A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 37

Short notes on History of English Literature
A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers

  1. Dickens set so personal a stamp on his books that at every turn he seemed to be an innovator.
  1. Dickens’ novels reflect the contemporary Victorian urban society with all its conflicts and disharmonies, both physical and intellectual.  The stories of Dickens reflect the social evils of the Victorian Age.
  1. Lamb seldom permitted his profounder views of life to appear above the humorous, pathetic and ironical surface of his writings.
  1. ‘Above all Charles Lamb was a refined humanist whose smile could be both satirist and tender.’‘Lambs’ essays are lyric poems in prose.’
  1. ‘The Waste Land’ is both a public or private poem. T. S. Eliot claims universally for his (The Wasteland).
  1. “Some of Pozzo’s speeches go beyond what seems dramatically plausible in a decaying boss-figure.” ‘Waiting for Godot’.
  1. In Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot the pattern for waiting is an ingenious combination of expectations and let downs, of uncertainty and of gradual run down without end.
  1. “Tennyson worked with words like a jeweler, weighing them against each other, tasting their luster, placing them in their foil; yet they are mostly current coinage.”
  1. ‘Ruskin founded in England what was really a new religion, wherein the quest for beauty in the daily lie of all, even the most humble, become a sort of duty.’ Ruskin expressed his ideas in a magnified poetic and decorative prose.
  1. Swift is a misanthrope in his ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. His’ Gulliver’s Travel is a ‘mock utopia’" which expresses despair or that its import is nihilistic, is radically to misread the book".  He also became famous for his political writing. Gulliver’s Travels as an entertaining political story, but it became very popular as a tale for young people.
  1. “The novels of Hardy are of intensely dramatic and epic nature; his characters move progressively towards a crisis.” His characters are subservient to plot. It is said by C. Rickett. “In his earlier writing, Sweetness and bitterness are contrasted but in his later novels of Hardy, the gloom is needlessly intensified”.In ' 'Tess', Hardy has rebelled against traditional and orthodox views'. Hardy is neither a feminist, nor a misogynist, but a realist.
  1. Robert Frost was a regional or a pastoral poet. He ranged in tone from the lyric to narrative from dramatic to meditative from the terrifying to humourous. All the fun’s in how you say a thing.
  1. Frost had rejected the revolutionary Principles of his Contemporaries, choosing instead ‘the old fashioned way to be new’. He employed the plain speech of rural New ENGLANDERS and preferred the Short, traditional forms of lyric and narrative.
  1. ‘Pygmalion’ was Satire on the rigid class system in England. It is described as ‘A Romantic in Five Acts’ by Shaw whereas it is anti-romantic in Spirit It is said that, Shaw tears off veils, and lays bare the half-voluntary illusions of complacently blind souls.
  1. Lawrence very closely describes the working life of the labourers in “Sons in Lovers”. In D. H. Lawrence’s work men and women of our times have found their own restlessness most accurately mirrored.
  2. In spite of diverse material and frequent digressions DON JUAN (Byron) does have a strong principle of thematic unity exemplified by the recurring motif of appearance versus reality.
  1. “Byron’s Don Juan is a success because it is a satirical panorama of the ruling classes of his time” (W. H. Auden).
  1. Hobbes, the English Philosopher (1588 – 1679) believed that “Man was merely a Body, or better a Machine in motion. Thus, what is the Heart but a Spring, and the Nerves but many Strings and the Joints but so may Wheels”.
  1. For Wordsworth, “The greatest Paradox was that though it is by the proper exercise of the eye and ear that man reaches his full moral and intellectual stature … Revelation flashes upon him when the lights of sense goes out”.  Legouis says “Wordsworth saw Nature and Man with new eyes”.  William Wordsworth exalts familiar reality through the strength of a reflective sensibility. One can distinguish in Wordsworth’s poetry a marked transition from the realm of pathos to that of ethos. “In his youth Wordsworth was a rebel and a revolutionary and reacted against the conventions of this age although he began to decline as a poet and he grew older.”  Wordsworths’ Philosophy of Nature is nothing more than a case of pathetic fallacy because he cannot shake off his egocentricity even when he tends to be philosophic’.
  1. The 19th century Romantic Movement has been variously interpreted as ‘the convalescence of the feeling of beauty’, ‘renaissance of wonder’, ‘split religion’ and ‘erotic nostalgia’.
  1. ‘art for God's sake ‘  phrase best characterizes the late-nineteenth century aesthetic movement which widened the breach between artists and the reading public, sowing the seeds of modernism.
  1. The early-twentieth-century thinker Sigmund Freud is associated with enormously influential perspective or practice psychoanalysis. He had a major impact on early-twentieth-century writers, leading them to re-imagine human identity in radically new ways.
  1.  The imagist movement, exemplified in the work of T. E. Hulme and Ezra Pound.
  2. Characteristics of seventeenth-century Metaphysical poetry sparked the enthusiasm of modernist poets and critics: a)its intellectual complexity b)its union of thought and passion  .
  3. British dominion, the southern counties of Ireland ,  achieved independence in 1921-22, following the Easter Rising of 1916.
  4. The following writers come from Ireland: a)W. B. Yeats b)James Joyce    c)Seamus Heaney d)Oscar Wilde

     Ardhendu De
Ref: 1. History of English Literature- Albert, 
      2. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature

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