Shared Flashcard Set


British - Victorians
Titles, Authors, Dates, Characters, Very Brief Plot Summaries

Additional English Flashcards




In Memoriam
Alfred Tennyson
In Memoriam (1833-1849)
Genre & Form: pastoral elegy, quatrain ABBA known as "In Memoriam stanza"
Characters: Speaker, lost friend, God, many more
Summary: covers about 3 years, movement from despair to hope (ends with sister's wedding), process of grieving, confronting religious doubt, 3 Christmas's show his development and coming to God
Themes: most intense emotions are between males, death/love, grief, despair/hope
Relevance: intensely personal but also addresses religious doubt of era (Darwin)
Alfred Tennyson
Ulysses (1842)
Genre & Form: dramatic monologue
Characters: (old man) Ulysses, wife, son, subjects of kingdom
Summary: U has returned to kingdom after adventures; dissatisfied and restless with domestic life; contemplates old age and eventual death; longs for new experiences and adventure, will leave again, "to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield"
Themes: aging, death, contemplative life/active life; braving the struggle of life; past
Connections: in response to Hallam's death
Lady of Shallot
Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)
1833 sudden death of Arthur Hallum (friend engaged to sister)
The Lady of Shallot (1842)
Genre & Form: ballad
Characters: Lady, Lancelot, peasants, ladies and knights of Camelot court
Summary: pastoral setting; mystery curse, Lady views world through mirror from tower window, weaves images of the world on loom; sees Lancelot, takes boat to Camelot, dies; Knights, ladies, Lancelot see her, he admires her beauty
Themes: public/private, appearance/interiority, artist life vs. living in and enjoying the world; dangers of personal isolation; issues of female sexuality and women's place
Connections: Arthuriana, courtly love
Sartor Resartus
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
Sartor Resartus ("The Tailor Re-Tailored") (1833-1834)
Genre & Form: satire, poioumena (metafiction, story is about the process of creation)
Characters: Skeptical narrator, Teufelsdrockh ("God-flung devil's dung")
Summary: Narrator commenting on German philosophy of clothing; a work of philosophy
Themes: Advocating German idealism (while also satirizing it); Rejecting a mechanistic view (i.e. Franklin); our actions matter because they have ramifications for others, reorienting towards others; meaning is derived from historically shifting phenomena, cultures reconstruct themselves in fashions, power structures, faith systems
Relevance: Influence on Emerson and Thoreau (and New England Transcendentalism) and Melville's Moby Dick
Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre (1847)
Genre & Form: Hybrid of gothic, romance, and bildungsroman, 1st person
Characters: Jane, Rochester
Summary: Orphan to Mrs. Reed (evil aunt) and cousins; in boarding school Helen (martyr-like, contrast for Jane), Mr. Brocklehurst (hypocrite headmaster); governess for Rochester's daughter Adele; falling in love; creepy things happening with Bertha in attic; fire; attempted wedding; truth revealed; Jane homeless; taken in by what turn out to be her 3 cousins; inherits money; cousin St. John ("Sinjin") proposes; seeks Rochester, Thornfield burned, Bertha dead, R blind and no hand, happily married, kids
Themes: Gender expectations, classism, the grotesque, generosity, romantic vs. practical love
Relevance: Popularity of orphans; Gender roles: Jane moral, feminine, independent and proactive vs. Helen moral, patient and passive
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