“The Roaring Twenties” • For Americans, the decade between the end of World War I and the depression of the 1930s was a period of both affluence and disillusionment. • The quest for wealth and power became a major concern; cynicism and apathy were prevalent in social and political life. • Those most affected by these attitudes were the country’s youth. • There was among them a constant re-evaluation of aims and purposes, a continual questioning of the values that had for generations been held dear by society. • They were exuberant, carefree, unconventional and daring; and the decade they dominated became known as “the roaring twenties.” • P154-8 The Booming 1920s The American people were "tired of issues, sick at heart of ideals, and weary of being noble." Republican policies were intended to create the most favorable conditions for U.S. industry. Throughout the 1920s, private business received substantial encouragement. "The chief business of the American people is business." Wild Pursuit of Material Wealth The 1920s was a decade known as the “Jazz Age,” the “roaring” 20s. It was a time of “roaring” excitement, “roaring” confusion and “roaring” change. It was a time of unprecedented prosperity. Economically, it was a time when emphasis was shifted from production to consumption. Prohibition speakeasy bootlegger bob, flappers raccoon coat flask hedonism car Bob Flapper in 1920s raccoon coat It was an age of miracles, it was an age of art, it was an age of excess, and it was an age of satire The American Dream The South: Jamestown in Virginia, 1617, Virginia Company in London New England: Plymouth(1620), Massachusetts(1630) A commercial venture Puritans for Religious freedom Two Dimensions of American Dream 1. For the Puritans: to “build a city on a hill” 2. For the southerners: to “find the vale(valley) of plenty” Term: The American Dream A product of the frontier and the west. It believes in the goodness of nature and man. It represents the romantic enlargement of the possibilities of life. As long as one works hard, he surely can become successful and fulfill his wishes. The Disillusionment of American Dream Economic reasons: commerce (admiration for ambition, a lust for money & power) Social corruption Deterioration of moral values F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) • an American author of novels and short stories, • whose works are evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. • He is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. • Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the Twenties. Life • Francis Scott Fitzgerald was born in St Paul, Minnesota, and entered Princeton University in 1913. • In 1917 he left before graduating to take up a commission in the US Army. • While stationed near Montgomery, Alabama, he courted and became engaged to Zelda Sayre, herself an aspiring writer. • After his discharge from the army in 1919, he moved to New York City. • Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre were married in 1920. • In the early 1920s Fitzgerald was the embodiment as well as the chronicler of the Jazz Age (a term for which he was largely responsible). • He was handsome, uninhibited, and successful. • He not only wrote some of the best prose, he • drank the best wines, knew the best people, went to the best parties, and lived as though the money would never stop. • Even in 1931, two years after the stock market crash and well into the Great Depression, Fitzgerald’s writing earned nearly forty thousand dollars. • But the money stopped and the acclaim stopped. • In 1939 his royalties totaled only thirty-three dollars; by the following year not a single one of his books was in print. • His life, which had represented the fulfillment of the American dream of wealth and achievement, seemed to end in a nightmare of squandered talent and despair. • P213/4/6/7 "That was always my experience --- a poor boy in a rich town; a poor boy in a rich boy's school; a poor boy in a rich man's club at Princeton ... . However, I have never been able to forgive the rich for being rich, and it has colored my entire life and works." Fitzgerald’s American Dream “We in the infantry thought that we had three months to live. I wanted to leave something of permanence behind me" Zelda Fitzgerald "I've fallen in love with a whirlwind,” declared the young Lieutenant Fitzgerald, having met Zelda Sayre at a country club. It was in the summer of 1918 in Montgomery, Alabama. "She dances like a flame." The Jazz Age, Scott named it, and they became the icons of the decade. Ernest Hemingway pointed the finger at Zelda's "festival concept" of life. “She‘s not your Muse. She’s Your Nemesis(复仇, 报应女神)," he roared. "She'll destroy you in the end." Madness was latent in Zelda's family. The Villa Marie, France, where Scott completes and revises the first draft of The Great Gatsby The apartment house where F. SCOTT FITZGERALD died in 1940, at 1443 North Hayworth Ave., in Hollywood, California. At 44 he died there, leaving his executor "the will of a millionaire and the estate of a pauper." Zelda and Scott's grave in Rockville, Maryland, inscribed with the final sentence of The Great Gatsby “So we beat on, boats against the current. Borne back ceaselessly into the past” Major Works Novel: This Side of Paradise(1920) P214 The Beautiful and Damned(1922) P215 Tales of the Jazz Age(1922) The Great Gatsby(1925) Tender Is the Night(1935) The Last Tycoon(1941) Short Stories: Flappers and Philosophers(1920) Tales of the Jazz Age(1922) The Great Gatsby “The first step that American fiction has taken since Henry James.” ----- T.S. Eliot • First published on April 10, 1925, it is set on Long Island's North Shore and in New York City during the summer of 1922 and is a critique of the American Dream. • The Great Gatsby has become a standard text in high school and university courses on American literature in countries around the world, • and is ranked second in the Modern Library's list of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century. (1st Ulysses) • 1. ULYSSES • by James Joyce • 2. THE GREAT GATSBY • by F. Scott Fitzgerald • 3. A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN • by James Joyce • 4. LOLITA • by Vladimir Nabokov • 5. BRAVE NEW WORLD • by Aldous Huxley • 6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY • by William Faulkner • 7. CATCH-22 • by Joseph Heller • 8. DARKNESS AT NOON • by Arthur Koestler • 9. SONS AND LOVERS • by D.H. Lawrence • 10. THE GRAPES OF WRATH • by John Steinbeck • The novel chronicles an era that Fitzgerald himself dubbed the "Jazz Age". • Following the shock and chaos of World War I, American society enjoyed unprecedented levels of prosperity during the "roaring" 1920s as the economy soared. • At the same time, Prohibition, the ban on the sale and manufacture of alcohol, made millionaires out of bootleggers and led to an increase in organized crime. • Although Fitzgerald, like Nick Carraway in his novel, idolized the riches and glamour of the age, he was uncomfortable with the unrestrained materialism and the lack of morality that went with it, a kind of decadence. Gatsby and Daisy Plot P217 dating Nick Carraway Jordan Baker (Narrator of the story) In love with Jay Gatsby (newly wealthy businessman whose only desire is to be reunited with Daisy) kills (Mytle’s husband who runs a garage &gas station) West Egg (Gatsby,Nick) Daisy Buchanan (the object of Gatsby’s desire who represents women of upper class) blamed for her death George Wilson friends cousins friends& neighbor Accidentally kills Tom Buchanan having affair (Daisy’s husband, Mytle Wilson (lower class) The Valley of Ashes （The Wilsons ) rich) East Egg (Tom,Daisy) Character Analysis Gatsby Gatsby appears as a mysterious, fantastically wealthy young man. Every Saturday, his garish Gothic mansion in West Egg serves as the site of extravagant parties. His love of Daisy inspired Gatsby to devote his life to the acquisition of wealth through illegal activities. He wants to win Daisy's love by growing wealthy. The Image of Gatsby 1. A romantic dreamer: Time can be fixed; the past can be repeated; youth, beauty and love can be recaptured. 2. A symbol for the whole American experience: The corruption of his dream by adopting materialism as its means and illusory youth and beauty as its goal is the corruption of American idealism. Nick Carraway The novel's narrator, Nick Carraway comes from a well-to-do Minnesota family. He travels to New York to learn the bond business; there, he becomes involved with both Gatsby and the Buchanans. He is honest, responsible, and fair-minded. Of all the novel's characters, he is the only one to truly recognize Gatsby's "greatness" -- thereby revealing himself as a young man of unusual sensitivity. Daisy In her youth, Daisy fell in love with Jay Gatsby and promised to wait for him until the end of the war. After several years’ separation, since there is no news from Gatsby, Daisy decided not to wait for Gatsby any more and married wealthy Tom. Daisy is insubstantial and vapid, a careless woman. She, in her wealth and beauty, is the symbol of all that Gatsby desires. The Image of Daisy “A beautiful little fool:” beautiful, enchanting, hollow A member of “secret society”of established wealth: morally careless, inconsiderate. Tom Buchanan A brutal man, Tom Buchannan is a former Yale football player who, like Daisy, comes from an immensely wealthy family. Tom is a vicious bully, physically menacing both his wife and his mistress. He is a thoroughgoing hypocrite as well: though he condemns his wife and Gatsby for their infidelity, he has no hesitation about carrying on his own affair. Themes i. The Decline of the American Dream in the 1920s highly symbolic meditation on 1920s’ America as a whole, in particular the disintegration of the American dream in an era of unprecedented prosperity and material excess. As Fitzgerald saw it, the American dream was originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness. In the 1920s depicted in the novel, however, easy money and relaxed social values have corrupted this dream, especially on the East Coast. a Just as Americans have given America meaning through their dreams for their own lives, Gatsby instills Daisy with a kind of idealized perfection that she neither deserves nor possesses. Gatsby’s dream is ruined by the unworthiness of its object, just as the American dream in the 1920s is ruined by the unworthiness of its object—money and pleasure. Like 1920s Americans in general, fruitlessly seeking a bygone era in which their dreams had value, Gatsby longs to re-create a vanished past—his time in Louisville with Daisy—but is incapable of doing so. When his dream crumbles, all that is left for Gatsby to do is die; all Nick can do is move back to Minnesota, where American values have not decayed. • ii. The Hollowness of the Upper Class In the novel, West Egg and its denizens represent the newly rich, while East Egg and its denizens, represent the old aristocracy. Fitzgerald portrays the newly rich (Gatsby) as being vulgar, gaudy, ostentatious(卖弄的), and lacking in social graces and taste. In contrast, the old aristocracy (the Buchanans) possesses grace, taste, subtlety, and elegance. The old aristocracy, however, seems to lack in heart, as the East Eggers prove themselves careless, inconsiderate bullies who are so used to money’s ability to ease their minds that they never worry about hurting others. Gatsby, on the other hand, whose recent wealth derives from criminal activity, has a sincere and loyal heart Ironically, Gatsby’s good qualities (loyalty and love) lead to his death, as he takes the blame for killing Myrtle rather than letting Daisy be punished, and the Buchanans’ bad qualities (fickleness and selfishness) allow them to remove themselves from the tragedy not only physically but psychologically. P217 Symbols The Green Light The Valley of Ashes The Eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg The East Egg and West Egg a. Green Light • Situated at the end of Daisy’s East Egg dock and barely visible from Gatsby’s West Egg lawn, the green light represents Gatsby’s hopes and dreams for the future. • Gatsby associates it with Daisy, he reaches toward it in the darkness as a guiding light to lead him to his goal. • Because Gatsby’s quest for Daisy is broadly associated with the American dream, the green light also symbolizes that more generalized ideal. b. The Valley of Ashes • The valley of ashes between West Egg and New York City consists of a long stretch of desolate land created by the dumping of industrial ashes. • It represents the moral and social decay that results from the uninhibited pursuit of wealth, as the rich indulge themselves with regard for nothing but their own pleasure. • The valley of ashes also symbolizes the plight of the poor, like George Wilson, who live among the dirty ashes and lose their vitality as a result. c. The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg • The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are a pair of fading, bespectacled eyes painted on an old advertising billboard over the valley of ashes. • They may represent God staring down upon and judging American society as a moral wasteland, though the novel never makes this point explicitly. • The connection between the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg and God exists only in George Wilson’s grief-stricken mind. This lack of concrete significance contributes to the unsettling nature of the image. • Thus, the eyes also come to represent the essential meaninglessness of the world and the arbitrariness of the mental process by which people invest objects with meaning. d. East Egg & West Egg East Egg: represents the established rich with old money West Egg: the self-made, new money P217-8 Narrative Technique The technical aspect that makes The Great Gatsby the best organized of Fitzgerald’s novel is the use of Nick Carraway as the first-person narrator. a. The Reason 1. The Magic power of Nick lies in the fact that he has contact with all the characters in the novel. 2. He is intimate enough to weave all the characters skillfully into a unity in the novel 2. Nick is a reliable narrator, because he follows his father’s advice on toleration, so he does not make quick judgments on the others. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” I’m inclined to reserve all judgments. b. The Function 1. This method lends compactness and unity to the novel, since the reader is confined to what Nick can experience and hear. 2. Nick’s limited view determines that he seems to withhold the information and let it revealed gradually, thus creating a super effect of mystery and suspense. 3. P218-9 Comment on the Novel i. Fitzgerald gives great attention to the details of contemporary society: Gatsby's party is both a description and parody of Jazz Age decadence. It exemplifies the spirit of conspicuous consumption. ii. Though we have finally been introduced to Jay Gatsby, he remains fundamentally a mystery. Few of the partygoers have so much as met their host, and Gatsby stands aloof from his own celebration. iii. Gatsby is the center of interest mentioned by different groups of people in the story. Each person adds a dimension to the complete personality of Gatsby. What is your impression of him? Do you think Gatsby is great? Why or why not? His perseverance in the pursuit of his dream. Gatsby is a determined man who tries his best to fulfill his dream. Even in the adverse circumstance, he never gives in . Although his dream is corrupted by adopting materialist means, his dream for beauty and love is invaluable among the empty-minded people in the waste land. In this sense he is great. Influences on American Literature • Fitzgerald shows himself to be the leader and poet laureate of the Jazz Age who wrote the novels of the Jazz age and was regarded as one of the best American writers of the 20th century. • 1. Fitzgerald showed more interests in people’s dreams and failures than their characteristics, more interests in subject matter than in structure. • He excelled himself in creating strikingly literary metaphors by using simple, vivid, graceful, precise, and polished writing style. • His calculate use of colors in his stories makes them appealingly symbolic. • His ability with language, his knowledge of his subject, and the distinct flavor of his writing place him high among the writers of the first third of the twentieth century. • 2. Fitzgerald is the interpreter of rebellious youth. • His heroes are the wealthy, intelligent, hopeful but hopelessly inadequate young American males whose potential seems great but remains unfulfilled. • His heroines are the counterparts of these men: hard, glamorous, shallow young flappers who sacrifice much for social success. • 3. Perhaps Fitzgerald’s greatest value to modern literature lies in his ability to represent with sharpness and clarity the idiom and manner of his day. • All his stories are about morality, industry, and maturity, and can be regarded as moral fables, which are full of pathos, with bright individuals against bright backdrops. Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) Winner of 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style.” Life • born in a small town called Oak Park in Illinois near Chicago • father: a successful physician, middle class, love fishing and hunting; mother: music teacher • a happy childhood; a lover of brutal sports, such as boxing and football in middle school • Though his father hoped him to be a physician, Hemingway refused to enter university. He chose to be a reporter. Birthplace in Oak Park, Illinois • During WWI, he wanted to join the army but was refused because of his poor eyesight. • Then Hemingway came to Italy to work as an ambulance driver. He was seriously wounded in the battlefield. The nightmarish war experience changed his life. • After the war, he still worked as a reporter. He was sent to Paris and knew Pound, Gertrude Stein, Sherwood Anderson and some other famous writers who encouraged him to write. • He also worked as a war reporter in the Spanish Civil War and WWII. • He is a tough guy with rather masculine manner. In all his life, he loved tough games, such as boxing, hunting, deep-sea fishing, bullfight and so on. • He was injured many times. In all the operations, 237 steel fragments were taken out from Hemingway’s body. He also suffered 3 car accidents and 2 air crushes. • He was admired as a hero by lots of people and his life style was imitated. • He married four times, with a new marriage for a new important novel. • On July 2, 1961, he chose, as his father had before him, to end his own life violently by pressing a double-barreled shotgun to his forehead. • The Hemingway-Pfeiffer House, built in 1927 Ernest Hemingway House on Key West Major Works In our time (1924) P221 The Torrents of Spring (1926) The Sun Also Rises (1926) Men Without Women (1927) A Farewell to Arms (1929) Death in the Afternoon (1932) Winner Take Nothing (1933) Green Hills of Africa (1935) To Have and Have Not (1937) The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1938) For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) P224-5 Across the River and Into the Trees (1950) The Old Man and the Sea (1952) P225 A Moveable Feast (1964 ) Islands in the Stream ( 1970 ) Garden of Eden (1986) Writing Techniques 1. Hemingway used a spare and tight journalistic type of prose, which means his style is simple, terse, concise, straightforward , unembellished—a straight journalism. The reason for this is the influence of his early work as a journalist. P221 In diction, he focuses on nouns and verbs and reduces the use of adjectives, especially complicated adjectives. In sentence structure, he uses short and simple sentences. He lets gesture, speech and action speak for themselves. His language is seldom passionate. The aim of his style is to get the most out of the least. P227 “ Sit down,” said Harvey, “ I’ve been looking for you.” “What’s the matter?” “Nothing, Just looking for you.” “Been out to the races?” “No. Not since Sunday.” “What do you hear from the States?” “Nothing. Absolutely nothing.” “What’s the matter?” “I don’t know. I’m through with them. I’m absolutely through with them.” From The Sun Also Rises Chapter 6 • 2. He used the objective, detached point of view and his vocabulary and sentence structure are deceptively simple. • 3. He has written about failure, moral bankruptcy, death, deception, and sterility in the post World War I society. 4. His "code-heroes" are characters with inner moral discipline who are usually involved with rituals like bullfighting, big-game hunting, and fishing. Further Illustration 1. Hemingway’s central theme 2. Hemingway’s “code heroes” 3. Hemingway's Iceberg Theory Hemingway’s central theme: “Grace Under Pressure” DP: “Exactly what do you mean by `guts'?” EH: “I mean, grace under pressure.” ----Ernest Hemingway, an interview with Dorothy Parker, New Yorker, 30 November 1929 Courage is grace under pressure 1. The character must act in a way that is acceptable when he is faced with the fact of death--- he must have fear of death, but he must not be afraid to die. 2. Man lives most intensely when he is in the direct pressure of death. 3. “A man is not made for defeat… A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” P221 Hemingway’s Code Hero Code --- a set of rules of conduct to which the Hemingway’s character would adhere. Hemingway is known to focus his novels around code heroes who struggle with the mixture of their tragic faults and the surrounding environment. Characteristics of Hemingway's Code Hero Hemingway defined the Code Hero as "a man who lives correctly, following the ideals of honor, courage and endurance in a world that is sometimes chaotic, often stressful, and always painful." The Code Hero measures himself by how well they handle the difficult situations that life throws at him. P224&227 Hemingway's Iceberg Theory (Theory of Omission) "If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water." ------Death In the Afternoon Term: Iceberg Theory of Writing • A theory of writing by Hemingway, which refers to that one eighth of an iceberg is above the water, and all of the rest in underneath the water. • The same is true with Hemingway’s writing. • His sentences only give one small bit of the meaning and the rest is implied. • Therefore, one must go every deep beneath the surface to understand the full meaning of his writing. The Sun Also Rises The Sun Also Rises will maintain a place in history not only for its literary merit, but also for its documentation of what writer Stein called the "Lost Generation." • The Sun Also Rises (1926), • Hemingway's first novel. • Written in 1925 and published in 1926, an autobiographical novel • epitomized the post-war expatriate generation for future generations. P222 Characters Jake Barnes P222 Brett Ashley Main Themes a. The aimlessness of the Lost Generation bitter and aimless, drinking and partying, away from their frustrations, irresponsibility, the superficial, empty attitudes b. Emasculation and Impotence the male psyche: i. physically impotent ii. battered by the war, iii. returned from his confrontation with death iv. feeling like less of a man, physically and emotionally. v. The physical impotence symbolizes modern man’s spiritual impotence. c. Nature and Regeneration Nature as a pastoral paradise uncorrupted by the city or women. A Farewell to Arms(1929) • 1. On the surface, is about the tragic romance between an American soldier Frederic Henry, and Catherine Barkley, a British nurse. • The novel is autobiographical and the plot inspired by his earlier relationship with Agnes in Milan; Catherine's parturition mirrors Pauline's difficult labor with Patrick. • 2. Below the surface, the novel is about World War I and individual tragedy within the larger picture of greater tragedy. • The novel portrays the cynicism of soldiers, the displacement of populations. • Hemingway's stature as an American writer was secured with the publication of A Farewell to Arms. • P223 1. Structure Part I: the introduction of the characters and problems and themes Part II: the development of the love affair Part III: the retreat from Caporetto and the rout of the army. Henry’s separate peace: running away Part IV: the sense of an ideal and perfect existence in Switzerland Part V: the tragic and final reversal Catherine: begins hemorrhaging during the birth of their child 2. Characters Frederick Henry: a disillusioned man of the modern world searching for some values or system that he can believe in. a lonesome and confused and restless man, his love affair with Catherine made him discover a sense of duty. He found that life could be faced only if he develop within himself an inner strength and inner discipline. P223 Catherine Barkley 3. Interior Monologue The use of interior monologue A passage of writing presenting a character‘s inner thoughts and emotions in a direct, sometimes disjointed or fragmentary manner. It is one particular kind of stream of consciousness writing. 4. Important Quotations It seems she had one hemorrhage after another. They couldn’t stop it. I went into the room and stayed with Catherine until she died. But after I had got them out and shut the door and turned off the light it wasn’t any good. It was like saying good-by to a statue. After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain. 5. Comment When Catherine’s death comes, Henry reports it in the baldest, most unadorned terms. Although Hemingway shows only the tip of the iceberg, the reader feels the immeasurable grief that extends below the surface. Here, in its ability to evoke so much by using so little, is the power of Hemingway’s writing. • The novel was finished in July 1940, and published in Octobr • The novel is based on his experiences during the Spanish Civil War, with an American protagonist named Robert Jordan who fights with Spanish soldiers for the republicans. • nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, • became a literary triumph for Hemingway. • In 1944, the novel was adapted to film, starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman. • P224 The Old Man and the Sea Pulitzer Prize in 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. • Written in 1951, and published in 1952, The Old Man and the Sea is the final work published during Hemingway's lifetime. • five million copies of the magazine were sold in two days “A man is not made for defeat… A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” • P225 Marlin(Santiago’s catch) Mako shark (his first enemy) Shovel-nosed shark (his second enemy) 1. Analysis of Santiago He suffers terribly throughout The Old Man and the Sea. In the opening pages of the book, he has gone eighty-four days without catching a fish and has become the laughingstock of his small village. He then endures a long and severe struggle with the marlin only to see his trophy catch destroyed by sharks. Yet, the destruction enables the old man to undergo a remarkable transformation, and he wrests triumph and renewed life from his seeming defeat. 2. Themes a. The Honor in Struggle, Defeat & Death b. Pride as the Source of Greatness & Determination 3. Symbols 1. The Marlin: the ideal opponent. 2. The Shovel-Nosed Sharks: the destructive laws of the universe Influences on American Literature • 1. No other major American writer has ever equaled the popular success and worldwide reputation of Ernest Hemingway. • During his lifetime he attained the status of an international celebrity. • His prose style became one of the most recognizable literary “trademarks” of all time and is still widely imitated and parodied. • 2. Hemingway was generally regarded as spokesman for the Lost Generation. • He was famous for his novels and short stories written in his spare, laconic, yet intense prose with short sentences and very specific details. • He has probably had the greatest stylistic influence over 20th-century American writers of anyone. 3. Almost all his stories deal with the theme of courage in face of tragedy. They reveal man’s impotence and despairing courage to assert himself against overwhelming odds. • F. Scott Fitzgerald v.s. Ernest Hemingway • P228 Chapter 15 Southern Literature The South • “The South”, a regional as well as a historical definition, is a peculiar part of the United States. • Historically, as the “Old South”, it comprised the states Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida and Texas which united into a confederacy and fought against the rest of the country from 1861 to 1865; • different from the rest by its climate, social structure and a way of life, which depended, in good part, on the main reason for this war: the great “burden” and guilt of slavery. Peculiar Social Features • As a special region, the south formed its peculiar features in its history. Those peculiar social features can be summed up as followed: • 1. Agrarian virtue. • Many southerners were devoted to the plantation. They were hard-working, kind and generous. • 2. Plantation aristocracy. • Those who owned the plantation and slaves enjoyed higher position in southern society. • The landowners formed the rulings class. • The working class consisted poor whites and black slaves. • But this social rank was destroyed during the Civil War. Slaves ran away and plantations were deserted. • 3. Chevalier Spirits. • The Southerners held that everyone who came to the South was a chevalier, and was free from the government; • They could protect themselves, their sisters and daughters, and keep their society running well. • 4. White supremacy. • To keep their aristocratic rank, the southern whites firmly believed in white supremacy—the blacks were an inferior and animal-like race. • 5. Purity of Southern Womanhood. • The Southern women were pure, holy, the best, the most refined example of their culture. • Men went out, worked hard, and earned a living while their wives stayed at home and took care of their children and houses. Southern Renaissance • The Southern Renaissance was the reinvigoration of American Southern literature that began in the 1920s and 30s’ • with the appearance of writers such as William Faulkner, Caroline Gordon, Katherine Anne Porter, Allen Tate, Tennessee Williams, and Robert Penn Warren, among others. William Faulkner (1897~1962) One of the most influential writers of the 20th century one of the most important Southern writers 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel. ” • Born William Cuthbert Falkner September 25, New Albany, Mississippi, USA • Died July 6, 1962 (aged 64) Byhalia, Mississippi, USA • Occupation Novelist, short story writer • Genres Southern Gothic • Literary movement Modernism, Stream of consciousness Life • born in New Albany, Mississippi, into a family which had played a prominent role in the history of the South. • had very little school education and took a clerical job at his grandfather’s bank. • In 1918, after being rejected by the US military because he was too short (he was 5' 5½"), , he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, but the war ended while he was still in training, and he returned to Oxford. • Influences on him: P230-1 Rowan Oak Writing Room an important interpreter of the universal theme of "the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself." Major Works • （19 novels; 75 short stories） • P231 • 1. Early Period: • Soldier's Pay, 1926 • Mosquitoes, 1927 • Sartoris, 1929 2. Climax period (1929-1936) • The Sound and the Fury, 1929 • As I Lay Dying, 1930 • Light in August, 1932 • Absalom, Absalom!, 1934 3. Mature period (1936-1948) • The Hamlet, 1940 • Go Down, Moses, 1942 • Intruder in the Dust, 1948 4.The last period(1948-1962) • A Fable, 1954 • The Mansion, 1959 • P238 Achievements The Creation of Yoknapatawpha County The Theme The Creative Technique The Language • P231 1. Yoknapatawpha County • His hometown, Oxford, Mississippi, became the prototype of Jefferson, in the mythical county of Yoknapatawpha, the setting of many of his works. 2. Yoknapatawpha saga (saga: the story of a family told through several generations) • Faulkner’s works have been termed Yoknapatawpha saga. • He writes about the histories of a number of southern aristocratic families. • P232 3. Three Types of Southern Families A. The decayed aristocratic type: the Sartoris, the Compsons, the old families past the peak of their prosperity and riddled with problems B. The type who are the efficient, materialistic merchants or entrepreneurs : the Snopes C. The type of blacks who witness the fall of the two types 4. Typical Works • Faulkner’s “Yoknapatawpha novels” feature some of the same characters and locations. And the most important four are: • The Sound and the Fury (1929), • As I Lay Dying (1930), • Light in August (1932), • Absalom, Absalom! (1936). Major Theme in his Novel Faulkner was particularly interested in the decline of the South after the Civil War. Many of his novels explore the deterioration of the Southern aristocracy after the destruction of its wealth and way of life during the Civil War and Reconstruction. So one important theme in his novels is the doom and deterioration brought about by the denial of humanity. P232 Creative Technique: • Faulkner’s reputation as one of the greatest novelists of the twentieth century is largely due to his highly experimental style. • Faulkner was a pioneer in literary modernism, dramatically diverging from the forms and structures traditionally used in novels before his time. • Faulkner often employs stream of consciousness narrative, • discards any notion of chronological order, shifts between the present and past tense. • uses multiple narrators • P237-9 1. Stream of Consciousness 1. phrase used by William James in 1890 to describe the unbroken flow of thought and awareness of the waking mind 2. a special mode of narration that undertakes to capture the full spectrum and the continuous flow of a character's mental process 3. In a literary context it is used to describe the narrative method where novelists describe the unspoken thoughts and feelings of their characters without resorting to objective description or conventional dialogue term. • A few of the most famous works to employ the technique are James Joyce's Ulysses Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury Jack Kerouac's On the Road 2. Multiple Point of View • It is also called “the floating point of view” technique and a circular form instead of a linear structure, • which signify the several ways a story gets told—the modes established by Faulkner by means of which the reader is presented with the characters, dialogue, actions, setting, and events through unfixed points of view. 3. The Violation of Chronology • The violation of chronology in the narrative structure is matched by a violation of everyday language habits in Faulkner’s prose style. • The non-chronological order intends to keep the form and the idea fluid and unfinished, still in motion as it were and unknown, and to stress his sense of the contemporariness of past, present and future and his feeling of life as recurrent motion. Faulkner’s Language • His Language is difficult and obscure--• Words running together, without capitalization or punctuation. Effect of His Stylistic Innovations • These stylistic innovations make some of Faulkner’s novels incredibly challenging to the reader. • However, these bold innovations paved the way for countless future writers to continue to experiment with the possibilities of the English language. The Sound and the Fury • Published in 1929 • was not immediately successful • employs a number of narrative styles, including the technique known as stream of consciousness, • many critics and even Faulkner himself think that it is the best novel that he wrote. Title of the Novel • Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player • That struts and frets his hour upon the stage • And then is heard no more: it is a tale • Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, • Signifying nothing. • ---Macbeth • Its subject is • the downfall of a southern family: the Compsons The Compsons Quentin(Harvard, honor) Mr. Jason Compson III (father) Caddy(casual love affair, Mrs. Caroline Compson (mother) Jason(greedy,self-centered) Dilsey(“Negro” servant) got an illegitimate daughter, elopement, divorce ) Benjy(an idiot) • The Sound and the Fury is set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. • The novel centers on the Compson family, former Southern aristocrats who are struggling to deal with the dissolution of their family and its reputation. • The novel is separated into four distinct sections. • 1. The first, April 7, 1928, is written from the perspective of Benjamin "Benjy" Compson, a 33-year-old man with severe mental handicaps. Benjy's section is characterized by a highly disjointed narrative style with frequent chronological leaps. • 2. The second section, June 2, 1910, focuses on Quentin Compson, Benjy's older brother, and the events leading up to his suicide. • 3. In the third section, April 6, 1928, Faulkner writes from the point of view of Jason, Quentin's cynical younger brother. • 4. In the fourth and final section, set a day after the first, on April 8, 1928, Faulkner introduces a third person limited omniscient point of view. • The last section primarily focuses on Dilsey, one of the Compson's black servants. Jason is also a focus in the section, but Faulkner presents glimpses of the thoughts and deeds of everyone in the family. Character Analysis • Mr. Jason Compson III (father) • Mr. Compson is a well-spoken but very cynical and detached man. • He subscribes to a philosophy of determinism and fatalism—he believes life is essentially meaningless and that he can do little to change the events that befall his family. Mrs. Caroline Compson(mother) • She is an “absent mother” whose negligence and disregard contribute directly to the family’s downfall. • who has never shown affection for any of her children except Jason, whom she seems to like only because he takes after her side of the family. • She has no sense of her children’s needs. • She constantly loses in a self-pity. Quentin Compson: a defeated idealist The oldest of the Compson children, Quentin feels an inordinate burden of responsibility to live up to the family’s past greatness. • He is a very intelligent and sensitive young man, but is paralyzed by his obsession with Caddy and his preoccupation with a very traditional Southern code of conduct and morality. • This Southern code defines order and chaos within Quentin’s world, and causes him to idealize abstract concepts such as honor, virtue, and feminine purity. • His strict belief in this code causes Quentin profound despair when he learns of Caddy’s promiscuity. Caddy Compson(daughter) • Caddy is perhaps the most important figure in the novel, as she represents the object of obsession for all three of her brothers. • She is headstrong, loving and affectionate. • She rejects the Southern code that has defined her family’s history and that preoccupies Quentin’s mind. According to Faulkner, the true hero of the novel. Caddy never develops a voice, but rather allows her brothers' emotions towards her to develop her character. Jason Compson : a satanic figure • Jason’s legacy, even from his earliest childhood, is one of malice and hatred. • Jason remains distant from the other children. • Ironically, the loveless Jason is the only one of the Compson children who receives Mrs. Compson’s affection. • Jason has no capacity to accept, enjoy, or reciprocate this love. • Unlike Quentin, who is obsessed with the past, Jason thinks solely about the present and the immediate future. Benjy Compson: a Christ figure • a constant source of shame and grief for his family, especially his mother • Caddy is the only family member who shows any genuine love towards him. • However, Benjy has an almost animal-like "sixth sense“, does have an acute sensitivity to order and chaos, • and he can immediately sense the presence of anything bad, wrong, or out of place. • He is able to sense Quentin’s suicide thousands of miles away at Harvard, • and senses Caddy’s loss of virginity. • In light of this ability, Benjy is the only characters who truly takes notice of the Compson family’s progressing decline. Dilsey: the strongest figure • Dilsey is the only source of stability in the Compson household. • She is the only character detached enough from the Compsons’ downfall to witness both the beginning and the end of this final chapter of the family history. • She is very patient and selfless — she cooks, cleans, and takes care of the Compson children in Mrs. Compson’s absence. • She treats all of the children with love and fairness, even Benjy. • The last chapter’s focus on Dilsey implies a hope for renewal. Themes 1. The Corruption of Southern Aristocratic Values 2. Resurrection and Renewal “A Rose for Emily” "A Rose for Emily" draws a vivid picture of the south of the United States in the turn of the century. Narrative Structure The narrative structure of the piece is interesting in that it does not follow a typical chronological order. The details of the story are revealed slowly by Faulkner as he allows the sense of suspicion to grow before revealing the murder of Homer Barron by Emily. • "When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to the funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old manservant – a combined gardener and cook – had seen in at least ten years." Character Analysis • Emily, • an insane spinster, • a devoted lover, • or a symbol of the past. • Emily seems to cling to a bygone era when her family was given prominence. • She seems to be the product of an earlier era and surrounds herself with reminders of the past. The fact that Emily is tax exempt is an example of the authority she possesses over the townsfolk even though she is distant from them. As early as the story's second line, Emily is described as a "fallen monument". She is also described in paragraph three as "... a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation in the town" • Emily is trapped by a heritage that has alienated her from all things human and real. • She becomes a decaying last link between the modern Jefferson and a bygone era. • She floats through the phases of her life, trapped beneath the suffocating, dark waters of her society. Images of Decay • Throughout the piece Faulkner offers the reader images of Decay as generations succeed each other. • Both Emily and her house are shown as decayed as the body that has lain undiscovered in her bed has infected the house. • her skeleton was small and sparse she looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of that pallid hue her voice was dry and cold • Her house, a fading photograph, “smelled of dust and disuse—a closed, dank smell,” and when her guests are seated a “faint dust” rises “sluggishly about their thighs” • Even the Gardener's voice is described as having : "... grown harsh and rusty, as if from disuse.” It is like an old disused mechanism which is decayed with age. These images of decay reach their highest point with the gruesome corpse of Homer dressed for bed. Section Five • After Emily's funeral, the townspeople immediately go through her house. They come across a room on the second floor which no one had seen in 40 years, and break the door down. • They discover a dusty room strangely decorated as a bridal room. The room contains a man's tie, suit and shoes, and a silver toilet set which Miss Emily had purchased for Homer years before his disappearance. • Homer's remains lay on the bed, dressed in a nightshirt. Next to him is an impression of a head on a pillow where the townspeople find a single “long strand of iron-gray hair.” • It is thus implied that Emily had killed Homer and had lain in the bed with his corpse up to her own death. • The scene of decay in Homer's "tomb" is a symbol of the folly of Emily's refusal to move on. • The opening of the room reveals a stagnant world of decay which in many respects mirrors the decaying way of life at that time. Theme • Decadence of the old south. • Emily: the last elements of the past agricultural south • ‘‘A Rose for Emily’’ has been read variously as a Gothic horror tale, • a study in abnormal psychology, • an allegory of the relations between North and South (Emily v.s. Homer) • a meditation on the nature of time, • and a tragedy with Emily as a sort of tragic heroine. Influences on American Literature • 1. Faulkner is today generally regarded as the greatest twentiethcentury American writer of fiction, and his work is routinely ranked with the literary achievements of Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, and James. • 2. Although Faulkner’s finest fiction deals with one imaginary county in Mississippi, it explores the whole of human experience, a fact recognized when Faulkner received the Nobel Prize. • No American writer of his time has exerted wider influence. • His fiction has been translated into many languages, and it has exercised a deep, varied influence on writers not only in Europe, especially France, but throughout South America and even Japan. • 3. In his work readers have discovered a feeling for the American South—and for the South’s history—that bespeaks a concern for human beings both in the modern world and in some larger, more inclusive realm as well. In addition, readers have recognized that Faulkner’s work is strikingly innovative in structure, form, and style.