A Farewell to Arms

Ernest Hemingway





Love as a response to the horrors of war and the world

Hemingway repeatedly emphasizes the horrific devastation war has wrought on everyone involved. From the opening account of cholera that kills "only" 7,000 men to the graphic description of the artillery bombardment to the corrupt violence during the Italian retreat, A Farewell to Arms is among the most frank anti-war novels.


But Hemingway does not merely condemn war. Rather, he indicts the world at large for its atmosphere of destruction. Henry frequently reflects upon the world's insistence on breaking and killing everyone; it is as if the world cannot bear to let anyone remain happy and safe.


Indeed, whenever Henry and Catherine are blissful, something comes along to interrupt it - be it Henry's injury, his being sent back to the front, his impending arrest, or, finally, Catherine's death from childbirth. With such misery confronting them at every turn, the two turn to each other. Catherine, especially, plunges almost too easily into love when she first meets Henry. She admits she was "crazy" at first, most likely over the fairly recent death of her fiancé, but Henry, too, succumbs to the temptations of love. Love is a pleasurable diversion (see Games, below) that distracts lovers from the outside world; the two often tell each other not to think about anything else, as it is too painful. Hidden within the shelter of Catherine's beautiful hair, Henry and Catherine feel protected from the cruel outside world.


The major problem with such escapist love is, as Henry and other characters point out several times, one does not always know the "stakes" of love until it is over, or that one does not know about something until one has lost it. Henry hardly allows himself to think of life without Catherine while he is in love, and once he does lose her, it seems unlikely that he will recover.


Grace under pressure and the Hemingway hero

Although less important in this novel than in his 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway maps out what it means to be a hero. Chiefly, the "Hemingway hero," as literary criticism frequently tags him, is a man of action who coolly exhibits "grace under pressure" while confronting death. Henry's narration is certainly detached and action-oriented - only rarely does he let us into his most private thoughts - and he displays remarkable cool when shooting the engineering sergeant. Characters in the novel strive for this grace under pressure in an otherwise chaotic world. Even when the men eat spaghetti (and especially when they eat macaroni in the dugout during the artillery bombardment), they try to exercise mastery over a single skill to compensate for the uncontrollable chaos elsewhere. Dr. Valentini is another example of a skillful, confident Hemingway hero.


The Hemingway hero also eschews glory for a more personal code of honor. Unlike the selfish and boastful Ettore, Henry is not greedy for accolades, nor is he stupidly sacrificial. He judiciously determines what is worth the sacrifice, and decides that the war is no longer worthwhile. Even after he makes his "separate peace," however, he feels slightly guilty over letting his friends continue the battle without him.


Rain and destruction

From the first chapter to the last word, the novel is flooded with rain and other images of water. The rain almost always heralds destruction and death; it impinges upon whatever momentary happiness Henry and Catherine have and turns it into muddy misery. Ironically, rain often signifies fertility in literature but here stands for sterility, as it does in much post-WWI literature.

However, water is positive in other ways. Henry receives symbolic baptisms when he bathes and, more prominently, when he twice escapes from the authorities via a river and a lake. Frozen water is kinder to him and to soldiers in general; snow usually prevents fighting, and Henry and Catherine are happiest during their snowy winter in Switzerland.



Nearly all the characters in the novel try to divert themselves with pleasurable activities from the horror of war. The soldiers play card games, drink heavily, and carouse in brothels; Rinaldi is the poster-boy for this hedonistic excess. Henry goes along somewhat, but his biggest diversion is love itself; he and Catherine treat it like a game at first, flirting and teasing each other. Above all, ignorance is prized during the war; if one does not think about the war, then one cannot be unhappy during the ongoing pursuit of games and diversions.



The novel deploys several instances of abandonment, intentional and forced, in the realms of love and war. After the death of her fiancé, Catherine understandably fears abandonment by Henry, and he makes every attempt when separated to reunite with her. Even Helen fears abandonment by Catherine. In the war, we see several cases of abandonment: the engineering sergeants, who abandon Henry and the other drivers; Bonello, who abandons the drivers to give himself up as a prisoner; the Italian retreat, a large-scale abandonment; and Henry's escape from army. However, Henry's abandonment is completely justified (he was going to be executed if he did not), and it is less a desertion that what he calls a "separate peace." Ultimately, he decides that not abandoning Catherine is far more important than not abandoning the war, though he does feel guilty over leaving behind Rinaldi and the others at the front.


Journalistic style of omission

As is typical in a Hemingway work, Henry's narration is spare, detached, and journalistic. Contrary to what the reader might expect, the effect often heightens emotion. For example, Hemingway ratchets up the connotations of death and violence by omitting explicit mention of blood when it drips on Henry in the ambulance.


Hemingway shows his range when he occasionally uses a near "stream-of-consciousness" narration for Henry. In these few cases, Henry's thoughts are ungrammatical, awkwardly worded, and repetitive - much as the mind works, especially under such chaotic circumstances. A notable example is the long second-person narrative passage in Chapter XXXII after Henry has divorced himself from the army. By addressing himself as "you," Henry shows how he has separated from his former self through his "separate peace."





Rain serves in the novel as a potent symbol of the inevitable disintegration of happiness in life. Catherine infuses the weather with meaning as she and Henry lie in bed listening to the storm outside. As the rain falls on the roof, Catherine admits that the rain scares her and says that it has a tendency to ruin things for lovers. Of course, no meteorological phenomenon has such power; symbolically, however, Catherine’s fear proves to be prophetic, for doom does eventually come to the lovers. After Catherine’s death, Henry leaves the hospital and walks home in the rain. Here, the falling rain validates Catherine’s anxiety and confirms one of the novel’s main contentions: great love, like anything else in the world—good or bad, innocent or deserving—cannot last.


Catherine’s Hair

Although it is not a recurring symbol, Catherine’s hair is an important one. In the early, easy days of their relationship, as Henry and Catherine lie in bed, Catherine takes down her hair and lets it cascade around Henry’s head. The tumble of hair reminds Henry of being enclosed inside a tent or behind a waterfall. This lovely description stands as a symbol of the couple’s isolation from the world. With a war raging around them, they manage to secure a blissful seclusion, believing themselves protected by something as delicate as hair. Later, however, when they are truly isolated from the ravages of war and living in peaceful Switzerland, they learn the harsh lesson that love, in the face of life’s cruel reality, is as fragile and ephemeral as hair.






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The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Summary and Analysis




Lines 1-36 Summary: J. Alfred Prufrock, a presumably middle-aged, intellectual, indecisive man, invites the reader along with him through the modern city. He describes the street scene and notes a social gathering of women discussing Renaissance artist Michelangelo. He describes yellow smoke and fog outside the house of the gathering, and keeps insisting that there will be time to do many things in the social world.


Lines 37-86 Summary: Prufrock agonizes over his social actions, worrying over how others will see him. He thinks about women’s arms and perfume, but does not know how to act. He walks through the streets and watches lonely men leaning out their windows. The day passes at a social engagement but he cannot muster the strength to act, and he admits that he is afraid.


Lines 87-131 Summary: Prufrock wonders if, after various social gestures, it would have been worthwhile to act decisively if it resulted in a woman’s rejection of him. He thinks he is not a Prince Hamlet figure, but a secondary character in life. Worried over growing old, he adopts the fashions of youth. By the beach, he sees images of mermaids singing and swimming.



Major Themes


1) Prufrockian paralysis

Paralysis, the incapacity to act, has been the Achilles heel of many famous, mostly male, literary characters. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is the paragon of paralysis; unable to sort through his waffling, anxious mind, Hamlet makes a decisive action only at the end of Hamlet. Eliot parodically updates Hamlet’s paralysis to the modern world in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Parodically, because Prufrock’s paralysis is not over murder and the state of a corrupt kingdom, but whether he should “dare to eat a peach” (122) in front of high-society women.


Indeed, Prufrock’s paralysis revolves around his social and sexual anxieties, the two usually tied together. Eliot intended Prufrock’s name to resound of a “prude” in a “frock,” and the hero’s emasculation shows up in a number of physical areas: “his arms and legs are thin” (44) and, notably, “his hair is growing thin” (41). The rest of the poem is a catalogue of Prufrock’s inability to act.


The original title of the poem was “Prufrock Among the Women,” and Prufrock, as a balding, weak, neurotic, effete intellectual, is both baffled and intimidated by women. Perhaps the central image of his anxiety is his being “pinned and wriggling on the wall” (58) under the unflinching gaze of women (exacerbated since the women’s eyes, much like their “Arms that are braceleted and white and bare” [63], seem eerily disconnected from their bodies). At least here the women seem to be paying attention to him, however hostile they may be. By the end of the poem, Prufrock feels ostracized from the society of women, the “mermaids singing, each to each. / I do not think that they will sing to me” (124-125). Interestingly, Prufrock’s obsession with his bald spot rears its ugly head here; the beautiful, vain mermaids comb the “white hair of the waves blown back” (127). As hair is a symbol of virility, Eliot suggests that Prufrock’s paralysis is deeply rooted in psychosexual anxiety.


Yet Prufrock admits he is not even “Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; / Am an attendant lord … Almost, at times, the Fool” (111-112, 119). He is a modern tragic hero, which is to say he is a mock-hero whose concerns are pathetic yet still real. The final six lines of the poem comprise a sestet that somewhat echoes the Petrarchan sonnet, yet Prufrock, unlike Petrarch, does not have an ideal, unrequited love like Laura; he has a very real anxiety about all women.


2) Temporal repetition and anxiety

Prufrock’s paralysis roots itself in the poem’s structure. Eliot deploys several refrains, such as “In the room the women come and go / Talking of Michelangelo” (13-14, 35-36) and “And would it have been worth it, after all” (87, 99), to underscore Prufrock’s tendency to get stuck on a problem.


Delusion only masks Prufrock’s greater anxiety about the future and aging. Already characterized as having lost the luster of youth (and pathetically trying to approximate the bohemian style of rolling his trousers), the only thing Prufrock marches toward decisively is death. The two allusions to Andrew Marvell’s poem “To His Coy Mistress” ironically comment on Prufrock’s attitude toward life. In the poem, the speaker urges his lady to have sex with him while they are still young and alive. Prufrock’s allusions, however — “And indeed there will be time” (23) and “Would it have been worth while, … To have squeezed the universe into a ball” (90, 92) — reinforce his fixation on paralysis rather than sex. He deludes himself into thinking he has plenty of time left, and thus does not need to act; death looms, though, however much he wants to deny it. Sex, of course, reproduces new life while death ends it; Prufrock is somewhere in the middle, gradually advancing on the latter.


3) Fragmentation

One of the key terms in Modernist literature, fragmentation is the accumulation of numerous and varied — often to chaotic effect — signs (words, images, sounds). But it is so successful because the Modernists also believed that meaning could be made out of these fragments. Prufrock concerns himself with fragmentation. The city Prufrock lives in is itself fragmented, a scattered collection of “Streets that follow like a tedious argument” (8) above which “lonely men in shirt-sleeves” (72) lean out of their isolated windows. The population is fragmented, lost and alone; even the sterile skyline resembles a “patient etherized upon a table” (3).


Augmenting our appreciation of the fragmented Prufrock is insight into his mind and voice. His mind is perhaps more easily represented; all over the place, interrupted by self-interrogation and self-consciousness, looping back on itself, Prufrock’s train of thought is deeply fragmented. What is Prufrock’s voice, poetically speaking? It is difficult to answer because it is a combination of so many historic poetic voices. The poem comes in the form of a dramatic monologue, a form that is usually fit for a resonant speaking voice (and one that extinguishes the personality of the poet, too). But “Prufrock” has a chorus of fragmented voices — the epigraph to Dante, the frequent allusions to the Bible, Shakespeare, and many poetic predecessors — which deny the existence of a solo voice. This, then, is Prufrock’s voice: a fragmentation of voices past and present that somehow harmonize.


4) Debasement and Hell

The opening image of the evening “spread out against the sky / Like a patient etherized upon a table” (2-3) hints that what is lower down will be much worse. Prufrock sweeps the reader on a generally downward ride — from the skyline to street life, down stairs during a party, even to the sea floor. Prufrock consistently feels worse about himself in these situations — the reference to “Scuttling across the floors of silent seas” (74) is the ultimate in self-pitying — but they have more resonance when we consider the Dante epigraph. Prufrock is descending into his own Hell, and he brings the reader along with him for safety. Prufrock switches from his first-person singular narration to first-person plural in the last stanza: “We have lingered in the chambers of the sea / By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown / Till human voices wake us, and we drown” (129-131). For his final plunge, Prufrock wants to make sure that we accompany him into his self-pitying Hell.


source: www.gradesaver.com


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Waiting for Godot: Analysis of the Play


Although very existentialist in its characterizations, Waiting for Godotis primarily about hope. The play revolves around Vladimir andEstragon and their pitiful wait for hope to arrive. At various times during the play, hope is constructed as a form of salvation, in the personages of Pozzo and Lucky, or even as death. The subject of the play quickly becomes an example of how to pass the time in a situation which offers no hope. Thus the theme of the play is set by the beginning:


Estragon: Nothing to be done.

Vladimir: I'm beginning to come round to that opinion.

Although the phrase is used in connection to Estragon's boots here, it is also later used by Vladimir with respect to his hat. Essentially it describes the hopelessness of their lives.

A direct result of this hopelessness is the daily struggle to pass the time. Thus, most of the play is dedicated to devising games which will help them pass the time. This mutual desire also addresses the question of why they stay together. Both Vladimir and Estragon admit to being happier when apart. One of the main reasons that they continue their relationship is that they need one another to pass the time. After Pozzo and Lucky leave for the first time they comment:

V: That passed the time.

E: It would have passed in any case.

And later when Estragon finds his boots again:

V: What about trying them.

E: I've tried everything.

V: No, I mean the boots.

E: Would that be a good thing?

V: It'd pass the time. I assure you, it'd be an occupation.

Since passing the time is their mutual occupation, Estragon struggles to find games to help them accomplish their goal. Thus they engage in insulting one another and in asking each other questions.

The difficulty for Beckett of keeping a dialogue running for so long is overcome by making his characters forget everything. Estragon cannot remember anything past what was said immediately prior to his lines. Vladimir, although possessing a better memory, distrusts what he remembers. And since Vladimir cannot rely on Estragon to remind him of things, he too exists in a state of forgetfulness.

Another second reason for why they are together arises from the existentialism of their forgetfulness. Since Estragon cannot remember anything, he needs Vladimir to tell him his history. It is as if Vladimir is establishing Estragon's identity by remembering for him. Estragon also serves as a reminder for Vladimir of all the things they have done together. Thus both men serve to remind the other man of his very existence. This is necessary since no one else in the play ever remembers them:

Vladimir: We met yesterday. (Silence) Do you not remember?

Pozzo: I don't remember having met anyone yesterday. But to-morrow I won't remember having met anyone to-day. So don't count on me to enlighten you.

Later on the same thing happens with the boy who claims to have never seen them before. This lack of reassurance about their very existence makes it all the more necessary that they remember each other.

Estragon and Vladimir are not only talking to pass the time, but also to avoid the voices that arise out of the silence. Beckett's heroes in other works are also constantly assailed by voices which arise out of the silence, so this is a continuation of a theme the author uses frequently:

E: In the meantime let's try and converse calmly, since we're incapable of keeping silent.

V: You're right, we're inexhaustible.

E: It's so we won't think.

V: We have that excuse.

E: It's so we won't hear.

V: We have our reasons.

E: All the dead voices.

V: They make a noise like wings.

E: Like leaves.

V: Like sand.

E: Like leaves.


V: They all speak at once.

E: Each one to itself.


V: Rather they whisper.

E: They rustle.

V: They murmur.

E: The rustle.


V: What do they say?

E: They talk about their lives.

V: To have lived is not enough for them.

E: They have to talk about it.

V: To be dead is not enough for them.

E: It is not sufficient.


V: They make a noise like feathers.

E: Like leaves.

V: Like ashes.

E: Like leaves.

Long silence.

V: Say something!

One of the questions which must be answered is why the bums are suffering in the first place. This can only be answered through the concept of original sin. To be born is to be a sinner, and thus man is condemned to suffer. The only way to escape the suffering is to repent or to die. Thus Vladimir recalls the thieves crucified with Christ in the first act:

V: One of the thieves was saved. It's a reasonable percentage. (Pause.) Gogo.

E: What?

V: Suppose we repented.

E: Repented what?

V: Oh . . . (He reflects.) We wouldn't have to go into the details.

E: Our being born?

Failing to repent, they sit and wait for Godot to come and save them. In the meantime they contemplate suicide as another way of escaping their hopelessness. Estragon wants them to hang themselves from the tree, but both he and Vladimir find it would be too risky. This apathy, which is a result of their age, leads them to remember a time when Estragon almost succeeded in killing himself:

E: Do you remember the day I threw myself into the Rhone?

V: We were grape harvesting.

E: You fished me out.

V: That's all dead and buried.

E: My clothes dried in the sun.

V: There's no good harking back on that. Come on.

Beckett is believed to have said that the name Godot comes from the French "godillot" meaning a military boot. Beckett fought in the war and so spending long periods of time waiting for messages to arrive would have been commonplace for him. The more common interpretation that it might mean "God" is almost certainly wrong. Beckett apparently stated that if he had meant "God," he would have written "God".

The concept of the passage of time leads to a general irony. Each minute spent waiting brings death one step closer to the characters and makes the arrival of Godot less likely. The passage of time is evidenced by the tree which has grown leaves, possibly indicating a change of seasons. Pozzo and Lucky are also transformed by time since Pozzo goes blind and Lucky mute.

There are numerous interpretation of Waiting for Godot and a few are described here:

Religious interpretations posit Vladimir and Estragon as humanity waiting for the elusive return of a savior. An extension of this makes Pozzo into the Pope and Lucky into the faithful. The faithful are then viewed as a cipher of God cut short by human intolerance. The twisted tree can alternatively represent either the tree of death, the tree of life, the tree of Judas or the tree of knowledge.

Political interpretations also abound. Some reviewers hold that the relationship between Pozzo and Lucky is that of a capitalist to his labor. This Marxist interpretation is understandable given that in the second act Pozzo is blind to what is happening around him and Lucky is mute to protest his treatment. The play has also been understood as an allegory for Franco-German relations.

An interesting interpretation argues that Lucky receives his name because he is lucky in the context of the play. Since most of the play is spent trying to find things to do to pass the time, Lucky is lucky because his actions are determined absolutely by Pozzo. Pozzo on the other hand is unlucky because he not only needs to pass his own time but must find things for Lucky to do.


Source: www.gradesaver.com


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Oedipus Rex




Context: Greek Theater

Greek theater was very different from what we call theater today. It was, first of all, part of a religious festival. To attend a performance of one of these plays was an act of worship, not entertainment or intellectual pastime.

A second way in which Greek theater was different from modern theater is in its cultural centrality: every citizen attended these plays. Greek plays were put on at annual festivals (at the beginning of spring, the season of Dionysus), often for as many as 15,000 spectators at once. They dazzled viewers with their special effects, singing, and dancing, as well as with their beautiful language. At the end of each year’s festivals, judges would vote to decide which playwright’s play was the best.

In these competitions, Sophocles was king. It is thought that he won the first prize at the Athenian festival eighteen times. He is believed to have authored 123 plays, only seven of which have survived.


Oedipus the King: Importance

The story of Oedipus was well known to Sophocles’ audience. Oedipus arrives at Thebes a stranger and finds the town under the curse of the Sphinx, who will not free the city unless her riddle is answered. Oedipus solves the riddle and, since the king has recently been murdered, becomes the king and marries the queen. In time, he comes to learn that he is actually a Theban, the king’s son, cast out of Thebes as a baby. He has killed his father and married his mother. Horrified, he blinds himself and leaves Thebes forever.

The story was not invented by Sophocles. Quite the opposite: the play’s most powerful effects often depend on the fact that the audience already knows the story. Since the first performance of Oedipus Rex, the story has fascinated critics just as it fascinated Sophocles. Aristotle used this play and its plot as the supreme example of tragedy. Sigmund Freud famously based his theory of the “Oedipal Complex” on this story, claiming that every boy has a latent desire to kill his father and be with his mother.



The Willingness to Ignore the Truth

When Oedipus and Jocasta begin to get close to the truth about Laius’s murder, Oedipus fastens onto a detail in the hope of exonerating himself. Jocasta says that she was told that Laius was killed by “strangers,” whereas Oedipus knows that he acted alone when he killed a man in similar circumstances. This is an extraordinary moment because it calls into question the entire truth-seeking process Oedipus believes himself to be undertaking. Both Oedipus and Jocasta act as though the servant’s story, once spoken, is irrefutable history. Neither can face the possibility of what it would mean if the servant were wrong. This is perhaps why Jocasta feels she can tell Oedipus of the prophecy that her son would kill his father, and Oedipus can tell her about the similar prophecy given him by an oracle (867–875), and neither feels compelled to remark on the coincidence; or why Oedipus can hear the story of Jocasta binding her child’s ankles (780–781) and not think of his own swollen feet. While the information in these speeches is largely intended to make the audience painfully aware of the tragic irony, it also emphasizes just how desperately Oedipus and Jocasta do not want to speak the obvious truth: they look at the circumstances and details of everyday life and pretend not to see them.


The Limits of Free Will

Prophecy is a central part of Oedipus the King. The play begins with Creon’s return from the oracle at Delphi, where he has learned that the plague will be lifted if Thebes banishes the man who killed Laius. Tiresias prophesies the capture of one who is both father and brother to his own children. Oedipus tells Jocasta of a prophecy he heard as a youth, that he would kill his father and sleep with his mother, and Jocasta tells Oedipus of a similar prophecy given to Laius, that her son would grow up to kill his father. Oedipus and Jocasta debate the extent to which prophecies should be trusted at all, and when all of the prophecies come true, it appears that one of Sophocles’ aims is to justify the powers of the gods and prophets, which had recently come under attack in fifth-century B.C. Athens.

Sophocles’ audience would, of course, have known the story of Oedipus, which only increases the sense of complete inevitability about how the play would end. It is difficult to say how justly one can accuse Oedipus of being “blind” or foolish when he seems to have no choice about fulfilling the prophecy: he is sent away from Thebes as a baby and by a remarkable coincidence saved and raised as a prince in Corinth. Hearing that he is fated to kill his father, he flees Corinth and, by a still more remarkable coincidence, ends up back in Thebes, now king and husband in his actual father’s place. Oedipus seems only to desire to flee his fate, but his fate continually catches up with him. Many people have tried to argue that Oedipus brings about his catastrophe because of a “tragic flaw,” but nobody has managed to create a consensus about what Oedipus’s flaw actually is. Perhaps his story is meant to show that error and disaster can happen to anyone, that human beings are relatively powerless before fate or the gods, and that a cautious humility is the best attitude toward life.


Sight and Blindness

References to eyesight and vision, both literal and metaphorical, are very frequent in all three of the Theban plays. Quite often, the image of clear vision is used as a metaphor for knowledge and insight. In fact, this metaphor is so much a part of the Greek way of thinking that it is almost not a metaphor at all, just as in modern English: to say “I see the truth” or “I see the way things are” is a perfectly ordinary use of language. However, the references to eyesight and insight in the play form a meaningful pattern in combination with the references to literal and metaphorical blindness. Oedipus is famed for his clear-sightedness and quick comprehension, but he discovers that he has been blind to the truth for many years, and then he blinds himself so as not to have to look on his own children/siblings. Overall, the play seems to say that human beings can demonstrate remarkable powers of intellectual penetration and insight, and that they have a great capacity for knowledge, but that even the smartest human being is liable to error, that the human capability for knowledge is ultimately quite limited and unreliable.



Oedipus’s Swollen Foot

Oedipus’s injury symbolizes the way in which fate has marked him and set him apart. It also symbolizes the way his movements have been confined and constrained since birth, by Apollo’s prophecy to Laius.


The Three-way Crossroads

A crossroads is a place where a choice has to be made, so crossroads usually symbolize moments where decisions will have important consequences but where different choices are still possible. In this play, the crossroads symbolizes fate and the awesome power of prophecy rather than freedom and choice.


Source: www.sparknotes.com

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Animal Farm

George Orwell



George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Blair, a British political novelist and essayist whose pointed criticisms of political oppression propelled him into prominence toward the middle of the twentieth century. His painful experiences with snobbishness and social elitism at Eton, as well as his intimate familiarity with the reality of British imperialism in India, made him deeply suspicious of the entrenched class system in English society. As a young man, Orwell became a socialist, speaking openly against the excesses of governments east and west.

Unlike many British socialists in the 1930s and 1940s, Orwell was not enamored of the Soviet Union and its policies, nor did he consider the Soviet Union a positive representation of the possibilities of socialist society. He could not turn a blind eye to the cruelties and hypocrisies of Soviet Communist Party, which had overturned the semifeudal system of the tsars only to replace it with the dictatorial reign of Joseph Stalin. Orwell became a sharp critic of both capitalism and communism, and is remembered chiefly as an advocate of freedom and a committed opponent of communist oppression. His two greatest anti-totalitarian novels—Animal Farm and 1984—form the basis of his reputation.

Animal Farm, written in 1945, deals with similar themes but in a shorter and somewhat simpler format. A “fairy story” in the style of Aesop’s fables, it uses animals on an English farm to tell the history of Soviet communism. Certain animals are based directly on Communist Party leaders: the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, for example, are figurations of Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky, respectively. Orwell uses the form of the fable for a number of aesthetic and political reasons.


Historical Context

In Das Kapital (Capital), Marx advanced an economically deterministic interpretation of human history, arguing that society would naturally evolve—from a monarchy and aristocracy, to capitalism, and then on to communism, a system under which all property would be held in common. The dignity of the poor workers oppressed by capitalism would be restored, and all people would live as equals. Marx followed this sober and scholarly work with The Communist Manifesto, an impassioned call to action that urged, “Workers of the world, unite!”




The Corruption of Socialist Ideals in the Soviet Union

Animal Farm is most famous in the West as a stinging critique of the history and rhetoric of the Russian Revolution. Retelling the story of the emergence and development of Soviet communism in the form of an animal fable, Animal Farm allegorizes the rise to power of the dictator Joseph Stalin. In the novella, the overthrow of the human oppressor Mr. Jones by a democratic coalition of animals quickly gives way to the consolidation of power among the pigs. Much like the Soviet intelligentsia, the pigs establish themselves as the ruling class in the new society.

In both the historical and fictional cases, the idealistic but politically less powerful figure (Trotsky and Snowball) is expelled from the revolutionary state by the malicious and violent usurper of power (Stalin and Napoleon). The purges and show trials with which Stalin eliminated his enemies and solidified his political base find expression in Animal Farm as the false confessions and executions of animals whom Napoleon distrusts following the collapse of the windmill. Stalin’s tyrannical rule and eventual abandonment of the founding principles of the Russian Revolution are represented by the pigs’ turn to violent government and the adoption of human traits and behaviors, the trappings of their original oppressors.

Although Orwell believed strongly in socialist ideals, he felt that the Soviet Union realized these ideals in a terribly perverse form. His novella creates its most powerful ironies in the moments in which Orwell depicts the corruption of Animalist ideals by those in power. For Animal Farm serves not so much to condemn tyranny or despotism as to indict the horrifying hypocrisy of tyrannies that base themselves on, and owe their initial power to, ideologies of liberation and equality. The gradual disintegration and perversion of the Seven Commandments illustrates this hypocrisy with vivid force, as do Squealer’s elaborate philosophical justifications for the pigs’ blatantly unprincipled actions. Thus, the novella critiques the violence of the Stalinist regime against the human beings it ruled, and also points to Soviet communism’s violence against human logic, language, and ideals.


The Societal Tendency toward Class Stratification

Animal Farm offers commentary on the development of class tyranny and the human tendency to maintain and reestablish class structures even in societies that allegedly stand for total equality. The novella illustrates how classes that are initially unified in the face of a common enemy, as the animals are against the humans, may become internally divided when that enemy is eliminated. The natural division between intellectual and physical labor quickly comes to express itself as a new set of class divisions, with the “brainworkers” (as the pigs claim to be) using their superior intelligence to manipulate society to their own benefit. Orwell never clarifies in Animal Farm whether this negative state of affairs constitutes an inherent aspect of society or merely an outcome contingent on the integrity of a society’s intelligentsia. In either case, the novella points to the force of this tendency toward class stratification in many communities and the threat that it poses to democracy and freedom.


The Danger of a Naïve Working Class

One of the novella’s most impressive accomplishments is its portrayal not just of the figures in power but also of the oppressed people themselves. Gullible, loyal, and hardworking, these animals give Orwell a chance to sketch how situations of oppression arise not only from the motives and tactics of the oppressors but also from the naïveté of the oppressed, who are not necessarily in a position to be better educated or informed. When presented with a dilemma, Boxer prefers not to puzzle out the implications of various possible actions but instead to repeat to himself, “Napoleon is always right.” Animal Farm demonstrates how the inability or unwillingness to question authority condemns the working class to suffer the full extent of the ruling class’s oppression.


The Abuse of Language as Instrumental to the Abuse of Power

One of Orwell’s central concerns, both in Animal Farm and in 1984, is the way in which language can be manipulated as an instrument of control. In Animal Farm, the pigs gradually twist and distort a rhetoric of socialist revolution to justify their behavior and to keep the other animals in the dark. The animals heartily embrace Major’s visionary ideal of socialism, but after Major dies, the pigs gradually twist the meaning of his words. As a result, the other animals seem unable to oppose the pigs without also opposing the ideals of the Rebellion. By the end of the novella, after Squealer’s repeated reconfigurations of the Seven Commandments in order to decriminalize the pigs’ treacheries, the main principle of the farm can be openly stated as “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This outrageous abuse of the word “equal” and of the ideal of equality in general typifies the pigs’ method, which becomes increasingly audacious as the novel progresses. Orwell’s sophisticated exposure of this abuse of language remains one of the most compelling and enduring features of Animal Farm, worthy of close study even after we have decoded its allegorical characters and events.



Animal Farm

Animal Farm, known at the beginning and the end of the novel as the Manor Farm, symbolizes Russia and the Soviet Union under Communist Party rule. But more generally, Animal Farm stands for any human society, be it capitalist, socialist, fascist, or communist.


The Barn

The barn at Animal Farm, on whose outside walls the pigs paint the Seven Commandments and, later, their revisions, represents the collective memory of a modern nation. The many scenes in which the ruling-class pigs alter the principles of Animalism and in which the working-class animals puzzle over but accept these changes represent the way an institution in power can revise a community’s concept of history to bolster its control.


The Windmill

The great windmill symbolizes the pigs’ manipulation of the other animals for their own gain. Despite the immediacy of the need for food and warmth, the pigs exploit Boxer and the other common animals by making them undertake backbreaking labor to build the windmill, which will ultimately earn the pigs more money and thus increase their power. From an allegorical point of view, the windmill represents the enormous modernization projects undertaken in Soviet Russia after the Russian Revolution.


source: www.sparknotes.com

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Chapter Three: Tragedy and Comedy

Thalia and Melpomene: Zeus’s Daughters

-Comedy is funny; tragedy is sad. Comedy has a happy ending, tragedy an unhappy one.
-The typical ending for comedy is a marriage; the typical ending for tragedy is death.
Aristotle (384 – 322 BC)
-The first great theorist of dramatic arts was Aristotle whose discussion of tragedy in Poetics has dominated critical thought ever since.
Definition of Tragedy:
-A tragedy is the imitation in dramatic form of an action that is serious and complete, with incidents arousing pity and fear wherewith it effects a catharsis of such emotions.
-The language is pleasurable and appropriate.
-The chief characters are noble personages (“better than ourselves”) and the actions they perform are noble actions.
-The plot involves a change in the protagonist’s fortune, in which he usually falls from happiness to misery.
-The protagonist, though not perfect, is hardly a bad person; his misfortunes result not from character deficiencies but rather from what Aristotle calls hamartia (tragic flaw), a criminal act committed in ignorance of some material fact or even for the sake of a greater good.
-A tragic plot has organic unity: the events follow not just after one another but because of one another.
-The best tragic plots involve a reversal (a change from one state of things within the play to its opposite) or a discovery (a change from ignorance to knowledge) or both.
Catharsis: “Purgation” — Emotional Release
-“Tragic Flaw”: some fault of character such as inordinate ambition, quickness to anger, a tendency to jealousy, or overweening pride.
Jealousy: Othello’s Hamartia (Tragic Flaw)
Ambition: Macbeth’s Hamatia (Tragic Flaw)
Tragic Hero:
1. Tragic hero is a man of noble stature. He is not an ordinary man. In Greek and Shakespearean tragedy, he is usually a prince or a king.
2. The tragic hero is good, though not perfect, and his fall results from his committing what Aristotle calls “an act of injustice” (hamatia) either through ignorance or from a conviction.
3. The hero’s downfall is his own fault, the result of his own free choice — not the result of pure accident or someone else’s villainy or some overriding malignant fate.
4. Nevertheless, the hero’s misfortune is not wholly deserved. The punishment exceeds the crime.
5. Yet the tragic fall is not pure loss. Though it may result in the protagonist’s death, it involves, before his death, some increase in awareness, some gain in self-knowledge—“discovery”—a change from ignorance to knowledge.
6. Though it arouses solemn emotions—pity and fear, says Aristotle, but compassion and awe might be better terms—tragedy, when well performed, does not leave its audience in a state of depression.
Macbeth as a Tragic Hero
1.Scornful Comedy: laughing comedy
2.Romantic Comedy: smiling comedy
-Scornful or satiric comedy is the older and probably still the more dominant.
-Where tragedy emphasizes human greatness, comedy delineates human weakness. Where tragedy celebrates human freedom, comedy points up human limitations.
-Because comedy exposes human folly, its function is partly critical and corrective.
-Comedy reveals to us a spectacle of human ridiculousness that it makes us want to avoid.
-Romantic comedy puts its emphasis upon sympathetic rather than ridiculous characters.
-The norms of comedy are primarily social: Where tragedies tend to isolate their protagonists to emphasize their uniqueness, comedies put their protagonists in the midst of a group to emphasize their commonness.
Melodrama: like tragedy attempts to arouse feelings of fear and pity, but it does so ordinarily through cruder means. The conflict is an oversimplified one between good and evil depicted in  absolute terms.
Deus ex machina: Rescue by an act of divine intervention.
Farce: More consistently than comedy, is aimed at rousing explosive laughter. But the means are cruder. The conflicts are violent and usually at the physical level.
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Chapter Two: Realistic and Nonrealistic Darama 


Realism: Realism in the arts may be generally defined as the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, implausible, exotic and supernatural elements. The term originated in the 19th century, and was used to describe the work of Gustave Courbet and a group of painters who rejected idealization, focusing instead on everyday life.

Gustave Courbet (1819 – 1877)


Otto Griebel’s “The International”


Sir George Clausen (1852 – 1944)


Realism: Main Features

1. Truthful representation in art (e.g. literature & painting), of contemporary life and manners

2. Scientific method: Objectivity & observation in representation

3. Middle class art

4. The personality of the author was to be suppressed, or was at least to reduce into the background, since reality was to be seen “as it is”


Nonrealistic Conventions in Drama

-Chorus: a group of actors speaking in unison, often in a chant, while going through the steps of an elaborate formalized dance.
-Narrator: a person who tells the story
a) First Person
b) Third Person (Omniscient & Limited Omniscient)
c) Objective
-Fantasy and Supernatural Characters
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Chapter One: The Nature of Drama 

-Drama makes use of plot and characters, develops themes, arouses emotional responses, and may be either literary or commercial.
-Drama is written primarily to be performed.
-Drama normally presents its action:
a) through actors
b) on a stage
c) before an audience
Greek Theater
-Four great Greek playwrights:
1) Aeschylus (525 – 456 BC)
2) Sophocles (497 – 406 BC)
3) Euripides (480 – 406 BC)
4) Aristophanes (446 – 386 BC)
Aeschylus (525 – 456 BC)
-The father of European drama (tragedy)
-The most important idea in the plays of Aeschylus: a firm belief in the power of religion, in Man’s relationship with God (gods)
Sophocles (497 – 406 BC)
-Sophocles represents the climax of Greek drama.
-Many critics consider that, apart from Shakespeare, he is the greatest dramatist the world has ever known.
-His plays are closer to our modern understanding and sympathy, because they seem more real and natural.
Euripides (480 – 406 BC)
-The main change which Euripides made was not in the shape of the plays, but in their meaning. The authority of gods is questioned.
Aristophanes (446 – 386 BC)
-His comedies were not about very general ideas, such as Man’s relations with God, but about local events and conditions.
-Aristophanes wrote about the social problems of his time.
Drama in the Middle Ages & The Renaissance:
-Drama was reborn in the Church. It was dominated by religion, but this time it was Christianity, and not the old religion of the Greeks.
-Their purpose was to give people a clearer understanding of the Gospel’s stories.
-Taken from the Bible known as:
1) Morality Plays
2) Miracle Plays
The Renaissance Theater
Elizabethan Drama:
-Instead of choosing subjects from the Bible, the new playwrights looked back to Roman times for their subjects.
-Drama became a hobby for people.
-Historical Plays: the history of England’s kings.
-William Shakespeare: the greatest playwright the world has ever known.
Direct & Intensified Influence:
-Because a play presents its action through actors, its impact is direct, immediate, and heightened by the actors’ skills.
-Because a play presents its action before an audience, the experience it creates is communal, and its impact is intensified.
- Soliloquy: Characters are presented as speaking to themselves — that is, they think out loud.
- Aside: Characters turn from the persons with whom they are conversing to speak directly to (or for the benefit of) the audience, thus letting the audience know what they are really thinking or feeling as opposed to what they pretend to be thinking or feeling.
Act: a major division in the action of a play.
Scene: acts are subdivided into scenes. The end of a scene is usually indicated by a dropped curtain, and the end of an act by a dropped curtain and an intermission.
In Greek plays, dancing and chanting by a chorus served as a scene divider.
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Ernest Hemingway




The Honor in Struggle, Defeat & Death

Santiago is characterized as someone struggling against defeat. He has gone eighty-four days without catching a fish—he will soon pass his own record of eighty-seven days. Almost as a reminder of Santiago’s struggle, the sail of his skiff resembles “the flag of permanent defeat.”

Because Santiago is pitted against the creatures of the sea, some readers choose to view the tale as a chronicle of man’s battle against the natural world, but the novella is, more accurately, the story of man’s place within nature. Both Santiago and the marlin display qualities of pride, honor, and bravery, and both are subject to the same eternal law: they must kill or be killed. Santiago lives according to his own observation: “man is not made for defeat . . . [a] man can be destroyed but not defeated.” In Hemingway’s portrait of the world, death is inevitable, but the best men (and animals) will nonetheless refuse to give in to its power. Accordingly, man and fish will struggle to the death, just as hungry sharks will lay waste to an old man’s trophy catch.

The novel suggests that it is possible to transcend this natural law. It is precisely through the effort to battle the inevitable that a man can prove himself. Indeed, a man can prove this determination over and over through the worthiness of the opponents he chooses to face. His admiration for these opponents brings love and respect into an equation with death, as their destruction becomes a point of honor and bravery that confirms Santiago’s heroic qualities. One might characterize the equation as the working out of the statement “Because I love you, I have to kill you.” Alternately, one might draw a parallel to the poet John Keats and his insistence that beauty can only be comprehended in the moment before death, as beauty bows to destruction. Santiago, though destroyed at the end of the novella, is never defeated. Instead, he emerges as a hero. Santiago’s struggle does not enable him to change man’s place in the world. Rather, it enables him to meet his most dignified destiny.


Pride as the Source of Greatness & Determination

Many parallels exist between Santiago and the classic heroes of the ancient world. In addition to exhibiting terrific strength, bravery, and moral certainty, those heroes usually possess a tragic flaw—a quality that, though admirable, leads to their eventual downfall. If pride is Santiago’s fatal flaw, he is keenly aware of it. “Nothing . . . I went out too far.”

Hemingway does not condemn his protagonist for being full of pride. On the contrary, Santiago stands as proof that pride motivates men to greatness. pride becomes the source of Santiago’s greatest strength.

Santiago’s pride also motivates his desire to transcend the destructive forces of nature. First we are told that the old man “was full of resolution but he had little hope.” Then, sentences later, the narrator says, “He hit [the shark] without hope but with resolution.” It is this conscious decision to act, to fight, to never give up that enables Santiago to avoid defeat. Although he returns to Havana without the trophy of his long battle, he returns with the knowledge that he has acquitted himself proudly and manfully. Hemingway seems to suggest that victory is not a prerequisite for honor. Instead, glory depends upon one having the pride to see a struggle through to its end, regardless of the outcome. Even if the old man had returned with the marlin intact, his moment of glory, like the marlin’s meat, would have been short-lived. The glory and honor Santiago accrues comes not from his battle itself but from his pride and determination to fight.



The Marlin

Magnificent and glorious, the marlin symbolizes the ideal opponent. In a world in which “everything kills everything else in some way,” Santiago feels genuinely lucky to find himself matched against a creature that brings out the best in him: his strength, courage, love, and respect.


The Shovel-Nosed Sharks

The shovel-nosed sharks are little more than moving appetites that thoughtlessly and gracelessly attack the marlin. As opponents of the old man, they stand in bold contrast to the marlin, which is worthy of Santiago’s effort and strength. They symbolize and embody the destructive laws of the universe and attest to the fact that those laws can be transcended only when equals fight to the death. Because they are base predators, Santiago wins no glory from battling them.


source: sparknotes.com

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Course: Analysis of Literary Masterpieces

Instructor: Seyyed Shahabeddin Sadati




1st Week     Introduction: Significance of the Course

2nd Week    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

3rd Week     پیرمرد و دریا برگردان نجف دریابندری

4th Week     Animal Farm by George Orwell

5th Week     مزرعه حیوانات برگردان صالح حسینی

6th Week     A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

7th Week     وداع با اسلحه برگردان نجف دریابندری

8th Week     “The Cathedral” by Raymond Carver

9th Week     «کلیسای جامع» برگردان فرزانه طاهری

10th Week   The Remains of the Day by Kazu Ishiguro

11th Week   بازمانده روز برگردان نجف دریابندری

12th Week   Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

13th Week   خانم دالوی برگردان پرویز داریوش

14th Week   One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

15th Week   صد سال تنهایی برگردان بهمن فرزانه

16th Week   Review



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Course: Literary Criticism in English Literature

Instructor: Dr. Seyyed Shahabeddin Sadati




1st Week          Introduction: Significance of the Course

2nd Week        Russian Formalism

3rd Week         AmericanNew Criticism

4th Week         Psychoanalytic Criticism (Sigmund Freud)

5th Week         Psychoanalytic Criticism (Carl Jung)

6th Week         Psychoanalytic Criticism (Jacques Lacan)

7th Week         Feminism (Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Gender Theory)

8th Week         Feminism (French Feminism and Female Writing)

9th Week         Modernity: Structuralism (Ferdinand de Saussure)

10th Week       Postmodernism: Post-Structuralism and Deconstruction (Jacques Derrida)

11th Week       Reader-Oriented Criticism (Wolfgang Isser)

12th Week       Reader-Oriented Criticism (Hans Robert Jauss and Norman Holland)

13th Week       Postcolonialism (Edward Said)

14th Week       Postcolonialism (Homi Bhabha)

15th Week       Ecocriticism

16th Week       Review






Bressler, Charles E. Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. Fifth Edition, London: Longman, 2011.

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Course: Classic and Renaissance Drama

Instructor: Dr. Seyyed Shahabeddin Sadati




1st Week        Introduction: Significance of the Course

2nd Week       The Elements of Drama (pp. 1027 – 1030)

                        Realistic and Nonrealistic Drama (pp. 1074 – 1078)

3rd Week       Tragedy and Comedy (pp. 1209 – 1216)

4th Week        Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (pp. 1216 – 1261)

5th Week        Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (pp. 1216 – 1261)

6th Week        Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (pp. 1216 – 1261)

7th Week        Othello, the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare (pp. 1263 – 1356)

8th Week        Othello, the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare (pp. 1263 – 1356)

9th Week        Othello, the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare (pp. 1263 – 1356)

10th Week     Othello, the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare (pp. 1263 – 1356)

11th Week     A Midsummer Night's Dreamby William Shakespeare (pp. 1538 – 1599)

12th Week     A Midsummer Night's Dreamby William Shakespeare (pp. 1538 – 1599)

13th Week     A Midsummer Night's Dreamby William Shakespeare (pp. 1538 – 1599)

14th Week     A Midsummer Night's Dreamby William Shakespeare (pp. 1538 – 1599)

15th Week     Review

16th Week     Review





Arp, Thomas R. and Greg Johnson. Perrine's Literature Structure, Sound, and Sense: Drama (3). Ninth Edition. Boston: Thomson, 2006.

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Course: Contemporary Literature

Instructor: Seyyed Shahabeddin Sadati



1st Week          Introduction: Significance of the Course

2nd Week        Drama: Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett (movie)

3rd Week         Drama: Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett (text & analysis)

4th Week         Drama: Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett (text & analysis)

5th Week         Poetry: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (Vol. II: pp. 925 – 929)

6th Week         Novel: The Natural by Bernard Malamud (movie)

7th Week         Novel: The Natural by Bernard Malamud (text)

8th Week         Novel: The Natural by Bernard Malamud (analysis)

9th Week         Short Story: “The Kugelmass Episode” (Vol. I: pp. 348 – 358)

10th Week       Short Story: The Purple Rose of Cairo (movie) & “The Kugelmass Episode”

11th Week       Poetry: “Facing It” (Vol. II: pp. 681 – 682)

                        Poetry: “Musée des Beaux Arts” (Vol. II: pp. 944 – 945)

12th Week       Drama: Fences by August Wilson (Vol. III: pp. 1601 – 1658, text & analysis)

13th Week       Drama: Fences by August Wilson (Vol. III: pp. 1601 – 1658, text & analysis)

14th Week       Drama: Fences by August Wilson (Vol. III: pp. 1601 – 1658, text & analysis)

15th Week       Drama: Fences by August Wilson (Vol. III: pp. 1601 – 1658, text & analysis)

16th Week       Review 




Arp, Thomas R. and Greg Johnson. Perrine's Literature Structure, Sound, and Sense: Fiction (1). Ninth Edition. Boston: Thomson, 2006.


Arp, Thomas R. and Greg Johnson. Perrine's Literature Structure, Sound, and Sense: Poetry (2). Ninth Edition. Boston: Thomson, 2006.


Arp, Thomas R. and Greg Johnson. Perrine's Literature Structure, Sound, and Sense: Drama (3). Ninth Edition. Boston: Thomson, 2006.


Beckett, Samuel. Waiting For Godot. 1953.




Malamud, Bernard. The Natural. 1952.



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دانشجویان گرامی درس ادبیات معاصر برای دریافت متن آثار ادبی ذیل به من ایمیل بزنید

آقای رضا میرجلالی نمی توانند این کتابها را برای شما تهیه کنند


Waiting for Gotot

The Natural


آدرس ایمیل اینجانب:


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ارائه مقاله در دهمین هم اندیشی حلقه نشانه شناسی تهران - نشانه شناسی اخلاق تحت عنوان:

خیانت در معنا و یا کفاره اخلاقی: مطالعه نشانه – معنا شناختی فیلم  تاوان

سید شهاب الدین ساداتی

عضو هیئت علمی دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی رودهن

بهاره سقازاده

دانشجو کارشناسی ارشد زبان و ادبیات فرانسه دانشگاه شهید بهشتی تهران


این مقاله تلاش دارد تا با توجه به نظریات لیندا هاچن و پتریشیا وا در خصوص فراداستان، و تعاریف اخلاق و کارکرد آن به مطالعه نشانه – معنا شناختی فیلم تاوان (بر اساس رمان تاوان نوشته یان مک ایوان به عنوان یک فراداستان) از دیدگاه اخلاقی بپردازد. در تعریف اخلاق باید گفت که اخلاق از وجدانیات فاصله گرفته و با رفتن به سوی فراخود و آفرینش شاهکار، تولید معنایی جدید میکند که مخاطب را همواره شگفت زده میکند. فراداستان داستانی است که درباره داستان نویسی باشد. به عبارت دیگر دغدغه اصلی آن نوشتارِ داستان است. نوشتار مهمترین نشانه در بررسی فیلم تاوان است، زیرا عناصر فیلم همانند تیتراژ، موسیقی، حرکت دوربین (به ویژه بر روی واژگان نوشته شده)، و معنای کلی فیلم در ارتباط با این نشانه است که تعبیر میشوند. در کنار نوشتار، عمل غیر اخلاقی (دروغ گویی) و عذاب وجدان به عنوان دیگر مسائل مهم در این فیلم خودنمایی میکنند. عمل غیراخلاقی در حق خواهر و پسر باغبانشان تا جایی ذهن یکی از شخصیتهای اصلی داستان (برایانی به عنوان کنشگر) را به خود مشغول داشته که برای جبران اخلاقی، دست به نوشتن یک رمان می‏زند. در فیلم تاوان نوشتار به عنوان نشانه مرکزی کارکرد اخلاقی پیدا کرده است و تبدیل به یک کفاره دینی – مسیحی برای جبران گناهِ مرتکب شده میشود. به بیانی روشن‏تر، نوشتار در یک رابطه تعاملی با سوژه‏ها قرار گرفته، از نشانه فراتر رفته و با اضافه شدن یک معنا به آن تبدیل به یک ارزش اخلاقی شده است. به عبارتی دیگر، برایانی در کنشی با استفاده از زبان، جبران نوشتاری را به جای کفاره اخلاقی قرار میدهد و بدین ترتیب گفتمان جدید تولید میکند. در آخر، با استفاده از روشهایی همچون مربع نشانه شناختی گریماس و طرحواره تنشی فونتانی تلاش شده نوشتار به عنوان یک کفاره اخلاقی در ارتباط با عناصری همچون سن و سال، وضعیت روحی – روانی، رفتارهای اخلاقی و غیراخلاقی برایانی همانند نفرت و عذاب وجدان از لحاظ نشانه – معنا شناختی اعضای مکتب نشانه شناختی پاریس مورد بررسی قرار گیرد.

کلیدواژگان: تاوان نوشتاری، فراداستان، کفاره اخلاقی، مک ایوان

محل برگزاری همایش: تهران دارآباد دائره المعارف بزرگ اسلامی

زمان: 14 اسفند 1392

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The often tragic circumstances of Poe’s life haunt his writings. His father disappeared not long after the child’s birth, and, at the age of three, Poe watched his mother die of tuberculosis. There are echoes of Poe’s upbringing in his works, as sick mothers and guilty fathers appear in many of his tales.

He introduced the British horror story, or the Gothic genre, to American literature, along with the detective story, science fiction, and literary criticism. Gothic literature, a genre that rose with Romanticism in Britain in the late eighteenth century, explores the dark side of human experience—death, alienation, nightmares, ghosts, and haunted landscapes. Poe brought the Gothic to America. American Gothic literature dramatizes a culture plagued by poverty and slavery through characters afflicted with various forms of insanity and melancholy. Poe’s Gothic tales are brief flashes of chaos that flare up within lonely narrators living at the fringes of society.


Major Theme: Love and Hate

Poe explores the similarity of love and hate in many stories. Poe portrays the psychological complexity of these two supposedly opposite emotions, emphasizing the ways they enigmatically blend into each other. The Gothic terror is the result of the narrator’s simultaneous love for himself and hatred of his rival. The double shows that love and hate are inseparable and suggests that they may simply be two forms of the most intense form of human emotion.

Poe introduces villain protagonists such as Montresor of "The Cask of Amontillado" who hate their enemies but whose hate becomes even more sinister and implacable because they mask it with signs of affection. Montresor's false solicitousness for Fortunato's health is ultimately revealed as a ploy to lure Fortunato to his death. In all of these cases, love and hate are shown to be closely connected, as one can easily turn into the other without warning.


Motif: The Masquerade

At masquerades Poe’s characters abandon social conventions and leave themselves vulnerable to crime. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” for example, Montresor uses the carnival’s masquerade to fool Fortunato into his own demise. The masquerade carries the traditional meanings of joy and social liberation. Reality is suspended, and people can temporarily assume another identity. Montresor exploits these sentiments to do Fortunato real harm.


Symbol: “Fortunato”

In “The Cask of Amontillado,” Poe uses Fortunato’s name symbolically, as an ironic device. Though his name means “the fortunate one” in Italian, Fortunato meets an unfortunate fate as the victim of Montresor’s revenge. Fortunato adds to the irony of his name by wearing the costume of a court jester. While Fortunato plays in jest, Montresor sets out to fool him, with murderous results.



“The Cask of Amontillado” takes subjective interpretation—the fact that different people interpret the same things differently—to its horrific endpoint.

The repeated allusions to the bones of Montresor’s family that line the vaults foreshadow the story’s descent into the underworld. The two men’s underground travels are a metaphor for their trip to hell. Because the carnival, in the land of the living, does not occur as Montresor wants it to, he takes the carnival below ground, to the realm of the dead and the satanic.

The shield features a human foot crushing a tenacious serpent. In this image, the foot represents Montresor and the serpent represents Fortunato. Although Fortunato has hurt Montresor with biting insults, Montresor will ultimately crush him. The conversation about Masons also foreshadows Fortunato’s demise. Fortunato challenges Montresor’s claim that he is a member of the Masonic order, and Montresor replies insidiously with a visual pun. When he declares that he is a “mason” by showing his trowel, he means that he is a literal stonemason—that is, that he constructs things out of stones and mortar, namely Fortunato’s grave.

source: sparknotes.ocm and gradesaver.com

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وقتی میمیرید نمیفهمید که مرده اید؛

فقط تحملش برای دیگران سخت است

بیشعور بودن هم مشابه همین وضعیت است...!

فیلیپ گلوک

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با همه چیز در آمیز

و با هیچ چیز آمیخته مشو

در انزوا پاک ماندن

نه سخت است

و نه با ارزش

مدتها بود دنبال چنین حرفی می گشتم تا به برخی از دوستان خود بگویم. چنین معنایی را به آنها می گفتم اما نه به زیبایی این کلمات

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انتشار مقاله تحت عنوان:

Rebelling against the Dominant White Culture: Foucauldian Study of the Concept of Power in Imamu Amiri Baraka's Dutchman

در ژورنال بین المللی International Journal of Innovative and Applied Research

مولف: سید شهاب الدین ساداتی

لینک دریافت مقاله:




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برای کسی که می‏فهمه، هیچ توضیحی لازم نیست

برای کسی که نمی‏فهمه، هر توضیحی اضافه است

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Chess is something more than a game. It is an intellectual diversion which has certain artistic qualities and many scientific elements

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بازی زندگی بازی با بومرنگ است. افکار، اعمال و گفته‌های ما خیلی زود با دقت بسیار زیاد به خودمان برمی‌گردد
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انسان نباید هیچوقت از اینکه در اشتباه بوده است، خجل و شرمسار باشد،

هر چه که باشد، امروز عاقل‌تر از گذشته شده است

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وقتی برای محبوبیت و پیروی دیگران چیزهای زیادی را قربانی کنید، شخصیتتان گم خواهد شد

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ارائه مقاله در همایش ملی افق های پدیدار در آموزش زبان دانشگاه آزاد اهر 28 و 29 آذر 1392

تحت عنوان:

How to Teach “Samples of Simple English Poetry” as an Academic Literary Course in EFL Classes

نویسنده مقاله: سید شهاب الدین ساداتی

توضیح: «چگونگی تدریس درس نمونه های شعر ساده انگلیسی در دانشگاه»

چکیده مقاله در زیر آمده، مقاله کامل را پس از برگزاری همایش نیز در اینجا قرار می دهم


The present study attempts to analyze the function and importance of teaching “Samples of Simple English Poetry” as an academic literary course in classes of teaching English as Second or Foreign Language. Firstly, this study considers different views about using literature in EFL / ESL classes. It reviews briefly the history of using literature in different methods of teaching English as second / foreign language. Then, the definition of poetry, its importance in EFL / ESL classes, and the difficulties of teaching “Samples of Simple English Poetry” are brought. How to select and develop poetic texts in EFL / ESL classes are other important matters which have been scrutinized in this study. Techniques, strategies, activities, and tips of teaching “Samples of Simple English Poetry” are the other major issues which have been studied and explained in this study. 

Keywords: EFL / ESL; English Poetry; Teaching Poetry; Samples of Simple Poetry

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Literary Fiction



            Time: unknown Saturday evening

            Place: North Dublin


Climax: when the boy in the bazaar decides not to buy a present for Mangan’s sister


Suspense & Dilemma: ---


Conflicts: emotional, mental, and internal



            Nameless boy: flat, dynamic - protagonist

            Mangan’s sister: flat, static

            Uncle: flat, static

            Aunt: flat, static 


Point of view: first person


Irony: irony of situation - in the bazaar at the end of the story 




Windows: the space separating the interior life from the exterior life, the threshold between domestic space and the outside world and through them the characters in Dubliners observe their own lives as well as the lives of others

Dusk and Nighttime: the half-life state the characters in Dubliners occupy, both physically and emotionally, suggesting the intermingling of life and death that marks every story. The darkness renders Dubliners’ experiences fearful and doomed 



The Prison of Routine

Restrictive routines and the repetitive, mundane details of everyday life mark the lives of all people in the world, and trap them in circles of frustration, restraint, and violence


The Desire for Escape from unhappy life


Paralysis & Death

In most of the stories in Dubliners, a character has a desire, faces obstacles to it, then ultimately relents and suddenly stops all action. These moments of paralysis show the characters’ inability to change their lives and reverse the routines that hamper their wishes. Such immobility fixes the Dubliners in cycles of experience. The young boy in “Araby” halts in the middle of the dark bazaar, knowing that he will never escape the tedious delays of Dublin and attain love. These moments evoke the theme of death in life as they show characters in a state of inaction and numbness



Characters in Dubliners experience both great and small revelations in their everyday lives, moments that Joyce himself referred to as “epiphanies,” a word with connotations of religious revelation. These epiphanies do not bring new experiences and the possibility of reform, as one might expect such moments to. Rather, these epiphanies allow characters to better understand their particular circumstances, usually full of sadness and routine, which they then return to with resignation and frustration. Sometimes epiphanies occur only on the narrative level. “Araby concludes with epiphany that the character fully registers, yet this epiphany is tinged with frustration, sadness, and regret. The epiphany highlights the repeated routine of hope and passive acceptance that marks each of these portraits, as well as the general human condition



In “Araby,” the allure of new love and distant places mingles with the familiarity of everyday drudgery, with frustrating consequences. Mangan’s sister embodies this mingling, since she is part of the familiar surroundings of the narrator’s street as well as the exotic promise of the bazaar. She is a “brown figure” who both reflects the brown façades of the buildings that line the street and evokes the skin color of romanticized images of Arabia that flood the narrator’s head. Like the bazaar that offers experiences that differ from everyday Dublin, Mangan’s sister intoxicates the narrator with new feelings of joy and elation. His love for her, however, must compete with the dullness of schoolwork, his uncle’s lateness, and the Dublin trains. Though he promises Mangan’s sister that he will go to Araby and purchase a gift for her, these mundane realities undermine his plans and ultimately thwart his desires. The narrator arrives at the bazaar only to encounter flowered teacups and English accents, not the freedom of the enchanting East. As the bazaar closes down, he realizes that Mangan’s sister will fail his expectations as well, and that his desire for her is actually only a vain wish for change

The narrator’s change of heart concludes the story on a moment of epiphany, but not a positive one. Instead of reaffirming his love or realizing that he does not need gifts to express his feelings for Mangan’s sister, the narrator simply gives up. He seems to interpret his arrival at the bazaar as it fades into darkness as a sign that his relationship with Mangan’s sister will also remain just a wishful idea and that his infatuation was as misguided as his fantasies about the bazaar. What might have been a story of happy, youthful love becomes a tragic story of defeat. The narrator’s failure at the bazaar suggests that fulfillment and contentedness remain foreign to Dubliners, even in the most unusual events of the city like an annual bazaar

The tedious events that delay the narrator’s trip indicate that no room exists for love in the daily lives of Dubliners, and the absence of love renders the characters in the story almost anonymous. Though the narrator might imagine himself to be carrying thoughts of Mangan’s sister through his day as a priest would carry a Eucharistic chalice to an altar, the minutes tick away through school, dinner, and his uncle’s boring poetic recitation. Time does not adhere to the narrator’s visions of his relationship. The story presents this frustration as universal: the narrator is nameless, the girl is always “Mangan’s sister” as though she is any girl next door, and the story closes with the narrator imagining himself as a creature. In “Araby,” Joyce suggests that all people experience frustrated desire for love and new experiences



Some parts are taken from sparknotes.com


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انتشار ترجمه درسنامه زبانشناسی عمومی سوسور در نشریه الکترونیک آدم برفی ها

مترجم: سید شهاب الدین ساداتی

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Conflicts: mental: Daru vs. Balducci, emotional: Daru vs. Arab


Climax: when the Arab chooses the way to the imprisonment



Time: during Algerian War (1954)

Place: Algeria



Daru: round, dynamic

Balducci: flat, static

The Arab: flat, static


Point of view: third person limited


Suspense: ---


Ending: open/indeterminate



Schoolhouse on the hill: is the symbol of solitude

Snow: is the symbol of despair and death



Verbal Irony: L’Hote: the guest or the host

Irony of Situation: at the end of the story when the Arab chooses the way to the imprisonment



The unpredictability of the consequences of human choices in unfriendly conditions 

Freedom: the freedom to choose one’s action gives meaning to human life. Freedom is inherently connected with the human right to choose a course of action. Freedom gives life meaning, and through independent action one finds value in life 

Solitude: the physical isolation and the failure to act lead to moral solitude. Daru’s failure to act with regard to the Arab’s fate has left him disconnected from himself

The Limits of Human Knowledge: Everyone in “The Guest has limited knowledge of the happenings of the story. Balducci doesn’t know why the Arab killed his cousin, or why Daru must take the Arab to the police; he simply has his orders and follows them. Daru doesn’t know whether the Arab should be released or punished. Meanwhile, the Arab displays confusion when Daru asks him difficult questions and when Daru explains his choice to either escape to the south or turn himself into the police

The Absurdity of human life: Camus envisions the universe as silent and indifferent (his portrayal of the cruel plateau region fits this vision very neatly). Despite this indifference, human beings must survive. They continue to build meaning and pursue certainty, even though such aims are impossible. This combination of a godless, uncaring world and human striving leads to a condition that Camus dubs “the absurd.” He writes, “The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.” Although it might sound pretty depressing to live in an inescapable state of “the absurd,” Camus feels that this is the only way we can exist. One must continue striving, choosing and pursuing freedom, even though the universe does not care whether we live or die. Daru’s ability to find comfort and within the harsh plateau climate bodes well for his ability to sustain life in absurd conditions; however, his failure to respond to the moral dilemma represented by the Arab ultimately crushes him. In the face of ambiguity and uncertainty, one must act with an absurd confidence. One must choose anyway. Daru fails to do so, and thus falls into despair


Existentialism: the main subject/concern is human’s existence

Free will: we create our own reality

Authenticity: to find the right way

Responsibility: existence precedes essence





the notes about the themes are taken from www.gradesaver.com

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انتشار مقاله تحت عنوان

The influence of ideological state apparatuses in identity formation: Althusserian reading of Amiri Baraka’s “In Memory of Radio” 

در ژورنال بین المللی AcademicJournals

 مولف: سید شهاب الدین ساداتی

لینک دریافت مقاله



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Literary Fiction 


The Angel: round, static

Pelayo: flat, static

Elisenda: flat, static

The Child: flat, static

Neighbor Woman: flat, static

Father Gonzaga: flat, static

The Spider-Girl: flat, static

Protagonist: the old man/angel

Antagonist: the other characters

Conflicts: mental, emotional, physical


Time: odd, allegorical: “On the third day of rain,” “The world had been sad since Tuesday,”

Place: unknown village

Point of View: third-person limited

Suspense and Dilemma: ---

Symbols: the old man/angel: supernatural, the spider-girl: corrupted morality

Ending: indeterminate or open ending


The Folly of Human Reception of the Supernatural

The two major supernatural occurrences in the story are the old man with wings and the girl who has been turned into a spider. The people in the story treat the old man as an oddity, but not as a supernatural oddity: more a freak of nature than something beyond nature. The old man appears to be nothing more than a frail human with wings, and so his status as an angel is endlessly debated. Perhaps it is the people who lack dignity, not the old man

The Spider-Girl is a clear contrast with the Old Man. Whereas he is difficult—if not impossible—to interpret, the Spider-Girl delights the people with the clarity of her story. She disobeyed her parents as so was turned into a spider by god. Unlike the Angel, the people do not debate her status as a spider. This tendency of the public to accept supernatural explanations for such simple morality tales but to deny them in the case of complexity and frailty (as exemplified by the old man) may be satirical 

The Similarity of Natural and Supernatural

These comments serve to blur the distinction between the natural and supernatural. Garcia Maquez may be suggesting that such a distinction is unnecessary, or that the people are simply blind to it. Whether it is a failure to impose the boundary or ignore it is a matter of interpretation—and the story, ultimately, invites interpretation more than it invites meaning

What is the definition of true Human

Just as the Old Man is described in terms of his animal characteristics, so too he is described as human. They see the Old Man’s humanity yet don’t feel the need to respond humanely. In contrast there is the Spider-Girl. The narrator notes that the spider girl is a much more appealing attraction because her story is full of human truth. Because her story is simply and straightforwardly moral, she is appealing, whereas the old man—full of mystery and complexity—is unappealing. Garcia Marquez invites us to consider that the truly human qualities in life are the Old Man’s—uncertainty, mystery, strangeness, open-endedness—whereas the trite moralizing of the Spider-Girl is actually far from human experience. It merely consoles the people, whereas the Old Man—by revealing our cruelty—shows them their true nature

Humans Must Interpret Events

The story illustrates the human need to interpret life’s events. The Old Man, an exaggerated dramatization of any strange event, is interpreted in many different ways. Individual characters try to attach meaning to the Old Man, or to reduce his meaning, in terms of their own lives. Thus Garcia Marquez stages the inevitable situatedness of human experience. We see things through our own eyes, and the search for a universally applicable meaning is inevitably doomed

Magical Realism and A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

“A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” is perhaps the clearest and most famous example of a genre that Garcia Marquez helped to create: magical realism. This style, simply put, combines elements of ordinary life with elements of fantasy and magic. One might say that a work of magical realism treats the magical as ordinary, and thus invites us to consider the ordinary as magical. Despite containing similarities to folk legends and fairy tales, stories adhering to “magic realism” avoid the naive moral judgments found in those folk genres. Instead, magical realism creates a complex and problematic world free of moral lessons or any maxims


Irony of Situation: at the end of the story


the notes about the themes are taken from www.gradesaver.com

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صفحه نخست
پروفایل مدیر وبلاگ
پست الکترونیک
عناوین مطالب وبلاگ
درباره وبلاگ
سید شهاب الدین ساداتی
متولد اردیبهشت 1362 و متاهل
دکترای زبان و ادبیات انگلیسی
استادیار دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی

پیوندهای روزانه
خانم عارفی
یادآوری خاطرات گذشته - دوران دانشجویی لیسانس
دیکشنری آنلاین
دانشکده زبان انگلیسی
اخبار شطرنج جهان
بچه های رودهن 81
آرشیو پیوندهای روزانه
نوشته های پیشین
آبان ۱۳۹۴
مهر ۱۳۹۴
بهمن ۱۳۹۲
دی ۱۳۹۲
آذر ۱۳۹۲
آبان ۱۳۹۲
مهر ۱۳۹۲
شهریور ۱۳۹۲
مرداد ۱۳۹۲
تیر ۱۳۹۲
خرداد ۱۳۹۲
اردیبهشت ۱۳۹۲
فروردین ۱۳۹۲
اسفند ۱۳۹۱
بهمن ۱۳۹۱
دی ۱۳۹۱
آذر ۱۳۹۱
آبان ۱۳۹۱
مهر ۱۳۹۱
شهریور ۱۳۹۱
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Lovely Girl
ماهنامه ادبی هنری گلستانه