Sunday, 4 December 2011

An extraordinary tale of escape from a British submarine that had sunk off War time Kefalonia

Louis de Bernieres investigated Capes's story. It can be listened to for the next five days.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Alf Field's "The Moses Principle"

Fresh from a major symposium on gold in Australia,  Alf has made this presentation, possibly his last, as he retired a few years ago. He is probably the best analyst on gold  . and its future direction

"The Moses Principle is an irreverent theory based on the question of why Moses spent 40 years traversing the Sinai desert before leading the Israelites to the "promised land".

Click on the link for Alf Field's article.
The Moses Principle

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Shakespeare Code

Young Shakespeare?
This is an interesting newish blog with contributions from "the great and the good." Take, for instance, this comment on Shakespeare's Othello from the Wharton professor of English of Oxford University.
Click here

A plethora of ideas to help understand the Elizabethan and Jacobean context. Fascinating reading!

William Shakespeare had to write in code.

The theory of the Shakespeare Code

I wonder whether the blog's title was taken from an episode of Doctor Who?

Reviewing the early poems from Carol Ann Duffy's 'Rapture" with "Captain Corelli's Mandolin"

This is for my A2 English Lit. class, as I will not be in today.

(First 45 minutes)
Do the next poem/activities in your Skills Booklet after Duffy's Mrs Aesop. The booklet is the one with Wilfred Owen's Face at the front. You need to make progress in the booklet to develop/review/practice skills for the unseen poem/passage in the exam.

(Second 45 minutes) Unless you have the poems you will need a PC for this activity!
If you do not have these texts below to hand, copy them into a Word document; that way, you can print them off, if you wish.

Review the poems below again by using your skills (i.e. FLIRT, etc.)  to look more deeply in the theme of Relationships: texts which confront the reader with powerful emotion.   Note the bit after the colon carefully as this is what the exam board wants you to focus on when you compare Captain Corelli's Mandolin, The Great Gatsby and/or several poems from Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy.

As you write notes comparing and contrasting these texts, consider the very important AOs 3-4.

Can you make any comparisons with the early stages of Mandras/Corelli's relationships with Pelagia or Carlo/Franceso/Corelli in CCM?

As you go over these poems, think about how they present the early stages of a relationship. Notice the subtleties of language; the use of imagery, form, voice, structure; how the poems are linked, etc.

Click on the links below

"You" by Carol Ann Duffy (Page 1 of "Rapture")

"Text" by Carol Ann Duffy (Page 2 of "Rapture"

"Name" by Carol Ann Duffy

"Forest" by Carol Ann Duffy  (Page 4 of "Rapture")

The following poem is on page 6 of "Rapture"


Down by the river, under the trees, love waits for me
to walk from the journeying years of my time and arrive.
I part the leaves and they toss me a blessing of rain.

The river stirs and turns consoling and fondling itself
with watery hands, its clear limbs parting and closing.
Grey as a secret, the heron bows its head on the bank.

I drop my past on the grass and open my arms, which ache
as though they held up this heavy sky, or had pressed
against window glass all night as my eyes sieved the stars;

open my mouth, wordless at last meeting love at last, dry
from travelling so long, shy of a prayer. You step from the shade,
and I feel love come to my arms and cover my mouth, feel

my soul swoop and ease itself into my skin, like a bird
threading a river. Then I can look love full in the face, see
who you are I have come this far to find, the love of my life.

Prep for next lesson - complete presentations on your chosen chapters from Captain Corelli's Mandolin; read your coursework texts; find about about the Gothic and Romanticism for Frankenstein.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Gustave Freytag's method of understanding structure in five act plays

This should prove useful for students' understanding of the structure of "Othello" or any of the "big" tragedies. Often, novels and short stories have a similar structure.

Click on the image to enlarge

Thursday, 10 November 2011

"Toys" by Coventry Patmore

Click the link to post from a couple of years ago. There's a link to an interpretation of this poem, too.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Ewan McGregor's talks about his role as Iago

"Othello" - a summary by Spark Notes

Tips on Shakespeare's language for newbies!

This video has three good points to keep in mind while reading Shakespeare's plays. A fourth, which seems blindingly obvious, is to use the notes in your play's editions to annotate words, phrases and speeches in your play text. They are often found at the back of your editions, run in tandem with the play, and are numbered with the play's lines so you can cross refer between the notes and the play text. Another good idea is to listen to the play being acted as professional actors can help you understand speeches through their intonation and expression.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Who have they jailed in the USA for destroying the world's economy?

Does it get any nuttier than this? All the best to "Occupying Wallstreet"

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Frankenstein - "10 Possible Meanings" or interpretations followed by "New Readers Interpretations" for AO3

This 10 point article is excellent for AO3 or for applying different interpretations as you are reading the text.

Why not follow up with "Readers New Meanings For Frankenstein" - again, just what you need for help with modern interpretations of the text for AO3!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The ancient Greek subtext for Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Also the Roman influence in The Great Gatsby. Both act as historical-literary contexts (AO4)

The ancient Greek subtext for Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Also the Roman influence in The Great Gatsby. Both act as a historical-literary contexts (AO4)

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is replete with references to ancient Greece with several characters’ actions paralleling characters from Homer’s grand narratives, The Odyssey and The Iliad.

For instance, Mandras’s harsh journey home from fighting the Italians and German parallels that of Odysseus . Structurally De Bernieres text is built upon several parrallels through characters, chapters, and the Greek, classical past.

To a degree Captain Corelli also parallels Odysseus’s voyages when he goes abroad for so long after leaving the island.

Penelope weaving a shroud for her father-in-law, which she picked apart at night, to keep her unwanted suitors at bay
  Penelope and Pelagia (puh-NEL-uh-pee) noun: faithful wife.
Like Odysseus’s wife, Pelagia is left behind waiting for her lover to return. Penelope waits for Odysseus (Roman name, Ulysses) for decades!

De Bernieres uses element from Greek tragedy in his form and structure of his novel. For instance, Pelagia’s lament in Chapter 67 the long soliloquies of Greek characters from ancient tragedies in which Pelagia considers her situation. In Greek tragedy the action stops and the character’s problems are discussed directly with themselves. Of course, audiences and the reader shares what is going on in the character’s mind. Pelagia’s Lament pastiches this aspect of Greek tragedy.

If you wish to go further into this look for a translation of a Greek tragedy: Euripedes’ Medea for example, or Aeschylus’s Agamemmon, and look particularly at the speeches of Medea and Clytemnestra. Then compare the style of their speeches with Pelagia’s in Chapter 67.

From Penelope, the wife of Odysseus and mother of Telemachus in Greek mythology. She waited 20 years for her husband's return from the Trojan War (ten years of war, and ten years on his way home). She kept her many suitors at bay by telling them she would marry them when she had finished weaving her web, a shroud for her father-in-law. She wove the web during the day only to unravel it during the night

Odysseus is the hero of The Odyssey, the classic tale by the ancient bard Homer. The Odyssey tells of Odysseus's 10-year struggle to return from the Trojan War to his home in Ithaca. A manly warrior at Troy (he was among those who hid in the famous Trojan Horse), Odysseus is cunning and resourceful, but also loaded with his share of pride and human failings. On his travels he survives encounters with many of ancient literature's most famous characters, from the monstrous one-eyed Cyclops to the tempting (and deadly) Sirens. He is by turns aided and thwarted by the whimsies of Zeus, Poseidon and other Greek gods. After 20 years away (10 for the war and 10 for the trip back) he returns to his long-waiting wife, Penelope, and slays the greedy suitors who have besieged her. Odysseus's mighty deeds and all-too-human weaknesses have made him a favourite with scholars and storytellers down through the years. Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Ulysses was one of the best-known poems of the 1800s, and James Joyce's groundbreaking novel Ulysses used Homer's adventures as the inspiration for a modern-day tale set in Dublin. Of course, de Bernieres parallels this character first with Mandras and then with Captain Corelli.

A modern painting of The Feast of Trimalchio in which he is disinterestedly looking away on the left
The Great Gatsby and Trimalchio
There is a single mention of Trimalchio in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby as his showy parties and background parallels that of Gatsby. Trimalchio and Trimalchio in West Egg were among Fitzgerald's working titles for the novel. Chapter Seven begins, "It was when curiosity about Gatsby was at its highest that the lights in his house failed to go on one Saturday night - and, as obscurely as it began, his career as Trimalchio was over."

Trimalchio is a character in the Roman novel The Satyricon by Petronius. He plays a part only in the section titled Cena Trimalchionis (The Banquet of Trimalchio). Trimalchio is a freedman who through hard work and perseverance has attained power and wealth. His full name is Gaius Pompeius Trimalchio Maecenatianus; the references to Pompey and Maecenas in his name serve to enhance his ostentatious character. His wife's name is Fortunata, a former slave and chorus girl. Trimalchio is known for throwing lavish dinner parties, where his numerous servants bring course after course of exotic delicacies, such as live birds sewn up inside a pig, live birds inside fake eggs which the guests have to 'collect' themselves and a dish to represent every sign of the zodiac.

The Satyricon has a lengthy description of Trimalchio's proposed tomb (71-72) which is incredibly ostentatious and lavish. This tomb was to be designed by a well-known tomb-builder called Habinnas, who was among the revellers present at Trimalchio's feast. He sought to impress his guests—the Roman nouveau riche, mostly freedmen—with the ubiquitous excesses seen throughout his dwelling. By the end of the banquet, Trimalchio's drunken showiness leads to the entire household acting out his funeral, all for his own amusement and egotism.

Below is a modern painting called, “The Feast of Trimalchio.” It captures the nouveau rich Trimalchio throwing an unusual party trying to impress other freedmen.

Some references and text extracts were also drawn from Wikipedia for this post.

An essay chart with assessment objectives for "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" and "The Great Gatsby"

I had to make this into a Gif file which leaves it a little unclear.

N.B. The chart was mainly intended for the following question - but I added to it so the chart would be generic enough to take in some other questions, too. However, you should be aware that it is your knowledge of the texts and your ability to select suitable chapters/passages/events that is more important than any chart. The essay questions will test your skills in answering the assessment objectives and 3-4 carry double marks!

June 2010
3  Relationships: texts which confront the reader with powerful emotion

(a) “Writers are at their most interesting when they present readers with emotionally
      intense relationships.”

How far do you agree with this statement? In your response, you should comment
on and analyse the connections and comparisons between at least two texts you
have studied.

You must ensure that at least one text is a post-1990 text, as indicated by * in the
list above.

Note that you should demonstrate what it means to be considering texts as a
modern reader, in a modern context, and that other readers at other times may
well have had other responses.

Click on the chart to enlarge

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Final advice for the prose question in for Edexcel's Unit3 Exam

The texts we studied were: Captain Corelli's Mandolin, The Great Gatsby and, to a much lesser extent, Rapture.

Remember, that the weighting of marks are for the last two assessment objectives:

AO1 - 10
AO2 - 10
AO3 - 20
AO4 - 20

Do not go for the blunderbuss approach by trying to write about everything. You would be much better selecting chapters and then passages from those chapters for comparing and contrasting these texts around the theme of "Relationships." Remember that the theme isn't simply "Relationships" but it is "Relationships which confront readers with powerful emotions." This last part should be your clue to reading the question(s) carefully and finding chapters or passages which enable you to do just that! The chapters can be short.  And you can choose passages within your chosen chapters. There's nothing wrong in choosing a letter by Carlo or even the poem at the beginning of the novel, if it fits what you need to write about.

You could also briefly justify your choices by referring to particular events how they affect characters, etc. in the novels, poems.

Whatever you do BE RELEVANT. Tie your points every time to the question's key words or phrases.

There is nothing to stop you ranging across the texts for your quotations but when you use focussed pieces of text, of say several paragraphs, you will something meaty to discuss. It is far easier to discuss the writer's method's (AO2) when you are focussing on a passage from a chapter. Then, you can discuss the question's key words and phrases with the text's form, viewpoint, imagery, language, symbolism, lexis, etc AND then develop your points using the POINT - EVIDENCE - ANALYSIS/COMMENT method. In some analysis/comments you may be able to discuss how OTHER READERS might interpret the passage; in other ANALYSIS/COMMENTs you may be able to write about HISTORICAL CONTEXTS; sometimes you may even be to put both together and examine how modern readers might read/interpret your chosen passages.

Modern Readings of the Texts - over time (AO4)

When The Great Gatsby was published around 1925 only the most perceptive readers would have seen excessive consumerism for what it was: deadening, leading the cynicism. Newspaper reviews when the novel came out were lukewarm, at best. The novel didn't sell and the Great Crash and Depression which followed were still years away. Readers in our time might draw parallels with the run-up to the crash in 2008, when house prices and the stock market rose and along with it conspicuous consumption. There are fewer stories around now of city slickers spending £300 a bottle on champagne and burning cash in restaurants.
But our coming depression may be even greater than that witnessed in the 1930s.  Modern feminist readers will draw their own conclusions over the representation of women in Fitzgerald's text.

Serbia apologises for the Srebrenica massacre

Captain Corelli's Mandolin (1993)
Time hasn't simply moved on since this novel was published: the world has changed utterly since. The reason the Italians and their "whores" were massacred in the novel was because no one saw fit to intervene. The western powers did not want to lose anyone in coming to the rescue of up to 10,000 Italians who, only a little while before, were on the opposing side. If you go to the Cephalonia today there is a never ending stream of Italian visitors who drive up to the hill-top memorial of their compatriots. A similar massacre took of Bosnian Muslims by Serbs less than two years after the novel was published in 1995, Srebrenica_massacre . Many of the town's women were raped and the the little Dutch force of "peace-keeper" were ineffective. Everyone in the West knew that when this enclave was overrun by the Serb this would atrocity would happen. But the West let it happen because it did not have the will do DO anything about it. No one wanted to risk their soldiers lives for ethnic muslims in Bosnian. Today one of the main perpetrators, the Serb commander Ratko_Mladić has only recently been caught and sent for trial to the Hague, ironically, part of Holland.

After 9-11 the West lost its taste for non interference around the world and losing soldiers and was less likely to allow people to be massacred. Earlier, during this Arab Spring, the people of Benghazi faced being massacred by Colonel Gaddafi's forces. Readers of de Bernieres novel today would bring these experiences to their reading, if they were informed about events around them today.

There's so much more but no time to discuss it all. For instance, de Berneries and Carol Ann Duffy's representation of gay love would have been impossible before the 1990s. Even so, some think that de Bernieres's representation of Carlo in some respects is somewhat stereotypical.

For AO4 the Greek and Roman literary contexts for De Berniere's and Fitzgerald's texts should be meat and drink for comments on passages from the texts where they are significant. I'll upload my recent handout on these contexts tomorrow.

Monday, 30 May 2011

The British Library's Poets and Poetry Page - Great for Unseens

The are several poems by great poets and read by well known actors. For exam preparation it does not come much better than this. Once you click the link scroll down to find suitable poems. Then read and annotate them for Language, Form and Structure for the Unseen section of Unit 3.

This link below leads to a time-line of texts produced in English over time. It's quite spectacular!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Benito Mussolini on Fakebook for "Captain Corelli's Mandolin"

Benito's page on Fakebook

But on Facebook the republican figure who was the political inspiration for Dr Iannis: EleftheriosVenizelos 

Creative Revision: how to write a sonnet in iambic pentameter for Unit3

Creative Revision for Unit 3 Exam
(1) Try writing a sonnet in the voice of one of the characters that you read from a novel.  For instance,  you could choose "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" or "The Great Gatsby." You could select an appropriate chapter or passage and formulate your sonnet around the one or more the novels' significant themes: the position of women, history and the past, honour/dishonour, war and waste, parental or filial love, romantic love, madness, etc. Choose a chapter and consider its main theme/idea for your topic! Why not incorporate some the the novel's key images, motifs, symbols, style, etc. from this chapter. Get a friend to see if he/she can apply one or more interpretations of your text for AO3. How would your sonnet be read for AO4?

(2) Alternatively in prose, try your hand at changing the form of a chapter, say writing a letter or journal entry which enables you to produce a character's thoughts as they reflectabout an significant event in a chapter; aim to write in the style of an author you have studied. After changing the perspective in a passage or chapter try to produce a passage of writing which "confronts readers with powerful emotions." How would your passages be read over time? What approaches to your texts by other readers would be most appropriate and why?

(3) In pairs: produce a concept/mind map on at least two exam texts based on a past exam question. Use colour, images and appropriate symbols, etc. and AO3-4 to bring your maps to life.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

"Captain Corelli's Mandolin" and "The Great Gatsby"

Remember that the share of the  marks for the Edexcel Exam for Unit 3 are as follows:

AO1 - 10 marks.  Understanding the texts, using key terms and producing a coherent, written argument in your essay.

AO2 - 10 marks.  Applying Language Form and Structure as relevant to your argument.

AO3 - 20 marks. Making connections and comparisons between the texts; applying your own and different interpretations of the texts to your chosen passages/chapters/poems, etc. as appropriate.

AO 4 - 20 marks. Applying the historical and literary contexts and the ability to examine how the texts were received by different readers over time from when  published to our time.

These are links to posts which address several AOs on Captain Corelli's Mandolin and The Great Gatsby .

Themes and ideas which connect the novels:

The modern context for CCM

Various posts on CCM

More notes with concept maps for CCM

Even older notes for CCM but still relevant, even if for the old syllabus

The Great Gatsby notes and links to other resources

Friday, 13 May 2011

Taking notes for personal study (when reading novels)

This is a helpful Prezi  with tips on what to look out for when reading and annotating novels.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Three Poems by the US poet, Billy Collins

Here's a couple of poems for unseen practice. When reading them, take some of Billy's advice on how to study poetry: "rather than thinking first on what the poem is about, consider instead the journey by which it got to its ending." In other words, how does it navigate between its points by expanding, contracting, being serious, humorous or ironic as the poem makes its way to its conclusion?

"Child Development"

You can find the full typescript of this poem by clicking this link:

"The Lanyard"

Click on this link for a typescript of this poem

"Sweet Talk"

You can find the typescript of this poem, by clicking on this link:

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A Concept Map For Form and Structure in Poetry

Click the image twice to enlarge with clarity

Basic but enough to get by for AS English Literature. 

Friday, 11 March 2011

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Gaps and Silences - an example of a popular method of interpreting texts

This critical method of examining texts for gaps and silences, created by Pierre Macherey and and Paulo Freire from the mid 1960s to the early 1970s, could be applied to any text. Therefore you could try using this approach on your  texts and thereby meet that crucial assessment objective, AO3. It is, perhaps, no accident that the video's creator, Ben Johnston, is from either Australia or New Zealand as this approach to analysing texts is heavily embedded in the curriculum in the antipodes!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Pride and Prejudice - Audio Book, part one

Click through to You Tube for subsequent pages and chapters.

Frankenstein - audio

This BBC production is not unabridged but it is pretty faithful to the text. Click through to You Tube to find subsequent pages and chapters.

The Great Gatsby - Audio

This is a very good, unabridged reading of this novel. Click through the You Tube to find the remaining audio files  for subsequent pages and chapters.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A great new link for analysing literary texts - Shmoop!

This US website has a wide number of texts. It's great for checking presentations before giving them, etc.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sir Ken Robinson's RSA Lecture on Changing the Paradigms of Education

Poetic Devices in Songs

I just love this!

A Time Line of Literary Theory from Early History

The theories from the nineteenth century and onwards are missing. But this does give an idea of what went before for theories of interpreting texts.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

An acronym to help plan an answer for unseen poetry

This is is just a prompt for the main areas and it does not include poetic technique such as assonance, alliteration, enjambement, sibilance, narrators, etc. BUT this is a good framework to start you off with ideas for making sense of a poem.

FLIRT -  Do YOU flirt with poetry?

Form and Structure

Language (Lexis)

Imagery (similes, metaphors and personification, etc.)

Rhythm and Rhyme

Tone (the attitude of the speaker to the content/audience) AND Themes

Brighton Rock - Articles and Reviews on Graham Greene

Greene's point on how the novel is about the contrast between ethical and religious minds is central, here. I fully agree.

The Great Gatsby - An Audio Version

Posted by Mrs Knapp who teaches Woodbridge High School,  Ohio in the USA.

Scroll down to the last link and begin there.
An Audio Version of The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby - Audio Interview with Critics

Great for getting other interpretations of this text for AO3.

Slate Online Magazine interviews two critics on The Great Gatsby

Friday, 28 January 2011

Brighton Rock's Production Notes (the new film version)

These production notes for the new film version of Brighton Rock reveal the director, Roland Joffe's interpretation of the novel. Worth a look!

Brighton Rock Production Notes

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Themes and ideas around relationships in Captain Corelli's Mandolin and The Great Gatsby for AO3

Themes and ideas which connect the novels

The theme of relationships and its sub themes

Remember that when you select appropriate chapters and passages from these chapters you need to focus on relationships which confront readers with powerful emotions!  Consider emotive climaxes or passages in which characters reflect on events in which emotions are running high.
  • honour/dishonour
  • education (Tom and Nick - New Haven (Yale - like a club/status and self education for Dr Iannis/Pelagia and Mandras
  • cynicism and shallowness - maintained in conversations early in Gatsby
  • education
  • various forms of love and friendship
  • music and having fun
  • betrayal and deceit
  • the high moral tone of both Carraway and de Bernieres’s third person narrator
  • the position of women
  • communities
  • change and characters. Nick Carraway develops and changes as he approaches 30 and uses different symbols.
  • writing
  • waste - Correlli’s and Pelagia’s relationship/ Gatsby and Daisy’s. Unfulfilled relationships. Whether Daisy was worth what Gatsby was prepared to do for her.
  • death and loss
  • wealth and deprivation and the effects of each
  • idealism and materialism and how they affect characters
  • patriotism
  • gangsterism/  death from outside: Hitler/
  • geography of place
  • the mystique of the eponymous characters
  • the narrators who admire and describe them.
  • modernism and post modernism.
  • what others have you noticed?

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin AO4 Historical Context

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin  AO4 Historical Context
The international context in the early 1990s
The brutal wars in the Balkans, particularly in Bosnia-Herzogovina are relevant, as were the attitudes of Western governments towards them. Rape camps were established by Bosnian Serbs and the war between the Muslim populations was greeted with wringing of hands  by the West, even though the Serbs were behaving like nazis with “ethnic cleansing”.   There were also reports of some counter massacres by Bosnian muslim troops, too.
The UK context of the novel in the 1990s.
A context closely aligned to the theme of relationships is the decline of community. In the early 1990s when de Bernieres wrote his novel there was a  sense of nostalgia for a more innocent past in which communities thrived and people knew each other. In the UK home-ownership was increasing but the country was in the throws of a recession with house prices going down and many were in negative equity and under pressure to leave their homes.
People had become more selfish and selfishness was seen as a good thing by the Tory government as they promoted business and small businesses. The sense of  community was in decline: “there is no such thing as society,” Margeret Thatcher.
In the novel there is a strong sense of community at the beginning of the novel. It is close-knit and is seen in a particularly naive way with Velasarious and his cannon. Dr Iannis treats diverse members of his community in the opening chapter. They may be divided politically but the war unites this community against the enemies of Greece. The community actually grows with the Italians and La Scala and Corelli joining Pelagia and Iannis becoming a member of their family, especially when he and Pelagia fall in love. Carlo is accepted, too.
The novel then charts the erosion of this community through the death of Carlo, who is buried as if he was a Kefalonian Giant with Dr. Iannis, ironically adopting the role of ancient priest, reading a moving oration over Carlo's body. With this, the novel delves deep into its parallel, ancient Greek literary context. Other characters also signal  the fading of community: Corelli has to leaven his new-formed family and other characters die or are killed off: Mandras wanders wounded into the ocean and Kokolios and Stamatis are killed during the Civil War;  a changed and broken Dr. Iannis  later dies saving his family in the 1953 earthquake, while there is a real and symbolic destruction of the community in the village; later Dresoula’s death severs remaining ties with old values of the past. 
Younger characters, such as Antonia and her husband, are later seduced by the privileges and wealth that their education gives them as they become successful business people and leave their early political ideals of socialism behind. 
The position of women changes on the island from the description of them in the early chapters, especially Dr Iannia’s first chapter, to the later chapters. They become much more independent and break free more the cultural binds that holds them in check in the early part of the novel. Drusoula, for instance, becomes a tavern keeper. 
One of the main features of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel is the growing independence of women, as long as they have the money and connections to finance being flappers, etc. Jordan Baker, whose name is a combination of impressive automobiles from the period is an example of an independent woman of the 20s who is described as being like “a young cadet’ and willing to cheat a little in golf and in life to get her own way. 
Only Alekos who was part of the original community and even then was apart, looks down, Olympian-like and ageless who has seen the changes in everyone, but has seemingly not changed himself.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Alf Fields is charting gold to reach between $1558 and $1642

I haven't made a gold post for some time. This seems as good a time as any to post this link to Alf Field's latest analysis of gold and where it is headed soon. He addresses his comments to "Mr Gold," Jim Sinclair, who expects gold to reach $1650 in the near future.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Two sets of analysis on "The Great Gatsby" and key quotatations

This is a good analytical overview.

Gradi Yanto's analysis of love in this novel is well worth reading.

Revision:The Great Gatsby Quotes ( from The Student Room )

Written in 1925, The Great Gatsby was symbolic and manifest of all the pre-crash hubris and prosperity that engulfed America at the time. The following quotes are intended to highlight and explicate some of the key themes and reveal something of the characters in The Great Gatsby.
Page 7 "Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope."
Page 8 "Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men."
Page 9 "The Middle West now seemed like the ragged edge of the universe"
Page 9 "I was...a pathfinder, an original settler."
Page 10 "To the wingless a more interesting phenomenon is their (W/E Egg) dissimilarity in every particular except shape and size."
Page 12 "It was a body (Tom's) capable of enormous leverage - a cruel body."
Page 18 "'Civilization's going to pieces,' broke out Tom violently. 'I've gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read The Rise of the Colored Empires by this man Goddard?'"
Page 18 "The idea is if we don't look out the white race will be - will be utterly submerged. It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved." - Tom
Page 18 "[us whites] who are the dominant race" - Tom
Page 24 "I know. I've been everywhere and seen everything and done everything...Sophisticated - God, I'm sophisticated!" - Daisy
Page 26 "This is a valley of ashes - a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat..."
Page 32 "everything that happened has a dim hazy cast over it"
Page 47 "What realism! Knew when to stop, too - didn't cut the pages. But what do you want? What do you expect?"
Page 48 "I had taken two finger-bowls of champagne, and the scene had changed before my eyes into something significant, elemental, and profound."
Page 63 "I'll tell you God's truth" - Gatsby
Page 92 "The rich get richer and the poor get - children."
Page 92 "There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams - no through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion..."
Page 95 "The truth was that Jay Gatsby...sprang from his Platonic conception of himself."
Page 95 "He was a son of God...and he must be about His Father's business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty."
Page 100-101 "It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment."
Page 106 "Can't repeat the past?...Why of course you can!" - Gatsby
Page 107 "when his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God."
Page 108 "his [Gatsby] career as Trimalchio was over."
Page 113 "What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon? Cried Daisy, and the day after that, and the next thirty years?"
Page 115 "Her voice is full of money"
Page 118 "It occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well."
Page 142 "He had committed himself to the following of a grail."
Page 142 "Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor"
Page 146 "'They're a rotten crowd', I shouted across the lawn. 'You're worth the whole damn bunch put together.'"
Page 147 "his incorruptible dream" (vs. Gatsby's corruption)
Page 155-156 "I found myself on Gatsby's side, and alone."
Page 170 "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made..."
Page 171 "I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors' eyes - a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder."
Page 167 "After Gatsby's death the East was haunted for me like that, distorted beyond my eye's power of correction."
Page 172 "tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further...And on fine morning - / So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

The Great Gatsby - characters and their names

Jordan Baker -  Daisy’s friend, a woman with whom Nick becomes romantically involved during the course of the novel. A competitive golfer, Jordan represents one of the “new women” of the 1920s—cynical, boyish, and self-centered. Jordan is beautiful, but also dishonest: she cheated in order to win her first golf tournament and continually bends the truth.

Her name is composed from two well known automobile makers from before and during the 1920s. What do you think is the significance of that?

The Great Gatsby - sixty second reviews

You can click through the video afterwards to others. It's snappy and well done. Of course, you will need depth by reading the novel carefully and THINKING about its themes, characters, language and motifs through its chapters, passages, paragraphs and its sentences.

A contemporary review of "The Great Gatsby"

F. Scott Fitzgerald died broke in 1940. His wife, Zelda, had been committed to a mental institution in the early 30s and Fitzgerald's books were out of print; he was a forgotten man. In the years since publishing greatest novel from 1925 his work seemed increasingly irrelevant.

These are contemporary resources from the 1920s when he published his greatest novel.  It has modest reviews, with only a few notable critics, one of whom was T.S. Eliot, praising Fitzgerald's novel as the most significant step forward in American literature since William James.

Hamptons-serenade: Long Island and its associations going back to "The Great Gatsby"

A must-read piece from a decade-old article from The New York Times on the Hamptons and the lives of the rich on Long Island. At the time when the article was published the US and world's stock markets were at their highs!

The Great Gatsby Study Guide

This is concise and useful.

Brighton Rock notes

About Me

I teach Film, Media and English Lit.