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SAMUEL RICHARDSON, DANIEL DEFOE, JOHNATAN SWIFT, HENRY FIELDING, LORENCE STERNE, WILLIAM BLAKE



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SAMUEL RICHARDSON





Richardson was born in 1689 and died in 1761.

He was the son of a joiner (lower than the middle-class).

He went to London to work as an apprentice by a printer and he became a printer too under the House of Lord .

At 50 years old he wrote his first novel: “Pamela”, this book is in 4 volumes :letters written by a girl to her parents to describe her distress she had to support: she had to resist to her master’s attempt to seduce her, but she is a virtuous girl. At least her master merry her.

The second novel he wrote was: “Clarissa”, the longest book (7 volumes): violence and death of Clarissa.

Richardson was a representative of this emarginated little class, he shared the ideas of this middle-class. He is considered the inventor of the epistolary novel.

As a printer he prepare a book of letters for every occasion: marriage, birthday, ext., ext.



Pamela was born from two ideas: 1-Richardson read on paper about female slaves seduced by their masters, 2-being a printer he decided to write a book of letters for everyone who can’t write it (for marriage, birthday, Easter, . ).

PAMELA- she was a honest woman who could have an identity only with the marriage, she is also a testimonial of this period.

Typical tendencies – the barrier between aristocracy and middle-class was breaking (social ladder).

The middle-class was rising: it had the money but the aristocracy had the title so there were marriage between the two class.

CLARISSA- is the story of a woman who disobey to her parents (she refused to marry the man that the father had chosen for her), so she abandoned the father’s hose.

He want defend the youth right.

In the novel the feelings are recorded day by day,

From Pamela to Clarissa there’s a sort of evolution,

In the novel there are 4 point of view (Clarissa to her friend and Lovelace to his friend)

Richardson is the transition from public oriented literature to privately oriented literature.







DANIEL DEFOE




He was born in 1660 ( at the end of Commonwealth) by a non-conformist family, and died in 1731.He was a radical for all his life, and a merchant but he went on bankrupt.

He became a formalist, secret agent and a spy (for the governors) than he started to write when he was 60 years old ( it was another way to make money).

He wrote “the review” the first paper: a political review which supported the point of view of Whigs, he wrote also some pamphlets (one of them: “the shortest way with the dissenters”).

That was an attack against the persecution: when it was published he was imprisoned and put to the pillory; he was rescued by a Tory’s leader but he had to promised that he had never wrote against the Parliament so became a spy for the governors.

1719 – appeared “Robinson Crusoe”

1722 – appeared “Moll Flanders” (autobiography of a woman, she used all that she has as a commodity),in the same year he wrote the “journal of the plague year” (account of the Plague of London), in this journal Defoe pretend to be a witness of the Plague, the journal in fact is like a diary.

ROBINSON CRUSOE – the first model novel of the English literature.

The author didn’t say that he wrote the story but he said that he found a manuscript.

This happened because it was the first time that someone write a novel so he was afraid; it’s an expectation of a realist history. He want to write real stories containing moral teaching. He want to write for the middle-class.

The novel is constructed in a double form, Defoe make that Robinson wrote the diary when he came there, the diary part was written on the island.

The story is narrated in first person, he is a flat character (he doesn’t change)

The protagonists are always alone, Moll Flanders is alone too

The protagonist have to struggle for their bread.






JOHNATAN SWIFT




He was born in 1665 in Dublin but with English parents and died in 1745 ( the same period of Defoe).

He had economical problems because the father dead before his birth.

He worked as a secretary for a state man for the Whig part.

In London met a lot of important people and he was the tutor of Ester (called by him “Stella”); he fell in love with her and remember her like “Stella” in his play.

He became an Anglican priest and came back to Ireland and there he became a dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, than became and died completely crazy.

He wrote a religious satire: “the tale of a tub” , religious division and fanaticism.

It is the story of three brothers who quarrel for the father’s legacy.

The father symbolize Christ who left a message (the tub) and the brothers symbolize the different religious division.

He wrote also a political satire: “the modest proposal” about the Irish situation: during the Elizabeth reign the England was Anglican while Ireland was Catholic, the principle Irish activity was agriculture and Elizabeth gave the land to her family. This persons became rich because of the land, so the Ireland was divided in two: high classes who had the lands and were English and Anglican and the lower classes who were workers, pours and were Irish and Catholic.

With this satire swift found a solution for this problem: the poor have to send their children to the rich so this person can it them and the pours have the money to live.

1723-l726    GULLIVER’S TRAVELS – it’s divided in 4 books and every one represent a travel in a country.

Travel literature is important in England because English people is trader.

First travel: the island of a very small, brave and well organized people. They are also narrow mind because they were in war and the reason was how to cut a hard boiled egg (it symbolize that the war’s reasons are stupid).

Second travel: the country of giants, they are wise and here Gulliver become himself a satire.

Third travel: the place is called Laputa there are a lot of invention. He is in the palace of the king and ask him a lot of questions about the society ( Swift made a critic to the society but under an another point of view).



Fourth travel: the lost country where the human being live like animal and there’s the evolution of horses.

The narrative detailed very precise, the narration is very realistic, he describe strange people in realistic setting.




HENRY FIELDING




Fielding was an aristocratic ( on the contrary of Defoe and Richardson who were merchants).

He attempted university in Holland but his family had economic problem so he came back to London where had worked like theatre dramatic and wrote many play.

Walpole in 1737 introduces a licensing act by which every play had to be approved before the first show.

He became a politic journalist and a justice of peace.

He was a honest and modern man so he want to reform the justice ( for example he didn’t want only punished the crimes but also don’t permit them ).

He wrote a satire (Shamela) where satirized the morality of Defoe.

In another story Joseph the Pamela’s brother is a servant and when his master died the wife try to seduce him, but him refuted her, he have to come back to London and after this moment begin the life on the road. This play is Picaresque.

In the play called “Jonathan” he satirized the human greatness.

In 1749 he wrote “Tom Jones, a foundling”, in this play Fielding give an image of different persons of different social status, every persons speaks with the language of the social class to which begin.


In “Tom Jones” he want underline ipocrity, greed, vanity, but in the same time he want realize the good values: honour, Christian charity, exc., exc.

Tom was a good generous man but he isn’t virtuous (he loves a lot of women) and he is an unheroic hero.

The plot is built around Tom’s identity and the story is divided in three part:1)- Tom Jones in his youth, in miss Allwerthy home; 2)- his adventure when he left the house; 3)his set in London where Tom’s identity was rebuilt.

The plot is also full of changes and dynamics.

The narrator is ancient, who comments in third person in fact each chapter is begun by an introduction made by the narrator.

He don’t want to teach something.

Dialogique part prevail




LORENCE STERNE




He was born in 1740 in Ireland by an armiger and died in 1768.

He moved from garrisons to garrisons, and his youth was full of experiences.

He went to the Cambridge university and became an Anglican priest: married a rich woman, but he had a lot of love story.

Visited France and Italy and abandoned his wife.

He wrote works: 1759 – 1767 “life and opinion of Tristan Shandy”.

1768 a sentimental travel book where he describes a sensation translate by Foscolo with “Didimo Chierico”.

He wrote a journal to Elisa in which he remembered the love for her.




WILLIAM BLAKE




A poet and a painter. He was born in London in 1757 and died in 1827, his dates correspond to the industrial revolution.

He became an engraver and a radical, in fact he met Payne (the leader of radical); he believed in a future society of equal, he wasn’t famous in his life and died unknown.

He wrote a lot of collection: _ Songs of experience

_ Songs of innocence

_ The marriage of heaven and hell

_ Milton and Jerusalem

All this one were printed by his hands with engraving and colours all around. He invented a new technique “illuminate painting”.

He thought that the freedom from political chain was not enough, to be free you have to accompanied it by an internal freedom ( you’re not free when someone have power on you).

Blake thought that in our heart live in the same time good and evil, no one if completely good or bad.

He accused all the institution (Government, Parliament, Monarchy, army and the church)because he thought that they were institution of evil and were corrupt.


















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