6 the twentieth Century

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6 the twentieth Century
6
the Twentieth
Century - Part I
(1901-45)
Extra Material
Extra Material
The Twentieth Century - Part I (1901-45)
Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness (1902)
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
2
Heart of Darkness
Text 2 Marlow has travelled from the Outer Station to the Central Station and now finds himself
at the end of his journey at the Inner Station, the furthest most navigable point along the
Congo. It is here that he will find Kurtz.
1.rioted: cresceva
selvaggiamente.
2.empty stream: un
ruscello vuoto.
3.thick: densa.
4.sluggish: indolente.
5.long stretches:
lunghi tratti.
6.gloom: buio,
tenebre.
7.sandbanks: rive
sabbiose.
8.hippos: ippopotami.
9.waters flowed: le
acque scorrevano.
10.mob: folla, gruppo.
11.butted: urtavi,
spingevi.
12.shoals: bassifondi.
13.bewitched:
stregato.
‘Going up that river was like travelling back to the earliest beginnings of the
world, when vegetation rioted1 on the earth and the big trees were kings. An
empty stream2, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. The air was warm, thick3,
heavy, sluggish4. There was no joy in the brilliance of the sunshine. The long
5stretches5 of the waterway ran on, deserted, into the gloom6 of overshadowed
distances. On silvery sandbanks7 hippos8 and alligators sunned themselves side
by side. The broadening waters flowed9 through a mob10 of wooded islands; you
lost your way on that river as you would in a desert, and butted11 all day long
against shoals12, trying to find the channel, till you thought yourself bewitched13
10and cut off for ever from everything you had known once – somewhere – far away
– in another existence perhaps.’
Over to you
❶Complete the following sentences with the words from the text.
1.
The vegetation is described as ....................................................................... .
2.
The air was ....................................................................... .
3.
The animals he sees are ....................................................................... .
❷Marlow describes this part of his journey ‘like travelling back to the earliest
beginnings of the world’. Why do you think?
❸‘You lost your way on that river as you would in a desert’ (ll. 7-8). What
similarities could there be between travelling along this river and a desert?
❹What words does Marlow use which tell us that this was not a positive
experience?
❺‘Bewitched’ (l. X) seems a strange word to use in this context. Why is it effective
in describing this environment? Choose.
nature is strange and confusing
he feels drugged
he finds it tiring
❻ What expressions does Marlow use to emphasise his isolation?
these examples of? Choose.
alliteration
personification
paradox
❽How does Marlow’s description of his journey compare with your answers in
Let’s get started?
3
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
❼‘Vegetation rioted’, ‘trees were kings’, ‘a mob of wooded islands’ – what are
Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness (1902)
Heart of Darkness
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
4
Text 3 This passage is taken from the first part of the story. Marlow has reached the Outer
Station on the River Congo and is shocked at the sight of chained slaves. To get away from
this disturbing sight and from the unbearable heat of the day he decides to take a walk to
the river.
1.Inferno:
riferimento a Dante.
2.headlong:
precipitoso.
3.tearing pace: moto
vorticoso.
4.crouched:
accucciate.
5.clinging: aderenti.
6.effaced: cancellate.
7.dim: fioca.
8.went off: esplose.
9.shudder: fremito.
10.gloom: oscurità.
11.gleam: luccichìo.
12.sunken: incavati.
13.vacant: vacui.
14.flicker: guizzo.
15.charm: amuleto.
16.startling:
sorprendente.
17.bundles: fagotti.
18.propped on:
appoggiato.
19.appalling:
spaventoso.
20.phantom: fantasma.
‘At last I got under the trees. My purpose was to stroll into the shade for a
moment, but no sooner within that it seemed to me I had stepped into the
gloomy circle of some Inferno1. The rapids were near, and an uninterrupted,
uniform, headlong2, rushing noise filled the mournful stillness of the grove,
5where not a breath stirred, not a leaf moved, with a mysterious sound as though
the tearing pace3 of the launched earth had suddenly become audible.
‘Black shapes crouched4, lay, sat between the trees, leaning against the trunks,
clinging5 to the earth, half coming out, half effaced6 within the dim7 light, in all
the attitudes of pain, abandonment, and despair. Another mine on the cliff went
10off8, followed by a slight shudder9 of the soil under my feet. The work was going
on. The work! And this was the place where some of the helpers had withdrawn
to die.
‘They were dying slowly it was very clear. They were not enemies, they were not
criminals, they were nothing earthly now nothing but black shadows of disease
15and starvation, lying confusedly in the greenish gloom10.
Brought from all the recesses of the coast in all the legality of time contracts,
lost in uncongenial surroundings, fed on unfamiliar food, they sickened, became
inefficient, and were then allowed to crawl away and rest.
These moribund shapes were free as air and nearly as thin. I began to distinguish
20the gleam11 of the eyes under the trees. Then, glancing down, I saw a face near my
hand. The black bones reclined at full length with one shoulder against the tree,
and slowly the eyelids rose and the sunken12 eyes looked up at me, enormous and
vacant13, a kind of blind, white flicker14 in the depths of the orbs, which died out
slowly. The man seemed young almost a boy but you know with them it’s hard
25to tell. I found nothing else to do but to offer him one of my good Swede’s ship’s
biscuits I had in my pocket.
The fingers closed slowly on it and held there was no other movement and no
other glance. He had tied a bit of white worsted round his neck Why?
Where did he get it? Was it a badge an ornament a charm15 a propitiatory act?
30Was there any idea at all connected with it? It looked startling16 round his black
neck, this bit of white thread from beyond the seas.
‘Near the same tree two more bundles17 of acute angles sat with their legs drawn
up. One, with his chin propped on18 his knees, stared at nothing, in an intolerable
and appalling19 manner: his brotherphantom20 rested its forehead, as if overcome
OVER TO YOU
❶Read the text and complete the short paragraph below which summarises what
Marlow does, sees and feels.
When Marlow reaches the shade he is ………….......................………… (1) at the sight of a mass of
………….......................………… (2) people dying. Upset by the ………….......................………… (3), he goes back to the
………….......................………… (4), where he is met by a smartly-dressed ………….......................………… (5) man, the
company’s chief ………….......................………… (6).
❷Give at least two examples of interior monologue from the text.
❸Which of the following language devices are employed and what do they emphasise?
personification
repetition of syntactical patterns
metaphor
simile
❹Which words used in the description of the setting underline the idea of death?
❺Explain why the sentence ‘were then allowed to crawl away and rest’ takes on
an ironical tone in the light of the context and find at least one other example of
irony.
❻How would you describe the general tone of the passage?
ironical
sympathetic
objective
highly critical
emotional
❼Re-read Conrad’s biography in Vol II, p. 146 of the anthology and note down any
autobiographical elements you detect in this passage.
21.scattered:
sparpagliati.
22.lapped: bevve dalla
mano.
23.shins: stinchi.
24.breastbone: sterno.
25.loitering: indugiare.
26.made haste
toward: mi
affrettai.
27.get-up:
abbigliamento.
28.starched:
inamidato.
29.cuffs: polsini.
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6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
35with a great weariness; and all about others werescattered21 in every pose of
contorted collapse, as in some picture of a massacre or a pestilence. While I stood
horror-struck, one of these creatures rose to his hands and knees, and went off on
all-fours towards the river to drink. He lapped22 out of his hand, then sat up in the
sunlight, crossing his shins23 in front of him, and after a time let his woolly head
40fall on his breastbone24.
‘I didn’t want any more loitering25 in the shade, and I made haste toward26s the
station. When near the buildings I met a white man, in such an unexpected
elegance of get-up27 that in the first moment I took him for a sort of vision. I saw
a high starched28 collar, white cuffs29, a light alpaca jacket, snowy trousers, a clean
45necktie, and varnished boots. No hat. Hair parted, brushed, oiled, under a greenlined parasol held in a big white hand. He was amazing, and had a pen-holder
behind his ear.
‘I shook hands with this miracle, and I learned he was the Company’s chief
accountant, and that all the book-keeping was done at this station.
E.M. Foster
A Room with a View (1908)
A Room with a View
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
6
Text 2 The next day, during an excursion to Fiesole, Lucy finds herself alone in a clearing on a
hillside. She is looking for Mr Beebe.
1.sloped sharply: era
in pendenza.
2.streams: torrenti.
3.hillside: il lato della
collina.
4.eddying...hollows:
turbinando intorno
ai fusti degli alberi
raccogliendosi in
piccoli specchi
d’acqua.
5.spots of azure
foam: punti di
schiuma azzurrina.
6.brink: bordo.
7.beat against:
contrastare.
8.waves: onde.
9.bushes: cespugli.
10.He stepped quickly
forward: camminò
velocemente verso
di lei.
From her feet the ground sloped sharply1 into view, and violets ran down in
rivulets and streams2 and cataracts, irrigating the hillside3 with blue, eddying
round the tree stems collecting into pools in the hollows4, covering the grass
with spots of azure foam5. […]
5Standing at its brink6, like a swimmer who prepares, was the good man. But he
was not the good man that she had expected, and he was alone.
George had turned at the sound of her arrival. For a moment he contemplated
her, as one who had fallen out of heaven. He saw radiant joy in her face, he saw
the flowers beat against7 her dress in blue waves8. The bushes9 above them closed.
10He stepped quickly forward10 and kissed her.
Before she could speak, almost before she could feel, a voice called, ‘Lucy! Lucy!
Lucy!’ The silence of life had been broken by Miss Bartlett who stood brown
against the view.
Over to you
❶Answer the following questions.
1.
Where is Lucy?
2.
Who is in the same place?
3.
What does he do?
4.
Does anyone see them?
❷Answer the following questions.
1.
What season is it?
2.
What natural elements prevail in the description?
3.
What are Lucy’s feelings?
❸What makes the scene romantic in your opinion?
James Joyce
‘Eveline’ (1914)
In this short story James Joyce introduces us to the life of a young woman torn between
duty and desire, the known and unknown. It takes its title from the name of the
protagonist, a young woman who lives alone with her father in Dublin. We meet Eveline
as she is trying to make an important decision: should she leave with her boyfriend,
Frank, to start a new life in South America, or stay where she is and continue to live her
dutiful but dull life.
The reader is transported directly into Eveline’s complex and tormented mind; we
witness the claustrophobic atmosphere in which she lives through her thoughts,
memories and her inability to act.
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
7
Before reading
❶Read this quotation from a letter, written by James Joyce on May 5 1906, to Grant
Richards, his prospective publisher of Dubliners.
My intention was to write a chapter of the moral history of my country and
I chose Dublin for the scene because that city seemed to me the centre of
paralysis.
❷Which alternative do you think best explains the concept of paralysis? Choose
from the following.
a physical inability to do things
passivity and inaction
the inability to rebel against other people
‘Eveline’
After the death of her mother, Eveline has to take care of her father. She has a hard and
monotonous life but is lucky to meet a kind boy, Frank, who would like to take her away
from Dublin to start a new life with him. She is about to go to meet him, leaving her
present life behind forever.
She sat at the window watching the evening invade the avenue1. Her head was
leaned2 against the window curtains and in her nostrils3 was the odour of dusty
cretonne4. She was tired.
Few people passed. The man out of the last house passed on his way home;
5she heard his footsteps clacking along the concrete pavement and afterwards
crunching on the cinder path5 before the new red houses. One time there used
to be a field there in which they used to play every evening with other people’s
children. Then a man from Belfast bought the field and built houses in it – not
like their little brown houses but bright brick houses with shining roofs6. The
10children of the avenue used to play together in that field – the Devines, the
Waters, the Dunns, little Keogh the cripple7, she and her brothers and sisters.
Ernest8, however, never played: he was too grown up. Her father used often to
1.avenue: viale.
2.was leaned: era
appoggiata.
3.nostrils: narici.
4.dusty cretonne:
cretonne polveroso.
5.clacking...path:
che risuonavano
sul marciapiede
di cemento e poi
che cigolavano sul
sentiero.
6.brick houses with
shining roofs: le
case di mattoni con i
tetti scintillanti.
7.the cripple: storpio.
8.Ernest: il fratello
maggiore di Eveline.
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
8
9.blackthorn stick:
bastone di pruno.
10.to keep nix: fare il
palo.
11.Tizzie Dunn: un
amico.
12.had dusted: aveva
spolverato.
13.wise: saggio.
14.to weigh: soppesare.
15.shelter: tetto.
16.Stores: magazzini
(negozi).
17.her...
advertisement: il
suo posto sarebbe
stato occupato con
un annuncio sul
giornale.
18.had an edge on her:
l’aveva sempre presa
di punta.
19.he used to go for: se
la prendeva con.
20.latterly:
recentemente.
21.threaten:
minacciare.
22.for her dead
mother’s sake: in
nome di sua madre.
23.squabble:
discussione.
24.to weary her
unspeakably:
sfinirla
indicibilmente.
25.wages: paga.
26.to squander:
scialacquare.
27.fairly: piuttosto.
28.tightly: stretta.
29.elbowed...crowds:
aprendosi un
varco tra la folla a
gomitate.
30.load: peso (grossa
quantità).
hunt them in out of the field with his blackthorn stick9; but usually little Keogh
used to keep nix10 and call out when he saw her father coming. Still they seemed
15to have been rather happy then. Her father was not so bad then; and besides,
her mother was alive. That was a long time ago; she and her brothers and sisters
were all grown up; her mother was dead. Tizzie Dunn11 was dead, too, and the
Waters had gone back to England. Everything changes. Now she was going to go
away like the others, to leave her home.
20Home! She looked round the room, reviewing all its familiar objects which she
had dusted12 once a week for so many years, wondering where on earth all the
dust came from. Perhaps she would never see again those familiar objects from
which she had never dreamed of being divided. […]
She had consented to go away, to leave her home. Was that wise13? She tried to
25weigh14 each side of the question. In her home anyway she had shelter15 and food;
she had those whom she had known all her life about her. Of course she had to
work hard, both in the house and at business. What would they say of her in the
Stores16 when they found out that she had run away with a fellow? Say she was a
fool, perhaps; and her place would be filled up by advertisement17. Miss Gavan
30would be glad. She had always had an edge on her18, especially whenever there
were people listening.
‘Miss Hill, don’t you see these ladies are waiting?’
‘Look lively, Miss Hill, please.’
She would not cry many tears at leaving the Stores.
35But in her new home, in a distant unknown country, it would not be like that.
Then she would be married – she, Eveline. People would treat her with respect
then. She would not be treated as her mother had been. Even now, though she
was over nineteen, she sometimes felt herself in danger of her father’s violence.
She knew it was that that had given her the palpitations. When they were
40growing up he had never gone for her, like he used to go for19 Harry and Ernest,
because she was a girl; but latterly20 he had begun to threaten21 her and say what
he would do to her only for her dead mother’s sake22. And now she had nobody
to protect her Ernest was dead and Harry, who was in the church decorating
business, was nearly always down somewhere in the country. Besides, the
45invariable squabble23 for money on Saturday nights had begun to weary her
unspeakably24. She always gave her entire wages25 – seven shillings – and Harry
always sent up what he could but the trouble was to get any money from her
father. He said she used to squander26 the money, that she had no head, that he
wasn’t going to give her his hard-earned money to throw about the streets, and
50much more, for he was usually fairly27 bad of a Saturday night. In the end he
would give her the money and ask her had she any intention of buying Sunday’s
dinner. Then she had to rush out as quickly as she could and do her marketing,
holding her black leather purse tightly28 in her hand as she elbowed her way
through the crowds29 and returning home late under her load30 of provisions. She
55had hard work to keep the house together and to see that the two young children
who had been left to her charge went to school regularly and got their meals
regularly. It was hard work – a hard life – but now that she was about to leave it
she did not find it a wholly undesirable life.
She was about to explore another life with Frank. Frank was very kind, manly,
60open-hearted. She was to go away with him by the night-boat to be his wife and
to live with him in Buenos Ayres where he had a home waiting for her. How well
she remembered the first time she had seen him; he was lodging in a house
on the main road where she used to visit. It seemed a few weeks ago. He was
standing at the gate, his peaked cap pushed back on his head and his hair
31.peaked...over: il
berretto a visiera
gettato all’indietro
sulla nuca e i capelli
che gli ricadevano
sul volto abbronzato.
32.elated: felice.
33.unaccustomed: che
non le era abituale.
34.they were
courting: che si
frequentavano.
35.sailor: marinaio.
36.Poppens:
bambolina.
37.out of fun: per
scherzo.
38.deck boy: mozzo.
39.he had fallen on his
feet: gli era andato
tutto bene.
40.sailor chaps:
marinai.
41.he had quarrelled:
aveva litigato.
42.lap: grembo.
43.bonnet: cappellino.
44.strutting back: era
rientrato impettito.
45.she mused:
meditava.
46. pitiful: penosa.
47.laid...being: tesseva
un incantesimo
malefico nel suo
intimo.
48.life...craziness: la
vita di meschini
sacrifici conclusasi
nella follia.
49.Derevaun Seraun:
citazione in gaelico
il cui significato è
all’incirca: the end
of pleasure is pain
(la fine del piacere è
il dolore).
50.fold: stringere.
51.swaying:
ondeggiante.
52.sheds: tettoia.
53.she caught a
glimpse: intravide.
54.quay: banchina.
55.portholes: oblò.
56.steaming: diretta.
57.still draw back:
tirarsi indietro.
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6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
65tumbled forward over31 a face of bronze. Then they had come to know each other.
He used to meet her outside the Stores every evening and see her home. He took
her to see The Bohemian Girl and she felt elated32 as she sat in an unaccustomed33
part of the theatre with him. He was awfully fond of music and sang a little.
People knew that they were courting34 and, when he sang about the lass that
70loves a sailor35, she always felt pleasantly confused. He used to call her Poppens36
out of fun37. First of all it had been an excitement for her to have a fellow and
then she had begun to like him. He had tales of distant countries. He had started
as a deck boy38 at a pound a month on a ship of the Allan Line going out to
Canada. He told her the names of the ships he had been on and the names of the
75different services. He had sailed through the Straits of Magellan and he told her
stories of the terrible Patagonians. He had fallen on his feet39 in Buenos Ayres, he
said, and had come over to the old country just for a holiday. Of course, her father
had found out the affair and had forbidden her to have anything to say to him.
‘I know these sailor chaps40,’ he said.
80One day he had quarrelled41 with Frank and after that she had to meet her lover
secretly.
The evening deepened in the avenue. The white of two letters in her lap42 grew
indistinct. One was to Harry; the other was to her father. Ernest had been her
favourite but she liked Harry too. Her father was becoming old lately, she
85noticed; he would miss her. Sometimes he could be very nice. Not long before,
when she had been laid up for a day, he had read her out a ghost story and made
toast for her at the fire. Another day, when their mother was alive, they had all
gone for a picnic to the Hill of Howth. She remembered her father putting on her
mother’s bonnet43 to make the children laugh.
90Her time was running out but she continued to sit by the window, leaning her
head against the window curtain, inhaling the odour of dusty cretonne. Down
far in the avenue she could hear a street organ playing. She knew the air. Strange
that it should come that very night to remind her of the promise to her mother,
her promise to keep the home together as long as she could. She remembered
95the last night of her mother’s illness; she was again in the close dark room at the
other side of the hall and outside she heard a melancholy air of Italy. The organplayer had been ordered to go away and given sixpence. She remembered her
father strutting back44 into the sickroom saying:
‘Damned Italians! coming over here!’
100As she mused45 the pitiful46 vision of her mother’s life laid its spell on the
very quick of her being47 – that life of commonplace sacrifices closing in
final craziness48. She trembled as she heard again her mother’s voice saying
constantly with foolish insistence:
‘Derevaun Seraun! Derevaun Seraun49!’
105She stood up in a sudden impulse of terror. Escape! She must escape! Frank
would save her. He would give her life, perhaps love, too. But she wanted to live.
Why should she be unhappy? She had a right to happiness. Frank would take her
in his arms, fold50 her in his arms. He would save her.
She stood among the swaying51 crowd in the station at the North Wall. He held
110her hand and she knew that he was speaking to her, saying something about
the passage over and over again. The station was full of soldiers with brown
baggages. Through the wide doors of the sheds52 she caught a glimpse53 of the
black mass of the boat, lying in beside the quay54 wall, with illumined portholes55.
She answered nothing. […] If she went, tomorrow she would be on the sea with
115Frank, steaming56 towards Buenos Ayres. Their passage had been booked. Could
she still draw back57 after all he had done for her? Her distress awoke a nausea in
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
10
58.a bell clanged: una
campana risuonò.
59.seize: afferrare.
60.tumbled about: si
abbatterono.
61.drown: affogare.
62.she gripped with
both hands at
the iron railing:
si avvinghiò con
entrambe le mani
alla ringhiera.
63.clutched the iron
in frenzy: strinse le
sbarre in un accesso
di frenesia.
64.amid: tra.
65.he rushed beyond: si
precipitò oltre.
66.farewell: addio.
her body and she kept moving her lips in silent fervent prayer.
A bell clanged58 upon her heart. She felt him seize59 her hand:
‘Come!’
120All the seas of the world tumbled about60 her heart. He was drawing her into
them: he would drown61 her. She gripped with both hands at the iron railing62.
‘Come!’
No! No! No! It was impossible. Her hands clutched the iron in frenzy63. Amid64 the
seas she sent a cry of anguish.
125‘Eveline! Evvy!’
He rushed beyond65 the barrier and called to her to follow. He was shouted at
to go on but he still called to her. She set her white face to him, passive, like a
helpless animal. Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell66 or recognition.
Over to you
❶Find the elements in the text that refer to time and place and complete the
following.
1. Place ...............................................................................................................
2.
Time of the day ..................................................................................
❷Now answer these questions referring to the first part of the text.
1.
What is Eveline doing?
2.
What is she watching?
3.
Who does she mention?
4.
What reminds her of her childhood?
❸Complete this summary about Eveline’s memories of the past.
She and the other children used to play ..................................................... (1) where now there are
some ..................................................... (2). One of the children used to watch in order to warn the
others if their ..................................................... (3) was coming to look for them. They were quite
..................................................... (4) then. But then her ..................................................... (5) died, and things changed.
❹Eveline has ‘consented to go away, to leave her home’ but now she wonders if
‘that was wise’. What are the advantages for her of staying at home? Choose
from the following (more than one is possible).
She feels protected by her brothers.
She has security because she has a house and food.
She can take care of her father.
She can go on working in the shop.
She can predict how her future will be.
❺Where is Eveline going with Frank?
❻We see Frank through Eveline’s eyes. Which adjectives are used to describe him?
❼Now Eveline recalls the story of her relationship with Frank. Complete the
following sentences, referring to the text.
❽What does Eveline like about Frank? Choose the correct alternative.
he is kind
he tells stories about his travels
he has a good job
❾Eveline has written two letters. To whom?
��Eveline thinks about her father (ll. 85-90). Are these thoughts negative?
��‘She stood up in a sudden impulse of terror’ (l. 106). What thought or memory is
this impulse provoked by?
��What happens at the end? Put the following events in chronological order.
Although her boyfriend asks her to follow him she doesn’t move.
She stands in the crowd at the port and prays.
She leaves home and goes to the port.
She grips at the iron railing and cries.
She stares at him without expression.
��‘Wondering where on earth all the dust came from’ (ll. 21-22). What does this
detail of the dust suggests? Choose.
solitude comfort
desolation happiness
harmony
��The biggest problem in Eveline’s life is represented by her father. What does she
feel for him? Choose.
hatred respect
a weak affection a strong love
compassion fear
��Paralysis and epiphany are, as you read in the commentary, two key concepts in
Dubliners.
1.
What epiphany does Eveline have that finally gives her the courage to leave the
house and meet Frank at the port?
2.
Where is the paralysis in this short story?
11
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
1.
The first time she saw him, he ..........................................................
2.
He was standing at ..........................................................
3.
Then they had come ..........................................................
4.
He used to meet her outside ..........................................................
5.
Once he took her to see ..........................................................
6.
People knew that they .......................................................... , and she always felt ..........................................................
7.
Her father didn’t like him because ..........................................................
8. After her father had .......................................................... with Frank they had to meet secretly.
��Which of the following statements best describes Eveline? (More than one is
possible.)
She tends to remember more than to act.
She has a strong character and is capable of reacting to events.
She is quite weak and easily influenced by others.
She seems shy and insecure.
She is well educated and open-minded.
��Eveline feels she has ‘a right to happiness’ (l. 108). In spite of this, she gives up
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
12
her chance of happiness. Why? Which of these interpretations do you think best
explains her decision?
She feels guilty about leaving her father and is frightened of the prospect of an
unknown future.
She loves her city and she is not really in love with Frank.
She realises she likes her life in Dublin and how attached she is to it with all her
memories.
��Which would you identify as the main themes in Eveline?
family ties and duty
love and faithfulness
patriotic feelings
��Dublin is seen by Joyce as the ‘centre of paralysis’. Can this statement by Joyce
be explained also by historical events? Refer to the historical background.
��What do you personally think of this story? Discuss in class.
��Would you have ended the story in another way or do you find the ending
satisfactory? Discuss.
��Are there any circumstances today in which family pressures can condition an
individual’s life and fulfilment? Give examples.
James Joyce
Ulysses (1922)
Ulysses
Text 2 This passage is from the final part of Molly’s monologue,
she reflects on flowers and nature.
I love flowers I’d love to have the whole place swimming
in roses God of heaven there’s nothing like nature the wild
mountains then the sea and the waves rushing then the
beautiful country with fields of oats and wheat and
5all kinds of things and all the fine cattle going about that
would do your heart good to see
rivers and lakes and flowers all sorts of shapes and smells
and colours springing up even out of the ditches primroses
and violets nature it is as for them saying there’s no God I
10wouldn’t give a snap of my two fingers for all their learning
why don’t they go and create something I often asked him
atheists or whatever they call themselves go and wash the
cobbles off themselves first
I fiori mi piacciono vorrei che la casa traboccasse
di rose Dio del cielo non c’è niente come la
natura le montagne selvagge poi il mare e le
onde galoppanti poi la bella campagna con
campi d’avena e di grano e ogni specie di cose
e tutti quei begli animali in giro ti farebbe bene
al cuore veder fiumi laghi e fiori ogni specie di
forme ed odori e colori che spuntano anche dai
fossi primule e violette è questa la natura e
quelli che dicono che non c’è un Dio non darei un
soldo bucato di tutta la loro sapienza perché non
provano loro a creare qualcosa gliel’ho chiesto
spesso gli atei o come diavolo si chiamano vadano
e si lavino un po’ prima
Traduzione di Giulio De Angelis
Over to you
his part of the monologue begins with Molly’s thoughts on flowers and how
❶Tmuch
she loves them. What would she like to have?
olly describes different landscapes. Which of the following does she describe?
❷M
(More than one is possible.)
wild mountains
sea with waves
the prairie
the moor
the countryside
with fields and
grass
❸Which of the following are most quoted in the passage?
trees
flowers
rivers and lakes
the jungle
water animals
olly represents physicality while Stephen Dedalus (and partly Leopold)
❹M
represent the intellect. How is this expressed here?
❺At which point does Molly express her disregard for rationality?
❻Do you find this passage poetic in any way?
❼Try and put in some punctuation in the two passages of Ulysses that you have
just read. Compare your versions in class.
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
13
Virginia Woolf
Mrs Dalloway (1925)
Mrs Dalloway
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
14
Text 2 Mrs Dalloway’s party is coming to an end and has been a success. Her old friends Peter
Walsh and Sally Seton are talking together but have still not managed to speak properly to
Clarissa. This extract comes from the very end of the novel.
1.longing for:
desiderando
fortemente.
2.fidgeting with
his knife:
giocherellando con
il suo coltellino.
3.spoilt: rovinato.
4.sharp: pungente.
5.she went too far:
ha esagerato.
6.holding forth:
intrattenendo gli
ospiti.
7.wilds: in campagna.
8.Cabinet Minister:
un politico.
9.Lady Rosseter: il
titolo da sposata di
Sally Seton.
Poor Peter, thought Sally. Why did not Clarissa come and talk to them? That
was what he was longing for1. She knew it. All the time he was thinking only of
Clarissa, and was fidgeting with his knife2.
He had not found life simple, Peter said. His relations with Clarissa had not
5been simple. It had spoilt3 his life, he said. (They had been so intimate – he and
Sally Seton, it was absurd not to say it.) One could not be in love twice, he said.
And what could she say? Still, it is better to have loved (but he would think her
sentimental – he used to be so sharp4). He must come and stay with them in
Manchester. That is all very true, he said. All very true. He would love to come and
10stay with them, directly he had done what he had to do in London.
And Clarissa had cared for him more than she had ever cared for Richard, Sally
was positive of that.
‘No, no, no!’ said Peter (Sally should not have said that – she went too far5). That
good fellow – there he was at the end of the room, holding forth6, the
15same as ever, dear old Richard. Who was he talking to? Sally asked, that very
distinguished-looking man? Living in the wilds7 as she did, she had an insatiable
curiosity to know who people were. But Peter did not know. He did not like his
looks, he said, probably a Cabinet Minister8. Of them all, Richard seemed to him
the best, he said – the most disinterested.[...]
20‘Richard has improved. You are right,’ said Sally. ‘I shall go and talk to him. I shall
say good-night. What does the brain matter,’ said Lady Rosseter9, getting up,
‘compared with the heart?’
‘I will come,’ said Peter, but he sat on for a moment. What is this terror? what is
this ecstasy? he thought to himself. What is it that fills me with extraordinary
25excitement?
It is Clarissa, he said.
For there she was.
Over to you
❶Where are Sally and Peter talking?
❷Choose the correct alternative. What does Sally think Peter wants?
to go home
to speak to Clarissa
to speak to Clarissa’s husband, Richard
❸What nervous habit does Peter Walsh have?
❺Who does Sally say Clarissa cared more for, Richard or Peter?
❻Look at lines 14-15. How does Peter describe Richard?
❼Peter says (l. 18): ‘Of them all...’ Who does ‘them’ refer to?
❽Does Peter manage to speak to Clarissa?
❾In the passage we have Sally’s opinions on what Peter thinks of Clarissa and
Peter’s opinions on what he feels for her. Read lines 1-8 and note down what
each of them thinks/says.
Sally
Peter
..............................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................
��Choose the correct alternative. Clarissa, Peter and Sally are very old friends.
What do you think of their relationshp now?
they are still very close
they have become strangers
they are detached
��What three emotions does Peter feel when Clarissa finally appears?
��What conclusions can you come to about Peter and Clarissa’s relationship?
��The novel ends with the words: ‘It is Clarissa, he said. For there she was.’ Who
does the word ‘he’ refer to here and how does he feel in that moment?
��What do you think of the novel’s ending (ll. 26-27)?
��Virginia Woolf said: ‘I believe that all novels...deal with character, and that it is
to express character – not to preach doctrines...or celebrate the glories of the
British Empire, that the form of the novels...has been evolved.’ What does this
statement tell us about Woolf’s feelings for her country?
��Do you agree with her statement, that a novel should, above all, deal with
people?
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
15
❹Where does Sally invite Peter?
��Peter Walsh says (l. 6): ‘One could not be in love twice’. In your opinion is true
love a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ passion or is it possible to fall deeply in love many
times? Are there different ages for different kinds of love? Discuss in class.
��Do you agree with Sally Seton’s words: ‘What does the brain matter... compared
with the heart?’ In what circumstances is it more important (if ever) to listen to
our brain and when should we listen to our heart?
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
16
Writer’s corner
��Many eastern philosophies encourage the analysis of one’s thoughts.
Understanding our thought process, they say, can also help the individual solve
personal problems. Try to analyse your own stream of consciousness in the same
way as you did on page 186 but this time for longer. Write down your thoughts,
connections and how the mind can quickly pass from one idea to another. You
may be surprised with the results.
Virginia Woolf
Mrs Dalloway (1925)
Mrs Dalloway
Text 3 Texts 3 and 4 focus on Clarissa, Mrs Dalloway. She is thinking about herself and so
presents herself from her own view point.
She had reached the Park1 gates. She stood for a moment, looking at the
omnibuses in Piccadilly2.
She would not say of anyone in the world now that they were this or were that.
She felt very young; at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced3 like a
5knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on. She had a
perpetual sense, as she watched the taxicabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and
alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even
one day. Not that she thought herself clever, or much out of the ordinary. How
she had got through life on the few twigs4 of knowledge Fraulein Daniel’s
10gave them she could not think. She knew nothing; no language, no history; she
scarcely read a book now, except memoirs in bed; and yet to her it was absolutely
absorbing; all this; the cabs5 passing; and she would not say of Peter, she would
not say of herself, I am this, I am that.
Her only gift was knowing people almost by instincts, she thought, walking on. If
15you put her in a room with someone, up went her back like a cat’s; or she purred6.
Devonshire House, Bath House, the house with the china cockatoo7, she had
seen them all lit up once; and remembered Sylvia, Fred, Sally Seton such hosts8
of people; and dancing all night; and the wagons plodding past9 to market; and
driving home across the Park. She remembered once throwing a shilling into the
20Serpentine10. But everyone remembered; what she loved was this, here, now, in
front of her; the fat lady in the cab. Did it matter then she asked herself, walking
towards Bond Street11, did it matter that she must inevitably cease completely;
all this must go on without her; did she resent it; or did it not become consoling
to believe that death ended absolutely? but that somehow in the streets of
25London, on the ebb and flow of things, here, there, she survived, Peter survived,
lived in each other, she being part, she was positive, of the trees at home; of the
house there, ugly, rambling12 all to bits and pieces as it was; part of people she
had never met; being laid out like a mist between the people she knew best, who
lifted her on their branches as she had seen the trees lift the mist, but it
30spread ever so far, her life, herself. But what was she dreaming as she looked into
Hatchards’ shop window? What was she trying to recover?
What image of white dawn in the country, as she read in the book spread open:
Fear no more the heat o’ the sun. Nor the furious winter’s rages13.
1.Park: Hyde Park.
2.Piccadilly: via di
Londra.
3.sliced: tagliava.
4.twigs: rametti.
5.cabs: taxi.
6.purred: faceva le
fusa.
7.cockatoo: cacatua.
8.hosts: folle.
9.plodding past:
che passavano
pesantemente.
10.the Serpentine: un
lago in Hyde Park.
11.Bond Street: via di
Londra.
12.rambling:
sconnessa.
13.Fear no more…
Nor the furious
winter’s
rages:citazione
da Cymbeline
(Shakespeare).
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
17
Over to you
❶Say which aspects of her personality Clarissa considers negative and which are
positive.
❷What is her attitude to the past and to the present?
❸What contradictory aspects in her personality come out of this extract?
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
18
❹What are Mrs Dalloway’s feelings about death? How is the quotation she reads
from Shakespeare connected to her feelings?
❺Focus on interior monologue. Virginia Woolf’s interior monologue is very
complex. It is usually conveyed through one of the techniques listed below
which often blend into one another. Find at least one example of each.
1.
free indirect thought
2.
third person narration from the character’s point of view
3.
free direct thought
4.
direct questions with verb tense in indirect form
Virginia Woolf
Mrs Dalloway (1925)
Mrs Dalloway
Text 4 Texts 3 and 4 focus on Clarissa, Mrs Dalloway. She is thinking about herself and so
presents herself from her own view point.
How many million times she had seen her face, and always with the same
imperceptible contraction! She pursed her lips when she looked in the glass. It
was to give her face point1. That was herself pointed; dart-like2; definite. That was
herself when some effort, some call on her to be herself, drew the parts together,
5she alone knew how different, how incompatible and composed so for the world
only in one centre, one diamond, one woman who sat in her drawing-room and
made a meeting-point, a radiancy no doubt in some dull3 lives, a refuge for the
lonely to come to, perhaps; she had helped young people, who were grateful to
her; had tried to be the same always, never showing a sign of all the other sides
10of her faults, jealousies, vanities, suspicions, like this of Lady Bruton not asking
her to lunch; which, she thought (combing her hair finally), is utterly base4! Now,
where was her dress?
Over to you
❶What parts reveal that the people who know her only have a limited knowledge
of her very complex and contradictory personality?
❷ What is the main difference between her public and private face?
❸Which of the techniques listed in exercise 5 in Text 1 are also present in this
extract?
❹From the knowledge you have gained from these extracts, what impression do
you have of Mrs Dalloway? Do you find her sensitive/insensitive, intelligent/
obtuse, happy/unhappy… Explain your choices.
1.point: contegno.
2.dart-like: acuta.
3.dull: noiose.
4.base: meschino.
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
19
D.H. Lawrence
Sons and lovers
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
20
Sons and Lovers
Text 2 1.had borne: aveva
sopportato.
2.straining: la
tormentava.
3.drew back: ritrasse.
4.held: tenne.
5.pleaded to him: lo
supplicava.
9.could not cope
with it: non poteva
reggerlo.
7.turned her face
aside: distolse il viso.
8.raising herself:
alzandosi.
9.bosom: seno.
10.rocked him: lo cullò.
11.anguished:
angosciata.
12.breast: seno.
13.cradled him: lo
cullava.
14.burden: peso.
15.feint: parvenza.
16.drew away: si
scostò.
17.mouth...pain: il
dolore gli contraeva
la bocca.
18.the toll of a bell:
il rintocco di una
campana.
19.hold him: lo
prendesse.
20.Stop...beating:
basta con questa
inquietudine e lotta.
21.mate: compagno.
Miriam gives herself to Paul, but in spite of her ‘sacrifice’, he leaves her.
‘Will you have me, to marry me?’ he said very low.
Oh, why did he not take her? Her very soul belonged to him. Why would he not
take what was his? She had borne1 so long the cruelty of belonging to him and
not being claimed by him.
5Now he was straining her2 again. It was too much for her. She drew back3 her
head, held4 his face between her hands, and looked him in the eyes. No, he was
hard. He wanted something else.
She pleaded to him5 with all her love not to make it her choice. She could not
cope with it6, with him, she knew not with what. But it strained her till she felt
10she would break.
‘Do you want it?’ she asked, very gravely.
‘Not much,’ he replied, with pain.
She turned her face aside7; then, raising herself8 with dignity, she took his head
to her bosom9, and rocked him10 softly. She was not to have him, then! So she
15could comfort him. She put her fingers through his hair. For her, the anguished11
sweetness of self-sacrifice. For him, the hate and misery of another failure.
He could not bear it – that breast12 which was warm and which cradled him13
without taking the burden14 of him. So much he wanted to rest on her that the
feint15 of rest only tortured him. He drew away16.
20‘And without marriage we can do nothing?’ he asked.
His mouth was lifted from his teeth with pain17. She put her little finger between
her lips.
‘No,’ she said, low and like the toll of a bell18. ‘No, I think not.’
It was the end then between them. She could not take him and relieve him of
25the responsibility of himself. She could only sacrifice herself to him – sacrifice
herself every day, gladly.
And that he did not want. He wanted her to hold him19 and say, with joy and
authority: ‘Stop all this restlessness and beating20 against death. You are mine for
a mate21.’ She had not the strength.
Over to you
❶Complete this summary of the extract using the words below.
really • marry • getting married • bosom • draws back • rocks • end
Paul asks Miriam if she would .......................................... (1) him but she answers by asking him
the same question. He replies that he doesn’t .......................................... (2) want to. She takes his
face to her .......................................... (3) and .......................................... (4) him like a baby. She wants
to comfort him but he .......................................... (5). This is the .......................................... (6) of their
relationship because she doesn’t want to live with him or have a sexual relationship
without .......................................... (7).
1.
In some parts of the text the language is mystical and symbolic.
2.
He often uses archaic terms.
3.
His descriptions of settings are very detailed.
4.
Lawrence uses a very simple and direct language in his dialogues.
5.
In some parts he uses the stream of consciousness.
6.
In some parts the language is intense and emotional.
❸Miriam’s love for Paul is stronger than Paul’s love for Miriam. Do you think it is
common for one person in a couple to love the other person more?
❹Paul is a complex character, a mixture of spirituality and sensuality, love and
hate, sensitivity and cruelty. In your opinion, are any of these contradictions
solved by this stage in the story?
21
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
❷Which of these statements apply to Lawrence’s style?
W.H. Auden
‘O Tell Me The Truth About Love’ (1938)
This poem, written in 1938, only one year before ‘The Unknown Citizen’, is, however, in
complete contrast with the previous poem. Written as part of a collection of songs, Four
Cabaret Songs for Miss Hedli Anderson, the poem proves how versatile and eclectic Auden’s
writing could be, both in subject matter and its simplicity of style.
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
22
Before reading
❶From the title how would you expect the tone of this poem to be? Choose from
the following.
tragic
dramatic
humorous
romantic
❷Read and listen to the poem and see if you were right. Say how the rhythm helps
reflect the tone.
‘O Tell Me The Truth About Love’
1.very cross indeed:
molto arrabbiato.
2.it wouldn’t do: non
si fa così.
3.ham: la coscia di
maiale (cibo).
4.temperance hotel:
un albergo che non
vende alcolici.
5.odour...llamas: il
suo odore ricorda
quello dei lama.
6.prickly: pungente.
7.hedge: siepe.
8.soft...fluff: soffice
come il piumino
d’oca.
9.sharp: affilato.
10.smooth at the
edges: liscio ai bordi.
11.accounts of suicide:
racconti di suicidi.
12.scribbled:
scarabocchiato.
13.backs of railwayguides: dorsi delle
guide ferroviarie.
Some say that love’s a little boy,
And some say it’s a bird,
Some say it makes the world go round,
And some say that’s absurd,
5 And when I asked the man next door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed1,
And said it wouldn’t do2.
10
15
Does it look like a pair of pyjamas,
Or the ham3 in a temperance hotel4?
Does its odour remind one of llamas5,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly6 to touch as a hedge7 is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff8?
Is it sharp9 or quite smooth at the edges10?
O tell me the truth about love.
20
Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It’s quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I’ve found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides11,
And even seen it scribbled12 on
The backs of railway-guides13.
Does it howl like a hungry Alsation14,
Or boom15 like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw16 or a Steinway Grand17?
Is its singing at parties a riot18?
Does it only like Classical stuff19?
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.
I looked inside the summer-house,
It wasn’t even there,
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead
And Brighton’s bracing air20,
I don’t know what the blackbird21 sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn’t in the chicken-run22,
Or underneath the bed.
45
Can it pull extraordinary faces23?
Is it usually sick on a swing24?
Does it spend all its time at the races25,
Or fiddling with pieces of string26?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.
50
55
When it comes, will it come without warning27,
Just as I’m picking my nose28?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my toes29?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting30 be courteous or rough31?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.
Over to you
❶Auden speaks about the various aspects of love. Say which stanza(s) speak about
the following.
1.
How love behaves ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
2.
Where we can find references to love ..............................................................................................................................................
3.
Definitions of love .........................................................................................................................................................................................................
4.
How love presents itself .......................................................................................................................................................................................
5.
How love looks and smells ................................................................................................................................................................................
6.
Where the narrator looked for love ......................................................................................................................................................
7.
How love feels .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................
8.
The noise it makes ........................................................................................................................................................................................................
❷Which lines are probably referring to the love for children?
14.howl...alsation:
abbaiare come un
cane lupo affamato.
15.boom: esplodere.
16.saw: sega.
17.
Steinway Grand:
famosa marca di
pianoforte.
18.a riot: uno spasso.
19.classical stuff:
musica classica.
20.Brighton’s bracing
air: l’aria fortificante
di Brighton.
21. blackbird: merlo.
22.chicken-run: pollaio.
23.pull extraordinary
faces: fare delle
smorfie incredibili.
24.sick on a swing:
vomita sull’altalena.
25.the races: le corse
dei cavalli.
26.fiddling...string:
giocherellando con
pezzi di corda.
27.without warning:
senza avviso.
28.picking my nose:
infilando il dito nel
naso.
29.tread...toes:
calpestarmi i piedi
sull’autobus.
30.greetings: saluti.
31.courteous or rough:
cortesi o rozzi.
23
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
25
30
35
40
❸Can you now identify the tone of the poem?
❹Choose the correct alternative.
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
24
1.
What, in your opinion, contributes most to the humour of this poem?
rhyme scheme
bizarre references
both
2.
The repetitive refrain gives the reader the impression that the narrator
is anxious and excited to experience love
is frightened by love
is indifferent to love
❺Which stylistic device does Auden use to indicate that the narrator is desperate
to know something about love?
❻Looking at the structure of the poem we can see that it is irregular, along with
the metric rhythm, although the rhyme scheme remains fixed throughout. What
happens to the rhythm of the poem in lines 2 and 4 of each stanza?
❼What does this help to convey about the narrator? Choose the correct
alternative.
his sadness
his excitement
his anger
❽The title and refrain of the poem may be Auden’s ironic way of saying what?
❾Which lines of the poem do you find the most absurd?
��Which reference to love do you like the best?
��Compare these two poems by Auden and find at least 4 differences between
them. Discuss in class.
��What would be your ‘truth’ about love?
��Say which of the two poems you prefer and why.
Dylan Thomas (1914-53)
Main works
• 18 Poems (1934)
• Twenty-five Poems (1936)
• Deaths and Entrances (1946)
• In Country Sleep (1952)
• Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog (1940)
Dylan Thomas became famous for his visionary poetry, but also because of his excessive
lifestyle and impulsive personality. He represents the figure of the modern bard and is
still legendary among writers – one of the last of the ‘damned poets’.
A link with tradition
While English writers of the time had taken new paths, experimenting with poetry,
tending towards a more ironic and objective way of interpreting art, Thomas’s poetry
remained linked with the past, above all with the Elizabethan and Romantic poets.
The influence of the Romantics is especially apparent in Thomas’s recurrent themes of
childhood and nature.
His poetry was innovative through the use of his personal imagery and symbolism
which set a new standard for many mid-20th-century poets.
Features of his poetry
The main themes present in Thomas’s poetry are death, love, mutability, Welsh legends,
Christian symbolism, witchcraft and astronomy. Over the years he seemed to pass from
religious doubt to joyous faith in God as much of his poetry expresses religious devotion
and reflects God’s connection with human beings. He uses his poetry to explore his
metaphysical viewpoints and his position as a poet in relation to the rest of society, but
also to express his views on reality.
25
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
Dylan Thomas was born in 1914 in Swansea in
Wales. His parents were Welsh speaking but had
adopted the English language. Though Thomas
himself could not speak Welsh, he picked up
the rhythms of the language which has a strong
presence in much of his poetry.
He began writing poetry when he was still at
school, even achieving publication of some of
his works at the time. He did not, however, go
to university but began, instead, to work as
a trainee reporter in a newspaper. In 1936 he
moved to London where he worked as a poet,
writer and radio broadcaster. He married in
1937 but the marriage was marred by Thomas’s
erratic life-style and by the extra-marital affairs
of both partners. Thomas continued to write and publish poetry and became famous for
his poetry readings which conquered American audiences from 1950-53.
Thomas died suddenly in New York in 1953, his death resulting from alcohol abuse in
which, according to his own story told with pride to a friend, he had drunk 18 straight
whiskies in a bar in Manhattan.
Style
Although Thomas’s poetry appears as a spontaneous flow of thoughts and emotions
it was actually the result of a great deal of hard work. He was a disciplined writer who
re-drafted (wrote and corrected his work) in an almost obsessive way. He himself said:
‘I am a painstaking, conscientious, involved and devious craftsman in words’, implying
that he employed a laborious perfectionism in his writing. His technical skill is evident
in word play and fractured syntax, though it is the musicality of his poetry which makes
his style unique and seductive. Symbols and imagery contribute to rendering his poetry
complex for readers, especially his early collections.
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
26
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good
Night’ (1951)
This poem is considered one of his most beautiful. It was written for his dying father.
Thomas, who had always known his father as a strong and determined character, sees
him now transformed by illness and old-age. In the poem he tries to incite his father to
fight against death till the end, not to be taken by it passively. He talks to his father of
men, wise men, good men, wild men or grave men as examples of men who live fully but
fight when it is their turn to die, examples that his father should imitate. The message
of the poem is that no one should feebly give up on life in the face of death, but continue
to fight to the bitter end. It is a strongly personal and emotional poem which exhorts to
move on with strength and reflects the poet’s pride and love for his father.
Before reading
1.rave: infierire.
2.rage: infuria.
Read the first stanza of the poem. The poet is talking to his father. Can you think
what the scene may look like? Is he standing, sitting? Where? Where is his father?
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave1 at close of day;
Rage2, rage against the dying of the light.
Now read and listen to the complete poem and answer the questions that follow.
‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave1 at close of day;
Rage2, rage against the dying of the light.
5
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning3 they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by4, crying how bright Their frail deeds5 might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved6 it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
15
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze7 like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse8, bless9 me now with your fierce tears10, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Over to you
❶Complete the following summary of the poem with the words below.
Grave • death • wild • give up • rage • good • persuade • adjective • wise
The poet starts by talking to his father and telling him: ‘not [to] go gentle into that good
night’. The ‘good night’ is a metaphor for .......................................... (1) and he is asking him not
to .......................................... (2). In the third line we find a word which suggests the act of fighting.
This word is repeated twice and it is .......................................... (3).
In the following stanzas he tries to .......................................... (4) his father to ‘fight’ by offering
examples of other men. The following stanzas start with the word ‘men’, accompanied
by a different .......................................... (5). In stanza 2: it is .......................................... (6), in the following stanza
.......................................... (7), in the fourth stanza ........................................... (8) and in the fifth stanza
.......................................... (9). In this way Thomas encompasses every characteristic of man.
❷In the last stanza the speaker addresses his father again. What does he ask him
to do?
❸Focus on the metaphor used in the second stanza. The men here know that ‘at
their end [...] dark is right’. What does the poet mean by this?
❹How would you interpret the metaphor referring to the men in stanza 4: wild
men ‘who caught and sang the sun in flight / And learn, too late, they grieved it
on its way’?
❺Identify the rhyme scheme of the poem.
❻Can you find an example of personification in line 8?
❼What other metaphor can you find for death in stanza 6?
❽Why does the poet ask his father to bless him with his ‘fierce tears’ (l. 17)?
➒In this poem Dylan Thomas gives examples of different types of men. Considering
the poet’s life and character (from the information you can draw from the
biography and commentary) which group do you think he would belong to?
27
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
10
��As you read in the commentary, Dylan Thomas is usually recognised as the last
great ‘damned poet’ in western literature. Can you name other ‘damned poets’
(perhaps of different nationalities)? Discuss in class.
��Did you find the poem difficult to understand, moving, impressive, interesting,
involving or boring? Justify your choice.
��In what way does Thomas deal originally with dying and the moment of death?
Discuss in class.
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
28
Dylan Thomas
‘The Hunchback in the Park’(1939)
‘The Hunchback in the Park’ is based on a real experience. When the poet was a boy,
he used to go to the park (Cwmdonkin Park in Swansea) and see a lonely old man, a
hunchback. He then decided to dedicate a poem to him. The main theme of the poem is
that of isolation. From the beginning a sense of solitude is suggested by the expression
‘solitary mister’. The hunchback in fact lives alone and is mocked by strangers. The half
rhyme used throughout the poem contributes to creating a sense of melancholy.
‘The Hunchback in the Park’
The hunchback in the park
A solitary mister
Propped1 between trees and water
From the opening of the garden lock2
5 That lets the trees and water enter
Until the Sunday sombre3 bell at dark
10
15
Eating bread from a newspaper
Drinking water from the chained4 cup
That the children filled with gravel5
In the fountain basin6 where I sailed my ship
Slept at night in a dog kennel
But nobody chained him up.
Like the park birds he came early
Like the water he sat down
And Mister they called Hey mister
The truant boys7 from the town
Running when he had heard them clearly
On out of sound
Past lake and rockery8
20 Laughing when he shook his paper
Hunchbacked in mockery9
Through the loud zoo of the willow groves10
Dodging11 the park keeper
With his stick that picked up leaves.
25
30
And the old dog sleeper
Alone between nurses and swans12
While the boys among willows
Made the tigers jump out of their eyes
To roar on the rockery stones13
And the groves were blue with sailors
1.propped: puntellato.
2.lock: luchetto.
3.sombre: cupa.
4.chained: incatenata.
5.gravel: ghiaia.
6.basin: vasca.
7.truant boys: scolari
perdigiorno.
8.rockery: scogli.
9.mockery: burla.
10.willow groves:
boschetto di salici.
11.dodging: sfuggendo.
12.swans: cigni.
13.rockery stones:
scogli.
14.elm: olmo.
15.crooked: curve.
16.after the railings
and shrubberies:
dopo le ringhiere
e gli arbusti (i
cespugli).
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
29
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
30
35
Made all day until bell time
A woman figure without fault
Straight as a young elm14
Straight and tall from his crooked15 bones
That she might stand in the night
After the locks and chains
40
All night in the unmade park
After the railings and shrubberies16
The birds the grass the trees the lake
And the wild boys innocent as strawberries
Had followed the hunchback
To his kennel in the dark.
Over to you
❶How is the man described?
❷ Complete the following summary of the poem with the words/phrases below.
s ailors at sea • woman • park • day • park keeper • eating and drinking • habits •
mockingly onward • rush • chained tigers • dog • kennel • ship gravel • truants
The first stanza describes the place in which the hunchback lives. It is the
.................................................................. (1) which is unlocked in the .................................................................. (2) and closes
at dark. The second stanza begins by describing the crude .................................................................. (3)
of the hunchback. He eats bread from a newspaper and drinks water from a cup
................................................................. (4) to the fountain in the park. He doesn’t spend his nights
in the park but in a .................................................................. (5). In this stanza the poet introduces
himself for the first time: he is the child who sails his .................................................................. (6) in
the fountain. He also introduces the other children whose cruelty is shown in their
behaviour towards the hunchback: they fill his cup with .................................................................. (7). In
the third stanza the poet talks about the .................................................................. (8) who taunt
the hunchback by calling him .................................................................. (9). In stanza four the
.................................................................. (10) of the children as they run through the park is described.
The children run not only from the hunchback, but also from the ...................................................... (11)
with his stick. The way they mock and imitate the hunchback is also described here.
In stanza five the poet still focuses on the children who imagine the park has
.................................................................. (12) and see themselves as .................................................................. (13). They are
contrasted with the other sedate visitors to the park: the old dog sleeper, the nurses
and the swans. In stanza six the poet goes back to the hunchback who also imagines
things. He imagines an ideal .................................................................. (14) ‘figure without fault’ – created
straight and tall from his own crooked bones.
❸Focus now on the final stanza. Who do you think remains ‘all night in the
unmade park’?
➍ Where does the hunchback go?
➎In the first stanza why do you think the phrase ‘trees and water’ is repeated?
Choose.
to emphasise the musical nature of the poem and to highlight the rural nature of the
park
to emphasise man’s love of nature
to point out that there is also a positive aspect to the man’s life: contact with nature
➏In the second stanza what does the image of the chain suggest (l. 8)? Choose.
the man feels like a prisoner in his world
the man is actually imprisoned
the police are looking for the man in order to imprison him
➐What does the image of the ship suggest?
➑What effect does the comparison between the hunchback and the dog produce?
➒In the fourth stanza what is emphasised with the expression ‘loud zoo’?
��There are three different points of view expressed in the poem. Whose are they?
��Can you find any regular rhyme scheme?
��What, in your opinion, is the main theme of the poem?
Review
❶
Answer the following questions.
1.
What kind of life did Thomas lead?
2.
How has his poetry been defined?
3.
Who is ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Night’ dedicated to?
4.
What does ‘The Hunchback in the Park’ focus on?
31
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
Francis Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby (1925)
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
32
The Great Gatsby
Text 2 By now Nick and Gatsby have become friends and Gatsby asks Nick if he will invite
his cousin Daisy to his home so that he can meet her again at last. After five years of
preparation and anticipation they both finally meet. Gatsby then takes Daisy and Nick to
his own home. The one he had built especially to impress Daisy.
1.ceased: smesso di.
2.measure...drew:
secondo la reazione
che suscitava in lei.
3.dazed way: in modo
svanito.
4.astounding
presence: la
sua presenza
stupefacente.
5.nearly...stairs:
quasi cadde da una
rampa di scale.
6.unreasoning
joy: la sua gioia
irragionevole.
7.teeth set: a denti
stretti.
8.inconceivable...
intensity: un
inconcepibile livello
di intensità.
9.running...clock:
si stava scaricando
come un orologio
dalla molla troppo
tesa.
10.hydroplane:
idrovolante.
11.in a row: in fila.
12.corrugated surface:
la superficie
increspata dello
stretto.
13.mist: nebbia.
14.dock: pontile.
15.enchanted: fatati.
He hadn’t once ceased1 looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in
his house according to the measure of response it drew2 from her well-loved eyes.
Sometimes too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way3, as though in
her actual and astounding presence4 none of it was any longer real. Once he
5nearly toppled down a flight of stairs5.[...]
He had passed visibly through two states and was entering upon a third. After
his embarrassment and his unreasoning joy6 he was consumed with wonder at
her presence. He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it right through to
the end, waited with his teeth set7, so to speak, at an inconceivable pitch of
10intensity8. Now, in the reaction, he was running down like an over-wound clock9.
[...]
After the house, we were to see the grounds and the swimming-pool, and the
hydroplane10, and the midsummer flowers – but outside Gatsby’s window it
began to rain again, so we stood in a row11 looking at the corrugated surface12 of
15 the Sound.
‘If it wasn’t for the mist13 we could see your home across the bay,’ said Gatsby.
‘You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock14.’
Daisy put her arms through his abruptly, but seemed absorbed in what he had
just said. Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of
20that light had now vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had
separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her.
It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a
dock. His count of enchanted15 objects had diminished by one.’
Over to you
❶Answer the following questions.
1.
Who is describing the scene to us? Gatsby, Nick or Daisy?
2.
Where are the characters?
3.
What did Gatsby want to show Daisy and Nick after showing them his house?
4.
Why couldn’t he do this?
❷After meeting Daisy, Nick says of Gatsby ‘Once he nearly toppled down a flight
of stairs’ (l. 5). Why? How was he feeling?
afternoon. What were these stages?
❹In lines 6-11 which line clearly expresses Gatsby’s excitement and anticipation?
❺Read lines 10-11 again: ‘Now, in the reaction, he was running down like an overwound clock’. Say why this is a good metaphor for describing Gatsby’s state.
❻In line 17 Gatsby refers to the green light that always burned at night at the end
of Daisy’s dock. What did this light previously represent for Gatsby? (Think of
the colour.)
❼Do you think Nick is sympathetic and understanding towards Gatsby or do you
think he dislikes Gatsby? Give reasons for your answer.
❽Which, for you, is the most romantic line in the passage?
❾Irish dramatist George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) once stated ‘There are only two
tragedies in life; the first is not fulfilling one’s dream, the second is fulfilling it.’
How can we relate this statement to Gatsby’s life? Do you agree with it? Discuss
in class.
��The novel is entitled The ‘Great’ Gatsby. What do you think makes Gatsby
‘great’? Think of his dream and why he made his money.
On the Net
��Do one of the following activities.
1.
It is never stated what Gatsby actually did to make all his money but he was almost
certainly a bootlegger. Look on the Internet and try and find the names of the most
famous bootleggers of the 1920s and where they operated. Also find out why Eliot
Ness was important in the same period.
OR
2.
Find out more about the fashion of the period. Collect some images of ladies and
men’s clothing.
33
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
❸In lines 6-8 Nick tells us that Gatsby had passed through three stages during the
Ernest Hemingway
‘A Very Short Story’ (1938)
In this story Hemingway paints a very vivid picture of a relationship that closely
parallels his own experience with Agnes Von Kurowsky, an autobiographical experience.
In fact at eighteen Hemingway took part in the World War I when he got wounded and
spent some months in a hospital in Milan. Here he had a love affair with a nurse. It is
probably the same love affair narrated here between a soldier, ‘he’, and an Italian nurse
‘Luz’ and how their relationship ends. Though ‘A Very Short Story’ is really extremely
short it represents a good example of Hemingway’s short story and of his capacity of
depicting situations and developing conflicts in few lines (in seven short paragraphs of
633 words). He uses carefully chosen language to help the reader understand the fleeting,
but also powerful, nature of these encounters in which attraction is often mistaken for
love. The conflict here is both internal and external: the external conflict is the World
War I, the second consists in the struggle the protagonists have in their minds.
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
34
Before reading
What do you know about short stories? Do this short test to verify your knowledge.
Answer true or false.
T
F
1. Short stories are always very short. (No more than three pages).
T
F
2.Short stories are written in a simple language.
T
F
3.Short stories are mostly thrillers.
T
F
4.Short stories have always one protagonist.
T
F
5.Short stories have a happy end.
‘A Very Short Story’’
1.chimney
swifts: rondoni
(uccelli).
2.searchlights: riflettori.
3.enema: clistere.
4.crutches: stampelle.
5.dim: fioco (luce).
6.bunch: fascio.
7.they
quarrelled: litigarono.
8.arditi: corpo speciale
dell’esercito italiano
durante la Prima
Guerra Mondiale
9.gonorrhea: malattia
venerea.
10.loop: area del centro di
Chicago.
11.Lincon Park: quartiere
residenziale di Chicago.
One hot evening in Padua they carried him up onto the roof and he could look
out over the top of the town. There were chimney swifts1 in the sky. After a while
it got dark and the searchlights2came out. The others went down and took the
bottles with them. He and Luz could hear them below on the balcony. Luz sat on
5the bed. She was cool and fresh in the hot night.
Luz stayed on night duty for three months. They were glad to let her. When
they operated on him she prepared him for the operating table; and they had a
joke about friend or enema3. He went under the anaesthetic holding tight on to
himself so he would not blab about anything during the silly, talky time. After he
10got on crutches4 he used to take the temperatures so Luz would not have to get
up from the bed. There were only a few patients, and they all knew about it. They
all liked Luz. As he walked back along the halls he thought of Luz in his bed.
Before he went back to the front they went into the Duomo and prayed. It was
dim5 and quiet, and there were other people praying. They wanted to get married,
15but there was not enough time for the banns, and neither of them had birth
certificates. They felt as though they were married, but they wanted everyone to
know about it, and to make it so they could not lose it.
Over to you
❶Fill in the grid with the information you get from the first paragraph.
Story setting (where/when)
...............................................................................................................................................................
The characters
...............................................................................................................................................................
❷Use the words below to complete the following summary of the short story.
t o New York • many letters • her not coming with him • in hospital • major • to war • to
get married • adult love • a venereal disease
The unnamed soldier and Luz fall in love when he is …............................................................... (1). Before
he goes back …............................................................... (2) they pray. They want …............................................................... (3).
When he is at the front, Luz writes to him …............................................................... (4). They decide that,
after the war, he will go …............................................................... (5) and she will come afterwards. They
leave each other while still quarrelling about …............................................................... (6). He leaves to
America. She stays behind to open a hospital. There the …............................................................... (7) of
an Italian bataillon makes love to her. She writes to the American that their romance
is over. She has found …............................................................... (8). But this major doesn’t marry her. Her
American lover never writes back. Soon thereafter, he contracts …........................................................ (9)
from a department store employee.
35
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
Luz wrote him many letters that he never got until after the armistice. Fifteen
came in a bunch6 to the front and he sorted them by the dates and read them
20all straight through. They were all about the hospital, and how much she loved
him and how it was impossible to get along without him and how terrible it was
missing him at night.
After the armistice they agreed he should go home to get a job so they might be
married. Luz would not come home until he had a good job and could come to
25New York to meet her. It was understood he would not drink, and he did not want
to see his friends or anyone in the States. Only to get a job and be married. On the
train from Padua to Milan they quarrelled7 about her not being willing to come
home at once. When they had to say good-bye, in the station at Milan, they kissed
good-bye, but were not finished with the quarrel. He felt sick about saying good30bye like that.
He went to America on a boat from Genoa. Luz went back to Pordenone to open
a hospital. It was lonely and rainy there, and there was a battalion of arditi8
quartered in the town. Living in the muddy, rainy town in the winter, the major
of the battalion made love to Luz, and she had never known Italians before,
35and finally wrote to the States that theirs had only been a boy and girl affair.
She was sorry, and she knew he would probably not be able to understand, but
might some day forgive her, and be grateful to her, and she expected, absolutely
unexpectedly, to be married in the spring. She loved him as always, but she
realized now it was only a boy and girl love. She hoped he would have a great
40career, and believed in him absolutely. She knew it was for the best.
The major did not marry her in the spring, or any other time. Luz never got
an answer to the letter to Chicago about it. A short time after he contracted
gonorrhea9 from a sales girl in a loop10department store while riding in a taxicab
through Lincoln Park11.
❸Hemingway’s famous ‘word economy’ expresses itself in the first paragraph.
What is its function here? (Choose.)
setting the tone of the story
creating a sense of mystery
giving most of the information about setting and plot
❹Focus your attention on the characters. What adjectives would you use to
6 The Twentieth Century - Part I / Extra Material
36
describe the ‘he’ of the story?
romantic
religious
generous
brave
faithful
aggressive
❺And Luz? Would you say she’s…?
s illy and superficial
unreliable and changeable
serious and problematic
❻How would you summarize the content of the story? It is about…
t he violence of war
a romantic relationship
the life of a soldier
the impact that war has on lives
❼What kind of language does Hemingway use in this story?
s imple and direct
avanguardistic
complex and rich in metaphors
❽Who tells the story? What kind of narrator is it?
❾What kind of story do you think this is? Discuss.
p sychological
realistic
a crime story
fantastic
others
��Have your read any other short story or novel dealing with the theme of war?

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