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From Spectator Ab Extra Arthur Hugh Clough As I sat at the Café I said to myself, They may talk as they please about what they call pelf, They may sneer.

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Presentation on theme: "From Spectator Ab Extra Arthur Hugh Clough As I sat at the Café I said to myself, They may talk as they please about what they call pelf, They may sneer."— Presentation transcript:

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2 From Spectator Ab Extra Arthur Hugh Clough As I sat at the Café I said to myself, They may talk as they please about what they call pelf, They may sneer as they like about eating and drinking, But help it I cannot, I cannot help thinking How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! How pleasant it is to have money. I sit at my table en grand seigneur, And when I have done, throw a crust to the poor; Not only the pleasure itself of good living, But also the pleasure of now and then giving: So pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! So pleasant it is to have money. They may talk as they please about what they call pelf, And how one ought never to think of ones self, How pleasures of thought surpass eating and drinking, – My pleasure of thought is the pleasure of thinking How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! How pleasant it is to have money. JSK

3 The title Spectator Ab Extra means literally onlooker from outside, reflects the position of Clough during his living in England. Being relatively wealthy Clough could look critically at both classes without too much hypocrisy. The title reveals somewhat of Cloughs experiences in England and makes a parody of the views of many upper class aristocrats, the onlooker from outside being the narrator as an obviously wealthy man sitting in a café. The perspective of the poem can be said to be an onlooker from outside as the man is removed from the suffering of the poor and at the same time being critical of the rich by the views expressed by the narrative perspective character.

4 As I sat at the Café I said to myself, They may talk as they please about what they call pelf, They may sneer as they like about eating and drinking, But help it I cannot, I cannot help thinking How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! How pleasant it is to have money. Paraphrased Stanza/Plot Summary: The persona is at the café, and he is thinking to himself about his opinion on being rich and having wealth. He speaks about how skeptical the people think towards the rich and criticize them for sneering at his wealth and his prosperity, as if he is acting arrogantly towards others. Then he repeats how pleasant it is to have money twice, emphasizing the personas arrogance and in a way, his care freeness.

5 I sit at my table en grand seigneur, And when I have done, throw a crust to the poor; Not only the pleasure itself of good living, But also the pleasure of now and then giving: So pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! So pleasant it is to have money. Paraphrased Stanza/Plot Summary: This stanza is a complement to the first, as the persona continues to speak of his prosperities, of how he gives a crust to the poor when hes done and sit on the table en grand seigneur which means in the manner of a gentleman. These emphases on the personas arrogance toward the poor and on his own happiness of being wealthy makes the reader think of the persona as not a bad person, but a not very nice person. Once again … pleasant it is to have money is repeated in the same manner as stanza 1, but with the use of the conjunction so instead of how

6 They may talk as they please about what they call pelf, And how one ought never to think of one's self, How pleasures of thought surpass eating and drinking, - My pleasure of thought is the pleasure of thinking How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! How pleasant it is to have money. Paraphrased Stanza/Plot Summary: The persona once again repeats his thought on pelf (wealth), and even goes on as to sating that his pleasure in thinking about his own wealth is even more pleasurable than eating or drinking. He also hints that he is acting self-centered, when he says how one ought never to think of ones self, and as a result this also shows that the persona is trying to justify his love over his own wealth. The how pleasant it is to have money is once again repeated.

7 Although the poem does not openly show the tension in 19 th century England, if one reads between the lines it can be felt that resentment presides over the whole situation and thus there is tension. The poem speaks of the people talking and sneering about the aristocracy and conflict amongst the people is shown by the jealousy felt towards the rich. This is shown by negative connotations in words such as; pelf, sneer and in the saying one ought never to think of ones self. This demonstrates resentment between the poor and the rich. They may talk as they please about what they call pelf, They may sneer as they like about eating and drinking, …………………………………………………. And how one ought never to think of one's self, How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! RJ

8 This poem contains one character, which is the persona, and the poor man who receives the crust. The persona is a rich gentleman, and the poor man, presumably a homeless, poor person. This poem is written in the 1 st person, and there are several Is that occur throughout the poem. This shows that the author is in fact in the poem and is acting as the main character. But the title of the poem Spectator Ab Extra which in fact means in Latin spectator from outside. This shows that the persona, who is referred to as I is not actually the main point of view but rather the poor man, who is watching this show from the outside, is. This also shows that this whole poem is an ironical poem which intends to attack the rich men. This is done by the show of their arrogance from the inside and us seeing his arrogance in a point of view directed towards the rich person, which reveals the mans true intentions. This poem is set at the café, where the rich gentleman is sitting, the area is guessed to be in England, as that is where the poet has lived most of his life.

9 The author uses several sound devices to make a parody of the poem as a whole. Sing-song style words add to the light hearted take on the whole situation, being quite opposite to the pedantic aristocrat that is being portrayed. As I sat at the Cafe I said to myself, They may talk as they please about what they call pelf, They may sneer as they like about eating and drinking, But help it I cannot, I cannot help thinking How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! How pleasant it is to have money.

10 In the poem, each of the stanzas has very similar line length sentence form in the quatrain, and of course the refrain is nearly always constant. All of these sentences are separated by a comma, not a full stop; also, the refrain contains a repetition where the sentences are more speech-like than before. There are no specific sentence abnormalities or changes; however, each stanza is a whole sentence, with pauses indicated with commas. This was done intentionally, to keep each stanza flowing and so the rhythm isnt broken due to the punctuation. Also during the refrain: So pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! So pleasant it is to have money. The heigh-ho has an ! (exclamation mark) on it emphasizing that word. This is done to once again add the melody like tune to the poem, as heigh-ho is an expression used by people to express joy.

11 This poem has a very plain, patterned rhythm and rhyme. In a sense, this poem can be said to resemble a song. Each stanza is a sestet, with six lines in each stanza; which has a quatrain (four lines) and a refrain. In the quatrain, the rhyming scheme is AABB, with the refrain being a repetition. Each stanza having a very simple and similar structure, along with a refrain in each stanza, makes the poem seem like a tune or a song, which is also reinforced by the constant pattern of rhymes. This creates a rather cheerful or a jolly rhythm, which reinforces the idea that the persona is singing his joys. The poems generally song-like format with repeated lines and somewhat of a chorus helps to lighten the load and adds to the parody of the poem as a whole. As I sat at the Cafe I said to myself, They may talk as they please about what they call pelf, They may sneer as they like about eating and drinking, But help it I cannot, I cannot help thinking How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! How pleasant it is to have money. Quatrain Refrain This sing-song approach the poet has used, as well as Rhyme, further adds to the effect of light- heartedness and donates to the poem a flowing quality making it feel rather like a nursery rhyme, quite unlike the unsavory truth of what the poem is conveying. This rhythm, as well as making the poem more enjoyable to the reader, also help establish the authors theme; the arrogance of the rich. As the poem is in the perspective of the rich gentleman, by making the poem seem very carefree and simple, it show the reader how carefree and simple the mind of the rich man is and criticizes him for his simple-mindedness.

12 The poem evokes an understanding of upper-class arrogance which in turn gives rise to a feeling of frustration. For instance the circumstances of the poem are ones easily related to by someone at the time of a lower socio- economic group and one of this group reading the poem could be understandably moved. The poem itself uses feeling to express an understanding of the naivety and arrogance of the aristocratic perspective, as he is genuinely pleased with his contribution to society. I sit at my table en grand seigneur, And when I have done, throw a crust to the poor; Not only the pleasure itself of good living, But also the pleasure of now and then giving: So pleasant it is to have money, heigh- ho! So pleasant it is to have money. HK

13 The central theme of the whole poem is the idea of class. The poem demonstrates the deep ruts in society between upper and lower class by evoking feelings of tension between the classes and the theme is one popular of Clough. The poem is really a more modern attack on the upper class by a more educated person, much like Song to the Men of England. Cloughs experience of another way in America gives him unique insight into the situation and the rather gaudy parody of life in England is quite opposite to the depressingly morose Song to the Men of England.

14 Arthur Clough was born in Liverpool and in 1822 his family moved to the United States. In 1828 Clough and his older brother Charles returned to England to attend school in Chester. Cut off to a large degree from his family, he passed a somewhat solitary boyhood, devoted to the school and to early literary efforts in the Rugby Magazine. In 1836 his parents returned to Liverpool, and in 1837 he went with a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford. Clough, being raised in America was somewhat shocked by what he found in England, especially in her rigid class system. Cloughs opinion of the system of class is reflected deeply in much of his poetry.

15 How does Clough create tension in the poem? Explore the ways in which Clough presents the narrative perspective in the poem. Discuss how Clough creates a scene of such a vivid nature.

16 To be fair NZ is the classless version of England, on exactly the other side of the world, being identical in all ways except class, created by the English who grew fed up with the class system, as shown in the poem. This being so, we really have very little experience with such things as class and the hate it engenders, a fact for which we can be thankful. Even so a fairly rudimentary knowledge of history and Englands class system can assist the poem to cast light on some of the darker aspects of society.

17 From Spectator Ab Extra Arthur Hugh Clough As I sat at the Café I said to myself, They may talk as they please about what they call pelf, They may sneer as they like about eating and drinking, But help it I cannot, I cannot help thinking How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! How pleasant it is to have money. I sit at my table en grand seigneur, And when I have done, throw a crust to the poor; Not only the pleasure itself of good living, But also the pleasure of now and then giving: So pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! So pleasant it is to have money. They may talk as they please about what they call pelf, And how one ought never to think of ones self, How pleasures of thought surpass eating and drinking, – My pleasure of thought is the pleasure of thinking How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! How pleasant it is to have money.


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