Presentation on theme: "pent house Lesson Seven The Libido for the Ugly The Libido for the Ugly."— Presentation transcript:
Lesson Seven The Libido for the Ugly The Libido for the Ugly
What kind of writing is this one? What does the title the libido for the ugly mean? Why does Mencken uses such a pathological term like libido? Who has the so-called libido for the ugly? Who or what is the target of Mencken’s verbal attack? Pre-Text Questions What do you know about the author? What kind of writing is this one? What is the theme of this essay?
Detailed Study of the Text About the author Pittsburgh Westmorland county Steel City / Smoky City Notice the many literary devices employed here. What are they? Here was the very heart of industrial America, the center of its most lucrative and characteristic activity, the boast and pride of the richest and grandest nation ever seen on earth—and here was a scene so dreadfully hideous, so intolerably bleak and forlorn that it reduced the whole aspiration of man to a macabre and depressing joke. metaphor hyperboleantithetical contrast parallel construction What route did the author take in this traveling?
What does Mencken describe in paragraph 1? What is his purpose? the U. S., the richest and grandest nation ever seen on earth, both boasts about and feels proud of this center of industrial activity the boast and pride of the richest …on earth that this scene makes all human endeavors to advance and improve their lot appear as a ghastly, saddening joke it reduced the whole aspiration of man to a … joke be reduced to begging/tears/silence/despair/obedience shadow/subjection even homeless, mongrel cats would feel ashamed to live in they would have disgraced a race of alley cats What is the purpose of Mencken saying I am not speaking of mere filth at the beginning of the second paragraph?
ugliness that caused great pain to the viewer agonizing ugliness transferred epithet What literary device is used here? How could a house insult and lacerate the eye? that did not insult and lacerate the eye What’s Mencken’s real intention of saying so? What literary device is used? they were among the most pretentious marked by an extravagant outward show What kind of image will be initiated in the readers’ mind by reading this clause? What effect does the author intend to produce? one blinked before them as one blinks before a man with his face shot away
rat trap Some of the houses remain in one’s memory and later when one pictures them in one’s mind, they still appear to be horrible A few linger in memory, horrible even there: What will a bare leprous hill look like? Could you describe the church and the hill in your own words? dormer-window a hillside was bare and looked as repulsive as the skin of a leper a bare leprous hill After the colon, what does Mencken go on to say? How many examples does he give us? What literary device is used when describing the building?
repetition of the same structural pattern double negatives There was not one that was not misshapen, and there was not one that was not shabby. What literary device is used in order to emphasize misshapen and shabby ? an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite not uncomely litotes The country itself is pleasant to look at, despite the sooty dirt spread by the innumerable mills in this region. The country itself is not uncomely, despite the grime of the endless mills. It is, in form, a narrow river valley, with deep gullies running up into the hills.
solid blocks What’s the function of the if clause? What is Mencken’s idea of decent houses in this area? What did he find instead? chalet What do the houses look like? on their low sides they bury themselves swinishly in the mud What are these houses compared to? They lean this way and that, hanging … precariously. with dead and eczematous patches of paint peeping through the streaks They tilt in one direction or another, clinging to their foundation unstably. In this phrase, what is compared to what?
All the houses are smeared with sooty dirt, and some paint which is not covered up by the soot looks like dried-up scales formed on the skin by eczema. What kind of egg would it be which is long past all hope or caring ? Red brick, even in a steel town, looks quite respectable with the passing of time. Red brick, even in a steel town, ages with some dignity. What is the author’s suggestion about the color of houses? patina Now and then there is a house of brick. What can we infer from this sentence? But it seems that people in Westmoreland county prefer that yellow color produced by the disease uremia. But in Westmoreland…that uremic yellow.
How many places are mentioned in the following sentences? Pullman malaria infested small village near the sea affected by the rise and fall of tides the malarious tidewater hamlets They are incomparable in color, and they are incomparable in design. What literary device is used in this sentence? sarcasm The color and design were so bad that one couldn’t find any which was worse. It is as if some genius of great power, who didn’t like to do the right things and who was an inflexible enemy of man, employed all the cleverness and skill of hell to build these ugly houses. It is as if some titanic and aberrant genius,…the making of them.
But in the American village and small town, the drive/drawing power is always towards ugliness, and in that Westmoreland valley people have given in to this appeal eagerly or almost passionately. sarcasm But in the American village and small town the pull is always toward ugliness,…an eagerness bordering upon passion. What literary device is used? What does ignorance mean here? It is hard to believe that people built such horrible houses just because they did not know what beautiful houses were like. It is incredible that mere ignorance should have achieved such masterpieces of horror. What literary device is used? sarcasm irony
What kind of people does Mencken mock at? It’s clear that the horribly ugly designs on the wallpaper give real delight to a certain type of mind. They meet, in some unfathomable way, its obscure and unintelligible demands. Such ghastly designs, …give a genuine delight to a certain type of mind. These ugly designs, in incomprehensive some way, satisfy the hidden and unintelligible demands of this type of persons. It is impossible to put down the wallpaper…to mere inadvertence, or to the obscene humor of the manufacturers. to attribute sth. to sth. It is impossible to attribute the wallpaper that makes the average American home at the lower middle class look so ugly to mere oversight, or to the indecent humor of the manufacturers.
Why does Mencken call the residents in Westmoreland the honest folk and the 100% Americans ? What kind of demands do these people have? Why does Mencken classify their demands as obscure and unintelligible ? What opinion does Mencken have toward theology and Edgar A. Guest’s poems? Guest, Edgar Albert Thus I suspect What can we learn from this thus ? sarcasm irony with full understanding of what is involved with eyes open Mencken uses this word “mellow” ironically. What does he really mean? to let deteriorate, to let it go from bad to worse
Parthenon besides it, the Parthenon would no doubt offend them They like things ugly and do not know what is beautiful. If one were to put a beautiful building like the Parthenon there, they would feel offended. Parthenon is noted for its perfect simplicity of design and the harmony of its proportions and remains a masterpiece of Greek architecture. Why would such a building offend them? not capable of being endured; hard to tolerate penthouse What rhetorical device is used in this sentence? ridicule they made it perfect in their own sight by putting a completely impossible penthouse, painted a staring yellow, on top of it. one will feel uncomfortable as embarrassed to look at