” When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease-of joy that kills.”
This comes from Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour,’ in which situational irony is used to display an unexpected result. It would be expected that Mrs. Mallard would be happy that her husband is alive, when in reality she is upset because she realizes she will not experience the future freedom that came with his death.
“…beneath the snow lay he who was at once the strongest and yet the weakest of the outcasts of Poker Flat”
This comes from Bret Harte’s “Outcasts of Poker Flat,” in which the situationally ironic Oakhurst is mentally strong by making survival plans and having people look up to him, however is weak because he took the easiest way out by killing himself and just let fate control his life. This also shows the Naturalist quality of nature being indifferent to man.
“In the shallows, face downward, lay the oiler. His forehead touched sand that was periodically, between each wave, clear of the sea.”
This comes from Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat,” in which the oiler’s death symbolizes nature’s indifference to man’s struggle. The quality of determinism in naturalism is present because he works diligently to keep the boat afloat and is the first to start swimming towards the shore, but despite his efforts, he is the only one to succumb to nature’s power; the outside force that actually determines a person’s fate was nature in the oiler’s case.
“Degenerate sons and daughters/Life is too strong for you-? It takes life to love Life.”
This comes from Edgar Lee Masters’ “Lucinda Matlock,” in which Matlock’s epitaph is a warning to modernist society that modernist people do not want to experience sorrow, but would rather only experience joy. She was successful in her life in the eyes of society (experienced both sorrow and joy) but not in the eyes of modernism.
“I ended up with forty acres;/I ended up with a broken fiddle-?And a broken laugh, and a thousand memories,/And not a single regret.”
This comes from Edgar Lee Masters’ “Fiddler Jones,” in which Fiddler Jones is considered unsuccessful in the eyes of society, but he considers himself successful because he was able to live in the moment. Jones advises the modern generation that they should live in and enjoy the moment.
“One day I had said the Italian seemed such an easy language to me that I could not take a great interest in it; everything was so easy to say. ‘Ah yes,’the major said. ‘Why then do you not take up the use of grammar?’ So we took up the use of grammar and soon Italian was such a difficult language that I was afraid to talk to him until I had the grammar straight in my mind.”
This comes from Ernest Hemingway’s “In Another Country,” in which parallelism displays that there is a different side of the war through the character not understanding Italian grammar.
The Italian language is a symbol for war. On the surface, it looks like something that is easy to deal with, however as you go deeper it becomes increasingly more difficult to endure.
“For the second time there was no sign. Again, no bride groom and the priest in the house. She could not remember any other sorrow because this grief wiped them all away.”
This comes from Katharine Anne Porter’s “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall,” in which Granny Weatherall feels like she’s being jilted by God before her death and that the faith she had in her life is meaningless. The only sorrow she can remember is being jilted, showing the stream of consciousness technique of a disjointed flow of memories and reflections.
“The apparition of these faces in a crowd…”
This comes from Ezra Pound’s “In A Station of the Metro,” in which the direct presentation of the image of an ‘apparition’ shows that the metro is not a place for socialization, This symbolizes presence of relationships starting to fade away in the modernist movement and evokes an emotional response; the feeling of isolation brought about by the darkness of the poem.
“By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,/too deep to clear them away!”
This comes from Ezra Pound’s “The River Merchant’s Wife- A Letter,” in which the river merchant’s wife notices that everything that reminded her of her husband has started to fade away after he leaves. This evokes the emotional response of feeling bad for the wife, and shows how nature moves on even though the wife does not want to emotionally.
“‘Anyone can run to excesses,/ It is easy to shoot past the mark./ It is hard to stand firm in the middle.'”
This comes from Ezra Pound’s “Canto 13,” which states that you need to have balance within yourself to know who you are. Pound pulls on Kung’s old teachings to remind the audience of that balance that is needed.
“white/ sweet/ May/ again”
This comes from William Carlos Williams’ “The Locust Tree in Flower,” in which ‘Again’ symbolizes the roots of the tree and continuation of life, and ‘White’ symbolizes innocence. This is an example of an imagist poem because it freezes an object in time, and produces a simple image to highlight its beauty.
“Forgive me/ they were so delicious/ so sweet/ and so cold”
This comes from William Carlos Williams’ “This is Just to Say,” in which the imagist quality of depicting everyday life and speech shows that it could just be a poem about plums. It also
evokes an emotional response because he is asking for forgiveness for something so trivial.
“So much depends/ upon/ a red wheel/ barrow”
This comes from William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow,” in which the poem’s structure, the shape of a wheelbarrow, experiments with the traditional forms of poetry. It also displays the imagist quality of depicting simplicity and everyday life of modern culture.
“I am the grass./ Let me work”
This comes from Carl Sandburg’s “Grass,” in which people begin to forget about the past because it is being symbolically covered by the grass. This shows that nature is indifferent to the devastation of human life, which can be connected to Modernism as well as imagism.
“Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with/white teeth/Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,”
This comes from Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago,” in which Sandburg portrays the theme of the pros and cons of living in the city of Chicago; sometimes it can be brutal and violent, but it also is looked at as resilient and tough. This shows
the essence of the city is both positive and negative, and what it is like living in the modern world.
“And why is this awful difference between white and black?…How hard the n*****s fate seems, this morning! —yet until last night such a thought never entered my head.”
This comes from Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson, in which Twain criticizes society by using the theme of identity being nature vs. nurture. Fake Tom, upon learning of his true identity, ironically starts to realize the injustice of categorizing people by their blood.
“One twin’s patterns are never the same as his fellow-twin’s patterns ?the jury will find that the patterns upon the fingerballs of the accused follow this rule.”
This comes from Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson when Wilson is delivering his successful speech as a lawyer that proves the innocence of the Italian twins. The fingerprints are a symbol for identity throughout the book and are used to challenge how to categorize a person’s identity by using a scientific measurement of identity.
“A man is master of his liberty: Time is their master; and when they see time, They’ll go or come: if so, be patient, sister.”
This comes from William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors and shows the superiority of man over woman. Luciana is representative of the societal impact of identity. She believes in the inequality of women, but Adriana is questioning it.
“We came into the world like brother and brother; And now let’s go hand in hand, not one before another.”
This comes from William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors and shows how the two brothers’ identities are incomplete without each other. They had been two halves of a whole identity, and now that they have each other, they are complete. This shows that equality and mutual respect among individuals is key in developing one’s identity
“Mean everything in the world to you after you bought it. Simple exchange of values. You give them money. They give you a stuffed dog.”
This comes from Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and displays the materialistic idea of buying happiness to shape identity even though you are still empty inside. Taxidermy portrays dead animals as alive, connecting to Jake constantly portraying himself as something he is not, which is typical of the Lost Generation.
“Yes Isn’t it pretty to think so?”
This comes from Ernest Hemingway’s- The Sun Also Rises and connects to how its quality of Modernism leaves the audience wondering.
This connects with the title in that life keeps going on; the sun is setting on Brett and Jake’s relationship, but the sun rises on the realization that they can never be truly happy together.
Kate Chopin, the author of “The Story of an Hour,” was influenced by American regionalist authors and Louisiana culture, bridged the gap between romanticism and realism, and portrayed themes of female independence in her work.
Bret Harte, the author of “The Outcasts of Poker Flat,” used regionalism to create a clear portrait of the the Old West, establishing it as a popular literary setting.
Stephen Crane is one of the leaders of the Naturalism movement creating works such as “The Open Boat” that displayed nature’s indifference to humanity.
Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters is the author of a volume of poetry called The Spoon River Anthology, which includes poems such as “Fiddler Jones” and “Lucinda Matlock” in which he uses the literary style of epitaph to describe the speaker’s lives from beyond the grave; his work was the beginning of the modernist literary movement.
Ernest Hemingway was the author of the short story “In Another Country” and the novel The Sun Also Rises and was a part of the Lost Generation after World War I, which he wrote about in the literary movement of Modernism.
Katharine Ann Porter
Katharine Ann Porter is the author of “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” who utilized stream of consciousness to capture the unorganized, disjointed way the human mind works.
Carl Sandburg is a poet who captured the spirit of industrial America, the city in modern times, and the imagist movement in his work “Chicago”.
Ezra Pound is the poet who started the imagist movement and wanted to “make it new” and discard traditional poetic techniques in his pieces such as “In Station of the Metro.”; he also used past historical traditions to relate to modern times in “Canto 13.”
William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams is an imagist poet who presented themes prevalent to everyday life through simple images in “The Red Wheelbarrow.”
Pudd’nhead Wilson from Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson is the protagonist and major force to the resolution of the story’s theme of identity that is judged as a fool by society, however turns out to be the person to solve the crime of the murder in the town.
Tom Driscoll (real)
The real Tom Driscoll is a character in Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain who displays the importance of nurtured identity because he is born into wealth but switched into slavery as a baby and raised to be humble and considerate; he grows up black but is actually white because of his bloodline and is outcasted because of this.
Roxy is a character in Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain who is born into slavery and switches her infant son with her owner’s son, causing the conflict in the story and revealing the theme of identity.
The real Chambers is the main character in Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain who displays the importance of nurtured identity because he is born into slavery but switched into wealth as a baby and raised to be spoiled and dishonest; he grows up white but is actually black because of his bloodline.
The Italian Twins
The Italian Twins are characters in Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain who are loved by the town of Dawson’s Landing for their foreign appeal but eventually are falsely accused of murder and leave to return to Europe.
Antipholus of Syracuse was in William Shakespeare’s work The Comedy of Errors, and he came to the town of Ephesus in search of his long lost twin brother Antipholus of Ephesus and his identity is constantly mistaken throughout the play.
Antipholus E., the true husband of Adriana and twin of Antipholus S from William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, is caught in a nightmare of mistaken identity and tends to be brutal and violent.
In William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors Dromio of Ephesus and Dromio of Syracuse represent identity and are also a symbol of farce, adding comedy into the play when they are constantly scolded by their masters, the Antipholuses, for their confused identities.
In William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, Adriana is the wife of Antipholus E. who laments about society’s impact on gender roles and identity.
In William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, Luciana is Adriana’s sister who believes that a wife should be obedient to her husband and showcases society’s impact on gender roles and identity.
In William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, Egeon is the father to the Antipholuses, and holds the truth to everyone’s identity; he begins and ends the conflict of the story.
In Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Jake is a WWI veteran who experiences the feelings of hopelessness felt by the “lost generation” following the war.
In Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Brett Ashley is the woman with whom all the men are infatuated and embodies the qualities of modernist society through her masculinity and sexual freedom; she is only capable of an emotional relationship with Jake, with whom she is unable to be intimate.
In Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Robert Cohn is a former Jewish boxer who desires an intimate emotional relationship with Brett Ashley even though it is unattainable, and is despised by the other characters; he embodies an individual who did not fight in the war, and has a romantic viewpoint of life.
In Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Romero is a young bull fighter who represents the masculinity that many of the men who fought in the war lost.
Reaction against romanticism
Renders reality closely and in comprehensive detail, even at the expense of a well-made plot
Character is more important than action and plot; complex ethical choices as the subject
Characters appear in their real complexity of temperament and motive; they are in explicable relation to nature, to each other, to their social class, and to their own past
Class is important, mainly middle class
Diction is natural vernacular, tone may be comic, satiric, or matter-of-fact
Objectivity in presentation becomes increasingly important overt authorial comments or intrusions diminish as the century progresses
Characters frequently but not invariably ill-educated or lower-class characters whose lives are governed by the forces of heredity instinct, and passion
Characters attempt at exercising free will or choice are hamstrung by forces beyond their control (Determinism)
Pessimism- drama that is often a “chronicle of despair”
A person’s own inherited traits and their surrounding environment affect their personal character
Surprising twist ending
Indifference towards human struggle
Implied meanings, readers draw own conclusions
Ambiguity is created by abandoning the traditional plot structure: no expositions or resolutions, which shows fragmentation of life
Capturing the essence of modern life through form and content
Distrusts the values of the past; finding new ideas that can apply to 20th century life
Themes: uncertainty, bewilderment, meaninglessness of life, dissolutionment, disjointedness
Concentrated on direct presentation of images
Freezes a single moment in time to capture emotions
Expressed things without explanations or generalizations
Language of everyday speech is reflected
Creates new musical rhythms in poetry
Unorganized flow of insights, memories, reflections
stream of consciousness
Reflects the way the human mind works
stream of consciousness
Connects thoughts through characters natural associations
stream of consciousness
Captures fragmented, disjointed, splintered world
stream of consciousness
Reflects modern world’s interests in psychology
stream of consciousness
Reflected need for people to turn their thoughts in word
stream of consciousness
stream of consciousness
(essay) Analyze TWO works (short stories, poems, or novels) that showcase how nature is indifferent to the plight of man. What should the audience take away from this understanding?
1.) Carl Sandburg’s “Grass”
-people begin to forget about the past because it is being symbolically covered by the grass.
ex: when the grass states that it is grass and that the audience should let it work.
This modernist theme of leaving the past behind shows that nature is indifferent to the devastation of human life
2.) Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat”
ex: the oiler’s death
-symbolizes nature’s indifference to man’s struggle. -The quality of determinism in naturalism is present because he works diligently to keep the boat afloat and is the first to start swimming towards the shore, but despite his efforts, he is the only one to succumb to nature’s power; the outside force that actually determines a person’s fate was nature in the oiler’s case.
WHAT SHOULD THE AUDIENCE TAKE AWAY?: The literature produced during the Naturalist movement used the theme of nature’s indifference to struggle to capture the idea that life moves with or without the consent of humanity.
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(essay) Analyze ONE character (from short stories, poems, or novels) who experiences the most devastating impact by outside forces either through nature or other characters
-The oiler from Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat” experiences the most devastating impact by outside forces through his death despite his constant efforts towards survival.
Ex 1: The oiler is the one who is constantly working to keep the boat from sinking during the storm
-even though he puts in the most effort to ensure the his crew members and his survival, nature acts indifferently towards his struggle and ends up taking his life.
Ex 2: The oiler is the brave individual that is the first to start swimming towards the shore
-even though he was the one to be the first to swim towards the shore, he ends up being the only one that succumbs to nature’s power. This shows that despite all of the effort he put into saving the boat, nature was indifferent to this and ended up taking his life.
(essay) Compare and contrast Brett Ashley to Adriana in light of their female identities. Who should the audience model their life after and why?
COMPARE: both women have very independent female spirits and champion gender equality through their actions.
ex for Brett: Cuts her hair short like a boy and enjoys the same typical sexual freedoms as men
ex for Adriana: her narrative with Luciana when she refutes Luciana’s statement that only men should be truly free
-Both believe in the independence of females in society
-Brett is unable to commit herself to a relationship, however Adriana is
EX: Brett is only able to connect emotionally to Jake and cannot be intimate with him
EX: Adriana commits herself to her marriage even though there are some negative aspects of marriage for her as an independent woman
-The audience should model its life after Adriana because she recognizes the importance of having her own, independent identity in society, yet also understands that identities are intertwined. Brett, however, believes that being in a relationship would compromise her unique identity. Adriana is a better role model because she is strong enough to maintain her own unique identity while also sharing it with someone else by being married, whereas Brett believes she can only be herself by being alone.
(essay) Analyze how Modernisms quality of “The Lost Generation” can also apply to Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors or Twain’s Puddn’head Wilson. Be sure to define what is in fact “The Lost Generation.” How might this quality help the audience better understand the theme of identity?
“The Lost Generation” describes the people and literary characters left confused and disillusioned by WWI during the post-war modernist movement, and were unable to connect with those in society who did not experience the war firsthand. This “Lost Generation can be observed in Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson because the characters experience feelings of isolation in society. Puddn’head Wilson and the real Tom Driscoll are two prime examples of “The Lost Generation” in the novel, and this modernist quality helps the audience to understand the theme of identity and that society can play a pivotal role in shaping one’s identity.
Ex: In the beginning of the novel, a joke Pudd’nhead makes about splitting a dog flies over the townspeople’s heads, therefore labeling him as a fool and giving him his ridiculous nickname.
Just like those characterized by the “Lost Generation” Pudd’nhead spends the majority of the novel isolated and outcasted by the town, prompting him to disprove his given identity and show his true identity by solving the murder case.This teaches the audience that society has the ability to shape a person’s identity into something that may not be its intended form.
Ex: As an infant, Tom is switched with the baby of a slave and lives the remainder of his childhood in slavery under the name “Chambers,” even though he originally was born the son of a wealthy white man. Pudd’nhead returns Tom to his true identity by solving the murder case and Tom undergoes a major change in identity. Since he grew up a slave and not a white man, he feels “lost” in that he no longer fits in with the slaves, but he also does not fit into his true identity as a wealthy white male. This teaches the audience that society can mold one’s identity into whatever it chooses given the environment, even if it is not one’s true identity.