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VICTORIAN LITERATURE

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VICTORIAN LITERATURE

Post by dah_men on Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:34 am


Introduction:





Victorian literature is the body of
writing produced during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) and corresponds to the Victorian
era. The 19th century saw the novel become the leading form of literature in
English and formed a transition between writers of the romantic period, such as
Jane Austen and Walter Scott had perfected both
closely-observed social satire and adventure stories, and the very different
literature of the 20th century.


Economic expansion (which was an era) vs.
Moral and Human Decay.


During this era, there were no social
classes, after, 2 social classes were existed:



1.
There who
had their own land.



2.
The
workers: they were called salaries.


After
the Nobility, we have Aristocracy which refers to wealthy people, education was
restricted only to Aristocratic people. In the Industrial revolution?s period,
women did not work, because they had not the obligation to do, but during the 19thC,
i.e. during the period after the Industrial Revolution, women had the rights to
work as well as children, then after children, there were the labours unions who
were a group of people, so as a result, all the members were obliged to work.
They worked for a very low salary and they lived in slams: these slams were
built with wood and metal. In the wealthy class, there were a middle class and
then the workers , they were the poor.


Note: women in the 18thC had no right to
ask for any hidden, but in the 19thC, it is different (there were a Victorian
women, with their husbands? properties). Women could have the choice to share
the property of their husbands.


The conservaThe conservative era was an
era preceding the 17thC. Thomas Hardy was born during the Victorian era.


During the era before 1837 and exactly in
1789, it was the romantic period. There was a change from ruler life to
industrial one, this industrial change effected all domains as: science,
architecture, … etc. it was influenced by the French republic, they wanted to
change their monarch span style="font-family:Wingdings;
mso-ascii-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-hansi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;mso-char-type:symbol;mso-symbol-font-family:Wingdings">
à they brought republic.


Industrialism: dehumanization, result of
whole age.



Materialism:


Flesh



à
Believing in every thing material


spirit



Religion: they rejected the question, for
them religion is hypocritical, they accused religion to be trial.


Industry was important to some classes
like Aristocracy class. Workers were obvious by industry

è
the regularity of the wage or salary.


It was a radical change, the romantic era
was nearly to Queen Victoria from 1789 till 4 years ago. The French at
that time ask for equality and fraternity.


From the reign of Queen
Victoria
and more exactly in 1832, there were 3 reform acts; the French Evolution gave
aim and a hope for a better life. ?the Evolution was about the Critical mind?.


The acceptance of reform acts:The
acceptance of reform acts:


There were many Novelists and writers,
Edward Morgan Forster
in 18thC was a Critic.


The 4 issues (for the paper) characterised
the Victorian era. class="MsoBodyText">

ü
The 1st was about the Evolution
of science, ideas, philosophy and uncritical mind.



ü
The second was about the Industrialism
which is a concept: spirit: refers to religion and flesh refers to money.



ü
The third issue was the woman The third
issue was the woman Question: Who writes novels are not especially wealthy,
poor, .. they named them blue blood (all who writes novels).

üThe
last issue Great Britain
started to enlarge her territory because of this desire that causes the
emergence of sub literature (post colonial literature), after being colonized
there were the emergence of literature.

The Style Of The Victorian Novel:





Influenced as they were by theInfluenced
as they were by the large sprawling novels of sensibility of the preceding age,
the Victorian novels tended to be idealised portraits of difficult lives in
which hard work, perseverance, love and luck win out in the end; virtue would be
rewarded and wrong-doers are suitably punished. They tended to be of an
improving nature with a central moral lesson at heart, informing the reader how
to be a good Victorian. This formula was the basis for much of earlier Victorian
fiction but as the century progressed the plot thickened. More exactly, by the
death of Charles Dickens in 1870, happy endings became less common. His fondness
for writing about the poor and his description of their sentimentalised
portraits started slowly to change. That change become clearer by the end of the
century novels of the 1880s and 90s more realistic and often grimmer; e.g.:
Thomas Hardy’s novels.


An except is a passage or a part in the
literary word.

Charles Dickens:





Charles Dickens (1812-1870) : an English
writer, and a novelist. He wrote many novels, his famous one was walled David
Copperfield. He started by being a journalist in the parliament. Dickens
depiction was on the poor people. The techniques that Charles Dickens had used
in his writing are called the techniques of the “renaissance” to remember his
childhood. For his biography, he enjoyed life but he hated the social system. He
devoted many writing to the children as result of self experience. Criticism of
David Copperfield fiction, autobiography functional element.

Charles Dickens:





Charles Dickens (1812-1870) : an English
writer, and a novelist. He wrote many novels, his famous one was walled David
Copperfield. He started by being a journalist in the parliament. Dickens
depiction was on the poor people. The techniques that Charles Dickens had used
in his writing are called the techniques of the “renaissance” to remember his
childhood. For his biography, he enjoyed life but he hated the social system. He
devoted many writing to the children as result of self experience. Criticism of
David Copperfield fiction, autobiography functional element

Some note about Charles Dickens:





His fully name is Charles John
Huffam Dickens
, he was born in Portsmouth
in 1812, he passed his childhood in London and Kent. In 1824 he went to
school at age of 9 years, but he gave up


his studies when his father was imprisoned
because of debt. His mother was obliged to push him to work when he became 12
years old. This period lasted for 3 months: in his book David Copperfield,
he wrote about his misery that he saw in his childhood. Therefore, he curried on
his studies and he enjoyed reading “les milles et une nuits”, and also
some other novels of the 18thC as Henry fielding and Tobias
Smolett
which had an influence to his work. In 1827, Dickens became the
clerk of the court, then a journalist in the parliament. At that period, he made
acquaintance with Maria Beadnell and he fall in love with her, but
she was so rich rather than him, whereas he is so poor. As a result the marriage
between them was impossible. In 1932, he wrote articles in news paper of his
uncle “the Mirror of Parliament” and also another daily called “The
Morning Chronicle
”. In the “Monthly” news paper he changed his name
to “Boz”.


He married Catherine Hogarth
in 1836. Due to his writings, he became very rich and so famous.


In 1840, he travelled to
USA
in order to explain the republic’s contains books. He made discourses and he
talked about slavery. He was also a director of the theatre which played in
front of Queen Victoria
in 1851. Although these famousness and richness, he wasn’t able to forget his
misery. He met with a woman that he escaped from his family, leaved his wife and
10 children.



Dickens’ writings were criticized on social system in Victorian era;
he spoke about hypocrisy and dehumanisation, but not about hard-hearts. The 19thC
era, it was called the hard-hearts generation.

The Victorian Age (DICKENS)





Murdstone and Grinby's warehouse was at the waterside. It was down in
Blackfriars. Modern improvements have altered the place; but it was the last
house at the bottom of a narrow street, curving down hill to the river, with
some stairs at the end, where people took boat. It was a crazy old house with a
wharf of its own, abutting on the water when the tide was in, and on the mud
when the tide was out, and literally overrun with rats. Its panelled rooms,
discoloured with the dirt and smoke of a hundred years, I dare say; its decaying
floors and staircase; the squeaking and scuffling of the old grey rats down in
the cellars; and the dirt and rottenness of the place; are things, not of many
years ago, in my mind, but of the present instant. They are all before me, just
as they were in the evil hour when I went among them for the first time, with my
trembling hand in Mr. Quinion's.



Murdstone and Grinby's trade was among a good many kinds of people, but an
important branch of it was the supply of wines and spirits to certain packet
ships. I forget now where they chiefly went, but I think there were some among
them that made voyages both to the East and West Indies. I know that a great
many empty bottles were one of the consequences of this traffic, and that
certain men and boys were employed to examine them against the light, and reject
those that were flawed, and to rinse and wash them. When the empty bottles ran
short, there were labels to be pasted on full ones, or corks to be fitted to
them, or seals to be put upon the corks, or finished bottles to be packed in
casks. All this work was my work, and of the boys employed upon it I was one.



There were three or four of us, counting me. My working place was established in
a corner of the warehouse, where Mr. Quinion could see me, when he chose to
stand up on the bottom rail of his stool in the counting-house, and look at me
through a window above the desk. Hither, on the first morning of my so
auspiciously beginning life on my own account, the oldest of the regular boys
was summoned to show me my business. His name was Mick Walker, and he wore a
ragged apron and a paper cap. He informed me that his father was a bargeman, and
walked, in a black velvet head-dress, in the Lord Mayor's Show. He also informed
me that our principal associate would be another boy whom he introduced by the -
to me - extraordinary name of Mealy Potatoes. I discovered, however, that this
youth had not been christened by that name, but that it had been bestowed upon
him in the warehouse, on account of his complexion, which was pale or mealy.
Mealy's father was a waterman, who had the additional distinction of being a
fireman, and was engaged as such at one of the large theatres; where some young
relation of Mealy's - I think his little sister - did Imps in the Pantomimes.



No words can express the secret agony of my soul as I sunk into this
companionship; compared these henceforth everyday associates with those of my
happier childhood - not to say with Steerforth, Traddles, and the rest of those
boys; and felt my hopes of growing up to be a learned and distinguished man,
crushed in my bosom. The deep remembrance of the sense I had, of being utterly
without hope now; of the shame I felt in my position; of the misery it was to my
young heart to believe that day by day what I had learned, and thought, and
delighted in, and raised my fancy and my emulation up by, would pass away from
me, little by little, never to be brought back any more; cannot be written. As
often as Mick Walker went away in the course of that forenoon, I mingled my
tears with the water in which I was washing the bottles; and sobbed as if there
were a flaw in my own breast, and it were in danger of bursting.



The counting-house clock was at half past twelve, and there was general
preparation for going to dinner, when Mr. Quinion tapped at the counting-house
window, and beckoned to me to go in. I went in, and found there a stoutish,
middle-aged person, in a brown surtout and black tights and shoes, with no more
hair upon his head (which was a large one, and very shining) than there is upon
an egg, and with a very extensive face, which he turned full upon me. His
clothes were shabby, but he had an imposing shirt-collar on. He carried a jaunty
sort of a stick, with a large pair of rusty tassels to it; and a quizzing-glass
hung outside his coat, - for ornament, I afterwards found, as he very seldom
looked through it, and couldn't see anything when he did.



'This,' said Mr. Quinion, in allusion to myself, 'is he.'



'This,' said the stranger, with a certain condescending roll in his voice, and a
certain indescribable air of doing something genteel, which impressed me very
much, 'is Master Copperfield. I hope I see you well, sir?'



I said I was very well, and hoped he was. I was sufficiently ill at ease, Heaven
knows; but it was not in my nature to complain much at that time of my life, so
I said I was very well, and hoped he was.



'I am,' said the stranger, 'thank Heaven, quite well. I have received a letter
from Mr. Murdstone, in which he mentions that he would desire me to receive into
an apartment in the rear of my house, which is at present unoccupied - and is,
in short, to be let as a - in short,' said the stranger, with a smile and in a
burst of confidence, 'as a bedroom - the young beginner whom I have now the
pleasure to -' and the stranger waved his hand, and settled his chin in his
shirt-collar.



'This is Mr. Micawber,' said Mr. Quinion to me.



'Ahem!' said the stranger, 'that is my name.'



'Mr. Micawber,' said Mr. Quinion, 'is known to Mr. Murdstone. He takes orders
for us on commission, when he can get any. He has been written to by Mr.
Murdstone, on the subject of your lodgings, and he will receive you as a
lodger.'



'My address,' said Mr. Micawber, 'is Windsor Terrace, City Road. I - in short,'
said Mr. Micawber, with the same genteel air, and in another burst of confidence
- 'I live there.'



I made him a bow.



'Under the impression,' said Mr. Micawber, 'that your peregrinations in this
metropolis have not as yet been extensive, and that you might have some
difficulty in penetrating the arcana of the Modern Babylon in the direction of
the City Road, - in short,' said Mr. Micawber, in another burst of confidence,
'that you might lose yourself - I shall be happy to call this evening, and
install you in the knowledge of the nearest way.'



I thanked him with all my heart, for it was friendly in him to offer to take
that trouble.



'At what hour,' said Mr. Micawber, 'shall I -'



'At about eight,' said Mr. Quinion.



'At about eight,' said Mr. Micawber. 'I beg to wish you good day, Mr. Quinion. I
will intrude no longer.'



So he put on his hat, and went out with his cane under his arm: very upright,
and humming a tune when he was clear of the counting-house.



The Victorian Novel
The Victorian Age is marked roughly by the reign of Queen
Victoria of England from 1837-1901.
The Victorian reading public firmly established the novel as the dominant
literary form of the era. The novel is the most distinctive and lasting literary
achievement of Victorian literature.
Earlier in the century Sir Walter Scott had created a large novel-reading public
and had made the novel respectable. He had also strengthened the tradition of
the 3-volume novel.
The publication of novels in monthly instalments enabled even the poor to
purchase them
The novelists of the Victorian era:


  • accepted middle class values
  • treated the problem of the individual's adjustment to his
    society
  • emphasized well-rounded middle-class characters
  • portrayed the hero as a rational man of virtue
  • believed that human nature is fundamentally good and lapses
    are errors of judgment corrected by maturation

The Victorian novel appealed to readers because of its:


  • realism
  • impulse to describe the everyday world the reader could
    recognize
  • introduction of characters who were blends of virtue and vice
  • attempts to display the natural growth of personality
  • expressions of emotion: love, humour, suspense, melodrama,
    pathos (deathbed scenes)
  • Moral earnestness and wholesomeness, including crusades
    against social evils and self-censorship to acknowledge the standard morality of
    the times.


Emily Bronte:





Emily Bronte was a
daughter of a religious man; her character was in a very acute way. She was a
governess; she suffered a lot from illness. She had no idea about the negative
aspect.



Wuthering Heights:
is a king of imagination.
Emily Bronte falls in love with a man who told her that his wife was died, but
in fact not. Gothic: is a style of literature


The
Gothic elements were
:



  • Fear
  • Terror
  • mystery
  • Love (feeling)
  • Depiction children's lives



They were the
aspects of the romantic novel with some Gothic elements. The depiction of nature
is an aspect in a romantic literature.


The main
protagonists were:



  • Heathcliff

  • Catherine

  • Cathy Earnshaw


  • Edgar Linton




The father of Catherine
was a drunken man. He was full of his son Hindley (the brother of Catherine).



Heathcliff was poor, he
called gypsy.



Gypsies: were known as being
without pure origin, they were the result of the illegitimate relations.



Heathcliff was degraded
by the brother of Catherine. Heathcliff loved Catherine from their childhood,
unfortunately, they did not get married because Catherine refused to marry to a
dark skin, who had no origin, and who was brutal.



Edgar Linton was the man
who married Catherine, although he was not the man that she loved but she
married him because he was rich. He was a servant; he lived in a very nice house
surrounded with gardens, with a lot of windows… etc.


In fact, Edgar
Linton married also her sister named Isabelle,, and they had a son. Edgar was a
civilized man.The necessary and the
agreeable:




Linton was the necessary,
i.e. the suitable man for Catherine in order to get in high-class. But
Heathcliff was the agreeable.



Nelly Dean was the
governess of Catherine who told Heathcliff that his beloved Catherine had got to
marry with Edgar Linton. She was a narrator and an active character.



Catherine died because
she was unhappy with Linton. Three years after her death, Heathcliff came and
started his process.


The three
generations of Characters: we have two houses:



  • Wuthering Heights
    è
    Heathcliff's house.

  • Thrushcross Grange

    è
    Linton's house



WUTHERING HEIGHTS
AND THE ROMANTIC NOVEL



Romanticism, the literary movement
traditionally dated 1798 to 1832 in England, affected all the arts through
the 19th century. The Brontes were familiar with the writings of the
major romantic poets and the novels of Sir Walter Scott. The romantic elements
in the Brontes' writings are obvious. For instance, the characteristic spirit of
romanticism appears in the figures of Hareton Earnshaw, Catherine Linton, and
that of Heathcliff -tearing open Catherine's grave, removing one side of her
coffin that he may really lie beside her in death
- figures so passionate,
yet woven on a background of delicately beautiful, moorland scenery, being
typical examples of that spirit.

Romantic elements in WUTHERING
HEIGHTS











  • The imagination is unlimited to explore extreme states of being
    and experience.


  • The love of nature is not represented just in its tranquil
    aspect but also appears in its wild, stormy moods.


  • Nature is a living, vitalising force and offers a refuge from
    the constraints, of civilisation.


  • The passion driving Catherine and Heathcliff and their obsessive
    love for each other are the centre of their being and transcend death.




  • A great focus is placed on the individual that society is pushed to the
    periphery of the action.

  • The concern with identity and the creation of the self are a primary concern.

  • Childhood and the adult's developing from childhood experiences
    are presented realistically.


  • Heathcliff is the Byronic hero; both are rebellious, passionate,
    misanthropic, isolated, and wilful, have mysterious origins, lack of family
    ties, reject external restrictions and control, and seek to resolve their
    isolation by fusing with love object.


  • Hareton is the noble savage and so is Heathcliff.

  • The taste for local colour shows in the portrayal of Yorkshire,
    its landscape, its folklore, and its people.


The Romantic/Gothic elements in
WUTHERING HEIGHTS






  • The dynamic antagonism in the novel tends to subvert, if not to reject literary
    convention; often a novel verges on turning into something else, like poetry or
    drama. In Wuthering Heights, realism in presenting Yorkshire landscape and life
    and the historical precision of season, dates, and hours co-exist with the
    dreamlike and the unhistorical, Bronte refuse to be confined by conventional
    classifications.


  • The protagonists' wanderings are motivated by flight from previously- chosen
    goals, so that often there is a pattern of escape and pursuit. Consider
    Catherine's marriage for social stability, position, and wealth, her efforts to
    evade the consequences of her marriage, the demands of Heathcliff and Edgar, and
    her final mental wandering.


  • The protagonists are driven by irresistible passion, curiosity, ambition,
    intellectual pride, and envy. The emphasis is on their desire for transcendence,
    to overcome the limitations of the body, of society, of time rather than their
    moral transgressions. They yearn to escape the limitations inherent to life and
    may find that only escape is death. The longings of a Heathcliff cannot be
    fulfilled in life.


  • Death is not only a literal happening or plot device, but also and primarily
    a psychological concern. For the protagonists death originates in the
    imagination, becomes a "tendency of mind", and may develop into an obsession.


  • As in Gothic fiction, buildings are central to the meaning, the
    supernatural, wild nature, dream and madness, and physical violence are set off
    against social conventions and institutions. Initially, this may create the
    impression that the novel us two books in one, but finally Thrushcross Grange
    and Wuthering
    Heights fuse.


  • Endings are disquieting and unsatisfactory because the writer resists a
    definitive conclusion, one which accounts for all loose ends and explains away
    any ambiguities or uncertainties. The preference for open-endedness is
    ultimately, an effort to resist the limits of time and place. That effort helps
    explain the importance of dreams and memories of other times and location, like
    Catherine's delirious memories of childhood at Wuthering Heights and rambles on the moors.


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Re: VICTORIAN LITERATURE

Post by dah_men on Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:41 am

WUTHERING HEIGHTS (Emily Bronte - 1848)

Analysis: Chapters VI-IX





In this section, Nelly brings to
conclusion the story of Heathcliff and Catherine's childhood, with Heathcliff
leaving Wuthering
Heights the night Catherine decides to marry Edgar
Linton. In the climatic scene in which Catherine discusses with Nelly her
decision to marry Edgar, Catherine describes the conflict between her love for
Heathcliff and her love for Edgar. She says that she loves Edgar because he is
handsome, rich, and graceful, and because he would make her the greatest lady in
the region. However, she also states that she loves Heathcliff as through they
shared the same soul, and that she knows in her heart that she has no business
marrying Edgar? Nevertheless, her desire for a genteel and socially prominent
lifestyle guides her decision-making: she would marry Heathcliff, if Hindley had
not cast him down so low.


Heathcliff's emotional turmoil
is due in part to his ambiguous class status. He begins life as a lower-class
orphan, but is raised to the status of a gentleman's son when Mr. Earnshaw
adopts him. He suffers another reversal in status when Hindley forces him to
work as a servant in the very small household where he once enjoyed a life of
luxury. The other characters, including the Lintons, to an extent, Catherine-all
upper-class themselves- prove complicit in this obliteration of Heathcliff's
hopes. Inevitably, the unbridgeable gap in Catherine and Heathcliff's social
positions render their fervent romance unrealizable on any practical level.



Nevertheless, the passion between the two lovers' remains rooted in their hearts, impervious to
external contingencies. The text consistently treats the love between Catherine
and Heathcliff as an incontestable fact of nature. Nothing can alter or lessen
it, and the lovers know this. Heathcliff and Catherine know that no matter how
they hurt each other, they can be sure of never losing their shared passion and
ultimate mutual loyalty. Catherine can decide to marry Edgar, certain that this
outward act will have no effect on her and Heathcliff's inner feelings for one
another. Similarly, it is in the knowledge of their passion's durability that
Heathcliff later undertakes his cruel revenge.


Theme Analysis





Race/Class/Education- throughout the novel characters are
prejudged by their race, class or education. When Heathcliff is first introduced
he is described as a dark skinned boy with dark hair, and because of this people
are prejudiced against him. He is called a "gypsy" numerous times, and the
Lintons treat him badly and send him away from their house because of his
appearance. Heathcliff also quickly dislikes his son because of his light skin
and hair.


Class is also an issue. There
was a class hierarchy in Bronte's England, and this can be seen in the novel as well. The
residents of Wuthering heights seem to be of a lower class than the Lintons at
Thrushcross Grange. Even though she loves him, Catherine will not marry
Heathcliff after he has been degraded, and instead marries into a rich Linton
family, causing all of the major conflict in the novel. The Lintons are of a
higher class both because they have more money and don't seem to have to work,
and because they are better educated.


Catherine tries to better her
situation both by marrying Edgar Linton and by her constant reading. She laughs
at Hareton because of his lack of education. Heathcliff admits that Hareton is
smarter than Linton. Yet because of low they are raised and what they will
inherit, Linton will be the more upgraded while Hareton will remain a servant.
It is only when Catherine and Hareton become friends and she begins to educate
him that Hareton turns into a gentleman and loses his crude behaviour.


Revenge- Revenge is a major theme of the novel.
Early in the novel Heathcliff is described as plotting revenge, and the second
half of the novel is dominated by Heathcliff's revenge against Hindley and his
descendants for his mistreatment of him and against Edgar and his descendants
for Catherine's death. Heathcliff's revenge affects everyone in the novel, and
he seems to think that if he can revenge Catherine's death, he can be with her.
He has been looking for her since her death, as he has been sensing her near
him. However, it is only at the end of the novel, when he has given up his plans
for revenge, that he is able to see Catherine and that he is reunited with her.


Supernatural- Supernatural events happen in the very
beginning of the novel and continue until the very end? In chapter three
Lockwood is grabbed and pleaded to by Catherine's ghost through a window and in
the last chapter Ellen talks about people seeing the ghosts of Heathcliff and
Catherine walking on the moors. In between Heathcliff tells Ellen about hearing
Catherine sighing in the graveyard and sensing her nearby, and when he gives up
his plans of revenge he even seems to see her ghost. Ellen also once sees
Heathcliff as a goblin, and wonders if he is a vampire or a ghoul, although she
realizes she is being silly. These themes and instances are tied to a
spirituality and life-after-death theme in the novel. Edgar and Heathcliff both
want to be with Catherine after she has died. Edgar does not want her to haunt
him, but he does look forward to a time when they can be together again.
Heathcliff does want Catherine to haunt him, and she indeed seems to, and he
also looks forward to spending eternity with her after death.


Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy)


Jude the obscure of Thomas
Hardy is unmistakably not Victorian, in that is preoccupation with the late 19th
century worries and questioning made of it more contemporary than it wanted to
be. The concentration of the novel on the loss of religious faith in a
conventional society, the rise of the working woman and the difficulties of being merely an independent woman,
and te oppression of a professional ambition in a class-based society led it
re-examine the priorities of the Victorian individual.


Jude the Obscure is an account of the poor
existence of a male protagonist, named in the title, from the very first moment
he aspires to be a learned and distinguished man to his disastrous ending alone
and desperate. In a period of twenty years of self-study and defeats in sex and
love of two women, one sensual and pragmatic, Arabella, with whom he
would share an unhappy marital life, the other intellectual and seeking, Sue,
whom he intensely loved but did not marry, he waged a war between the ideal life
he wanted to have and the ill-fated life he was doomed to live.


Sue Bridehead, is the female co-protagonist, she is
portrayed as an intelligent, attractive, intellectually emancipated young woman
who marries unhappily too. On meeting her cousin, Jude, she confuses him
oscillating between behaviour of tender encouragement and temporary withdrawal.
Yet, she marries phillotson, realises her unhappiness, and hastens
another time to her lover Jude but declines to marry him claiming the
falseness and the failure of the failure of the legitimate and scared
relationship.


Her fear from marriage which, according to
Thomas Hardy, would destroy her spontaneity and deprive her of the right to deny
her lawful husband sexual intercourse when she refuses seems to convey a
persistent emphasis on formal marriage as a trap in contrast to what may a free
union offer. There us an incredible scorn against marriage which is maintained
throughout the novel at such a point that Hardy strives to show Jude and
Sue happy only when being unmarried.


Right from the beginning, the reader is
remained that, " many a man had made love-promises to a woman at whose voice
he had trembled by the next seed-time after fulfilling them in the church
adjoining
" then the novelist carries on suggesting when the couple decided
to get married and went to the Registar's Office met two couples who prevented
them from. The first comprises a soldier "sullen and reluctant" and a
bride "sad and timid; she was soon, obviously, to become a mother, and she
had a black eye
". The second couple is little better; the groom has just
been released from jail, and is "an ill-favoured man, closely cropped, with a
broad-faced, pock-marked woman on his arm, ruddy with liquor and the
satisfaction of being on the brink of a gratified desire
".



At the end of the novel, Thomas Hardy
becomes bitter and his aversion about marriage becomes most overt. When
Arabella
is seen kissing Jude by the landlord the latter doubts that
they are married; but when he hears her abuse Jude and fling a shoe at
his head, "he recognized the note of ordinary wedlock" and adds that "they
must be respectable
".



All marriages of the novel are unhappy and
disastrous. Depicted in detail, these experiences seem to show that there are
unsuitable candidates for marriage and that even if marriage is to bring
happiness, the later is very brief and will vanish sooner or later.



Moreover, the text is interlaced by
imagery of gins, springes, and snares. A "gin" (engine for entrapment) was a
powerful spring-trap fitted with metal teeth. A "springe" was snare with noose
and spring. By means of such imagery Hardy seeks to co-ordinate the various
kinds of entrapment, sexual, social and even metaphysical, which beset Jude and
Sue.


When Jude realises that he has
been tricked into marriage to Arabella, we are told: "he was inclined to inquire
what he had done, or she lost, for that matter, that he deserved to be caught in
a gin which would cripple him, if not her also, for the rest of a life-time? The
imager becomes tangibly manifest when, at Shaston, Jude hears the cry of a
rabbit tortured in a gin: he kills the creature to release it from its agony;
and thus he encounters Sue, who has similarly been awakened by the cry, and who
tells him of her entrapment in marriage to Phillotson.


Jude finds himself ensnared by marriage to
an unsuitable partner, thus the imagery of snares has metaphysical implications,
to the extent that Jude may seem to have been ensnared by a hostile supernatural
pow"


Another theme which appears to shake the student's world refers to the recurrent hints to the
absence of a God and an allusion to his unfairness. Through Jude's
disappointment when being refused to enter the university because poor and
belonging to a lower class. Thomas Hardy depicts the existence of a supreme
power, a divine providence that deprived Jude of his ambitions and reduced him
to yield to his fated unfortunate life while it gave the opportunity to others
like Phillotson. Furthermore, the notion of the punitive God that the novelist
shows through Sue's relapse after te death of the children, deepens his
religious distrust. By the end of the novel, Jude's destiny, Thomas Hardy
concludes mockingly, made him died desperate an alone.


Jude the Obscure





Jude the Obscure is the last of Thomas Hardy's novels, begun as a magazine
serial and first published in book form in 1895. Its hero Jude Fawley is a
lower-class young man who dreams of becoming a scholar. The two other main
characters are his earthy wife, Arabella, and his intellectual cousin, Sue.
Themes include class, scholarship, religion, marriage, and the modernisation of
thought and society.

Description





The novel has an elaborately structured plot, in which subtle details and
accidents lead to the characters' ruin. It also develops many different themes.
These include how human loneliness and sexuality can stop a person from trying
to fulfil his dreams; how, when free from the trap of marriage, one's dreams
will not be fulfilled if one is of a lower status; how the educated classes are
often more like sophists than intellectuals; how living a libertine life full of
integrity and passion will be condemned as scandalous in traditional society;
and how religion is nothing but a mistaken sense that the tragedies that wear
down an individual are the result of having sinned against a higher being.


As in most of Hardy's novels except, perhaps, for Far From the Madding
Crowd, Hardy manipulates the downfall of his characters like a sadistic god—as
if he were a true believer in a deity that was not a redeemer but a cruel
monster (a motif frequently called a "rigged doom").


There are strong autobiographical
references to Hardy's own life in Jude the Obscure. Hardy, himself a stonemason
in earlier years, also did not go to university, and his first wife, Emma
Gifford, also became more and more religious as years passed.

Plot summary






The novel tells the story of Jude Fawley, a village stonemason in the
fictional southwest English region of Wessex who yearns to be a scholar at
"Christminster", a city modelled on Oxford, England. In his sparse spare time,
working for his aunt's bakery, he teaches himself Greek and Latin. Before he can
try to enter the university, the naïve Jude is manipulated into marrying a
rather coarse and superficial local girl, Arabella Donn, who deserts him within
two years. By this time, he had abandoned the classics altogether.



After she leaves, he moves to Christminster from his village and supports
himself as a mason while studying alone, hoping to be able to enter the
university later (he never will). There, he meets and falls in love with his
cousin, Sue Bridehead. Sue and Jude also meet the latter's former schoolteacher,
Mr Phillotson, who marries Sue some time later. Sue is attracted to the
normality of her married life but quickly finds the relationship an unhappy one
because, besides being in love with Jude, she is physically disgusted by her
husband (and, apparently, by sexual relations in general).



Sue eventually leaves
Phillotson for Jude. Sue and Jude spend some time living together without any
sexual relationship because Sue does not want one. They are also both afraid to
get married because their family has a history of tragic marriages, and because
they think being legally obliged to love one another might destroy their love.
Jude eventually convinces Sue to sleep with him, and several children are born.
They are also bestowed with a child "of an intelligent age" from Jude's first
marriage, whom Jude did not know about earlier. He is named Jude and nicknamed
"Little Father Time".


Jude and Sue are socially
ostracized for living together unmarried, especially after the children are
born. Jude's employers always dismiss him when they find out, and landlords
evict them. The precocious Little Father Time, observing the problems he and his
siblings are causing their parents, murders Sue's two children by strangling
them with box cord and then commits suicide by hanging himself. He leaves a note
reading: Done because we are too menny [sic].



The shock of these events pushes Sue into a crisis of religious guilt. Although
horrified at the thought of resuming her physical relationship with Phillotson,
she nevertheless returns to him and becomes his wife again. Jude, demoralized,
is tricked into remarrying Arabella. After one final, desperate visit to Sue
carried out in horrible weather, Jude becomes seriously ill and dies within the
year, while Arabella is out courting a doctor.

Reviews





Called
"Jude the Obscene" by at least one reviewer[1], Jude the Obscure
received so harsh a reception from scandalized critics that Hardy
stopped writing novels altogether, producing only poetry and drama for
the rest of his Called "Jude the Obscene" by at least one reviewer[1],
Jude the Obscure received so harsh a reception from scandalized critics
that Hardy stopped writing novels altogether, producing only poetry and
drama for the rest of his life.



Jude was first published under the title
The Simpletons; and then Hearts Insurgent in the European and American editions
of Harper's New Monthly Magazine from December 1894 until November 1895. The
initial, serialized edition was substantially different from the later novelized
form. Many minor changes were made because the magazine publishers insisted—for
moral reasons. Large portions of the plot were also different.




D.H. Lawrence, an admirer of Hardy, was
puzzled by the character of Sue Bridehead, and attempted to analyze her sexual
problem in a famous essay.

Heart of Darkness




Heart of Darkness is a novella by Joseph Conrad. Before its 1902 publication, it appeared as a
three-part series (1899) in Blackwood's Magazine. It is widely regarded
as a significant work of English literature and part of the Western
canon.
This highly symbolic story is actually a story within a story, or frame
narrative.


It follows Charles
Marlow as he recounts, at dusk and into the evening, his adventure into
the Congo to a group of men aboard a ship anchored in the Thames
Estuary.


The story details an incident when Marlow, an Englishman, took a
foreign assignment as a ferry-boat captain, employed by a Belgian
trading company, on what readers may assume is the Congo River, in the
Congo Free State, a private colony of King Leopold II; the country is
never specifically named. Though his job is transporting ivory
downriver, Marlow quickly develops an intense interest in investigating
Kurtz, an ivory-procurement agent in the employ of the government.
Kurtz has a reputation throughout the region.

Background





In writing the novella, Conrad drew inspiration from his own experience in the
Congo: eight and a half years before writing the book, he had served as the
captain of a Congo steamer. However he soon became ill and returned to Europe
soon after. Some of Conrad's experiences in the Congo, and the story's historic
background, including possible models for Kurtz, are recounted in Adam
Hochschild's King Leopold's Ghost.


The story-within-a-story device that Conrad chose for Heart of Darkness — one in
which an unnamed narrator recounts Marlow's recounting of his journey — has many
literary precedents. Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and Mary Shelley's
Frankenstein used a similar device, but the best examples of the framed
narrative include Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, The Arabian Nights
and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Motifs and themes





The motif of "darkness" from the title recurs throughout the book. It is used to
reflect the unknown, the concept of the "darkness of barbarism" contrasted with
the "light of civilization" and the ambiguity of both - the dark motives of
civilization and the freedom of barbarism, as well as the "spiritual darkness"
of several characters. This sense of darkness also lends itself to a related
theme of obscurity — again, in various senses, reflecting the ambiguities in the
work. Moral issues are not clear-cut; that which ought to be (in various senses)
on the side of "light" is in fact mired in darkness, and vice versa.


Africa was known as "The Dark Continent" in the Victorian Era with all the
negative attributes of darkness attributed to the Africans by Europeans. The
lavishly praised, finest, most civilized and estimable flower of European
civilization is represented by the character "Kurtz"; but Kurtz is actually the
bloodiest, most evil, violent and monstrous—hence the "darkest"—character in the
book. This contradiction is ultimately a criticism of the Victorian perception
of Western Culture being the heart of "Civilization". One of the probable models
for the Kurtz character was Henry Morton Stanley of "Dr. Livingston; I presume"
fame, as he was a principal explorer of "The Dark Heart Of Africa", particularly
the Congo. Stanley was infamous in Africa for horrific violence and yet he was
honoured by a knighthood.


To emphasize the theme of darkness within all of mankind, Marlow's narration
takes place on a yawl in the Thames tidal estuary. Early in the novella, Marlow
recounts how London, the largest, most populous and wealthiest city in the world
at the time (where Conrad wrote and where a large part of his audience lived),
was itself a "dark" place in Roman times. The theme of darkness lurking beneath
the surface of even "civilized" persons is further explored through the
character of Kurtz and through Marlow's passing sense of understanding with the
Africans.


Themes developed in the novella's later scenes include the naïveté of Europeans
— particularly women — regarding the various forms of darkness in the Congo; the
British traders and Belgian colonialists' abuse of the natives; and man's
potential for duplicity. The symbolic levels of the book expand on all of these
in terms of a struggle between good and evil, not so much between people as
within every major character's soul.


Throughout the novel Conrad dramatises a tension in his narrator Marlow between
the restraint of civilization and the savagery of barbarism. The darkness and
amorality which is exemplified by Kurtz is argued to be the reality of the human
condition, upon which illusory moral structures are imposed by civilization.
Marlow's confrontation with Kurtz presents him with a 'choice of nightmares' -
to commit himself to the savagery of the human condition, or to the lie and
veneer of civilized restraint. Though Marlow 'cannot abide a lie' and
subsequently cannot perceive civilization as anything but a veneer hiding the
savage reality of the human condition, he is also horrified by the darkness of
Kurtz he sees in his own heart. After emerging from this experience, his Buddha
like pose aboard the Neille symbolises a suspension between this choice of
nightmares.

Controversy





In a post-colonial reading, the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe famously
criticized the Heart of Darkness in his 1975 lecture An Image of Africa: Racism
in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness.", saying the novel de-humanised Africans, denied
them language and culture, and reduced them to a metaphorical extension of the
dark and dangerous jungle into which the Europeans venture. Achebe's lecture
prompted a lively debate, reactions at the time ranged from dismay and outrage -
Achebe recounted a professor emeritus from the University of Massachusetts
saying to Achebe after the lecture, "How dare you upset everything we have
taught, everything we teach? Heart of Darkness is the most widely taught text in
the university in this country. So how dare you say it’s different?"[1] to
Cedric Watts' A Bloody Racist: About Achebe's View of Conrad (1983),[2] which
sets out to refute Achebe's critique. Other critiques include Hugh Curtler's
Achebe on Conrad: Racism and Greatness in Heart of Darkness (1997).



In King Leopold's Ghost (1998), Adam Hochschild argues that literary scholars
have made too much of the psychological aspects of Heart of Darkness while
scanting the moral horror of Conrad's accurate recounting of the methods and
effects of colonialism

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