Wider Reading - Empire

Mind Map by , created over 6 years ago

English Lit Mind Map on Wider Reading - Empire, created by catherinecoffey2 on 05/02/2013.

Created by catherinecoffey2 over 6 years ago
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Wider Reading - Empire
1 'Heart of Darkness' - Joseph Conrad


1.1 Highlights the nation's pride in empire
1.1.1 'the men of whom the nation is proud ... the knights-errant of the sea.'
1.1.2 'the Golden Hind returning with her round flanks full of treasure' (material benefits of empire)
1.2 Suggestions of the decline of empire
1.2.1 Reflected in description of setting sun 'imperceptible fall'/'the decline of day'/'stricken to death by the touch of that gloom brooding over a crowd of men' (as if the moral problems of empire should haunt Londoners)
1.2.2 Pathetic fallacy - darkness indicating the approaching end of empire OR suggesting how much suffering it had caused 'The air was dark above Gravesend ... condensed to a mournful gloom' vs 'the biggest and the greatest town on earth' (based on wealth of empire) 'the gloom to the west ... became more sombre every minute, as if angered by the approach of the sun' (sun illustrating positivity and enlightenment coming with the end of empire).
1.3 Reference to the negative impact of empire
1.3.1 Empire just used by people for their own gains 'Hunters for gold or pursuers of fame ... bearing the sword and often the torch ... bearers of a spark from the sacred fire.' (justification of 'civilising' the indigenous people)
1.3.2 Suggests that the conquer of empire is dependent on the manipulation of indigenous people - nothing to be proud of 'They were conquerors and for that you want only brute force - nothing to boast of.' '...your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.'
1.3.3 Reference to the actions of Caesar - tried to conquer empire but returned to chaos in Rome 'run overlands across the Gauls in a hurry'
1.3.4 London presented as a place of darkness - indicates that we were 'savages' to the Romans (also a sense of MORAL darkness in the way we inflicted our own culture on others 'precious little to eat fit for a 'civilised' man' 'death skulking in the air' 'the utter savegery had closed around him' 'the water shone pacifically; the sky...a benign immensity of unstained light' (CONTRAST - how things should be)
2 'Hard Times' - Dickens
2.1 A convenient way to avoid scandal
2.1.1 "You must be got to Liverpool and sent abroad."
2.2 The playground of the rich and abused by those with money for personal gain - represented by HARTHOUSE
2.2.1 "Bored out of the place and going in for camels"
2.2.2 "The Great Pyramid put it into his head to go up the Nile."
2.2.3 '...strolled to Jerusalem and got bored there; then gone yachting about the world and got bored everywhere.'
3 'Shirley' - Charlotte Bronte
3.1 Feeling of superiority towards natives of the colonies
3.1.1 "The savage is sordid."
3.1.2 "The poverty which reduces an Irish girl to rags is impotent to rob the English girl of the wardrobe she knows is necessary to her self-respect."
3.2 '...covering white Western isles with the poisoned exhalations of the East, dimming the lattices of English homes with the breath of Indian plague' - Purity of England cantrasted to foreign disease
4 'The Man He Killed' - Thomas Hardy
4.1 Takes a working class persona
4.1.1 ‘out of work,’ ‘sold his traps’ (war is not an honourable civilising mission as it is made out to be but a last resort for those out of work).
4.2 Anonymity sustained throughout the poem
4.2.1 ‘he and I’ (equal status in the poem – takes away the idea of ‘us and them,’ could be anybody in any army; no matter how politicians try to justify it, this remains constant).
4.2.2 ‘you shoot a fellow down’ (could just mean ‘a man’ or could mean ‘someone like you’).
4.3 Questions justification given for war by suggesting the persona feels uneasy in justifying what he did
4.3.1 ‘I shot him dead because - / because he was my foe’ (repetition = trying to justify actions to himself, shows a sense of disbelief, suggests that he is simply repeating what he has been taught and is starting to question it) (ironic use of ‘foe’ – borrowing style of language from ‘epic’ poetry which glorifies was).
4.3.2 Enjambment between 3rd and 4th stanzas – ‘That’s clear enough: although/He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps’ (uneasy transition between stanzas suggests he doesn’t believe the justification he gives).
4.4 Form
4.4.1 Iambic trimetre/tetrametre – mimics heartbeat, emphasising shared humanity + gives a slow, reflective pace which makes us consider the subject matter.
4.4.2 Rhyme scheme broken in 3rd stanza? – ‘I shot him dead because’ ‘My foe of cause he was’ (disruption to rhyme scheme acts as an expression of emotion – showing regret for his action).

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