Presentation on theme: "Lecture 9 Re-Vision of Hardys Tess Examination Focus for Literary Criticism."— Presentation transcript:
Lecture 9 Re-Vision of Hardys Tess Examination Focus for Literary Criticism
Avoid The presentation of Tess with Alec in the first phase of the novel highlights Tesss helplessness with men, a stereotype of gender relations in that era. Women in the past are often seen as shallow and materialistic During the Victorian period, women were in many ways viewed as the weaker of the two sexes; perceived as having a lower intellect..
Avoid Tess is seen to be a typical stereotype of femine as woman at the Victorian century, are usually viewed as a weaker sex and they should definitely not argue back to a man Tess is slightly different In Victorian culture, women were expected to remain pure until marriage and be licit and compliant They were stereotyped as wishy-washy dullards incapable of rationalizing
Fictional Characters and Real People Characters are artistic creations Characters in novels are not the same as real people in life in the present, or in history Tess is a female character in a novel Tess is not female person in Victorian history It is a mistake to comment about characters in a novel as if they were / are real people
Characterization in literary fiction Is the writer interested in developing character so as to represent something? Or In order to present a particular individuality? A novel of life (highly individualized character) A novel of pattern (in such a novel, characters are more likely to stand for something (often evident from the name?); Nomenclature Does the character stand for / symbolize?
Differences between literary characters and real people Though not real, the novelist relies upon our background general knowledge, cultural awareness of, and our reactions to real people in his / her creation of character… Characters may be used to tell a story To exemplify a belief To contribute to a symbolic pattern To facilitate a particular plot development
Methods of Characterization 1) Description or report: Description of physical features Reports concerning actions and beliefs By the narrator; from other characters 2) Character can be established by the characters actions; 3) Through a characters thought and conversation; dialogue (direct speech)
Through the use of Reported Speech / Represented Speech (Who reports?) Through the use of Imagery and Symbolism to reveal and develop a character
Choice of Essay Questions Choose one of two essay questions Either / Or ? Choosing wisely and intelligently Read each question carefully, closely, attentively, noting all requirements Risk assessment; potential pitfalls? Decide rationally
Second Term 2 CA Essay for Paper 5 To what extent is Tess differentiated from stereotypes of the feminine? To what extent // is Tess // differentiated // stereotypes of the feminine? To what extent…??? Small; Considerable? Is Tess differentiated From stereotypes of the feminine? [Subtext?] And WHY (do you think) is she differentiated that way? To what purpose?
Noting distinctions in terminology Do not confuse The feminine / femininity and Feminism / feminist Obviously Tess is no feminist; but yes, Tess is very feminine; a very female girl character
See each question as an Inquiry Task: How to proceed with conducting your inquiry or investigation In your thesis: state what specific areas your inquiry will focus on; Tess is differentiated from feminine stereotypes. I believe Tess, to a great extent, is differentiated from stereotypes of the feminine.
Is Tess a typical female character? Formulating an Effective Thesis I believe Tess is differentiated from stereotypes of the feminine to a small extent especially when we first encounter her as a character, but this extent increases significantly in the course of the plot relative to her situated self in the context of the novels intentions. To demonstrate this, I shall in this regard analytically focus on the novels various literary and linguistic modes of her representation (via the male voice of the omniscient narrators philosophical commentaries and narrated descriptions pertaining to her thoughts and actions, as well as the choice and form of her voiced direct and indirect speech) as a female character in her own right; in terms of her physical portrayal; her psychological portrayal; her relationships with other female characters, and her relationships with male characters, most especially Alec and Angel, and the natural world.
Stereotypes such as what? Communal Dependent Visceral (Body) Docility; Passivity; Soft spoken Being hysterical Emotionally charged More inward life of feeling, and personal relationships Associated with Nature Physically weak or weaker Individualistic Independent Cerebral (Mind) Action oriented Public life of action and movement More outward, public life of travel, work, Exploration and adventure Above and apart from nature Physically strong; tough Strongly assertive
Eroticized objectification Vanity Weak willed Materialistic; preoccupied with material wants & needs Superstitious Not vain Strong willed Energetic Preoccupied with ideas and ideals
Consider this: Tess is in many ways a puzzle. Her representation is full of puzzling ambiguities. She is presented as an individual, yet does not appear to have much of an inner life. Though an individual, she is also very much associated with Nature, and Hardy strongly emphasizes this through the use of imagery and symbolism. Does this then mean her representation is typically feminine? I shall argue not so as this is essential to the novels larger concerns. Most fundamentally, to be intentionally associated with Nature and united to Nature is to place Tess on a higher plain to the surrounding artificially elevated sham patriarchal moralism that crudely and prudely condemns her. We are thus compelled to sympathize with her as glorious victim, and shun her hypocritical, inglorious victorsnot a real victory.
Literary Criticism is argument driven Relevance: Respond specifically to that question in the context of the novel Argue a case; adopt a position; state this in your thesis statement in the introduction; Thesis must be concrete-specific Argument must be logically consistent; do not contradict yourself Plan your answer; coverage? Length?
Style of writing for your exam essay Must be formal; academic; scholarly Using the language register of Literary Criticism pertaining to the novel; Literary terms of reference Write in the Present Tense (not the past) Textual Evidence; Quotes in quotation marks Grammatically correct English; spelling; and punctuation; capitalization (Tess, not )
Systematic orderly Development and Structural Coherence; Clearly focused and systematically developed in an ordered and coherent manner; effective paragraphing Representations of Tess (Where to begin?) In Phase the First, beginning with when we first encounter her character in Chapter 2; Phase the Second? Phase the Third; and at the end of this Phase
First encounter with Tess? How is Tess described? In Chapter 2, Phase the First She was a fine and handsome girlnot handsomer than some others, possiblybut her mobile peony and large innocent added eloquence to colour and shape. She wore a red ribbon in her hair, and was the only one of the white company who could boast of such pronounced adornment.
When we meet Tess first, what is she doing Dancing Dancing outdoors; at the May Day dance in the May day sun Chapter 3 She remained wit her comrades till dusk, and participated with a certain zest in the dancing The struggles and wrangles of the lads for her hand in a jig were an amusement to herno more; and when they became fierce she rebuked them.
Elaboration and Substantiation of key points and insights Back up your arguments / reasons with textual evidence (a) Needs to be sufficiently detailed (b) Needs to be literary-analytical By focusing on choices and forms of language: Word choice and form; Image choice and form etc
Main-Body Paragraph Topic sentence: Make a relevant strong point Quote from the text to illustrate your point; Make clear from where in the text: Chapter? Context? Connection? Remember it cannot stand alone; do not ever assume a quotation can speak for itself You must then proceed to explain WHY you believe the quotation is important
Do not ever say, Hardy uses diction to… By pointing to diction: particular choices and forms of words; particular phrases; particular techniques e.g. choice, and form of words such as adjectives, nouns, verbs, adverbs; Choices and forms of Imagery; such as animal imagery Choices and forms of Symbolism
Look closely at the language; not just look through it It is insufficient to merely re-tell what happens or merely explain meaning Must also show how by focusing on choices and forms of language And explain why (intended effects) What does the language do? Not simply what it means (This is not a comprehension test)
Close Reading; Noticing the Prose There is a tendency to assume that in novels, the language speaks for itself (unlike poetry) The language of a novel seems We simply the language, and we see what happens, not Not looking closely at the language itself And so we do not comment on how the choice and form of language functions to arrest our attention or critically engage our interest in relation to concerns
From a students essay The narrator does build up her demure beauty by adding that her mobile peony mouth and large innocent eyes added eloquence to colour and shape. The usage of the adjective mobile which suggests agility and youthfulness, coupled with the usage of descriptive natural imagery of peony which serves as a floral illustration of Tesss mouth. This is not only a fundamental suggestion of Tesss sensuousness but also the fact that peony is an allusion to Paeon, who was a student of the Greek god of healing and who was turned into the peony flower by Zeus to avoid the wrath of his masters
From students essay (cont) jealousy, which suggests that not only does Tesss physical features induce jealousy but is also suggestive of having the capacity for a certain kind of calming effect. Also the fact that Tess was the only one in white company, as she wears a red ribbon made her more pronounced and is symbolically suggestive of her sexuality, passionate nature, while at the same time foreshadowingly hinting violent danger, thus subtly imprinting on the readers mind an image of Tess as a future femme fatale.
Angel How very lovable her face was to him. Eyes almost as deep and speaking he had seen before, and cheeks perhaps as fair; brows as arched, a chin and throat almost as shapely; her mouth he had seen nothing to equal on the face of the earth. How might one comment analytically on the syntax, as well as the diction? Notice, we are first told, then shown what is lovable about her face…but how?
The student as All good literary criticism is necessarily a response to a writers creative use of language For instance, we have to consider and comment on the choice and form of language through which we encounter representations of a character such as Tess In relation to the question focus.