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© Boardworks Ltd 2003 1 of 15 Literary Heritage This icon indicates that detailed teacher’s notes are available in the Notes Page. For more detailed instructions,

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Presentation on theme: "© Boardworks Ltd 2003 1 of 15 Literary Heritage This icon indicates that detailed teacher’s notes are available in the Notes Page. For more detailed instructions,"— Presentation transcript:

1 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 1 of 15 Literary Heritage This icon indicates that detailed teacher’s notes are available in the Notes Page. For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. This icon indicates the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable.

2 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 2 of 15 Literary Heritage To do with literature: texts that are regarded as having long- lasting value Something which belongs to all the people who share a country or a culture Different countries have different literary heritages. It is often easier to understand a text if we know something about the time when it was written. Literary heritage Do you know what is meant by literary heritage?

3 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 3 of 15 Authors

4 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 4 of 15 Can you think of any other writers that are part of Britain’s literary heritage? What makes all these writers so good? Why do they continue to be read down the generations? List the reasons why you think some writers become part of our literary heritage. Is their work still enjoyed years after they have died? Did the writer do something new which influenced later writers? Does the work take on more meaning as you reread it? Authors

5 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 5 of 15 Because these texts are part of a heritage it means they are not modern. They have been written in the past. We need to be aware that times change. When we read older texts we have to understand that the people at the time it was written lived in a world that was very different to ours. What sort of changes do you think we need to be aware of? Times change

6 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 6 of 15 Well, language changes. You already know that the way Shakespeare uses words and constructs sentences is very different to the modern way. However, it is not only when we go very far back in time that the changes occur. Take a word like ‘nice’. Everybody reading this will know what it means and how to use it. Yet, if you are reading a book from a hundred years ago and you came across ‘nice’ it would have a very different meaning: a very fine distinction or being fastidious. Language changes

7 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 7 of 15 Attitudes can change In the past people had different attitudes to class. For example, in one of Jane Austen’s books we read that the heroine is all alone in the house. In fact, there are several servants in the house but, at that time, servants did not count as people the middle- class heroine could turn to.

8 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 8 of 15 People feel differently about the rights of children. For example, Juliet’s father in Romeo and Juliet felt perfectly within his rights to arrange when and who his daughter should marry. Attitudes can change ‘A’Thursday, tell her, She shall be married to this noble earl.’ (III.4.20-21)

9 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 9 of 15 Attitudes to gender change. When Shakespeare wrote Macbeth he decided that Lady Macbeth would play a key role in a murder. To prepare herself for this she appeals to evil spirits to ‘unsex’ her. Shakespeare views women as being more compassionate and sensitive than men. These qualities have to be removed in order for Lady Macbeth to carry out the murder. Attitudes can change ‘Come, you spirits That tend on moral thoughts, unsex me here And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty.’ I.5.38-41

10 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 10 of 15 Imagine that 100 years from now somebody is studying a book written today. Brainstorm things you think might seem quite normal and acceptable for us but strange in 100 years’ time. For example, breeding animals for slaughter. Attitudes can change

11 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 11 of 15 Sometimes writers are aware of the beliefs and prejudices of their times and try to make people reconsider them. When Jane Austen was writing it was perfectly acceptable for a young woman to marry for security. Romantic love was not an issue worth considering. There were real economic reasons for this attitude. Women needed security. However, in Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen presents a heroine who will not marry just for financial security. She will only marry for love. Attitudes can change

12 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 12 of 15 So, Austen was being quite bold in challenging the opinions of her day. Having said that, even she only goes so far. In the end the girl finds a man who she loves AND has money. Also, she agrees to curb her ‘wild’ behaviour and be guided by her husband. Not many writers would suggest this today! Changing attitudes

13 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 13 of 15 Charles Dickens was very concerned about social issues of his times. He showed in his novels how wrong it was that people could be sent to jail for debt. He showed how appalling conditions were for the children in many schools. Changing attitudes Thomas Hardy, in Jude the Obscure, showed how prejudiced universities were against people from working class backgrounds.

14 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 14 of 15 Activity Imagine you are an alien. What could they tell about our society based on reading this text? Would their conclusions be representative of what our world is really like or are they just receiving a partial impression? Choose a modern book or a play you know well (but not a fantasy or science fiction text).

15 © Boardworks Ltd 2003 15 of 15 To sum up Our culture is rich in fine literature. Writers have left us books, plays and poems which continue to entertain us and make us think and reflect upon our life, world and society. Knowing about the context which they were written in can help us to appreciate them more.


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