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Final Exam Study Guide for Intro to Brit Lit II

Final Exam Study Guide for Intro to Brit Lit II - Dates to...

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Dates to Know : 1688 – Glorious Revolution (The catholic absolutist King James II was peacefully deposed; replaced by William and Mary of Orange) 1789 – French Revolution 1815 – End of the Napoleanic War (Britain is clearly the greated European and World power) 1832 – Reform Bill (extension of franchise throughout the Empire, though incomplete. Parliament is made more representative of population centers) 1833 – Abolition of Slavery throughout the Empire 1914-18 – WWI 1916 – Easter Uprising in Ireland 1939-1945 – WWII 1947 – Independence of India and Pakistan Literary Periods and Characteristics : Augustan/18 th Century/Neo-classical o Alexander Pope – “Essay on Criticism”: proper poetry and prose follow the old rules of Greece and Rome, are natural (perfectly balanced and ordered); perfect verse takes the laws of nature and methodizes them into a technique (propagandizes/markets his own techniques); due to the Rise of Capitalism, writing was meant as a social art that takes part in conversation and is meant to be circulated/traded “Essay on Man”: a concise statement of Pope’s belief system/how he feels God works in the world (18 th century views of science – an evangelical approach, a compromise in order to explain this “natural” and ordered state); erases all doubt and skepticism in questioning the way things in society were moving, to question this order of life was to question God (effectively suppresses conflict) o Jonathan Swift – Gulliver’s Travels a Tory commentary on British society…degradation of honor by money, human nature needs to be regulated the goal of this new print culture is to expose the truth behind human nature a satire of 18 th century self-satisfaction (the result of capitalism) and of the “discovery narrative” o Gulliver = the typical man of the day, lots of pretentions over nothing (is meant as an instructional manual, but omits anything instructional) o Lilliput (1 st voyage): a parody of the trivialities and corruption of court life (all wars have no real rational basis behind them, heels = party affiliation, actions and words are basically meaningless, language is overblown) o Brobdinag (2 nd voyage): shows just how off-track Gulliver’s sense of worth is (his souveniers), the King’s response to Gulliver’s description of England = the Tory statement of faith of the time (sees through the words…institutions are well-intended, but have
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become corrupted by people and discourses, even language has become corrupted and doubtful); heavy contrast with the 1 st voyage o Daniel Defoe Roxana a verbalization of capitalism – shows a courtesan arguing and trading in a rational manner, like a man, as a free agent o manipulates others perceptions of herself to spin things in her favor, doesn’t want to marry in order to keep her property and freedom o Joseph Addison and Richard Steele “Aims of the Spectator” writing was a social object that was meant to be shared
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