英 国 文 学 English Literature of Critical Realism 主讲教师：田祥斌 Lecture VIII. English Literature of Critical Realism I. Historical background II. English Critical Realism III. Literature 1. Charles Dickens 2. William Makepeace Thackeray 3. Mrs. Gaskell 4. George Eliot 5. Charlotte Brontë 6. Emily Brontë 7. Anne Brontë 8. Tennyson 9. Mr. and Mrs. Browning 10. Oscar Wilde 11. William Morris 12. Lewis Carroll 13. Thomas Hardy 14. William Wilkie Collins 15. Robert Louis Stevenson 16. Arthur Conan Doyle 17. Samuel Butler 18. Charles Robert Darwin 19. Anthony Trollope I. Historical background 1. Monarch -- Queen Victoria ruled over England from 1837 to 1901, one of the most remarkable in the development of the country. She became Queen at the age of 18 in 1837 when her uncle, King William IV, passed away. She ruled Britain 63 years. -- In the history of England, the period has generally been regarded as one of the most remarkable in the rapid economic development of the country with serious social problems. --England was the "workshop of the world". Historical Background 2. Party and reform -- The arrangement of the old Whig and Tory groups resulted in the modern Liberal and Conservative parties. -- The awakened social conscience is the predominant theme in Early Victorian literature. -- The first effective act regulating child labor in factories was passed in 1833 Historical Background 3. Workhouse(济贫院) -- According to the Poor-law Amendment Act of 1834, the system of workhouses was applied to the whole country. Full-time salaried civil servants were employed in each workhouse. Although these employees were attacked in Dickens’ and other writers novels, the new policy was a change in the right direction. -- The picture in Oliver Twist (1838) was typical ones about workhouse in the years. Historical Background 4. London Slums and Pestilence -- The crowded population, poor and polluted environment resulted in the spread of cholera, a pestilence. The pictures of the London slums in Oliver Twist and Bleak House are realistic description. -- Pollution and the translation of Oliver Twist 《雾都孤儿》 Historical Background 5. Conflicts Between Capital and Labor -- The contradictions between labor and capital resulted in Chartist Movement. All the important events of the Chartist Movement, esp. the class contradictions underlying these events, found their expression in the novels of the critical realists like Dickens, Charlotte Bronte and Mrs. Gaskell. Historical Background 6. Chartist Movement -- England was developing into a rich, advanced industrial country in the Victorian age, and this was also an age full of sharpest contrast between the rich and the poor. The severe depression, widespread unemployment, exploitation of men, women and child labor brought great miseries to the poor people. --The workers started their independent struggle and resulted in Chartist Movement in 1836. Historical Background 7. The problems of women -- In this period, women were still regarded as second-class citizens. Married women had no property rights, not even any their own earnings. They had no rights to custody of their own children and were excluded from universities and professions. -- The explosive growth of industry brought hundreds of thousands of women into factory jobs. -- Women must do the cheap labor but very heavy and hard jobs Historical Background -- The unbearable working conditions and unemployment drove thousands of women into prostitution. Poem by Alfred Tennyson Man for the field and woman for the hearth; Man for the sword and for the needle she; Man with the head and woman with the heart; Man to command and woman to obey. Historical Background -- However, some outstanding women appeared, such as Florence Nightingale, the founder of nursery, famous women writers Bronte sisters, George Eliot, and Mrs. Gaskell. -- In the late period of Victorian Age, women now were able to walk out of the home, to share part of the responsibility of men and the family. and, at the same time, were entering into social. A feminist movement started, fighting for women's equality and freedom, and for their educational and employment opportunities. II. English Critical Realism 1. -- In mid and late 19th century, appeared a new literary trend-- critical realism. The critical realists described with much vividness and artistic skill the chief traits of the English society and criticized the capitalist system from a democratic viewpoint. It found its expressions in the form of novel. The greatest English realist of the time was Charles Dickens. -- Others were W.M. Thackeray, Bronte sisters, Mrs Gaskell, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy. These critical realists exposed and criticized the corrupted society mercilessly. -- The English critical realists not only gave a satirical portrayal of the bourgeoisie and all the ruling classes, but also showed profound sympathy for the common people. -- But the critical realists did not find a way to eradicate the social evils and they were unable to find a good solution to the social contradictions. -- The major contribution made by the 19th century critical realists is their perfection of the novel. 其特征是： 1）真实反映社会本来面目，重视细节的真实； 2）强烈的暴露性和批判性； 3）描写典型环境中的典型性格。 III. Great Novelists –The major Victorian novelists are: Charles Dickens William Makepeace Thackeray Charlotte Brontë Emily Brontë George Eliot Thomas Hardy George Eliot Charles Dickens 1. Charles Dickens （1812-1870）查理·狄更斯 A. Brief Introduction -- Dickens is the greatest representative of English critical realism. -- (See the textbook) B. Novel Technique --Each monthly part has a minor climax. -- the device of "tagging" his characters e.g. Murdstone, Points of View – A spokesmen of the poor people – It is his serious intention to expose and criticize all the poverty, injustice, hypocrisy and corruptness. – He hates the state apparatus, especially the Parliament, and yet he is convinced that the state should intervene to control the rapacity of landlords and capitalists and to raise the living standards of the working class. – He is interested in social reform. He is certain that reform should work in the direction of reducing aristocratic privilege. – He wants improvement in the life of the poor, but is afraid of a real revolution. – A humanitarian who pours all his love and sympathy for the poor, weak, innocent, injured and neglected good people 3) Special Features – A master story-teller – Characterization both types and individuals mostly larger than life best at child character portrayal horrible and grotesque figures and the broadly humorous or comical characters. – Writing from a child's point of view – Humor and pathos Dickens is a great humorist. He believes that life is itself a mixture of joy and grief. He gives readers bright merriments and dark gloom at the same time, mingling tears and laughters as in real life. 4) Major Works - The Pickwick Papers (The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1836-7) - Oliver Twist (1837-1838) David Copperfield (1849-50) Bleak House (1852-53) Hard Times (1854) A Tale Of Two Cities (1859) Great Expectation (1860-61) David Copperfield (1849-50) -- in the form of autobiography； --rich and colorful in vocabulary and phrases； -- personification, simile, metaphor； -- vivid description (inner mind)； -- realistic -- Discuss Dickens's narrative techniques. Bleak House (1852-53) -- It attacks the law's delay and the selfperpetuating mass of futility it has become. The novel exposes the abuses of the English courts, and the plot is built around the law-suit of Jarndyce and Jarndyce over the inheritance of a family fortune, which has dragged on for many generation. Hard Times (1854) -- Its tone is grim, its structure tightly knit, its purpose serious; it remains an excellent example of Dickens's capability as a serious novelist. "of all of Dickens's works it is the one that has all the strength of his genius, together with a strength no other of them can show--that of a completely serious work of art." A Tale Of Two Cities (1859) -- In this novel, Dickens takes the French Revolution as the background of his novel, and the "two cities" are Paris and London in the time of that revolution. -- The theme is revolution, the idea “Where there is oppression, there is revolution.” Great Expectations (1860-61) -- The story is about the development of Pip. He learns from his bad fortune and gets rid of his snobbishness. Because of the unity of interest, centered on the chief character, and the credible quality of its romantic story, many critics have called it the best of his novels. Other Novels 1) Nicholas Nickleby (1838-39) 2) The Old Curiosity Shop (1841) 3) Barnaby Rudge (1841) 4) American Notes (1842) 5) Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-1844) 6) A Christmas Carol (1843) 7) Donbey and Son (1846-48) 8) Little Dorritt (1855-57) 9) Our Mutual Friend (1864-65) 10) The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870) Features of Charles Dickens's Novels 1) Dickens's novels offer a most complete and realistic picture of the English bourgeois society of his age. They reflect the protest of the people against capitalist exploitation, and criticize the vices of capitalist society. 2) Dickens is a petty bourgeois intellectual. He could not overstep the limits of his class. He believed in the moral self-perfection of the wicked propertied classes. He failed to see the necessity of a bitter struggle of the oppressed against their oppressors. There is a definite tendency for a reconciliation of the contradictions of society. That is why most of his novels have happy endings. 3) His novels tell much of the unhappy experiences of his own childhood. 4) Dickens is a great humorist and satirist. His novels are full of humor and satire. 2. William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) Points of View -- Politically Thackeray was a radical, advocating social reform and democracy. -- In his opinion, the existing society was corrupted as well as corrupting. -- He took it as his duty to expose the vices of his age, esp. those in the upper-middle class. -- He regarded snobbery and the moneygrabbing as the chief vice in his society. 3) Major Works – The Book of Snobs (1846-47) – Vanity Fair (1847-8) – Pendennis (1849-50) – The History of Henry Esmond (1852) – The Newcomes (1853-55) 5) Vanity Fair -A Novel without a Hero -- The plot is around the lives of Amelia Sedley and Becky Sharp.William Dobbin, finally wins Amelia, the woman he has always loved. -- Thackeray wrote to a friend in 1847. He set himself up as a: ‘Satirical-Moralist' with ‘a vast multitude of readers whom we not only amuse but teach'. Rebecca Sharp ≠ Joseph Sedley (Amelia’s brother) ↗ ↘ ≠ (lover of Lord Steyne) Pitt Crawley ---- Rawdon Crawley (Pitt’s son) Amelia Sedley -- George Osborne (died in the battle)= son ↗ ↘ (at last they got married) Captain William Dobbin The selection -- The selection given below is taken from Chapter 36 of the novel. Here it’s on Becky Sharp’s adventure in Paris. There is a very keen social satire in society, whether in England or in France, and Thackeray tries to indicate that such vices are too common in the world. – Themes The world is shown as full of all kinds of vanity, esp. snobbery, duplicity of socialclimbers, and the weakness of human nature. The realistic depiction, the ironic and sarcastic tone and constant comment and criticism of the author make it a masterpiece of social criticism. 6) Characteristics of Thackeray's Novels (1) He is one of the greatest critical realists of the 19th century Europe. He paints life as he has seen it. With his precise and thorough observation, rich knowledge of social life and of the human heart, the pictures in his novels are accurate and true to life. (2) Thackeray is a satirist. His satire is caustic (scathing) and his humor subtle. (3) Besides being a realist and satirist, Thackeray is a moralist. His aim is to produce a moral impression in all his novels. 4) Discussion (1) What are the themes of Vanity Fair? (2) What does the subtitle mean in the novel? (3) Make a comparison between Dickens's and Thackeray's works. Character Analysis Rebecca Sharp -- Rebecca is talented. -- physical charm with wit -- She is a merciless social climber. She wants to gain wealth and position by any means. She destroyed Rawdon and will destroy Joseph, but Rebecca once acts unselfishly to help Dobbin and Amelia. She serves as a direct contrast to Amelia. Character Analysis Amelia --Amelia is gentle and virtuous, but too simplehearted and naïve to oppose the plots of the selfish and calculating personages that surround her. ----industrious, obedient, sweet, and beloved 3.Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell 3. Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1810-1865) Mrs Gaskell（盖斯凯尔夫人） Mrs Gaskell was brought up by her aunt. After her marriage to a clergyman, William Gaskell, Mrs Gaskell lived in Manchester. They made a study of the conditions of the workers in Manchester, and she gives a vivid picture of the class conflicts at that time in her novel Mary Barton. Mrs. Gaskell is generally associated with industrial Manchester by her readers, though only two of her novels are actually set in the city. (in lecture sheets) Gaskell was one of the first English writers to make the class struggle between the workers and the capitalists the theme of a novel. (in lecture sheets) She was Charlotte Bronte’s friend and the first one to write a biography of Charlotte Bronte, Life of Charlotte Bronte ( 1857). 4. George Eliot (1819-1880) 4. George Eliot (1819-1880) 乔治·爱略特 A. Eliot’s life and position George Eliot is the most earnestly imperative and the most probingly intelligent of the great midVictorian novelists. Her seriousness was readily praised and acclaimed by the reviewers of her first published works of fiction. (See textbook) B. Her main works Adam Bede《亚当·比德》1859 The Mill on the Floss《弗洛斯河上的磨房》 1860 Silas Marner《织工马南传》1861 Middlemarch《米德尔马契》1871-2 C. Characteristics of Eliot's Novels 1) Her novels, for the most part, describe rural life, deal with moral problems and contain psychological studies of the characters. 2) She has rich humor and keen observation, and her characters are real men and women of her time. She writes very faithfully about the rural artisans (工匠), farmers, the country clergy, and other native people and she fully realizes that the working people like Adam Bede and Silas Marner are much better than the landed aristocracy. 3) Her novels are very philosophical. The philosophy she preached is idealistic. She believes that all contradictions of social life can be solved by converting mankind to the religion of humanity. 4) With her the transition from critical realism to naturalism began in English literature.