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Posted on May 4th, 2014, by

The course An introductory study of selected twentieth-century novels emphasizing both ideas of modernity and the historical or cultural contexts of catastrophe that generated these ideas gives an opportunity to learn more about American literature and to discusses such significant themes as traditions of family and wealth, representations of world war, new effects of capital and society, war and sensibility, race and the novel, etc. For example, in McEwan’s novel Saturday (2005), the author discusses not only interpersonal relationships, but also political issues. In the beginning of the book, the author represents the scene with the burning aeroplane, and reveals the significance of international security and the problem of terrorism in our society. The events of the novel take place in London, on the 15th of February 2003, when hundreds of people participated in the large demonstration against the invasion of Iraq. The author describes one day in life of the main character of the novel, Henry Perowne who is worried over the political situation in the country. Henry is one of millions of people whose minds are troubled by the events of 9/11 in the USA.  The impending war against Iraq has also increased his fears. Henry takes care of his family and he feels that these events can ruin his happy family life in London. Henry as a father, a husband and a true citizen is threatened over those things over which he and the other citizens of his country have no control.  McEwan’s novel Saturday make all people think of such acute problems as terrorism and its effects, international security and some other global problems. The main character says, Sleepless in the early hours, you make a nest out of your own fears there must have been survival advantage in dreaming up bad outcomes and scheming to avoid them (McEwan 24).  The novel creates a feeling of fear and despair, because the life of millions of people is under threat.

Essay 2

            William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying published in 1930 the novel is one of the most famous Faulkner’s literary works. The author of the novel pays special attention to the family issues and interpersonal relations in the family. Besides, the novel gives an opportunity to ponder over such issues as life and death, good and evil, etc. The novel As I Lay Dying helps to see different people and their different attitudes to death of the dearest person. In this novel, the author represents the Bundren family which consists of several members: Anse, Cash, Addie, Darl, Dewey Dell, Jewel and Vardaman. Addie, the family’s matriarch, is dying, and Cash, her eldest son, is building her casket and does not care that his mother can observe his work. When Addie dies, the Bundren family makes a hard and at the same time absurd journey to Jefferson in order to fulfill their mother’s dying request to be buried in her Jefferson, her home county. Faulkner helps to reveal the worst traits of human character, such as ignorance, indifference, cruelty, meanness, etc. the author of the novel gives the readers an opportunity to judge the actions of his characters, their behavior and thoughts. It helps to avoid similar situations in the real life of the readers. The theme of family unity is one of the most important themes in literary works, as it gives a chance to value family traditions.

Essay 3

            In the Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939), the literary collection which includes three short novels written by American writer Katherine Anne Porter, the author pays special attention to the relationships between men and women. The first story Pale Horse, Pale Rider, the young woman Miranda meets a soldier Adam during the epidemic of influenza in 1918. Miranda becomes ill, but she recovers, while Adam dies of that disease. The author of the stories gives an opportunity to think about life and death, and to realize the importance of happy moments in the life of any individual. There are many descriptions of the consequences of the epidemics and of the city’s response to the influenza epidemic. This literary work touches many social issues which play an important role in the life of any society. The other two stories Noon Wine and Old Mortality included in the Porter’s collection discuss such themes as family life, the impact of the World War I on the people and their relations, human violence and its terrible consequences, the themes of guilt and innocence, etc. In Noon Wine, Mr. Thompson commits a murder and suicide because he wants to get rid of the weight of his guilt. In Old Mortality, the author tells about romantic relationships Aunt Amy and Uncle Gabriel, and the role of war in the life of innocent people. The collection of stories Pale Horse, Pale Rider helps readers to learn more about history and political situation of 1920s.

 

 

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