely evil, without sex or lust, extremely polite to women, but capable of some indescribable outrage--forcing


your soul, that was it--if this young man had gone to him, and Sir William had impressed him, like that, with his power, might he not then have said (indeed she felt it now), Life is made intolerable; they make life intolerable, men like that? Then (she had felt it only this morning) there was the terror; the overwhelming incapacity, one's parents giving it into one's hands, this life, to be lived to the end, to be walked with serenely; there was in the depths of her heart an awful fear. Even now, quite often if Richard had not been there reading the Times, so that she could crouch like a bird and gradually revive, send roaring up that immeasurable delight, rubbing stick to stick, one thing with another, she must have perished. But that young man had killed himself. Somehow it was her disaster--her disgrace. It was her punishment to see sink and disappear here a man, there a woman, in this profound darkness, and she forced to stand here in her evening dress. She had schemed; she had pilfered. She was never wholly admirable. She had wanted success. Lady Bexborough and the rest of it. And once she had walked on the terrace at Bourton. It was due to Richard; she had never been so happy. Nothing could be slow enough; nothing last too long. No pleasure could equal, she thought, straightening the chairs, pushing in one book on the shelf, this having done with the triumphs of youth, lost herself in the process of living, to nd it, with a shock of delight, as the sun rose, as the day sank. Many a time had she gone, at Bourton when they were all talking, to look at the sky; or seen it between people's shoulders at dinner; seen it in London when she could not sleep. She walked to the window. It held, foolish as the idea was, something of her own in it, this country sky, this sky above Westminster. She parted the curtains; she looked. Oh, but how surprising!--in the room opposite the old lady stared straight at her! She was going to bed. And the sky. It will be a solemn sky, she had thought, it will be a dusky sky, turning away its cheek in beauty. But there it was--ashen pale, raced over quickly by tapering vast clouds. It was new to her. The wind must have risen. She was going to bed, in the room opposite. It was fascinating to watch her, moving about, that old lady, crossing the room, coming to the window. Could she see her? It was fascinating, with people still laughing and shouting in the drawing-room, to watch that old woman, quite quietly, going to bed. She pulled the blind now. The clock began striking. The young man had killed himself; but she did not pity him; with the clock striking the hour, one, two, three, she did not pity him, with all this going on. There! the old lady had put out her light! the whole house was dark now with this going on, she repeated, and the words came to her, Fear no more the heat of the sun. She must go back to them. But what an extraordinary night! She felt somehow very like him--the young man who had killed himself. She felt glad that he had done it; thrown it away. The clock was striking. The leaden circles dissolved in the air. He made her feel the beauty; made her feel the fun. But she must go back. She must assemble. She must nd Sally and Peter. And she came in from the little room.


To the Lighthouse

The plot, held on a ABA structure in divided into 3 sections:

Number 1

Duration A single day

Title The Window

Plot Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay take their three children to the seaside with many friends and guests. There, their son James desires to visit the lighthouse but he is not allowed to do so because of the weather. Lily Briscoe, one of the most interesting among the guests, begins to portray Mrs. Ramsay on a canvas though she will leave her work unnished. The Ramsays organize a beautiful dinner party and at the end of the evening Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay meet alone and talk about their feelings for each other. Time elapses, war breaks out, Mrs Ramsay suddenly dies, Prue and Andrew, two of the eight sons are killed. The house is in a decay state before the family and Lily come back Once more at the house by the sea, Mr. Ramsay nally take James to visit the lighthouse and Lily nally completes Mrs Ramsay's portrait and achieves the nal vision known as moment of being.

10 Years

Time passes

A single morning

The Lighthouse


Every character of the plot reveals a strong personality and a vivid relationship with others. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay are very different but love each other as Mrs. Ramsay is aware that his husband as a man has the weight and the burden of the world on his shoulders. Lily is an artist afraid of other people's judgement: she fears her work will nish their existence under a sofa or behind a wardrobe so always keeps people away while painting and never reveals her works; she take a long time between every stroke, every brush not to make any mistake. The Ramsay family is modelled upon Virginia Woolf's parents and their holiday in Cornwall where the author realized the difference between male and female in terms of personality. Women are uid and usually understand other people's needs (such as James's desire to visit the lighthouse) while men are rigid and hardly ever change opinions. Mr Ramsay is rational and intellectual while his wife is emotional and intuitive. Symbolism is constantly used to give particular meaning to things that would otherwise be plain. A great symbol of modern novelists is the window which also gives a name to the rst section: this object is an instrument of reection and in front of it Mrs. Ramsay stops to reect upon her family, she controls it showing the positive and active attitude she has towards life. The sea, its sounds and colours, always present throughout the novel is an example of uncertainty and doubt. Finally the lighthouse symbolizing something different for each character stands for enthusiasm, desire of knowledge, light, hope while on the other hand it is the inaccessibility to the desired object, an incoming danger. Only at the hand characters understand the lighthouse is made of these two contrasting features and both contribute to determine its essence.


Lily Briscoe
This text, taken from the third section describes Lily's attempts to complete her work and all her anxiety due to the search of precision, the fear of failure and the final revelation which open in her mind. So theyre gone, she thought, sighing with relief and disappointment. Her sympathy seemed to be cast back on her, like a bramble sprung across her face. She felt curiously divided, as if one part of her were drawn out there it was a still day, hazy; the Lighthouse looked this morning at an immense distance; the other had xed itself doggedly, solidly, here on the lawn. She saw her canvas as if it had oated up and placed itself white and uncompromising directly before her. It seemed to rebuke her with its cold stare for all this hurry and agitation; this folly and waste of emotion; it drastically recalled her and spread through her mind rst a peace, as her disorderly sensations (he had gone and she had been so sorry for him and she had said nothing) trooped off the eld; and then, emptiness. She looked blankly at the canvas, with its uncompromising white stare; from the canvas to the garden. There was something (she stood screwing up her little Chinese eyes in her small puckered face), something she remembered in the relations of those lines cutting across, slicing down, and in the mass of the hedge with its green cave of blues and browns, which had stayed in her mind; which had tied a knot in her mind so that at odds and ends of time, involuntarily, as she walked along the Brompton Road, as she brushed her hair, she found herself painting that picture, passing her eye over it, and untying the knot in imagination. But there was all the difference in the world between this planning airily away from the canvas and actually taking her brush and making the rst mark. She had taken the wrong brush in her agitation at Mr. Ramsays presence, and her easel, rammed into the earth so nervously, was at the wrong angle. And now that she had put that right, and in so doing had


subdued the impertinences and irrelevances that plucked her attention and made her remember how she was such and such a person, had such and such relations to people, she took her hand and raised her brush. For a moment it stayed trembling in a painful but exciting ecstasy in the air. Where to begin?that was the question at what point to make the rst mark? One line placed on the canvas committed her to innumerable risks, to frequent and irrevocable decisions. All that in idea seemed simple became in practice immediately complex; as the waves shape themselves symmetrically from the cliff top, but to the swimmer among them are divided by steep gulfs, and foaming crests. Still the risk must be run; the mark made. With a curious physical sensation, as if she were urged forward and at the same time must hold herself back, she made her rst quick decisive stroke. The brush descended. It ickered brown over the white canvas; it left a running mark. A second time she did ita third time. And so pausing and so ickering, she attained a dancing rhythmical movement, as if the pauses were one part of the rhythm and the strokes another, and all were related; and so, lightly and swiftly pausing, striking, she scored her canvas with brown running nervous lines which had no sooner settled there than they enclosed ( she felt it looming out at her) a space. Down in the hollow of one wave she saw the next wave towering higher and higher above her. For what could be more formidable than that space? Here she was again, she thought, stepping back to look at it, drawn out of gossip, out of living, out of community with people into the presence of this formidable ancient enemy of hersthis other thing, this truth, this reality, which suddenly laid hands on her, emerged stark at the back of appearances and commanded her attention. She was half unwilling, half reluctant. Why always be drawn out and haled away? Why not left in peace, to talk to Mr. Carmichael on the lawn? It was an exacting form of intercourse anyhow. Other worshipful objects were content with worship; men, women, God, all let one kneel prostrate; but this form, were it only the shape of a white lamp-shade looming on a wicker table, roused one to perpetual combat, challenged one to a ght in which one was bound to be worsted. Always (it was in her nature, or in her sex, she did not know which) before she exchanged the uidity of life for the concentration of painting she had a few moments of nakedness when she seemed like an unborn soul, a soul reft of body, hesitating on some windy pinnacle and exposed without protection to all the blasts of doubt. Why then did she do it? She looked at the canvas, lightly scored with running lines. It would be hung in the servants bedrooms. It would be rolled up and


stuffed under a sofa. What was the good of doing it then, and she heard some voice saying she couldnt paint, saying she couldnt create, as if she were caught up in one of those habitual currents in which after a certain time experience forms in the mind, so that one repeats words without being aware any longer who originally spoke them. Cant paint, cant write, she murmured monotonously, anxiously considering what her plan of attack should be. For the mass loomed before her; it protruded; she felt it pressing on her eyeballs. Then, as if some juice necessary for the lubrication of her faculties were spontaneously squirted, she began precariously dipping among the blues and umbers, moving her brush hither and thither, but it was now heavier and went slower, as if it had fallen in with some rhythm which was dictated to her (she kept looking at the hedge, at the canvas) by what she saw, so that while her hand quivered with life, this rhythm was strong enough to bear her along with it on its current. Certainly she was losing consciousness of outer things. And as she lost consciousness of outer things, and her name and her personality and her appearance, and whether Mr. Carmichael was there or not, her mind kept throwing up from its depths, scenes, and names, and sayings, and memories and ideas, like a fountain spurting over that glaring, hideously difcult white space, while she modelled it with greens and blues. Charles Tansley used to say that, she remembered, women cant paint, cant write. Coming up behind her, he had stood close beside her, a thing she hated, as she painted her on this very spot. Shag tobacco, he said, vepence an ounce, parading his poverty, his principles. (But the war had drawn the sting of her femininity. Poor devils, one thought, poor devils, of both sexes.) He was always carrying a book about under his arma purple book. He worked. He sat, she remembered, working in a blaze of sun. At dinner he would sit right in the middle of the view. But after all, she reected, there was the scene on the beach. One must remember that. It was a windy morning. They had all gone down to the beach. Mrs. Ramsay sat down and wrote letters by a rock. She wrote and wrote. Oh, she said, looking up at something oating in the sea, is it a lobster pot? Is it an upturned boat? She was so short-sighted that she could not see, and then Charles Tansley became as nice as he could possibly be. He began playing ducks and drakes. They chose little at black stones and sent them skipping over the waves. Every now and then Mrs. Ramsay looked up over her spectacles and laughed at them. What they said she could not remember, but only she and Charles throwing stones and getting on very well all of a sudden and Mrs. Ramsay watching them. She was highly conscious of that. Mrs. Ramsay, she thought, stepping back and screwing up her eyes. (It must have


altered the design a good deal when she was sitting on the step with James. There must have been a shadow.) When she thought of herself and Charles throwing ducks and drakes and of the whole scene on the beach, it seemed to depend somehow upon Mrs. Ramsay sitting under the rock, with a pad on her knee, writing letters. (She wrote innumerable letters, and sometimes the wind took them and she and Charles just saved a page from the sea.) But what a power was in the human soul! she thought. That woman sitting there writing under the rock resolved everything into simplicity; made these angers, irritations fall off like old rags; she brought together this and that and then this, and so made out of that miserable silliness and spite (she and Charles squabbling, sparring, had been silly and spiteful) somethingthis scene on the beach for example, this moment of friendship and likingwhich survived, after all these years complete, so that she dipped into it to re-fashion her memory of him, and there it stayed in the mind affecting one almost like a work of art. Like a work of art, she repeated, looking from her canvas to the drawing-room steps and back again. She must rest for a moment. And, resting, looking from one to the other vaguely, the old question which traversed the sky of the soul perpetually, the vast, the general question which was apt to particularise itself at such moments as these, when she released faculties that had been on the strain, stood over her, paused over her, darkened over her. What is the meaning of life? That was alla simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one. This, that, and the other; herself and Charles Tansley and the breaking wave; Mrs. Ramsay bringing them together; Mrs. Ramsay saying, Life stand still here; Mrs. Ramsay making of the moment something permanent (as in another sphere Lily herself tried to make of the moment something permanent)this was of the nature of a revelation. In the midst of chaos there was shape; this eternal passing and owing (she looked at the clouds going and the leaves shaking) was struck into stability. Life stand still here, Mrs. Ramsay said. Mrs. Ramsay! Mrs. Ramsay! she repeated. She owed it all to her. All was silence.


I saw how their minds worked; if they had minds and if they worked
Year 1899 1917 1918 1922 1929 1940 1954 1961 He was born in Illinois He starts working as a reporter for the local newspaper He voluntarily joins the American army in the World War I ir Samuel Ferguson He takes part in a group of expatriate writers called The lost generation He publishes his masterpiece A Farewell to Arms He becomes a correspondent for an American news agency in the Spanish Civil War He is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature He commits suicide Events

Main Works

Ernest Hemingway

Modern A!

-Three Stories and Ten Poems 1923 -In Our Time 1925 -Today Is Friday 1926 -Men without Women 1927 -A Farewell to Arms 1929 -Death in the Afternoon 1932 -Kilimanjaro 1932 -Winner Take Nothing 1933 -The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber 1936 -The Spanish Earth 1938 -Men at War 1949 -The Viking Portable Hemingway 1945 -The Old Man and the Sea 1952 -The Hemingway Reader 1953 -The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories 1961

Ernest Hemingway's biographical experience greatly inuences his way of writing as he often dealt with emotions and feelings he had actually lived. In fact, when he was young he experienced a relationship with nature so close that the pillars of his life were to be found in hunting and shing together with his father. Actually the death of his father, who committed suicide in 1928, was to become the cause of his mental problems and breakdown and was the fact which most inspired his works and his life. From that moment on he began to conceive life as an eternal struggle, where only the way you struggle actually matters, and death as the m o s t i mp o r t a n t t h e m e o f h i s w o r k s :

Hemingway was fascinated by death and particularly by suicide. Obviously the injury occurred at the Italian front during the First World War emphasized his way of thinking. Most of his novels ended with the death either of the protagonist or the heroine and even the style suffers this inuences, getting more and more dry, essential and primitive year by year. One of the most original features created by Hemingway was the so called Hemingway's hero, a character modelled on the author's personality, who became the protagonist of most of his stories such as A Farewell to Arms: the best qualities he represents are comradeship, endurance and courage. Therefore he is honourable and even though he is not always able to overcome the enemies he ghts he is an example of behaviour to be followed.


A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms is to be considered one of Hemingway's masterpieces: as the title makes clear this novel deals primary with war, and especially with the last events which occurred during the First World War in 1917 and 1918. Nevertheless the novel can not be said to condemn war since it is simple seen by the author as the inevitable outcome of a cruel and senseless world. However, in order to better understand the novel the reader must know that the theme of love is similarly present and is embodied by the strong relationship, happened between the beautiful Catherine and the Lieutenant Henry Frederick. As most of the native of Illinois's stories, the novel will end with the death of the heroine, which testify how love is temporary but at the same time how it can overcome abstract ideals such as honour. The novel offers masterful description of the conict's senseless brutality and violent chaos: the scene of the Italian's army retreat remains one of the most profound evocations of war in American literature.


Catherines Death

The following passage deals with one of the last chapter by A Farewell to Arms, when the lover of the protagonist , Catherine, dies in an Italian hospital. Here the sense of despair and horror, connected both with love and war, emerges in all his forms. Catherine's death can be paralleled with the ultimate realization of Hemingway's philosophy. The death is the result of her pregnancy and the pregnancy a result of love. Whether in war or in love, universe kills indifferently. This is the final deterministic view expressed by the author.

Upstairs I met the nurse coming down the hall. "I just called you by the hotel:" she said. Something dropped inside me. "What is wrong?" "Mrs. Henry has had ad a haemorrhage." "Can I go in?" "No: not yet. The doctor is with her." "Is it dangerous?" "It is very dangerous." The nurse went into the room and shut the door. I sat outside in the hall. Everything was gone inside of me. I did not think. I could not think. I knew she was going to die and I prayed that she would not. Don't let her die. Oh: God: please don't let her die. I'll do items for you if you won't let her die. Please: please: please: dear God: don't let her die. Dear God: don't let her die. Please: please: please don't let her die. God please make her not die. I'll do


whatever you decide and say if you don't let her die. You took the baby but do not let her die. That was all right but don't let her die. Please: please: dear God: don't let her die. The nurse opened the door and motioned with her nger for me to come. I followed her into the room. Catherine did not look up when I come in. I went over to the side of the the bedroom. The doctor was standing by the the bedroom on the opposite side. Catherine looked at me and smiled. I leaning down over the the bedroom you need toed to cry. "Poor darling:" Catherine said very softly. She looked gray. "You're all right: Cat:" I said. "You're going to thought of all right." "I'm going to die:" she said; then waited and said: "I hate it." I took her hand. "Don't touch me:" she said. I let go of her hand. She smiled. "Poor darling. You touch me all you need." "You' ll be all right Cat, I know you'll be all right." "I meant to write you a letter to have if anything happened: but I didn't do it." "Do you want me to get a priest or any one single to come and see you?" "Just you:" she said. Then a little some later: "I'm not afraid. I just hate it." "You must not talk so much:" the doctor said. "All right:" Catherine said. "Do you want me to do items: Cat? Can I get you items?" Catherine smiled: "No." Then just some later: "You won't do our things with another girl: or say the same things: will you?" "Never."


"I want you to have girls: though." "I do not want them." "You are talking too much:" the doctor said. "Mr. Henry must go out. He can come back again later. You are not going to die. You must not be silly." "All right:" Catherine said. "I'll come and stay with you nights:" she said. It was very hard for her to talk. "Please go out of the room:" the doctor said. "You cannot talk." Catherine winked at me: her face gray. "I'll be right outside:" I said. "Don't worry: darling:" Catherine said. "I'm not a bit afraid. It's just a dirty trick." "You dear, brave sweet." I waited outside in the hall. I waited a long time. The nurse came to the door and came over to me. "I'm afraid Mrs. Henry is very ill:" she said. "I'm afraid for her." "Is she dead?" "No: but she is unconscious." It seems she had one haemorrhage after another. They could not stop it. I went into the room and stayed with Catherine until she died. She was unconscious all the time and it did not take her very long to die. [...] I went to the door of the room. "You can't come in now:" one of the nurses said. "Yes I can:" I said. "You can't come in yet." "You get out:" I said. "The other one too." But after I had got them out and shut the door and turned off the light it wasn't good. It was like stating good-by to a statue. After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.


The Old Man and the Sea

In 1952 Hemingway published another novel, a short one dened as a novella, which became soon popular and gained many recognitions: the title of the story is The Old Man and the Sea and deals with the story of a sherman, called Santiago, and the relationship with his trainee, a young boy called Manolin. In the very beginning of the novel the sherman is presented as an old, thin, solitary and gaunt man who represents the prototype of the innocent person: his eyes in fact are cheerful and undefeated and he kills sh just in order to survive. He will later begin a tough ght with a marlin, that will take him off the coast for three long days: the sh is even bigger than the boat itself. After killing the marlin, the sh will later be eaten by many sharks without the mariner could do anything. The endurance of the mariner emerges here and it is probably the best quality he achieves throughout the whole travel. Denitely Santiago's pride is what enables him to endure, and it is maybe endurance that matters most in Hemingway's conception of the present world, in which death and destruction are unavoidable.


He was an old man who shed alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a sh. In the rst forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a sh the boys parents had told him that the old man was now denitely and nally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky, and the boy had gone at their orders in another boat which caught three good sh the rst week. It made the boy sad to see the old man come in each day with his skiff empty and he always went down to help him carry either the coiled lines or the gaff and harpoon and the sail that was furled around the mast. The sail was patched with our sacks and, furled, it looked like the ag of permanent defeat. The old man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his neck. The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy sh on the cords. But none of these scars were fresh. They were as old as erosions in a shless desert. Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same colour as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.


If you have a world like good, what need is there for a world like bad? Ungood will do just as well 1
Year 1903 1904 1917 1922 1933 1936 1945 1949 1950 1949 He was born in India under the name of Eric Arthur Blair 1 dinburgh He moves to England along with his mother and two sisters He starts attending Eton College where he meets Aldous Huxley He leaves school in order to become a policeman in Burma He decides to publish his rst group of works under the name of HeGeorge enlistsOrwell for the Spanish Civil War as a reporter together with his Eileen wife is to die during an operation His wife He publishes his masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four He dies of failure pulmonary artery Main Works

George Orwell

-Down and Out in Paris and London, 1933 -Burmese Days, 1934 -A Clergyman's Daughter, 1935 -Keep the Aspidistra ying, 1936 -The road to Wigan Pier, 1937 -Homage to Catalonia, 1938 -Coming Up For Air, 1939 -Animal Farm, 1945 -Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1948

Modern A!

He later chose the name George because it had an Englishness about it, suggesting plain speaking and common sense and the surname Orwell because it was the name of a river he was fond of.


When the author started attending Eton College he began to develop an independent-minded personality, indifferent to accepted values, and professed atheism and socialism. In one of his essays entitled Why I write he stated that the task of the novelist was to warn the reader against the evil of totalitarianism and the violation of liberty and to reveal question (social function). This feature made him similar to Dickens in the choice of social themes, to Swift because of the comparison between men and animals, to Defoe for the denounce of political issue and to Huxley for the dystopian2 genre of their topic. Orwell explained four great motives for writing which are:

1. Sheer egoism- Orwell stated that many people write simply to feel clever, to "be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on grown-ups in childhood, etc." He says that this is a great motive, although most of humanity is not "acutely selsh", and that this motive exists mainly in younger writers. 2. Aesthetic enthusiasm- Orwell explains that present in writing is the desire to make one's writing look and sound good, having "pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the rmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story." 3. Historical impulse- He sums this up stating this motive is the "desire to see things as they are, to nd out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity." 4. Political purpose- Orwell writes that "no book is genuinely free from political bias", and further explains that this motive is used very commonly in all forms of writing in the broadest sense, citing a "desire to push the world in a certain direction" in every person. He concludes by saying that "the opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude."

A dystopia is a society, usually fictional, that is in some way undesirable or frightening. It is the opposite of Utopia.


Animal Farm
One of the most famous novel ever written by Orwell is Animal Farm which was written at the end of the second world war in 1945. It is a short, narrative and allegorical novel set on a farm where a group of oppressed animals are establishing to revolt against their master Farmer Jones. The novel addresses not only to the corruption of the revolution by its leaders but also to how ignorance, indifference and myopia corrupt the revolution. The novel in fact revolves around the adventures of the animals paralleled to the October revolutionaries in Russia. Animal Farm clearly shows how the initial idealism of the revolution decayed step by step into inequality. The so called Old Major, standing for a mixture of Marx and Lenin, after reaching his objective, abandon the animals to the cruel fate modelled by Napoleon, which stands for Stalin. The following table below will focus on the role of the characters and their historical context:
Historical Characters or events Stalin Trotsky Marx/ Lenin The representative of the proletariat The Kremlin Tsar Nicholas II Hitler Stalin's Secret police Five-Year Plans Purge Trials L'Internationale Animal Farms Characters or events Napoleon Snowball Old Major Boxer Farm House Mr. Jones ence Emily Dugdale Mr. Fredrick Dogs The Windmill Executions Beasts of England


Old Majors speech

The following extract deals with the outset of the revolution, advanced by the speech of the Old Major: the animals in fact are sick to work for the farmer Jones, who is always drunk and never takes care of them, without being paid as they should. The sense of closure and rebellion emerges here with vivid images. What makes this speech so effective is mostly the emotive language used which bests suits the type of persuasion of the Old Major.
All the animals were now present except Moses, the tame raven, who slept on a perch behind the back door. When Major saw that they had all made themselves comfortable and were waiting attentively, he cleared his throat and began: "Comrades, you have heard already about the strange dream that I had last night. But I will come to the dream later. I have something else to say rst. I do not think, comrades, that I shall be with you for many months longer, and before I die, I feel it my duty to pass on to you such wisdom as I have acquired. I have had a long life, I have had much time for thought as I lay alone in my stall, and I think I may say that I understand the nature of life on this earth as well as any animal now living. It is about this that I wish to speak to you. "Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We are born, we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength; and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are slaughtered with hideous cruelty. No animal in England knows the meaning of happiness or leisure after he is a year old. No animal in England is free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth. "But is this simply part of the order of nature? Is it because this land of ours is so poor that it cannot afford a decent life to those who dwell upon it? No, comrades, a thousand times no! The soil of England is fertile, its climate is good, it is capable of affording food in abundance to an enormously greater number of animals than now inhabit it. This single farm of ours would support a dozen horses, twenty cows, hundreds of sheepand all of them living in a comfort and a dignity that are now almost beyond our imagining. Why then do we continue in this miserable condition? Because nearly the whole of the produce of our labour is stolen from us by human beings. There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single wordMan. Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished for ever.


"Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself. Our labour tills the soil, our dung fertilises it, and yet there is not one of us that owns more than his bare skin. You cows that I see before me, how many thousands of gallons of milk have you given during this last year? And what has happened to that milk which should have been breeding up sturdy calves? Every drop of it has gone down the throats of our enemies. And you hens, how many eggs have you laid in this last year, and how many of those eggs ever hatched into chickens? The rest have all gone to market to bring in money for Jones and his men. And you, Clover, where are those four foals you bore, who should have been the support and pleasure of your old age? Each was sold at a year oldyou will never see one of them again. In return for your four connements and all your labour in the elds, what have you ever had except your bare rations and a stall? "And even the miserable lives we lead are not allowed to reach their natural span. For myself I do not grumble, for I am one of the lucky ones. I am twelve years old and have had over four hundred children. Such is the natural life of a pig. But no animal escapes the cruel knife in the end. You young porkers who are sitting in front of me, every one of you will scream your lives out at the block within a year. To that horror we all must comecows, pigs, hens, sheep, everyone. Even the horses and the dogs have no better fate. You, Boxer, the very day that those great muscles of yours lose their power, Jones will sell you to the knacker, who will cut your throat and boil you down for the foxhounds. As for the dogs, when they grow old and toothless, Jones ties a brick round their necks and drowns them in the nearest pond. "Is it not crystal clear, then, comrades, that all the evils of this life of ours spring from the tyranny of human beings? Only get rid of Man, and the produce of our labour would be our own. Almost overnight we could become rich and free. What then must we do? Why, work night and day, body and soul, for the overthrow of the human race! That is my message to you, comrades: Rebellion! I do not know when that Rebellion will come, it might be in a week or in a hundred years, but I know, as surely as I see this straw beneath my feet, that sooner or later justice will be done. Fix your eyes on that, comrades, throughout the short remainder of your lives! And above all, pass on this message of mine to those who come after you, so that future generations shall carry on the struggle until it is victorious. "And remember, comrades, your resolution must never falter. No argument must lead you astray. Never listen when they tell you that Man and the animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the prosperity of the others. It is all lies. Man serves the interests of no creature except himself. And among us animals let there be perfect unity, perfect comradeship in the struggle. All men are enemies. All animals are comrades."


Nineteen Eighty-Four
The second masterpiece by George Orwell is Nineteen Eighty-Four which was written in 1948 and published in 1949 exactly one year before the author's death. The book is an anti-utopian novel which describes and embodies the ideals of a defective community: in this sense the events of Oceania, a future new state, reects this cause. Oceania is ruled by the Party and led by a gure called Big Brother: in order to control people's life, the government has decided to invent a new language called New Speak so that any form of communication will be abolished. In fact, by abolishing language even thought and consciousness will be put down, and the word freedom will disappear together with them as well. The events are told by the narrator Winston Smith, a member of the outer party (middle class) which is also the protagonist of the novel: the man is in fact the only one capable to write on his diary all his memories and thoughts regarding the Party. Unfortunately he will be later betrayed by a man called O' Brien who works for the government and be imprisoned for years. The novel ends with the protagonist who has completely given up his identity and has learned to love Big Brother in the same way as the others. The story denitely evolves around the events of Mr Smith: analyzing his name we can say that Smith, the commonest English surname, suggests his symbolic value while Winston evokes Churchill's patriotic appeals for blood and tears during the second world war. The second masterpiece by George Orwell is Nineteen Eighty-Four which was written in 1948 and published in 1949 exactly one year before the author's death. The book is an anti-utopian novel which describes and embodies the ideals of a defective community: in this sense the events of Oceania, a future new state, reects this cause. Oceania is ruled by the Party and led by a gure called Big Brother: in order to control people's life, the government has decided to invent a new language called New Speak so that any form of communication will be abolished. In fact, by abolishing language even thought and consciousness will be put down, and the word freedom will disappear together The events are told by the narrator Winston Smith, a member of the outer party (middle class) which is also the protagonist of the novel: the man is in fact the only one capable to write on his diary all his memories and thoughts regarding the Party. Unfortunately he will be later betrayed by a man called O' Brien who works for the government and be imprisoned for years. The novel ends with the protagonist who has completely given up his identity and has learned to love Big Brother in the same way as the others.The story denitely evolves around the events of Mr Smith: analyzing his name we can say that Smith, the commonest English surname, suggests his symbolic value while Winston evokes Churchill's patriotic appeals for blood and tears during the second world war.


In the next passage the author uses the technique of third person narration in order to explain how the regime of Big Brother works and rules over people: every right is abolished and even inside the Ministry of Truth (the highest governing body) there are not personal relationships. This section particularly focuses on the reports on language of Winston Smith with his colleague Syme, totally fascinated by the new form of government and language.
Just the man I was looking for, said a voice at Winstons back. He turned round. It was his friend Syme, who worked in the Research Department. Perhaps friend was not exactly the right word. You did not have friends nowadays, you had comrades: but there were some comrades whose society was pleasanter than that of others. Syme was a philologist, a specialist in Newspeak. Indeed, he was one of the enormous team of experts now engaged in compiling the Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak Dictionary. He was a tiny creature, smaller than Winston, with dark hair and large, protuberant eyes, at once mournful and derisive, which seemed to search your face closely while he was speaking to you. I wanted to ask you whether youd got any razor blades, he said. Not one! said Winston with a sort of guilty haste. Ive tried all over the place. They dont exist any longer. Everyone kept asking you for razor blades. Actually he had two unused ones which he was hoarding up. There had been a famine of them for months past. At any given moment there was some necessary article which the Party shops were unable to supply. Sometimes it was buttons, sometimes it was darning wool, sometimes it was shoelaces; at present it was razor blades. You could only get hold of them, if at all, by scrounging more or less furtively on the free market. Ive been using the same blade for six weeks, he added untruthfully. The queue gave another jerk forward. As they halted he turned and faced Syme again. Each of them took a greasy metal tray from a pile at the end of the counter. Did you go and see the prisoners hanged yesterday? said Syme. I was working, said Winston indifferently. I shall see it on the icks, I suppose. A very inadequate substitute, said Syme.


His mocking eyes roved over Winstons face. I know you, the eyes seemed to say, I see through you. I know very well why you didnt go to see those prisoners hanged. In an intellectual way, Syme was venomously orthodox. He would talk with a disagreeable gloating satisfaction of helicopter raids on enemy villages, and trials and confessions of thought-criminals, the executions in the cellars of the Ministry of Love. Talking to him was largely a matter of getting him away from such subjects and entangling him, if possible, in the technicalities of Newspeak, on which he was authoritative and interesting. Winston turned his head a little aside to avoid the scrutiny of the large dark eyes. It was a good hanging, said Syme reminiscently. I think it spoils it when they tie their feet together. I like to see them kicking. And above all, at the end, the tongue sticking right out, and bluea quite bright blue. Thats the detail that appeals to me. Nex, please! yelled the white-aproned prole with the ladle. Winston and Syme pushed their trays beneath the grille. On to each was dumped swiftly the regulation luncha metal pannikin of pinkish-grey stew, a hunk of bread, a cube of cheese, a mug of milkless Victory Coffee, and one saccharine tablet. Theres a table over there, under that telescreen, said Syme. Lets pick up a gin on the way. How is the Dictionary getting on? said Winston, raising his voice to overcome the noise. Slowly, said Syme. Im on the adjectives. Its fascinating. He had brightened up immediately at the mention of Newspeak. He pushed his pannikin aside, took up his hunk of bread in one delicate hand and his cheese in the other, and leaned across the table so as to be able to speak without shouting. The Eleventh Edition is the denitive edition, he said. Were getting the language into its nal shapethe shape its going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When weve nished with it, people like you will have to learn it all over again. You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! Were destroying wordsscores of them, hundreds of them, every day. Were cutting the language down to the bone. The Eleventh Edition wont contain a single word that will become obsolete before the year 2050. Its a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isnt only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justication is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take good, for instance. If you have a word like good, what need is there for a word like bad? Ungood will do just as well better, because its an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of good, what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like excellent and splendid and all the rest of them? Plusgood covers the meaning, or doubleplusgood if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already. but in the nal version of Newspeak therell be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only


six wordsin reality, only one word. Dont you see the beauty of that, Winston? It was B.B.s idea originally, of course, he added as an afterthought. A sort of vapid eagerness itted across Winstons face at the mention of Big Brother. Nevertheless Syme immediately detected a certain lack of enthusiasm. You havent a real appreciation of Newspeak, Winston, he said almost sadly. Even when you write it youre still thinking in Oldspeak. Ive read some of those pieces that you write in The Times occasionally. Theyre good enough, but theyre translations. In your heart youd prefer to stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of meaning. You dont grasp the beauty of the destruction of words. Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year? Winston did know that, of course. He smiled, sympathetically he hoped, not trusting himself to speak. Syme bit off another fragment of the dark-coloured bread, chewed it briey, and went on: Dont you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly dened and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, were not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, theres no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. Its merely a question of self-discipline, realitycontrol. But in the end there wont be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak, he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?


The Horror, the horror

Year 1857 1874 1876 1878 1886 1897-19 23 1924 Events He was born in Berdicev, Poland He leaves Poland for Marseilles where he lived on a boat He lives in Paris, following the bohemian 1 model. ir Samuel Ferguson He joins an English ship to travel to Australia He receives his Master Mariner qualication He writes about his adventures on ships He dies of heart attack Main Works The Nigger of the Narcisus Lord Jim Heart of Darkness Nostromo The Secret Agent The Secret Sharer Under Western Eyes The Shadow Line The Rescue The Rover

Joseph Conrad

Modern A!

Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often along with people sharing this lifestyle, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic, or literary pursuits. Bohemians did not have a house, were generally homeless or vagabonds.


Main featuresof Conrads style of writing

Feature Explanation Effects he archived


Conrad dealt with settings and places he Variety and experimentalism had actually explored, thus he decided to describe Congo, China and far countries of Africa and Asia because he had experienced those places during his travels overseas as a mariner. In doing so, he took the distance from most of the writers of the time who chose England of Ireland as setting. The ship is the microcosm where all the actions happen. He described violent and powerful actions Variety and unpredictability and facts, he does not tell the story straightforward but he puts striking element into it. Being chronological sequence inadequate, Breaking from tradition, he wrote in a multi-layered and illusionist variety, shifting attention of narration. He shifted time and used rst- the reader. person narration, external narration, journalist's style in order to escape from the omniscient narrator,

Oblique Style

Narrative Technique




Effects he archived


Though not being a native speaker, he Variety, vividness decided to write in English thinking it was the ideal way of expressing his view of life. His form is uid, his adjectives always new and precisely used. He develops the contrast between virtues a n d v i c e s , p e r s o n a l fe e l i n g s a n d professional duties and in almost all of his works the protagonist is put in front of a crucial decision between one of the two. Civilised men's values such as responsibility and self-control are lost in a state of wilderness. Psychological analysis, highlight the contrast between society and the individual.

Individual Consciousness


Heart of Darkness

The protagonist Marlow is waiting the right moment to sail from London to Congo for his ivory trade company. Here he talks about his rst mission in Africa when a ring French ship destroyed a forest and the Company Station was inefcient and neglect. At the company station he rst met Kurtz, a company agent who was considered an idol for the natives due to his success in the ivory trade. Marlow was sent in the Heart of Darkness, the Heart of Africa to save Kurtz who was seriously ill but when he found the remarkable man and took him on board, he died whispering the words The Horror! The Horror!. When Marlow returned to Belgium he deliberately lies to Kurtz's intended telling her his nal words were dedicated to her. The remarkable Kurtz and Marlow the agent constitute a clear instance of the theme of the double: the difference which made Marlow able to survive and condemned Kurtz to die is the ability to stay a step away of wilderness and consider the values of the civilised world as supreme. Only thanks to this values Marlow is not take away by madness and by the unspeakable rites taking place in the heart of darkness. The historical context refers to King Leopold's colonial imperialism and its institutions are described very precisely as Conrad studied them in all their details. In the novel Conrad takes the distance from imperialism in an era of doubts about it when even the powerful British Empire was considering to limit its power over colonies and give them freedom. By shockingly describing the events and the rites connected to slavery and the sufferance of colonized men Conrad underlines his critic position towards imperialism as a means to control and enrich rather than to educate and develop. The multiplicity of techniques employed by Conrad conveys the novel a complex structure and a multi-layered narration where psychological realism and the analysis of mental breakdown play a crucial role.


Marlow is a man looking for himself, in a constant quest for the self which is said to be ending in nding Kurtz but will actually continue because Kurt dies not revealing the truth about the unspeakable rites. The nal expression uttered by Kurtz is purposefully left ambiguous because we are not let into Marlow's thoughts. Perhaps Marlow thinks it is nothing more than Kurtz's madness taking over in his last moments of life. Perhaps he thinks it is Kurtz's damning judgement on the Interior, the corruption of the people around him and his own corruption.


The Horror
"Kurtz discoursed. A voice! a voice! It rang deep to the very last. It survived his strength to hide in the magnicent folds of eloquence the barren darkness of his heart. Oh, he struggled! he struggled! The wastes of his weary brain were haunted by shadowy images now--images of wealth and fame revolving obsequiously round his unextinguishable gift of noble and lofty expression. My Intended, my station, my career, my ideas-- these were the subjects for the occasional utterances of elevated sentiments. The shade of the original Kurtz frequented the bedside of the hollow sham, whose fate it was to be buried presently in the mould of primeval earth. But both the diabolic love and the unearthly hate of the mysteries it had penetrated fought for the possession of that soul satiated with primitive emotions, avid of lying fame, of sham distinction, of all the appearances of success and power. "Sometimes he was contemptibly childish. He desired to have kings meet him at railway-stations on his return from some ghastly Nowhere, where he intended to accomplish great things. `You show them you have in you something that is really protable, and then there will be no limits to the recognition of your ability,' he would say. `Of course you must take care of the motives-- right motives--always.' The long reaches that were like one and the same reach, monotonous bends that were exactly alike, slipped past the steamer with their multitude of secular trees looking patiently after this grimy fragment of another world, the forerunner of change, of conquest, of trade, of massacres, of blessings. I looked ahead--piloting. `Close the shutter,' said Kurtz suddenly one day; `I can't bear to look at this.' I did so. There was a silence. `Oh, but I will wring your heart yet!' he cried at the invisible wilderness. "We broke down--as I had expected--and had to lie up for repairs at the head of an island. This delay was the rst thing that shook Kurtz's condence. One morning he gave me a packet of papers and a photograph-- the lot tied together with a shoe-string. `Keep this for me,' he said. `This noxious fool' (meaning the manager) `is capable of prying into my boxes when I am not looking.' In the afternoon I saw him. He was lying on his back with closed eyes, and I withdrew quietly, but I heard him mutter, `Live rightly, die, die . . .' I listened. There was nothing more. Was he rehearsing some speech in his sleep, or was it a fragment of a phrase from some newspaper article? He had been writing for the papers and meant to do so again, `for the furthering of my ideas. It's a duty.' "His was an impenetrable darkness. I looked at him as you peer down at a man who is lying at the bottom of a precipice where the sun never shines. But I had not much time to give him, because I was helping the engine-driver to take to


pieces the leaky cylinders, to straighten a bent connecting-rod, and in other such matters. I lived in an infernal mess of rust, lings, nuts, bolts, spanners, hammers, ratchet-drills--things I abominate, because I don't get on with them. I tended the little forge we fortunately had aboard; I toiled wearily in a wretched scrap-heap--unless I had the shakes too bad to stand. "One evening coming in with a candle I was startled to hear him say a little tremulously, `I am lying here in the dark waiting for death.' The light was within a foot of his eyes. I forced myself to murmur, `Oh, nonsense!' and stood over him as if transxed. "Anything approaching the change that came over his features I have never seen before, and hope never to see again. Oh, I wasn't touched. I was fascinated. It was as though a veil had been rent. I saw on that ivory face the expression of sombre pride, of ruthless power, of craven terror-of an intense and hopeless despair. Did he live his life again in every detail of desire, temptation, and surrender during that supreme moment of complete knowledge? He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision--he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath: "`The horror! The horror!' "I blew the candle out and left the cabin. The pilgrims were dining in the mess-room, and I took my place opposite the manager, who lifted his eyes to give me a questioning glance, which I successfully ignored. He leaned back, serene, with that peculiar smile of his sealing the unexpressed depths of his meanness. A continuous shower of small ies streamed upon the lamp, upon the cloth, upon our hands and faces. Suddenly the manager's boy put his insolent black head in the doorway, and said in a tone of scathing contempt: "`Mistah Kurtz--he dead.' "All the pilgrims rushed out to see. I remained, and went on with my dinner. I believe I was considered brutally callous. However, I did not eat much. There was a lamp in there--light, don't you know--and outside it was so beastly, beastly dark. I went no more near the remarkable man who had pronounced a judgment upon the adventures of his soul on this earth. The voice was gone. What else had been there? But I am of course aware that next day the pilgrims buried something in a muddy hole. "And then they very nearly buried me.


"However, as you see, I did not go to join Kurtz there and then. I did not. I remained to dream the nightmare out to the end, and to show my loyalty to Kurtz once more. Destiny. My destiny! Droll thing life is-- that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself--that comes too late--a crop of unextinguishable regrets. I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable greyness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamour, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid scepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary. If such is the form of ultimate wisdom, then life is a greater riddle than some of us think it to be. I was within a hair's breadth of the last opportunity for pronouncement, and I found with humiliation that probably I would have nothing to say. This is the reason why I afrm that Kurtz was a remarkable man. He had something to say. He said it. Since I had peeped over the edge myself, I understand better the meaning of his stare, that could not see the ame of the candle, but was wide enough to embrace the whole universe, piercing enough to penetrate all the hearts that beat in the darkness. He had summed up--he had judged. `The horror!' He was a remarkable man.


The Great Gatsby

Extra Material

Modern A!

Narrated with the voice and the eyes of Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald is the story of a man with a mysterious past and a dream symbolized by the green light on the other side of the bay, his which beloved Daisy who is The dramatic monologue is almost the only poetry form survived and now married with the Tom, though probably she never loving Jay Gastby. developed during Victorian Age which saw thestopped prevalence of novels thanks to Jay's past risesand doubts about his integrity among his enemies and the wild parties its objectivity other factors described in the historical introduction to the he organizes increase the criticism from all members of society even if he is Victorian Age. waiting his beloved turn up during one of those parties. Robert for Browning and to Alfred Tennyson were the two best interpreters of this When eventually happens, the pace by of Queen events Elizabeth, increases wrote until the genre: that the latter, entitled Poet Laureate the nal best dramatic episode. example of Victorian poetry in the following monologue. Here are four of the which best trailers from lms produced the last one hundred The central theme emerges from the readingthrough is the contrast between the years, watch how the industry of cinema and different the gureattitudes of Gatsby himself has Romantic man and the Victorian man, their and different evolved. conceptions of life.


Trailer The Great Gatsby 1926

Trailer The Great Gatsby 1949

Trailer The Great Gatsby1974

Trailer The Great Gatsby2013


The Great Gatsby


Extra Material
The dramatic monologue is almost the only poetry form which survived and developed during the Victorian Age which saw the prevalence of novels thanks to its objectivity and other factors described in the historical introduction to the Victorian Age. Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson were the two best interpreters of this genre: the latter, entitled Poet Laureate by Queen Elizabeth, wrote the best example of Victorian poetry in the following monologue. The central theme which emerges from the reading is the contrast between the Romantic man and the Victorian man, their different attitudes and different conceptions of life.

Modern A!


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War Poets
Domanda 1 di 8
Though dealing with a common theme, they developed it in different ways

A. B.


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His conception of history revolves around periods of _____________

A. B. C. D.


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Eliot's formation was typically American

A. B.


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Auden divided his poems in _________ sections

A. B. C. D.

3 2 4 5

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Joyce was almost deaf

A. B.


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She foundend the bloomsbury group, inspired by the character of Leopold Bloom

A. B.


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Endurance, strenght and cleverness were the quality of his hero

A. B.


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Defoe, Richardson and Swift were his models

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He is native of Ukraine

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The Contemporary Age



Ian McEwan

Year 1945 1946 1948 1960 1963 1969 1979 1987 UNO is founded


National Health Service Act improves welfare The National Assistance Act provided an increase of benets Vietnam war begins Kennedy is murdered while M.L. King starts his commitment into the anti-racist cause Nixon becomes President of the USA and USA land on the Moon General Elections are won by the Conservative Party led by Margaret Thatcher Thatcher introduces the pool tax 1 Berlin war is dismantled Bush become President of the USA WTC and the Pentagon are attacked Gordon Brown become Prime Minister after Tony Blair Barack Obama becomes President of the USA

Historical Backround

1989 2000 2001 2007 2008


Contemporary A!

A tax on the singleperson is paid by everyone, instead of previous taxes on properties


Key words of the Age

Keywords Inventions Electricity, car, aeroplane, cinema, telecommunications, radio, television, nuclear, computer, mobile phone, internet


Anthropology, sociology, psychology, nuclear physics, Relativity theory, genetics, quantum mechanics


Positivism, relativism, historicism


Post-war Drama

Drama had a strong impulse of development during these years thanks to Fringe studios spreading over Britain and encouraging new writers to represent their works.


Genre Theatre of the Absurd -Ionesco -Beckett -Adamov -Osborne

Victorian Age
Authors Features They deal with the theme of absurd, its consequences on human psyche and behaviour and the impossibility for men to escape absurd. Language is violent, lack of values dominates the scene and the sufferings of a frustrated generation comes out of these works. On a working class background, politics and realism are dealt with in unconventional ways, once more shockingly. Issues are dealt socially and psychologically, thought are susceptible rational analysis

Theatre of Anger

Kitchen-sink Drama


Socialist theatre Irish theatre

-Bond -Churchill

-Friel Thomas Hardy

Robert Luis Charles Dickens It tries to break free from tradition, away from conventions towards improvisation Stevenson

Emily Bront

Oscar Wilde

Walter Whitman

"I began to learn from him as much as he learned from me."

Year 1922 1939 1943 1944 1950s-1960s 1957 1969 Events He was born in Massachusetts from a French-Canadian family He attends the Horace Mann Preparatory School He starts military service He gives birth to the Beat movement He starts travelling around the USA He Publishes On the Road He dies of haemorrhage caused by cirrhosis of the liver

Jack Kerouac

Main Works Poetry -The Scripture of the Golden Eternity -Book of Haikus Prose -The Subterraneans -Book of Dreams -On the Road -The Town and the City

Contemporary A!

His life was characterised by the so-called Beat Generation he founded with William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. The three of them intended this movement as a little group of friends which actually fascinated so many people and became a real movement of thought and identied the whole age of the 1950s and 1960s. The word Beat had two main meanings, apparently contrasting but in one way perfectly according to a common line of thought.


Ruined, dissatisfied, tired

Holy, beatific

On the left side people belonging to this movement were disillusioned and dissatised with life and its habits, conventions and its limits: the felt spoilt by conventional rules and always refused them. On the right side holy and beatic belong to the semantic area of the sacred as Kerouac, a fervent Catholic, outlined the aim of the movement as a way to describe the secret holiness of the oppressed.


Another word which dened the Beat Generation is the word Beatnik, in reference to the Sputnik, a satellite launched by the URSS in the 50s. Like the satellite, the movement of unconventional men travelling around breaking the habit of the USA based on a strict system of capitalism, caused a symptom of fear in the mind of anti-Communist Americans. Beatniks wore worn-out jeans, old t-shirts, refused sexual conventions, needed to travel and never to rest, took hallucinogenic drugs to overcome limits of imagination and disregarded personal cleanliness in behalf of a personal conception of freedom. Their headquarters became the City Light Bookstore in San Francisco, founded by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.


On the Road

The novel, written in form of a diary is the story of Dean Moriarty, the personication of Neal Cassidy, Kerouac's friend and the perfect example of a member of the Beat Generation. He develops the theme of journey in rst person, experiencing the adventures of a Beatnik hitch-hiking around the USA in never-ending quest for absolute freedom. His quest is not meant to nd anything in particular but to escape from conventions, to avoid any form of social rule which limits freedom and creativity. The narrator, an idealized Sal Paradise, Kerouac's alter-ego tells the reader Beatniks live for kicks, moments of intense pleasure and wonder ful experience, attempts to escape from the terrible post war world which seeks them and causes their anguish exposed in the desire to ee from the rest of the world. They feel a chronic restlessness and express it in the typical style of hip language, a spontaneous, episodic, natural, often monosyllabic and informal expression. A story which stays between legend and truth says Kerouac wrote the whole novel on a scroll in a single night during one of his journeys.


Collection of Quotations from On the Road

ABOUT DEAN "I rst met Dean Moriarty after my wife and I split up." Part 1, Chapter 1, page 3 "My rst impression of Dean was of a young Gene Autry- trim, thin- hipped, blue-eyed, with a real Oklahoma accent- a sideburned hero of the snowy West. In fact he'd just been working on a ranch, Ed Wall's in Colorado, before marrying Marylou and coming East." "In the bar I told Dean 'Hell man, I know very well you didn't come to me only to want to become a writer, and after all what do I really know about it except you've got to stick to it with the energy of a benny addict." "I began to learn from him as much as he learned from me." "I wasn't scared at all; I knew Dean. The people in the back seat were speechless. In fact they were afraid to complain: God knew what Dean would do, they thought, if they should ever complain."


ABOUT THE JOURNEY "And this was really the way that my whole road experience began, and the things that were to come are too fantastic not to tell." "If you drop a rose in the Hudson River at its mysterious source in the Adirondacks, think of all the places it journeys by as it goes out to sea forever- think of that wonderful Hudson Valley. I started hitching up the thing. Five scattered rides took me to the desired Bear Mountain Bridge, where Route 6 arched in from New England." "One of the biggest troubles of hitchhiking is having to talk to innumerable people, make them feel that they didn't make a mistake picking you up." "I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn't know who I was- I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I'd never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fteen strange seconds."


ABOUT THE BEATS "That last thing is what you can't get, Carlo. Nobody can get to that last thing. We keep on living in hopes of catching it once for all." Part 1, Chapter 8, page 48 "We grabbed them and danced. There was no music, just dancing. The place lled up. People began to bring bottles. We rushed out to hit the bars and rushed back. The night was getting more and more frantic. I wished Dean and Carlo were there- then I realized that they'd be out of place and unhappy. They were like the man with the dungeon stone and the gloom, rising from the underground, the sordid hipsters of America, a new beat generation that I was slowly joining." "Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk- real straight talk about souls, for life is holy and every moment is precious." "This is the story of America. Everybody's doing what they think they're supposed to do. So what if a bunch of men talk in loud voices and drink the night? But Sledge wanted to prove something." "Emotionlessly she kissed me in the vineyard and walked off down the row. We turned at a dozen paces, for love is a duel and looked at each other for the last time."


They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.
Year 1906 1921 1937 1952-19 54 1961 1969 1989 He was born in Dublin He starts attending Trinity College He moves to Paris ir Samuel Ferguson He publishes Waiting for Godot in French, then in English shes his rst collection of poems called The Poems He secretly marries Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil He wins the Nobel Prize for Literature He dies and is buried in a humble graveyard in Paris Events

Samuel Beckett

Main Works -Krapp's Last Tape -Happy Days -Breath -Waiting for Godot -Endgame

Contemporary A!

Waiting for Godot

The play is a tragicomedy in 2 acts which goes under the category of Theatre of Absurd. The term, which means out of harmony with reason or propriety; incongruous, unreasonable, illogical was dened by Ionesco, one of the main exponent along with Kafka as Cut off from religious, metaphysical and transcendental roots, man is lost; all his actions become senseless, absurd, useless. (also refer to the historical introduction to the contemporary age) This sentence perfectly summarises the setting and the structure upon which Waiting for Godot is based. Though the play was unconventional and the plot apparently meaningless, it immediately achieved great success. The plot is in fact minimal, almost nothing happens. It starts in medias res with the gures of two Presentation tramps (Vladimir and Estragon) waiting for a mysterious savior under a bare tree in a deserted land far from civilization During this long waiting they deal with the most various issues, going from sexual impotence to suicide but after realising they are too close to risk the death of one and the survival of the other at the hanging, they go on waiting until Lucky (slave) and Pozzo (master) come in. After many nonsensical actions and debates, Lucky gives a long and once more apparently nonsensical monologue and the two leave the scene. Didi and Gogo keep waiting for Godot but at night a boy comes ins telling them he will not come until the following evening.


Trustful and unafraid, Vladimir reassures Estragon about the situation and they meet at the same place (they wonder for long whether it is the same place or not) the following day. (ACT II). During the second act Lucky and Pozzo come in again but while the rst one has been punished for his logorrhoea becoming dumb, Pozzo is now blind for treating Lucky like a beast. Useless to say that they kept waiting but the boy came in again telling them to come back the following day. Style is informal, dialogues are skecthes. There are long silences and pauses among the dialogues: this symbolises the weight of waiting they are aware of. Repetition of words and expressions is also the allegory of the repetitiveness of time, just like the repetitive human life. Characters are presented in form of double as one cannot stand without the other, though double is not in this case taken as the common meaning of good and evil.
Estragon He is a tramp He represents the son who needs a mother to take care of him He represents the body: he needs food, time to rest and repair from cold. He has physical needs He always forgets everything. He asks Lucky to dance, like a child He is a tramp He is the mother who gives him food and repair from cold weather He was a philosopher, an acute thinker: is the mind of the two, the one who remembers everything and reminds Estragon the reason why they are waiting He asks Lucky to think, like an adult man Vladimir


They live in a mutual interdependence, they cannot live without each other. This is why they do not commit suicide hanging on a branch of the tree because they are afraid the branch could only resist the weight of one so that the other one would be alone. Similarly for Lucky and Pozzo:

Lucky He is a slave, bound with a rope to his master He is the mind, intellectual power He is Lucky's master


He is the body, physical power

The setting is reduced to a minimum: it is minimalist, only a bare tree and a mound next to a country road create the background. Action is also minimum: communication is central but it is confusing and people do not understand each other most of the times of perform differently from what they said. Sometimes they argue and say the will leave but then they ask the other to ask him to stay. This contradictory behaviour symbolises their mutual interdependence.


Time and space, two fundamental coordinates of Aristotle's theatre, do not exist or rather, they are presented in an unconventional way. Time is just passing without any order or meaning: the tramps don't know how many days they have been waiting and for how many days they will go on waiting. Space is not relevant either. The tree is just a random tree day after day and in the two acts or in the two days Didi and Gogo do not even know if the tree they are waiting under is the same of the day before.


Life = Waiting


All the play is then an allegory of life. Man is waiting: life is purposeless, men cannot communicate and human life is nothing more than lling of the period of time between life and death. They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more. Life is just a moment of light, a little moment between the innity of death and birth.


Who is Godot?
This a crucial question about which Beckett himself said that if he had known, he would not have written the play. There are many different interpretations. 1 God. Godot as a name could be originated from the English God and the French sufx OT meaning little or ridiculous. 2 The aim of life This interpretation, denitely the most adherent to Beckett's theory of life and death shows that humanity is waiting for the aim of life, but this waiting is vane and man dies waiting, wasting his existence on a dream he cannot fulll. 3 A savior Godot could also be a savior without religious background, a man or a creature intended to save Vladimir and Estragon.


Luckys Monologue
At the end of the First act, Didi asks Lucky to think and he gives a long and apparently foolish monologue as a response. Sections: 1) Religion (Given...) 2) Anthropology (and considering...) 3) Naturalistic (and considering...) 1) The God described is partial and insensible. He suffers from Athumbia, Aphasia and Apathia. He loves us partially, with some exceptions. 2) Man is progressing in sports, science, medicine etc. 3) World is chaos, darkness, death

Thanks to the use of scientic expressions such as given the existence and considering, the monologue gets a serious tone which is sometimes made comic and ridiculous by Lucky's stumbling on some words such as Accacacacademy The meaning of the monologue can be summarised as: In spite of a loving God, in spite of scientic and physical progress, Men's decline and decay is unavoidable in this world of chaos.


The image of the skull (it should have been the horror from Heart of Darkness) at the end is allegory of death, only denite element in one's life. Given this, life is just a boring routine that cannot improve humanity.

Play of the Monologue


It wasn't only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.
Year 1948 1970 1975 1987 1997 2001 2012 2013 He was born in Aldershot He starts devoting himself to writing after attending University of Sussex He publishes his rst collection of stories First Love, Last Rites ir Samuel Ferguson His novel The child in Time wins the Whitbread Novel Award shes his rst collection of poems called The Poems He writes one of his best novel, a thriller called Enduring Love He publishes his masterpiece Atonement He was awarded the 50th Anniversary gold medal from the University of Sussex He is currently working for Channel 4 News Main Works -The Cement Garden -The Comfort of Strangers -The Child in Time -Black Dogs -Enduring Love -Atonement -Saturday -Chesil Beach -Solar -Sweet Tooth Events

Ian McEwan

Contemporary A!


Ian Mcewan is generally regarded as one of the best contemporary authors in all England: in his novels, in fact, the author tends to use a stream of consciousness narrative style, where the reader directly follows the thoughts of the narrator, as in Enduring Love and Saturday. His novel Atonement places a story within a story. Saturday follows directly the style of Woolf's Mrs Dalloway. McEwan's worries with alarming subject matter has garnered him a great deal of public notoriety in England, but it has also polarized the critical assessment of his work. McEwan is a serious literary writer who addresses challenging issues in his work, but at the same time he is considered merely a gloried horror writer who is solely concerned with producing gratuitously shocking prose. Despite these disagreements, McEwan has been consistently praised for his storytelling, characterizations, and adept handling of metaphor and symbol. For instance The Child in Time is regarded as the beginning of a more mature stage in McEwan's writing career. Therefore McEwan's novels published after The Child in Time including Enduring Love and Atonement focus much more heavily on elements of psychological depth, moral complexity, and political awareness than his earlier works. However, a number of reviewers have found McEwan's schematic moral and philosophical oppositions distracting, particularly in Black Dogs, and have complained that his later plot-driven ction too easily falls prey to the demands of narrative movement.


Black Dogs

Black Dogs is considered one of the best novel by Mcewan and the rst one which opened a circle of greats stories later on such as Atonement and Enduring Love. The novel focuses on the story of a middle-aged Jeremy, who lost his parents in a road accident but in particular it deals with the consequences of the era of Nazism in Europe and how the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 has affected those who saw communism as a way out for society. The story is presented as memoir written by Jeremy himself , travelling through France, and it covers many events of the 20th century such as the Berlin Wall's dismantling in 1989 or the Holocaust.

However the novel does not follow a regular temporary scheme since the rst part is placed in 1980's while from the fourth one the narrator starts to tell the events of late 1940's. The title of the novel gets ideas from an episode happened in 1946, when Jeremy's mother in law June Tremaine was attacked by two enormous black dogs, which were thought of as the embodiment of the evil in the universe. The best innovative technique which Mcewan employed in this novel is of course that of the narrator: by means of Jeremy' words the author is able to explain his thoughts about the totalitarian regimes. For instance the passage dealing with Majdanek, when Jeremy goes to visit the famous concentration camp, perfectly explains the author's task: only by looking on the intense events happened on the past, a person can really understand the meaning of life.


In fact after this episode, the main characters comes to a realization about World War II and, as the author himself says, he thinks about : "the recently concluded war not as a historical, geopolitical fact but as a multiplicity, a near-infinity of private sorrows, as a boundless grief minutely subdivided without diminishment among individuals who covered the continent like dust, like spores whose separate identities would remain unknown, and whose totality showed more sadness than anyone could ever begin to comprehend"

Themes Redeeming power of love Contrast between Science and Mysticism

Explanation Love can lift the weight of war and sufferance from people. Bernard is a rationalist believing in social and science progress while June has a mystical belief in the power of magic and divine. Dogs are the embodiment of the evil in the universe


Circular History

History can always repeat and the black dogs are fated to return.



Atonement Official Trailer

Atonement is the story of Briony, a girl whose dream is to become a famous writer. Her career as a writer starts when she decides to write about a love affair she thinks she has seen between Cecilia, her sister, and Robbie Turner. After this rst writing, Robby is imprisoned and expelled from the family estate. The second part of the novel takes place in Normandy in May 1940 when Briony is tormented by remorse because she realizes she has made a terrible mistake ruining her sister's life while Cecilia dies in a bombing and Robbie dies in France. In the end Briony succeeds in becoming a famous writer but is tormented by her Atonement: the happy ending with which the novel ends is just the realization of Atonement.

As in Black Dogs the narrator is presented as a character so that the reader can easily understand the ow of thoughts springing in Briony's mind: the sentence believing is seeing against which the author warns the reader, earns value and summarises all the author's thoughts. By means of his imagination it works more with the products of opinion than observation and in so doing she condemns Cecilia to a sad life by accusing Robby of raping her. The author leaves many questions unsolved about the matter of Atonement and its consequences involving Briony: her desire to become famous overcomes the love for her sister making her suffer for the division from Robby. Minds are deeply explored in a modern interest for their development and passions.


Brionys Crime
Within the half hour Briony would commit her crime. Conscious that she was sharing the night expanse with a maniac, she kept close to the shadowed walls of the house at rst, and ducked low beneath the sills whenever she passed in front of a lighted window. She knew he would be heading off down the main drive because that was the way her sister had gone with Leon. As soon as she thought a safe distance had opened up, Briony swung out boldly from the house in a wide arc that took her toward the stable block and the swimming pool. It made sense, surely, to see if the twins were there, fooling about with the hoses, or oating facedown in death, indistinguishable to the last. She thought how she might describe it, the way they bobbed on the illuminated waters gentle swell, and how their hair spread like tendrils and their clothed bodies softly collided and drifted apart. The dry night air slipped between the fabric of her dress and her skin, and she felt smooth and agile in the dark. There was nothing she could not describe: the gentle pad of a maniacs tread moving sinuously along the drive, keeping to the verge to mufe his approach. But her brother was with Cecilia, and that was a burden lifted. She could describe this delicious air too, the grasses giving off their sweet cattle smell, the hard-red earth which still held the embers of the days heat and exhaled the mineral odor of clay, and the faint breeze carrying from the lake a avor of green and silver. [...] Wasnt writing a kind of soaring, an achievable form of ight, of fancy, of the imagination? But there was a maniac treading through the night with a dark, unfullled heartshe had frustrated him once alreadyand she needed to be earthbound to describe him too. She must rst protect her sister against him, and then nd ways of conjuring him safely on paper. Briony slowed to a walking pace, and thought how he must hate her for interrupting him in the library. And though it horried her, it was another entry, a moment of coming into being, another rst: to be hated by an adult. Children hated generously, capriciously. It hardly mattered. But to be the object of adult hatred was an initiation into a solemn new world. It was promotion. He might have doubled back, and be waiting for her with murderous thoughts behind the stable block. But she was trying not to be afraid. She had held his gaze there in the library while her sister had slipped past her, giving no outward acknowledgment of her deliverance. It was not about thanks, she knew that, it was not about rewards. In matters of seless love, nothing needed to be said, and she would protect her sister, even if Cecilia failed to acknowledge her debt. And Briony could not be afraid now of Robbie;


better by far to let him become the object of her detestation and disgust. They had provided for all manner of pleasant things for him, the Tallis family: the very home he had grown up in, countless trips to France, and his grammar school uniform and books, and then Cambridgeand in return he had used a terrible word against her sister and, in a fantastic abuse of hospitality, used his strength against her too, and sat insolently at their dining table pretending that nothing was different. The pretense, and how she ached to expose it! Real life, her life now beginning, had sent her a villain in the form of an old family friend with strong, awkward limbs and a rugged friendly face who used to carry her on his back, and swim with her in the river, holding her against the current. That seemed about righttruth was strange and deceptive, it had to be struggled for, against the ow of the everyday. This was exactly what no one would have expected, and of course villains were not announced with hisses or soliloquies, they did not come cloaked in black, with ugly expressions. Across the other side of the house, walking away from her, were Leon and Cecilia. She might be telling him about the assault. If she was, he would have his arm around her shoulders. Together, the Tallis children would see this brute off, see him safely out of their lives. [...] She walked directly toward the temple, and had gone seven or eight steps, and was about to call out the names of the twins, when the bush that lay directly in her paththe one she thought should be closer to the shorebegan to break up in front of her, or double itself, or waver, and then fork. It was changing its shape in a complicated way, thinning at the base as a vertical column rose ve or six feet. She would have stopped immediately had she not still been so completely bound to the notion that this was a bush, and that she was witnessing some trick of darkness and perspective. Another second or two, another couple of steps, and she saw that this was not so. Then she stopped. The vertical mass was a gure, a person who was now backing away from her and beginning to fade into the darker background of the trees. The remaining darker patch on the ground was also a person, changing shape again as it sat up and called her name. Briony? She heard the helplessness in Lolas voiceit was the sound she had thought belonged to a duckand in an instant, Briony understood completely. She was nauseous with disgust and fear. Now the larger gure reappeared, circling right round the edge of the clearing and heading for the bank down which she had just come. She knew she should attend to Lola, but she could not help watching as he mounted the slope quickly and without effort, and disappeared onto the roadway. She heard his footsteps as he strode toward the house. She had no doubt. She could describe him. There was nothing she could not describe. She knelt down beside her cousin. Lola. Are you all right? Briony touched her shoulder, and was groping for her hand without success. Lola was sitting forward, with her arms crossed around her chest, hugging herself and rocking slightly. The voice was faint and distorted, as though impeded by something like a bubble, some mucus in her throat. She needed to clear her throat. She said, vaguely, Im sorry, I didnt, Im sorry . . .




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The Beat movement was an unconventional movement

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Though a great author, he never won the Nobel Prize

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Childhood Time is one of his masterpieces.

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