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Understanding the Author’s Craft

  

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Learning about Fiction Learning about Poetry Learning about Drama

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Learning about Fiction

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Learning about Fiction Explicit and Implicit Meaning There are three main literary genres: fiction, poetry and drama. Fiction refers to invented stories in prose. It is the genre which includes novels, short stories and novellas.

Knowledge base

The text you will read is a complete short story, set in Louisiana in the United States of America.

Quiz

1. Try this quiz on Louisiana. You probably know more than you think!

Louisiana 1. Louisiana is in the  a. north  b. south  c. west of the US (if you can, mark Louisiana on the map).

5. The bird on the Louisiana flag is a  a. heron.  b. eagle.  c. pelican.

8. The main agricultural products of Louisiana are  a. crawfish and cotton.  b. wheat and sheep.  c. maize and pigs.

6. The State was named after  a. Louis XIV of France.  b. Louis Armstrong.  c. Saint Louis. 2. Louisiana borders with

 a. Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico.

 b. Florida, Virginia and the Atlantic Ocean.

7. The climate of Louisiana is  a. dry, tropical.  b. humid, temperate.  c. humid, sub-tropical.

 c. California, Arizona and the Pacific Ocean. 3. The largest city in Louisiana is

 a. Baton Rouge.  b. New Orleans.  c. Lafayette. 4. The two languages spoken in the State are  a. English and Spanish.  b. English and French.  c. French and Spanish.

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Section 1 Understanding the Author’s Craft

9. In 2005, New Orleans was hit by a  a. tidal wave.  b. hurricane.  c. tornado. 10. The Cajuns are  a. a population of Louisiana which emigrated from French-speaking Canada.  b. the Native American Indians of the State.  c. the descendents of slaves from Haiti.


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MP3 01

2. Listen to and read the short story Caline. Find out who or what ‘Caline’ is. Tick the correct box.

First reading

Caline is …

T1 Kate Chopin Caline in A Night in Acadie (1897) 10



a. … a boy



c. … a man



e. … a place



b. … a girl



d. … a woman



f.

… an animal

The sun was just far enough in the west to send inviting shadows. In the centre of a small field, and in the shade1 of a haystack2 which was there, a girl lay sleeping. She had slept long and soundly3, when something awoke her as suddenly as if it had been a blow4. She opened her eyes and stared a moment up in the cloudless sky. She yawned5 and stretched her strong brown legs and arms, lazily. Then she arose6, never minding7 the bits of straw8 that clung9 to her black hair, to her red bodice10, and blue cotonade11 skirt that did not reach her naked12 ankles. The log cabin13 in which she dwelt14 with her parents was just outside the enclosure in which she had been sleeping. Beyond was a small clearing15 that did duty as16 a cotton field. All else was dense wood, except the long stretch that curved round the brow of the hill17, and in which glittered18 the steel rails19 of the Texas and Pacific road. When Caline emerged from the shadow she saw a long train of passenger coaches20 standing in view, where they must have stopped abruptly. It was that sudden stopping which had awakened her; for such a thing had not happened

Two young children,  ten and seven years old, picking cotton (1913 photo by Lewis Wickes Hine; Washington, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division).

1. shade: shadow (ombra). 2. haystack: a large built up pile of cut and dried grass (covone). 3. soundly: deeply (profondamente). 4. a blow: something hitting her (un colpo). 5. yawned: opened her mouth wide inhaling deeply (sbadigliò).

6. arose: stood up (si alzò). 7. never minding: not being concerned with (non badando a). 8. bits of straw: dried small pieces of plant fibre (pezzetti di paglia). 9. clung: were attached (erano attaccati). 10. bodice: top (corpetto).

11. cotonade: thick unrefined cotton (di cotone grezzo). 12. naked: nude (nude). 13. log cabin: small house built of wood (capanna di tronchi). 14. dwelt: lived (viveva). 15. clearing: open space (radura). 16. did duty as: was used as (veniva usato come).

17. brow of the hill: hilltop (cima della collina). 18. glittered: shined (brillavano). 19. steel rails: metal parallel bars for train wheels (rotaie d’acciaio). 20. coaches: railroad cars (vagoni).

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21. within her recollection: as far as she could remember (per quanto ricordava). 22. astonishment: great surprise (stupore). 23. engine: motor (locomotiva). 24. dismounted: got off (scendevano). 25. strolling along: walking along slowly (camminando oziosamente). 26. gnarled: twisted and with protuberances (contorto). 27. mulberry tree: kind of tree with small, sweet and usually dark fruit (gelso).

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before within her recollection21 and she looked stupid, at first, with astonishment22. There seemed to be something wrong with the engine23; and some of the passengers who dismounted24 went forward to investigate the trouble. Others came strolling along25 in the direction of the cabin, where Caline stood under an old gnarled26 mulberry tree27, staring28. Her father had halted his mule at the end of the cotton row, and stood staring also, leaning upon his plow29. There were ladies in the party. They walked awkwardly30 in their high-heeled31 boots over the rough, uneven32 ground, and held up their skirts mincingly33. They twirled34 parasols over their shoulders, and laughed immoderately at the funny things which their masculine companions were saying. They tried to talk to Caline, but could not understand the French patois35 with which she answered them. One of the men — a pleasant-faced youngster — drew a sketch book36 from his pocket and began to make a picture of the girl. She stayed motionless, her hands behind her, and her wide eyes fixed earnestly37 upon him. Before he had finished there was a summons38 from the train; and all went scampering hurriedly away39. The engine screeched40, it sent a few lazy puffs41 into the still air, and in another moment or two had vanished, bearing its human cargo with it. Caline could not feel the same after that. She looked with new and strange interest upon the trains of cars that passed so swiftly42 back and forth across her vision, each day; and wondered whence43 those people came, and whither44 they were going. Her mother and father could not tell her, except to say that they came from loin la bas45, and were going “Djieu sait é où46.” One day she walked miles down the track to talk with the old flagman, who stayed down there by the big water tank. Yes, he knew. Those people came from the great cities in the north, and were going to the city in the south. He knew all about the city; it was a grand place. He had lived there once. His sister lived there

28. staring: looking fixedly (con lo sguardo fisso). 29. plow: a farm instrument used to break and turn the earth (aratro). 30. awkwardly: here ‘with difficulty’ (con difficoltà). 31. high-heeled: raised high at the back (con i tacchi alti). 32. rough, uneven: irregular, not flat (accidentato). 33. mincingly: in an affectedly refined way (in modo affettato, lezioso).

Section 1 Understanding the Author’s Craft

34. twirled: turned (facevano ruotare). 35. patois: regional dialect (dialetto). 36. drew a sketch book: took a drawing book (prese un quadernetto da disegno). 37. earnestly: seriously (con serietà). 38. a summons: here ‘a call’ (una chiamata). 39. went scampering hurriedly away: ran away quickly (sgattaiolarono via). 40. screeched: made a loud strident noise (emise uno stridio).

41. puffs: short, sudden emissions of smoke (sbuffi di fumo). 42. swiftly: quickly (velocemente). 43. whence: formal or old-fashioned for ‘from where’ (da dove). 44. whither: formal or old-fashioned for ‘to where’ (dove). 45. loin la bas: Cajun French for ‘a long way away’. 46. Djieu sait é où: Cajun French for ‘God knows where’.


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now; and she would be glad enough to have so fine a girl as Caline to help her cook and scrub47, and tend48 the babies. And he thought Caline might earn as much as five dollars a month, in the city. So she went; in a new cotonade, and her Sunday shoes; and a sacredly guarded scrawl49, that the flagman sent to his sister. The woman lived in a tiny, stuccoed house, with green blinds, and three wooden steps leading down to the banquette50. There seemed to be hundreds like it along the street. Over the house tops  A shotgun house in New Orleans. houses were the most popular style loomed51 the tall masts of ships, and the Shotgun of house in the Southern United States 52 hum of the French market could be heard from the 1860s to the 1920s. on a still morning. Caline was at first bewildered53. She had to re-adjust all her preconceptions to fit the reality of it. The flagman’s sister was a kind and gentle task-mistress54. At the end of a week or two she wanted to know how the girl liked it all. Caline liked it very well, for it was pleasant, on Sunday afternoons, to stroll with the children under the great, solemn sugar sheds55; or to sit upon the compressed cotton bales, watching the stately steamers56, the graceful boats, and noisy little tugs57 that plied58 the waters of the Mississippi. And it filled her with agreeable excitement to go to the French market, where the handsome Gascon59 butchers were eager to present their compliments and little Sunday bouquets to the pretty Acadian60 girl; and to throw fistsfuls of lagniappe61 into her basket. When the woman asked her again after another week if she were still pleased, she was not so sure. And again when she questioned Caline the girl turned away, and went to sit behind the big, yellow cistern, to cry unobserved. For she knew now that it was not the great city and its crowds of people she had so eagerly sought62; but the pleasant-faced boy, who had made her picture that day under the mulberry tree.

 Edgar Degas, The Cotton Exchange

in New Orleans or Portrait in a New Orleans Cotton Office, 1873, oil on canvas (Pau, Musée des Beaux-Arts).

47. scrub: here ‘clean’ (pulire). 48. tend: look after (badare). 49. scrawl: here ‘a note written quickly or illegibly’ (uno scritto buttato giù in fretta). 50. banquette: a characteristic elevated pedestrian sidewalk distinctive of Southern Louisiana. 51. loomed: appeared looking very large (spiccavano). 52. hum: busy noise (brusio). 53. bewildered: confused (sconcertata, confusa). 54. taskmistress: woman who assigns and supervises work,

usually severe (sorvegliante). 55. sheds: small structures used for keeping things in (magazzini). 56. stately steamers: impressive steam engine ships (maestose navi a vapore). 57. tugs: powerful small boats that push or pull ships (rimorchiatori). 58. plied: travelled regularly along (navigavano regolarmente su). 59. Gascon: a native of Gascony, France. 60. Acadian: a descendant of French colonists who settled in Acadia, Canada in the 17th century. In the late 18th century thousands of Acadians

were expelled because they refused to make a solemn promise of loyalty to the British Government. Some of these Acadians settled in Louisiana, already inhabited by many French, and became known as Cajuns. Today most Cajuns speak English but Cajun French is still in use. 61. lagniappe: a word acquired from Louisiana French. It refers to a little bonus a merchant gives gratis when a customer buys something. 62. eagerly sought: intensely looked for (cercato ardentemente).

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3. Focus on explicit meaning. Read the story again and choose the correct alternative. Underline the evidence in the text.

Explicit meaning

a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k. l. m. n. o. p.

Implicit meaning

At the beginning of the story, Caline lives in a brick house / log cabin with her parents. Around her home there are fields and woods / houses, roads and railway lines. Caline was sleeping / working when she was startled by a train stopping nearby. As far as Caline could remember, this was the first time ever / this week that a train had stopped. Some of the passengers got off the train and walked towards the woods / Caline. When the people spoke with Caline, she didn’t understand them / they didn’t understand her. One young man took a photograph / drew a picture of Caline. After the train left, Caline / her mother and father wanted to know about the places the trains came from and went to. The person who tells Caline about the grand city in the south is her sister / the old flagman. Caline is promised a job as a general domestic help / babysitter with the flagman’s sister in the city. When Caline sets off to the city, she takes with her a letter / a bible from the flagman to his sister. Caline finds the city bewildering / terrifying and difficult to adjust to, at first. Her employer is a nice / very difficult person to work for. After one or two weeks, Caline is disappointed by / happy in her new home. After three weeks, Caline is no longer as happy as / even happier than before. Caline understands that what attracted her away from home was not the great city but the boy who had drawn her picture / the crowds of people in the city.

4. Now consider implicit meaning. The following statements all concern things you can deduce from the text but which are not stated. a. Put a cross next to the things which cannot be deduced at all. b. Tick the things that can be deduced and say what helped you to understand.          

Conclusions

a. b. c. d.

Caline and her family are poor, simple folk. Caline’s father is a farmer. Caline takes great care of her appearance. Caline and her parents are used to the routines of their lives in which very little new happens. e. The women passengers are showing off and flirting with the young men passengers. f. Caline doesn’t speak English. g. The “pleasant-faced” young man wants to flirt with Caline. h. Caline’s parents have not travelled much outside their home. i. The flagman’s sister lives near the waterfront in the city in the French quarter. j. Coming to the city has been a moment of growth and development for Caline.

5. Put together your answers to exercise 3 and exercise 4 and write a paragraph on the short story Caline. Begin like this: Caline is a short story by the American author Kate Chopin. It is from the collection A Night in Acadie published in 1897. Caline is a young girl who lives in a log cabin with her parents. Her family are poor, simple folk……

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Fictional World and Short Story Structure Knowledge base

The text you will read is a complete short story entitled Eveline. Eveline is a young girl with a problem.

1. Look at this problem page from a teen magazine. a. Match the problems with the answers.

h h

b. Write the answer for the remaining problem. c.

The problem of the confused young woman from Dublin is, in fact, exactly the problem that Eveline in our story faces. Do you think her decision is an easy one? Why? Why not?

Problems s m e l b Pro

Dear Cathy and Claire I’ve been going out with a guy for nearly a year, we see each other a lot in school and at weekends and on my birthday he gave me a ring and a card saying “I love you”. The problem is that he has started paying a lot of attention to a new girl in the class. He says he is just being friendly but last week I came across the two of them in a bar when he said he was going to football practice. Of course he had another good excuse but now I don’t trust him anymore. Should I follow him to find out what he’s up to?

+

Dear Cathy and Claire How do I get my parents off my back about homework? I want to do it when I want to and where I want to, but my mum keeps looking in my (private!) school diary and my dad moans at me every night about studying. Help! Surely I’m old enough to decide for myself! Frustrated (16) Lincoln

Maria (17) Birmingham

a.

+ +

Dear Cathy and Claire I’m in my first job after leaving school but I hate it. My boss seems to have got it in for me, she picks on me all the time and treats me like an idiot. The work is so boring, the same stuff over and over again every day. I live in an area with high unemployment so there’s not much chance of anything else but I’d rather stay home all day than suffer this any longer — any suggestions? Jan (18) Manchester Dear Cathy and Claire Can you help — I’m so confused. My mum died some time ago and I take care of my dad and little brothers. My dad’s OK usually but on Saturday nights he sometimes get drunk and violent (he’s never hit me yet). Just recently I’ve met a lovely guy, Frank, and we’ve been seeing each other in secret (dad doesn’t approve). He’s asked me to run away with him abroad and he’s promised to marry me when we get there. I think I love him but I love my dad and brothers, too. Go or stay? Confused (19) Dublin

b.

c.

Dear

_________________________________________

That is the last thing you should do. Speak to him about your worries and ask him to be honest with you. If the worst comes to the worst, remember there are plenty more fish in the sea and you have plenty of time to go fishing! Dear

_________________________________________

Why not try talking to your boss? Tell her you feel up to something more challenging — you could win her respect and a change of position at the same time! Dear

_________________________________________

You didn’t tell us what kind of results you are getting. If they are good, sit down and talk to your parents about what kind of space you need now you are getting older. If they aren’t, you’ll need to pull your socks up before you can convince them you are old enough to take care of your studies by yourself! d.

Dear

_________________________________________

______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________

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The Romantic Age 1780-1830

    

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Early Romanticism First Generation Romantic Poets Second Generation Romantic Poets Novelists of the Romantic Age Linking Literatures

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In Brief

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The Romantic Age (1780-1830) The Historical Context 1. Read the squares to learn about the main historical events of the period you are going to study. NOTEBOOK

2. Now work with a partner. Copy and complete the timeline to record historical information about the period in your notebook.

TIMES SQUARES

1769-89 1769 James Watt’s improved version of the steam engine, which had been invented in 1696, is patented and is fundamental for the Industrial Revolution.

1781 The last major battle of the American Revolution is fought at Yorktown.

The defeat of the British  in the American Revolution.

1768-80 Captain James Cook commands three major voyages of discovery to the Pacific Ocean for Great Britain. The information gained from these will lead to the colonisation of Australia and New Zealand.

1776 The American Declaration of Independence is signed in Philadelphia.

Power looms in a textile mill. 

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1789 The French Revolution breaks out. 1789 George Washington is elected first president of the United States of America.

1793-4 After the execution of Louis XVI, in 1793, The Reign of Terror begins. The guillotine is extensively used against the presumed enemies of the revolution and becomes the symbol of this period.  George Washington.

1789 Jeremy Bentham, a philosopher and political radical publishes Principles of Morals and Legislation. This work introduces the principle of utility and will inspire many future reforms.

1799-1800 The government passes the Combination Acts effectively stopping workers fighting for better conditions from joining together in associations.

1783 The Revolutionary War against Britain officially ends when The Treaty of Paris is signed. Britain recognises the United States of America as an independent nation and agrees to remove all its troops.

1790 Edmund Burke attacks the French Revolution in his Reflections on the Revolution in France claiming that while reform is needed, revolution is not.

1803 The United States doubles in size when it buys the Territory of Louisiana from Napoleonic France, opening up the continent to its westward expansion and making the U.S. one of the largest nations in the world.

 The signing of the American Declaration of Independence.

1791 Tom Paine in The Rights of Man defends the French Revolution stating that when a government does not look after its people’s natural rights and interests, revolution is legitimate.

1804 Napoleon crowns himself Emperor of France.

General George Washington‘s American troops combined with French troops defeat the British army, effectively bringing the six year war to an end.

1785 Cartwright patented the power – loom, a mechanically operated loom powered by a steam engine and used to make cloth. 1776 With the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, Adam Smith wrote his classic work Wealth of Nations, a reflection on the improvement in production and benefits a free market can bring.

1789-1804

1793 Britain begins wars against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France.

Napoleon’s coronation in  1804.


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1776 American Declaration of Independence

1770

1785

1800

1805-15

1815

1830

1816-37 1816-20 John Nash extends and redesigns the Brighton Pavilion for the Prince Regent, giving it its exotic oriental appearance.

1832 The First Reform Bill extends the right to vote to middle-class men.

1819 Peterloo Massacre: a meeting for Parliamentary Reform is dispersed in Manchester.  The Battle of Trafalgar.

1805 At Trafalgar, the British naval commander Lord Nelson, a national hero, fights what is to be his last sea battle, saving England from a French invasion.

1812 Believing a peaceful resolution to Anglo-American disputes to be impossible, America declares war on Britain. 1812 With the invasion of Russia, the fatal downfall of Napoleon begins. His troops are decimated and this reveals his vulnerability to the world.

1820 Blind and mentally ill, King George III dies and is succeeded by the pleasure-loving Prince Regent, who becomes King George IV.

The Brighton Pavilion. 

1807 James Watt’s steam-engine inspires inventors with the idea of using it for boats. An important chapter in the history of transportation begins when the first commercially successful steamboat, the Clermont, designed by Robert Fulton, makes its first journey up the Hudson River from New York City to Albany.

1814-15 With the re-establishment of the monarchies, The Congress of Vienna is held to discuss the problems of Europe after the Napoleonic Wars with the aim of creating a balance of power that will preserve the peace.

1823 President James Monroe declares that the U.S. will no longer tolerate European attempts to colonise or interfere with independent nations in the Americas.

1811 It becomes clear that, because of his mental illness, George III is no longer capable of ruling and his eldest son is established as Prince Regent.

1815 Riots break out in London when the Corn Laws are passed. Designed to protect British cereal producers against competition from foreign imports, imports which had ceased during the Napoleonic wars, they were held responsible for the high price of bread

1825 The Stockton and Darlington Railway opens. Built in northeastern England, it was the first public passenger railway in the world.

1811 The architect John Nash comes to the attention of the Prince Regent, an important patron of the arts, and is given his first major commission, Regent Street.

1815 The Duke of Wellington defeats Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo and ends the war against the French.

1811-12 Textile workers attack new mills and machinery in the Luddite Riots.

1824 Combinations Acts are abolished opening the door to the legalization of Trade Union movements.

1833 The Slavery Abolition Act is passed giving slaves in the British Empire their freedom. 1833 The Factory Act prohibits children under the age of nine from working in factories and also limits the working hours of older children and women. 1837 Queen Victoria comes to the throne.

The Stockton and  Darlington Railway.

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The Romantic Age The Literary Context 1. Read the paragraphs on The Romantic Age with a partner. Use the words below to give each paragraph a title. Early Romanticism Novelists of the Romantic Period

Pre-Romanticism The Period

First Generation Romantic Poets Second Generation Romantic Poets

NOTEBOOK

2. Work in groups. a. Study in detail one of the paragraphs making notes as you read. b. Make new groups to share what you have learnt.

1

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The literary period known generally as ‘the Romantic Age’ is said to begin in the second half of the 1700s and end in the 1830s. Very often the dates for the period start with the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 or with the French Revolution in 1789 and end with an important Parliamentary Reform Bill in England in 1832 or with the accession to the throne of Queen Victoria in 1837. However, during the preceding Neo-Classical Age, many of the ideas and ideals of Romanticism were already beginning to appear. The Romantic Age is also known as ‘the age of poetry’ because of the significant contribution poets made during the period.

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The years preceding the period are often referred to as ‘Pre-Romantic’ and they were a time of transition in which poets began to break free of Neo-Classical dictates and experiment with new subject matters and themes. In fact, while Neo-Classical literature had been characterised by elegance, clarity, balance and reason, Pre-Romantic literature moves its focus to sensibility and melancholy, imagination and the cult of the primitive, the wild, the grandiose, the lonely and desolate. Pre-Romantic prose was predominantly non-fiction: philosophers, historians, critics and political writers wrote important contributions, and biographers, essayists and diarists provided a rich source of information on the social and artistic life of the period. Regarding the development of fiction, three very different genres, Gothic novels, historical novels and the Novel of Manners flourished and would continue to do so into the Romantic period itself. The most important poet lying between Neo-Classicism and Romanticism was Thomas Gray (1716-71). His poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751) is a melancholic meditation on the theme of death and the vanity of ambition and wealth.

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Two other great poets, William Blake (1757-1827) and Robert Burns (1759-96), are also considered, chronologically speaking, Pre-Romantic but their poetry is better defined as ‘Early Romantic’, since they not only develop new themes — freedom, love, imagination, nature — but are also revolutionary in their interpretation of poetic language. William Blake was an artist as well as a visionary poet and illustrated many of his own poetic works with images which interlace with the poems’ words. Robert Burns was born in a poor peasant community in Scotland and wrote poems based on his own experience of rural life and scenery.

John Giles Eccardt, Portrait of Thomas Gray, 1747-48, (London, National Portrait Gallery). 


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NOTEBOOK

3. Now work with a partner. Add to your timeline to record literary information about the period in your notebook. 1776 American Declaration of Independence

1770

4

1785

1818 Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

1800

____________________________________________________________________

In 1800, William Wordsworth (1770-1850) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) added a preface to a collection of their poems called Lyrical Ballads, which they had published in a first edition in 1798. The Preface later became renowned as a kind of manifesto of Romanticism because it described a new way of thinking about poetry and the role of the poet. The year 1798 also became important as an indicator of when Romanticism proper (as it was later called) began. Wordsworth and Coleridge belong to a first group of poets referred to as ‘first generation Romantic poets’. Their themes include the imagination as a special quality of childhood and of the poet, the relationship between man and the natural or supernatural world, and the value of feelings and emotions.

1815

5

1830

____________________________________________________________________

The poets of the second generation, typically Lord Byron (1788-1824), Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) and John Keats (1795-1821), wrote mainly during the second decade of the 1800s and all died very young. Their poems are also ‘young’ and passionate in spirit. Byron and Shelley’s poems reflect their interest in personal and moral freedom and important political issues but include meditations on elements of nature. Keats uses sensuous language to explore themes concerning nature, transience and death, love, beauty and truth.

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____________________________________________________________________

Romantic prose is varied but, as we have said before, three main sub-genres developed: Gothic novels, historical novels and the Novel of Manners. In fact, contemporary to the young poets of the second generation, we can identify three great authors of the three genres. One of the most important novelists in English, Jane Austen (1775-1817), lived and wrote in a manner far removed from the revolutionary undercurrents of British society at the turn of the century — she concentrated her work on the lives, manners and morals of the society in which she lived, that of the landed gentry in small provincial villages and towns. Her genre was that of the Novel of Manners. At the same time, in Scotland, Walter Scott (1771-1832) was developing a new genre, too — the historical novel which combined fiction and historical fact. His most famous works include Rob Roy (1818) and Ivanhoe (1819). Mary Shelley, on the other hand, wrote the classic Gothic novel Frankenstein (1818).

 Richard Westall, Portrait of Lord Byron, 1813, oil painting (London, National Portrait Gallery).

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Early Romanticism NOTEBOOK

Knowledge base

1. The key Early Romantic poet is William Blake. What do you already know about William Blake? Remember or look back at your notes from In Brief.

William Blake The Ecchoing Green 2. Have a look at the first poem.

First reading

a. Focus on the title of the poem and the name of the collection it is from. What do you think the poem is about? CD 1 TRACK 17 | MP3 43

b. Listen to and read the poem. Did it give you an impression of happiness and joy or sadness and suffering? What gave you that impression?

T 59 William Blake The Ecchoing Green

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The Sun does arise1, And make happy the skies. The merry2 bells ring To welcome the Spring. The sky-lark3 and thrush4, The birds of the bush, Sing louder around To the bells’ chearful5 sound. While our sports6 shall be seen On the Ecchoing7 Green8. Old John with white hair Does laugh away care9, Sitting under the oak10, Among the old folk11. They laugh at our play, And soon they all say: “Such, such were the joys. When we all, girls & boys, In our youth-time12 were seen On the Ecchoing Green.” Till the little ones weary13, No more can be merry The sun does descend, And our sports have an end: Round the laps14 of their mothers, Many sisters and brothers, Like birds in their nest, Are ready for rest; And sport no more seen, On the darkening Green.

Section 3 The Romantic Age

 William Blake, Title-page of “Songs of Innocence”, 1789, relief etching printed in green ink finished with pen and ink and watercolour (Yale Center for British Art).

1. does arise: comes up from below the horizon (sorge). 2. merry: happy (felice). 3. sky-lark: a small brown bird (allodola). 4. thrush: a small brown bird with a spotted breast (tordo). 5. chearful: archaic for ‘cheerful’, happy and joyful (allegri). 6. sports: games and physical activities (attività giocose). 7. Ecchoing: resounding with noises (colmo di echi).

8. Green: piece of land in a town or village covered with grass (parco pubblico). 9. laugh away care: dismiss worry (allontana le preoccupazioni). 10. oak: a type of tree (quercia). 11. folk: people (persone). 12. youth-time: the period when you are young (giovinezza). 13. weary: very tired (stanchi, esausti). 14. laps: the space formed on your thighs when you sit down (grembi).


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In more detail

3. Focus on content.

Content

a. Three generations of people are represented in the poem. Who are they, what are they doing?

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b. The setting is also described, both temporally and physically. Which elements are mentioned and how are they described?

Sound features

4. Analyse the sound features. a. Describe the rhyme scheme of the poem. b. Find examples of alliteration, consonance and repetition. c.

Conclusions

Scan the poem to describe the type of feet and meter Blake uses.

5. What can you conclude so far about Blake’s aim and how he achieves this? Use the following expressions in your conclusion, if you wish:

simple, positive lexis pleasurable depiction of characters and setting simple and pure rhyme scheme and meter joyful and innocent childhood harmonious relations across generations peaceful and happy society

William Blake The Garden of Love Knowledge base

First reading

1. Exploit what you know. a. Which collection of poems was The Ecchoing Green by Blake taken from? How would you describe the tone of that poem? b. Read the title of this new poem by Blake and the name of the collection it is from. Do you think it will be similar to or different from The Ecchoing Green? CD 1 TRACK 18 | MP3 44

2. Listen to and read the poem. a. What kind of impression did you get? What gave you that impression? Were you surprised?

b. What do the two poems have in common? c.

Which of the two poems do you prefer so far?

William Blake, Title-page of “Songs of Experience”, 1793/94, colour-printed relief etching finished with watercolour on paper (Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada).



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I went to the Garden of Love, And saw what I never had seen: A Chapel was built in the midst1, Where I used to play on the green.

T 61 William Blake The Garden of Love

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5

in Songs of Experience (1794)

10

And the gates of this Chapel were shut, And “Thou shalt not”2 writ over the door; So I turn’d to the Garden of Love, That so many sweet flowers bore3, And I saw it was filled with graves4, And tomb-stones5 where flowers should be; And Priests in black gowns6 were walking their rounds, And binding7 with briars8 my joys & desires. 1. midst: middle (centro). 2. “Thou shalt not”: archaic for ‘You must not’ — probable allusion to the Ten Commandments and Blake’s perception of a Church which prohibits rather than

instructs (è proibito, non devi). 3. bore: past tense of ‘bear’, produced (produceva). 4. graves: holes made in the ground for the dead (tombe). 5. tomb-stones: flat

pieces of stone placed on graves (pietre tombali). 6. gowns: long, loose pieces of clothing worn by priests (tonache). 7. binding: tying together (legando). 8. briars: thorny wild plants (rovi).

In more detail

3. Focus on content in this ‘sister poem’ to The Ecchoing Green.

Content

a. Who are the people in this poem and what are they doing? b. Describe the two settings — in the past and the present — and how they differ.

Layout and sound features

4. Analyse the layout. a. Describe the poem’s layout in terms of number of stanzas, lines per stanza etc. b. What do you notice about line length?

5. Focus on sound features. a. Scan the poem’s metre and identify its rhyme scheme. What is unusual? b. Find examples of alliteration, repetition and internal rhyme. c.

Language

What do the sound features seem to emphasise in the poem?

6. Consider the language. a. Is it simple or highly ornate? b. Do you think the ‘Garden of Love’ is described realistically or is it a symbol?

Conclusions

7. Draw some conclusions about what the two poems might symbolize in reference to the two different collections they are in and the concept of ‘innocence’ and ‘experience’.

William Blake, The Garden of Love,  from Songs of Innocence and of Experience.

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William Blake London Knowledge base

1. What do you know so far about Blake’s two collections of poems Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience? Quiz your partner.

First reading

2. Here is one more poem by Blake. a. Consider the title and the name of the collection it is from. Which of these words do you think will apply to the poem? Why?

joy freedom

criticism sadness

praise realism

repression symbolism

CD 1 TRACK 19 | MP3 45

b. Listen to and read the poem. Were you right? c.

I wander1 thro’ each charter’d2 street, Near where the charter’d Thames does flow, And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness, marks of woe3.

T 62 William Blake London in Songs of Experience (1794)

What’s your impression of this poem? How does it compare to The Garden of Love? Do you like it more or less than the other two poems you’ve read? Why?

5

10

In every cry of every Man, In every Infant’s cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban4, The mind-forg’d5 manacles6 I hear. How the Chimney-sweeper7’s cry Every blackning Church appalls8, And the hapless9 Soldier’s sigh Runs in blood down Palace10 walls.

1. wander: walk without But most thro’ midnight streets I hear a destination How the youthful Harlot11’s curse12 (vagabondo). 13 15 Blasts the new born Infant’s tear,  William Blake, Illustration 2. charter’d: a charter And blights14 with plagues15 the Marriage hearse16. for the poem “London”. was a document issued by King or Parliament giving permission to 9. hapless: unfortunate 13. Blasts: destroys use land for commercial 6. manacles: rings or chains put on the (sventurato). (distrugge). purposes (adibito ad hands or feet of a 10. Palace: here indicates 14. blights: damages uso commerciale). prisoner (manette). the Monarchy (contamina). 3. woe: a literary word 7. Chimney-sweeper: a (reggia). 15. plagues: diseases which for ‘misery’, ‘great person, often a child, are easily transmitted 11. Harlot: prostitute unhappiness’ (dolore). who cleans the inside (prostituta). (malattie). 4. ban: prohibition of chimneys 12. curse: something you 16. hearse: a carriage (divieto). (spazzacamino). say to wish somebody that carries a body 5. mind-forg’d: created 8. appalls: shocks harm (maledizione, to a funeral (carro by the mind (forgiate, (fa inorridire). imprecazione). funebre). create dalla mente).

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In more detail

3. Blake presents a very negative and highly symbolic view of his contemporary London. Who and what are his symbols and what kind of language is used to describe them? Is the poetic voice present in the poem? If so, what is its role?

Content and poetic voice

4. Focus on the characters. a. At the beginning of the poem, Blake refers to “every face”, “every Man” and “every Infant” but then focuses on specific characters. Who are they? b. Which of society’s institutions are they associated with? c. Why do you think Blake chose these people and institutions?

Language

5. Analyse the language. a. The poem is rich in the language of sense impression. Which sights, colours and sounds fill the streets of London? b. The language and sound features combine to create powerful symbolic images. Find the lines in the poem which describe: a. b. c. d. e.

masses of people whose faces have deep signs of pain, sadness and suffering; a population whose thoughts and imaginations are limited and repressed; children suffering and exploited in dangerous jobs, uncared for by the Church; military personnel who suffer and give their lives to an indifferent Monarchy and State; young girls prostituted on the streets and in brothels, spreading disease and death.

(lines

_________ )

(lines

_________ )

(lines

_________ )

(lines

_________ )

(lines

_________ )

 William Blake, Elohim Creating Adam, 1795, watercolour, pen and ink on paper (London, Tate Collection). Blake’s vision of God’s creation of man shows Adam already a victim of the Devil’s temptations. Elohim (‘God’ in Hebrew), on the other hand, is pure.

Conclusions

6. Given your knowledge of Blake and his poetry, which of these phrases about Blake do you think best applies? Explain your choice(s).

‘‘

• He achieves profound effects with simple symbols. • He intends to illustrate two opposing states of the human soul — innocence

and experience.

• He wanted to bring a message to humanity about the triumph of instinct and freedom over institutional repression.

‘‘

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• He believed reason and law killed creative energy while intuition and imagination gave it energy. 144

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Investigating

RESEARCH DOCUMENTS Early Romanticism NOTEBOOK

Take notes and make a presentation. a. Work as a class or cooperate in groups to investigate these questions about William Blake and his times. Consult the following Documents and the reference sections (Context and Glossary of Literary Terms).

b. Report back to the class or in new groups about what you have learned.

Question 1. Blake was very critical of aspects of the society he lived in such as • the exploitation of children, especially the chimney sweepers; • the sacrifice of soldiers used as cannon fodder by the State; • the problem of prostitution and brothels. What was life really like among these social groups in England at the turn of the 18th century?

D1 Document 1 is about child labour, and focuses on chimney sweeping.

The employment of children as sweeps

D2 Document 2 is an extract from a real publication, a guide book to prostitutes of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds which specified their personal attributes, prices and “specialities”.

Question 2. Through his poems you have understood a little bit about Blake’s beliefs and views. But what was his philosophy of life and how did it relate to his art (poetry and painting)? Question 3. Blake seems to reveal himself almost as a rebel and anarchist in his poetry. But in his life, was he a rebel? Was he politically active? Which social class did he belong to and/or identify with?

In the 17th and 18th century, Master Sweeps employed small boys to climb up chimneys. Their job was to brush the inside of the chimney with small brushes. The boys were apprentices and were bound to the trade as young as seven years old. A Master was paid a fee to clothe, keep and teach the child his trade. Sweeps’ Boys were usually parish children or orphans, though others were sold into the trade by their families. Conditions for the boys were harsh and often cruel. They slept in cellars on bags of soot and were rarely washed. Years of accumulated soot and dirt often gave them cancer. It was a dangerous and filthy job and some died from suffocation, dust inhalation and falls. The employment of children as sweeps was finally banned in 1864.

Prostitution More than 8000 copies of Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies (1758) were sold mainly to sailors and travellers. This is an entry:

Miss B____________ rn. No. 18 Old Compton Street, Soho. […] This accomplished nymph has just attained her 18th year, and fraught with every perfection, enters a volunteer in the field of Venus. She plays on the pianoforte, sings, dances, and is mistress of every manoeuver in the amorous contest that can enhance the coming pleasure; is of the middle stature, fine, auburn hair, dark eyes and very inviting countenance. […] In bed she is all the heart can wish; her price two pounds. Early Romanticism

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Child labour in cotton spinning mills

D3 Document 3 also concerns child labour. It is an account from Quarry Bank Mill, one of the first generation of waterpowered cotton spinning mills founded in 1784. Orphan children from workhouses were brought to work in the mill. One boy, Thomas Priestley, ran away and, when he was caught, he was asked to speak about his life there.

From the first-hand account of Thomas Priestley, apprentice at Quarry Bank Mill, Styal, Cheshire:

I was born near Gray’s Inn Lane. I am 13 years of age, I have no father, he has been dead for more than 2 years, he was one of the Turnkeys1 at Newgate. For about 5 years since I was taken to the Hackney Workhouse, I was there about 2 years and then I consented to go as an apprentice to the Cotton Manufactory of Samuel Greg, which is situated at Styal in Cheshire. I was set to attend 2 machines for spinning cotton, each spun about 50 threads, my business was to supply these machines, to guide the thread occasionally and to twist them when they snapt, I also learned to take the machinery to pieces and apply the oil. During the time working, there was a great deal of cotton in the machine, one of the wheels caught my finger and tore it off, it was the forefinger of my left hand. I was attended by the surgeon of the factory, Mr Holland and in about 6 weeks I recovered. Our working hours were from 6 in the morning until 7 in the evening, there were no night workers. We only had 10 minutes allowed for our breakfasts which were always brought up to the Mill for us. Two days in the week we had an hour allowed us for dinner, while the machines were oiled, for doing this I was paid a halfpenny2 a time, and the other days we were allowed half an hour for dinner, when the boys worked overtime they were paid 1d3 per hour. 1. Turnkey: the person in charge of a prison’s keys. 2. halfpenny: the equivalent of about 20 cents. 3. 1d: the equivalent of about 40 cents.

 Quarry Bank Mill today.

D4 Document 4 concerns Blake’s vision of life. You can find out about his ideas on “complementary opposites”.

Blake’s vision of life

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Blake’s work, both as a poet and as a painter, represented a radical reaction against all the conventions and patterns of Neo-Classicism. His vision of life was made up of “complementary opposites”. This contrasting view of reality is demonstrated by the dichotomy between innocence and experience which is present in his collections. The state of innocence applies to man who has not yet experienced or is untouched by the evils of both the individual and society. Blake represents the inner state of innocence through images of childhood, happiness, freedom and imagination. Experience, on the other hand, is a state in which people are repressed, incapable of spontaneity and limited in vision. Men, or man-made institutions, exploit fellow men and are indifferent to

Section 3 The Romantic Age

their suffering. The two states of innocence and experience coexist within the human being because, as Blake stated, “without contraries there is no Progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate are necessary to Human Experience”. Blake also had a parallel dual vision of God. He can be the creator of the lamb and a symbol of love and joy or be portrayed as the creator of the tiger and so be a symbol of energy, a powerful force to be feared. As a poet he believed in the power of the imagination, which is the ability to see more deeply into things. This vision was not only peculiar to the poet but also to God, the child and to man in a state of innocence. Blake had visions, and believed he was himself a sort of prophet who could point out the evils of the world he lived in.


D5 Document 5 gives information on Blake’s life and background.

 Thomas Phillis, Portrait of William Blake, 1807, oil on canvas (London, National Portrait Gallery).

William Blake,  Europe A Prophecy, 1827, (Manchester, Withworth Art Gallery). This powerful representation is of Urizen creating the universe as if he was an architect. It is the frontispiece to Blake’s prophetic book Europe. Blake once wrote: “To God — If you have formed a Circle to go into, Go into it yourself & see how you would do”.

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BIOGRAPHY William Blake (1757-1827) Born into a lower class family in London, William Blake never attended a conventional school but was educated at home by his mother, who, sensitive to her son’s unusual character and artistic talent, sent him to a drawing school at the age of ten. The Blake family were religious non-conformists and the Bible had an enormous effect on William’s life from an early age although later he regarded the Church with the same disdain and distrust he felt for the Monarchy and other authoritarian institutions. In 1772 he was apprenticed to an engraver, which was to be his profession for the rest of his life. It did not pay well and intermittently, against his wishes, he was forced to seek the financial support of wealthy patrons. In 1779 Blake studied for a short period at the newly established Royal Academy, an art school, where he rebelled against the fashionable artists of the time. He married Catherine Boucher in 1782. Catherine, who was illiterate when they met, became an invaluable and devoted support to Blake both practically, helping him to print his work, and spiritually, through periods of hardship. The couple never had children. Blake opened his own print shop with his brother in 1784 and through their work they met the radical publisher Joseph Johnson who introduced Blake to many of the leading intellectuals and activists of the time. This group shared Blake’s sympathies for the French Revolution and American Independence and the rights of the individual as well as his abhorrence of slavery and other social injustices. He was probably the most consistently political of all the Romantic poets, perhaps because he spent so much of his life in the city surrounded by poverty and desperation. In his thirties, Blake developed the technique of ‘illuminated printing’ to the full and used it to publish his most famous works, including Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1789-94). The poems and illustrations of these collections should be reviewed together as they are integral to each other. Later in life, Blake’s poetry became much more complex and prophetic, containing elements of mysticism and symbolism. Blake died at the age of sixty-five, while working on a commission of illustrations for Dante’s Inferno. His wife struggled to find the money to pay for his funeral. It was not until one hundred years later that he achieved recognition as both an artist and an extraordinarily visionary poet.

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Say It Right

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SAY IT RIGHT Early Romanticism NOTEBOOK

Check what you know, check how to say it. You are going to use your literature notebook to verify your knowledge about Blake and his works, and learn how to express what you know. a. Copy and complete the text in your notebook, check your answers with your teacher. b. In groups, use the completed and corrected text to write questions and quiz your classmates.

William Blake 1757 Independence (1) was born in 1757 1827 injustice and was educated Boucher mother at home by his mother . children (2) of Experience He was apprenticed engraver Revolution (3) to an engraver and illuminated Royal Academy studied for a short period at the Royal Academy . He married Catherine (4) (6) Boucher but the couple never had children . Blake (5) sympathised with the French Revolution , American (7) independence and the rights of the individual, he (8) (9) abhorred slavery and social injustice . Blake developed the technique of ‘ (10) illuminated printing’ and used it to illustrate his most famous works, including Songs of (11)Experience (1789-94). He died in 1827 (12) Innocence and of . Blake’s vision of life bells rhyme was made up of childhood songs “ (13) complementary complementary suffering opposites”. green The Ecchoing This contrasting view imagination Green of reality is innocence three demonstrated by the repetition dichotomy between (14) innocence and experience which is present in his collections. The state of innocence applies to man who has not yet experienced or is untouched by the evils of both the individual and society. Blake represents the inner state of innocence through images (15) of childhood , happiness, freedom and (16) imagination . Experience, on the other hand, is a state in which people are repressed, incapable of spontaneity and limited in vision. Men, or man-made institutions, exploit fellow men and are indifferent to their (17) suffering . The two states of innocence and experience coexist within the human being because, as Blake stated, “without contraries there is no Progression.” (18) Ecchoing Green (1789) shows a vision of His poem The (19) joy and harmony between three generations of village folk as they spend a day at the village green . (20) Elements of the landscape add to the joyful feelings such as the bells which have a “cheerful” sound and (21) (22) the loud songs of the sky-lark and thrush. The simple message of the poem is reinforced through a simple

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(23) rhyme

scheme — the poem is in couplets — simple language focusing on feelings of happiness and (24) the use of repetition of phrases: “On the Ecchoing / darkening Green”, words: “laugh” and soft sounds: “The sun does descend”.

The poem The Garden of Love (1794) is the sister  George Richmond poem to The (25) Ecchoing Green after Frederick Tatham (?), taken from the collection William Blake in Youth and Age, Songs of Experience. Here pencil with brush and brown ink. the poet presents two abcb injustices contrasting and highly symbolic settings black internal associated with two cries priests contrasting ages of curses red innocence and experience. Experience sight The garden used to be fear tetrameter a place of joy, play and flowers The Ecchoing (26) flowers but now it is filled graves Green with graves , inhabited (27) hearing trimeter by priests and their (28) restrictive practices. Blake draws attention to his vision of the garden where the imagination has been bound and innocence lost by altering both the metre (from trimeter (29) (31) (30) to tetrameter ) and ) the rhyme scheme (from abcb end-rhyme to internal rhyme) in the last two lines. (32) (33) The poem London is also a ‘Song of Experience ’. Here the world of innocence is totally absent — instead the city is presented as a nightmare-world of suffering, (34) and danger. The poem focuses on the senses fear of sight and hearing by filling the city with ghastly (35) (36) colours (such as the red (37) of the soldiers’ blood running down the walls of the palace and the black church (38) polluted by the city’s soot) and eerie sounds (such as the cries of the infant and the curses of the harlot). (39) (40) The poem is not only a symbolic vision of the restrictive world of experience but also a powerful poem of social comment in which the (41) injustices faced by children and adults alike are highlighted.


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EXTENSION Linking Literatures European Romanticism Artworks 1. Look at the images which represent predominant themes of the European Romantic Movement. Which themes can you identify in the paintings?

The Siege of the Bastille [original title: La Prise de la Bastille] (1789), by Claude Cholat (1736-?), gouache on card (Paris, MusĂŠe Carnavalet). The Bastille was the State prison and fortress in the city of Paris, making it a symbol of absolutism and therefore the target of the hatred of the lower classes. Claude Cholat, who was a wine merchant and not an artist, painted the picture on the 14th of July, the very day the siege took place.

Manfred on the Jungfrau (1837), by John Martin (1789-1854), watercolour on paper (Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery). The tiny figures, which represent Manfred being saved by a passing hunter, are dwarfed by the sublime Alpine landscape.

A detail from an illustration for the poem The Lamb in the collection Songs of Innocence (1789) by William Blake (1757-1827). Blake was both the author and illustrator of his collections. The coloured engraving celebrates the innocence and spontaneity of the child who caresses a lamb, another symbol of innocence and purity. The works by Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) seem to represent the essence of Romanticism. The oil painting here is entitled Wanderer above the Sea of Fog [original title: Der Wanderer Ăźber dem Nebelmeer] (1818) (Hamburger Kunsthalle). Linking Literatures

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Reading You are going to read works by two Romantic authors — Giacomo Leopardi and William Wordsworth.

2. Read the texts and their titles. a. Which elements of nature do the texts refer to?

T 78

Alla luna

William Wordsworth

(1819)

Who but is pleased to watch the moon on high (1846)

in Canti, XIV

5

10

15

CD 1 TRACK 27 | MP3 56

Giacomo Leopardi

in Evening Voluntaries, XVI

O graziosa luna, io mi rammento Che, or volge l’anno, sovra questo colle Io venia pien d’angoscia a rimirarti: E tu pendevi allor su quella selva Siccome or fai, che tutta la rischiari. Ma nebuloso e tremulo dal pianto Che mi sorgea sul ciglio, alle mie luci Il tuo volto apparia, che travagliosa Era mia vita: ed è, né cangia stile, O mia diletta luna. E pur mi giova La ricordanza, e il noverar l’etate Del mio dolore. Oh come grato occorre Nel tempo giovanil, quando ancor lungo La speme e breve ha la memoria il corso, Il rimembrar delle passate cose, Ancor che triste, e che l’affanno duri!

5

10

Who but is pleased to watch the moon on high Travelling where she from time to time enshrouds1 Her head, and nothing loth2 her Majesty Renounces, till among the scattered3 clouds One with its kindling edge4 declares that soon Will reappear before the uplifted5 eye A Form as bright, as beautiful a moon, To glide6 in open prospect through clear sky. Pity that such a promise e’er should prove False in the issue, that yon7 seeming space Of sky should be in truth the steadfast8 face Of a cloud flat and dense, through which must move (By transit not unlike man’s frequent doom9) The Wanderer lost in more determined gloom.

1. enshrouds: covers with a

3. scattered: spread here

5. uplifted: looking

shroud, hood (copre). 2. nothing loth: without difficulty (senza rimpianti).

and there (sparpagliate). 4. with its kindling edge: with its luminous border (con il suo bordo infuocato).

skyward (rivolto verso il cielo). 6. to glide: to move elegantly and serenely (per scivolare).

7. yon: distant (lontano). 8. steadfast: true to its aim (fissa).

9. doom: unhappy fate (amaro destino).

b. Underline the adjectives that the poets use to describe their moons.

3. Refer to Leopardi’s poem. Answer the questions. a.

Where is the speaker as he contemplates the moon?

b.

What does the sight of the moon trigger?

c.

How was the speaker feeling at that time?

d.

Why was the vision of the face on the moon “nebuloso e tremulo” then?

e.

Does the speaker feel things have changed for the better since then?

f.

What is it that brings the speaker pleasure, despite his continuing despair?

4. Now focus on Wordsworth’s poem. Answer the questions. a.

Does the poem begin on a positive or negative note?

b.

What is it that “from time to time enshrouds” the head of the moon?

c.

Are the clouds referred to as a major problem in lines 4 to 8?

d.

Which word marks a change in the tone of the poem from positive to negative?

e.

Which two things are compared to a “Wanderer lost in more determined gloom”?

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5. Which of the two poems do these statements apply to? Write L (Leopardi), W (Wordsworth) or B (both). 

a. It is a poem in a single stanza of 16 lines.



b. It is a sonnet.



c. The poem can be divided into two main parts with a ‘turn’ differentiating the two parts.



d. The ‘turn’ occurs at line 9.



e. The ‘turn’ occurs at line 10.



f.



g. It is written predominantly in iambic pentameter.



h. It makes wide use of enjambement.



i.

The consonance of /l/ sounds in the first few lines creates a soft, hushed atmosphere.



j.

The moon is personified as a woman.



k. It contains a rhetorical question.



l.



m. It gives the reader the impression of “spontaneous emotion recollected in tranquility”.

It is written in loose hendecasyllables.

It contains a simile.

6. Consider the poems’ main themes. Fill in the gaps in these two short paragraphs with the words provided. beauty changes

hope joy

lose nature

pleasure remembrance

sadness solace

Leopardi’s poem is entitled Alla luna but its main theme concerns the role of can bring

(2) _______________________________

(3) _______________________________,

(1) _______________________________

and how it

amid pain. Remembering recalls both past despair and past

it also underlines the fact that nothing

(4) _______________________________

or ever will change

— despair is a fundamental element of human existence. However, remembrance can tinge grief with a sense of comfort and

(5) _______________________________,

transforming despair into a kind of melancholy.

Wordsworth’s poem focuses on the relationship between man, human life and here represented by the moon, can bring and majestic

(7) _______________________________

(8) _______________________________.

(6) _______________________________.

However, at times, nature can also mirror the

and gloom of man’s existence when he seems to

Nature,

and inspiration to man through its awesome

(10) _______________________________

(9) _______________________________

his way in a hopeless world.

Context 7. Read this brief text about Romanticism in Europe. a. Match a title with each of the 3 paragraphs.

Influences and Inspirations

Overview

Romanticism in Europe

_

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A new cultural movement, later called ‘Romanticism’, originated towards the end of the

Key European Romantics

18th century, swept across Europe ot during the 19th century, and cann its d be said to have exhauste effects even today. Its three main branches developed in Germany, England and France at different times. It gave value to the expression of strong emotion, particularly emotions such as awe

when man came face to face with the sublimity of wild, natural landscapes. It looked back to pre-Enlightenment ages prizing folk art and literature, ancient customs a and myth. It claimed for literature t. men com ical polit and role of social

Linking Literatures

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of the freedom of the artist. Great French Romantic poets were Chateaubriand, Alphonse de Romanticism has its roots in the Lamartine and Alfred de Vigny. The in nt eme mov g Dran und m Stur Romantic manifesto in Britain can Germany, which valued be found in the Preface to the medievalism and man’s intuition collection of poems by Wordsworth and emotion and rejected the kind and Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads. of rationalism which had These first generation poets are characterised European followed by those of the second, ______________ ______________________________ Enlightenment. The philosophers Byron, Shelley and Keats, who Fichte and Schelling were both the Goe any, interpreted the movement in tune In 1774, in Germ highly influential. In 1762, a Scottish g Youn of ows Sorr with their personal ideals. In Italy, The d publishe poet, James Macpherson, the leading Romantic figures were Werther, whose protagonist, published a 3rd-century epic and itive Alessandro Manzoni and Giacomo the prototypical sens referred to as the ‘Ossian’ cycle, , hero antic Leopardi. Manzoni aimed to reform passionate Rom which he claimed to have Italian literature asking it to attempt influenced writers and young men r discovered and translated. It was Othe to discover and express il vero in general throughout Europe. later proved inauthentic but at the rich Hein alis, storico and il vero morale. key writers were Nov time gained international interest erlin Höld rich Influenced by Walter Scott, the von Kleist, Fried and acclaim and inspired a number in, Spa In n. man father of the historical novel, Hoff and later of Romantic authors. The Swiss ts poe Manzoni wrote the realistic The Romanticism inspired both philosopher Jean-Jacques key ding Betrothed. Leopardi, on the other and playwrights inclu Rousseau (1712-78) was also José t poe the hand, is remembered for his as figures such immensely influential on Romantic or Vict ce, Fran In . melancholic, skeptical and eda ronc de Esp theories particularly in his claim that cts pessimistic poetry. Hugo influenced aesthetic aspe man is good by nature but ion larat dec of Romanticism in his corrupted by society and in his

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conception of nature as a life-giving force. Of great importance were in also the revolutionary movements a had fact, in ism, antic Europe. Rom h whic ge char nary lutio revo to prepared many Romantic writers ch Fren the of ls welcome the idea Revolution with general enthusiasm.

b. Use the paragraph titles as headings and make notes of key words, names and places. Your notes could be linear or in the form of a mind map. c. What does the text say about Leopardi and Wordsworth?

Compare and Contrast 8. Refer back to the artworks (page 201). Which of the paintings would you link to the two poems by Leopardi and Wordsworth? Why? 9. Both poems speak about the moon but it has very different roles in both poems. a. Make notes on the role of the moon in each poem. b. Read this essay title then plan and write your answer. The moon is an important natural element in numerous works by Romantic authors. Explain why this might be so and then focus on two works by Romantic poets which refer to the moon. Compare and contrast the poems in terms of their content, form and themes. c.

Compare your answer with the model answer from your teacher.

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Section 3 The Romantic Age

Literature for Life Light  

Perfettamente in accordo con le indicazioni nazionali per i licei della riforma, Literature for Life Light è un corso agevole, coinvolgente...

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