Early 20th Century Literature UGC NET English literature Free Notes Quick Revision of 20th century literature.

DH Lawrence Quote, inspirational Quotes

Early 20th Century Literature

Political Contexts
Two World Wars
1914-1918
1939-1945

Victorian Period ends
Queen Victoria (r. 1837-1901)
Edwardian era
King Edward VII (r. 1901-1910)
Georgian Era
King George V (1910-1936)

Life, inspirational Quotes

The Edwardian Era
Period of great social change.
Imperial domination continues.
The power and luxury of the ruling elite solidified.
There was a rigid class system; great differences between the wealthy and the poor.
Paradoxically, liberal ideas were also popular,
The spirit of socialism following the Industrial Revolution.
Confused period
Edwardian Society
Enthusiasm for art & fashions
Women: Corset abandoned; columnar silhouette becomes the fashion.
The Edwardian period is later nostalgically imagined as a romantic golden age of long summer afternoons and garden parties, basking in a sun that never sets on the British Empire.


Art Nouveau
Decorative style that flourished throughout Europe & America, 1880s to 1914
Characterized by asymmetry, sinuous lines
touched by fin de siècle romantic motifs
willowy, elongated female figures with flowing locksfantastic curves of stylized flowers.


Edwardian Realists

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Born in Bombay; father was art teacher & director of Lahore Museum.
Schooling in England.Early career as journalist back in India.Friend of Henry James.

Innovator of short story (“The Phantom Rickshaw”, “Wee Willie Winkie”, later “Mary Postgate”; several collections)
Poetry: Barrack-Room Ballads & Other Verses etc.
Kipling’s Early Works
Early novels were failures
The Light That Failed and Naulahka
The Jungle Book (1894)
A collection of stories – fables that present animals anthropomorphically to teach morals
The adventures of an abandoned “man cub” Mowgli who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle
“Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”, the story of a heroic mongoose
“Toomai of the Elephants”, the tale of a young elephant-handler
The Second Jungle Book (written in the USA)
Kim
Best-known novel
Picaresque novel about Kimball Hara
Kim is an orphan in British India.
Set against the backdrop of The Great Game, the political conflict between Russia and Britain in Central Asia
More Works
Visited South Africa regularly during the Boer War.
Just-So Stories, Puck of Pook’s Hill etc. show a remarkable sympathy for children
Poem “If—” is an evocation of Victorian stoicism and “stiff upper lip” culture.


Science fiction (short stories)
Fame and Notoriety-First English-language writer to win the Nobel Prize (1907)
Declined Poet Laureateship and knighthood
Called “Poet of Empire”
Criticized for blatant racism; “Prophet of British imperialism” (Orwell)
Early editions of books had swastika and an elephant carrying a lotus flower, a symbol of luck.
Once the Nazis came to power and appropriated the swastika, Kipling ordered that it should no longer be used on his books.


The White Man’s Burden” 1899
Response to the American take-over of Philippines after the Spanish-American war
In the Spanish-American War of 1898 the United States seized the Spanish colonies in the Caribbean and the Pacific, emerging for the first time as a world power.The anti-imperialist movement in the United States was loudly decrying the plan to annex the Philippines.President McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, welcomed Kipling’s rousing call for the United States to engage in “savage wars,” beginning in the Philippines
White Man’s Burden: First Stanza
Take up the White Man’s burden–
Send forth the best ye breed–
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild–
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Edwardian Realists

John Galsworthy (1867-1933)

Lawyer & friend of Conrad.
Numerous novels; 31 full-length plays
Dealt with class, esp. upper middle class lives.
Highlighted the insular, snobbish attitudes of characters and their suffocating moral codes
Through his writings he campaigned for a variety of causes including prison reform, women’s rights, animal welfare and censorship.
Nobel Prize 1932

Galsworthy’s Plays
The Silver Box
Rich family paralleled with poor family
Justice Falder, a junior clerk, forges cheque to help his sweetheart; is arrested and he finally kills himself.Led to the reform of the practice of solitary confinement in prisons.

Galsworthy’s Plays
Strife
Labour versus Capital.
Strike at Trenartha Tin Plate Works. Galsworthy presents both sides of the strike (directors as well as strikers)
The Skin Game
Aristocratic family and a family of the newly rich juxtaposed
Themes of jealously guarded social privilege and snobbery.

Galsworthy’sRoman a fleuve (“River-novel”)
The Forsyte Saga
About an English family’s rise to wealth and power
Three novels and two interludes
The Man of Property, In Chancery, To Let
A sequel: A Modern Comedy.
Three novels & two interludes again
End of the Chapter
Trilogy on the Charwells, relatives of the Forsytes


Bennett’s Plays & Novels
Milestones (play)
Greatest success
Written in collaboration with Edward Knoblock
Lord Raingo
Political novel
Depicts life of the powerful
Riceyman Steps
Ordinary, undistinguished life.

Edwardian Realists

H.G. Wells (1866-1946)
Son of an unsuccessful tradesman
Early life reflected in many of his protagonists; father often presented in disguise (esp. Mr. Polly).
Studied science with scholarship under T.H. Huxley.
First works textbooks of biology & geography
Futuristic science fiction (scientific romances), and political and satirical fiction
Outspoken socialist (better ways to organize society; utopian).


The Time Machine (1895)
First major novel; developed from a series of articles.
Central character “The Time Traveller”; travels in a machine he has invented
In AD 802701 where he meets the Eloi
A society of small, elegant, childlike adults
His efforts to communicate with them are hampered by their lack of curiosity or discipline.The result of humanity conquering nature with technology, when strength and intellect no longer help to survive
Eloi are the prey of the degenerate Morlocks, descendents of labourers who have lived underground for centuries.
In later novels, Wells was preoccupied with the need to save mankind from future failures (represented by the divided world of the Eloi & Morlocks).
30 million years later, witnesses the world’s final decline as the sun cools.


The War of the Worlds (1898)
Part I: missiles from Mars destroy England
Part II: survivors (including unnamed narrator & his brother) hide from the Martians who are in turn destroyed by earthly bacteria (to which they were not immune, since there are no bacteria in Mars!).

Other Early Novels
The Island of Dr Moreau
The Invisible Man
When the Sleeper Wakes
The First Men in the Moon
Characteristics of the Early Novels
Satire; Implicit warning
Impact of alien races or advanced science on established society
These elements pre-figure Wells’ later concern with social reality
Wells’ Social Novels
A Modern Utopia (social realism + fantasy)
The New Machiavelli (‘discussion novel’)
Ann Veronica
Feminist New Woman novel
Ann Veronica’s rebellion against patriarchal father.
Images of women’s suffragette movement
New Woman
Term popularized by Henry James (eg. Isabel Archer, Daisy Miller)
A feminist ideal that emerged in the late 19th century
Models of New Women offered in Ibsen’s plays
Describes the growth in the number of feminist, educated, independent career women in Europe and the US
The suffragette movement to gain women’s democratic rights the most important influence
The History of Mr. Polly
Social comedy
The protagonist Alfred Polly is an anti-hero inspired by Wells’s early experience in the drapery trade.
His unsympathetic father Mr Polly is modelled on Wells’s own father.

Published by Lucky Saxena

I am lucky saxena. Post Graduate student. Trying to fill some enthusiasm in everyone and provide UGC NET PGT TGT English literature Free Notes to everyone who can not reach to money oriented website or coaching. Try to spread kindness, knowledge and love through my blog.

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