British Lit Final Exam May 26, 2010 Books Are Humanity in Print, The human race is known for change; it has evolved from prehistoric ‘cavemen’, ancient empires, and Vikings to aristocratic monarchies, democracies, and dictatorships. With each passing year, there are technological advancements, changing political platforms, and a progressively mobile worldwide population. Each literary era reflects the human feats, lifestyles, and changing times: Anglo-Saxon epics consist of glory battle scenes, bloodied warriors, and feuding countries; Middle English works consist of glorified knights, the chivalric code, and a greedy, materialistic court; and, modern literary classics depict worlds of which the human race is ruled by technology. From ancient Greek mythology to the next big literary classic, the era in which a work is written reflects the period in which it was penned. Centuries before the introduction of the printing press and written history, historical events were passed down through oral accounts to which people could take artistic liberties without a soul knowing.
The 19th century was a time of massive change socially, politically and scientifically. This time saw the rise of Imperialism and of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, seeing massive changes in the way industry was run. Also during this time the literary movements of Romanticism and Victorianism emerged. Romanticism dealt with the issues of reality versus illusion, childhood and man versus nature. The first book I will examine in this essay, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, comes from this literary period and focuses on the man versus nature theme, namely the theme of scientific development and it’s contrast to nature.
Total war, a new form of complete mobilization, was only made possible through the principles and relationships developed in the century prior. Romanticism acted as a distinct backbone of political and social rhetoric for theorists throughout the 19th and 20th century across Europe. Through artistic mediums, people created a cultural basis for nationalistic thought, and these literary, illustrated, and musical productions planted the seed of national and often ethnocentric pride of the people in various states. Simultaneously, rapid industrialization occurred, and cities grew immensely; to support the expansion, the developing industries assembled flocks of pe... ... middle of paper ... ...nuity of developments of the past century by not only overthrowing the previous government but also establishing an entirely distinct regime; however, the influences of preceding ideals definitely remain intact. The industrial revolution marks a distinct period in human history when the destructive and productive capability of humans became unprecedented.
With the turn of the 20th century, power and expansion went hand in hand in Europe, in the form of Imperialism. Imperialism meant controlling other countries and taking over by military, economic, and political forces (52). During 19th century, the industrial revolution changed all systems of European nations. Due to the industrial revolution, many European countries needed a lot of resources but their own resources were not enough. Therefore, they conquered other countries and brought numerous amount of raw materials from their colonies.
European writers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, permanently captured the cultural attitudes and popular opinions associated with the ideas of civilization and the primitive of their time. The Era of New Imperialism brought culturally polarizing ideas to the forefront of public thought—ideas like the exploitation of primitive peoples for the benefit of civilized Europeans. Several decades later, during the Interwar Period, many ideas of the previous century were challenged, yet many established attitudes remained. H. Rider Haggard’s She epitomized the new imperialist culture of the late 19th century as it promoted a naturally determined separation between the civilized and the primitive. Sigmund Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents embodied the reflective yet traditional culture of the early 20th century by furthering the animalistic characterization of primitive people and by criticizing civilization for its impediment of people’s happiness.
To best understand these changes, a comprehensive analysis of World War I, before, during, and after, is necessary. What was Germany before World War I? Before World War I, Germany was a Great Power on the cusp of social revolution, like many other European nations. The relatively new empire was struggling with the new working class and the increasing movement for labor rights (Gilbert and Large, 15-19). Wilhelm II, the Emperor of Germany when World War I began, was moving his empire toward expansive imperialism and militarism.
In the closing lines of the novel, the Thames seems to be flowing "into the heart of an immense darkness”( ). During the onset of the novel, in which none of Marlow’s story is disclosed, the narrator is ignorant to the horrors of European imperialism, and he subsequently describes the Thames as bright and lit. However, during the closing of the novel, in which the startling cruelty of the Europeans is divulged, the narrator describes the Thames as strikingly different: immensely dark. Through the use of lightness and darkness Conrad inveighs that regardless of where the white man exists, in civilized London or deepest Africa, he seems to bring darkness: inhumanity to his fellow man. Conrad uses light and darkness in context of the color of skin of the whites and blacks, as well as the corresponding good and evil of their hearts.
World War I is quite possibly the most influential event of the 20th century world-wide. Britain was no exception. The global powerhouse had seen copious amounts of loss in the forms of death, destruction, and economics to name only a few. In the rubble of aftermath, the people of the world’s greatest empire were starving for explanation, solace, and hope. In a response to the trauma of the Great War, the people of Britain created new cultures that utilized the new idea of modernism to push forward and forge a new path into the future.
religion, social beliefs and technology. Marlowe's journey led him to Kurtz, who existed at the very heart of darkness because he had succumbed to it's conquering power, and, in Western terms, regressed to the level of the natives in the land. He shows his belief in the triumph of darkness over light by using the word 'darkness'; it in the title of the book. This shows that he believes that the way the Western World existed in the time of the writing of the novella was very unstable, and would only sink further into darkness as time passed.
When industrialised nation-states made war on each other one side might achieve a decisive victory, but the combatant militaries temporarily formed death and devastation on a surprising new scale. The logical starting point for a global history of modern warfare is to see how the regions most transformed by industrialisation and massive nationalist mobilisation affected the 19th and early 20th century world at large. Latest technologies made it possible to mass-produce weapons through enhanced accuracy, power, and also range. Many of the new weapons and corresponding tactics went against the essential concepts of what constituted proper conduct of war, making change complicated and unsettling. Military conditions are in consistent flux throughout industrial age as new weapons were developed and transportation and communication improved.