III Международный конкурс
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ModernEnglishLiterature

Introduction

The interest, raised recently towards English language, the development of international relations on different levels has reasoned the desire to learn as much as possible about the country where this language originated as well as about its culture.

The literature is that magic key that opens the door of cognition of many sphere of human knowledge. It helps us to learn some interesting facts about t history, to know more about people's life in other countries. Sometimes, while reading a book, we can analyse actions of its' characters and it helps us to draw some certain conclusion. That’s why I find studying foreign literature is not only interesting, but also very useful.

Purpose: The purpose of my work is to reveal the features of foreign literature of the twentieth century.

Оbjectives:

1. To prove that the foreign literature is as interesting as the domestic.

2. Understand all the components of the foreign literature of the twentieth century.

The object of this work is to modern English literature twentieth century .

The subject is creativity and A. Merdok, John Rowling

The practical orientation of the paper is that the results can be used in the English lessons, as well as the study of textual works.

I. Literature of the 20th Century

I. 1 The Twenties

The period between 1917 and 1930 was a time when the crisis of the bourgeois world reached its highest point and revolutions took place in several countries: in Russia, in Germany and in Hungary.

The writers of this period tried to show how a new society might be built up. But many bourgeois writers who were opposed to revolutions saw nothing but chaos and anarchy before them. They explained this crisis as a failure of civilisation.

A symbolic method of writing had already started early in the 20th century. It was in the twenties, that there appeared writers who refused to acknowledge reality as such. They thought reality to be superficial – it was only a world of appearances. The cause of everything that happened,– that is what led to events – was the irrational, the unconscious and the mystical in man. These writers called the inner psychological process "the stream of consciousness" and based a new literary technique upon it.

The most important to use this new literary technique was James Joyce (1882-1941). He influenced many writers on both sides of Atlantic.

James Joyce, a native of Ireland, spent nearly all his life in voluntary exile. He could not live in his own country for it was enslaved by England. This fact may partly explain his pessimistic view on life, which is reflected in his work.

The portrayal of the steam of consciousness as a literary technique is particularly evident in his major novel Ulysses (1922). The task he set before himself was to present a day in ordinary life, as a miniature picture of the whole of human history.

Among the writers of short stories who used the realistic method were Katherine Mansfield and Somerset Maugham. Though the works of these writers differ very much in their artistic approach, their authors had one feature in common. To them the stability of the existing social and political order seemed unquestionable.

1. 2The Thirties

The second period in the development of English literature of the 20th century was the decade between 1930 and World War II.

The world economic crisis spread over the whole capitalist world in the beginning of the thirties. The Hunger March of the employed in 1933 was the most memorable event in Britain. The employed marched from Glasgow to London holding meetings in every town they passed.

In Germany Hitler came to power in 1933.

In 1936 the fascist mutiny of general Franco led to the Civil War in Spain. The struggle of the Spain people was supported by the democratic and anti-fascist forces all over the world. An International Brigade was formed, which fought side by side with the Spanish People's Army against the common enemy – fascism.

Many British intellectuals and workers joined the ranks of the International Brigade. Every one of them clearly realised that the struggle against fascism in Spain was at the same time a struggle for the freedom of their own country.

The Second World War broke out in 1939.

A new generation of realist writers, among them Richard Aldington, J.B. Priestley, A.J. Cronin and others appear on the literary scene.

An important event in the literary life of the thirties was the formation of a group of Marxist writers, poets and critics. Their leader was Ralph Fox (1900-1937). He came from a bourgeois family, was educated in Oxford University, but later broke away from his class. His ideas were formed by the Great October Socialist Revolution. In 1925 he joined the Communist Party. Being a journalist, historian and literary critic, Ralph Fox devoted all his activity to spreading Marxism and fighting the enemies of the British working class. When the Civil War in Spain broke out, Ralph Fox was one of the first to join the International Brigade. He was killed in action in January 1937.

Ralph Fox's main work is his book The novel and the people, published posthumously in 1937. The aim of the author was to show the decline of bourgeois art, and the novel in particular, together with the decline of the bourgeois in general. At the same time Ralph Fox sought to point out the way literature should develop in the future.

Ralph Fox considers that the novel reached its highest point in England in the 18th century. This was a time when the bourgeoisie was a progressive class, therefore Fox concludes that the optimistic view of the world expressed in the novels by Fielding is the best manifestation of the epic quality of the novel. Man in the novels of the Enlightenment is treated as a person who acts, who faces up to life.

Contrary to the active hero of the 18th century novel, the hero in the modern novel is an active figure, a passive creature. Fox speaks about 'death of hero'. He means that contemporary literature is not occupied with heroic characters. Psychological subjectivity, typical of Joyce and other authors, has nothing to do with the wide epic scene of social life described by great classics. Socialist Realism must put an end to this crisis of bourgeois literature, Fox says. It should bring forward a new man, a man who knows the laws of history and can become the master of his own life. Fox speaks of Georgi Dimitrov at the Leipzig trial as an example of such a new hero. The future belongs to the heroic element in life.

This feeling of important change and the heroic spirit of the anti-fascist struggle found its outlet in the first place in the development of poetry. The trio of poets, Auden, Spender and Day Lewis, had in many ways inaugurated the new movement which sought to fuse poetry and politics. They stood out as representative figures, and on the whole they held this position till the year 1938. Then began the rapidly extending crisis of the movement. This group, usually known as the Oxford Poets, was very popular in its time. But the movement did not last long. A Marxist critic, Christopher Caudwell, in his book Illusion or Reality explains why the movement lost its popularity. "They often glorify the revolution as a kind of giant explosion which will blow up everything they feel to be hampering them. But they have no constructive theory – I mean as artists: they may as economists accept the economic categories of Socialism, but as artists they can not see the new forms and contents of an art which will replace bourgeois art."

1. 3Post-War Literature

After World War II there appeared young writers, who are ready to keep up the standard of wholesome optimism, and mature writers, who have passed through a certain creative crisis.

In the fifties there appears a very interesting trend in literature, the followers of which were called "The Angry Young Man". The post-war changes had given a chance to a large number of young from the more democratic layers of society to receive higher education at universities. But on graduating, these students found they had no prospects in life; unemployment had increased after the war.

There appeared works dealing with such characters, angry young men who were angry with everything and everybody, as no one was interested to learn what their ideas on life and society were. Outstanding writers of this trend were John Wain, Kingsley Amis and the dramatist John Osborne.

The sixties saw a new type of literature. The criticism was revealed in the "working-class novel" as it was called. These novels deal with characters coming from the working class. The best known writer of this trend is Alan Sillitoe. Much of post-war English literature is in the form of novels, and up to the present the novel remains the most popular literature genre in Britain. Contemporary English novelists are represented by several different trends.

Since sixties the literary life in Great Britain has developed greatly. The new time brings new heroes, new experience in theatrical life and poetry, new forms and standards in prosaic works. The specific feature of nowadays literature is the variety of genres and styles, which inrich the world's literature. Alongside with the realistic method the symbolic one takes place and develops further. On the one hand, the themes in the modern literary works concern more global problems: the Peace and the War, the environmental protection, the relations between the mankind and Universe. But on the other hand, the duties and the obligations of the individual man, the psychology of the human nature, the life's situations and the ways of solving the problems, the power and money have always been in the centre of public attention, that found its reflection in the newest English literature, too.

II Modern English Writers

During the 1970's and early 1980's, such writers as Greene, Lessing and Le Carre continued to produce important novels. New writers also appeared. D. M. Thomas blended fiction with actual events and famous people in The White Hotel (1981).

John Fowles combined adventure and mystery in such novels as The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969), Muriel Spark's novels, such as The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) and The Only Problem (1984), are often comic but with disturbing undertones.

Perhaps the three leading English writers are Graham Greene, Iris Murdoch and Agatha Christie, that is read and loved not only in her native country.

2.1 Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoc has written novels, drama, phylosophical criticism, critical theory, poetry, a short story, a pamphlet, and a libretto or an opera based on her play The Servants and the Snow, but she is best knkown and the most successful as a philosopher and a novelist. Although she claimes not to be a phylosophical novelist and does not want to philosophy to intrude to openly into her novels, she is a Platonist whose aesthetics and view of man and iextricable, and moral phylosophy, arsthetics, and characterization are clearlyiterrelated in her novels.

Murdoch began to write prose in 1953. She soon became very popular with the English resders. All her novels Under the Net, The Flight from the Enchanter, The Sandcastle, The Unicorn, The Red and the Green, The Time of Angels, An Accidental Man, The Black Prince, and many others are characterized by the deep interest im phylosophycal problems and in the inner world of man. Iris Murdoch shows the loneliness and sufferings of the human being in the hostile world.

2.2 Literary work.

The complicity of Murdoch's style.

Iris Murdoch, was born in Dublin in 1919. She attended school in Bristol and studied philosophy at Cambridge, the two oldest universities in England. The for many years Murdoch was teaching philosophy at Oxford.

Early influences on her work include French writers and philosophers including Simone de Beauvoir, Simone Well, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Raymond Queneau, as well as Samuel Beckett. Her first novel Under the Net, a picaresque tale set in London and Paris, has extensive existential derivations, including the title, and she has said that this work was influenced by Beckett's Murthy and Queneau's Pierrot. However the novels soon move away from existentialism, for she does not believe that existentialism it regards man's inner life.

Although honest, intelligent, and well written, the novels of Iris Murdoch nevertheless lack clear definition. Hers seems to be a talent for humour, but she appears unable to sustain it for more than a scene or a temporary interchange. Her first novel, Under the Net (1954), fits into the humorous pattern set by Kingsley Amis in Lucky Jim (1954) and John Wain in Hurry on Down (1953). Her Jack Donaghue of this novel is akin to Amis's Jim Dixon and Wain's Charles Lumley, in that he maintains his own kind of somewhat dubious integrity and tries to make his way without forsaking his dignity, and increasingly difficult accomplishment in a world which offers devilish rewards for loss of integrity and dignity.

Jake is angry middle-aged man who mocks society and its respectability. He moves playfully around law and order; he does small things on the sly- swims in the Thames at night, steals the performing dog, sneaks in and out of locked apartments, steals food. He is a puerile existence in which he remains "pure" even while carrying on his adolescent activities.

The dangers of this type of hero, indeed of this kind of novel, are apparent, for when the humour begins to run low, the entire piece becomes childish. In Lucky Jim, we saw that as the humorous invention lost vigor, the novel became enfeebled because it had nothing else to draw upon. In her first novel as well as in The Flight from the Enchanter (1956) and The Bell (1958), Miss Murdoch unfortunately was enable to sustain the humour, and the novels frequently decline into triviality.

Another danger that Miss Murdoch has not avoided is that of creating characters who are suitable only for the comic situations but for little else. When they must rise to a more serious response, their triteness precludes real change. This fault is especially true of the characters in The Flight from the Enchanter, a curious mixture of the frivolous and serious. The characters are keyed low for the comic passages but too low to permit any rise when the situation evidently demands it. The comic novel usually is receptive to a certain scattering of the seed, while a serious novel calls for intensity of characterisation and almost an entirely different tone. In her four novels Miss Murdoch falls between both camps; the result is that her novels fail to coalesce as either one or the other.

2.3 Joanne Kathleen Rowling

One of the most successful modern English writers is J.K. Rowling. She is known all over the world. Her books about Harry Potter, which are read by children of different countries and of different ages, have become the bestsellers.

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is my favourite modern book. But most of my friends dislike it and the whole series. I wondered why? Then I noticed: those, who read the Russian version of the book, dislike it; those, who read it in English, like it very much. So, what’s the difference? I read the English version and decided to look through the Russian one. I discovered in it that there is only a paraphrase of events, The charm of the original book is missing. So the Russian version is only a ghost of the original.

J.K. Rowling has written a good book for children. I don’t think she expected it to become something great or important. She simply collected together all the attributes of a good book for kids, all the features, which modern children like. The characters are taken from the real life. These are people whom the writer remembers from her childhood.

Joanne was born in Chipping Sodbury General Hospital, which she thought was appropriate for someone, who collects funny names. Her sister, Di, was born just under two years later, and she was the person, whom Joanne told her first stories. The very first one was about a rabbit called Rabbit (Joanne was only six than). Rabbit got the measles and was visited by his friends, including a giant bee called Miss Bee. And ever since Rabbit and Miss Bee, Joanne has wanted to become a writer, though she rarely told anyone so. She was afraid people would tell her she didn’t have a hope. The family changed their place of living twice, while Joanne was growing up. The first move was from Yate (just outside Bristol). A gang of children including Joanne and her sister used to play together up and down their street in Winterbourne. Two of the gang members were a brother and a sister whose surname was Potter. Joanne always liked this name.

When she was nine, the family moved to Tutshill near Chepstow in the Forest of Dean. Living in a place like this, in the countryside, has always been her parents’ dream, both being Londoners. Joanne and her sister spent most of the time watching unsupervised across fields and along the river Wye. The only fly in the ointment was the fact that the girl hated her new school. It was a very small, very old-fashioned place where the roll-top desks still had ink-wells. Joanne was quiet, freckly, short-sighted and rubbish at sports (once she broke her arm playing netball). Her favourite subject by far was English, but she quite liked languages too. Joanne used to tell her equally quiet and studious friends long serial stories at lunch- times. They usually involved them as all doing heroic and daring deeds they certainly wouldn’t have done in real life they were all too swotty.

Joanne K. Rowling wrote a lot in her teens, but she never showed any of it to her friends, except for funny stories that again featured them all in thinly disguised characters. After the school Joanne went straight to Exeter University, where she studied French. This was a big mistake, as she had listened too hard to her parents, who thought languages would lead to a great career as a bilingual secretary. But the one thing Joanne liked about her job is that she was able to type up stories on the computer when no-one was looking. She was never paying much attention in meetings because she was usually scribbling bits of her latest stories in the margins of the pad, or choosing excellent names for characters.

When Joanne was twenty six she gave up on offices completely and went abroad to teach English as a Foreign Language. “My students used to make jokes about my name; it was like being back to Winterbourne, except that the Poruguese children said ‘Rolling Stone’ instead of rolling pin”, - says Joanne. She loved teaching English and as she worked afternoons and evenings, she had mornings free for writing. This was particularly good news as Miss Rowling started her third novel. The new book was about a boy who found out he was a wizard and was sent off to Wizard school. When Joanne came back from Portugal half a suitcase was full of papers covered with stories about Harry Potter. She came to live in Edinburgh with a very small daughter a set herself a headline: “I would finish the Harry Potter novel before starting work as a French teacher, and try to get it published”. It was finished the year after finishing a book before a publisher bought it. ”The moment when I found out that Harry would be published was one of the best in my life”, - says the author. By this time she was working as a French teacher. A few months later ‘Harry’ was taken for publication in Britain, an American publisher bought the rights for enough money to unable Joanne to give up teaching and write full time – her life’s ambition.

A single mother living in Edinburgh, Scotland, Rowling became an international literary sensation in 1999, when the first three instalments of her Harry Potter children’s book series took over the top three slots in the New York Times best-seller list after achieving similar success in her native United Kingdom. The phenomenal response to Rowling’s books culminated in July 2000, when the fourth volume in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, became the fastest-selling book in history. Rowling now one of Britain’s richest women, plans a total of seven books, each chronicling a year in the life of Harry Potter, a young wizard, and this motley band of cohorts at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy.

J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels begin when the orphaned British 10-year-old discovers he has a magical heritage and enters Hogwarts School to learn how to be a wizard. With each book, Harry and his classmates age a year, and with each year the record-breaking success of the series grows. In September 1999, Harry Potter even made the cover of Time magazine, which called the phenomenon "one of the most bizarre and surreal in the annals of publishing." When the movie of Rowling's first book opened in the fall of 2001, it took in a then record-shattering $90.3 million in its first weekend.

As Richard Bernstein said in The New York Times, the Harry Potter stories are fairly conventional, and "not nearly as brilliant or literary as, say, The Hobbit or the Alice in Wonderland books." The explanation for their popularity, he suggests, can be found in Bruno Bettelheim's classic study of children's literature, The Uses of Enchantment. The essence of Bettelheim's theory is that children live with greater terrors than most adults can understand, and that the classic fairy tales help express that terror while showing a way to a better future. In effect, J. K. Rowling's novels fill a basic need for children everywhere and for the child in every adult.

That seems quite sound. But there is also the fact that Rowling has a degree of whimsicality not to be found in Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, or her other antecedents. She is much closer to L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz series in that regard. And she has a sense of humor tuned to her era. Thus, Harry's school supplies include "one plain pointed hat (black) for day wear." Mail at the school is delivered by owls of different sizes, including "tiny scops owls (‘Local Deliveries Only')." And exams at Hogwarts include practical tests, like making a pineapple tap-dance across a desk and turning a mouse into a snuffbox, "with points given for how pretty the snuffbox was, but taken away if it had whiskers."

As if the books weren't enough, the success of the first two Harry Potter movies has created an instant and undoubtedly quite durable "franchise." One can only hope that the sly wit, the charm, and the childlike wonder of Rowling's books won't get lost to the evils of commercialism. On the other hand, with Coca-Cola alone paying $150 million for the exclusive global marketing rights to the first movie, one might as well go wish upon a star. As Business Week put it, it's "Harry Potter and the Tower of Profits."

2.4 My attitude to Harry Potter Novels

Harry Potter is now the most famous boy in the world. Children of all the countries admire him and hos adventures. It seems almost impossible to imagine a world without the Harry Potter novels. Not only did these books -- which chronicle the education of boy wizard Harry Potter -- become a worldwide phenomenon, they encouraged kids (and adults) in the video age to drop everything in favor of an unlikely object of obsession: books. While the fun of fantasy might be its otherworldliness, its power lies is the truths it reveals about the real world. So the magical world of Harry Potter, a world of flying cars and dragons, unicorns and magic potions, invisibility cloaks and evil powers, becomes real as readers discover truths about bravery, loyalty, choice, and the power of love. We believe in Harry because of his human qualities, especially his human frailties.

While reading the stories I found some realy wize quotetions.

"The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution." (The Sorcerer's Stone)

"...to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever." (The Sorcerer's Stone)

"It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." (The Sorcerer's Stone)

"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." (The Chamber of Secrets)

"You can exist without your soul, you know, as long as your brain and heart are still working. But you'll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no ... anything. There's no chance at all of recovery. You'll just—exist. As an empty shell." (The Prisoner of Azkaban)

"You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don't recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?....You know, Harry, in a way, you did see your father last night....You found him inside yourself." (The Prisoner of Azkaban)

"Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery." (The Goblet of Fire, page 680)

"You place too much importance...on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!" (The Goblet of Fire, page 708)

So as you see the books are realy worthy of reading. They would interest not only children, but also adults. Furthermore they are easy to read and to my mind in the nearest future The Harry Potter novels will even included in the list of literature in schools.

Conclusion

All my purpose and objectives, in my opinion, have been achieved. This work should help to understand the literature of the twentieth century and all its components. I have done it.

Chose this topic is not accidental. At school, in the eleventh grade, we all learn foreign literature of the twentieth century. I, as a creative person and literature lover, did not miss the opportunity to consider an interesting topic to me. From this work, I learned a lot of interesting things for myself.

The results of the analysis carried out through research the following conclusions:

  1. The study of foreign literature is very useful and interesting.

  2. Creativity English writers Iris Murdoch and John Rowling of great interest.

  3. The book "Harry Potter" are read by all children, because the main character used to have a model example.

Bibliography list

1. M. Hecker, T. Volosova, A. Doroshevich “English Literature” Moscow “Prosveshchenye” 1975

2. The Brief Encyclopaedia of English Literature “Alterexpress” 1998

3. G. Kirvatis, A. Surnaite “English Literature” Siesa publishing house “Kaunas” 1971

4. I. Arnold, N. Diakonova “Three Centuries of English Prise” Leningrad “Prosveshchenie” 1967

5. Copmleted by Yu. Golitsinsky “Great Britain” “KARO” St. Petersbourg 2000

6. The World Book Encyclopaedia (Volume 6) World Book Inc. 1994

7. Compton’s Encyclopaedia (Volume 7) Edition Compton’s Encyclopaedia 1991

8. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/writers/