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British Literature Final Exam
Terms in this set (62)
(Night) When a character expects one thing to happen but something else actually hapoens, it is referred to as situational irony. Identify an example of situational iron in the novel.
One example of situational irony is when Elie is first put into line at the camp, he and his father think they are going to die so he contemplates suicide. This is situational irony because he believed he was going to die but he actually wasn't.
(Night) Diction, or the writer's choice of words, is a significant component of style. Part of the power of this novel is the way Wiesel conveys the emotional and psychological states of the passengers in the train car. Identify the emotional state he describes, noting any figurative language used, and cite the words or phrases he uses that illustrate this:
"The two disappeared....cattle car."
"But if was all...We gave up."
"We were to leave...thanks to God."
Elie is hopelessly distraught as he says these lines. He claims he reaches his breaking point numerous of times throughout the novel and feels as if he can't go any further.
(Night) Elie Wiesel has stated, "I decided to devote my life to telling the story because I felt that having survived I owe something to the dead, and anyone who does not remember betrays them again." What might Wiesel "owe" to those who died in the Holocaust? Explain.
Wiesel owes justification for their life and to make sure that they are not forgotten. He feels that he is lucky to have been able to survive and all though they have perished, they still deserve to have their story told just as his is.
(Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night) How would you describe the speaker's attitude toward death?
The speakers attitude toward death is that it is the thief of life and something worth fighting against.
(Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night) Re-examine the poem, noting at least two examples of figurative language. Give your own interpretations of each example, explaining what feelings or ideas Thomas uses this language to convey.
1) "Rage, rage against the dying of the light" (line 15). The speaker is begging his father to fight the onslaught of death. The speaker is not literally saying, rage against the light, but figuratively is saying to fight death.
2) "Old age should burn and rave at close of day" (line 2). Old age can neither burn not rave but figuratively is saying not to just give up and die, but to fight till the end.
(Things Fall Apart) How can fear influence the way one responds to the world and the choices one makes, and how does Okonkwo react to fear? *****
Fear can serve as motivator to accomplish greater things but the choices we make define whether we react to fear in a positive or negative way. Okonkwo reacts to fear by becoming feared. He makes more irrational decisions and spur of the moment ideas. He tries to make himself seem bigger than what he actually is because he is scared that if he isn't percieved as great, he will be a failure like his father.
(Things Fall Apart) Why is fear such a powerful motivator? Is Okonkwo fully to blame for his actions/decisions made out of fear?
Fear is a powerful motivator because it inspires people to not be the thing they fear and to do things that they usually would not in order to overcome their fear. Okonkwo is fully to blame for his actions because although he is motivated by fear, he created the fear and the actions done as a result it.
(Things Fall Apart) Why do you think Achebe chose to make the title of his novel, Things Fall Apart, from William Butler Yeats's poem, "The Second Coming"?
"The Second Coming" alludes to the second coming of Christ. In the poem, this second coming of Jesus is seen as a chaotic event that rocks the world. In Things Fall Apart, the missionaries are bringing the church's message of Christ, and it's this very message that begins to tear the tribe apart. It not only pulls away members of the tribe, but it questions and contradicts the very foundations of the tribal belief system.
(Things Fall Apart) What is the narrator's point of view and what values are important to the narrator?
The speaker, as a third-person omniscient narrator, has an objective viewpoint. He is not bias not takes sides throughout he whole story. Values that are important to the narrator are respect for tradition, a man's value is determined through hard work, respect for another's property, and a life for a life.
(Things Fall Apart) What is the significance of Achebe's integration of African literary forms with that of Western literary for?
Achebe could reach a more widespread audience by developing a western style of writing. In doing so, he was able to convey his message more clearly and enlighten Western civilization.
(Things Fall Apart) Explain why you think Okonkwo kills himself.
Okonkwo kills himself because he loses his place in his culture after his area is colonized. He does not adapt to change very well throughout the story. All of his values and traditional views were no longer being upheld and this was his desperate attempt to finally be at peace.
(The Chimney Sweeper) In Blake's time, it was common practice in London to use small boys for cleaning chimneys, which was dangerous and often fatal work. What word choice(s) and tone within this poem convey this idea, and possibly Blake's personal views about the practice of chimney sweepers?
Blake uses words such as "cry" and "black" to invoke a chilling and cold tone in the story. He chooses this tone because he wants to show how he disagrees with child labor and chimney sweeps.
(The Chimney Sweeper) In many of his poems, Blake uses words like night or dark and light or bright as a way to contrast ideas or characters. However, he doesn't always use the woeds to mean the same things in the poems. How does Blake employ the night/light contrast in "The Chimney Sweeper"?...in "The Tyger"?
Blake uses light to represent God and freedom in "the chimney sweeper" while darkness represents work and slavery; however "The tyger" uses light and dark differently. The light in "the tyger" represents ideas and new creation while the dark is seen as the unknown and unthought of.
(The Tyger) In "The Tyger," Blake uses the animal to symbolize his very complex view of creation--both heavenly and artistic. What troubling aspects of creation does the tiger represent?
The animal described by Blake represents the troubling aspects of creation, it questions the creation, but most importantly the creator. The speaker wonders if God could create something so beautifully terrifying.
(To a Mouse) What observation about life does Burns convey in lines 37-42?
Burns conveys that having your plans get screwed up is not just a problem for the mouse, but for man and all creatures.
(To a Mouse) How would you characterize the speaker's attitude in "To a Mouse"?...In "To a Louse"?
The speakers attitude in "To a mouse" is slightly pessimistic, he sees the mouse and realizes that every animal struggles with the future. While in "to a louse" the speaker takes a satirical attitude to show how the louse doesn't see the importance of different people and only sees everyone as equal.
(To a Louse) To A Louse" is a satire, a literary work in which people's behaviors or society's institutions are ridiculed for the purpose of bringing about reform. What is Burns satirizing about Scottish society in this poem?
Burn's is satirizing the social situation in Scotland by showing that people are equal to a louse.
(To a Louse) In many of his poems, Burns makes use of commonplace subjects to express larger statements about life. What commonplace subject is he utilizing in this poem, and what larger statement is he expressing? Why does he choose this pattern in his poems?
Burn's uses the simple subject of a louse to explain equality in life, satirizing Scottish social standards. He uses these subjects to allow the speaker to self-reflect in the poem and find a deeper meaning.
(Tintern Abbey) Compare the speaker's youthful experiences of the natural world with his present experiences. How has his understanding of nature changed?
In his past, the speaker saw nature has beautiful, often remembering it while he was in the bleakness of the city. However, in the present his views have changed, he no longer sees the beauty that once was.
(Tintern Abbey) Describe the speaker's attitude in lines 76-85, and again in lines 111-119/
In lines 76-85, the speaker has a disappointed attitude, saying how he no longer has the same feeling that he once got. While in lines 111-119, the speaker seems optimistic about his sister coming to sit on the banks with him.
(Westminster Bridge) This poem utilizing personification; in what ways do these examples enhance the description of the scenes within the poem?
Personification is used to enhance the scene, it allows the author to use better imagery to create a fuller picture for the reader.
(Westminster Bridge) What is Wordsworth's tone, or attitude, toward the scene?
The speaker is very excited and about the scene he is describing, he believes that it is one of the most beautiful things he has ever seen.
(The World is Too Much With Us) Clarify lines 1-4; what do you think the speaker means by the phrase "The world is too much with us"?
The speaker means that the world is too overwhelming for us to appreciate it and that we are to concerned with time and money when he says "the world is too much with us."
(The World is Too Much With Us) Why would the speaker rather be a "Pagan" (line 10) than live in his present state?
The speaker would rather be a pagan than live in his current state so when he looks out to the ocean he would feel less sad, only seeing mythological gods.
(I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud) What is the meaning of the first lines, "I wandered lonely as a cloud / That floats on high o'er vales and hills"?
The first line illustrates how lonely the speaker is as he walks, he feels like he is by himself in life.
(Kuba Khan) What ideas does the poem suggest about dreams and the act of creation?
The poem suggests that dreams can create entire complex worlds that easily can be forgotten if they are not written down.
(Kuala Khan) Does the poem seem complete or incomplete to you? Why or why not?
The poem does not seem complete, the poem ends at the most mysterious point and needs clarification.
(She Walks in Beauty) What is the relationship between the woman's inner self and her appearance?
The woman's appearance is a result of her inner self. The beauty she appears externally is a reflection of the pure innocence and beauty she has within.
(When We Two Parted) In the poem's final line, Byron repeats the phrase from line 2 of "When We Two Parted." What idea is emphasized through this repetition?
The idea emphasized through the repetition of "with silence and tears" is that his sorrow is never-ending. There will no end to the grief of losing his former lover. The mention of "silence" in the phrase emphasizes that he will suffer alone as well since their relationship was kept in secret.
(When We Two Parted) Why does the speaker feel bitter toward his former lover?
The speaker feels bitter toward his former lover because she betrayed and deceived him. She broke the promises she made to him and was unfaithful.
(When We Two Parted) Describe the emotions expressed in "She Walks in Beauty" and "When We Two Parted." What similarities and differences are there?
In "She Walks in Beauty," Byron express feelings of happiness, love, and innocence. The girl described in this poem is beautiful, pure, and innocent. IN "When We Two Parted," Byron expresses feelings of despair, bitterness, and shame. The girl described in this poem is decietful and heartbreaking. Both subjects in these poems remain nameless.
(Ozymandias) What kind of man was Ozymandias?
A stern, yet wicked ruler of a province in Egypt. Ozymandias was a vain man as he wanted everyone to know what a powerful, strong leader he was and this is reflected in his statue that is shaped to procure a godly sensation.
(Ozymandias) What is ironic about the words on his pedestal?
Ozymandias has written on his statue, "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" This is ironic, because Ozymandias, a supposed "king of kings", lies broken on the ground, lost in the sands of time, time Ozymandias thought would preserve his works. When Ozymandias tells the reader to gaze upon his magnificent kingdom, that would topple even the proudest kings, when in reality, his kingdom is no longer in existence and he lies broken on the ground.
(Ozymandias) What message is there in the poem for European kinds or self-proclaimed emperors like Napoleon?
The message of this poem is that nothing, no matter how impressive, will not last forever and how rulers and their kingdoms will not last. Emperors such as Napoleon should keep this in mind when ruling and know that they only will be remembered by how they appeared. The underlying message of this poem is used to show no matter how advanced and powerful one thinks they are, eventually they will be lost in the sands of time.
(Ode to the West Wind) An ode is an exalted, complex lyric that develops a single, dignified theme. Many odes praise people or elements of nature. What qualities of the west wind are glorified in this ode?
Percy Shelley writes, "Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and Preserver; hear, O hear!" From this line we can see the many qualities that Shelley glorifies, such as how wild and unkept the wind is, whirling without a master. He writes how the wind destroys and how the wind preserves, it can give and it can take. The wind is free flowing and is it's own creature in how it moves, almost an art form in itself.
(Ode to the West Wind) What does the poet request of the west wind, and why?
The speaker asks the West Wind to turn him into its lyre, making him apart of nature. The speaker has grown tired of society and wants to meld with nature, carrying him away from his earthly struggles in order to rejuvenate nature by becoming part of the system.
(When I Have Fears that May Cease To Be) What two things does the speaker sometimes fear?
Two things that the speaker sometimes fears is that he will die before he gets to write many poems of his ideas and experience the magical power of a passionate love.
(When I Have Fears that May Cease To Be) What does Keats mean by the phrase "fair creature of an hour"?
Keats means that his beloved is short lived, just as love itself is. It is a widely-held belief that the subject of this poem is someone he saw in a garden and never got the chance to know.
(To a Skylark) To what things does the speaker compare the skylark?
The speaker compares the skylark to many things revolving around nature, such as clouds of fire, golden lighting of the setting sun, and the pale stars of Heaven. The speaker uses these comparisons to characterize the Skylark and show the beauty in all things concerning the bird.
(To a Skylark) In the speaker's eyes, what makes the skylark different from humans and its song different from human songs?
The speaker says the skylark has never experienced boredom or annoyance; it must have some special knowledge of death, or to overlook it entirely, that enables it sing with such joy. We humans do not know such joy. We "pine for what is not" as Shelley writes and in our laughter there is always some pain.
(To Autumn) In "To Autumn," what impression of autumn emerges from the description given? What attitude toward spring is implied?
"To Autumn" has three stanzas, three aspects of the season: its fruitfulness, its labour and its ultimate decline. Through the stanzas there is a progression from early autumn to mid autumn and then to the coming of winter. Parallel to this, the poem depicts the day turning from morning to dusk, showing how spring is a time of change and for new beginnings.
(Ode to a Gracian Urn) In the first stanza of "Ode to a Grecian Urn," why is the urn referred to as a "sylvan historian"? What is the "flowery tale" it tells?
(Pride and Prejudice) Jane Austen's original title for the novel was First Impressions. What role do first impressions play in Pride and Prejudice?
Pride and Prejucide is the love story of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. However, the primary obstacle that they face is overcoming the first impressions that they had of each other. Mr. Darcy was prejudice against Elizabeth as someone of lower class with no wealth nor family connections. Elizabeth's first impression catalogue Mr. Darcy as arrogant and self centered. As a result, Elizabeth automatically assumes that accusations made against Darcy are true. Their love story is centered around proving their first impressions wrong and loving each other.
(Pride and Prejudice) Discuss Austen's depiction of Mr. Bennet; if he a positive or negative figure?
Mr. Bennet is primarily depicted through his ironic detachment and his sharp, cutting wit. He detaches himself from the absurdity around him, which is a refreshing parallel to ridiculous characters such as Lady Catherine and Mr. Collins. However, through his detachment he also becomes and ineffective parent. His humor and detachment may work on the Mr. Collins of the world, but can not handle the Wickhams of the world. When his daughter was dealing with Wickham, he proves unable handle it. Darcy has to step in. Mr. Bennet's wit and humor makes him a likable and entertaining character, but he never ears the respect of the reader.
Pride and Prejudice) Discuss the importance of social class in the novel, especially as it impacts the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy.
Social class dictated the characters personality, the love story, and the importance of marriage within the novel. Every conflict in the novel stemmed from social class. With Elizabeth and Darcy in particular, their primary struggle was going past there social title and seeing each other for who they truly were. They were prejudiced against one another because of their social status. Even in proposing to Elizabeth, Darcy insulted her social status. Elizabeth closed her mind to Darcy because of his social class.
(Pride and Prejudice) Giving special attention to Wickham, Charlotte Lucas, and Elizabeth, compare and contrast male and female attitudes toward marriage in the novel.
In society, females needed marriage in order to survive. All income and status came from marriage to a man Males, however, didn't need to get marriage as much but it was still important to them because it helped them socially and looked better. Wickham viewed marriage as a road to wealth, not as a symbol of love. Charlotte Lucas saw marriage as an convenience as she wanted a comfortable lifestyle and she was running out of time to wed. Elizabeth disagreed with how marriage was viewed in society. She believed marriage should only exist out of love, not out of wealth or social status.
(Pride and Prejudice) Compare and contrast the roles of Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Mrs. Bennet.
They are both controlling women, they take themselves and their lives way too seriously, they often enrage those around them, and they both live to perform the duties that they feel will benefit everyone who surrounds them. Austen demonstrates through these characters how women of society,whether middle class or aristocrats, can be boisterous and display behaviors that are unbecoming.
(Pride and Prejudice) Compare and contrast the Bingley-Darcy relationship with the Jane-Elizabeth relationship.
There is a blind trust and confidence between Darcy and Bingley. However, Bingley is transparent with his feelings on jane but Darcy doesn't reveal anything about his feelings for Elizabeth. Both Bingley and Darcy were raised in the upperclass and are used to luxurious events. They were taught to behave like gentlemen. There is a blind trust and confidence between Jane and Elizabeth as well. Similarly, Jane is transparent with her feelings on Bingley but Elizabeth doesn't reveal anything about her feelings for Darcy. Jane and Elizabeth are from a lower class and are not used to such fancy events. They were raised by their mother for the purpose only to get a good and wealthy husband. This is why they are often embarrassed by their younger sisters.
(My Last Duchess) Describe the speaker's attitude toward his former wife.
The speaker feels that he is superior to his wife in the poem My Last Duchess. The speaker talks about the painting of his deceased wife on the wall and how he can cover the painting with a curtain whenever he pleases. This symbolizes how he believes he can just show off his wife whenever he wants but then he can also just hide her whenever he so pleases.
(My Last Duchess) What do you think happened to the duchess? What makes you think this?
(Porphyria's Lover) What is the setting of "Porchyria's Lover"?
The setting is in a countryside cottage near a lake that is initially cold but warms up and takes place during a stormy night. There are trees surrounding the cottage.
(Porphyria's Lover) Recount the events in this poem.
The unnamed speaker of the poem sits by himself in his house on a stormy night. Porphyria, his lover, arrives out of the rain, starts a fire in the fireplace, and takes off her dripping coat and gloves. She sits down to snuggle with the speaker in front of the fire and pulls his head down to rest against her shoulder. The speaker realizes for the first time how much Porphyria loves him. So...he strangles her with her hair. Then he opens her eyes, unwraps the hair from her neck, and spends the rest of the night cuddling with her corpse.
(Porphyria's Lover) How does this poem relate to the Victorian era?
This poem reveals the status of women in the Victorian era as well as social standards. Women attempted to stop being objectified which is seem when Porphyria is the main character in this poem, not her lover. The narrator is Porphyria's lover and he sets the standards for how we should view Porphyria just as males set the norms that women were objectified by in the Victorian Era. By having Porphyria be killed and loved on after her death, it reveals that women in the Victorian Era were meant to be submissive, not proactive. Porphyria was of an upper class while her lover was not. She left a social party to be with her lover and her lover would have had to go back to her social class afterwards knowing that she loved the narrator. He killed her so that she would;t have to and their love would be immortal. By doing something do dramatic, it reveals how strict social class was in the Victorian Era.
(Jane Eyre) In what ways is Jane Eyre influences by the tradition of the Gothic novel? What do the Gothic elements contribute to the novel?
The Gothic tradition utilizes elements such as supernatural encounters, remote locations, complicated family histories, ancient manor houses, dark secrets, and mysteries to create an atmosphere of suspense and terror, and the plot of Jane Eyre includes most of these elements. Lowood, Moor House, and Thornfield are all remote locations, and Thornfield, like Gateshead, is also an ancient manor house. Both Rochester and Jane possess complicated family histories—Rochester's hidden wife, Bertha, is the dark secret at the novel's core. The exposure of Bertha is one of the most important moments in the novel, and the mystery surrounding her is the main source of the novel's suspense. These gothic elements serve to anticipate and elevate the importance of the plot's turning points as well as gain the readers interests.
(Jane Eyre) Discuss what the names of people and places mean/signify in the novel: Jane Eyre, Gateshead, Lowood, Thornfield, Reed, Rivers, Miss Temple, etc.
Jane Eyre's first name is traditionally associated with "plainness" which represents her outward appearance and social status. Eyre means several things such as air and a birds nesting place. Air could signify her link to the spiritual as she drifts, like wind, from one place to another, and Jane is often referred to as a bird throughout the novel. Miss Temple is a beacon to her students and is worshipped by them just as a temple is a place of worship. St. John Rivers is clearly linked to St. John the Apostle, who wrote five books of the New Testament. The New Testament's final book of Revelation ends with the words, "Come, Lord Jesus." St. John Rivers' final letter to Jane ends the novel with these same words. Mrs. Reed's name suggests her strictness, a "reed" being a tool that punishes children by whipping them. Gateshead marked the beginning of Jane's journey; she had to move beyond or ahead of the gate to the new life waiting for her. Lowood is the safe place where she transitions, just far enough out of the way (low) to keep on growing as a person. Thornwood however represents an extremley diffcult path. Her time there is like running through a field of thorns; they mark and scar you for life, but those moments spent there also entangled themselves around her heart.
(Jane Eyre) In what ways might Jane Eyre be considered a feminist novel?
Even though we meet Jane under the control of different men during her life, first at the Reed's, with Abbot, then Brocklehurst at Lowood, Rochester, her love, and St. John, a man "not likely to be refused," Jane still triumphs. She succeeds in making decisions that are morally right though they break her heart; she must travel through her life alone for all her early years, and when she is reunited with Rochester, it is her decision. Jane does not depend on her beauty or feminine charm to trick men and is never afraid to speak truthfully about matters whether they be painful or not. Jane can be viewed as one of the first 'career' women to make it in a man's world; when she marries, it is by choice.
(Jane Eyre) Compare and contrast a pair of foiled characters from the novel.
Jane Eyre to Blanche Ingram: Blanche Ingram is utilized to show the noble characteristics of Jane Eyre in the novel. In contrast to Jane, Blanche is physically beautiful and loves to draw attention to herself in extravagant ways. They both also react to Adele differently. Jane is kind and patient with her student while Blanche condenscendingly mocks her. Although both desire Mr. Rochester, they desire him for different reasons. Unlike Blanche, Jane is interested in his internal personality and not his money nor looks.
(Great Expectations) What examples of imagery appear in this excerpt and how does the use of this literary device impact the story?
"Took up a jewel from the table, and tried its effect upon her fair young bosom and against her pretty brown hair".... This quote describes how gorgeous and intimidating the young Estella could be. This beauty and intimidation would later cause the poor boy to become distracted by the young, gorgeous Estella. The characterization of Estella, through the descriptive literary devices, is the cause of the impoverished boy's fleeing.
(Middlemarch) What discrepancies appear between what the characters of the novel say, and what they do? How do the characters' choice of words conceal his or her true feelings?
In the novel, Will says that he must go and that he will go on living life sad and unhappy. Yet, his heart is telling him to love Dorothea and to never leave her. Therefore, Wills empty words to Dorothea are concealing his true feelings of wanting to be with her forever.
(Middlemarch) What clues to the characters' feelings are provided by the narrator?
The narrator clues in on the characters' feelings by giving the dialogue between the two a despaired feeling of sadness. Through the dialogue, the reader can tell that the two lovers do not want to part ways because of their saddened responses to one another.
(Middlemarch) What examples of realism appear in this excerpt?
An example of realism can be found in this excerpt when the two lovers can't be together anymore. Realist were disillusioned by the false hopes of love. They understand that sometimes love couldn't be, and the excerpt is a prime example of this realist aspect.
(The Importance of Being Earnest) Why do you think audiences continue to respond so positively to the dialogue between Merriman, Cecily, and Algernon?
The witty responses between Cecily and Algernon cause the positive response from the audience. These enlightened and informative witty comments, known as a repartees, cause the audience to enjoy the dialogue.
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