Under the Lion’s Paw Hamlin Garland
Identifying Irony • Complete the worksheet before reading the story in class
Under The Lion’s Paw • Historical Background Information handout – complete for homework prior to reading the story in class
NATURALISM • 1900 - 1914
While many modern works contain naturalistic elements, naturalism refers specifically to a literary movement that took place in America, England, and France during the late 1800s and early 1900s, which produced a unique type of “realistic” fiction. Naturalism is essentially realism with an additional facet: Determinism
Determinism • Characters do not have free will; external and internal forces control their behavior • This belief is called determinism • All determinists believe in the existence of the will, but the will is enslaved due to a multitude of reasons • Characters attempting to exercise free will are hamstrung by forces beyond their control • Life is an inescapable trap
Characters as Marionettes • Naturalists view individuals as being at the mercy of biological and socioeconomic forces, whereas realists hold that humans have some degree of free will that they can exercise to affect their situations • Things happen to people, as if they were marionettes whose movements are entirely determined by forces beyond their control.
Forces Beyond the Character’s Control • Characters are dominated by external or internal forces: • Environmental • A storm, or a character lost at sea • Social conditions • A character born into poverty • Chance (fate) • A character’s child is suddenly stricken with typhoid fever • Internal Passions • Lust, greed, or desire for dominance or pleasure overcome rational behavior
“Survival of the Fittest” Heavily influenced by emergent scientific theories of the time: –Darwin’s theory of evolution • It’s corollary, “survival of the fittest” • Fight for survival brings out the "brute within" each individual • conflict is often "man against nature" or "man against himself"
The Indifferent and Omnipotent Power of Nature • Nature/Fate is an indifferent force acting upon the lives of human beings • Works often describe the futile attempts of human beings to exercise free will in a universe that ironically reveals that free will is an illusion • Violence and tragedy are often the result
Subject Matter •Generally deals with raw and unpleasant experiences which reduce characters to "degrading" behavior as they struggle to survive –Characters are mostly from the lower- middle or lower classes •Generally poor, uneducated, and unsophisticated •“drama of the people working itself out in blood and [filth]” (Norris)
•The characters are generally commonplace and the unheroic –life is usually the dull struggle of daily existence. –But, the naturalist reveals qualities in their characters that are usually associated with the heroic or adventurous •Often, acts of violence and passion lead to desperate moments and violent death –Life at its lowest levels is not so simple as it seems to be •Panoramic, “slice-of-life" drama –often a "chronicle of despair"
Naturalism: A Scientific Study • Attempts to apply the scientific principles of objectivity and detachment to its study of human beings • The characters are but higher-order animals “fully subjectto the forces of heredity and the environment” • These “human beasts” studied impartially, without moralizing about their natures • The story is told in third person • The narrator is detached, objective, and unsympathetic • The narrator does not comment on the morality or the fairness of the situations in which characters find themselves • The reader, however, is meant to empathize with the characters
Maintaining Dignity in Adversity •Man is conditioned and controlled by environment, social conditions, heredity, chance (or fate), or instinct –But, they have compensating humanistic values which affirm their individuality and life •Their struggle for life becomes heroic and they maintain human dignity despite degrading circumstances •Man is faced with overwhelming and oppressive material forces that control their lives –But, they maintain their self-worth
From "The Open Boat“ by Stephen Crane: When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe by disposing of him, he at first wishes to throw bricks at the temple, and he hates deeply the fact that there are no bricks and no temples.
Naturalistic Poem: A man said to the universe: "Sir, I exist!“ "However," replied the universe, "The fact has not created in me A sense of obligation."
Hamlin Garland 1860 - 1940
His Life • Garland was born to very poor farmers in the American Midwest • He moved to Boston, determined to never be a farmer • He married and hadseveral children andgrandchildren
In Boston, Garland met several famous American authors • He worked as a teacher, lecturer, and author • Garland focused on the legal difficulties of the American farmer, and their lack of protection from immoral landowners • Garland lived most ofhis married life in California
Garland often lectured about tax reform, sometimes without being paid • He felt that people were unable to fulfill their true potential because of economic inequalities
His Work • Garland was known for his use of dialect • His characters often face trials that are depressing and unfair, although highly realistic
Veritism • Garland coined the term, “veritism,” which means writing in the most honest way possible, no matter how depressing or discouraging • In order to pay his bills, Garland also wrote commercially acceptable stories that “depicted heroic characters in melodramatic situations”
Most of the things Garland addressed are part of a life that has disappeared from the American scene
Irony – A contrast or discrepancy between what is stated and what is really meant, or between what is expected to happen and what actually does happen • Dramatic Irony — a reader or an audience perceives something that a character in the story or play does not know • Structural (situational) Irony — the writer shows a discrepancy between the expected result of some action or situation and its actual result • Verbal Irony — a discrepancy between what is said and what is really meant; sarcasm
Denotation – The explicit meaning of a word, as listed in a dictionary • Connotation – The suggested meaning of a word or phrase • Dialect - a particular kind of speech used by members of one specific group because of its geographical location or class
Lesson Focus Determine how an author’s personal experience affects their work and determines their point of view, particularly an author whose cultural background is vastly different from the student’s Understand the three types of irony and identify them in a text Identify words with both connotative and denotative meaning Identify elements of foreshadowing in a text Translate dialect into modern language as necessary to understand a text