Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Reading Period 40: June 18-24: Bernard Shaw


READING:

Bernard Shaw and Pygmalion in your textbook, pages 1004-1071.

ASSIGNMENTS: 

Art Connection:

Create before and after portraits of Liza Doolittle before and after Higgins and Pickering work their transformation on her. What details of your portrait can communicate her social station?



History Connection:

Read about the Greek myth, Pygmalion and Galatea, on which Shaw's play is based. Write a short essay comparing and contrasting Liza to Galatea and Higgins to Pygmalion. How are they alike, and how are they different? Choose a form for your comparison -- A1B1 A2B2 or A1A2 B1B2, as discussed in class.

Writing Connection:

In the play, Pygmalion, Liza marries one person at the end, and her life proceeds in a complicated way, as detailed in the Epilogue. In the musical that was based on this play, "My Fair Lady," the ending is decidedly different. Watch the movie version of this musical, with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, and give your opinion on which is the better ending, and why? Why did the writers decide to change the ending?

QUIZ:

Fill in the blanks:

1. Pygmalion is set in _______ during the early 1900's.
2. Freddy first meets Liza when he accidentally __________.
3. Henry Higgins is taking notes on people's _________.
4. Freddy's mother and sister order Freddy to go and __________.
5. Henry Higgins amuses bystanders by ____________.
6. Higgins tosses some ___________ to Liza.
7. After the rain stops, Liza decides to splurge on ___________.
8. Higgins and Pickering have long known each other by reputation because both ____________.
9. The first face-to-face meeting between Higgins and Pickering is when ____________.
10. Higgins makes a bet with Pickering that ____________.
11. Doolittle says that he has come to Higgins because _____________.
12. The real reason Doolittle shows up at Higgins' door is ___________.
13. Liza's first appearance in society is at _______________.
14. Mrs. Hill is rather shocked at Liza's conversation about ____________.
15. Higgins wins his bet when Liza ______________.

Bonus: Why does Higgins' Hungarian rival conclude that Liza is a Hungarian?


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Reading Period 39: June 11-17: Modern Poetry

READING:

In your textbook, read biographical notes and poems from these authors:
W.H. Auden (p 964-970)
Stephen Spender (p 970-973)
Dylan Thomas (p 975-981)

ASSIGNMENTS:

Art Connection:

Read Auden's "Musee des Beaux Arts", and take a look at Brueghel's "Icarus" in your textbook or in a larger form at this link. Think about the line "But for him it was not an important failure." Read William Carlos William's poem about the same painting, "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus." Consider how regular life goes on around tragic or important events. Now draw or paint your own "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" set in a contemporary scene. What would people in your life be engaged in when they failed to notice Icarus falling out of the sky?

History Connection:

Read Auden's "Spain 1937." The Spanish Civil War started in 1936, and was a military uprising against the government. Write a short essay giving some background on this conflict, to help us understand Auden's poem. Who was the leader of the rebels? Were they successful? Which European countries supported which sides? What was the outcome of the war?

Writing Connection:

Read Dylan Thomas' poem "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night." The poem is written in the form of a villanelle. Here's another example: Sylvia Plath's "Mad Girl's Love Song." In Thomas' poem, the repetition gives emphasis. In Plath's, it gives the impression of obsession. Here's another, by Auden: "If I Could Tell You." Write your own villanelle. The form is here, where A1 is the first repeated refrain, A2 is the second repeated refrain, a is a line ending with the first rhyme, and b is a line ending with the second rhyme:

Dylan Thomas
A1
b
A2

a
b
A1

a
b
A2

a
b
A1

a
b
A2

a
b
A1
A2

QUIZ:

1. Why did Auden move to America?
2. How did Auden feel about Christianity later in his life?
3. Which side did Auden take in the Spanish Civil War?
4. In the poem, "Spain 1937," which seems most attractive: yesterday, tomorrow, or today?
5. What three paintings are referenced in "Musee des Beaux Arts"?
6. What was the goal of Stephen Spender's poetry, according to the biographical note?
7. Would you call the poem "What I Expected" optimistic or pessimistic about modern times?
8. In what part of England did Dylan Thomas mostly live?
9. What is the "force" that Dylan Thomas references in "The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower"?
10. "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" is an example of what poetic form?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Reading Period 38: June 4-10: Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse

READING:

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Read Part 1. See also this site, which shows a map of the novel, and links to other materials.
"Witness for the Prosecution" by Agatha Christie. Short story. See also this site for ancillary materials.
"Leave it to Jeeves" by P.G. Wodehouse. Short story. See also this
"The Village Sports Day at Twing" An episode of the show, "Jeeves and Wooster."

ASSIGNMENTS:
Choose 2.

Art Connection:

P.G. Wodehouse's characters move in rarefied circles of country houses, London apartments, social clubs, and garden parties. Create an illustration of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves where they are way out of their element, either in their own time or in a different time period.

History Connection:

Murder on the Orient Express, published in 1934, is set in the Republic of Turkey in the city of Istanbul. In 1930, the city of Istanbul had been renamed "Istanbul," a change from the previous name, "Constantinople." You may have heard this song celebrated in the song "Istanbul." Listen to the song, then ask yourself the question: Why was the name changed? Do some research online, and answer this question in a short essay.

Writing Connection:

Read this 1928 list of rules for writing detective novels. Now complete the following tasks: 1. Consider which of these would you eliminate, and why? Would you add any rules for writing detective novels? 2. Answer the question: Why should there be rules for writing mysteries that might not apply to any other genre of novel? 3. Write your own "Rules for Writing Novels" that should apply to all long fiction.

QUIZ:

Read this article on Jeeves and Bertie, then answer these questions:

1. What does it mean when the author says, "Wodehouse is an anodyne to annoyances."
2. Comparing Wodehouse's books to "The Importance of Being Earnest," which does the author feel is more important?
3. What criticism does the author have to make about the Bertie and Jeeves books?
4. How did the Bertie and Jeeves stories first appear?
5. What other material did Wodehouse write besides fiction?
6. What other literary pairings in British lit remind the author of Bertie and Jeeves?
7. Give an example of one change the author notes in the way Bertie and Jeeves are portrayed, comparing the earlier stories to the later ones?
8. How are Bertie and Jeeves like Peter Pan and Wendy?
9. Do you think these stories about a rich man and his servant can be relevant to readers in the 21st century?
10. Did you find humor in the story you read?