Introduction to Literature: Short Story and Poetry ENG401


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Introduction to Literature: Short Story and Poetry

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Introduction to Literature: Short Story and Poetry ENG401

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Introduction to Literature: Short Story and Poetry

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Table of Contents
Lesson 1…………………………………………………………………………… 3 Introduction to Literature
Lesson 2…………………………………………………………………………….9 Introduction to Short Story
Lesson 3 ……………………………………………………………………………18 O.Henry
Lesson 4…………………………………………………………………………….31 Oscar Wilde
Lesson 5…………………………………………………………………………….48 Guy de Maupassant
Lesson 6…………………………………………………………………………….65 Edgar Allan Poe
Lesson 7…………………………………………………………………………….77 Mark Twain
Lesson 8…………………………………………………………………………….98 Katherine Mansfield
Lesson 9……………………………………………………………………………120 Introduction to Poetry
Lesson 10…………………………………………………………………………..132 William Blake
Lesson 11…………………………………………………………………………..143 William Wordsworth
Lesson 12…………………………………………………………………………..152 John Keats
Lesson 13…………………………………………………………………………..162 P.B. Shelley
Lesson 14…………………………………………………………………………..172 Robert Browning
Lesson 15…………………………………………………………………………...180 Robert Frost

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Lesson 1
INTRODUCTION TO LITERATURE

Literature is defined as:
‘Written works, e.g. fiction, poetry, drama, and criticism that are recognized as having important or permanent artistic value are referred to as literature.’ Or ‘The body of written works of a culture, language, people, or period of time is called literature.’
Literature perhaps started with man discovering his ability to create. When this happened, he realized that he could not only express his emotions in writing but in the process convey messages of importance to society carefully hidden in beautiful words. He decided that he could play with words to entertain people who would read them. In the olden days, distance was of course a problem and so maintaining a history of world literature was impossible. The flip side is that we have a wide range of literature to read from. People in different parts of the world, using different languages and writing in different periods of time tackled literature differently. This has left us with books and creations that enrich our society, our heritage as a race and us. Even the most voracious reader can never hope to read all the books out there.
Literature and writing, though obviously connected, are not synonymous. Every piece of writing is not literature. The definition of literature is mainly personal and scholars have a disagreement regarding when written record-keeping became more like "literature". Another important fact to consider is that the historical development of literature was not even-paced across the globe. The main hurdle in creating a uniform world history of literature is the disappearance of many texts over the millennia, either intentionally, by accident, or by the total vanishing of the originating culture. The earliest forms of English literature, like the earliest forms of other national literatures, have perished.
Literature includes both written and spoken material. On a broader level, ‘Literature’ includes anything from creative writing to more technical or scientific works, but most commonly the term refers to works of the creative imagination, i.e. poetry, drama, prose and novel.
Literature is almost similar to art, what is true in painting is true in literature. ‘A novel is not an imitation or an exact copy of life as we live it; it is rather a selection of characters and events drawn from reading, observation, and experience, and woven into an entirely new story.’ (p.20, How to Study English Literature by T. Sharper Knowlson)
Ezra Pound says, "Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree."

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The above statement from Pound tells us that great literature leaves us with some meaning. Meaning to what? To life. Thus literature gives answers to our questions about life. It tells us that in the journey of life, only we are not the fighters. There are millions out there striving like us to carry on with the flow of life; feeling different shades of life; enjoying life in its fullest and suffering the deepest of miseries. Literature helps us identify with others in the globe, strengthens and unites us with the rest of mankind. Reading Literature books gives us maturity and may solve the unsolved mysteries of life.
Literature helps us create an interest in life as we see it. It helps us experience life in all its colors and vastness. In our journey of exploring different literary texts, we meet different interesting characters that teach us many things; alleviate our sorrows; elevate our spirit at different levels. Humanity in all its shades is encompassed in literature: sorrows, happiness, wars, birth, death etc. Literature enriches personal experiences and adds wisdom to even ordinary events. Literary texts can even revolutionize our life by helping us grow through our literary journey and enabling us to see everyday events in a new light.
Literature portrays a culture more elaborately than historical or cultural artifacts do because it deals directly with language and people. The author’s message is interpreted differently by different people. The decoding of the text varies according to use of different literary theories using a mythological, sociological, psychological, historical, or any other approach. Whatever critical standard we use for critical analysis of the literary texts, an artistic quality to the works always remains. Literature is never confined to a single culture or country. It speaks to us regardless of our race, culture or country. English literature is the literature written in the English language, including literary works in English by writers not just from England but also from other countries. The famous writer Joseph Conrad was born in Poland, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Dylan Thomas was Welsh, Edgar Allan Poe was American, V.S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad, and Vladimir Nabokov was Russian. English literature is as diverse as the varieties and dialects of English spoken around the world. Despite the variety of authors of English literature, the works of William Shakespeare remain paramount in all literary circles.
Literature has two major aspects, one is of simple enjoyment and aesthetic appeal to the senses, and other is of analysis and exact description of the prevailing condition of society in general and man in particular. So, studying literature with these two aspects provides us an opportunity to experience entirely new worlds. Like when a song appeals to the ear or a noble book to the heart, we discover a new world for the moment, at least, a completely new world which is very different from our own world and it seems that we are in a place of dreams and magic.
Every time we read literature, we gain something from it that we did not have before. Even reading the same text at different stages in our life offers us meanings we missed the first time. Literature is a true and beautiful expression of life; it is the written record of a person’s thoughts, emotions, feelings and experiences which would never fade.

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Some of the major genres of English Literature are as under:
1. Poetry 2. Drama 3. Novel 4. Prose
Poetry The term poetry is hard to define but we can say that poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience, expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language and evokes an emotional response. Poetry mostly employs meter and rhyme, but this is not necessary. Poetry is an old form and has gone through numerous and drastic reinvention over time. Poetry includes whatsoever of painting can be made visible to the mind’s eye, and whatsoever of music can be conveyed by sound and proportion without singing or instrumentation.
Prose Prose is distinguished from poetry because of its complete lack of any metrical structure and variety of rhythm and has a closer correspondence to the patterns of everyday speech.
Drama Drama is a prose or verse composition, especially one that tells a serious story, intended for representation by actors who mimic the characters and perform the dialogues and actions of the written narrative. A drama is the imitation of a complete action, adapted to the sympathetic attention of man, developed in a succession of continuously interesting and continuously related incidents, acted and expressed by means of speech and the symbols, actualities, and conditions of life.
Novel A novel is a fictional prose narrative of significant length, typically having a plot that is unfolded by the actions, speech, and thoughts of the characters.
Why do we study Literature?
1. Literature always reflects human ideas, beliefs, and societies. 2. Literature helps us to discover ordinary human ways of understanding life. 3. While reading literature, we explore significant differences and this allows us to
even experience perspectives of those separated from us by time and social barriers. 4. Getting to know the human psyche would help us discover pride in our own culture, gain respect for others, and be humble. 5. We find different human responses and reactions in poems, essays, diaries, narratives, and in the characters of narratives. Exposure to such varied responses helps us gain a greater knowledge of the human psyche and at the same time, we

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are familiarized with a greater knowledge of ourselves and our own responses because we surely compare our lives to those in literature. 6. We learn about the good and evil forces; experience the injustices prevalent in this world and it cultivates a sense of wisdom in us. Good literature assists us in becoming a better person. 7. Literature provides us with a worldview of things and gives us a mature perspective of things. 8. Literature serves as an entertainment .It also introduces us to the literary figures, movements and multi-dimensional characters.
Role of Language in Literature:
In the creation of a work of art, three main things count: 1. The writer 2. The reader 3. Language
It is impossible to pass over the subject of literature in silence. Literature cannot be segregated from language. Language is the only widely-accepted form of communication and all feelings, emotions and opinions in a piece of literature are transferred through it. The knowledge sharing in literature is done through various linguistic features. Texts have been written and frequently translated into common international languages, to be passed on to the international communities and to future generations.
In order to affect their readers, the authors play with language to create unusual new meanings and utterances. Both classic and contemporary poets, playwrights and novelists, use language play to cast a spell on readers’ imagination. While writing a piece of literature, a huge emphasis is paid on imagery and it breaks the monotony of a text. Creating imagery also spares writers the trouble of writing long boring descriptions. A separate branch of linguistics – stylistics - deals with the relationship of language and literature. The methodology of this type of study is determined by the subject’s distinct nature. Literary language is language in the usual sense of the term, and style determines the artistic functions of language in literature.
The stylistics of literature explains the methods of using language in literature and of combining aesthetic and communicative functions in language. Stylistics of literature explains the means by which language becomes a work of art within literature. Researchers in the field of literary stylistics analyze various types of authorial narration; discuss various linguistic devices used in famous speeches of different literary characters; distinguish literary language from the ordinary one.
English Literature: The mere acquisition of knowledge of literature is not what we mean by the study of literature. Pure literature addresses the soul as well as the mind. If we wish to partake of its benefits, we must pursue it according to a definite plan, i.e. by studying different ages systematically.

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English Literature was produced in England from the introduction of Old English by the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century to the present. This is the first period in the history of English literature. The works of those Irish and Scottish authors who are closely identified with English life and letters are also considered part of English literature. This period extends from about 450 to 1066, the year of the Norman-French conquest of England. The Germanic tribes from Europe who overran England in the 5th century, after the Roman withdrawal, brought with them the Old English, or Anglo-Saxon language, which is the basis of Modern English.
Anglo-Norman period extends from 1066-1350. The Normans were the first to bring the culture and the practical ideals of Roman civilization to home of the English people; and this at a critical time, when England had produced her best, and her own literature and civilization had already begun to decay. They brought to England the wealth of a new language and literature, and English gradually absorbed both. Besides these greater works, an enormous number of fables satires appeared in this age, copied or translated from the French, like the metrical romances. The age of Chaucer extends from 1350-1400. The age was one of unusual stir and progress. The five main writers of this age are: Langland, Wyclif, Gower, Mandeville and above all Chaucer.
The fourth period is the revival of learning extending from 1400-1500, and it denotes, in its broadest sense, the gradual enlightenment of the human mind after the darkness of the Middle Ages. The names ‘Renaissance’ and ‘Humanism’ are often applied to the same movement. The term Renaissance is used to denote the whole transition from the Middle ages to the modern world, and is more correctly applied to the revival of art resulting from the discovery and imitation of classic models in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
The Elizabethan Age ranging from 1550-1620. The main characteristic of the age was the comparative religious tolerance. The age of Elizabeth was a time of intellectual liberty, of growing intelligence and comfort among all classes, of unbounded patriotism, and of peace at home and abroad.
Edmund Spencer, Thomas Sackville, Philip Sidney, George Chapman, Michael Drayton, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher and Thomas Dekker are the minor and major writers of Elizabethan age.
William Shakespeare (baptized 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. His works consist of about 38 plays, sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. The Puritan Age extends from 1620-1660. The Puritan movement may be regarded as a second and greater Renaissance, a rebirth of the moral nature of man following the intellectual awakening of Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Samuel Daniel,

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John Donne, Herbert, Waller, Denham, Cowley, Vaughan, Davenant, Marvell and Crawshaw are writers of this age.
The Restoration Period ranges from 1660-1700.Next comes Eighteenth Century literature which extends from 1600-1780. The major writers of this age are Pope, Swift and Daniel Defoe.
The age of Romanticism extends roughly from 1780-1850. The most famous poets of this age are William Wordsworth, S.T.Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, Byron. After Romanticism comes the Victorian age Victorian literature, produced during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). This age forms a link and transition between the writers of the romantic period and the next different literature of the 20th century.
The 19th century saw the novel become the leading form of literature in English. The works by pre-Victorian writers such as Jane Austen and Walter Scott showed social satire and adventure stories. These popular works increased the trend of novel reading amongst the public. Significant Victorian novelists and poets include: Matthew Arnold, the Bronte sisters (Emily, Anne and Charlotte Bronte), Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Philip Meadows Taylor, Alfred Lord Tennyson, William Thackeray, Anthony Trollope, George MacDonald, and Oscar Wilde.
Lastly comes the Modern Age and Post-Modernism. Modernism as a literary movement reached its height in Europe between 1900 and the middle 1920s.The term postmodern literature is used to describe certain characteristics of post-World War II literature.

Activities:
1. Define literature. 2. Come up with your own definition of literature. 3. How far do you agree that literature helps in your real life? 4. Can literature exist without language? 5. Give any five reasons for studying literature. 6. What is the role of literature in a society? 7. Is literature universal or is it affected by social norms? 8. Can literature help us in solving real-life problems? 9. Consult dictionary of literary terms and find out meanings and details of these
terms. Poetry, Drama, Novel, Prose, Short Story, Epic, Sacred Scriptures, Narrative, Linguistic, Monologue, Tone, Rhyme, Imagery, Metaphor, Symbols,
10. Choose the correct option from the following:

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Literature is almost similar to _____. 1. Experience 2. Art 3. Events 4. Imitation
Charles Dickens is the writer of ________.
1. Restoration Age 2. Romanticism 3. Victorian Age 4. None of the above
________ is a branch of linguistics that deals with the relationship of language and literature.
1. Stylistics 2. Syntax 3. Phonetics 4. Morphology
Anglo-Saxon age extends from ______ to _____.
1. 550, 1050 2. 450, 1050 3. 550, 1066 4. 450, 1066
"Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree", is a saying of:
1. Shakespeare 2. Chaucer 3. Ezra Pound 4. Wordsworth
The most characteristic feature of the Elizabethan age was
1. comparative religious tolerance 2. intellectual liberty 3. growing intelligence 4. unbounded patriotism

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Lesson 2
INTRODUCTION TO SHORT STORY
Outline:  Short Story as a Genre  What is a Short Story  Origin/History  Components of Short Story  How to read a Short Story  Activities
Short Story as a Genre: The word "genre" is French for "type." Applied to literature, "genre" is a general term used to refer the types of imaginative literature. While there are many types of literature, the basic genres include short stories, poetry, drama, and novels.
The short story is the most recent genre to appear in Western Literature. Its basic forms, in fact, come from writers in the 19th century and bear their names: "Maupassant," "Chekhov," and "Poe."
What is a Short Story? A short story is fictional work of prose that is shorter in length than a novel. The format of short story is often narrative that tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas (in the 20th and 21st century sense) and novels or books. Usually a short story focuses on one incident, has a single plot, a single setting, a small number of characters, and covers a short period of time.
Edgar Allan Poe, in his essay "The Philosophy of Composition," said that “a short story should be read in one sitting, anywhere from a half hour to two hours.” In contemporary fiction, a short story can range from 1,000 to 20,000 words.
Short Story has been defined in different ways such as:
 A piece of fictional writing usually less than 5000 words that contains these basic elements: characters, setting, plot, conflict, resolution, climax, dialogue, protagonist, and antagonist.
 A short story is a brief work of fiction. The short story resembles the longer novel but generally has a simpler plot and setting. In addition, the short story tends to reveal character at a crucial moment rather than to develop it through many incidents.
 This is a form of prose fiction, a creative non-poetic kind of composition.

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Introduction to Literature: Short Story and Poetry ENG401