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Exercises for American Literature (I)

Exercises for American Literature (I)

Exercises for American Literature (I) - Chapter 3

Chapter 3

The Modern Period

A. Each of the statements below is followed by four alternative answers. Choose the one that would best complete the statement and put the letter in the bracket. 1. A. C. 2. A. 3. ______, disregarding grammar and punctuation, always used "i" instead of "I" to refer to himself Wallace Stevens Robert Frost B. D. E. E. Cummings as a protest against self-importance. William Carlos Williams

Sherwood Anderson explores the motivations and frustrations of his fictional characters in terms Winesburg, Ohio B. Babbit D. The Catcher in the Rye

of Freud's theory of psychology, particularly in one book ______. C. The Grapes of Wrath

The leading playwright of the modern period in American literature, if not the most successful in B. Tennessee William D. Eugene O'Neil

all his experiments, is ____________. A. Arthur Miller C. George Bernard Shaw 4.

As he is a leading spokesman of the "Imagist Movement", ______famous one-image poem "In a B. Robert Frost's D. Wallace Stevens's

Station of the Metro" would serve as a typical example of the imagist ideas. A. T. S. Eliot's C.

Ezra Pound's

In his masterpiece, _______, Pound traces the rise and fall of eastern and western empires, the moral and

social chaos of the modern world, especially the corruption of American after the heroic time of Jefferson. A. C. 6. Make it New Confucius B. D. The Cantos Polite Essays

Robert Frost is generally considered a regional poet in the sense that his subject matters mainly focus on the

landscape and people in_______. A. C. 7. A. B. C. D. 8. A. B. C. D. 9. A. B. C. New England southern America B. D. New York the West

_______stems from the ambiguity of the speaker's choice between safety and the unknown. "Mending the Wall" "Home Burial" "The Road Not Taken" "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" _______ marks the climax of Eugene O'Neil's literary career and the coming of age of American drama. The Hairy Ape Long Day's Journey Into Night "The Iceman Cometh The Emperor Jones _______is a play that concerns the problem of modern man's identity. The Hairy Ape Long Day's Journey Into Night Desire Under the Elms

D. 10.

The Emperor Jones _______ uses symbolism, poetry, and the affirmation of a pagan idealism to show how materialistic

civilization denies the life-giving impulses and destroys the genuine artist. A. C. Desire Under the Elms Lazarus Laughed B. D. The Emperor Jones The Great God Brown

11. _______is often acclaimed literary spokesman of the Jazz Age. A. C. Ernest Hemingway William Faulkner B. F. Scott Fitzgerald D. Ezra Pound

12. _______is Hemingway's first true novel in which he depicts a vivid portrait of "The Lost Generation. " A. C. 13. The Sun Also Rises In Our Time B. D. A Farewell to Arms For Whom the Bell Tolls

In a tragic sense, _______is a representation of life as a struggle against unconquerable forces in which only

a partial victory is possible. A. B. C. D. For Whom the Bell Tolls In Our Time The Old Man and the Sea A Farewell to Arms

14. Faulkner once said that _______is a story of "lost innocence," which proves itself to be an intensification of the theme of imprisonment in the past. A. The Sound and the Fury B. D. Light in August Absalom, Absalom ]

C. Go Down, Moses

15. In A Rose for Emily, Faulkner makes best use of the_______ devices in narration. A. C. Romantic Gothic B. D. Realistic Modernist

B. Complete each of the following statements with a proper word or a phrase according to the textbook.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

As a descendent of the Southern aristocracy, Emily is typical of those in Faulkner's Most of Faulkner's works are set in the American South, with his emphasis on the Southern Ernest Hemingway deals with a limited range of characters in quite similar circumstances and Frederick Henry, the hero of A Farewell to Arms, represents the experience of a whole nation, Most critics have agreed that Fitzgerald is both an insider and an outsider of the jazz Age with a Fitzgerald never spared an intimate touch in his fiction to deal with the bankruptcy of the______. Eugene O'Neil's plays such as The Emperor Jones and The Hairy Ape, are daring forays into race Most of Robert Lee Frost's poems are simple in the way that they are ______ or dialogues, they are Ezra Pound's earlier poetry is saturated with the familiar poetic subjects that characterize thel9th

Yoknapatwapha stories who are the ______ of the Old South but the ______ of the past. subjects and______. measures them against an unvarying code, known as "______.” who is wounded in war and disillusioned with the ______ and ______ of the universe. ______vision.

relations, class conflicts, sexual bondage, social critics, and American tragedies on the ______ model. short and direct on the informational level, and they have simple diction. century ______, later he is more concerned about the problems of the ______ culture. 10. The primary imagist objective is to avoid rhetoric and ______, to stick closely to the object or experience being described, and to move from explicit______.

11. 12. 13.


D. Salinger is considered to be a spokesman for the alienated youth in the ______ era and his

The Catcher in the Rye is regarded as a students' classic. Americana fiction in the 1960s and 1970s proves to be different from its predecessors and is In general terms, much serious literature written from 1912 onwards attempted to convey a always referred to as “______fiction.” vision of social breakdown and moral decay and the writer's task was to develop techniques that could represent a ______ with the past. 14. 15. Ernest Hemingway dramatizes in his novels the sense of loss and despair among the post-war Sinclair Lewis is a sociological writer and his Babbit presents a limited ______ mind. documentary picture of the generation who are ______ and ______scarred. narrow and brackets. 1. The two thinkers whose ideas had the greatest impact on the Modern period were Darwin and Sigmund Freud. 2. The defining formal characteristics of the modernistic works are discontinuity and fragmentation. 3. A typical modern work seems to begin arbitrarily, to advance without explanation, but to end with a resolution. 4. Modernistic techniques and manifestos were initiated by poets first and later entered and transformed fiction in this period. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Ezra Pound's poetry is greatly influenced by his study of oriental literature. The Cantos expresses Ezra Pound's search for order. Ezra Pound's reputation as a forerunner of the 20th century American fiction can never be "In the Station of the Metro" is an observation of the poet made in a London railway station. Robert Lee Frost has long been well known as a poet who belongs to the new. In Robert Lee Frost's poems, profound ideas are delivered under the disguise of the plain Robert Frost wrote most of his poems in free verse. Eugene O'Neil, Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams are together called "founders of the Fitzgerald shows an interest both in the upper-class society and in the lower-class society. Fitzgerald skillfully employs the device of having events observed by a "central consciousness" to

C. Decide whether the following statements are true or false and write your answers in the


language and the simple form.

American drama. "

his great advantage. 15. Hemingway develops the style of colloquialism initiated by Mark Twain. 16. In his novels, William Faulkner exploits the modern stream-of-consciousness technique to emphasize the reactions and inner musings of the narrator. D. 1. 3. 5. 7. 9. 11. Name the author of each of the following literary works. Go Down, Moses Light in August The Great Gatsby For Whom the Bell Tolls The Cantos "A Pact" 2. 4. 6. 8. 10. Absalom, Absalom! "Indian Camp" The Old Man and the Sea The Hairy Ape Long Day's Journey Into Night 80

E. Define the literary terms listed below. 1. 2. F. A) For each of the quotations listed below please give the name of the author and the title of the literary work from which it is taken and then briefly interpret it. 1. "The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. " 2. ". . . I come to you as a grown child Who has had a pig-headed father; I am old enough now to make friends. It was you that broke the new wood, Now is a time for carving. We have one sap and one root— Let there be commerce between us. " 3. ". . . For all That struck the earth, No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble, Went surely to the cider-apple heap As of no worth. One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is. Were he not gone, The woodchuck could say whether it's like his Long sleep, as I describe its coming on, Or just come human sleep. " 4. "I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. " 5. "The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. " B) Read the quoted parts carefully and answer the questions in English. 1. "I'll take yuh for a walk sown Fif’ Avenoo. We'll knock 'em offen de oith and croak with de band playin'. <

The Lost Generation The Imagist Movement

Come on, Brother. (The gorilla scrambles gingerly out of his cage. Goes to YANK and stands looking at him. YANK keeps his mocking tone — holds out his hand. ) Shake — de secret grip of our order. (Something, the tone of mockery, perhaps, suddenly enrages the animal. With a spring he wraps his huge arms around YANK in a murderous hug. There is a cracking snap of crushed ribs — a A. B. gasping cry, still mocking, from YANK. ) Hey, I didn't say kiss me!"

Identify the author and the title of the novel from which the passage is taken. Where does the story take place?

C. 2.

What happens to YANK? "He smiled understandingly — much more than understand ingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a

quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faces — or seemed to face — the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. A. B. C. 3. Identify the author and the title of the novel from which the passage is taken. Who is he? What is going on in this part of the novel? " 'Where are we going, Dad?' Nick asked. 'Over to the Indian camp. There is an Indian lady very sick. ' 'Oh,' said Nick. Across the bay they found the other boat beached. Uncle George was smoking a cigar in the dark. The young Indian pulled the boat way up on the beach. Uncle George gave both the Indians cigars. A. B. Identify the author and the title of the work from which the passage is taken. What does Dad imply when he says "There is an Indian lady very sick"?


Why is Dad going to the Indian camp?

5. "And so she died. Fell ill in the house filled with dust and shadows, with only a doddering Negro man to wait on her, we did not even know she was sick; we had long since given up trying to get any .information from the Negro. He talked to no one, probably not even to her, for his voice had grown harsh and rusty, as if from disuse. " A. B. C. G. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. H. 1. 2. Identify the author and the title of the work from which passage is taken. Who dies? How do you describe the relationship between her and hei neighbors? Give brief answers to the following questions. Briefly introduce Ezra Pound's view on the Imagist poetry. Comment on Robert Lee Frost's poetic style. Analyze the themes in Eugene O'Neil's plays. Comment on Eugene O'Neil's dramatic experiments. Why is The Great Gatsby a successful novel? Analyze F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary style. Short essay questions. Summarize Ernest Hemingway's literary achievements. Comment on William Faulkner's literary creation and literary-achievements.

Answers to Chapter 3
A. l. B 8. B B. 1. symbols, prisoners 4. 8. 11. 2. consciousness 6. 9. 3. grace under pressure 7. Greek 10. moralizing, generalization insanity, futility 5. double dramatic monologues post-war 12. new American Dream 14. 2. A 9. A 3. D 10. D 4. C ll. B 5. B 12. A 6. A 13. C 7. D 14. A 15 C

Romanticism, modern 13. break

physically, psychologically

15. C. l. F 9. F D.

middle-class 2. T 10. T 3. F 11. F 4. T 12. F 5. T 6. T 13. F 3. 9. 7. 14. T F 8. 15. T F 16. T

1. William Faulkner 4. 7. Ernest Hemingway 10. Eugene O'Neil E.

2. William Faulkner 5. F. 8. Eugene O'Neil 11. Ezra Pound

William Faulkner 6. Ernest Hemingway Ezra Pound

Ernest Hemingway

Scott Fitzgerald

1. The Lost Generation When the First World War broke out, many young men volunteered to take part in "the war to end wars.” But they found that modern warfare was not as honorable or heroic as they thought it to be. Disillusioned and disgusted by the materially merry-making and spiritually empty life in America, they began to write from their own experiences in the war. They were basically expatriates who left America and started a community of writers and artists in Paris. They experimented on new modes of thought and expression. These writers were later named by an American writer, Gertrude Stein, "The Lost Generation”. 2. The Imagist Movement flourished from 1909 to 1917 and involved quite a number of British and American writers and poets. The movement advanced modernism in arts and concentrated on reforming the medium of poetry as opposed to Romanticism. As one of the leaders of the Imagists, Pound laid down the three Imagist poetic principles: direct treatment of poetic subjects, elimination of merely ornamental or superfluous words, and rhythmical composition in the sequence of the musical phrase rather than in the sequence of a metronome. F. A) 1. From Ezra Pound's "In a Station of the Metro.” It is an observation by the poet of the human faces seen in a Paris subway station. 2. From Ezra Pound's "A Pact.” As time went by, Pound had realized that some agreement existed between "Whitmanesque" free verse, which he used to attack for its carelessness in composition, and the Imagist poetry. He'd like to learn from the free verse and show respect to Whitman. 3. From Robert Lee Frost's "After Apple-Picking.” This poem is a vivid memory of the poet's working experience on the farm. The poet feels satisfied and tired as well. In this part the poet hints that he will never forget the scene of harvest even in his human sleep, which indicates death. 4. From Robert Lee Frost's "The Road Not Taken.” When facing two roads that diverge in a wood, he has to choose and he chooses the one less traveled by, and his choice makes his life different from that of others. Here the poet tries to show the importance of choosing a correct way of life. 5. From Robert Lee Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” The poet seems to show that he would like to stay forever in the beautiful snowy woods, but as a poet, he still has many tasks to fulfill in his life and he has to go ahead. "Before I sleep" may be understood as "before I die.”

B) 1. A. B. C. 2. A. B. C. 3. A. B. C. 4. A. B. C. G. 1. As one of the leaders of the Imagists, Pound laid down the group's three main principles, which include direct treatment of poetic subjects, elimination of merely ornamental or superfluous words, and rhythmical composition in the sequence of the musical phrase rather than in the sequence of a metronome. "The point of Imagism," Pound wrote in 1914, "is that it does not use images as ornaments. The image itself is the speech. The image is the word beyond formulated language. “Obviously the primary Imagist objective is to avoid rhetoric and moralizing, to stick closely to the object or experience being described, and to move from explicit generalization. Pound's famous one-image poem "In a Station of the Metro" serves as a classic specimen of the Imagist ideas. 2. Robert Lee Frost has long been well known as a lyrical poet. It is difficult to classify him with the old or the new. He did not break up with the traditional rhythm and iambic pattern nor made any experiment on form. Instead, he learned from the tradition and made the colloquial New England speech into a poetic expression. Images and metaphors in his poems are taken from the simple rural life and the pastoral landscape. Profound ideas are revealed under the disguise of the plain language and the simple form. What Frost did was to take symbols from the limited human world and the pastoral landscape to reach the universal meaning beyond the rustic scene. By using simple spoken language and conversational rhythms and treating seemingly trivial subjects, Frost achieves an effortless grace in his style. He combines traditional verse forms with a clear American local speech rhythm. He writes in both the metrical forms and the free verse, and sometimes he writes in a form that might be called semi-free or semi-conventional. 3. Of all O'Neil's plays, most of them are tragedies, dealing with the basic issues of human existence and plight; life and death, illusion and disillusion, alienation and communication, dream and reality, self and society, desire and frustration, etc. As a playwright, O'Neil himself was making his-lifelong endeavor to find the truth of life. In his writing, he is looking for an answer both psychologically and artistically, and his dramatic thought follows a tragic pattern running through all his plays, from a celebration of "pipe dreams" to the doubt about the reality of the dream or the inevitability of the defeat. So his final dramas became "transcendental," in the way that the dramatization of man's endeavor in finding the meaning of life results in a tragic failure. 4. O'Neil was a tireless experimentalist in dramatic art. He was constantly experimenting with new styles and forms for his plays i especially during the twenties when Expressionism was in full swing. From Eugene O'Neil's The Hairy Ape. It takes place in a zoo. Yank wants to show intimacy to the gorilla but, out of his expectation, he gets crushed to From F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Gatsby. A luxurious party is being held in Gatsby's house. From Ernest Hemingway's "Indian Camp.” He implies that the lady is going to give birth to a baby. Dad is going to help the lady give birth. From William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily. Emily dies. She is secluded from her neighbors.

death by it.

Between 1920 and 1924 came his outstanding achievements in symbolic expressionism ? The Emperor Jones (1920), The Hairy Ape (1922), All God's Chillun Got Wings (1924) and Desire Under the Elms (1924). These plays are daring forays into race relations, class conflicts, sexual bondage, social critiques, and American tragedies on the Greek model. What is more, the expressionistic techniques are used in these plays to highlight the theatrical effect of the rupture between the two sides of an individual human being, the private and the public. Built on the success of the expressionistic experimentations, O'Neil reached out to extend his mastery of the stage and worked up to the climax of his career. He concerned himself with some non-realistic forms to contain his tragic vision in a number of his plays, such as The Great God Brown (1926) and Lazarus Laughed (1927). 5. A masterpiece in American literature, The Great Gatsby evokes a haunting mood of a glamorous, wild time that seemingly will never come again. Besides, the sense of loss and disillusionment that comes with the failure are embodied fully in the personal tragedy of a young man whose "incorruptible dream" is "smashed into pieces by the relentless reality. " Gatsby is a mythical figure whose personal experience approximates a state of mind of the American. Gatsby is the last of the romantic heroes, whose energy and sense of commitment take him in search of his personal grail; Gatsby's failure predicts to a great extent the end of the American Dream. 6. Fitzgerald is one of great stylists in American literature. His style, closely related to his themes, is explicit and chilly. His accurate dialogues and his sensitive styles provide the reader with a vivid sense of reality. He uses the scenic method in his chapters, each one of which consists of one or more dramatic scenes. Sometimes he intervenes passages of narration, leaving the tedious process of transition to the readers' imagination. He also skillfully chooses a dramatic narrator through whose” central consciousness" everything is delivered to organize the wholeness of the work. The accurate details, the completely original diction and metaphors, the bold impressionistic and colorful quality have all revealed his consummate artistry. H. 1. Greatly and permanently scared by the war experiences, Hemingway formed his own writing style together with his theme and hero. The Sun Also Rises (1926) is Hemingway's first important novel. It casts light on a whole generation after the First World War "The Lost Generation.” Hemingway's second big success is A Farewell to Arms (1929), which writes the epitaph to a decade and to the whole generation in the 1920s. For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) and The Old Man and the Sea (1952) tell more about the later Hemingway. In the former Hemingway shows that life is worth living and there are causes worth dying for and the latter is a representation of life as a struggle against unconquerable natural forces in which only a partial victory is possible. His other works include Men Without Women, Death in the Afternoon, and so on. Hemingway deals with a limited range of characters in quite similar circumstances and measures them against an unvarying code. In one sense, he seems to write one theme: "grace under pressure.” Hemingway has been trying to demonstrate the theme acted out by his hero in his works. Those who survive in the process seeking to master the code with the honesty, the discipline, and the restraint are Hemingway Code heroes. Hemingway once said, “The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.” Typical of this "iceberg" analogy is Hemingway's style, which he has been trying hard to get. According to Hemingway, good literary writing should be able to make readers feel the emotion of the characters directly and the best way to produce the effect is to set down exactly every particular kind of feeling without any authorial comments, without conventionally e-motive language, and with a bare minimum of adjectives and adverbs. Seemingly simple and

natural, Hemingway's style is actually polished and deliberate, but highly suggestive and connotative. Besides, Hemingway develops the style of colloquialism traced first to Mark Twain. He sticks to economy in his writing, which is a striking application of "Less is more.” Ernest Hemingway, a Nobel Prize winner for literature, is one of the greatest American writers. His style, the particular type of hero in his novels, and his life attitude have been widely recognized and imitated, not only in English-speaking countries but all over the world as well. 2. William Faulkner has always been regarded as a man with great might of invention and experimentation. He added to the theory of the novel as an art form and evolved his own literary strategies. The range of narrative techniques used by Faulkner is remarkable. He would never step between the characters and the reader to explain, but let the characters explain themselves and hinder as little as possible the reader's direct experience of the work of art. The most characteristic way of structuring his stories is to fragment the chronological time. He deliberately broke up the chronology of his narrative by juxtaposing the past with the present, in the way the montage does in a movie. The modern stream-of-consciousness technique was also frequently and skillfully exploited by Faulkner to emphasize the reactions and inner musings of the narrator. And the interior monologue Faulkner used helps him achieve the most desirable effect of exploring the nature of human consciousness. Moreover, Faulkner was good at presenting multiple points of view, which gave the story a circular form, wherein one event is centered, with various points of view radiating from it, or different people responding to the same story. The other narrative technique Faulkner used to construct his stories includes symbolism and mythological and biblical allusions. Most of Faulkner's works are set in the American South, with his emphasis on the Southern subjects and consciousness. Of the nineteen novels and seventy-five short stories, fifteen novels and many of his stories are about people from a small region in Northern Mississippi, Yoknapatawpha County, which is actually an imaginary place based on Faulkner’s childhood memory about the place where he grew up, the town of Oxford in his native Lafayette County. With his rich imagination, Faulkner turned the land, the people and the history of the region into a literary creation and a mythical kingdom. Of Faulkner's literary works, four novels are masterpieces by any standards: The Sound and the Fury, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom! and Go Down, Moses.

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