Week Xiii (Early Twentieth Century Period)Presentation Transcript
History of English Literature Week XIII Early 20 th Century Period ( 1900 – 1940)
Middle-level society enjoyed more prosperity
Several parties were not satisfied with the condition
Carlyle, Ruskin and Arnold criticized the society
Satires toward ‘Victorianism’ Samuel Butler Yeats’ satires, then followed by George Bernard Shaw
Wold War I
The war brought great impacts: solving many problems but creating more problems. Disappearance of patriotism and idealism during the war, the emergence of cynical and sceptic attitudes, doubted towards social and ethics before war.
The youths blamed the elders for the disaster happened.
Following World War I, by the end of 1920s, catastrophic economic crisis, burdened with Fascism and Nazism.
Because of the threads, solidarity was regained
Literature development followed the flow of the history
The increasing number of varieties in both the forms and the contents of literature
Gradually shifted by novel
Poets were divided into two: a) those still loyal to the old values (pre-WW I) and b) the young poets tend to see ‘present’ than ‘past’, neglecting ‘poetic language’, rhythm and rhyme, but unconventional, experimental, and daring
Rudyard Kipling imperialism poet looking imperialism as civilizing force. In his works, he stressed on the ‘mission’ of British as imperialists.
Most of his works were like ballads: The White Man’s Burden, Departmental Ditties, Barrack-Room Ballads telling about British troops in India. The Seven Seas and The Five Nations imperialism poems. For All We Have and Are. Kipling was also well known as short stories writer.
More about the poets….
Robert Bridges . Consistent in traditional literary values. He disagreed with those against literary norms. His biggest work: The Testament of Beauty (1929) about his life philosophy.
John Masefield : The Everlasting Mercy, The Widow in the Bye Street, and Dauber
Before WW I occurred, patriotism overwhelmed the whole Britain. It inspired Rupert Brooke to write sonnets about patriotism and idealism. Brooke saw the was as romantic experience, and being killed in the war was a heroic act. His works: Poems, Other Poems.
Alfred Edward Housman , a professor on classic literature. His poems were simple but clear. He knew ancient Greek lyrics very much. Three characteristics he took from ancient Greek lyrics: simplicity, clarity and harmony. His works: A Shropshire Lad, Last Poems , and More Poems .
Two major poets: William Butler Yeats and Thomas Stearns (T.S.) Eliot
Yeats’ works : The Wanderings of Oisin based on ancient Celtic romance. The Lake Isle of Innisfree, The White Swans at Coole, A Vision (system of symbols he learned from various believes. The Tower, The Winding Stair .
T.S. Eliot’s works: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Portrait of a Lady, The Waste Land based on the Middle Age romance, Ash Wednesday, Family Reuinion.
New development in prose writing technique
E.g.: H.G. Wells expanded the scope of his stories to fantasies about scientific inventions. John Galsworthy, wrote about top middle-class society. In the writing technique, most of their novels were still similar to those in the 19th century.
Three techniques in writing novel: a) letter , b) autobiography, c) god-eye
A group of novelists were not satisfied with the techniques. They assumed that they only put forward themselves and lack of close contact with readers. Therefore, they proposed a new technique to cover the weaknesses laid in the old techniques. They told the story from the point of view of the characters in the novel. It was later called: ‘Stream of Consciousness’ technique or ‘Interior Monologue’. They were: Dorothy Richardson, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf.
Chronological structure was not used. E.g.: in Sterne’s Tristram Shandy.
Other great novelists: Rudyard Kipling : Plain Tales from the Hills, Soldiers Three, The Phantom Rickshaw, Captain Courageous, Kim, Jungle Brooks , Joseph Conrad, Herbert George Wells
The emergence of scientific romance, contributed by H.G. Wells and John Galsworthy.
George Bernard Shaw: John Bull’s Other Island, Arms and the Man, The Man of Destiny, You Never Can Tell, Man and Superman, The Doctor’s Dillema, Getting Married, Fanny’s First Play, Androcles and the Lion, Buoyant Billions, Pygmalion.
John Galsworthy : The Silver Box, Strife, Justice, Loyalties, Forsyte Saga
James Matthew Barrie : Peter Pan, The Admirable Crichton, Dear Brutus, A Well Remembered Voice
Sean O’Casey: The Shadow of Gunman, Juno and the Paycock, The Plough and the Stars, The Silver Tassie
T.S. Eliot: Murder in the Cathedral, The Family Reunion, The Cocktail Party, The Confidential Clerk, The Elder Statesman