In Anatomy of Criticism, author Northrop Frye writes of the low mimetic tragic hero and the society in which this hero is a victim. He introduces the concept of pathos saying it “is the study of the isolated mind, the story of how someone recognizably like ourselves is broken by a conflict between the inner and outer world, between imaginative reality and the sort of reality that is established by a social consensus” (Frye 39). The hero of Hannah W. Foster’s novel, The Coquette undoubtedly suffers the fate of these afore mentioned opposing ideals. In her inability to confine her imagination to the acceptable definitions of early American female social behavior, Eliza Wharton falls victim to the ambiguity of her society’s sentiments of women’s roles. Because she attempts to claim the freedom her society superficially advocates, she is condemned as a coquette and suffers the consequences of exercising an independent mind. Yet, Eliza does not stand alone in her position as a pathetic figure. Her lover, Major Sanford -- who is often considered the villain of the novel -- also is constrained by societal expectations and definitions of American men and their ambition. Though Sanford conveys an honest desire to make Eliza his wife, society encourages marriage as a connection in order to advance socially and to secure a fortune. Sanford, in contrast to Eliza, suffers as a result of adhering to social expectations of a male’s role. While Eliza suffers because she lives her life outside of her social categorization and Sanford falls because he attempts to maneuver and manipulate the system in which he lives, both are victims of an imperfect, developing, American society.
Though Eliza’s ...
... middle of paper ...
... comic hero. This flaw seems to be a result of the greater defect of the society in which he functions. Certainly not an innocent and having his own characterization of the same fatal flaw as Eliza – a decisive determination for independence -- Sanford shares in the traditional tragic conclusion of isolation and loss.
Despite an attractive interpretation that Eliza Wharton deserves her tragic fate because she is too scandalous of a seductress, her fall is actually a result of her desire for autonomy in a society that denies women that right. Also, to view Sanford as a heartless villain would be reductionary. He too, like Eliza, is subject to the judgements, constraints, and values of a flawed society in which he is separated from his true love. Both characters fall as a result of their desire for relational freedoms that early American society denies them.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Anatomy of Criticism Introduction In his Anatomy of Criticism, Northrop Frye offers a complex theory that aspires to describe a unifying system for literary criticism. It can be argued, however, that in attempting to delineate such an all-inclusive structure, Frye's system eliminates identity in literature. The present essay takes up this argument and offers examples of how identity is precluded by Frye's system as outlined in Anatomy of Criticism. Structure Vs. Identity In Frye's system, the organizing principles that give literature coherence and structure are derived from the myths of ancient Greece and the archetypal imagery found in the Bible.... [tags: Anatomy of Criticism Essays]
1252 words (3.6 pages)
- In Literary Criticism, there is an idea that believes that Archetypes make up literature’s meaning. The concept of Archetypes in literature has been the subject of extensive examination in Literary Criticism. “Criticism can be broken down into two broad categories: evaluative and interpretive” (Gardner 1287). The criticism is based on Literary Theory, which is composed of ideas that help interpret, and analyze literature. Everything in literature has a meaning, and many different people came up with strategies to evaluate and interpret it.... [tags: Literary Analysis ]
1611 words (4.6 pages)
- In the movie, The Book of Life, there is an ability to compare the concepts and the plot of the movie to the ideas that Northrop Frye discusses in his lectures called The Educated Imagination. This would be through comparing Fryes levels of the mind to the three main characters in the movie which are Manolo, Maria, and Joaquin. Other key concepts are relating conventions found in The Book of Life to previous literature and films, creating meaning of images and symbols seen in the movie and how they can be associated to our daily lives, and making a comparison between the main characters horizontal and vertical perspectives and their relation to the human perspectives that have previously bee... [tags: Meaning of life, Mind, Life, Psychology]
1601 words (4.6 pages)
- The renowned Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye held a series of radio broadcasts, in which he presents his beliefs of literatures place in the world. In the sixth of his lectures, Frye culminates his study of the relevance of literature in the world. He restates his theme, and expands from “strict critical theory into the wider and more practical aspects of a literal training” (133). He builds on his earlier talks and tries to not only conclude his earlier ideas, but also to introduce a greater understanding of the nature of literature and the imagination.... [tags: Literacy, imagination]
1072 words (3.1 pages)
The Educated Imagination, by Northrop Frye, Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, and The Republic, by Plato
- Can you imagine a world where literature did not exist. It’s very hard, nearly impossible. Literature plays a major role in shaping society. Literature is a word used to describe written or spoken material. Literature educates, informs, entertains and influences the reader or listener in a myriad of profound ways. Broadly speaking, “literature” is used to describe anything from creative writing to more technical or scientific works, but the term is most commonly used to refer to works of the creative imagination.... [tags: Literature's Influence on Society]
1192 words (3.4 pages)
- Northrop Frye is one of the most influential literary critics of his time, and today. Indeed, one of his most applicable articles was published in 1986, titled, “Don’t You Think It’s Time to Start Thinking?”. He uses several key points to argue that most of society does not think critically and that the skills are purposefully not being taught to keep society compliant. This article, which criticizes how students are taught to think, is still very relevant today. While some may argue that the curriculum has changed over time to incorporate more of critical thinking, that is still not the case.... [tags: Critical thinking, Thought, Reasoning, Sociology]
1519 words (4.3 pages)
- As human beings, we always want to know how we have evolved over millions of years. We know that bipedalism is one of the most important developments of human. Even though bipedalism includes both walking and running, running is not considered to be a major factor in human evolution and changes in the anatomy. Running instead is viewed as a by-product of enhanced walking. However, recent studies by Bramble, Lieberman, and other scholars have suggested that the evolution of many features of human anatomy is an adaptation to long distance running (2004).... [tags: Human, Human evolution, Energy, Human anatomy]
2753 words (7.9 pages)
- Anatomy of a Murder takes place in small-town in Michigan, where a murder has taken place. Lieutenant Frederick Manion (Lt. Manion) murdered Barney Quill a local bar and inn owner, after Mr. Quill raped his wife Laura Manion. Mrs. Manion contacts former state district attorney Paul Biegler to represent her husband, who is facing charges for first degree murder. Knowing nothing about the case, Mr. Biegler is convinced by his friend Parnell McCarthy to take the case. After two visits to Mr.Manion in jail and discussing things over with Mr.... [tags: lt manion, anatomy, murder, barney quill]
1814 words (5.2 pages)
- INTRODUCTION “Biblical criticism” refers to various methods of studying and investigating the textual content of the Bible. In general, it just describes examining the Bible in a scholarly and critical manner. Therefore when the term “critic” or “criticism” is used in this way it does not essentially denote something negative, but rather a close consideration of the authenticity and historicity of the Biblical text. These literary critics also look into the origins and purposes of the books of the Bible.... [tags: Scripture Analysis, Lower Criticism]
1315 words (3.8 pages)
- The Anatomy and Physiology of Lipids Abstract When you get up each morning and look outside your window looking out at the beautiful plants and adorable little animals, have you ever wondered what makes all living things. Lipids are what help create all the living things we see everyday. Lipids are found in all membranes, mainly plasma membranes, meaning animals and plants contain lipids. In this paper I will display and explain the formation of micelles and bi-layers from lipid amphiphilicity.... [tags: Anatomy Physiology Lipid]
1275 words (3.6 pages)