Основные тенденции развития американского романа в первой половине 20 века
Основные тенденции в американской литературе первой половины XX века. Исторический фон. Тема «потерянного поколения» в творчестве Э.Хемигуэя; «американская мечта» в романах Ф.С.Фитцджеральда «Великий Гэтсби и Т.Драйзера «Американская трагедия».
The sense of tragedy. The loss of trust in old traditions and morals. In literature it is the second period in the creativity of Dreiser, also Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner. 1920 - the golden age of American novel, the rise of jazz, then the crisis of stock exchange in the economics of the USA, the bankruptcy of many people, then The Great depression. The 1920 - the literature of lost generation. The red 30-s - the going of the USA out of the crisis. The development of literature now became the same as in Europe. The genre of novel is very popular. The genre of short story telling. And then the theme of fascism appears in the literature.
Lost Generation is traditionally attributed to Gertrude Stein and was then popularized by Ernest Hemingway in the epigraph to his novel The Sun Also Rises and his memoir A Moveable Feast. Term is used for the generation of young people coming of age in the United States during and shortly after World War I. For this reason, the generation is sometimes known as the World War I Generation.
Earnest Miller Hemingway (1899 - 1961)
A Farewell to Arms concerns itself primarily with war. The novel has descriptions of the conflict’s senseless brutality and violent chaos: the scene of the Italian army’s retreat remains one of the most profound evocations of war in American literature. Man can’t think rationally, they doubt of its glory. The murder of the engineer seems justifiable because it is an inevitable by-product of the violence and disorder of the war. A Farewell to Arms is hardly the work of a pacifist. The war is the inevitable outcome of a cruel, senseless world. Hemingway suggests that war is nothing more than the dark, murderous extension of a world that refuses to acknowledge, protect, or preserve true love.
Henry and Catherine begin flirting with each other in order to forget personal troubles. Flirting, which Henry compares to bridge, allows Henry to “drop the war” and diverts Catherine’s thoughts from the death of her fiancé. Likewise, Henry intends to get as far away from talk of the war as possible. The tragedy of the novel rests in the fact that their love, even when genuine, can never be more than temporary in this world.
The notions of loyalty and abandonment apply equally well to love and war. The novel, however, suggests that loyalty is more a requirement of love and friendship than of the grand political causes and abstract philosophies of battling nations. While Henry takes seriously his duty as a lieutenant, he does not subscribe to the ideals that one typically imagines fuel soldiers in combat. Unlike Ettore Moretti or Gino, the promise of honor and the duties of patriotism mean little to Henry. Indeed, Henry eventually follows in the engineering sergeants’ footsteps by abandoning the army and his responsibilities. While he does, at times, feel guilt over this course of action, he takes comfort in the knowledge that he is most loyal where loyalty counts most: in his relationship with Catherine.
Rain serves in the novel as a potent symbol of the inevitable disintegration of happiness in life. Catherine infuses the weather with meaning as she and Henry lie in bed listening to the storm outside. As the rain falls on the roof, Catherine admits that the rain scares her and says that it has a tendency to ruin things for lovers. After Catherine’s death, Henry leaves the hospital and walks home in the rain. Here, the falling rain validates Catherine’s anxiety and confirms one of the novel’s main contentions: great love, like anything else in the world—good or bad, innocent or deserving—cannot last.
Catherine’s Hair stands as a symbol of the couple’s isolation from the world.
Illusions and Fantasies: the boundary between reality and illusion proves difficult to identify. After Henry and Catherine have spent months of isolation in Switzerland, Hemingway depicts their relationship as a mixture of reality and illusion. Boredom has begun to set in, and the couple effects small daily changes to reinvigorate their lives and their passion: Catherine gets a new haircut, while Henry grows a beard.
Henry portrays himself as a man of duty. He attaches to this understanding of himself no sense of honor, nor does he expect any praise for his service. notions as faith, honor, and patriotism. Concepts such as these mean nothing to him beside such concrete facts of war as the names of the cities in which he has fought and the numbers of decimated streets. But Henry reveals a vulnerability usually hidden by his stoicism and masculinity.
The American Dream is a subjective term usually implying a successful and satisfying life. Perceptions of the American dream are usually framed in terms of American capitalism, The term is used by many modern Americans to signify success in life as a result of hard work
There are many books, plays and other forms of literature which have defined, explored or denounced the American Dream.
Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser (1871 - 1945)
An American Tragedy (1925)
The title – the destruction of human dignity is given as a manifestation of profound national disease and national poverty, a national catastrophe. He worked 5 years on it (1920-1925), his purpose was to give a background and a psychology of a reality which would explain how such murders happen. That was the real case. Against romantic stories of youth who made fortune and married girls from well-to-do families. The cult of the dollar.
Griffiths is very typical and ordinary of all American youths, that is an ordinary – an American tragedy. His fate is determined by the illusions cultivated in his childhood. Instability and his surroundings. 3 parts of the novel.
1 deals with poverty and social humiliation suffered by a small boy. The formation of character. Kansas City, work. Amusement with friends. Accident with car.
2 – about how this person face the real glittering world of luxury and wealth. The temptation. Rich uncle and the factory. Opposition – for Roberta – passion or love, for Sondra - vision of luxury, admiration of high society. Clyde for Roberta is the embodiment of luxury, wealth. His plot o\is from the newspaper - the drowning of the couple. The boat capsized – опрокидываться. Dreiser doesn’t portray Clyde as a murderer and he doesn’t justify his action. He points out the cause of moral degeneration of Clyde who is infected with the virus of individualism and becomes a criminal before he commits a crime. Inner struggle. The incident is the climax of the novel. It is his fear not the evidence (улика).
3 – about Griffith’s court trial and his death on the electric chair. He is part of pre-election campaign, Mason, the public prosecutor. Crime and Punishment.
Dreiser's style is marked by long sentences and intense attention to detail.
The Great Gatsby is a novel by the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 - . First published on April 10, 1925, the story is set in New York City and Long Island during the summer of 1922. The novel chronicles an era that Fitzgerald himself dubbed the "Jazz Age." Following the shock and chaos of World War I, American society enjoyed unprecedented levels of prosperity during the 1920s as the economy soared. At the same time, Prohibition, the ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment, made millionaires out of bootleggers and encouraged organized crime. Although Fitzgerald, like Nick Carraway in his novel, idolized the riches and glamour of the age, he was uncomfortable with the unrestrained materialism and lack of morality that went with it.
Bootlegger - человек. Торгующий алкогольными напитками в период сухого закона
settings (place) · Long Island and New York City
Nick Carraway narrates in both first and third person, presenting only what he himself observes. Nick alternates sections where he presents events objectively, as they appeared to him at the time, with sections where he gives his own interpretations of the story’s meaning and of the motivations of the other characters. Nick’s attitudes toward Gatsby and Gatsby’s story are ambivalent and contradictory. At times he seems to disapprove of Gatsby’s excesses and breaches of manners and ethics, but he also romanticizes and admires Gatsby, describing the events of the novel in a nostalgic and elegiac tone.
Nick reflects that just as Gatsby’s dream of Daisy was corrupted by money and dishonesty, the American dream of happiness and individualism has disintegrated into the mere pursuit of wealth. Though Gatsby’s power to transform his dreams into reality is what makes him “great,” Nick reflects that the era of dreaming—both Gatsby’s dream and the American dream—is over.
The Decline of the American Dream in the 1920s
On the surface, The Great Gatsby is a story of the thwarted love between a man and a woman. Fitzgerald portrays the 1920s as an era of decayed social and moral values, evidenced in its overarching cynicism, greed, and empty pursuit of pleasure. The reckless jubilance that led to decadent parties and wild jazz music—epitomized in The Great Gatsby by the opulent parties that Gatsby throws every Saturday night—resulted ultimately in the corruption of the American dream, as the unrestrained desire for money and pleasure surpassed more noble goals. . When World War I ended in 1918, the generation of young Americans who had fought the war became intensely disillusioned The dizzying rise of the stock market in the aftermath of the war led to a sudden, sustained increase in the national wealth and a newfound materialism, as people began to spend and consume at unprecedented levels. banned the sale of alcohol. the American dream was originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness. In the 1920s depicted in the novel, however, easy money and relaxed social values have corrupted this dream. the ability to create meaningful symbols constitutes a central component of the American dream, as early Americans invested their new nation with their own ideals and values.
One of the major topics explored in The Great Gatsby is the sociology of wealth, specifically, how the newly minted millionaires of the 1920s differ from and relate to the old aristocracy of the country’s richest families. In the novel, West Egg and its denizens represent the newly rich, while East Egg and its denizens, especially Daisy and Tom, represent the old aristocracy. Ironically, Gatsby’s good qualities (loyalty and love) lead to his death, as he takes the blame for killing Myrtle rather than letting Daisy be punished, and the Buchanans’ bad qualities (fickleness and selfishness) allow them to remove themselves from the tragedy not only physically but psychologically.
East Egg represents the old aristocracy, West Egg the newly rich, the valley of ashes the moral and social decay of America, and New York City the uninhibited, amoral quest for money and pleasure. Additionally, the East is connected to the moral decay and social cynicism of New York, while the West (including Midwestern and northern areas such as Minnesota) is connected to more traditional social values and ideals.
The novel’s narrator, Nick is a young man from Minnesota who, after being educated at Yale and fighting in World War I, goes to New York City to learn the bond business. Honest, tolerant, and inclined to reserve judgment, Nick often serves as a confidant for those with troubling secrets. Nick learns that Gatsby was born James Gatz
Jordan represents one of the “new women” of the 1920s—cynical, boyish, and self-centered. Jordan is beautiful, but also dishonest. Daisy promised to wait for Gatsby when he left for the war, but married Tom Buchanan. Daisy is in love with money, ease, and material luxury. She is capable of affection (she seems genuinely fond of Nick and occasionally seems to love Gatsby sincerely), but not of sustained loyalty or care. She is indifferent even to her own infant daughter, never discussing her and treating her
Tom is an arrogant, hypocritical bully. His social attitudes are laced with racism and sexism, and he never even considers trying to live up to the moral standard he demands from those around him.
Fitzgerald uses this technique of delayed character revelation to emphasize the theatrical quality of Gatsby’s approach to life, which is an important part of his personality. Gatsby has literally created his own character, even changing his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby to represent his reinvention of himself. Gatsby reveals himself to be an innocent, hopeful young man who stakes everything on his dreams, not realizing that his dreams are unworthy of him.
This inner conflict is symbolized throughout the book by Nick’s romantic affair with Jordan Baker. He is attracted to her vivacity and her sophistication just as he is repelled by her dishonesty and her lack of consideration for other people.
Having gained the maturity that this insight demonstrates, he returns to Minnesota in search of a quieter life structured by more traditional moral values.
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