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Setting Landscapes of the Mind AP English Literature Hilltop High School Mrs. Demangos from Discovering Literature, Guth & Rico, 2 nd ed.

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Presentation on theme: "Setting Landscapes of the Mind AP English Literature Hilltop High School Mrs. Demangos from Discovering Literature, Guth & Rico, 2 nd ed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Setting Landscapes of the Mind AP English Literature Hilltop High School Mrs. Demangos from Discovering Literature, Guth & Rico, 2 nd ed.

2 Louise Erdrich “Here I am, where I ought to be. A writer must have a place where he or she feels this, a place to love and be irritated with.”

3 N. Scott Momaday “Once in their lives people ought to concentrate their minds upon the remembered earth. They ought to give themselves up to a particular landscape in their experience, looking at it from as many angles as they can, to wonder upon it, to dwell upon it.”

4 Focus on Setting A story creates its own world. setting is space (place) & time. That place becomes a small universe of its own, consistent in itself.

5 Focus on Setting Some writers sketch time and place in rough outline. Others use setting to create the illusion of reality, so that we will accept characters and events as real also.

6 Setting as Mirror The setting may mirror a prevailing mood. Ex: an arid landscape mirrors despair or spiritual desolation and may provide a fitting setting for emotionally dried- up characters. The setting may be ironic. Ex: when a character feels depressed in a springtime setting.

7 Setting as Mold Setting often shapes, or molds, a character. Ex: someone growing up on a farm, with its chores, dependence on rain and sun, and closeness to living things, is likely to have a different outlook than someone growing up in a big city.

8 Setting as Mold A familiar theme in serious modern fiction is that of invisible walls: Ex: characters may find themselves trapped in the spiritual wasteland of suburbia, or a small decaying town that becomes for them the graveyard of hope. Ex: a character may rebel against a stifling environment; they struggle to break free.

9 Setting as Escape Escape literature takes us to imaginary settings where we can act out daydreams. Ex: mansion in pre-Civil War South to witness scenes of flaming passion… Gone With the Wind Ex: ancient Rome to appall us with scenes of treachery and depravity… I, Claudius

10 Setting as Escape A faraway setting may be a journey of discovery. In a strange setting, we may encounter facets of our own personality denied an outlet in our ordinary world.

11 Setting as Escape List books with strange or faraway settings that bring a sense of discovery to the reader. How do these books offer the reader a sense of escape? 5 minutes

12 The Alien Setting Much modern literature circles back to the loss of roots, the loss of home. The reader may find themselves in a setting that is inhospitable, like an alien planet. Identify with: the exile, the refugee, the undesirable, the expatriate, nightmare. Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

13 James Joyce ( ) “This race and this country and this life produced me,” he said. “I shall express myself as I am.” A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

14 “Araby” Discussion Starter  Associations cluster: infatuation, love, romance, passion, desire What images, memories, regrets, or apprehensions does each bring to mind? How is each different from the others?  Cluster one of the words above. Then, write a short passage based on the cluster. 10 minutes

15 “Araby” Personal Response Personal Response: Is the boy merely infatuated? Should he have known better? Is he acting “immature”? At times I was impatient with the boy’s self-indulgent attitude, but my impatience made me think about how we slowly become less romantic, less impassioned, or more cynical as we grow older. We are still experiencing romance, but it becomes a more adult version. The boy experiences it completely. It figures in his every waking moment. He hardly knows anything about the girl; he hardly speaks to her. He doesn’t have to; the emotions fill his whole being. At the end of the story, the boy is disappointed, disillusioned. He will never experience love in the same way again.

16 “Araby” 1) What striking details help the setting come to life for you? Which seem to set the tone or point forward to the rest of the story? The house is on a “blind” street and the “former tenant” of the house, who died there, was a priest. The houses “gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces.” The boys played in the cold stinging air until their bodies “glowed”. There is much play between light and dark, and shadow: The boys play in “the dark muddy lanes,” the “dark dripping gardens,” and the “dark odorous stables.” In the story the boy moves from darkness into the light, from innocence to experience. Or he may be moving from light into darkness—the light of youthful hopes into the dark of adult disillusionment?

17 “Araby” “Araby” 2) What striking images help you understand the boy’s feelings? What devotion a quasi- religious quality? (what are the associations of the word chalice? What feelings does it bring into play?) Joyce’s description of Mangan’s sister includes a nimbus of back-lighting and a sensuous “soft rope of …hair” that tosses “from side to side.” Even “in places the most hostile to romance,” her image stays with him. For instance, in theimages give his throngs of street marketers he imagines he is carrying a chalice, which brings to mind the Arthurian romance of the search for the Holy Grail as well as religious images of the cup that holds wine for the Eucharist. Note: “Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises”; the boy pressed his hands together, murmuring “O love! O love!” as if he were praying.

18 “Araby” 3) Is the boy able to share his feelings with anyone? If not, why not? The boy can’t share his feelings with his callow and prosaic friends. Mangan’s sister seems unreachable or distant. She is the “older sister”—who waits for the boys to come in from their play. He can’t tell his aunt because she is religious and would disapprove; she may even have hopes he’ll become a priest.

19 “Araby” 4) What is the role of the uncle in the story? The uncle is the uncomprehending adult who is oblivious to the boy’s anxieties and frustrations. He comes home late under the influence (the boy “could interpret these signs”) and has forgotten his promise to give the boy money for the bazaar. He is one of the obstacles a prosaic world puts in the way of the boy’s romantic yearnings.

20 “Araby” 5) Is it a coincidence that the climactic high point of the story takes place in a bazaar—a special annual event? The bazaar has associations of glamor and promises special excitement—but it is really a place for cheap goods and shallow, superficial sales clerks.

21 “Araby” 6) As we watch crucial scenes in the story, we at times have to sense the boy’s feelings rather than having them explained in so many words by the author. What are some examples? For example, this sensual description of Mangan’s sister suggests the boy’s erotic feelings, without his expressing them explicitly: “The light from the lamp opposite our door caught the white curve of her neck, lit up her hair that rested there and, falling, lit up the hand upon the railing. It fell over one side of her dress and caught the white border of a petticoat, just visible as she stood at ease.”


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