English 232

  1. In Memory of W.B. Yeats
    • Author: Auden
    • Type: Elegy/Dirge/Poem
    • Themes:
    • - praise for Yeats' skill as a poet
    • - poetry/art outlives the author
    • - elements of the inevitabilty/normality of death
    • - poetry exists independently of the poet and intention; takes on a life of its own
    • - poetry's effect is not mappable; it doesn't necessarily do anything
  2. September 1, 1939
    • Author: Auden
    • Type: Poem
    • Themes:
    • - about the outbreak of World War II
    • - something is coming that is frightful; it is described in an abstract way
    • - sense of uncertainty/lack of clarity
    • - need eliminates social independence; we are dependent on one another whether we know it or not
    • - we cannot continue to isolate ourselves
    • - poetry works as a source of light and hope
  3. Endgame
    • Author: Samuel Beckett
    • Type: Short story
    • Themes:
    • - absurdist themes say that attempts to find meaning in the universe are doomed to fail
    • - impossibility of self-determination
    • - obsession with order and lack of control over order; precision
    • - sense of entropy: end is at the beginning, but you "go on"
    • - moral indefiniteness
    • - "white" is in reference to chess pieces that do not have control over their fates; you know how endgame is going to end, but you must keep playing
  4. Gunga Din
    • Author: Rudyard Kipling
    • Type: literary ballad/poem
    • Themes:
    • - appreciating the work of those deemed inferior
    • - response to a change in control of in India; Britain gains direct control
    • - expectations of India are not what they seem
  5. The White Man's Burden
    • Author: Rudyard Kipling
    • Type: poem
    • Themes:
    • - colonialism is unpleasant but morally correct
    • - people of colonies are less than human; echoes Tierra del Fuego
    • - natives are ignorant with less self-awareness; innocence in a negative and naive way
    • - colonization is a difficult task
    • - colonization as a masculine, developmental responsibility
    • - colonization makes nations stronger/more developed
  6. Heart of Darkness
    • Author: Joseph Conrad
    • Type: novella
    • Themes:
    • - represents public realization of brutality in the Congo
    • - focus on perception/detail and chaos
    • - The world is progressing in a chaotic and unclear fashion
    • - reality is a lived experience
    • - Like Frankenstein, it is a narrative within a narrative biased by perspective
    • - power of spoken language; Kurtz controls everything through his voice = symbol of power and control
    • - control is attained through language and control, not necessarily violence
    • - language obscures Kurtz' selfish and corrupt nature
    • - emphasis on the obscurity of language
    • - "The Horror! The Horror!": horrors of colonialism; recognizes his own role in oppression; accepting/rejecting the horror
    • - advocates separate spheres for men and women as evidenced by lack of developed female characters
    • - tension about the role of white women in colonies
    • - women's sexuality is dark and mysterious; has a corrupt feeling to it; feminine experience seems to transcend racial boundaries; women share a relation to darkness
    • - natives are looked upon as less than human; a mimicry of white men
Card Set
English 232
brit lit