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Chapter Seven English literature at the turn of the century 1. The background of the period 2. The ideas of the period 3. The general trend of the literature.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter Seven English literature at the turn of the century 1. The background of the period 2. The ideas of the period 3. The general trend of the literature."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter Seven English literature at the turn of the century 1. The background of the period 2. The ideas of the period 3. The general trend of the literature at this period 4. Some influential writers: 5. Hardy’s achievements, Galsworthy’s achievements, Bernard Shaw’s plays 6. Some terms: Naturalism, neo-romanticism, aestheticism as literary trends Theory of “art for art’s sake”

2  1.Background: second half of the 19th century to early of the 20th decades  (1) Natural and social sciences enormously advanced.  (2) Capitalism came into its monopoly stage  (3) The gap between the rich and the poor was further deepened  (4) World War 1& 2 broke out

3  2. Ideas influence this period: all kinds of philosophical ideas  (1) Karl Marx: scientific socialism  (2) Darwin‘s theory of evolution, “survival of the fittest”  (3) Freud‘s analytical psychology  (4) The irrationalism philosophers give immense influence

4  3. Ideas: (1) Modernism originated from skepticism and disillusion of capitalism (2)The French symbolism announced modernism (3) It takes the irrational philosophy and the theory of psycho-analysis as its theoretical base. The major themes are the distorted, alienated and ill relationships.

5 literature trend and Influential writers  1. The English literature at the turn of the century was notable mainly for its critical realism, a tradition that had been passed down from the early Victorian Age.  Writers, such as William Morris, Georte Meredith, Thomas Hardy, Samuel Butler, John Galsworthy, Bernard Shaw, showed sympathy in their works for the laboring masses by describing their miseries on the one hand and attacked capitalism on the other.

6  2. Another literary trend the English writers followed at the turn of the century was naturalism. Writers of this school tried to reproduce life exactly as it was without any selection of details. George Gissing and George Moore were the two representative naturalist writers in England.  3. A third group of writers took the path of neo- romanticism in their writing. The neo- romanticists, totally dissatisfied with the contemporary reality, indulged themselves in

7 The description of exciting adventures and romantic characters in an effort to criticize existing social reality. Robert Louis Stevenson was the main figure of this group.

8 Influential writers  Thomas Hardy,  John Galsworthy,  Bernard Shaw,  Oscar Wilde,

9 Thomas Hardy and his creation  Son of a mason, Thomas Hardy was born in Dorsetshire, Southwest of England, the area that later became the famous "Wessex" in many of his novels.  In 1871, Desperate Remedies 《绝望的补救》  In 1872 Under the Greenwood Tree. 《绿荫树下》  In 1873, A Pair of Blue Eyes 《一双湛蓝的眼睛》  In 1874 Far from the Madding Crowd 《远离尘嚣》  In 1878 The Return of the Native 《还乡》

10 In 1880, The Trumpet Major 《号手》  In 1886, The Mayor of Casterbridge 《卡斯特桥市长》  In 1891 Tess of the D ‘ Urbervilles 《德伯家的苔丝》  In 1896 Jude the Obscure 《无名的裘德》  Hardy was also a poet, his poem collections are: Wessex Poems 1898, 《威塞克斯诗集》 Poems of the Past and the Present 1902 《》 The Dynasts 1904, 1906 and 1908 《统治者》 Time ’ s Laughingstocks and Verses 1909 《笑料和诗歌》 Satires of Circumstance 1914 《环境的讽刺》

11 1. Evaluation: naturalist (D.H.Lawrance; Theodore Dreiser; George Eliot), also critical realist writer (Dickens) 2. his works: Wessex The Return of the Nature; The Mayor of Casterbridge; Tess of the D‘Urbervilles; Jude the Obscure 3. Features: nostalgic (Washington Irving; F.Scott Fitzergerald; William Faulkner), also pessimistic

12 4. Naturalism: Darwin‘s idea of "survival of the fittest" (1)Man is born with tragic, inevitably bound by his own hereditary traits (2)Man proves powerless before fate however he tries, he seldom escapes his doomed destiny 5. Tess of the D‘Urbervilles: (1)criticize the society, hypocricy of the society (2)nauralism,the misery, poverty Tess suffers.

13 John Galsworthy(1867-1933) and his creation  John Galsworthy (1867-1935) was born into a wealthy family. He established himself as a leading novelist and dramatist, with seventeen novels, twenty-six plays and some short stories.  Main works:  From the Four Winds (short stories) 《天涯海角》  The Man of The Property 《有产业的人》  The Silver Box 《银盒》  The Forsyte Saga 《福尔赛世家》 (his first trilogy : The Man of Property 1906; In Chancery 1920 《骑 虎》 ; To Let 1921 《出租》 )  A Modern Comedy 《现代喜剧》 (his second trilogy: The White Monkey 《白猿》 Swan Song 《天鹅曲》 The Silver Spoon 《银匙》 )

14 His works’ characters 1. He was a conventional writer, having inherited the fine traditions of the great Victorian novelists of the critical realism such as Dickens and Thackeray. 2. Technically, he was more traditional than adventurous, focusing on plot development and character portrayal.

15 3. With an objective 客观的 observation and a naturalistic description, Galsworthy had tried his best to make an impartial presentation of the social life in a documentary precision. 4. He was also successful in his attempt to present satire and humor in his writing. He wrote in a clear and unpretentious style with a clear and straightforward language.

16 Bernard Shaw  George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin in 1856, but removed to London in 1876. he began his career as a novelist, then joined the Fabian socialist movement and, then became a brilliant dramatist.

17  Main works:  First period:  1894--1900: Plays Unpleasant 《不愉快戏剧 集》 and Plays Pleasant 《愉快戏剧集》  Widowers’ Houses 1892 《鳏夫的房产》 Mrs. Warren’s Profession 1894 《华伦夫人的 职业》 Caesar and Cleopatra 1898 Second period: 1901--1913: Man and Superman 《人与超人》 John Bull’s Other Island 《英国佬的另一个岛》 Major Barbara 1905 《巴巴拉少校》 Pygmalion 1912 《窈窕淑女》

18 Third period 1913—1929: The heartbreak House 1917 《伤心之家》 St. Joan 《圣女贞德》 Fourth period:  The Apple Cart 1929 《苹果车》  Why She Would Not 1950 《为什么她不肯》  Too True to Be Good 1932 《真相毕露》

19  works’ character:  a. structurally and thematically, Shaw followed the great traditions of realism. Most of his plays are concerned with political, economic, moral, or religious problems, and, thus, can be termed as problem plays.  b. One features of Shaw’s characterization is that he makes the trick of showing up one character vividly at the expense of another. Another feature is that Shaw’s characters are the representatives of ideas, points of view, that shift and alter during the play.

20  c. Much of Shavian drama is constructed around the inversion of the conventional theatrical situation. The inversion, a device found in Shaw from beginning to end, is an integral part of an interpretation of life.  d. Shaw’s plays have plots, but they do not work by plots. It is the vitality of the talk that takes primacy over mere story. Later Shaw came under the influence of Henry George and William Morris and took an interest in socialist theories.

21 Oscar Wilde dramatist, poet, novelist and essayist, spokesman for the school of “Art for art's sake”, the leader of the Aesthetic movement

22 Theory of “art for art’s sake”:  Oscar Wilde  The picture of Dorian Gray 《道林格雷的画像》, 1891  Salome 《萨勒姆》, 1893  Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892  A Woman of No Importance, 《一个无足轻重的妇女》 1893  An ideal Husband, 《理想丈夫》 1895  The importance of Being Earnest, 《认真的重要性》 1895  The Ballad of Redding Gao, 《累丁狱之歌》 1898

23 Some terms for knowing  Art for Art’s sake  Neo- Romanticism  Naturalism  Realism  Aestheticism

24 Art for Art’s sake  That art is nothing to do with morality (art is not moral immoral but amoral), that the best of art is pure art, that the duty of an art critic is to tell his own impressions of a work of art, and that the function of art is to attract, to please and to provide enjoyment. But he elaborated on this theory of art for art’s sake, and even declared that it is not art that reflects nature but it is nature that is the reflection of art.

25 Naturalism  Naturalism is a term of literary history, primarily a French movement in prose fiction and the drama during the final third of the 19th-cent.  In France Emile Zola (1840-1902) was the dominant practitioner of Naturalism in prose fiction and the chief exponent of its doctrines.  Broadly speaking, Naturalism is characterized by a refusal to idealize experience and by the persuasion that human life is strictly subjected to natural laws.

26 Realism  Realism is a literary term, the original definition of realism by Sir P. Harvey was "a loosely used term meaning truth to the observed facts of life (especially when they are gloomy)." Realism has been chiefly concerned with the commonplaces of everyday life among the middle and lower classes, where character is a product of social factors and environment is the integral element in the dramatic complications.

27  Realism in literature is an approach that attempts to describe life without idealization or romantic subjectivity. It is most often associated with the literary movement in 19th-century France, specifically with the French novelists Flaubert and Balzac. In the drama, realism is most closely associated with Ibsen's social plays. Later writers felt that realism laid too much emphasis on external reality.

28  Aestheticism 唯美主义  It was an aesthetic movement which originated in the second half of 19th and flourished in the last decade of 19th century.  Socially, it was a reaction against the materialism and commercialism of the Victorian industrial era.

29  Artistically, it was a revolt against grubby naturalism. Aestheticism advocated the independence of art from social reality and the divorce of art from morality. It emphasized the value of the ecstatic nature of the moment inspired by art. It reached its peak in England with the efforts of Oscar Wilde.

30  Some important event in this period

31 At the turn of the century England entered a transitional period, which bridged a time of prosperity and stability, and a time of steady social changes and violent upheaval. 1. The rapid growth of industry and development of capitalism made the various contradictions inherent in the capitalist system all the more felt both at home and abroad. 2. The great Britain began to have its monopoly position challenged and its position at the center of world in the South African Boer War(1899-1902) and its inability to defeat the smaller forces of the Boers made its government quite unpopular.

32 3. Workers worked long hours under filthy and dangerous conditions, making huge profits for capitalists. Yet poverty was widespread. 4. At the same time the women’s Rights Movement continued to conduct an increasingly violent campaign for Women’s Suffrage. 5. The Irish Question, unresolved throughout the century, became even more acute. 6. In the nineteenth century, numerous socialist parties, some reformist, some utopian, flourished in the cities, endeavoring to criticize capitalism and imperialism.


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