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FICTION IN THE AUGUSTAN AGE

Samuel Cardona Lozano

ROBISON CRUSOE by Daniel Defoe.

LEAD IN.

1. Make a list of five objects that you would take with


you to help you survive, for example:
A knife: it is important because we need an object to cut
some fruits or to kill an animal for eating.
A house: it can protect us, I mean when it rains we can go
there or also when it is hot.
Clean water: because the water of the sea is not healthful
for drinking.
A fire: Its very important for cooking some meat.

2. Make a list of five things that would make your year


less boring and help you pass the time for example:
a book
The things that make us less boring are:
A cell phone: for talk with our family and friends
An Xbox: to play and to entertain me for a long time
The television: because we can know information about the
country or the world.
A puzzle: to play and to avoid concentrate on bad things
The bible: we can read interesting true stories

COMPREHENSION

1. Why did Robinson decide to keep a written record of


his experience?
Because Robinson Crusoe was the only survivor of a
shipwreck, so he should live on a desert island with some
fruits and a few goats. And because was an incredible
experience, and he wanted to preserve as unforgettable
memories.
2. Which is now a stronger force in Robinson: his
reason or his sense of hopelessness?
Now the stronger force is his reason, his feelings about his
hard condition, so he is thinking about what he is going to
do, obviously the hopelessness is important, because he
want to survive.

3. Match A and B to reconstruct Robinson`s pros and cons.

A B
He is alone on a but He is alive.
desert island with little
hope of being found.

He is far from the rest however He has been saved


of the world. from death and may
also be saved from
this terrible situation.
He does not the
company of other but He will not die of
men. starvation because the
island is fertile.
He has no clothes. however
The weather is warm
He has no means of so he will not suffer
defense. but from cold.

He has nobody to talk There are no wild


to. however beasts that will harm
him.

God has helped him to


have everything he
needs for his survival.

4. When Robinson finished making his list, he draws a


conclusion about life in general. Explain it in your
own words.
The Robinsons conclusion is that all our experiences, can be
good or bad but all of them are part of our life, we can always
see the good things and to live in the best way, dont matter
the conditions, we should look for a good solution and we
should learn about it.

ANALYSIS

1. Focus on the character of Robinson.


a. Find the evidence in the text that:
- He is literate: I drew up the State of my affairs in
writing.
- He has strong religious beliefs: but god wonderfully
sent the ship in near enough to the shore.
- He beliefs in the power of reason: to deliver my
thoughts from daily poring upon them, and afflicting
my mind; and as my Reason began now to master my
Despondency, I began to comfort myself as well as I
could , and to set the Good against the Evil.
- He is familiar with the world of trade and commerce:
I started it very impartially, like debtor and creditor,
and in the description of Good and Evil on the Credit
Side of the Accompt.
- He has a practical approach to solving problems:
having now brought my mind a little to relish my
Condition, I began to apply my self to
accommodate my way of Living and to make things
as easy to me as I could

b. Which of the following social categories do you think


Robinson most likely belongs to? Middle class
merchant/professional; because he has a high level of
vocabulary

2. In this Evil column, Robinson cites both psychological and


material needs.
a. Tick the table below according to which kind of need is
expressed.

EVIL PSYCOLOGICAL MATERIAL


I am from Mankind, a Loneliness. People
solitaire, one banish`d
from humane Society.

I have no Clothes to Clothes.


cover me.

I am without any Force. An object to


Defense or Means to defend him can be
resist any violence of a knife.
man or beast.
He does not have
I have no soul to speak spirit. A ship.
to, or relieve me

b. Do the same for the good column of Robinsons list.

GOOD PSYCOLOGICAL MATERIAL


But I am not starv`d
and perishing on barren Food
place affording no
sustenance.
Climate
But I am in a hot
climate; where I had
clothes I would hardly
wear them. Loneliness Liberty
because he is in
But I am cast on an an island where
island, where I see no he can see
wild beasts to hurt me, anything.
as I saw on the coast of
Africa: and what if I had
been a shipwreck`d A ship and things
there? His beliefs, he to supply himself.
believes in God.
But God wonderfully
sent the ship in near
enough to the shore,
that I have gotten so
many necessary things
as will either supply my
wants, or enable me to
supply myself even as
long as I live.

A MODEST PROPOSAL by Jonathan Swift.

LEAD IN

Briefly describe the photo.

In the photo there are two children, maybe children of a poor


country, they are so thin, in a place where there is not anything,
they do not have anything to eat and to dress.

What is your reaction to it?

It is a sad situation, because children do not live this situation. In


this world there are people with a lot of money and other people
as these children that do not have anything for eating.

Do you think that child poverty could be eliminated in today`s


world or it is part of a problem that will always be with us?

We think it is a problem which will be always with us because


today people are so ambitious, they are not interesting in this
problem, they only think about their benefits. In this world rich
people want to have more money, and poor people became
poorer.

COMPREHENSION

1. What, according to the writer, saddens people who walk


trough Dublin or travel to Ireland?

People sadden when they see in the streets, roads and cabins
poor people, women with three, four, or six children.

2. What do the children of the poor do when they grow up?


When children grow up they work or they leave their native
country to fight for their countries.

3. How should the person who solves the problem created by


poor children be honored?

This person sets up poor children for a preserver of the


nation, so they become useful members of the
commonwealth.

4. What are the main causes of the voluntary abortion or


murder of illegitimate children?

One of the causes is to avoid the expense.

5. Find the statistics in the fourth paragraph which to refer


this information.

Number of:

- Inhabitants in the kingdom of Ireland: 1.000.000


- Couples in which the wife is a child bearing age:
200.000
- Couples who can maintain their children 30.000
- Miscarriages/infant deaths per annum: 50.000
- Children born to poor parents:120.000

6. Who informed the writer about the nutritional potential of


young children?

He was informed by a knowing American that he knew.

7. How many children of the poor will be reserved for


breeding? What will the male/female ratio be among the
breeders? What happen to the remaining children of the
poor?

20.000 children be reserved for breeding, the ratio is one


fourth part are males which, these children are offered in the
sale to people of quality and fortune.

8. Why should the children who are to be sold for


consumption be well-fed in the last month of their first
year?
Children should be well-fed because they should be fat for a
good table, also because fat children can make two dishes at
an entertainment for friends.

9. Why does the writer think that landlords would make good
consumers of children?

Landlords would make good consumers because they have


already devoured most of the parents, they would be similar
with the children.

10. Why will infant`s flesh be particularly plentiful in


march?

Because fish being a food that encourages conception, so


more children born in Roman Catholic countries.

11. What is the ratio between Catholic and non Catholic


children in Ireland?

12. What proof does the writer give of having no personal


financial interest in his proposal?

In this part of the text the writer shows us that he does not
have personal financial interest, to promote this necessary
work, having no other motive than the public good of my
country, by advancing our trade, providing for infants,
relieving the poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich.

ANALYSIS

1. Does the attitude expressed by the writer towards the poor


at the beginning of the text prepare the reader for the
suggestion he is about to make?

We think the writer starts to talk about the poor people, how
they live and their real condition, but at the middle of text we
can find other topic, maybe he wants to prepare the reader
for his suggestion.

2. The passage is written in the style of a scientific discourse.


Divide the text into the following parts:
- Identification of a principal and secondary problem: 1 and 6.

-close analysis of the problem including relevant statistical


data:4 and 7.

- Proposal of solution and its ramifications: 2, 3, 8 and 9.

- Conclusion: 10.

3. Some features that we normally associate with scientific,


economic or political texts are included in the passage. Find
examples of the following:

- Use of statistics: I subtract thirty thousand couples who are


able to maintain their own children, I again subtract fifty
thousand for those women

- References to authoritative sources: we are told by a grave


author, an eminent French physician, I have been assured
by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London.

4. Focus on the attention to detail. Underline the number of


ways a child can be cooked, according to the writer, in the
sixth paragraph, find another example in which the writer
shows great attention to detail.

For example: Whoever could find out a fair, cheap and easy
method of making these children, talking about the method
that makes useful members of the commonwealth.

5. What effect do the pseudo- scientific style of the text and


the attention to detail create? An effect that is so normal
that you ended to accept it even if it is a cruel proposal. -
Which ending would you choose for the following statement?

The detached scientific style of the passage and the attention


to detail a. makes the text less horrific.

6. Find references in the text where the writer describes his


proposal as modest or humble.

I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts,


which I hope will not be liable to the least objection
I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of
the hundred and twenty thousand children already computed,
twenty thousand may be reserved for breed

Does the writers insistence on the modest nature of his


proposal make it seem even more outrageous? At the
beginning it does but as the text goes it seems quite right
thought it is horrible.

WE ARE SEVEN by William Wordsworth

1. Where does the little girl live? And what do we know about
the way she spends her time?

She lives near the church-yard around twelve steps from her
house. She spends her time in the graves of her two siblings
knitting, singing and sometimes having supper there.

2. What does Wordsworth mean when he speaks of a child


that lightly draws its breath (line 2)? He is speaking of a
child that is full of life and has no interest of death.
3. Put in simple words the difference between what the little
girl thinks and what the man wants her to think.
The girls thinks that even if her siblings are dead they are
still with her in spirit; but the man wants her to think that
because they are dead they dont count anymore.
4. In what way the last verse of the poem differ from all the
others? Can you see any reason for this difference? Is there
any way in which the last verse shows the little girls
feelings particularly strongly? The last verse is a five-line
stanza meanwhile the others are four-line stanza, also it
has a abccb rhyming pattern and the others have a abab
rhyming pattern. May be the author wanted that the whole
poem focus on the ending part to show the girls
determination on her siblings death. Even if the man says
that they are dead she wanted the man to know that they
still count.

THE GHOSTS WALK by Charles Dickens

1. What do the following phrases mean?


a. The house lies on the breadth of Mrs. Rouncewells
iron-bound bosom, in a majestic sleep. I mean that
everyone in the house is asleep and that she knows
everything about it, every story every secret.
b. She regards s ghost as one of the privileges of the
upper classes. Only the upper classes are allowed
to have hidden secrets and traditional history.
c. It must be heard. That no matter what a secret
cannot be kept hidden forever and it must be
revealed.
2. Find the places where Mrs. Rouncewells attitude towards
her employers is described. Say briefly in your own words
what her attitude to them is. (line 90) My Lady, who is
afraid of nothing, admits that when is there, it must be
heard. she is empathic with her and understand her.
3. What are the similarities between the present Lady
Dedlock and the Lady Dedlock, wife of Sir Morbury, whom
Mrs. Rouncewell talks about? Both of Ladies have a secret
they dont want to be revealed and they fight to keep it
hidden but both know that a secret is a curse and is to be
revealed.
4. Why do you think Dickens made Watt add the words And
disgrace, grandmother to what his grandmother had just
said? Because he know that in the family there is also
disgrace as part of it.

AN INTERVIEW WITH A PROSPECTIVE MOTHER-IN-LAW


by Oscar Wilde.

1.What do the following phrases mean?

a. ignorance is a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom


is gone- The upper classes see ignorance as a method to
control the lower classes if you give them knowledge they will
think and revolt against the upper classes.

b. land has ceased to be either a profit or a pleasure - 1b.


That in those times having properties are no longer a profit
but an outcome because you have to keep up the property.
Investment is a good way to earn money on these days.
c. nowadays that is no guarantee of respectability of
character - Nowadays being old is not a sign of trust, respect
or knowledge.

d. the line is immaterial. - Even if the line has some prestige


it is not a sign of being born in a good family.

e. a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life. -


That being left in a hand-bag is a sign of an ordinary family
that has a social discretion to hide.

2. Why is lady Bracknell glad that jack smokes?

Because for her a man should have an occupation of some


kind, when a man has some occupation he cannot think about
other thing such us: other woman.

3. Why is she pleased that Jack knows nothing?

Because if Jack is not ignorant, she could not manipulate him


as she wants.

4. Why does she think her daughter could not live in the
country? What is her idea of the country, therefore? - Because
she wants to manipulate her daughter so she need her to be
close.

5. Jack lives on what Lady Bracknell regards as the


unfashionable side of Belgrave square. What does Lady
Bracknell think could be done to alter that? - He needs to
change the area and the appearance of the house so Lady
Bracknell would be pleased.

6. Talking this passage as a whole, what would you say are


the main qualifications Lady Bracknell would require in a
husband for her daughter?

The main qualifications are:

He should have a good family, money, nave and ignorant.

7. What evidence is there that Jack would be a good husband


to Gwendolen?
Because he says to Lady Bracknell: I ask you then what you
would advice me to do? I need hardly say I would do anything
in the world to ensure Gwendolen`s happiness.

8. a. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the


bloom is gone.

b. I would strongly advise you, Mr. Worthing, to try and


acquire some relations as soon as possible, and to make a
definite effort to produce at any rate one parent, of either
sex, before the season is quite over.

c. A girl brought up with utmost care to marry into a clock-


room, and form an alliance with a parcel. Good morning, Mr.
Worthing