Modern Short Stories British Literature (Theme and Symbolism)

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Transcript of Modern Short Stories British Literature (Theme and Symbolism)

  • Slide 1
  • Modern Short Stories British Literature (Theme and Symbolism)
  • Slide 2
  • D.H. Lawrence (1885- 1930) Literary achievements overshadowed by controversy Unorthodox positions on politics and morality Born in Nottinghamshire in 1885 Left school to become a clerk and contracted pneumonia. After recovering, he decided to become a teacher. Thought to be a German spy during WWI Left England shortly after the war. Travelled abroad to multiple countries Became settings for many of his works. Wrote Women in Love and Lady Chatterlys Lover Died of Tuberculosis shortly after completing Lady Chatterlys Lover After his death, Lawrences works were praised for its vivid setting and psychological insight.
  • Slide 3
  • Reading Fiction When we read fiction, we need to identify and interpret symbols, in order to then understand a works theme(s). What is a symbol ? A person, object, or action that conveys meaning beyond its literal significance What is a theme ? A central idea or concern
  • Slide 4
  • The Rocking-Horse Winner What style or form of narrative might this story most closely resemble? Why does Paul start betting on horse races? How does Paul see luck? What is his attitude toward luck?
  • Slide 5
  • The Rocking-Horse Winner What style or form of narrative might this story most closely resemble? Fairy Tale style Supernatural aspects? Why does Paul start betting on horse races? Relieve his mothers stress anxiety Worries about wealth and status How does Paul see luck? What is his attitude toward luck? People can create their own luck Rides his horse to create luck Luck is a place people can go and find money It is where Paul discovers the winners of the races
  • Slide 6
  • The Rocking-Horse Winner How does the British class system affect this stories themes? What is the primary symbol? What might it symbolize? What could be a theme (central idea or concern) of this text?
  • Slide 7
  • The Rocking-Horse Winner How does the British class system affect this stories themes? Highly stratified with very little social mobility Because of this, the mother is very scared of losing her status. What is the primary symbol? What might it symbolize? The Rocking-Horse : Futile struggle of Materialism Desperate measures to gain wealth Unrealistic attachments to ideals of wealth and status What could be a theme (central idea or concern) of this text? Materialism can warp people psychologically Futility of finding happiness in wealth or status (money)
  • Slide 8
  • Graham Greene (1904- 1991) He was born in Hertfordshire in 1904. Son of a schoolmaster Studied at Oxford University Shortly after, Greene converts to Catholicism As a religious convert, Greene explored the themes of pain, fear, despair, and alienation. After working as an copy editor, Greene mainly worked as a freelance journalist. His job allowed him to develop his unique style and skill with his writing Strong powers of observation, sensitivity to atmosphere, and simplicity of language Many of his novels focus on spiritual crisis and burn with intense concern for salvation. Greenes best fiction focuses on the psychology of human character, rather than plot.
  • Slide 9
  • A Shocking Accident What is the shocking accident? After his fathers death, how does Jerome view his father and his death? How do others view Jeromes fathers death?
  • Slide 10
  • A Shocking Accident What is the shocking accident? Jeromes father is killed by a pig falling on his head What is the tone of this short story? Comic/ Absurd, but why? After his fathers death, how does Jerome view his father and his death? Jerome worships and idolizes his father Jerome does not find his fathers death comical and when he recounts the tale to others, he attempts to remove the absurdity to provide his father with some dignity in death. How do others view Jeromes fathers death? As comical/ funny Is the death shocking? The death is ridiculous, not necessarily shocking. People would normally express shock because of the seriousness of the event, yet most people struggle to hold back laughter.
  • Slide 11
  • A Shocking Accident What is Jeromes question after hearing the news about his father? What does this do for his relationships with others? What is ironic about Jeromes connection with Sally? What is a theme of this text?
  • Slide 12
  • A Shocking Accident What is Jeromes question after hearing the news about his father? What does this do for his relationships with others? Jerome: What happened to the pig? This response isolates or distances him from others who find humor in the circumstances surrounding his fathers death What is ironic about Jeromes connection with Sally? Sally does not laugh at the story and responds with the same question as Jerome, concerning the pig. It is ironic because the same response that separated him from everyone else, connects him with Sally. What is a theme of this text? Life is absurd. Modern life is unpredictable and bizarre.
  • Slide 13
  • James Joyce (1882-1941) Born in Ireland in 1882. Family and teachers wanted him to become a priest, yet Joyce pursued his own way as a writer. In 1904, he left Ireland to travel and began working on some of his greatest achievements. He is known for his innovations in plot, character, and language. Joyce is said to be one of the re-inventors of modern fiction. His main works are Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, and Finnegans Wake. He was thought to have been schizophrenic, making living with him very difficult. It is believed that without the aid of his family and close friends, many of is works would never have been completed. He died of a perforated ulcer in 1941.
  • Slide 14
  • Araby What is epiphany ? A characters sudden insight, which forms the climax of the story. (It is often labeled as a plot device)
  • Slide 15
  • Araby How is the setting described? Infer as to what this may tell us about the plot of the story. On whom does the young boy have a crush? How do we realize he likes this girl? After speaking with the girl, the boy says if he goes to Araby, he will do what? How does this affect the boys other activities?
  • Slide 16
  • Araby How is the setting described? Infer as to what this may tell us about the plot of the story. Grim, dark Lives on a blind, or dead-end street The setting weighs heavily against the boy and his chances for success On whom does the young boy have a crush? How do we realize he likes this girl? Mangens sister He watches her leave her house everyday. He looks forward to watching her leave every morning. After speaking with the girl, the boy says if he goes to Araby, he will do what? How does this affect the boys other activities? He will buy her a gift. He is unable to focus at school and is restless at home.
  • Slide 17
  • Araby The boy says he could interpret those signs of his uncle when he came home. What is the uncle doing? What is he trying to tell us about his uncle? How does the boy feel while this is taking place? What occurs when the boy finally reaches the bazaar?
  • Slide 18
  • Araby The boy says he could interpret those signs of his uncle when he came home. What is the uncle doing? What is he trying to tell us about his uncle? How does the boy feel while this is taking place? Talking to himself and throwing his coat on the coat rack. He is drunk. This makes the boy anxious with what may happen. What occurs when the boy finally reaches the bazaar? He overpays, finds almost nobody there, and the people that are there seem bored. He expects this place to be exotic, but nothing meets his expectations.
  • Slide 19
  • Araby What epiphany does the boy come to?
  • Slide 20
  • Araby Broadly: The Futility of human pursuits. Specifically: The boy will never be able to satisfy his desires. The futility of finding a gift parallels the futility of winning the girls affection.
  • Slide 21
  • Joseph Conrad (1857- 1924) Conrad is one of the greatest writers in English literature, yet English was his 3 rd language. (1 st - Polish; 2 nd - Russian) Conrad was born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in Poland in 1857 and became an orphan at the age of 11. (Born into Polish nobility) When he was 17, he fled Russian-occupied Poland for France and later England. He spent the next 6 years as an apprentice seaman In 1886, Conrad became a master mariner and an English citizen. Most of Conrads works literally focus on voyage at seas, yet symbolically the voyages are focused on self-discovery. He commonly focused on loyalty and the limits of self-knowledge. Joseph Conrad died in 1924 of a heart attack. Before his death Englands Prime Minister offered Conrad a British knighthood, yet he declined.
  • Slide 22
  • The Lagoon Why does Arsat ask the white man if he has medicine? What is Arsats state of mind during this scene with the white man? What does Arsats brother do while Arsat and Diamelen run to the canoe?
  • Slide 23
  • The Lagoon Why does Arsat ask the white man if he has medicine? He hopes to save/ cure Diamelen What is Arsats state of mind during this scene with the white man? Disturbed: He is confused whether or not he made the correct decision. Anxious: He is anxiously hoping for a cure for Diamelen. What does Arsats brother do while Arsat and Diamelen run to the canoe? He shoots at the men in chase. He is captured by them. He is kill