English 213 2.18.09 (after midterm)

English 213 2.18.09 (after midterm) - I ntro to Fiction...

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Intro to Fiction 02.18.09—HEART OF DARKNESS 1. Essentialism (on board) a. First map (pp. 78) b. Moral, psychological explanations c. “truth”, “mystery” 2. Cultural Relativism a. Second map b. Historical, political explanations c. Codes, conventions. 3. What the book is about: a. Politics, hope, human mind, despair, violence, race b. Hard to say anything more than it’s a journey into the “heart of darkness”. c. Hard to get outside the book’s rhetoric (imagery and metaphor). d. The heart of darkness is a metaphor. i. Metaphors don’t have intrinsic meaning. 1. Intrinsic meanings: natural inevitable; it carries its meaning within itself. a. i.e. if you believe throughout human history people always associated rose with love. Then you would believe rose is natural metaphor for love. 2. But in fact, no metaphor has intrinsic meaning. a. I.e. dark can mean evil, sinister, peace, etc. 3. We need to investigate exactly what DARK means in this novel. 4. Hitchcock film a. Sunny can be scary too. fields, openness all sinister. e. Two dramatically different ways of reading this book (and takes it up as part of its subject matter, the book is about these two profoundly different attitudes: i. Essentialism 1. Belief that character traits are intrinsic and natural and essential.
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