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A Guide For Creative Thinking

Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:12 am by BHSoft

A Guide For Creative Thinking by Brian Tracy
Einstein once said, “Every child is born a genius.” But the reason why most people do not function at genius levels is because they are not aware of how creative and smart they really are.I call it the “Schwarzenegger effect.” No one would look at a person such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and think how lucky he is to have been born with such …


Africain Literature

Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:15 pm by Lily

Things Fall Apart is a 1959 English-language novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, and one of the first African novels written in English to receive global critical acclaim. The title of the novel comes from [url=http://www.answers.com/topic/william-butler-yeats-3]


Algeria's Newspapers ...

Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:11 pm by Lily

study study study study



http://www.algeria press.com/
http://www.algeria press.com/alkhabar.htm
http://www.algeria-press.com/elwatan.htm
http://www.algeria-press.com/echoroukonline.htm
http://www.algeria-press.com/elmoudjahid.htm
http://www.algeria-press.com/liberte.htm
http://www.algeria-press.com/horizons.htm
http://www.algeria-press.com/el-massa.htm
[url=http://www.algeria-press.com/ech-chaab.htm]…


Algerian Vote

Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:39 pm by Lily

Algerians are voting in a presidential election which opposition groups have described as a charade.












American English

Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:00 pm by Maria

Going to is pronounced GONNA when it is used to show the future. But it is never reduced when it means going from one place to another.

We're going to grab a bite to eat. = We're gonna grab a bite to eat.
I'm going to the office tonight. = I'm going to the office tonight.

2. Want to and want a are both pronounced WANNA and wants to is pronounced WANSTA. Do you want to can also be reduced …

American Slangs

Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:54 pm by Maria

airhead: stupid person.
"Believe it or not, Dave can sometimes act like an airhead!"

amigo: friend (from Spanish).
"I met many amigos at Dave's ESL Cafe."

ammunition: toilet paper.
"Help! We're completely out of ammunition!"

antifreeze: alcohol.
"I'm going to need a lot of antifreeze tonight!"

armpit: dirty, unappealing place.


An Introduction to the British Civilization

Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:54 am by Maria

University of Batna First Year
English Department G: 6-7-8-9
General Culture

[center]An Introduction to the British Civilization

*The United Kingdom :

Full Name : The UK's full and official name is the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

Location: The United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country …

Announcements and News

Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:55 am by Lily


"Dear students , we would like to inform you that , from now on , your marks can be consulted through your Website ...Let's surf ! bounce bounce Wink

Applying for Research Study in the Department of English

Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:32 pm by Lily

Applying for Research Study in the Department of English

The process of applying for a research studentship begins with the identification of a potential supervisor. If you already know a staffmember who is willing to work with you to develop a research proposal,please start by contacting them. If you do not have a supervisor inmind already, …



    British Literature

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    Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

    Post by Lily on Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:47 pm

    Author Biography
    Novelist and short story writer Joseph Conrad was born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski on December 3, 1857, in Berdiczew, Podolia, then part of the Russian Empire (now Poland). His father, Apollo Nalecz Korzeniowski, was a resistance organizer against Russian rule in Poland; in 1861, he was arrested for these activities, and sentenced to exile in Vologda in northern Russia, accompanied by his wife and son.Conrad’s mother, whose tuberculosis was worsened by the harsh weather,died in 1865, when Conrad was eight years old.

    At this time,Conrad was introduced to literature and to the English language by his father, a poet and translator. In 1869, his father died, also of tuberculosis. Conrad was left in the care of relatives, eventually under the guardianship of his uncle, Tadeusz Bobrowski, a lawyer, who supported and encouraged Conrad financially, professionally, and emotionally, throughout his life.

    Yearning from an early age to be a sailor, Conrad went to Marseilles in 1874, and eventually served for sixteen years in the British merchant navy. In 1886, he became a British citizen, and earned a master mariner’s certificate. In 1889, he had the opportunity to command a Congo river boat, realizing a childhood dream of going to Africa. His most famous and most critically acclaimed story, “Heart of Darkness,” was based on his experiences in Africa.

    In 1894, his beloved uncle died. By this time, Conrad had retired from sea travel and settled in England, becoming a full-time writer. His first novel, Almayer’s Folly, was published in 1895 under the newly assumed name, Joseph Conrad. Also in 1895, at the age of thirty-eight, he married twenty-two-year old Jessie George, with whom he had two sons. His second novel, An Outcast of the Islands, was published in 1896.

    Conrad became known as a novelist of sea adventures, but his literary style and thematic concerns as expressed through these stories were of a more serious nature. Among his works which take place at sea are The Nigger of the “Narcissus”(1897), Lord Jim(1900), Youth(1902), and Typhoon(1902). He died of a heart attack on August 3, 1924.

    Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, now his most famous work, was first published in 1899 in serial form in London's Blackwood's Magazine,a popular journal of its day. The work was well received by a somewhat perplexed Victorian audience. It has since been called by many the best short novel written in English. At the time of its writing (1890), the Polish-born Conrad had become a naturalized British citizen, mastered the English language, served for ten years in the British merchant marines, achieved the rank of captain, and traveled to Asia, Australia,India, and Africa. Heart of Darkness is based on Conrad's firsthand experience of the Congo region of West Africa. Conrad was actually sent up the Congo River to an inner station to rescue a company agent — not named Kurtz but Georges-Antoine Klein — who died a few days later aboard ship. The story is told in the words of Charlie Marlow, a seaman, and filtered through the thoughts of an unidentified listening narrator. It is on one level about a voyage into the heart of the Belgian Congo, and on another about the journey into the soul of man. In 1902, Heart of Darkness was published in a separate volume along with two other stories by Conrad. Many critics consider the book a literary bridge between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and a forerunner both of modern literary techniques and approaches to the theme of the ambiguous nature of truth, evil, and morality. By presenting the reader with a clearly unreliable narrator whose interpretation of events is often open to question, Conrad forces the reader to take an active part in the story's construction and to see and feel its events for him- or herself.


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    Charles Dickens"Hard Times" Characters"

    Post by Lily on Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:39 am

    Characters
    Major characters
    Thomas Gradgrind
    Thomas Gradgrind is a utilitarian who is the founder of the educational system in Coketown. "Eminently practical" is Gradgrind's recurring description throughout the novel, and practicality is something he zealously aspires to. He represents the stringency of Fact, statistics and other materialistic pursuits. He is a "square" person and this can be seen not only through Dickens´description of his personality but also through the description of his physical appearance, "square shoulders". This style of repetition (also seen in through the description of his house, "no little gradgrind"...) is the one that Dickens adopted so that authorities would not forbid the publishing of the novel.Only after his daughter's breakdown does he come to a realisation that things such as poetry, fiction and other pursuits are not "destructive nonsense." In the third book, not only does he notice the existence of the unknown thought of "fancy" but he ironically asks Bitzer (one of his students in book the first, who gives a perfect description of a horse) if he has a heart (to save Tom) and in this situation, Bitzer again gives a very scientific response. This is a very clear example of the biblical reference " as ye sow, so shall ye reap".
    Josiah Bounderby
    Josiah Bounderby is a business associate of Mr. Gradgrind. He is a bombastic, yet thunderous merchant given to lecturing others, and boasting about being a self-made man. He employs many of the other central characters of the novel, and his rise to prosperity is shown to be an example of social mobility. He marries Mr. Gradgrind's daughter Louisa, some 30 years his junior, in what turns out to be a loveless marriage. They then had no children. Bounderby is the main target of Dickens' attack on the supposed moral superiority of the wealthy, and is revealed to be an hypocrite in his sensational comeuppance at the end of the novel. He is the " bully of humility" as he tells everyone that he is a "self made man" and that his mother left him to be looked after by his grandmother but then, due to Mrs. Sparsit's wrong accusation of thinking that Mrs. Pegler was the bank robber, we find that he has been lying.He uses Mrs. Sparsit in order to give him status as she belonged to the "Powlers" a very important family in the same way as Bounderby takes advantage of Mrs. Sparsit expecting people of a lower status to respect her presence.
    Louisa Bounderby nee Gradgrind ("Loo")
    Louisa is the unemotional, distant and eldest child of the Gradgrind family. She has been taught to abnegate her emotions, and finds it hard to express herself clearly, saying as a child she has "unmanageable thoughts." She is married to Josiah Bounderby, in a very logical and businesslike manner, representing the emphasis on factuality and business pathos of her education. Her union is a disaster and she is tempted into adultery by James Harthouse, yet she manages to resist this temptation with help from Sissy.All her life she has been "gazing into the fire" "wondering" in the first book we find that she wonders not knowing what it is she is wondering about, in book two with Mrs. Gradgrind's death we get the impression that she well will find out as Mrs. Gradgrind (another victim of the system) says: "there is something wrong" she dies without knowing what it is. It is at the end of book two after Harthouse's love declaration when Louisa understands the meaning of love, fancy, everything that until that moment her life had lacked. She realizes how immature the decision of marrying Bounderby was (only because of Tom's insistance). She then goes to complain to her father and all he says is: "I never knew you were unhappy my child". This shows how Louisa has made him recognize the existence of fancy. Fancy is transmitted through a chain, as Harthouse does to Louisa and Louisa to Gradgrind. The chain breaks at the end of the novel when Gradgrind tries to pass it onto Bitzer.
    Cecilia Jupe ("Sissy")
    The embodiment of imagination, hope and faith. Abandoned by her father, a circus performer at Sleary's circus. Gradgrind offers Sissy the chance to study at his school and to come and live at Stone Lodge with the Gradgrind children. Sleary also offers her a place and tells her she will be treated like one of the family, but Sissy following her father's wishes of her having a good education, goes to live with Gradgrind. She goes through "hard times" when she is with the Gradgrinds at the beginning because she does not understand the difference between a life based upon facts and one based upon fancy, like hers. When she does notice this, she leaves school in order to look after ill Mrs. Gradgrind. She always asks Mr. Gradgrind if a letter from her father arrived.Due to Sissy's high morals and natural warm-heartedness she has a huge influence on the Gradgrind family. When Mrs Gradgrind dies she largely takes over the role of mothering the younger Gradgrind Children: Jane, Adam Smith and Malthus.She is the biggest representative of fancy in the novel. She offers the contrast between fact and fancy. She finishes happy and surrounded by children.
    Thomas Gradgrind Junior ("Tom")
    The eldest son and second child of the Gradgrinds, Tom develops as a thoroughly contemptible character. Initially sullen and bitterly resentful of his father's Utilitarian Gradgrindian education, Tom has a very strong relationship with his sister Louisa. At length, Tom starts work in Bounderby's bank (which he later robs), and descends into sybaritic gambling and drinking - he is indiscreet over Louisa's marriage to Bounderby with James Harthouse. Nonetheless Louisa never ceases to deeply adore Tom, and she aids Sissy and Mr. Gradgrind in saving her brother from arrest. It is also hinted that Tom has romantic feelings for Sissy that are partly reciprocated. He is, ultimately, an insecure wastrel.Known as "the whelp" (small puppy) this is the way of Dickens mocking this character. He takes advantage of his loving sister in order to get out of the life that his father is giving him which he doesn't like. We might feel sympathy towards him at some points of the novel (mostly in book one) as he has the same kind of feelings as Louisa.He tells Blackpool to wait for him outside the bank and if he has something to give him, he will make sure Bitzer gives it to him. He tricks him by doing so as he only does so in order to make him look as if it was him who robbed the bank, maybe as a form of revenge after Bounderby sacking him. He is found out in book three where Blackpool is shown to be innocent. Mr. Gradgrind makes signs to put them up in the whole town clearing Blackpool's name and putting the blame on his own son.
    Stephen Blackpool
    "Old' Stephen", as he is referred to by his fellow Hands, is a worker at one of Bounderby's mills. His life is immensely strenuous, and he is married to a constantly inebriated wife who comes and goes throughout the novel. She remains anonymous and unidentified throughout the novel. He forms a close bond with Rachael, a co-worker. After a dispute with Bounderby, he is dismissed from his work at the Coketown mills and is forced to find work elsewhere. Whilst absent from Coketown he is accused of a crime for which he has been framed. Tragically, on his way back to vindicate himself, he falls down a mine-shaft. He is rescued but dies of his injuries.
    Stephen is a man "of perfect integrity", a man who will never give up his moral standpoint to follow along with the crowd, a quality which leads to the conflict with Slackbridge and the Trade Union.
    Other characters
    Bitzer is a classmate of Sissy's and brought up on facts and is taught to operate according to self-interest. He takes up a job in Bounderby's bank, and later tries to arrest Tom.
    Mrs. Sparsit, is a "classical" widow who has fallen upon despairing circumstances. She is employed by Bounderby, yet her officiousness and prying get her fired in a humorous send-off by Bounderby.
    James Harthouse, who enters the novel in the 2nd book, is an indolent, languid, upper-class gentleman, who attempts to woo Louisa, and gets sent away by Sissy.
    Mrs. Pegler, a "mysterious old woman" who turns out to be Bounderby's mother.
    Slackbridge, a union leader
    Circus folk, including Signor Jupe (who never actually appears in the novel), his dog Merrylegs, Mr. Sleary (the lisping manager of the circus) and Cupid; used to represent that the world of the circus is not always as pure as is represented by Sissy and Sleary.
    Mrs. Gradgrind, the wife of Mr. Gradgrind, who is an invalid and complains constantly. Her marriage to Thomas is a precursor of Louisa's marriage to Bounderby.
    Mr. M'Choakumchild, the teacher of the class containing Sissy Jupe and Bitzer, says very little but his name suggests a cold personality that stifles imagination.
    Major themes
    Relating back to Dickens's aim to "strike the heaviest blow in my power", he wished to educate readers about the working conditions of some of the factories in the industrial towns of Manchester, and Preston. Relating to this also, Dickens wished to expose the assumption that prosperity runs parallel to morality, something which is cruelly shattered in this novel, due to his portrayal of the moral monsters, Mr. Bounderby, and James Harthouse, the cynical aristocrats. Dickens was also campaigning for the importance of imagination in life, and not for people's life to be reduced to a collection of material facts and statistical analysis. Dickens's favorable portrayal of the Circus, which he describes as caring so "little for Plain Fact", is an example of this.
    Fact vs. Fancy
    This theme is developed early on, the bastion of Fact being the eminently practical Mr. Gradgrind, and his model school, which teaches nothing but Facts. Any imaginative or aesthetic subjects are eradicated from the curriculum, but analysis, deduction and mathematics are emphasized. Conversely, Fancy is the opposite of Fact, encompassing, fiction, music, poetry, and novelty shows such as Sleary's circus. It is interesting that Mr. Sleary is reckoned to be a fool by the Fact men, but it is Sleary who realises people must be "amuthed" (amused). This is made cognisant by Tom's sybaritic gambling and Louisa, who is virtually soulless as a young child, and as a married woman. Bitzer, who has adhered to Gradgrind's teachings as a child, turns out to be an uncompassionate egotist.
    Honesty
    This is closely related to Dickens's typical social commentary, which is a theme he uses throughout his entire œuvre. Dickens' portrays the wealthy in this novel as being morally corrupt. Bounderby has no moral scruples; he fires Blackpool "for a novelty". He also conducts himself without any shred of decency, frequently losing his temper. He is cynically false about his childhood. Harthouse, a leisured gent, is compared to an "iceberg" who will cause a wreck unwittingly, due to him being "not a moral sort of fellow", as he states himself. On the opposite spectrum, Stephen Blackpool, a destitute worker, is equipped with perfect morals, always abiding by his promises, and he is always thoughtful and considerate of others, as is Sissy Jupe.

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    Re: British Literature

    Post by Lily on Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:00 am

    Book I: Sowing
    Mr. Gradgrind, whose voice is "dictatorial", opens the novel by stating "Now, what I want is facts" at his school in Coketown. He is a man of "facts and calculations." He interrogates one of his pupils, Sissy, whose father is involved with the circus, the members of which are "Fancy" in comparison to Gradgrind's espousal of "Fact." Since her father rides and tends to horses, Gradgrind offers Sissy the definition of "veterinary surgeon." She is rebuffed for not being able to define a horse factually; her classmate Bitzer does, however, provide a more zoological profile description and factual definition. She does not learn easily, and is censured for suggesting that she would carpet a floor with pictures of flowers "So you would carpet your room—or your husband's room, if you were a grown woman, and had a husband—with representations of flowers, would you? Why would you?" She is taught to disregard Fancy altogether. It is Fancy Vs Fact.
    Louisa and Thomas, two of Mr. Gradgrind's children, pay a visit after school to the touring circus run by Mr. Sleary, only to find their father, who is disconcerted by their trip since he believes the circus to be the bastion of Fancy and conceit. With their father, Louisa and Tom trudge off in a despondent mood. Mr. Gradgrind has three younger children: Adam Smith, (after the famous theorist of laissez-faire policy), Malthus (after Rev. Thomas Malthus, who wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population, warning of the dangers of future overpopulation) and Jane.

    Gradgrind apprehends Louisa and Tom, his two eldest children, at the circus.
    Josiah Bounderby, "a man perfectly devoid of sentiment", is revealed as being Gradgrind's closest friend. Bounderby is a manufacturer and millowner who is affluent as a result of his enterprise and capital. Bounderby is what one might call a "self-made man" who has risen from the gutter. He is not averse to giving dramatic summaries of his childhood, which terrify Mr. Gradgrind's weak wife who is often rendered insensate by these horrific stories. He is described in an acerbic manner as being "the Bully of Humility."
    Mr. Gradgrind and Bounderby visit the public-house where Sissy resides to inform her that she cannot attend the school anymore due to the risk of her ideas propagating in the class. Sissy meets the two collaborators, informing them her father has abandoned her not out of malice, but out of desire for Sissy to lead a better life without him. This was the reasoning behind him enlisting her at Gradgrind's school and Gradgrind is outraged at this desertion. At this point members of the circus appear, fronted by their manager Mr. Sleary. Mr. Gradgrind gives Sissy a choice: either to return to the circus and forfeit her education, or to continue her education and never to return to the circus. Sleary and Gradgrind both have their say on the matter, and at the behest of Josephine Sleary she decides to leave the circus and bid all the close friends she had formed farewell.
    Back at the Gradgrind house, Tom and Louisa sit down and discuss their feelings, however repressed they seem to be. Tom, already at this present stage of education finds himself in a state of dissatisfaction, and Louisa also expresses her discontent at her childhood while staring into the fire. Louisa's ability to wonder, however, has not been entirely extinguished by her rigorous education based in Fact.We are introduced to the workers at the mills, known as the "Hands." Amongst them is a man named Stephen Blackpool or "Old Stephen" who has led a toilsome life. He is described as a "man of perfect integrity." He has ended his day's work, and his close companion Rachael is about somewhere. He eventually meets up with her, and they walk home discussing their day. On entering his house he finds that his drunken wretch of a wife, who has been in exile from Coketown, has made an unwelcome return to his house. She is unwell, and mumbles inebriated remarks to Stephen, who is greatly perturbed by this event.
    The next day, Stephen makes a visit to Bounderby to try and end his woeful, childless marriage through divorce. Mrs. Sparsit, Mr. Bounderby's paid companion, is "dejected by the impiety" of Stephen and Bounderby explains that he could not afford to effect an annulment anyway. Stephen is very bewildered and dejected by this verdict given by Bounderby.
    Meanwhile, Mr. Gradgrind prepares to talk to his daughter about a "business proposal", but she is seemingly apathetic in his company, and this seems to frustrate Mr. Gradgrind's efforts. He says that a proposal of marriage has been made to Louisa by Josiah Bounderby, who is some 30 years her senior. Gradgrind uses statistics to prove that an age inequity in marriage does not prove an unhappy or short marriage however. Louisa passively accepts this offer. Bounderby is rendered ecstatic by the news, as is Louisa's mother, who again is so overwhelmed that she is overcome yet again. Sissy is confounded by but piteous of Louisa.
    Book 2: Reaping
    Book Two opens with the attention focused on Bounderby's new bank in Coketown, of which Bitzer alongside the austere Mrs. Sparsit keep watch at night for intruders or burglars. A dashing gentleman enters, asking for directions to Bounderby's house, as Gradgrind has sent him from London, along with a letter. It is James Harthouse, a languid fellow, who was unsure what to do with his life, so became an MP as he saw it as a way out. For this, Dickens despises him.Harthouse is introduced to Bounderby, who again reverts to almost improbable stories of his childhood to entertain Gradgrind. Harthouse is utterly bored by the blusterous millowner, yet is astounded by his wife, Louisa, and notices her melancholy nature. Louisa's brother Tom works for Bounderby, and he has become reckless and wayward in his conduct, despite his meticulous education. Tom decides to take a liking to James Harthouse, on the basis of his clothes, showing his superficiality. Tom is later debased to animal status, as he comes to be referred to as the "whelp", a denunciatory term for a young man. Tom is very forthcoming in his contempt for Bounderby in the presence of Harthouse, who soaks up all these secretive revelations.Stephen is called to Bounderby's mansion, where he informs him of his abstention from joining the union led by the orator Slackbridge, and Bounderby accuses Stephen of fealty and of pledging an oath of secrecy to the union. Stephen denies this, and states that he avoided the Union because of a promise he'd made earlier to Rachael. Bounderby is bedevilled by this conflict of interest and accuses Stephen of being waspish. He dismisses him on the spot, on the basis that he has betrayed both employer and union. Later on a bank theft takes place at the Bounderby bank, and Stephen Blackpool is inculpated in the crime, due to him loitering around the bank at Tom's promise of better times to come, the night before the robbery.Sparsit observes that the relationship between James Harthouse and Louisa is moving towards a near tryst. She sees Louisa as moving down her "staircase", metaphorically speaking. She sets off from the bank to spy upon them, and catches them at what seems to be a propitious moment. However, despite Harthouse confessing his love to Louisa, Louisa is restrained, and refuses an affair. Sparsit is infatuated with the idea that the two do not know they are being observed. Harthouse departs as does Louisa, and Mrs. Sparsit tries to stay in pursuit, thinking that Louisa is going to assent to the affair, though Louisa has not. She follows Louisa to the train station assuming that Louisa has hired a coachman to dispatch her to Coketown. Sparsit however, misses the fact that Louisa has instead boarded a train to her father's house. Sparsit relinquishes defeat and proclaims "I have lost her!" When Louisa arrives at her father's house, she is revealed to be in an extreme state of disconsolate grief. She accuses her father of denying her the opportunity to have an innocent childhood, and that her rigorous education has stifled her ability to express her emotions. Louisa collapses at her father's feet, into an insensible torpor.
    Book 3: Garnering
    Mrs. Sparsit arrives at Mr. Bounderby's house, and reveals to him the news her surveillance has brought. Mr. Bounderby, who is rendered irate by this news, journeys to Stone Lodge, where Louisa is resting. Mr. Gradgrind tries to disperse calm upon the scene, and reveals that Louisa resisted the temptation of adultery. Bounderby is inconsolable and he is immensely indignant and ill-mannered towards everyone present, including Mrs. Sparsit, for her falsehood. Bounderby finishes by offering the ultimatum to Louisa of returning to Bounderby, by 12 o'clock the next morning, else the marriage is forfeited. Suffice to say, Mr. Bounderby resumes his bachelorhood when the request is not met.The discomfited Harthouse leaves Coketown, on an admonition from Sissy Jupe, never to return. He submits. Meanwhile, Mr. Gradgrind and Louisa cast suspicions that Tom, the "whelp", may have committed the bank robbery. Stephen Blackpool who has been absent from Coketown, trying to find mill work under a pseudonym, tries to exculpate himself from the robbery. On walking back to Coketown, he falls down the Old Hell Shaft, an old pit, completing his terminal bad luck in life. He is rescued by villagers, but after speaking to Rachael for the last time, he dies.Louisa suspects that Tom had a word with Stephen, making a false offer to him, and therefore urging him to loiter outside of the bank. Mr. Gradgrind and Sissy concur with this theory and resolve to find Tom, since he is in danger. Sissy makes a plan for rescue and escape, however, and she reveals that she suspected Tom early on during the proceedings. She sends Tom off to the circus that she used to be a part of, namely Mr. Sleary's. Louisa and Sissy travel to the circus; Tom is there, disguised in blackface. Remorselessly, Tom says that he had little money, and that robbery was the only solution to his dilemma. Mr. Sleary is not aware of this and agrees to help him reach Liverpool, and Mr. Gradgrind, prays that his son is able to board a ship that will send him to the faraway Americas. The party is stopped, however, by Bitzer, who is anxious to claim his reward for the misdemeanour. The "excellent young man" is entreated to show compassion and questions whether he has a heart, to which Bitzer, cynically responds, that of course he has a heart, and that the "circulation could not be carried on without one." Sleary is dismayed by this revelation, and agrees to take Bitzer and Tom to the bank without any further delays. However, he sees that Mr. Gradgrind has been kind to Sissy, and agrees to detain and divert Bitzer whilst Tom leaves for Liverpool.
    Returning to Coketown, Mrs. Sparsit is relieved of her duty to Bounderby who has no qualms about firing a lady, however "highly connected" she may be. The final chapter of the book details the fates of the characters. Mrs. Sparsit returns to live with her aunt, Lady Scadgers. The two have feelings of acrimony towards each other. Bounderby dies of a fit in a street one day, having squandered his fortune on speculation. Tom dies in the Americas, having begged for penitence in a half-written letter to his sister, Louisa. Louisa herself grows old and never remarries. Mr. Gradgrind abandons his Utilitarian stance, which brings contempt from his fellow MPs, who give him a hard time. Rachael continues to labour while still consistently maintaining her work ethic and honesty. Sissy is the moral victor of the story, as her children have also escaped the desiccative education of the Gradgrind school and grown learned in "childish lore."
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    Charles Dickens"Hard Times"

    Post by Lily on Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:45 pm

    Hard Times- For These Times. is a novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854. The book is a state-of-the-nation novel, which aimed to highlight the social and economic pressures that some people were experiencing. Unlike other such writings at the time, the novel is unusual in that it is not set in London (as was also Dickens' usual wont), but in the fictitious Victorian industrialist Coketown, a generic town representative of Manchester or Preston of the 19th Century.
    It has received a mixed response from a diverse range of critics, such as F.R. Leavis, George Bernard Shaw, and Thomas Macaulay, mainly focusing on Dickens' treatment of trade unions and his post-Industrial Revolution pessimism regarding the divide between capitalistic mill owners and undervalued workers during the Victorian era of Britain.
    Dickens's reasons for writing Hard Times were monetary, educational and critical. Sales of his weekly pulp fiction periodical, Household Words, were low, and he hoped the inclusion of this novel in instalments would increase sales.Gaskell's North and South published a year later, was another state-of-the-nation novel to first appear in Household Words.Dickens wished to satirize radical Utilitarians whom he described in a letter to Charles Knight as "see[ing] figures and averages, and nothing else." He also wished to campaign for reform of working conditions. Dickens had visited factories in Manchester as early as 1839, and was appalled by the environment in which workers toiled. Drawing upon his own childhood experiences, Dickens resolved to "strike the heaviest blow in my power" for those who laboured in horrific conditions.
    Background
    Prevalence of utilitarianism
    The Utilitarians were one of the targets of this novel. Utilitarianism, founded by Jeremy Bentham, was a prevalent school of thought during this period, its most famous proponent being John Stuart Mill. Theoretical Utilitarian ethics hold that promotion of general social welfare is the ultimate goal for the individual and society in general: "the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people." Dickens believed that in practical terms, the pursuit of a totally rationalized society could lead to great misery.
    Bentham's former secretary, Edwin Chadwick, helped design the Poor Law of 1834, which deliberately made workhouse life as uncomfortable as possible. In the novel, this is conveyed in Bitzer's response to Gradgrind's appeal for compassion.
    Dickens was appalled by what was, in his interpretation, a selfish philosophy, which was combined with materialist laissez-faire capitalism in the education of some children at the time, as well as in industrial practices. In Dickens's interpretation, the prevalence of utilitarian values in educational institutions promoted contempt between millowners and workers, creating young adults whose imaginations had been neglected, due to an over-emphasis on facts at the expense of more imaginative pursuits.
    John Stuart Mill had a similar, rigorous education to that of Louisa Gradgrind, consisting of analytical, logical, mathematical, and statistical exercises. In his twenties, Mill had a nervous breakdown, believing his capacity for emotion had been enervated by his father's stringent emphasis on analysis and mathematics in his education. In the book, Louisa herself follows a parallel course, being unable to express herself and falling into a temporary depression as a result of her dry education.
    Dickens also rails against the potentially oppressive use of statistics to justify the unequal distribution of wealth. One of many instances in which the fact-bound, "metallurgical" characters in the novel attempt to indoctrinate those who still have "tender imaginations" appears in Chapter IX. Asked to state the first principle of political economy, Sissy, a young student, responds "To do unto others as I would that they should do unto me." Mr. M'Choakumchild sees this innocent substitution of the Golden Rule for the rule of self-interest as absurd and informs Mr. Gradgrind that Sissy is "very dense." Thus Dickens' critique of this discipline extends his critique of statistics, as another form of knowledge as power, rather than compassionate knowledge.
    Publication

    Dickens'sweekly magazine
    The novel was published as a serial in his weekly publication, Household Words. Sales were highly responsive and encouraging for Dickens who remarked that he was "Three parts mad, and the fourth delirious, with perpetual rushing at Hard Times". The novel was serialised, every week, between April 1 and August 12, 1854. It sold well, and a complete volume was published in August, totalling 110,000 words. Another related novel, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, was also published in this magazine.
    Plot summary
    The novel follows a classical tripartite structure, and the titles of each book are related to Galatians 6:7, "For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." The interpretation of this quote being, what ever is effected upon or done in the present will have a direct effect on what happens later. Book I is entitled "Sowing", Book II is entitled "Reaping", and the third is "Garnering."
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    Charles Dickens"2 "

    Post by Lily on Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:36 pm

    "Dark" Novels
    In 1851 Dickens was struck by the death of his father and one of his daughters within 2 weeks. Partly in response to these losses, he embarked on a series of works which have come to be called his "dark" novels and which rank among the greatest triumphs of the art of fiction. The first of these, Bleak House (1852-1853), has perhaps the most complicated plot of any English novel, but the narrative twists serve to create a sense of the interrelationship of all segments of English society. Indeed, it has been maintained that this network of interrelations is the true subject of the novel, designed to express Thomas Carlyle's view that "organic filaments" connect every member of society with every other member of whatever class. The novel provides, then, a chastening lesson to social snobbery and personal selfishness.
    Dickens's next novel is even more didactic in its moral indictment of selfishness. Hard Times (1854) was written specifically to challenge the prevailing view of his society that practicality and facts were of greater importance and value than feelings and persons. In his indignation at callousness in business and public educational systems, Dickens laid part of the charge for the heartlessness of Englishmen at the door of the utilitarian philosophy then much in vogue. But the lasting applicability of the novel lies in its intensely focused picture of an English industrial town in the heyday of capitalist expansion and in its keen view of the limitations of both employers and reformers.
    Little Dorrit (1855-1857) has some claim to be regarded as Dickens's greatest novel. In it he provides the same range of social observation that he had developed in previous major works. But the outstanding feature of this novel is the creation of two striking symbols of his views, which operate throughout the story as the focal points of all the characters' lives. The condition of England, as he saw it, Dickens sums up in the symbol of the prison: specifically the Marshalsea debtors' prison, in which the heroine's father is entombed, but generally the many forms of personal bondage and confinement that are exhibited in the course of the plot. For his counterweight, Dickens raises to symbolic stature his traditional figure of the child as innocent sufferer of the world's abuses. By making his heroine not a child but a childlike figure of Christian loving-kindness, Dickens poses the central burden of his work - the conflict between the world's harshness and human values - in its most impressive artistic form.
    The year 1857 saw the beginnings of a personal crisis for Dickens when he fell in love with an actress named Ellen Ternan. He separated from his wife in the following year, after many years of marital incompatibility. In this period Dickens also began to give much of his time and energies to public readings from his novels, which became even more popular than his lectures on topical questions.
    Later Works
    In 1859 Dickens published A Tale of Two Cities, a historical novel of the French Revolution, which is read today most often as a school text. It is, while below the standard of the long and comprehensive "dark" novels, a fine evocation of the historical period and a moving tale of a surprisingly modern hero's self-sacrifice. Besides publishing this novel in the newly founded All the Year Round, Dickens also published 17 articles, which appeared as a book in 1860 entitled The Uncommercial Traveller.
    Dickens's next novel, Great Expectations (1860-1861), must rank as his most perfectly executed work of art. It tells the story of a young man's moral development in the course of his life - from childhood in the provinces to gentleman's status in London. Not an autobiographical novel like David Copperfield, Great Expectations belongs to the type of fiction called, in German, Bildungsroman (the novel of a man's education or formation by experience) and is one of the finest examples of the type.
    The next work in the Dickens canon had to wait for the (for him) unusual time of 3 years, but in 1864-1865 he produced Our Mutual Friend, which challenges Little Dorrit and Bleak House for consideration as his masterpiece. Here the vision of English society in all its classes and institutions is presented most thoroughly and devastatingly, while two symbols are developed which resemble those of Little Dorrit in credibility and interest. These symbols are the mounds of rubbish which rose to become features of the landscape in rapidly expanding London, and the river which flows through the city and provides a point of contact for all its members besides suggesting the course of human life from birth to death.
    In the closing years of his life Dickens worsened his declining health by giving numerous readings from his works. He never fully recovered from a railroad accident in which he had been involved in 1865 and yet insisted on traveling throughout the British Isles and America to read before tumultuous audiences. He broke down in 1869 and gave only a final series of readings in London in the following year. He also began The Mystery of Edwin Drood but died in 1870, leaving it unfinished. His burial in Westminster Abbey was an occasion of national mourning.
    Early Life and Works
    The son of a naval clerk, Dickens spent his early childhood in London and in Chatham. When he was 12 his father was imprisoned for debt, and Charles was compelled to work in a blacking warehouse. He never forgot this double humiliation. At 17 he was a court stenographer, and later he was an expert parliamentary reporter for the Morning Chronicle. His sketches, mostly of London life (signed Boz), began appearing in periodicals in 1833, and the collection Sketches by Boz (1836) was a success.
    Soon Dickens was commissioned to write burlesque sporting sketches; the result was The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1836–37), which promptly made Dickens and his characters, especially Sam Weller and Mr. Pickwick, famous. In 1836 he married Catherine Hogarth, who was to bear him 10 children; the marriage, however, was never happy. Dickens had a tender regard for Catherine's sister Mary Hogarth, who died young, and a lifelong friendship with another sister, Georgina Hogarth.
    Maturity
    The early-won fame never deserted Dickens. His readers were eager and ever more numerous, and Dickens worked vigorously for them, producing novels that appeared first in monthly installments and then were made into books. Oliver Twist (in book form, 1838) was followed by Nicholas Nickleby (1839) and by two works originally intended to start a series called Master Humphrey's Clock: The Old Curiosity Shop (1841) and Barnaby Rudge (1841).
    Dickens wrote rapidly, sometimes working on more than one novel at a time, and usually finished an installment just when it was due. Haste did not prevent his loosely strung and intricately plotted books from being the most popular novels of his day. When he visited America in 1842, he was received with ovations but awakened some displeasure by his remarks on copyright protection and his approval of the abolition of slavery. He replied with sharp criticism of America in American Notes (1842) and the novel Martin Chuzzlewit (1843). The first of his Christmas books was the well-loved A Christmas Carol (1843). In later years other short novels and stories written for the season followed, notably The Chimes and The Cricket on the Hearth.
    Dickens lived in Italy in 1844 and in Switzerland in 1846. Dombey and Son (1848) was the first in a string of triumphant novels including David Copperfield (1850), his own favorite novel, which was partly autobiographical; Bleak House (1853); Hard Times (1854); Little Dorrit (1857); A Tale of Two Cities (1859); Great Expectations (1861); and Our Mutual Friend (1865). In 1856 he bought his long-desired country home at Gadshill. Two years later, because of Dickens's attentions to a young actress, Ellen Ternan, his wife ended their marriage by formal separation. Her sister Georgina remained with Dickens to care for his household and the younger children.
    Dickens was working furiously, editing and contributing to the magazines Household Words (1850–59) and All the Year Round (1858–70) and managing amateur theatricals. To these labors he added platform readings from his own works; three tours in the British Isles (1858, 1861–65, 1866–67) were followed by one in America (1867–68) When he undertook another English tour of readings (1869–70), his health broke, and he died soon afterward, leaving his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished. His grave is in Westminster Abbey.
    Dickens's Genius
    Charles Dickens is one of the giants of English literature. He wrote from his own experience a great deal—the Marshalsea prison dominates Little Dorrit, and his father was at least partially the model for Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield. Although he was expert at journalistic reporting, he wrote nothing that was not transformed from actuality by his imagination. Sharp depiction of the eccentricities and characteristic traits of people was stretched into caricature, and for generations of readers the names of his characters—Mr. Pickwick, Uriah Heep, Miss Havisham, Ebenezer Scrooge—have been household words.
    His enormous warmth of feeling sometimes spilled into sentimental pathos, sometimes flowed as pure tragedy. Dickens was particularly successful at evoking the sights, sounds, and smells of London, and the customs of his day. He attacked the injustices of the law and social hypocrisy and evils, but after many of the ills he pictured had been cured he gained still more readers. Some critics complain of his disorderliness in structure and of his sentimentality, but none has attempted to deny his genius at revealing the very pulse of life.
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    Charles Dickens

    Post by Lily on Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:25 pm

    Charles Dickens was born on Feb. 7, 1812, at Port-sea (later part of Portsmouth) on the southern coast of England. He was the son of a lower-middle-class but impecunious father whose improvidence he was later to satirize in the character of Micawber in David Copperfield. The family's financial difficulties caused them to move about until they settled in Camden Town, a poor neighborhood of London. At the age of 12 Charles was set to work in a warehouse that handled "blacking," or shoe polish; there he mingled with men and boys of the working class. For a period of months he was also forced to live apart from his family when they moved in with his father, who had been imprisoned in the Marshalsea debtors' prison. This experience of lonely hardship was the most significant formative event of his life; it colored his view of the world in profound and varied ways and is directly or indirectly described in a number of his novels, including The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, and Little Dorrit, as well as David Copperfield.
    These early events of Dicken's life left both psychological and sociological effects. In a fragmentary autobiography Dickens wrote, "It is wonderful to me how I could have been so easily cast away at such an age. … My father and mother were quite satisfied. … My whole nature was so penetrated with grief and humiliation of such considerations, that even now, famous and caressed and happy, I often forget in my dreams that I have a dear wife and children; even that I am a man; and wander desolately back to that time of my life."
    The sociological effect of the blacking factory on Dickens was to give him a firsthand acquaintance with poverty and to make him the most vigorous and influential voice of the lower classes in his age. Despite the fact that many of England's legal and social abuses were in the process of being removed by the time Dickens published his exposés of them, it remains true that he was the most widely heard spokesman of the need to alleviate the miseries of the poor.Dickens returned to school after an inheritance (as in the fairy-tale endings of some of his novels) relieved his father from debt, but he was forced to become an office boy at the age of 15. In the following year he became a free-lance reporter or stenographer at the law courts of London. By 1832 he had become a reporter for two London newspapers and, in the following year, began to contribute a series of impressions and sketches to other newspapers and magazines, signing some of them "Boz." These scenes of London life went far to establish his reputation and were published in 1836 as Sketches by Boz, his first book. On the strength of this success he married; his wife, Catherine Hogarth, was eventually to bear him 10 children.
    Early Works
    In 1836 Dickens also began to publish in monthly installments The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. This form of serial publication became a standard method of writing and producing fiction in the Victorian period and affected the literary methods of Dickens and other novelists. So great was Dickens's success with the procedure - summed up in the formula, "Make them laugh; make them cry; make them wait" - that Pickwick became one of the most popular works of the time, continuing to be so after it was published in book form in 1837. The comic heroes of the novel, the antiquarian members of the Pickwick Club, scour the English countryside for local points of interest and are involved in a variety of humorous adventures which reveal the characteristics of English social life. At a later stage of the novel, the chairman of the club, Samuel Pickwick, is involved in a lawsuit which lands him in the Fleet debtors' prison. Here the lighthearted atmosphere of the novel changes, and the reader is given intimations of the gloom and sympathy with which Dickens was to imbue his later works.
    During the years of Pickwick's serialization, Dickens became editor of a new monthly, Bentley's Miscellany. When Pickwick was completed, he began publishing his new novel, Oliver Twist, in this magazine - a practice he continued in his later magazines, Household Worlds and All the Year Round. Oliver expresses Dickens's interest in the life of the slums to the fullest, as it traces the fortunes of an innocent orphan through the London streets. It seems remarkable today that this novel's fairly frank treatment of criminals like Bill Sikes, prostitutes like Nancy, and "fences" like Fagin could have been acceptable to the Victorian reading public. But so powerful was Dickens's portrayal of the "little boy lost" amid the lowlife of the East End that the limits of his audience's tolerance were gradually stretched.
    Dickens was now embarked on the most consistently successful career of any 19th-century author after Sir Walter Scott. He could do no wrong as far as his faithful readership was concerned; yet his books for the next decade were not to achieve the standard of his early triumphs. These works include: Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839), still cited for its exposé of brutality at an English boys' school, Dothe boys Hall; The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841), still remembered for reaching a high (or low) point of sentimentality in its portrayal of the sufferings of Little Nell; and Barnaby Rudge (1841), still read for its interest as a historical novel, set amid the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots of 1780.
    In 1842 Dickens, who was as popular in America as he was in England, went on a 5-month lecture tour of the United States, speaking out strongly for the abolition of slavery and other reforms. On his return he wrote American Notes, sharply critical of the cultural backwardness and aggressive materialism of American life. He made further capital of these observations in his next novel, Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-1844), in which the hero retreats from the difficulties of making his way in England only to find that survival is even more trying on the American frontier. During the years in which Chuzzlewit appeared, Dickens also published two Christmas stories, A Christmas Carol and The Chimes, which became as much part of the season as plum pudding.
    First Major Novels
    After a year abroad in Italy, in response to which he wrote Pictures from Italy (1846), Dickens began to publish Dombey and Son, which continued till 1848. This novel established a new standard in the Dickensian novel and may be said to mark the turning point in his career. If Dickens had remained the author of Pickwick, Oliver Twist, and The Old Curiosity Shop, he might have deserved a lasting reputation only as an author of cheerful comedy and bathetic sentiment. But Dombey, while it includes these elements, is a realistic novel of human life in a society which had assumed more or less its modern form. As its full title indicates, Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son is a study of the influence of the values of a business society on the personal fortunes of the members of the Dombey family and those with whom they come in contact. It takes a somber view of England at mid-century, and its elegiac tone becomes characteristic of Dickens's novels for the rest of his life.Dickens's next novel, David Copperfield (1849-1850), combined broad social perspective with a very strenuous effort to take stock of himself at the midpoint of his literary career. This autobiographical novel fictionalized elements of Dickens's childhood degradation, pursuit of a journalistic and literary vocation, and love life. Its achievement is to offer the first comprehensive record of the typical course of a young man's life in Victorian England. Copperfield is not Dickens's greatest novel, but it was his own favorite among his works, probably because of his personal engagement with the subject matter.
    In 1850 Dickens began to "conduct" (his word for edit) a new periodical, Household Words. His editorials and articles for this magazine, running to two volumes, cover the entire span of English politics, social institutions, and family life and are an invaluable complement to the fictional treatment of these subjects in Dickens's novels. The weekly magazine was a great success and ran to 1859, when Dickens began to conduct a new weekly, All the Year Round. In both these periodicals he published some of his major novels.
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    George Orwell

    Post by Lily on Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:51 am







    Author Biography
    George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in Bengal, India, in 1903, into a family that had to struggle to make ends meet. The son of a British civil servant, Orwell was brought to England as a toddler. The boy became aware of class distinctions while attending St. Cyprian's preparatory school in Sussex, where he received a fine education but felt out of place. He was teased and looked down upon because he was not from a wealthy family. This experience made him sensitive to the cruelty of social snobbery. As a partial-scholarship student whose parents could not afford to pay his entire tuition, Orwell was also regularly reminded of his lowly economic status by school administrators. Conditions improved at Eton, where he studied next, but instead of continuing with university classes, in 1922 he joined the Indian Imperial Police. Stationed in Burma, his class-consciousness intensified as he served as one of the hated policemen enforcing British control of the native population. Sickened by his role as imperialist, he returned to England in 1927 and resigned his position.He planned to become a writer, a profession in which he had not before shown much interest.
    In 1928, perhaps to erase guilt from his colonial experiences, he chose to live amongst the poor of London, and later, Paris. In Paris, he published articles in local newspapers, but his fiction was rejected. His own life finally provided the material for his first book, published in 1933. Down and Out in Paris and London,which combined fictional narrative based on his time spent in those two cities with social criticism, was his first work published as George Orwell. The pseudonym was used so his parents would not be shocked by the brutal living conditions described in the book. The next year, Orwell published Burmese Days, a novel based on his stay in Burma. Subsequent novels, including A Clergyman's Daughter, Keep the Aspidistra Flying and Coming Up for Air, all contain autobiographical references and served as vehicles for Orwell to explore his growing political convictions.
    In 1936, Orwell traveled to Barcelona, Spain, to write about the Spanish Civil War and ended up joining the battle, fighting against Spanish leader Francisco Franco on the side of the Republicans. Wounded, he returned to England. Two nonfiction books, The Road to Wigan Pier, a report on deplorable conditions in the mining communities of northern England, and Homage to Catalonia,the story of his participation in the Spanish Civil War, allowed Orwell to explicitly defend his political ideas. Dozens of pointed essays also revealed his political viewpoint.By that time, Orwell clearly saw himself as a political performer whose tool was writing. He wrote in a 1946 essay, "Why I Write," that "every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against for democratic socialism, as I understand it." totalitarianism and Orwell's next book, Animal Farm,a fable about the events during and following the Russian Revolution,was well liked by critics and the public. He had had trouble finding a publisher during World War II because the work was a disguised criticism of Russia, England's ally at the time. When it was finally published, just after the war, it was a smashing success.The money Orwell made from Animal Farm allowed him, in 1947, to rent a house on Jura, an island off the coast of Scotland, where he began to work on 1984.His work was interrupted by treatment for tuberculosis, which he had contracted in the 1930s, and upon his release from the hospital in 1948 Orwell returned to Jura to complete the book. Under doctor's orders to work no more than one hour a day, but unable to find a typist to travel to his home, he typed the manuscript himself and collapsed upon completion of the book. For the next two years he was bedridden. Many critics claim that Orwell's failing health may have influenced him to make 1984 so pessimistic, and Orwell admitted that they were probably right.Orwell did plan to write other books,according to his friends, and married while in the hospital, but three months later in 1950 he finally died of tuberculosis.
    Eric Arthur Blair

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    Animal Farm :Style

    Post by Lily on Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:31 am

    Style
    Point of View
    The third person point of view traditionally used for fables and fairy tales is the one Orwell chooses for Animal Farm,his tale of an animal rebellion against humans in which the pigs become the powerful elite. The storyteller in this case, as is also typical of the fable, tells the reader only what is needed to follow the story and the bare minimum about each character, without overt commentary. Orwell focuses on the bewilderment of the simple beasts — the horses, birds,and sheep — in the face of their manipulation by the pigs, eliciting sympathy from the reader.
    Setting
    Animal Farm takes place at an unspecified time on a British farm near Willingdon, a town that is mentioned only in passing. The farm is first called Manor Farm, later renamed Animal Farm and, finally, Manor Farm once more.Manor — which can mean the land overseen by a lord, the house of a lord, or a mansion — associates the farm with the upper, or ruling,class. Orwell focuses entirely on activities taking place at the farm,except for a brief scene in Willingdon when Jones asks his neighbors to help him. By keeping a narrow focus, Orwell makes the location in England unimportant.
    Narrator
    The narrator in the novel functions as a storyteller, telling a fable. Orwell gives the fable ironic overtones by using a naive narrator, one who refuses to
    comment on events in the novel that the reader understands to be false.After Muriel tells Clover that the fourth commandment of Animalism reads, "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets, " the narrator declares: "Curiously enough,Clover had not remembered that the Fourth Commandment mentioned sheets; but as it was there on the wall, it must have done so." Both the reader and the narrator know the truth of the matter — that the words of the commandment have been changed — but the narrator does not admit it. The tension between what the narrator knows but does not say and what the reader knows is dramatic irony.
    Dramatic Irony
    With dramatic irony an audience, or reader, understands the difference between the truth of a situation and what the characters know about it, while the characters remain ignorant of the discrepancy. For instance, Squealer explains that the van in which Boxer was taken to the hospital formerly belonged to a horse slaughterer. He further explains that the veterinarian who now uses it did not have the time to paint over the horse slaughterer's sign on its side, so the animals should not worry.
    The narrator says: "The animals were enormously relieved to hear this."The reader, who assumed the truth when the van originally appeared to carry the horse away, feels doubly outraged by Squealer's explanation.
    Fairy Tales
    The fairy story, or fairy tale, is a type of folk literature found all over the world. It involves a highly imaginative narrative told in a simple manner easily understood and enjoyed even by children. While they do not have a moral, fairy tales instruct by placing their characters in situations that they have to overcome; children who hear the tales can imagine what they would do in a similar situation. Fairy tales, also,often involve animals that can talk. Orwell gave his work the subtitle "A Fairy Story." The reader can surmise that the story told in Animal Farm is universal, with implications for every culture or country, and that it will be easily understood. Using "fairy story" to describe his novel is another bit of irony, because the political story behind the tale is far from the light entertainment the term implies.
    Satire
    A work that uses humor to criticize a weakness or defect is called a satire. The satirist makes whatever he is criticizing look ridiculous by a variety of methods, often through irony or other types of biting humor. The satirist hopes to change the behavior he is satirizing.Orwell ridicules the socalled achievements of the Russian revolution in a number of ways: by comparing its proponents to animals, by developing irony through the use of the naive narrator, and by allowing each animal or group of animals to stand for one human trait or tendency that he criticizes.
    Fable
    A fable is a short,imaginative narrative, usually with animal characters, that illustrates a moral. The characters often embody a specific human trait, like jealousy, to make fun of humans who act similarly. Orwell uses details to make his animal characters seem like real animals: the cat vanishes for hours at a time; Molly the mare likes to have her nose stroked. The animals also represent human traits or characteristics: the pigs are selfish powergrabbers, the sheep are dim-witted "yes-men," and the horses are stouthearted workers. Animal Farm, like the traditional fable, is told in a simple, straightforward style.
    Allegory
    In an allegory, characters and events stand for something else. In this case, the characters in the novel stand for significant figures in twentieth-century Russian history. Orwell makes the characters easily identifiable for those who know the historic parallels, because he gives each one a trait, or has them perform certain tasks, that are like that of a historical figure.
    Old Major is identified with Karl Marx because, just as Old Major develops the teachings that fuel the Animal Rebellion, Marx formulated the ideas that spawned the Russian revolution. Napoleon and Snowball, both pigs, stand for Russian leaders Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky. Stalin and Trotsky had a falling out much like Napoleon and Snowball do. Events from history — the revolution itself and the Moscow purge trials of the 1930s — also appear in allegorical form in the novel.
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    Animal Farm :Themes

    Post by Lily on Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:16 am

    Themes
    Language and Meaning
    In Animal Farm,his allegory of the Soviet Revolution, Orwell examines the use of language and the subversion of the meaning of words by showing how the powerful manipulate words for their own benefit. As a journalist,Orwell knew the power of words to serve whichever side the writer backed. In the novel, Snowball is a quick talker who can always explain his way out of any situation. When the birds object to the maxim, "Four legs good, two legs bad,"that the pig teaches the sheep, he explains that the bird's wing "is an organ of propulsion and not of manipulation. It should therefore be regarded as a leg." The birds do not really understand this explanation, but they accept it. Orwell particularly comments on the abuse of language with his character Squealer, "a brilliant talker," who acts as an unofficial head of propaganda for the pigs. Like Joseph Goebbels, who bore the title of Nazi party minister of propaganda and national enlightenment during World War II, Squealer "could turn black into white." This is also reminiscent of the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Pravda, which was often used to rewrite the past.(Ironically, its title means "Truth.") When a bad winter forces a reduction in food rations to the animals, Squealer calls it a"readjustment." In a totalitarian state, language can be used to change even the past. Squealer explains to the animals "that Snowball had never — as many of them had believed hitherto — received the order of 'Animal Hero, First Class.'"
    God and Religion
    In the novel religion is represented by Moses, the tame raven.The clergy is presented as a privileged class tolerated by those in power because of their ability to placate the masses with promises of rewards in the afterlife for suffering endured on Earth. Moses is afforded special treatment not available to the other animals. For example, he is the only animal not present at the meeting called by Old Major as the book opens. Later, the reader is told the other animals hate the raven because he does not do any work; in fact, the pigs give him a daily ration of beer. Like Lenin, who proclaimed religion was the opiate of the people, Orwell sees organized religion as another corruptible institution which serves to keep the masses tranquil. Moses preaches "the existence of a mysterious country called Sugarcandy Mountain, to which all animals went when they died;" in that distant land "it was Sunday seven days a week, clover was in season all the year round, and lump sugar and linseed cake grew on the hedges."
    Human Rights
    In Animal Farm,Orwell comments on those who corrupt the idea of human rights by showing how the animals deal with the issue of equality. In chapter one, Old Major interrupts his speech appealing to the animals for a Rebellion against the humans by asking for a vote on whether "wild creatures, such as rats and rabbits" should be included in the statement "All animals are comrades." Although at this point, the animals vote to accept the rats, later distinctions between different types of animals become so commonplace that the seventh commandment of Animalism is officially changed to read, "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." A number of societies have historically "voted" that portions of their populations were not equal because of their faith, their skin color, or their ancestry.
    Class Conflict
    Orwell saw firsthand how being a member of a lower class singled him out for abuse at St. Cyprian's, a school which attracted most of its students from the British upper class. He had also seen how the British ruling class in Burma had abused the native population. In Animal Farm the animals begin by proclaiming the equality of all animals. The classless society soon becomes divided as preferential treatment is given to the pigs. First, they alone are allowed to consume the milk and the apples which Squealer claims they do not really want to take,but must to preserve their strength. Later, the other animals are told that they must "stand aside" if they meet a pig coming down a path and that all pigs had "the privilege of wearing green ribbons on their tails on Sundays." By this time, not even an explanation from Squealer is necessary; the hierarchy in the society is wellestablished. A pointed remark by Mr. Pilkington of Foxwood, who represents Great Britain in Orwell's satire, puts the author's distaste for classes in perspective. When Mr. Pilkington and other farmers meet with Napoleon in the novel's last scene, Pilkington chokes with amusement as he says to the pigs, "If you have your lower animals to contend with, we have our lower classes." Orwell knew that with power came the abuse of power and only a vigilant citizenry could prevent such abuses.
    Politics
    Orwell uses Animal Farm to express his deeply held political convictions. He stated in his 1946 essay, "Why I Write," "every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for Democratic socialism." Although the novel is written in direct response to his bitter disappointment that the Russian Revolution, instead of establishing a people's republic, established an essentially totalitarian state, its continued relevance is possible because his criticism stands against any and all totalitarian regimes. The only protection the average citizen has against a similar tyranny developing in his own country is his refusal to blindly follow the crowd (like the sheep), the repudiation of all spurious explanations by propaganda sources (like Squealer), and diligent attention to all government activity, instead of faithfully following those in power (like Boxer).
    Truth and Falsehood
    In the novel, the animals are often forced to examine the meaning of truth in their society. Again and again, truth becomes simply what Snowball,and later Squealer, tells them. Any questions about past events that do not seem to match the pigs' version of those events are either discounted or explained away. For example, when some of the animals are executed after they confess to various crimes against Napoleon, some of those left alive remember that the Sixth Commandment of Animalism was"No animal shall kill any other animal." When Clover asks Muriel to read the commandment, however, it is discovered that it reads, "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause." "Somehow or other," the narrator comments, "the last two words had slipped out of the animals' memory." Similarly, when the pigs get into a case of whiskey and get drunk, Muriel looks up at the barn wall where the Seven Commandments had been written and sees that the Fifth Commandment reads, "No animal shall drink alcohol to excess. " She thinks the animals must have forgotten the last two words of this commandment as well. She comes to believe that the original event of the writing of the commandments on the wall did not happen the way she and other animals remember it. With this theme Orwell challenges the Soviet state's — and any totalitarian state's — method of controlling public opinion by manipulating the truth and, in particular, rewriting history.
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    Animal Farm: Critical Overview

    Post by Lily on Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:59 pm

    Critical Overview
    Although Orwell endured many rejection notices from publishers on both sides of the Atlantic before Animal Farm finally appeared in print, ever since it was published in 1945 it has enjoyed wide-spread critical approval. From the start, reviewers were apt to make a favorable comparison between Orwell's book and the work of the great satirists of the past. In an important early review,influential New Yorker critic Edmund Wilson commented that while Orwell's style was reminiscent of that used in the fables of French author Jean de La Fontaine and British author John Gay, he conceded that " 'Animal Farm'even seems very creditable if we compare it with Voltaire and [Jonathan] Swift." Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and Adam de Hegedus were among the first critics to attach more significance to the novel beyond that of a political satire. Schlesinger wrote in the New York Times Book Review that Orwell's ability to make the reader empathize with the plight of the animals "would compel the attention of persons who never heard of the Russian Revolution." In Commonweal de Hegedus stated: "[The novel] has implications — and they are many — which are older and more universal than the past and present of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics." He, like many critics have since, pointed out the similarity between conclusions drawn from Orwell's text and the famous aphorism of British historian Lord Acton who wrote, "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." Early negative criticism of the novel included Nation contributor Isaac Rosenfeld's belief that since the events satirized by Orwell had already passed, it was "a backward work," and New Republic critic George Soule's complaint that the book was "on the whole dull."On Orwell's death in 1950, Arthur Koestler, a friend who shared Orwell's own disillusion with Soviet Communism, again raised comparisons with Swift. "No parable was written since Gulliver's Travels," he wrote in the Observer, "equal in profundity and mordant satire to 'Animal Farm.'"British journalist Christopher Hollis examined Orwell's ability to craft a fable.
    "The author of such a fable must have the Swift-like capacity of ascribing with solemn face to the animals idiotic but
    easily recognized human qualities," Hollis wrote in his A Study of George Orwell: The Man and His Works, "decking them out in aptly changed phrase ology to suit the animal life — ascribe to them the quality and then pass quickly on before the reader has begun to find the point overlaboured. This Orwell has to perfection." Essayist and novelist C. S. Lewis compared Animal Farm to 1984, Orwell's last novel, and found Animal Farm the more powerful of the two. In an essay in Tide and Time he wrote, "Wit and humour (absent from the longer work [1984]) are employed with devastating effect. The great sentence 'All animals are equal but some are more equal than others' bites deeper than the whole of 1984."In the 1960s and 1970s, critical interest in Orwell continued with scholars such as Jenni Calder, George Woodcock, Stephen J. Greenblatt, and Jeffrey Meyers publishing books that discussed Orwell and his works. Like Lewis, Greenblatt and Woodcock considered both Animal Farm and 1984 in their criticism,concluding that 1984 was a thematic continuation of Animal Farm. In his Three Modern Satirists: Waugh, Orwell, & Huxley Greenblatt wrote: "The horror of both Animal Farm and the later 1984 is precisely the cold, orderly, predictable process by which decency, happiness, and hope are systematically and ruthlessly crushed." In his The Crystal Spirit: A Study of George Orwell, Woodcock observed: "By transferring the problems of caste division outside a human setting, Orwell was able in Animal Farm to avoid the psychological complications inevitable in a novel. In the process he left out one element which occurs in all his other works of fiction, the individual rebel caught in the machinery of the caste system. Not until he wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four did he elaborate the rebel's role in an Animal Farm Chronicles of Conscience: A Study of George Orwell and Arthur Koestler,"The animals are never mere representations. They have a breathing individuality that is lacking in most of Orwell's human characters."carried to its monstrously logical conclusion." Calder and Meyers both noted that since Orwell was not adept at creating believable human characters, his use of animals in the book made it more effective than any of his other novels.
    The 1980s brought a spate of books, articles, and reviews on Orwell's works as the literary community marked the year 1984, the date that Orwell used as the title to his last novel. The literary world also celebrated Animal Farm's fiftieth anniversary in 1995, which saw the publication of a new illustrated edition. While most critiques of the novel remained positive, some reviewers, such as Stephen Sedley, offered negative opinions. In an essay contained in Christopher Norris's Inside the Myth: Orwell, Views from the Left,Sedley argued that the book's popularity had as much to do with an atmosphere of anti-communism in England following World War II as it did with Orwell's vision, stating, "Between its covers Animal Farm offers little that is creative,little that is original." In the New York Times Book Review,however, Arthur C. Danto maintained that "the sustained acceptance of the book is testimony to a human meaning deeper than anti-Soviet polemics." In Commonweal Katharine Byrne summarized many critics opinions when she wrote: "Should Animal Farm by read during the next fifty years? Of course, but for the right reasons: setting up as it does, with crystal clarity, the price paid when we do not safeguard our freedoms."
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    Animal Farm 2

    Post by Lily on Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:31 pm



    Mr. Pilkington is the easy-going but crafty owner of Foxwood, a neighbouring farm overgrown with weeds, as described in the book. He represents the western powers, such as the United Kingdom and the United States. The card game at the very end of the novel is a metaphor for the Tehran Conference, where the parties flatter each other, all the while cheating at the game. This last scene is ironicAt the end of the game, both Napoleon and Pilkington draw the Ace of Spades and then begin fighting loudly, symbolising the beginning of tension between the U.S. and Soviet superpowers.Because all the Pigs are civil and kind to the humans, defying all for which they had fought. This happened at the Tehran Conference: the Soviet Union formed an alliance with the United States and the United Kingdom,capitalist countries that the Soviet Union had fought in the early years of the revolution.Mr. Whymper is a man hired by Napoleon for public relations of Animal Farm to human society. He is loosely based on Western intellectuals such as George Bernard Shaw and, especially, Lincoln Steffens, who visited the USSR in 1919.
    Equines
    There are four main equine (horse and donkey) characters: [Clover, Boxer, Benjamin, and Mollie.
    Boxer is one of the main characters. He is the pathetic symbol of the working class, or proletariat: loyal, kind, dedicated, respectful and physically the strongest animal on the farm, but naïve and slow. His ignorance and blind trust towards his leaders leads to his death and their profit. In particular, his heroic physical work represents the Stakhanovite movement. His maxim of "I will work harder" is reminiscent of Jurgis Rudkus from the Upton Sinclair novel The Jungle.His second maxim, "Napoleon is always right" is an example of the propaganda used by Squealer to control the animals. It was not adopted until later in the book. Boxer's work ethic is often praised by the pigs, and he is set as a prime example to the other animals. When Boxer is injured, and can no longer work, Napoleon sends him off to the knacker's yard and deceives the other animals, saying that Boxer died peacefully in the hospital. When the animals cannot work,Napoleon tosses them aside, for they mean nothing to him and Napoleon was not just done with Boxer because he could not work. He was also afraid of Boxer. Boxer had the strength and leadership to overthrow Napoleon. Napoleon saw that Boxer would never do this because he was too loyal.
    Clover
    , Boxer's companion, is also a draft horse. She helps and cares for Boxer when he splits his hoof. She blames herself for forgetting the original Seven Commandments when Squealer had actually revised them. Clover is compassionate, as is shown when she protects the babyducklings during Major's speech. She is also upset when animals are executed by the dogs, and is held in great respect by the three younger horses who ultimately replace Boxer. Beyond being the matriarch it is hard to find a political role for her in the novel.
    Mollie is a self-centred and vain white mare who likes wearing ribbons in her mane, eating sugar cubes (which represent luxury) and being pampered and groomed by humans. She represents upper-class people, the bourgeoisie and nobility who fled to the West after the Russian Revolution and effectively dominated the Russian diaspora. Accordingly, she quickly leaves for another farm and is only once mentioned again.
    Benjamin
    is a wise old donkey who shows little emotion and is one of the longest-lived animals; he is still alive at the end of the book and probably lives even longer than Napoleon. The animals often ask him about his lack of expression but he always answers with: 'Donkeys live a long time. None of you have ever seen a dead donkey.' Benjamin can also read as well as any pig, but rarely displays his ability. He is a dedicated friend to Boxer and is very upset when Boxer is taken away. Benjamin has known about the pigs' wrongdoing the entire time, but he says nothing to the other animals. He represents the cynics in society. Another possibility is that Benjamin is an allegory for intellectuals who have the wisdom to stay clear of the purges, but take no action themselves, such as pacifists, whose 'line' Orwell firmly disliked. Yet another possibility is that Benjamin is Orwell himself.
    Other animals
    Muriel is a wise old goat who is friends with all of the animals on the farm. She, like Benjamin and Snowball, is one of the few animals on the farm who can read Clover discover that the Seven Commandments have been continually changed. She possibly represents the same category as Benjamin, though she dies near the end of the book from old age.
    The Puppies, were raised by Napoleon to be his security force, and may be reference to the fact that Stalin's rise to power was helped by his appointment as General Secretary of the Communist Party by Lenin in 1922, in which role he used his powers of appointment, promotion and demotion to quietly pack the party with his own supporters. The puppies represent Stalin's secret police.
    Moses the Raven is an old bird that occasionally visits the farm with tales of a place in the sky called Sugarcandy Mountain, where he says animals go when they die, but only if they work hard. He spends time turning the animals' minds to Sugarcandy Mountain and he does no work. He represents religious leaders, specifically the Russian Orthodox Church,and Sugarcandy Mountain is Heaven. Religion is banned in the new régime, and his religious persona is exacerbated by the fact that he is named after a biblical character.He feels unequal in comparison to the other animals, so he leaves after the rebellion, for all animals were supposed to be equal. However, much later in the book he returns to the farm and continues to proclaim the existence of Sugarcandy Mountain. The other animals are confused by the pigs' attitude towards Moses; they denounce his claims as nonsense, but allow him to remain on the farm. The pigs do this to offer the hope of a happy afterlife to the other animals, probably to keep their minds on Sugarcandy Mountain and not on possible uprisings. This is an allegory to Stalin's pact with the Russian Orthodox Church. In the end, Moses is one of few animals to remember the rebellion, along with Clover,Benjamin, and the pigs.
    The Sheep represent the mass proletariat, manipulated to support Napoleon in spite of his treachery. They show limited understanding of the situations but support him anyway, and regularly chant "Four legs good, Two legs bad". At the end of the novel, one of the Seven Commandments is changed after the pigs learn to walk on two legs, so they shout "Four legs good, two legs better". They can be relied on by the pigs to shout down any dissent from others.
    The Rats may represent some of the nomadic people in the far north of the USSR.
    The Hens
    may represent the Kulaks as they destroy their eggs rather than hand them over to Napoleon, just as during collectivisation some Kulaks destroyedmachinery or killed their livestock.
    Alcohol
    One of the Seven Commandments is that no animal should drink alcohol. The pigs, the rulers, not only disobeyed this rule but struck it out and then started buying and brewing alcohol for themselves.Alcohol perhaps is a metaphor for money, or rather the love of it.

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    Re: British Literature

    Post by Lily on Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:26 pm

    Animal Farm is a dystopian novel by George Orwell. Published in England on 17 August 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin eraWorld War II. Orwell, a democratic socialist and a member of the Independent Labour Party for many years, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and was suspicious of Moscow-directed Stalinism after his experiences with the NKVDSpanish Civil War. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as his novel "contre Stalin".The original title was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, but A Fairy Story was dropped by the US publishers for its 1946 publication. Of all the translations during Orwell's lifetime, only Telugu kept the original title. Other variations in the title include: A Satire and A Contemporary Satire.Orwell suggested for the FrenchUnion des républiques socialistes animales or URSA, which means "bear" in Latin. [b]Time Magazine chose the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005),at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996 and is also included in the Great Books of the Western World.
    Overview
    The short novel is dystopian allegory in which animals play the roles of the Bolshevik revolutionaries and overthrow and oust the human owner of a farm (Manor Farm), renaming it Animal Farm and setting it up as a commune in which, at first, all animals are equal; however, class and status disparities soon emerge between the different animal species (the pigs being the "greater species"). The novel describes how a society's ideologies can be manipulated and twisted by those in positions of social and political power, including how Utopian society is made impossible by the corrupting nature of the very power necessary to create it.The novel addresses not only the corruption of revolution by its leaders but also highlights how wickedness in human nature (indifference, ignorance, greed and myopia)destroys any possibility of Utopia. While this novel deigns poor leadership as the flaw in revolution (and not the revolution of itself), it also shows how ignorance and indifference to problems within a revolution let the horrors happen.
    Characters and their possible real-life counterparts:
    The events and characters in Animal Farm satirise Stalinism ("Animalism"), authoritarian government and human stupidity generally; Snowball is seen as Leon Trotsky and the head pig, Napoleon, is Stalin.
    Pigs :
    Old Major, a prize Middle White boar,is the inspiration that fuels the Rebellion in the book. According to one interpretation, he could be based upon both Karl Marx (in that he describes the ideal society the animals could create if the humans are overthrown) and Vladimir Lenin (in that his skull is put on revered public display, as was Lenin's embalmed corpse). However, according to Christopher Hitchens: "the Leon Trotsky elements are combined into one [i.e., Snowball], or, it might even be [...] to say, there is no Lenin at all."He introduces the animals to the song "Beasts of England", which becomes their anthem, and puts the idea of rebellion in the animals' heads.
    Napoleon, a Berkshire boar("a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire onthe farm, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting hisown way."),is the main tyrant and villain of Animal Farm and is based upon Joseph Stalin.He begins to gradually build up his power, using puppies he took frommother dogs Jessie and Bluebell, which he raises to be vicious dogs ashis secret police.After driving Snowball off the farm, Napoleon usurps full power, usingfalse propaganda from Squealer and threats and intimidation from thedogs to keep the other animals in line. Among other things, hegradually changes the Commandments to allow himself privileges such aseating at a table and to justify his dictatorial rule. By the end ofthe book, Napoleon and his fellow pigs have learned to walk upright andstarted to behave similarly to the humans against whom they originallyrevolted. Napoleon's name adds to the novella's themes of totalitariandictators rising from vacuum of power and absolute power corruptingabsolutely. The character's namesake, Napoleon Bonaparte, forcibly took control from a weak government in 1799, installed himself as First Consul and eventually crowned himself Emperor.The French Revolution served as inspiration for many of Karl Marx's ideas. In the first French version of Animal Farm, Napoleon is called César, the French spelling of Caesar, although another translation has him as Napoléon.
    Snowball is Napoleon's rival. He is an allusion to Leon Trotsky.He wins over most animals, but is driven out of the farm by Napoleon.Snowball genuinely works for the good of the farm and devises plans tohelp the animals achieve their vision of an egalitarianUtopia, but Napoleon and his dogs chase him from the farm, and Napoleonspreads rumours to make him seem evil and corrupt and that he hadsecretly sabotaged the animals' efforts to improve the farm. In hisbiography of Orwell, Bernard Crick suggests that Snowball was as much inspired by the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM) leader Andrés Ninas by Trotsky. Nin was a similarly adept orator and also fell victim tothe Communist purges of the Left during the Spanish Civil War.[citation needed]Squealer, a small fat porker, serves as Napoleon's right hand pig and minister of propaganda. Inspired by Vyacheslav Molotov and the Soviet paper Pravda,Squealer manipulates the language to excuse, justify, and extol all ofNapoleon's actions. He represents all the propaganda Stalin used tojustify his own terrible acts. In all of his work, George Orwell madeit a point to show how politicians used language. Squealer limitsdebate by complicating it and he confuses and disorients, making claimsthat the pigs need the extra luxury they are taking in order tofunction properly, for example. However, when questions persist, heusually uses the threat of the return of Mr Jones, the former owner ofthe farm, to justify the pigs' privileges. Squealer uses statistics toconvince the animals that life is getting better and better. Most ofthe animals have only dim memories of life before the revolution;therefore, they are convinced.Minimus is a poetic pig who writes the second and third national anthems of Animal Farm after the singing of "Beasts of England" is banned. He represents admirers of Stalin both inside and outside the USSR such as Maxim Gorky. As Minimus composed the replacement of "Beasts of England", he may equate to the three main composers of the National Anthem of the Soviet Union which replaced The Internationale – Gabriel El-Registan, Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov and Sergey Mikhalkov.

    The Piglets are hinted to be the children of Napoleon (albeitnot truly noted in the novel) and are the first generation of animalsactually subjugated to his idea of animal inequality.he Rebel Pigs are four pigs who complain about Napoleon'stake over of the farm but are quickly silenced and later executed. This[b] is based on the Great PurgeNikolai Bukharin, Alexei Rykov, Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev.During Stalin's regime. The closest parallels to the Rebel Pigs may be Pinkeye is a minor pig who is mentioned only once; he is thepig that tastes Napoleon's food to make sure it's not poisoned, inresponse to rumours about an assassination attempt on Napoleon.
    Humans :Mr. Jones represents Nicholas II of Russia, the deposed Czar, who had been facing severe financial difficulties in the days leading up to the 1917 Revolution. The character is also a nod towards Louis XVI. There are several implications that he represents an autocratic but ineffective capitalist, incapable of running the farm and looking after the animals properly. Jones is a very heavy drinker and the animals revolt against him after he drinks so much that he does not feed or take care of them, and his attempt to recapture the farm is foiled in the Battle of the Cowshed (the Russian Civil War).Mr.Frederick is the tough owner of Pinchfield, a well-kept neighbouring farm. He represents Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in general.He buys wood from the animals for forged money and later attacks them, destroying the windmill but being finally beaten in the resulting Battle of the Windmill (World War II), which could be interpreted as either the battle of Moscow or Stalingrad.There are also stories of him mistreating his own animals, such as throwing dogs into a furnace, which may also represent the Nazi Party's treatment of political dissidents.

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    The Mayor of Catserbridge 2

    Post by Lily on Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:29 pm

    Farfrae takes an interest in Elizabeth-Jane Newson, who at the time is living as Henchard's stepdaughter. Both Mr. and Mrs. Henchard approve of the match, until Henchard's growing jealousy and resentment of Farfrae cause him to feel threatened. Yet Farfrae is too naïve to realize Henchard is competing with him. He shows Henchard up quite unintentionally by throwing a better party than Henchard himself, and Henchard fires him. Afterwards, Farfrae considers leaving town but stays for Elizabeth-Jane's sake until Henchard tells him to keep away from her. Henchard revokes that order later, after he reads Susan's deathbed confession and realizes Elizabeth-Jane is not really his daughter, at which point Farfrae attempts to start courting Elizabeth-Jane again and is distracted by Lucetta.
    Farfrae does not realize he is competing with Henchard for Lucetta's attention, or that Lucetta is the woman his former boss wooed,abandoned, and is trying to reclaim. Farfrae marries her and does notlearn of her association with Henchard until after Lucetta's firstseizure. After Lucetta's death and Henchard's return to the bottle,followed by the return of Captain Newson, Farfrae marriesElizabeth-Jane.
    Susan Henchard (Newson)
    Susan is an honest but simple-minded woman who, as a young woman, is married to Michael Henchard but sold (along with her baby girl Elizabeth-Jane) at a drunken auction to a sailor by the name of Newson.She believes there is something legally binding about the sale, and goes to live with Newson as his wife. The baby Elizabeth-Jane dies three months later, and Susan has a daughter with Newson whom she names Elizabeth-Jane. It is this second Elizabeth-Jane whom she later passes off as Henchard's daughter.
    After living for years with Newson in Canada, the family of threereturns to England. One spring, Newson (who believes his wife is havingsecond thoughts about the validity of their marriage) is lost at sea.The impoverished widow "Newson" returns with Elizabeth-Jane, who is nowabout eighteen years old. A reader who cares to do the math willrealize immediately that there's something fishy about Elizabeth-Jane'sage. In any case, Susan has never told Elizabeth-Jane about Henchard orher first marriage, and certainly never told her about the auctionincident.
    Because she has no way to earn a living, Susan approaches Henchardfor help. She does not correct his assumption that he isElizabeth-Jane's father, nor does she tell anyone about the auctionincident. Henchard sends her a gift of five guineas (the amount forwhich he sold her to Newson, and which is no doubt substantially lessthan what he sent his mistress Lucetta when breaking off the affair)and sets her up as a genteel new arrival to town. He courts her andremarries her. She does not tell him the truth about Elizabeth-Janeuntil her death a year or two later, when she writes a deathbedconfession and seals it in an envelope to be opened only onElizabeth-Jane's wedding day.
    Elizabeth-Jane Newson
    About eighteen years old when she and her mother arrive in Casterbridge, Elizabeth-Jane is the daughter of Newson. She is a sweet,innocent young woman who is ignorant of the social graces required of a mayor's stepdaughter. She strives to improve herself, reading constantly and studying Latin and geography. Gradually she transforms herself into the kind of sophisticated young lady Henchard believes he ought to have as a daughter. When Henchard alternates between doting on her and verbally abusing her, she never understands why, especially when Henchard (mistakenly) reveals the "truth" about who her father was. She never really lives up to Henchard's expectations of her and is often unhappy.
    Elizabeth-Jane is a fairly passive person who does not let suddenwealth (or the loss of it) affect her much. After her mother's deathshe accepts Lucetta's invitation to live with her as a companion orchaperone. She develops feelings for Donald Farfrae until Lucettaattracts him away from her, and is disappointed for a while but isultimately happy when she is reunited with her father Newson (who turnsout not to be lost at all) and who marries Farfrae also.
    Lucetta Templeman (Lucette Le Sueur)
    A native of the island of Jersey, the Francophone Lucette Le Sueur[b] is the daughter of a military officer. She lives a nomadic life, and after the death of her parents takes lodging in a boarding-house in Jersey. There she meets Michael Henchard, who is traveling on business and who is taken sick with a bout of severe depression. She becomes infatuated with him, and he indulges her affection for him without too much regard for appearances.
    Lucetta is a few years older than Elizabeth-Jane and far morerefined. She speaks fluent French as well as English, but conceals herknowledge of the language because she does not want her history inJersey to become well known. She's impulsive, like Henchard, but notspiteful or mean although she lets money and status go to her head.After she marries, she slights Henchard and puts on airs, alienatingHenchard and refusing to help Jopp (an old acquaintance of hers) obtain employment.
    Exactly how far the affair between Lucetta and Henchard went isunclear. The book strongly suggests that the two of them have hadsexual relations, but is ambiguous enough to not offend thesensibilities of 19th century readers. Whatever happened was enough forLucetta's reputation to be so irreparably tarnished that the onlysolution for her is to leave Jersey and change her name. She takes thelast name of her deceased relative, Templeman, and alters her firstname to make it sound more English.
    It is important to notice that scandal would not have broken out ifall Lucetta and Henchard did was walk, talk, or dine together in aboarding house. They would have had to have spent a considerable amountof time alone together, or they would have to have been caught in avery compromising situation. In any case Henchard does proposemarriage, stating that there was a risk his first wife would return.Lucetta accepts the proposal, so the two are engaged. Henchard returnsto Casterbridge leaving Lucetta to bear the full brunt of the scandaluntil he is good and ready to bring her to town, and she writes himpassionate letters on a daily basis. Of course, it is at thisinopportune time that Susan arrives. Henchard cancels the engagementand sends Lucetta a substantial gift of money.
    Lucetta is scheduled to stop and pick up her love letters toHenchard, but a family emergency (specifically, the death of her onlyliving relative who was quite wealthy) intervenes. Lucetta is left withsubstantial means. When she learns of Susan's death, she moves toCasterbridge to determine whether she should pick up her associationwith Henchard where she left off. She's agreeable to the match atfirst, but as she learns more about Henchard she likes him less and herrosy outlook and tendency to rationalize away his cruel treatment ofothers decreases over time. Besides, she's attracted to Donald Farfraeinstead.
    Given that Henchard married somebody else, their original engagementto each other is null and void. Yet Henchard, who finds himself veryinterested in Lucetta particularly since she has come into money,bullies Lucetta into accepting his proposal again. Lucetta elopes withFarfrae, and incurs Henchard's wrath. He retrieves her love letters,toys with the idea of exposing her secret to her new husband, andhate both Henchard and Lucetta. The love affair becomes public, and the[b] scandal eventually contributes to Lucetta's death. eventually sends her love letters by way of Jopp, who has reason to hate both Henchard and Lucetta.The love affair becomes public, and the scandal eventually contributes to lucetta"s death.
    Jopp
    A relatively minor character, Jopp lived in Jersey until Henchard invited him to Casterbridge to work as his new manager and corn-factor.He was effectively hired by Henchard, subject to an interview that never happened because Henchard impulsively hired Farfrae instead,leaving Jopp without employment.
    After being brushed off by Henchard, Jopp is unable to find regularemployment and gradually sinks into poverty. Henchard hires him afterhe dismisses Farfrae, thinking to use him for his dirty work. But Joppis not the manager Farfrae was and the business collapses, leaving Joppout of work and Henchard bankrupt.
    When Lucetta marries Donald Farfrae, Jopp (who knew her in Jersey)asks her, as an old acquaintance, to put in a good word for him withFarfrae so as to help him find work. Lucetta refuses for reasons thatare not clear, but that could be read as reluctance to keep a potentialblackmailer close by or a high-and-mighty refusal to help anybody.Henchard by this time is using Jopp to run errands, and charges himwith the important task of returning Lucetta's love letters, which Joppdecides to publicly read first. He is instrumental in putting togetherthe "skimmington ride", which is a public procession designed to mockand humiliate people, in order to publicize the affair between Henchardand Lucetta so as to hurt both. It is during the skimmington ride thatthe pregnant Lucetta suffers her first seizure and becomes fatally ill.
    Newson
    Newson starts out as a sailor of indeterminate rank. He does have ready money which he uses to buy Susan and Elizabeth-Jane at the beginning of the book, so he has clearly not been pressed into service and has money from some source. However he is not a gentleman from a family of independent means: when he is supposedly lost at sea after his return from Canada, he leaves Susan and Elizabeth-Jane nearly penniless. However, he finishes the story as a sea-captain. To do this in private enterprise (much less in the English Navy) he would have had to have been a man of great personal initiative.
    Newson is described as having light-colored hair, a trait whichElizabeth-Jane shares and which initially causes some confusion forHenchard since his infant daughter had dark hair like Henchard's own.He appears to have been kind to Elizabeth-Jane, who loves him dearly.He also seems to be somewhat gullible, believing at first that hismarriage to Susan is legally binding. When he returns after Susan'sdeath looking for Elizabeth-Jane, he believes Henchard who tells himthat Elizabeth-Jane died too. He doesn't even look for his daughter'sgrave, but leaves town quickly only to return, hopefully, once more. Heis eventually reunited with Elizabeth-Jane. Newson must have had agentle and forgiving temperament, because he bears no grudge against Henchard for trying to steal his daughter.
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    The Mayor of Catserbridge

    Post by Lily on Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:45 pm

    Plot summary
    At a country fair near Casterbridge, Wessex, a young hay–trusser named Michael Henchard overindulges in rum–laced and quarrels with his wife, Susan. Spurred by alcohol, he decides to auction off his wife and baby daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, to a sailor,Mr. Newson, for five coin.Once sober the next day, he is too late to recover his family,particularly since his reluctance to reveal his own bad conduct keeps him from conducting an effective search. When he realizes that his wife and daughter are gone, probably for good, he swears not to touch liquor again for as many years as he has lived so far (twenty–one).Eighteen years later, Henchard, now a successful grain merchant, is the eponymous Mayor of Casterbridge, known for his staunch sobriety. He is well respected for his financial acumen and his work ethic, but he is not well liked. Impulsive, selfish behavior and a violent temper are still part of his character, as is dishonesty and secretive activity.
    All these years, Henchard has kept the details surrounding the "loss" of his wife a secret. The people in Casterbridge believe he is a widower, although he never explicitly says that his first wife died. He lies by omission instead, allowing other people to believe something false. Over time he finds it convenient to believe Susan probably is dead. While traveling to the island of Jersey on business, Henchard falls in love with a young woman named Lucette de Sueur, who nurses him back to health after an illness. The book implies that Lucette(Lucetta, in English) and Henchard have a sexual relationship, and Lucetta's reputation is ruined by her association with Henchard. When Henchard returns to Casterbridge he leaves Lucetta to face the social consequences of their fling. In order to rejoin polite society she must marry him, but there is a problem: Henchard is already technically married. Although Henchard never told Lucetta exactly how he "lost" his wife to begin with, he does tell her he has a wife who "is probably dead, but who may return". Besotted, Lucetta develops a relationship with him despite the risk. Yet just as Henchard is about to send for Lucetta, Susan unexpectedly appears in Casterbridge with her daughter,Elizabeth-Jane, who is now fully grown. Susan and Elizabeth-Jane are both very poor. Newson appears to have been lost at sea, and without means to earn an income Susan is looking for Henchard again. Susan, who is not a very intelligent woman, believed for a long time that her "marriage" to Newson was perfectly legitimate. Only recently, just before Newson's disappearance, had Susan begun to question whether or not she was still legally married to Henchard.
    Just as Susan and Elizabeth-Jane arrive in town, a tidy Scotsman,Donald Farfrae, is passing through on his way to America. The energetic, amiable Farfrae happens to be in Henchard's line of work. He has experience as a grain and corn merchant, and is on the cutting edge of agricultural science. He befriends Henchard and helps him out of a bad financial situation by giving him some timely advice. Henchard persuades him to stay and offers him a job as his corn, rudely dismissing a man named Jopp to whom he had already offered the job. Hiring Farfrae is a stroke of business genius for Henchard, who although hard-working is not well educated. Henchard also makes Farfrae a close friend and confides in him about his past history and personal life.
    Henchard is also reunited with Susan and the fully grown Elizabeth-Jane. To preserve appearances, Henchard sets Susan and Elizabeth-Jane up in a nearby house. He pretends to court Susan, and marries her. Both Henchard and Elizabeth-Jane's mother keep their past history from their daughter. Henchard also keeps Lucetta a secret. He writes to her, informing her that their marriage is off. Lucetta is devastated and asks for the return of her letters. Henchard attempts to return them, but Lucetta misses the appointment due to a family emergency that is not explained until later in the book.
    The return of his wife and daughter sets in motion a decline in Henchard's fortunes. Yet Susan and Elizabeth-Jane are not the root cause of Henchard's fall. Henchard alone makes the decisions that bring him down, and much of his bad luck is the delayed and cumulative consequence of how Henchard treats other people. His relationship with Farfrae deteriorates gradually as Farfrae becomes more popular than Henchard. In addition to being more friendly and amiable, Farfrae is better informed, better educated, and in short everything Henchard himself wants to be. Henchard feels threatened by Farfrae, particularly when Elizabeth-Jane starts to fall in love with him.Unknown to Henchard, Elizabeth-Jane is not his biological child. Henchard's daughter, also named Elizabeth-Jane, died three months after he and Susan parted. This Elizabeth-Jane is Newson's daughter. He learns this secret, however, after Susan's death when he reads a letter which Susan, on her deathbed, marked to be opened only after Elizabeth-Jane's marriage. Feeling ashamed and hard done by, Henchard conceals the secret from Elizabeth-Jane, but grows cold and cruel towards her.
    The competition between Donald Farfrae and Henchard grows.Eventually they part company and Farfrae sets himself up as an independent hay and corn merchant. The rivalry and resentment for the most part is one-sided, and Farfrae conducts himself with scrupulous honesty and fair dealing. Henchard meanwhile makes increasingly aggressive, risky business decisions that put him in financial danger. The business rivalry leads to Henchard standing in the way of a marriage between Donald and Elizabeth-Jane, until after Susan's death at which point Henchard learns he is not Elizabeth-Jane's father, and realizes that if she marries Farfrae, he will be rid of her.
    In the meantime, Henchard's former mistress, Lucetta, arrives from and purchases a house in Casterbridge. She has inheritied money from a wealthy relative who died: in fact it was this relative's death that kept her from picking up her letters from Henchard. Initially she wants to pick up her relationship with him where it left off, but propriety requires that they wait a while. She takes Elizabeth-Jane into her household as a companion thinking it will give Henchard an excuse to come visit, but the plan backfires because of Henchard's hatred of Elizabeth-Jane. She also learns a little bit more about Henchard.Specifically, the details of how he sold his first wife become public knowledge when the furmity-vendor who witnessed the sale makes the story public. Henchard does not deny the story, but when Lucetta hears a little bit more about what kind of man Henchard really is she stops rationalizing his conduct in terms of what she wants to believe. For the first time, she starts to see him more clearly, and she no longer particularly likes what she sees.
    Donald Farfrae, who visits Lucetta's house to see Elizabeth-Jane and who becomes completely distracted by Lucetta, has no idea that Lucetta is the mysterious woman who was informally engaged to Henchard. Since Henchard is such a reluctant and secretive suitor who in no way reveals his attachment to Lucetta to anybody, Lucetta starts to question whether her engagement to Henchard is valid. She too is lying about her past: she claims to be from Bath, not Jersey, and she has taken the surname of her wealthy relative. Yet she came to Casterbridge seeking Henchard, and sent him letters after Susan's death indicating that she wanted to resume and legitimize the relationship. Although he was initially reluctant he gradually realizes that he wants to marry Lucetta, particularly since he's having financial trouble due to some speculations having gone bad. Lenders are unwilling to extend credit to him, and he believes that they would extend credit if they at least believed he was about to be married to a wealthy woman. Frustrated by her stalling, Henchard bullies Lucetta into agreeing to marry him. But by this point she is in love with Farfrae. The two run away one weekend and get married, and Lucetta doesn't have the nerve to tell Henchard until well after the fact. Henchard's credit collapses, he becomes bankrupt, and he sells all his personal possessions to pay creditors.
    As Henchard's fortunes decline, Farfrae's rise. He buys Henchard's old business and employs Henchard as a journeyman day-laborer. Farfrae is always trying to help the man who helped him get started, whom he still regards as a friend and a former mentor. He does not realize Henchard is his enemy even though the town council and Elizabeth-Jane both warn him.Lucetta, feeling safe and comfortable in her marriage with Farfrae,keeps her former relationship with Henchard a secret. This secret is revealed when Henchard "accidentally" lets his enemy Jopp deliver Lucetta's old love letters. Jopp makes the secret public and the townspeople publicly shame Henchard and Lucetta. Lucetta, who by this point is pregnant, dies of an epileptic seizure.
    When Newson, Elizabeth-Jane's biological father, returns, Henchard is afraid of losing her companionship and tells Newson she is dead. Henchard is once again impoverished, and, as soon as the twenty-first year of his oath is up, he starts drinking again. By the time Elizabeth-Jane, who months later is married to Donald Farfrae and reunited with Newson, goes looking for Henchard to forgive him, he has died and left a will requesting no funeral or fanfare:
    "That Elizabeth-Jane Farfrae be not told of my death, or made to grieve on account of me. "& that I be not bury'd in consecrated ground. "& that no sexton be asked to toll the bell. "& that nobody is wished to see my dead body. "& that no murners walk behind me at my funeral. "& that no flours be planted on my grave,"& that no man remember me. "To this I put my name.
    Characters
    Michael Henchard

    The first of the two Mayors of Casterbridge discussed in this book,Michael Henchard starts his life as a poor journeyman hay-trusser. He rises above his humble beginnings to become a successful businessman,until his secrets catch up with him and combine with his inherent character flaws to bring him down. He belongs to what at the time was the working class, but aspires to genteel status. He is poorly educated and although he can read (the book shows him reading a ballad-sheet) he is not good at maths and is not up to date in the scientific or record-keeping aspect of his business.[justify]Henchard is very physically strong and standing more than six feet tall. He is twenty-one years old at the start of the story and forty-two to forty-three at the end. The book describes him as being dark-haired.In terms of temperament, Henchard is very impulsive although he also has a tendency to depression. He tends to take a sudden liking, or a sudden dislike, to other people and can be verbally abusive and aggressive even when sober. He is respected in Casterbridge, having built up a strong business almost literally from nothing, but he is not well liked. When he drinks, he can be vicious. In fact, one of the reasons he does so well in business is because, after he sells his wife and child, he swears off alcohol for twenty-one years. He can be short-sighted and selfish, and does not think much of consequences of action. When he decides Farfrae is his enemy, he wages an economic war that, at first, is extremely one-sided.A risk-taker, Henchard eventually lets his personal grudge against Farfrae get in the way of his reasoning abilities. He takes too many risks, gambles too aggressively, and loses his credit, his business, and most of his fortune.
    Henchard always has a way to rationalize his impulsive decision making. He also has no problem leaving other people to pay for the consequences of his bad decision making. His guilt about his past leads him to reunite with Susan even though he does not love her. When Lucetta marries FarFrae, Henchard initially wants to seek retaliation but eventually relents and gives back Lucetta her letters.
    Donald Farfrae
    A Scotsman named Donald Farfrae is the second character in the novel who becomes a mayor in Casterbridge. He is Michael Henchard's opposite in nearly every way. They are physical opposites. Whereas Henchard is tall, strong, and somewhat clumsy Farfrae is short, lithe, and well coordinated. Whereas Henchard is not well educated, Farfrae is intelligent and very well informed about the scientific and business aspects of the grain and corn industry. Henchard is aggressive and brutal, but Farfrae is gentle and likeable. Henchard is a laborer, but Farfrae is a well educated member of the merchant class. In short,Farfrae is everything Henchard would love to be, and loves to pretend that he is. This initially causes Henchard to admire and like Farfrae, but it eventually leads to jealousy and resentment.[justify]Donald Farfrae arrives in town by chance and passes along a valuable technique for improving wheat, which saves Henchard a great deal of money and embarrassment. Henchard prevails upon him to stay in town,hiring him as his manager over the head of another man named Jopp to whom he had already made a job offer. He immediately brings Henchard's business up to date in terms of technology and business discipline, and he is charismatic enough to be a far better manager and leader than Henchard himself.


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    Agatha Christie Novels

    Post by Lily on Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:15 pm

    Novels
    1920 The Mysterious Affair at StylesHercule Poirot
    Arthur Hastings
    Chief Inspector Japp
    1922The Secret AdversaryTommy and Tuppence
    1923The Murder on the LinksHercule Poirot
    Arthur Hastings
    1924The Man in the Brown Suit Anne Beddingfeld
    Colonel Race
    1925The Secret of Chimneys, Superintendent Battle
    1926The Murder of Roger AckroydHercule Poirot
    1927The Big Four Hercule Poirot
    Arthur Hastings
    Chief Inspector Japp
    1928The Mystery of the Blue TrainHercule Poirot
    1929The Seven Dials Mystery Bill Eversleigh
    Superintendent Battle
    1930The Murder at the VicarageMiss Marple
    1931The Sittaford Mystery
    also Murder at Hazelmoor
    Inspector Narracott
    1932Peril at End HouseHercule Poirot
    Arthur Hastings
    Chief Inspector Japp
    1933Lord Edgware Dies
    also Thirteen at Dinner
    Hercule Poirot
    Arthur Hastings
    Chief Inspector Japp
    1934Murder on the Orient Express
    also Murder in the Calais Coach
    Hercule Poirot
    1934Why Didn't They Ask Evans?
    also The Boomerang Clue
    Bobby Jones
    Frankie Derwent
    1935Three Act Tragedy
    also Murder in Three Acts
    Hercule Poirot
    1935Death in the Clouds
    also Death in the Air
    Hercule Poirot
    Chief Inspector Japp
    1936The A.B.C. Murders
    also The Alphabet Murders
    Hercule Poirot
    Arthur Hastings
    Chief Inspector Japp
    1936Murder in MesopotamiaHercule Poirot
    1936Cards on the Table Hercule Poirot
    Colonel Race
    Superintendent Battle
    Ariadne Oliver
    1937Dumb Witness
    also Poirot Loses a Client
    Hercule Poirot
    Arthur Hastings
    1937Death on the NileHercule Poirot
    Colonel Race
    1938Appointment with DeathHercule Poirot
    1938Hercule Poirot's Christmas
    also Murder for Christmas
    also A Holiday for Murder
    Hercule Poirot
    1939Murder is Easy
    also Easy to Kill
    Superintendent Battle
    1939And Then There Were None
    also Ten Little Indians
    also Ten Little Niggers
    1940Sad CypressHercule Poirot
    1940One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
    also An Overdose of Death
    also The Patriotic Murders
    Hercule Poirot
    Chief Inspector Japp
    1941Evil Under the SunHercule Poirot
    1941N or M?Tommy and Tuppence
    1942The Body in the LibraryMiss Marple
    1942Five Little Pigs
    also Murder in Retrospect
    Hercule Poirot
    1942The Moving Finger
    also The Case of the Moving Finger
    Miss Marple
    1944Towards ZeroSuperintendent Battle
    Inspector James Leach
    1944Death Comes as the End
    1945Sparkling Cyanide
    also Remembered Death
    Colonel Race
    1946The Hollow
    also Murder After Hours
    Hercule Poirot
    1948Taken at the Flood
    also There is a Tide...
    Hercule Poirot
    1949Crooked HouseCharles Hayward
    1950A Murder is AnnouncedMiss Marple
    1951They Came to BaghdadVictoria Jones
    1952Mrs McGinty's Dead
    also Blood Will Tell
    Hercule Poirot
    Ariadne Oliver
    1952They Do It with Mirrors
    also Murder with Mirrors
    Miss Marple
    1953After the Funeral
    also Funerals are Fatal
    also Murder at the Gallop
    Hercule Poirot
    1953A Pocket Full of RyeMiss Marple
    1954Destination Unknown
    also So Many Steps to Death
    1955Hickory Dickory Dock
    also Hickory Dickory Death
    Hercule Poirot
    1956Dead Man's FollyHercule Poirot
    Ariadne Oliver
    19574.50 from Paddington
    also What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!
    also Murder She Said
    Miss Marple
    1958Ordeal by Innocence
    1959Cat Among the PigeonsHercule Poirot
    1961The Pale HorseInspector Lejeune
    Ariadne Oliver
    1962The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side
    also The Mirror Crack'd
    Miss Marple
    1963The ClocksHercule Poirot
    1964A Caribbean MysteryMiss Marple
    1965At Bertram's HotelMiss Marple
    1966Third GirlHercule Poirot
    Ariadne Oliver
    1967Endless Night
    1968By the Pricking of My ThumbsTommy and Tuppence
    1969Hallowe'en PartyHercule Poirot
    Ariadne Oliver
    1970Passenger to Frankfurt
    1971NemesisMiss Marple
    1972Elephants Can RememberHercule Poirot
    Ariadne Oliver
    1973Postern of Fate
    final Tommy and Tuppence
    last novel Christie wrote
    Tommy and Tuppence
    1975Curtain
    Poirot's last case, written four decades earlier
    Hercule Poirot
    Arthur Hastings
    1976Sleeping Murder
    Miss Marple's last case, written four decades earlier
    Miss Marple
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    Agatha Christie

    Post by Lily on Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:05 pm

    Biography
    Agatha Christie was born as Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller in
    Torquay, Devon, in the United Kingdom. Her parents were Frederick Alvah Miller, a rich American stockbroker, and Clarissa Margaret Boehmer, the English daughter of a British army captain. She never claimed United States citizenship. Christie had a sister, Margaret Frary Miller (1879 – 1950), called Madge, eleven years her senior, and a brother, Louis Montant Miller (1880 – 1929), called Monty, ten years older than Christie. Her father died when she was eleven years old. Her mother taught her at home, encouraging her to write at a very young age. At the age of 16, she went to Mrs. Dryden's finishing school in Paris to study singing and piano.Her first marriage, an unhappy one, was in 1914 to Colonel Archibald Christie, an aviator in the Royal Flying Corps. The couple had one daughter, Rosalind Hicks. They divorced in 1928, two years after Agatha discovered her husband was having an affair. It was during this marriage that she published her first novel in 1920, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.During World War I she worked at a hospital and then a pharmacy, a job that influenced her work. Many of the murders in her books are carried out with poison.
    Disappearance
    In late 1926, Christie's husband revealed that he was in love with another woman, Nancy Neele, and wanted a divorce. On 3 December 1926, the couple quarrelled, and Archie Christie left their house in
    Sunningdale, Berkshire, to spend the weekend with his mistress at Godalming, Surrey. That same evening, Christie disappeared from her home, leaving behind a letter for her secretary saying that she was going to Yorkshire; she also sent a letter to the Deputy Chief Constable of Surrey Police saying that she feared for her life. When her car was found at Newland's Corner, near Guildford, Surrey, police dredged a nearby lake and conducted a search of the surrounding countryside. Her disappearance excited great interest in the press, though the novelist Edgar Wallace speculated that her disappearance was an attempt to spite her husband and that she would be found alive and well in London.
    Eleven days after her disappearance, Christie was identified as a guest at the Hydropathic Hotel (now the Hydro hotel, Harrogate, Yorkshire, where she was registered as 'Mrs Teresa Neele', from Cape Town. Christie gave no account of her disappearance, two doctors having diagnosed her as suffering from amnesia, and opinion remains divided as to the reasons for her disappearance. One suggestion is that she had suffered a nervous breakdown, brought about by a natural propensity for depression, exacerbated by her mother's death earlier that year and by her husband's infidelity. Many people at the time believed the disappearance to be a publicity stunt, and public sentiment was predominantly negative and Edgar Wallace's suggestion that the disappearance was an attempt to embarrass her husband continues to find support, even to the extent of suggestions that Christie was trying to make people believe her husband had killed her in order to punish him for his infidelity.
    Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple
    Agatha Christie's first novel
    The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published in 1920 and introduced the long-running character detective Hercule Poirot, who appeared in 33 of Christie's novels and 54 short stories.Her other well known character, Miss Marple, was introduced in The Murder at the Vicarage in 1930, and was based on women like Christie's grandmother and her "cronies".During World War II, Christie wrote two novels intended as the last cases of these two great detectives, Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple, respectively. These have been identified as Curtain and Sleeping Murder. Both books were sealed in a bank vault for over thirty years, and were released for publication by Christie only at the end of her life, when she realised that she could not write any more novels. These publications came on the heels of the success of the film version of Murder on the Orient Express in 1974.Like Arthur Conan Doyle with Sherlock Holmes, Christie was to become increasingly tired of her detective, Poirot. In fact, by the end of the 1930s, Christie confided to her diary that she was finding Poirot “insufferable," and by the 1960s she felt that he was "an ego-centric creep." However, unlike Conan Doyle, Christie resisted the temptation to kill her detective off while he was still popular. She saw herself as an entertainer whose job was to produce what the public liked, and what the public liked was Poirot.In contrast, Christie was fond of Miss Marple. However it is interesting to note that the Belgian detective’s titles outnumber the Marple titles by more than two to one. This is largely because Christie wrote numerous Poirot novels early in her career, while The Murder at the Vicarage remained the sole Marple novel until the 1940s.Christie never wrote a novel or short story featuring both Poirot and Miss Marple. In a recording, recently re-discovered and released in 2008, Christie revealed the reason for this: "Hercule Poirot, a complete egoist, would not like being taught his business or having suggestions made to him by an elderly spinster lady".Poirot is the only fictional character to have been given an obituary in The New York Times, following the publication of Curtain in 1975.Following the great success of Curtain, Christie gave permission for the release of Sleeping Murder sometime in 1976, but died in January 1976 before the book could be released. This may explain some of the inconsistencies compared to the rest of the Marple series — for example, Colonel Arthur Bantry, husband of Miss Marple's friend, Dolly, is still alive and well in Sleeping Murder despite the fact he is noted as having died in books published earlier. It may be that Christie simply did not have time to revise the manuscript before she died. Miss Marple fared better than Poirot, since after solving the mystery in Sleeping Murder she returns home to her regular life in St. Mary Mead.On an edition of Desert Island Discs in 2007, Brian Aldiss claimed that Agatha Christie told him that she wrote her books up to the last chapter, and then decided who the most unlikely suspect was. She would then go back and make the necessary changes to "frame" that person.The evidence of Christie's working methods, as described by successive biographers, belies this claim.
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    Thomas Hardy

    Post by Lily on Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:17 pm

    Thomas Hardy presented the spectacle of England from Napoleonic times to World War I and after. He revealed the changes that overwhelmed Victorian England and made it modern: the decline of Christianity, the shifts from reticence to openness in matters of sex and from an agricultural to a modern economy, and above all the growing sense of the disparity between the enormous universe and tiny man.Hardy was born on June 2, 1840, in Higher Bockhampton in Dorset, which formed part of the "Wessex" of his novels and poems. A small baby, thought at birth to be dead, he became a small man only a little over 5 feet tall. He was taught by his father, a builder, to play the violin, and he often journeyed about the countryside playing for dances and storing up the impressions of rural life that make up so large a part of his work.
    Early Writings
    After attending local schools, Hardy was apprenticed in 1856 to John Hicks, an architect in Dorchester. At this time he thought seriously of attending university and entering the Church, but he did not do so. In 1862 he went to London to work. There he began to write poems and send them to publishers, who quickly returned them. He kept many of the poems and published them in 1898 and afterward. Back in Dorchester in 1867 working for Hicks, he wrote a novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, which he was advised not to publish on the ground that it was too satirical for genteel Victorian tastes. Told to write a novel with a plot, he turned out Desperate Remedies (1871), which was unsuccessful.
    Meanwhile Hardy had begun to work for Gerald Crickmay, who had taken over Hicks's business. Crickmay sent him to Cornwall, where on March 7, 1870, he met Emma Lavinia Gifford, with whom he fell in love. Their courtship is recorded in A Pair of Blue Eyes and in some of Hardy's most beautiful poems, among them "When I Set Out for Lyonnesse" and "Beeny Cliff."
    Hardy could have kept on with architecture, but he was a "born bookworm, " as he said, and in spite of his lack of success with literature he decided to continue with it, hoping eventually to make enough money to enable him to marry. For Under the Greenwood Tree (1872) he earned £30. The book was well received, and he was asked to write a novel for serialization in a magazine. In September 1872 A Pair of Blue Eyes began to appear, even though only a few chapters had been completed. Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), also serialized, was a success financially and critically. By then making a living from literature, Hardy married Gifford in September 1874.
    Later Novels
    Hardy preferred his poetry to his prose and thought his novels merely a way to earn a living. Certainly he was willing to write his novels to the requirements of magazines: a "thrill" in every installment and nothing to offend feminine readers. But his best novels - The Return of the Native (1878), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), and Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891) - were, at least in book form, much more than magazine fiction. The main characters were individuals moving before a chorus of rural folk and a backdrop of unhuman and uncaring nature. The people were dominated by the countryside of "Wessex, " Hardy's name for the area in south-west England where he set most of his novels, and the area is as vividly memorable as the people.
    Even Hardy's best novels, however, were marred by a characteristically awkward prose and overuse of coincidence, as were the lesser novels: The Hand of Ethelberta (1876), a comedy of society; The Trumpet-Major (1880), about the Napoleonic Wars; A Laodicean (1881), written while sick in bed; Two on a Tower (1882), about an astronomer and a lady; and The Woodlanders (1887), about an unhappy marriage.
    Good or bad, his novels brought Hardy money, fame, and acquaintance with the great. With his wife he traveled in Germany, France, and Italy; he built Max Gate near Dorchester, where he lived from 1886 until his death; he frequently dined out, meeting Matthew Arnold, Robert Browning, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and others. Robert Louis Stevenson sought him out and visited him at Max Gate. It was a successful life and seemed happy enough, but he had a strained relationship with his wife.
    Though Hardy's novels seldom end happily, he was not, he stated, a pessimist. He called himself a "meliorist, " one who believed that man can live with some happiness if he understands his place in the universe and accepts it. He ceased to be a Christian; he read Charles Darwin and accepted the idea of evolution; later he took up Arthur Schopenhauer and developed the notion of the Immanent Will, the blind force which drives the universe and in the distant future may see and understand itself. This notion is not very optimistic for any one man's life, but it does leave room for hope.
    Hardy was increasingly displeased by the restrictions imposed on his novels by the magazines. In the book version of Tess he restored several chapters cut out of the serial, and the book was attacked as immoral. In Jude the Obscure (1895) he did the same; there was an immense outcry. The story of a young man torn between the urgings of sex and the desire to go to the university, Jude presented the woes of marriage with a frankness not known till then in the Victorian novel. It is poorly constructed and too bitter to be one of Hardy's best novels, but it may be his most famous, because its reception was a main cause of his turning from novels to poetry.
    Poetry and Drama
    Collecting new and old poems, Hardy published Wessex Poems (1898) and Poems of the Past and Present (1902). Then he began to publish The Dynasts, an immense drama of the Napoleonic Wars which depicts all the characters, even Napoleon, as puppets whose actions are determined by the Immanent Will. The drama is commented on by "phantasmal Intelligences, " who explain the workings of the Will. The "epic-drama" evolved into 19 acts and 130 scenes; it was published in three parts in 1903, 1905, and 1908. Meant to be read, not acted, it is frequently called Hardy's masterwork. Certainly it unites all his thoughts on the human condition in a vision remarkable for its scope.
    Meanwhile Hardy continued to publish his shorter verse in Time's Laughingstocks (1909). His most famous single volume of poems, Satires of Circumstance, appeared in 1914. It revealed the extremes of Hardy's emotional range in the short, bitter poems referred to in the title and the longer poems about his first wife, who died in 1912. Any bitterness in their relationship had disappeared in the nostalgia with which he viewed their courtship and married life. Selected Poems (1916), Moments of Vision (1917), Late Lyrics and Earlier (1922), and Human Shows (1925) were published during the remainder of his life. Winter Words (1928) was published after his death.
    Because in most cases Hardy published his poems years after he wrote them, the dates of composition can be determined only by his references to them in The Early Life of Thomas Hardy or The Later Years. Thus it is difficult to show Hardy's growth as a poet. In fact, he hardly grew at all. The last poems are remarkably similar in diction, meter, and feeling to the earliest. Because of this, his poems are customarily divided into three groups: naturalistic poems, or little slices of life; love poems, almost all about his first wife; and theological poems, about the workings of the Immanent Will. In the last kind, Hardy's macabre sense of humor is allowed full play.
    In almost all his poems Hardy uses Victorian diction, regular meters, and neat stanzas. These cause him to be called a Victorian poet. But he also uses everyday words. These, with his bleak view of the human condition and his fusion of humor and pity, rank him with the moderns.
    In 1914 Hardy married Florence Emily Dugdale, who had been his secretary for several years. He continued to receive famous visitors at Max Gate and to go to London for special occasions. He died on Jan. 11, 1928. His heart was buried in the churchyard at Stinsford, his ashes in Westminster Abbey.
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    Re: British Literature

    Post by Lily on Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:38 am

    Early Fiction
    Dubliners (1914) is a collection of 15 short stories completed in 1904 but delayed in publication because of censorship problems, which arose from a suspected slur against the reigning monarch, Edward VII. Joyce himself described their style as one of "scrupulous meanness" and said they were written "to betray the soul of that… paralysis which many consider a city." His characters are drawn in naturalistic detail, which at first aroused the anger of many readers. Among various devices such as symbolism, motifs (paralysis, death, isolation, failure of love), mythic journeys, and quests for a symbolic grail which is never there, Joyce employs his literary invention, the epiphany; this is a religious term he used to describe the symbolic dimension of common things - fragments of conversation or bits of music - moments of sudden spiritual manifestation in which the "soul" of the thing or the experience "leaps to us from the vestment of its appearance."
    In the final story, considered one of Joyce's best, "The Dead," Gabriel Conroy, a careful and studious man surrounded by doting aunts and material comforts, discovers to his surprise that his wife has had a romantic love affair with a passionate young man who died for love of her. The story ends with snow falling softly over Ireland and the universe, an ambiguous symbol which could mean either life-giving moisture and preservation or the coldness of moral and spiritual death.
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) is a semi-autobiographical novel of adolescence, or Bildungsroman (development novel). A sensitive and artistic young man, Stephen Dedalus is shaped by his environment but at the same time rebels against it. He rejects his father, family, and religion, and, like Joyce, decides at the novel's close to leave Ireland. He states as the reason for his exile his mission "to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race." The hero's symbolic name is drawn from Ovid's Dedalus, the artificer who made wings on which his son flew too near the sun, melting their wax and causing him to plunge into the sea.
    For Joyce and others after him, Dedalus became a symbol for the artist, and the hero, Stephen, appears again in Ulysses (1922). Joyce's portrait of the artist in adolescence is like a painting, showing the hero in his immaturity, still seeking his identity. His major flaw, the failure to love, is shown by Stephen's isolation, his inability to immerse himself in life. The hero's declaration, "I will not serve," links him with another soaring figure, Lucifer, whose sin of pride also precluded the possibility of love, which for Joyce (always doctrinally orthodox) represented the greatest of all the Christian virtues and the most humanizing.
    Ulysses
    Ulysses (1922), generally considered Joyce's most mature work, is patterned on Homer's Odyssey. Each of the 18 chapters corresponds loosely with an episode in the Greek epic, but there are echoes of Joyce's other models, Dante's Inferno and Goethe's Faust, among other sources. The action takes place in a single day, June 16, 1904 (still observed as "Bloomsday" in many countries), on which the Irish Jew, Leopold Bloom (Ulysses), walks or rides through the streets of Dublin after leaving his wife, Molly (Penelope), at home in bed.
    Through the stream-of-consciousness technique, Joyce permits the reader to enter the consciousness of Bloom and perceive the chaos of fragmentary conversations, physical sensations, and memories which register there. Underlying the surface action is the mythic quest of Leopold for a son to replace the child he and Molly have lost. He finds instead Stephen Dedalus (Telemachus), who, having rejected his family and faith, is in need of a father. At each of their chance encounters during the day, the mythic quest becomes more evident. The two are finally united when Bloom rescues the drunken Stephen from unsavory companions and the police; they share a symbolic communion over cups of hot chocolate in Bloom's home, a promise of future involvement for Stephen with Leopold, his spiritual "father," and Molly, the earth mother, who, with her paramours, represents fleshly involvement in the experience of life. Joyce's technical innovations (particularly his extensive use of stream of consciousness), his experiments with form, and his unusually frank subject matter and language made Ulysses an important milestone in the development of the modern novel.
    Finnegans Wake:Finnegans Wake (1939) is the most difficult of all Joyce's works. The novel has no evident narrative or plot and relies upon sound, rhythm of language, and verbal puns to present a surface beneath which meanings lurk. Considered a novel by most critics, it has been called a poem by some, a nightmare by others. Joyce called his final book a "nightmaze." It concerns the events of a Dublin night, in contrast to Ulysses, which deals with a Dublin day.
    The submerged plot centers upon a male character, H. C. Earwicker, the genial host of a Dublin pub, his wife, and their children, particularly the twins, Kevin and Jerry. Joyce once again employs myth in a more complex pattern than ever before, associating Dublin with the fallen paradise and the hero with a long séries of heroes beginning with Adam; he associates him also with a geographic landmark in Dublin, the Hill of Howth. His wife, Anna Livia Plurabelle, is associated with the river Liffey and with various female figures from history and legend. Snatches of Irish and universal history are blended with realistic details of world history and geography.
    Working in the metamorphic tradition of Ovid, Joyce causes his characters to undergo a dazzling series of transformations. The hero, H. C. E. (his nickname, "Here Comes Everybody," indicates an Everyman figure), becomes successively Adam, Humpty Dumpty, Ibsen's Master Builder (all of whom underwent a fall of some kind in literature), Christ, King Arthur, the Duke of Wellington (all of whom are associated with rising). Mrs. Earwicker becomes Eve, the Virgin Mary, Queen Guinevere, Napoleon's Josephine, and other feminine characters (her initials, A. L. P., designate her as the alpha figure, the feminine principle and initiator of life). The twins become rival principles, Shem and Shaun, extrovert and introvert, representing opposing facets of their father's character; they merge into all the rival "brothers" of literature and history - Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Peter and Paul, Michael and Lucifer - and their quarreling gives rise to the famous battles of myth and cyclic history.
    Geographic places around Dublin also take on symbolic significance; for example, the noted Dublin garden, Phoenix Park, becomes the Garden of Eden. The difficulties arising from the complicated symbolism and linguistic structure of verbal puns and double meanings become more complex with Joyce's introduction of unfamiliar foreign words which may have two, three, or more meanings in the various languages with which he was familiar (including Danish and Eskimo). Examples may be seen in the compression of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the writers of the New Testament Gospels, into "Mamalujo" the Garden of Eden appears in one of its many doubles in modern Ireland as "Edenberry, Dubblen, W.C."
    Beneath the puzzling verbal surface of Finnegans Wake lie themes which have been the concern of traditional writers and philosophers of all ages - the process of renewal through division of opposites, rising and falling, the one in the many, permanence and change, and the dialectic emergence of truth from the opposition of antithetical ideas. Not unexpectedly, Finnegans Wake was not well received by the reading public, and Joyce was forced to seek financial help from friends after its publication. With the outbreak of World War II, he and his family fled, on borrowed money, from France to Switzerland, leaving a daughter in a sanatorium in occupied France. Joyce died in Zurich on Jan. 13, 1941.
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    Re: British Literature

    Post by Lily on Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:32 am

    Born: 2 February 1882
    Birthplace: Rathgar (near Dublin), Ireland
    Died: 13 January 1941 (perforated ulcer)
    Best Known As: Author of Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake
    Name at birth: James Augustine Aloysius Joyce
    Joyce was to modern literature what Picasso was to modern art: he scrambled up the old formulas and set the table for the 20th century. Joyce's books Ulysses (1921) and Finnegan's Wake (1939) ignored traditional plot and sentence structure in favor of sprawling, witty, complex mixtures of wordplay, streams of consciousness, and snatches of sights and aromas woven in with the rambling reveries of the characters. Joyce grew up in Dublin, set all his major stories there, and is intricately associated with the city; Ulysses tells the story of one day in the life of Leopold Bloom as he travels the city's streets. (Bloom's wanderings are compared to those of mythical hero Ulysses -- hence the book's title.) Finnegan's Wake went even further with dreamy wordplay and inventive genius, but also cemented Joyce's reputation as a challenging, even difficult author to read. Joyce moved from Dublin in 1904 with his girlfriend Nora Barnacle; they had a son (Giorgio) in 1905 and a daughter (Lucia) in 1907, but were not married until 1931. They lived in Paris from 1920 until World War II forced a move to Zurich, where Joyce died in 1941. His other works include The Dubliners (1914) and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916).
    Joyce worked on Finnegan's Wake for 17 years before its publication in 1939... Joyce suffered from weak eyesight throughout his life and wore thick, owlish glasses... The day described in Ulysses is 16 June 1904, and in some cities 16 June is whimsically celebrated as "Bloomsday"... Though Joyce is closely tied to Dublin, he never returned to the city after a visit in 1912... Joyce's birthday also happens to be Groundhog Day... The main character of Finnegan's Wake is named Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker... The famous first line of Finnegan's Wake is: "riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs
    "The fiction of the Irish author James Joyce (1882-1941) is characterized by experiments with language, symbolism, and use of the narrative techniques of interior monologue and stream of consciousness."
    The modern symbolic novel owes much of its complexity to James Joyce. His intellectualism and his grasp of a wide range of philosophy, theology, and foreign languages enabled him to stretch the English language to its limits (and, some critics believe, beyond them in Finnegans Wake). The trial of his novel Ulysses on charges of obscenity and its subsequent exoneration marked a breakthrough in the limitations previously placed by social convention upon the subject matter and language of the modern English novel.
    James Joyce was born on Feb. 2, 1882, in Rathgar, a suburb of Dublin. His father, John, an amateur actor and popular tenor, was employed first in a Dublin distillery, then as tax collector for the city of Dublin. His mother, Mary Jane Murray Joyce, was a gifted pianist. Endowed with a fine tenor voice and a love for music (he once entered a singing competition against the noted Irish tenor John McCormack), James Joyce was described by his brother Stanislaus as tall, thin, and loose-jointed, with "a distinguished appearance and bearing." In spite of 10 major operations to save his sight, he was almost blind at the time of his death. He often wore a black patch over his left eye and dressed in somber colors, although his friends remember him as witty and gay in company.
    Joyce was educated entirely in Jesuit schools in Ireland: Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare, Belvedere College in Dublin, and University College, where he excelled in philosophy and languages (he mastered Norwegian in order to read Henrik Ibsen's plays in the original). After his graduation in 1902, he left Ireland in a self-imposed exile that lasted for the rest of his life. He returned briefly in 1903 for his mother's last illness but left for Paris in 1904 after her death, taking with him Nora Barnacle, his future wife. Until 1915 he taught English in Trieste, then moved to Zurich with his wife and two children. In 1920 they settled in Paris, living in virtual poverty even after the successful publication of Ulysses in 1922. The intervention of literary friends such as Ezra Pound secured for Joyce some much-needed financial assistance from the British government.
    Although his fame rests upon his fiction, Joyce's first published work was a volume of 36 lyric poems, Chamber Music (1907). His Collected Poems (including Poems Penyeach and Ecce Puer) appeared in 1938. Much of his fiction is lyrical and autobiographical in nature and shows the influence of his musical studies, his discipline as a poet, and his Jesuit training. Even though he cut himself off from his country, his family, and his Church, these three (Ireland, father, and Roman Catholicism) are the basis upon which he structured his art. The city of Dublin, in particular, provided Joyce with a universal symbol; for him the heart of Dublin was "the heart of all the cities of the world," a means of showing that "in the particular is contained the universal."
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    Re: British Literature

    Post by Lily on Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:38 am

    The sonnet form and other Italian literary influences arrived in English literature. The sonnet was introduced into English by Thomas Wyatt in the early 16th century.In the later 16th century English poetry was characterised by elaboration of language and extensive allusion to classical myths. The most important poets of this era include Edmund Spenser and Sir Philip Sidney.The most important literary achievements of the English Renaissance were in drama (see English Renaissance theatre). William Shakespeare wrote over 35 plays in several genres, including tragedy, comedy, and history. Other leading playwrights of the time included Ben Jonson, and Christopher Marlowe.At the Reformation the translation of liturgy and Bible into vernacular languages provided new literary models. The Anglican Book of Common Prayer and the Authorized King James Version of the Bible have been influential.The major poets of the 17th century included John Donne and the other metaphysical poets, and John Milton, the author of the religious epic Paradise Lost.
    1660 to 1800
    Main articles: Restoration period, Augustan poetry, and Augustan literatureThe position of Poet Laureate was formalised in this period.The publication of The Pilgrim's Progress in 1678 established John Bunyan as a notable writer of English literature.The early 18th century is known as the Augustan Age of English literature. The poetry of the time was highly formal, as exemplified by the works of Alexander Pope.Although the documented history of Irish theatre began at least as early as 1601, the earliest Irish dramatists of note were William Congreve, one of the most interesting writers of Restoration comedies, and Oliver Goldsmith and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, who were two of the most successful playwrights on the London stage in the 18th century.The English novel developed during the 18th century, partly in response to an expansion of the middle-class reading public. One of the major early works in this genre was Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. The 18th century novel tended to be loosely structured and semi-comic. Major novelists of the middle and later part of the century included Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne, and Tobias Smollett, who was a great influence on Charles Dickens.[1]Although the epics of Celtic Ireland were written in prose and not verse, most people would probably consider that Irish fiction proper begins in the 18th century with the works of Jonathan Swift (especially Gulliver's Travels) and Oliver Goldsmith (especially The Vicar of Wakefield).
    Non English-language literatures from the 16th century to the 19th century

    Robert Burns inspired many vernacular writers across the Isles
    As the Norman nobles of Scotland assimilated to indigenous culture they commissioned Scots versions of popular continental romances, for example: Launcelot o the Laik and The Buik o Alexander. In the early 16th century, Gavin Douglas produced a Scots translation of the Aeneid. Chaucerian, classical and French literary language continued to influence Scots literature up until the Reformation. The Complaynt of Scotland shows the interplay of language and ideas between the kingdoms of Scotland and England in the years leading up to the Union of the Crowns.The earliest datable text in Manx (preserved in 18th century manuscripts), a poetic history of the Isle of Man from the introduction of Christianity, dates to the 16th century at the latest.The first book to be printed in Welsh was published in 1546. From the Reformation until the 19th century most literature in the Welsh language was religious in character.The earliest surviving examples of Cornish prose are Pregothow Treger (The Tregear Homilies), a set of 66 sermons translated from English by John Tregear around 1555-1557.The Book of Common Prayer and Bible were translated into Manx in the 17th and 18th centuries. A tradition of carvals, religious songs or carols, developed. Religious literature was common, but secular writing much rarer.In Scotland, after the 17th century, anglicisation increased, though Lowland Scots was still spoken by the vast majority of the population. At the time, many of the oral ballads from the borders and the North East were written down. Writers of the period include Robert Sempill (c.1595-1665), Lady Wardlaw and Lady Grizel Baillie.The first printed work in Manx dates from 1707: a translation of a Prayer Book catechism in English by Bishop Thomas Wilson.In the Scots-speaking areas of Ulster there was traditionally a considerable demand for the work of Scottish poets, often in locally printed editions. Alexander Montgomerie's The Cherrie and the Slae in 1700, shortly over a decade later an edition of poems by Sir David Lindsay, nine printings of Allan Ramsay's The Gentle shepherd between 1743 and 1793, and an edition of Robert Burns' poetry in 1787, the same year as the Edinburgh edition, followed by reprints in 1789, 1793 and 1800. Among other Scottish poets published in Ulster were James Hogg and Robert Tannahill.In the 18th century, Scottish writers such as Ramsay, Robert Fergusson, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott continued to use Lowland Scots. Scott introduced vernacular dialogue to his novels. The Habbie stanza was developed as a poetic form.The first printed Jèrriais literature appears in the first newspapers following the introduction of the printing press at the end of the 18th century. The earliest identified dated example of printed poetry in Jèrriais is a fragment by Matchi L'Gé (Matthew Le Geyt 1777 - 1849) dated 1795.Some 60 to 70 volumes of Ulster rhyming weaver poetry were published between 1750 and 1850, the peak being in the decades 1810 to 1840. These weaver poets, such as James Orr, looked to Scotland for their cultural and literary models and were not simple imitators but clearly inheritors of the same literary tradition following the same poetic and orthographic practices; it is not always immediately possible to distinguish traditional Scots writing from Scotland and Ulster.The importance of translation in spreading the influence of English literature to other cultures of the islands can be exemplified by the abridged Manx version of Paradise Lost by John Milton published in 1796 by Thomas Christian. The influence also went the other way as Romanticism discovered inspiration in the literatures and legends of the Celtic countries of the islands. The Ossian hoax typifies the growth of this interest.

    George Métivier (1790-1881), Guernsey's "national poet"
    Increased literacy in rural and outlying areas and wider access to publishing through, for example, local newspapers encouraged regional literary development as the 19th century progressed. Some writers in lesser-used languages and dialects of the islands gained a literary following outside their native regions, for example William Barnes in Dorset, George Métivier (1790-1881) in Guernsey and Robert Pipon Marett in Jersey. George Métivier published Rimes Guernesiaises, a collection of poems in Dgèrnésiais and French in 1831. The poems had first appeared in newspapers from 1813 onward. The first printed anthology of Jèrriais poetry, Rimes Jersiaises, was published in 1865.Scots was used in the narrative by Ulster novelists such as W. G. Lyttle (1844-1896). Scots also regularly appeared in Ulster newspaper columns.Scottish authors as Robert Louis Stevenson, William Alexander, George MacDonald and J. M. Barrie also wrote in Lowland Scots or used it in dialogue.
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    British Literature

    Post by Lily on Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:16 am

    British literature refers to literature associated with the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands as well as to literature from England, Wales and Scotland prior to the formation of the United Kingdom.By far the largest part of British literature is written in the English language, but there are bodies of written works in Latin, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Scots, Cornish, Manx, Jèrriais, Guernésiais and other languages. Northern Ireland has a literary tradition in English, Ulster Scots and Irish. Irish writers have also played an important part in the development of English-language literature.Literature in the Celtic languages of the islands is the oldest surviving vernacular literature in Europe. The Welsh literary tradition stretches from the 6th century to the 21st century. The oldest Welsh literature does not belong to the territory we know as Wales today, but rather to northern England and southern Scotland. But though it is dated to be from the 6th, 7th, and 8th centuries, it has survived only in 13th- and 14th century manuscript copies. Irish poetry represents a more or less unbroken tradition from the 6th century to the present day.The earliest form of English literature developed after the settlement of the Saxons and other Germanic tribes in England after the withdrawal of the Romans and is known as Old English or Anglo-Saxon. The most famous work in Old English is the epic poemBeowulf. The only surviving manuscript is the Cotton manuscript. The precise date of the manuscript is debated, but most estimates place it close to the year 1000.(The oldest surviving text in English is Cædmon'sHymn)A popular poem of the time was "The Dream of the Rood." It was inscribed upon the Ruthwell Cross.Another poem was "Judith (poem)." It was a retelling of the story found in the Latin Bible's Book of Judith of the beheader of the Assyrian general Holofernes.Chronicles contained a range of historical and literary accounts; one example is the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
    Late medieval literature in England
    Latin literature circulated among the educated classes.Following the Norman Conquest, the development of Anglo-Norman literature in the Anglo-Norman realm introduced literary trends from Continental Europe such as the chanson de geste.In the later medieval period a new form of English now known as Middle English evolved. This is the earliest form which is comprehensible to modern readers and listeners, albeit not easily.The most significant Middle English author was the poet Geoffrey Chaucer who was active in the late 14th century. His main works were The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde.The multilingual audience for literature in the 14th century can be illustrated by the example of John Gower, who wrote in Latin, Middle English and Anglo-Norman.Religious literature, such as hagiographies enjoyed popularity.Women writers such as Marie de France and Julian of Norwich were also active.
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Most likely the Pearl Poet)
    Le Morte d'Arthur (Sir Thomas Malory)
    Other medieval literatures
    For a comparatively small country, Ireland has made a large contribution to
    world literature in all its branches. The Irish literature that is best known outside the country is in English, but the Irish language also has the most significant body of written literature, both ancient and recent, in any Celtic language, in addition to a strong oral tradition of legends and poetry.
    In Medieval Welsh literature the period before 1100 is known as the period of Y Cynfeirdd ("The earliest poets") or Yr Hengerdd ("The old poetry"). It roughly dates from the birth of the Welsh language until the arrival of the Normans in Wales towards the end of the 11th century.Geoffrey of Monmouth's Latin Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain) spread Celtic motifs to a wider audience.The Jersey poet Wace is considered the founder of Jersey literature and contributed to the development of the Arthurian legend in British literature. His Brut showed the interest of Norman patrons in the mythologising of the new English territories of the Anglo-Norman realm. His Roman de Rou placed the Dukes of Normandy within an epic context.Since at least the 14th century, poetry in English has been written in Ireland and by Irish writers abroad. The earliest poem in English by a Welsh poet dates from about 1470.Among the earliest Lowland Scots literature is Barbour's Brus (14th century). Whyntoun's Kronykil and Blind Harry's Wallace date from the (15th century). From the 13th century much literature based around the royal court in Edinburgh and the University of St Andrews was produced by writers such as Henrysoun, Dunbar, Douglas and Lyndsay.
    In the Cornish language Passhyon agan Arloedh ("The Passion of our Lord"), a poem of 259 eight-line verses written in 1375, is one of the earliest surviving works of Cornish literature. The most important work of literature surviving from the Middle Cornish period is An Ordinale Kernewek ("The Cornish Ordinalia"), a 9000-line religious drama composed around the year 1400. The longest single surviving work of Cornish literature is Bywnans Meriasek (The Life of Meriasek), a play dated 1504, but probably copied from an earlier manuscript.
    Mabinogion,Ulster Cycle,Early English Jewish literature,Early Modern English literature

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    Re: British Literature

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