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自考《英美文学选读》笔记3(简单版)

2006-12-30 17:21   【 】【我要纠错

  Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

  1792 Shelley was born in an aristocratic family. He was educated at Eton.

  1810 18y, he went to Oxford Uni. He attacked war and glorified heroes and heroines of the French revolution.

  1811 While in Oxford, he published The Necessity of Atheism in which he doubted the existence of God. As a result, he was expulsed by the university and his conservative father deprived him the heir of Barony and fortune. He went to London where he met Harriet Westbrook who was much younger than him and also came from an aristocratic family. They eloped to Scotland. Poverty finally separated the couple.

  1814 He fell in love with Mary Wollstonecraft (daughter of Godwin) and eloped with her to Italy. In Italy, he met Byron with whom he kept a solid friendship.

  1816 Harriet committed suicide. Shelley's political enemy attacked him an immoral man.

  1818 He exiled himself to Italy and spent the rest of his life there.

  1819 Peterloo Massacre happened in Manchester. The event marked a turning point in Shelley's view. Before that, he thought that workers should take up weapons and fights. After the event, he thought they should. Working class's resistance and anti-oppression became a constant theme of him.

  1822 At the age of 30, he drowned in a small boat along the coast of Italy.

  Shelley's Major Works

  1813 Queen Mob shows Shelley's social philosophy.

  1. He criticizes the rising capitalism and the feudal society.

  2. He defends the rights of the labor against their exploiters and oppressors.

  3. The story is a fairy tale dream. It's an optimistic poem. Through Queen Mob's words, Shelley shows his philosophy. It's a revolutionary poem in which Shelley declares war on the injustice and violence of the world. (Shelley is a revolutionary poet.)

  1819 Prometheus Unbound

  Prometheus is a god in Greek myth, who steals fire from heaven to help human. Zeus punishes him by hanging him on a cliff and sending eagles to bite his flesh.

  Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound described how Prometheus steals the fire and his sufferings. At the end, Prometheus reconciled with Zeus.

  Prometheus Unbound. In Shelley's work Prometheus doesn't comprise with authority (Zeus)。 At the end, Prometheus is freed from chains and revolts against Zeus. Zeus is overthrown by Prometheus. The work expresses:

  1. Shelley's intense hatred for tyranny.

  2. His admiration for the revolutionary fighters for freedom.

  1819 Song to Men of England [P209] This poem was written in 1819, the year of the Peterloo Massacre. It is unquestionably one of Shelley's greatest political lyrics. It is not only a war cry calling upon all working people of England to rise up against their political oppressors, but also an address to point out to them the intolerable injustice of economic exploitation.

  Purpose of this poem: It's a real resistance that working people should adopt fight against their oppressors and exploiters.

  1819 Ode to the West Wind [P211]

  1. It's a symbolic poem. West wind refers to a powerful phenomenon of nature. West Wind is either a destroyer (of the old world) or a preserver (of the new things)

  2. In the poem, Shelley eulogizes west wind enjoy the boundless freedom.

  3. West wind is a messenger, to spread revolutionary message far and wide.

  4. The dominant mood of this poem is hope —— Shelley's hope for freedom.

  5. The poem was written in terza rima . Terza refers to 3 line groups, each terza has 3 lines. Rima: regular rhyme scheme, e.g. aba bcb cdc ded ee.

  The structure of Ode to the West Wind

  Part 1 to show the power of west wind over the earth, esp. leaves

  Part 2 to show the power of west wind over the sky, esp. clouds.

  Part 3 to show the power of west wind over the sea, esp. waves.

  Part 4 and 5 to reviews the relationship between the poet and the wind.

  Part 5 the west wind is regarded as a messenger that spread message.

  The importance of Shelley

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

  Jane Austen (1775-1817)

  1775 She was born in a Christian family. Her father was a clergyman. She was educated at home and read a lot of books by herself. Her sister and her had never married all life. Jane lived a quite and comfortable life.

  She started writing in early life. At her time, women was discriminated and not allowed to publish books. Many women writer published book with pseudonyms.

  Jane Austen is a great English novelist. Her most important works are Emma and Pride and Prejudice. The theme of her novels is love and marriage. However, her writing sphere is narrow.

  Jane's major works:

  1811 Sense and Sensibility

  1813 Pride and Prejudice

  1814 Mansfield Park

  1815 Emma

  1818 Northanger Abbey

  1818 Persuasion

  Emma

  Emma is the titular heroine. She leads a very comfortable life. She has nothing to do but binding couples. She has a good girlfriend. But whenever the girlfriend finds a boyfriend, Emma would break them down. Mr. Knight loves Emma, but Emma is too careless to notice the love. In the end, Emma marries Knight. It's a novel with a happy ending.

  In this novel, Jane Austen expressed that love is not as easy as Emma thinks. Emma learns to love.

  Pride and Prejudice.

  The Bennets has 5 daughters. Jane, Elizabeth and Lydia all at the marriageable age. Mrs. Bennet tries to find rich and handsome young men for her daughters to be husbands.

  Bingley marries Jane. Darcy marries Elizabeth. Darcy represents Pride. Elizabeth represents Prejudice.

  Lydia marries Wilkman who is not serious about marriage and poor in money.

  It's a novel with a happy ending.

  Themes of Pride and Prejudice

  1. Pride and prejudice.

  2. Love and marriage.

  The characterization of Elizabeth

  She is witty, intelligent.

  She is tall, slim and graceful, though not as beautiful as Jane.

  She is fearless, frank.

  She is independent and has good judgment.

  She is considerate for others.

  Chapter 4 The Victorian Period (1836-1901)

  Historical background

  After the Reform Bill of 1832 passed the political power from the decaying aristocrats into the hands of the middle-class industrial capitalists, the Industrial Revolution soon geared up.

  The bourgeois took the power which aroused the conflict between labor and capital.

  Therefore the Chartist Movement, also known as Chartism (1836-1848) erupted. There were 3 petitions.

  Before the 3 petitions, 2 laws enforced the hardship of labor, hardened the life of the laboring people. The Poor Law and The Corn Law 谷物法

  1834 The Poor Law 平民法 with its the workhouse system 工场制度法 hardened the life of labor who worked from day to night, couldn't get enough food, couldn't support their family. The workhouse system classified labor to man worker, woman worker and children worker. The implementation of the workhouse system resulted in a lot of death.

  The worsening living and working conditions, the mass unemployment and the new Poor Law with its workhouse system finally gave rise to the Chartist Movement. The 3 petitions were:

  1839 Over 1 million people made their signatures to protest, but rejected by the Parliament who sent troops to quell. The petition ended as a failure.

  1842 Over 3 million people made their signatures to protest, but rejected by the Parliament. Workers went on strikes. The government sent troops to quell and tried to drive them back to work, which caused death and injury.

  1848 Over 5 million people made their signatures to protest, but rejected by the Parliament. After this petition, the Chartism declined. The movement made factory owners to make improvement in working conditions so the movement is not a total failure.

  Since the Industrial Revolution, England had begun to accumulate its wealth. England was the "workshop of the world". What England produced was sold to the world. In the middle of the 17c. England reached the summit (heyday) of empire. It was highly developed. It had many colonies.

  From 1850s-1870s, it was the most prosperous, stable, peaceful period of U.K. There was no significant event. The conflict between labor and capital was mild.

  Economic Crisis

  1875 A decline in Britain's economy caused social disturbance.

  1880

  1884

  1887 "Bloody Sunday" On the Trafalgar Square, troops were sent to stop worker's strike resulted in many death.

  Philosophy and Ideology of the Victorian Period.

  (1) Utilitarianism

  Definition = note+ [P235]

  The theory was put forward by Jeremy Beathan and elaborated by John Stewart Mill. The word "utilitarianism" was adopted from the word "utility". Its tenor is "the greatest happiness of the greatest number." People use it as the measure of right or wrong in social system. The Bourgeois use this theory to exploit working class.

  Utilitarianism was widely accepted and practiced. Almost everything was put to the test by the criterion of utility, that is, the extent to which it could promote the material happiness.

  This theory held a special appeal to the middle-class industrialists, whose greed drove them to exploiting workers to the utmost and brought greater suffering and poverty to the working mass.

  Charles Dickens attacked the Utilitarianism in his Hard Time.

  (2) Darwin's Evolution.

  Evolutionary theory: human beings are evolved from apes. The theory influenced and shakened the firm Christian belief (all things and man are created by God.)

  (3) Herbert Spencer's Social Darwinism

  Herbert applied Darwin's evolutionary theory to human society. That's

  1, Struggle for existence. 生存竞争

  2, Survival of the fittest. 适者生存Herbert' social Darwinism severed for the Bourgeois class.

  Utilitarianism and Social Darwinism served for the Bourgeois class. Darwin's evolutionary theory shattered the Christian belief.

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