1. Use Nobody’s fool and The Last of the Mohicans to discuss the difference between romanticism and realism. Make sure you include definitions of each approach.
In literature, writers utilize different artistic styles and traditions when writing novels and short stories. Some will use their own countries history for inspiration, while others will use their own life’s experience to depict a character or setting. In the film, Nobody’s Fool, based on a novel by Richard Russo, the screenplay depicts a series of events rooted in realism. In the film, The last of the Mohicans, based on a novel by James Fennimore Cooper, the screenplay depicts a series of events rooted in romanticism.
Realism is the representation in art or literature of objects, action, or social conditions as they actually are, without idealization or presentation in abstract form. Realistic writers seek to show accurate representations of the world in their writings with authentic details and descriptions of their characters and settings. Romanticism is a term that has two widely accepted meanings. In historical criticism, it refers to a European intellectual and artistic movement of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries that sought greater freedom of personal expression. The Romantics preferred emotional and imaginative expression to rational analysis. They considered the individual to be at the center of all experience and so placed him or her at the center of their art. The Romantics believed that the creative imagination reveals nobler truths, unique feelings and attitudes, than those that could be discovered by logic or by scientific examination. Both the natural world and the state of childhood were important sources for revelations of eternal truths. Romanticism is also used as a general term to refer to a type of sensibility found in all periods of literary history and usually considered to be in opposition to the principles of classicism. In this sense, Romanticism signifies any work or philosophy in which the exotic or dreamlike figure strongly, or that is devoted to individualistic expression, self-analysis, or a pursuit of a higher realm of knowledge than can be discovered by human reason.
. In the film, Nobody’s Fool, Russo’s cast of characters are often eccentric, odd-jobbers, alcoholics, and basic town’s people who are stuck in a typical upstate town that missed out on prosperity. Every character from Sully’s landlady to the bartender are realistic and believable. Even Sully’s shameful flirtations are believable. Russo displays real-life situations with empathy and a plot. The town of North Bath is an old industrial town that has lost its appeal. It reminds me of many communities throughout the Hudson Valley that where once pristine communities but are now just old and rundown. Sully is the image of a typical worker in the Hudson Valley because he scrounges jobs and is barely getting by. This is very realistic to me because I could have been Sully 20 years ago. Russo creates a realistic community by showing the daily interactions and images of a typical neighborhood. In the opening scenes, there are images of the church, the diner, the Iron Horse Bar and Tip Top Construction Company. Russo show’s the celebration of Thanksgiving and the Christmas. He even show’s Officer Raymer, the jittery neighborhood cop who has it in for Sully’s faulty pickup truck. The people in North Bath are seen playing cards together such as Sully, Carl, Judge Flatt, Wirf, Rub, and the Bimbo. There shown eating in the diner together, there shown drinking at the Iron Horse Bar. The people in the film typify residents of a small upstate town, caught up in the woes and worries of everyday life. In the end, Sully is faced with a life changing decision, and decides that he cannot go with Toby. This would have been the ending if it where a film based in romanticism. In the end, Sully finally makes the right decision for once in his life and realizes he is someone’s father, grandfather, and need to be there for his family.
. In the film, The last of the Mohicans, the screenplay is basically good vs. evil. The Mohicans, Hawkeye, Chingacook, and Uncas, are the protagonists, and are good. Their fighting against the Maqua’s, who are the evil antagonists. The characters such as Hawkeye, are portrayed as being dark, mysterious and superior in many ways. Cora is a dark haired beauty who falls in love with Hawkeye. The British officer giving his life so they could be together is not believable. Uncas is depicted as a dark and mysterious Indian who is primitive and untamed. An interracial relationship between Uncas and Alice would not have been believable. The film takes place during the romanticism time period, the setting is in nature, and deals in fiction and the supernatural. These things make the film deal in romanticism. Hawkeye’s gift of shooting from far away, in the dark, and having that perfect timing is exaggerated and unbelievable. The romantics believed that the rules of nature could be bent in order to tell a story.
2. Choose three of the short stories and create a plot outline for each; include setting, protagonist, antagonist, plot, turning point, denouement, conclusion, and theme.
Setting: Nighttime; lakeside hangout, and drinking spot.
Protagonist: No named teenage boy (narrator)
Antagonist: Bobby, the Greasy bad dude.
Plot: Three (bad) teenagers out for a night of “partying” end up in a fight with a greasy bad dude. Turning Point: When the sun comes up, and they realize their not so bad. Denouement: When the boy’s tell the girls “some other time” and drive off looking in the rear view mirror. Conclusion: The boy’s realize there not bad characters, even though they have encountered one. In the end their like zombies unable to speak. Theme: Loss of innocence, lesson learned
To Build a Fire:
Setting: Cold and isolated trail in the Alaskan Yukon
Protagonist: No named man, everyman.
Antagonist: Nature or environment.
Plot: The no named, inexperienced man travels with his dog through the bitter cold to meet his friends at the cabin. Inexperience and stupidity lead to the no named mans death. Turning Point: When the no named man builds the fire under the tree. Denouement: The no named man realizes he was warned by the old timer about traveling alone when it 50 degrees below 0 Conclusion: No named man degenerates, until his death.
Theme: Man lost ability to survive in nature.
Setting: A&P supermarket in a northern Boston beach town.
Protagonist: Sammy, a 19-year-old cashier
Antagonist: Small town mentality
Plot: Three teenage girls in their bathing suits go into the A&P to purchase a can of herring snacks for one of their mothers. Sammy is mesmerized by the queen girl, and quits his job to be a hero, after the store manager criticizes them. Turning point: Sammy quits his job.
Denouement: When Sammy looks back in the A&P and the manager is doing his job as if nothing happened. Conclusion: Sammy does not get the girl and realizes he made a mistake, and needs his job back. Theme: alienation
A) Define lyric poetry and give an example: Lyric poetry is poetry that has the form and musical quality of a song that can be performed to an audience, or a usually short poem that expresses personal feelings, which may or may not be set to music. The most popular form in Western tradition is the 14-line sonnet. Other forms are ballades and villanelles. An example of lyric poetry would be Auden’s poem “Funeral Blues”.
B) Define narrative poetry and give an exampled: Narrative Poetry is a poem that tells a story, such as ballads, and epics, which are the two main types. It can come in many forms and styles, both complex, and simple. It can be short or long, such as the Song of Hiawatha, which is the length of a book, as long as it tells a story. Another example of narrative poetry would be the ballad, “Eleanor Rigby” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. C) What view of the Industrial Revolution was presented in Blake’s poetry? (Beauty in the city, Blake opens door to hell.) Blake’s view of the Industrial Revolution was that is was a manifestation of human evil. He denounced London’s new environment in his poems. He was against the transformation of the city because it destroyed all the beauty and happiness, in which he was very fond of. Ghastly images from his poems, such as “dark, satanic mills” show what life was like during those years. He was a Romantic poet, and was sympathetic to the suffering of children. In Blake’s poem the “Chimney Sweeper”, he captures the plight of innocent children, something that was being ignored by those who cared for nothing besides their own wealth. In his poem “The Tyger, the line “lights burning bright”, is symbolic of the factories running into the night. D) “War-what’s it good for?... absolutely nothing”. How does the song express the themes in the war poetry? (Distinguish between anti-soldier and anti-war) The words to the song “War”, expresses a universal theme in war poetry, that we all need “harmony” in our lives. The only thing that war is good for is to let us realize that peace is the only way. With peace comes peace. Real blood is being spilt. War creates a senseless loss of life, and this brings out the anti-war protestors, poets and writers. Nothing good can come from it. It’s not something that should be celebrated. It is devastating our country and spirit right now, leaving in ruins, people’s lives, dreams, and hopes. There are different types of protesters, and different types of poets. Anti-war does not equal anti-soldier. Some poetry supports the soldier in wanting them to defend us, just not by picking up a weapon. War in the end is about the betrayal of the young by the old. E) What view of modern man was expressed in the poems? (Auden, Elliot, funeral blues, Eleanor Rigby) Choose three. The view of modern man in the poem, “The Unknown Citizen”, the government expresses its idea of the perfect modern man in an overrated, unrealistic society. In “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, Billy Joel is saying that modern man is not responsible for the problems of past generations, but they were the problems of the culture at that time. Many have tried to rebel or fought to solve the problems. In the poem “Dream Boogie, Hughes, is describing how modern man did not have the same access to the American Dream as everyone else.
4. How do both plays, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and Death of a Salesman, portray the American Dream. What problems do both plays stress? In both plays, the American Dream is portrayed as the pursuit of material wealth. In the play “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof”, the acquiring of material possessions is the central theme. In “Death of a Salesman”, the promise of success and riches is the central theme. Both families are dysfunctional, filled with liars, and come from the opposite sides of the economic scale. The Pollits own a plantation, and the Lowman’s are struggling to get by, although they just paid off their house. The marriages between the families are dysfunctional as well. Big Daddy cannot see the value of the love his father gave him and does not give his love to his family. He thinks that having lots of possessions will bring him love of family. Willy suffers from a disenchantment with the American dream, and fails to raise his kids properly. He thinks that being well liked and good in sports will bring success and riches in life. The plays both show that having riches is not the key to happiness, but loving someone and being loved will.