17th century poetry other than Milton

17th century poetry other than Milton

Metaphysical poetry
-Term coined by Samuel Johnson to describe certain British poets during the 17th century.
-Not an actual school or proper movement, but rather a term used to group together poets of the time who wrote with similar poetic style.
-Poets often included John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell, Henry Vaughan, and sometimes Abraham Cowley.
-Metaphysical poets shared common characteristics in exploring the concerns of their time.
-They heavily employed similar uses of wit (conceit), stylistic maneuvers, inventive metaphors, far-fetched similes and hyperbolic abstractions.
-Discussed the phenomena around them by use of strange comparisons of things that seemed very unalike.
-These extended comparisons were used to describe the changing sciences and technologies of the era, and the corrupt, immoral society that was emerging.
-Diverged from the classic, gentle style of the age, which included ideas of courtly love, images of nature and allusions to mythology.
-Reflected on personal life, spirituality and sexuality in a very intellectual and analytic way.

Cavalier Poetry
-Poets were named Cavaliers for their loyalty to Charles I as opposed to Roundheads, who gave their support to British Parliament.
-Also called Cavaliers for their lofty and arrogant view of life.
-Used more straightforward expression compared to metaphysical poetry.
-Poets included Ben Johnson, Robert Herrick, Richard Lovelace, and Sir John Suckling.
-Cavalier poets commonly used expressive language that evoked a highly individual personality.
-Focused on day-to-day concerns and addressed the minor pleasures and sadness of life.
-This style of poetry embraced life in a very celebratory and lively style.
-Poets avoided subjects that may have seemed too intense (religion, issues of the soul)
-Subjects and circumstances were illustrated in a much more realistic style.
-The mistress was no longer seen as the flawless chaste Goddess figure. She could be addressed in a straightforward fashion, instead of being wooed with dramatic emotions.
-Cavalier poets often wrote short, lyric poems that were frankly erotic.
-Valued elegance and were part of a more refined culture that embraced day-to-day humanity.
-A major theme included Carpe Diem, which emphasized the importance of seizing the day and making the most out of every moment.
-Often times carpe diem was used by arguing that mistresses should accept the advances and interests of men because time was fleeting and their youth should be taken advantage of.

Notable Works

John Donne (1572-1631)
-The Flea
-The Sun Rising
-The Good Morrow
-Elegy 19. To His Mistress Going To Bed

Henry Vaughan (1621-1695)
-The Retreat

Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)
-To His Coy Mistress
-The Nymph Complaining For The Death Of Her Fawn
-The Definition of Love

Ben Jonson (1572-1637)
-On My First Daughter
-On My First Son
-On Lucy, Countess Of Bedford

Richard Lovelace (1618-1657)
-The Grasshopper
-To Lucasta, Going To The Wars

Robert Herricks (1591-1674)
-Upon The Loss Of His Mistress
-To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time
-Corinna’s Going A-Maying

Norton Anthology English Literature, 8th Edition

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Technocritical quotes from Food Inc.

“There are no seasons in the American supermarket. Now there are tomatoes all year round, grown halfway around the world, picked when it was green, and ripened with ethylene gas. Although it looks like a tomato, it’s kind of a notional tomato. I mean, it’s the idea of a tomato.”

“We are now engineering our foods. We know where to turn to for certain traits like mouth feel and flavor. And we bring all of these pieces together and engineer new foods that don’t stale in the refrigerator, don’t develop rancidity…So much of our industrial food turns out to be clever rearrangements of corn. If you go and look on the supermarket shelf, I’ll bet you 90% of them would contain either a corn or soybean ingredient,and most of the time will contain both…Corn has conquered the world in a lot of ways. 100 years ago, a farmer in America could grow maybe 20 bushels of corn on an acre. Today, 200 bushel is no problem… It’s remarkable how many [foods] can be made from corn. Plus, you can feed it to animals…Cows are not designed by evolution to eat corn. They’re designed by evolution to eat grass. And the only reason we feed them corn is because corn is really cheap and corn makes them fat quickly.”

From the documentary, Food Inc. (2008)

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John Betjeman’s “Slough”

This is a poem that I really like that deals with the issues of industrialization in great way.


Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn’t fit for humans now,
There isn’t grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town-
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week a half a crown
For twenty years.

And get that man with double chin
Who’ll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women’s tears:

And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It’s not their fault that they are mad,
They’ve tasted Hell.

It’s not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It’s not their fault they often go
To Maidenhead

And talk of sport and makes of cars
In various bogus-Tudor bars
And daren’t look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.

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Hopper’s painting, Nighthawks expresses a mood of opportunity. The light in the piece is very symbolic, and represents newfound freedom in technologically advanced, urban areas. The diner Phillie’s evokes optimism. It is the brightest area in the painting, and also the only area where we see any real life. The street is dim and dark, and the diner offers people to see things they normally could not during nightime. This shows the begining of a change in social behaviors and patterns. Places like Phillies provided people the opportunity to stay out, socialize, and enjoy the hours of the night the same as they would enjoy the hours of daylight. The restrictions and limitations that were placed on society have been lifted due to advancement in technologies.
The light is brightest towards the left of the painting, right where the worker is present. As your eye moves away from him, the lgiht decreases more and more, until there is barely any light seen on the street. The focal point of this piece is that worker, and he too represent opportunity. He is seen bending downward, as if to reach for something. He is in a position of submission, where he is serving the patrons of this diner. With the availibility of electricity and social establishments such as diners, the upper class have the opportunity to mingle and dine during any hour they please. Along witht hat, the working class now has the opportunity to work during the night and take advantage of such facilities in order to expand their working capacity. This diner shows us the different aspects of society it serves in different kinds of ways. It shows the single man coming in, perhaps after work to catch a drink. It shows a well dressed couple, coming in perhaps afer a day out, just to wind down and relax. It shows the worker, eager to serve customers and bring in business during traditionally unconventional hours. It also shows light being shown on the building behind it. The light shines on the red building and windows dimly, perhaps symbolizing that this sort of opportunity shines on everyone, and all types of people can take advantage of the technology that has been created, and can exist amongst it with ease and optimism.

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Who is Gatsby?

There are two technocritical ways in which I understood the characters and society in The Great Gatsby…

Social class and money are obvious themes in the book. The residents of West Egg and East Egg are all rediculously wealthy and live lifes of ornamentation and excess. The difference between them is the affluent ease with which the people of “old money” behave, compared to the gaudy, show-iness with which the people of “new money” are compelled to live. Disregarding the subtle differences in their behaviors, their lives, their image, their respect and popularity is based on material things. Tom and Daisy could be just as wealthy as they are without living on the East Egg, but they do. They live in a beautiful home, furnished with fancy things, and indulge in material goods and their wealth enables them to do so. All of these material things needed to be created, and that’s where technology comes in. The people of the lower class work to make and present the wealthy with physical material goods which they can use to define their monetary worth. More speciafically, Jay Gatsby’s sole determination and goal is to win back the love of his sweetheart, Daisy. He wants to rekindle what they once had. It seems like their love was very real, and he is sincere in his longing for her. When they meet, it starts off ebing a little akward, but it ends with Daisy shedding real honest tears of happiness. But happiness for what? For Material things! Jay showed her his many expensive shirts, and along with his mansion and pool and rolls royce, and everything else, she realized that he had and owned things that proved his wealth and social status. The fact that having to see such expensive goods in order to provoke some real emotion in Daisy proves an important point; The elite depend on material goods to solidify and confirm their social worth and status, therefore they rely on technology to give them these things.

The Great Gatsby. Great, meaning what? What is so great about Jay Gatsby? The title of the book alludes to someone out of the ordinary. We don’t really meet Jay Gatsby until chapter 3. The anticipation of his character builds, as people spend their time trying to figure him out. Rumours fly, assumptions are made, yet no one can figure him out. Everyone-people in the community, friends, neighbors, socialites, even reporters- try to unravel and piece together his real identity. Who is this Gatsby, and how did he become so great? Take the parties for one. Jay Gatsby organizes this enormous soirees at his gigantic mansion. He invites boatloads of the most wealthy and affluent people. He has tents housing buffets of food, tables overflowing with the finest fruits, sophisticated orchestras entertaining through the night and a liquor supply that seems never ending. And Jay Gatsby stands around watching it all from a disctance, observing it all as if he was orchestrating it in his mind. Another thing- he has created an obsession with Daisy. He creates a clever plan in which he will be confronted with her, and then he is sure that the rest will pan out the was he has anticipated. There is also his identity. We find out that he is not what he makes himself out to be. He is simply James Gatz, an average farm boy who creates dreams of making it big.
Jay Gatsby is technology. He is great, he is grand, he is a magician. Jay Gatsby is the Prospero of the 1920’s. He invented a world in which he didn’t belong. He is an inventor. It took years, and planning, and hard work, but he did it. All so he can get a girl that would never really be with him if she knew who he really was. Daisy falls for gatsby’s inventions and creations. She believes him because Gatsby is a magician that manipulates the real world to conform to the world of his dreams. He fools everyone. Gatsby creates a new identity, this great, extraordinary identity taht people marvel about. He becomes a very popular but ambiguous figure because of the things he has accomplished and what he is capable of. No one really knows what he is about because he is a magician. The parties, the fanicness, the money, the goods, the cars and house, Gatsby made them all a possibility so it would lead him to the possibility of having Daisy as his own. This is the technology that I see. I see Jatsby as a craftsmen who works his magic on those around him, and charms people into believeing what he wants them to beleive, just so he can acheive his goals.

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Most Disturbing Scene From The Jungle

I have chosen two quotes to illustrate the disturbing nature of The Jungle because both of them equally made my heart grow sick and my stomach turn.

Chapter 7

“There were many such dangers, in which the odds were all against them. Their children were not as well as they had been at home; but how could they know that there was no sewer to their house, and that the drainage of fifteen years was in a cesspool under it? How could they know that the pale-blue milk that they bought around the corner was watered, and doctored with formaldehyde besides? When the children were not well at home, Teta Elzbieta would gather herbs and cure them; now she was obliged to go to the drugstore and buy extracts–and how was she to know that they were all adulterated? How could they find out that their tea and coffee, their sugar and flour, had been doctored; that their canned peas had been colored with copper salts, and their fruit jams with aniline dyes? And even if they had known it, what good would it have done them, since there was no place within miles of them where any other sort was to be had? The bitter winter was coming, and they had to save money to get more clothing and bedding; but it would not matter in the least how much they saved, they could not get anything to keep them warm. All the clothing that was to be had in the stores was made of cotton and shoddy, which is made by tearing old clothes to pieces and weaving the fiber again. If they paid higher prices, they might get frills and fanciness, or be cheated; but genuine quality they could not obtain for love nor money.”

Chapter 14

“There was never the least attention paid to what was cut up for sausage; there would come all the way back from Europe old sausage that had been rejected, and that was moldy and white–it would be dosed with borax and glycerine, and dumped into the hoppers, and made over again for home consumption. There would be meat that had tumbled out on the floor, in the dirt and sawdust, where the workers had tramped and spit uncounted billions of consumption germs. There would be meat stored in great piles in rooms; and the water from leaky roofs would drip over it, and thousands of rats would race about on it. It was too dark in these storage places to see well, but a man could run his hand over these piles of meat and sweep off handfuls of the dried dung of rats. These rats were nuisances, and the packers would put poisoned bread out for them; they would die, and then rats, bread, and meat would go into the hoppers together. This is no fairy story and no joke; the meat would be shoveled into carts, and the man who did the shoveling would not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one– there were things that went into the sausage in comparison with which a poisoned rat was a tidbit. There was no place for the men to wash their hands before they ate their dinner, and so they made a practice of washing them in the water that was to be ladled into the sausage. There were the butt-ends of smoked meat, and the scraps of corned beef, and all the odds and ends of the waste of the plants, that would be dumped into old barrels in the cellar and left there. Under the system of rigid economy which the packers enforced, there were some jobs that it only paid to do once in a long time, and among these was the cleaning out of the waste barrels. Every spring they did it; and in the barrels would be dirt and rust and old nails and stale water–and cartload after cartload of it would be taken up and dumped into the hoppers with fresh meat, and sent out to the public’s breakfast. Some of it they would make into “smoked” sausage–but as the smoking took time, and was therefore expensive, they would call upon their chemistry department, and preserve it with borax and color it with gelatine to make it brown. All of their sausage came out of the same bowl, but when they came to wrap it they would stamp some of it “special,” and for this they would charge two cents more a pound.”

It is hard to read these quotes and to really understand them as once being a reality. The life in Packingtown was all about scam, deciet and the struggle to stay alive amongst it. The irony lies in the idea that the Family of Jurgis and Ona came to America under the impression that they would be “free,” and yet they did not even know what being free meant. They landed in a society where there was no escape from suffering and essentially no freedom at all. Death lingered all around them, and there was absolutely no way of breaking free. Everything they used, everything they ate, and saw, and touch was tainted and contaminated. Everything they came in contact with contributed to their struggle and despair. Where they lived, there was no truth. Everything took on the identity of something it was not. This larger facade is represented by the jobs they hold, the work they do, the house they live in, the milk they buy, the food they eat, and the America they live in. The people in this society have become desensitized to the atrocious and degrading practices of the very industry they help propel. Consequently, people become desensitized and numb towards one another and the horrible misfortunes around them. This is all the result of necessity, and the struggle to survive. It is unnerving to read about the lengths people will go to and the horrible oppresions they will endure in order to simply stay alive.

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Victor Frankenstein as a Creator

Victor Frankenstein is characterized in many different ways. We can read him as obsessive, shallow, driven, vengeful, and generally unaware. He over setps many boundaries by setting out to be the creator of a life form. He stuidies forbidden sciences and is influenced by the occult. His thirst for knowledge is what leads to his destructive and selfish desire to create a living being. I describe Victor Frankenstein as an irresponsible creator. He is most certainly brilliant, as it takes extensive knowledge and skill to assemble the many body parts in order to construct such a creature. However, he does not apply his knowledge in thinking about the after effects of his experiment. In his mind, he anticipates creating a beautiful creature that he will most deffinitely be proud of. To his horror and surprise, Frankenstein truns out to be a hideous and gruseome creature that makes Victor’s heart grow sick, and ultimately terrorizes his life, and the lives of those around him.

Victor creates a monster. The creature is responsible for taking human lives. he is seen as a destroyer, and should be destroyed. However, it is the creator who should be held responsible for the creation. Victor may have made a huge mistake by venturing out to assemble a life form, but an even bigger mistake was his abandonment of Frankenstein. By deserting the creature who then becomes a monster, can we not consider Victor to be monster-like himself? He realeases a creature whom no one in society is familiar with, not even himself. Victor, out of his own fears and guilts leaves Frankenstein and offers no compassion towards his very own creation. Victor escapes his problems, and lives ignorantly at the expense of others, in order to avoid taking responsiblity and being judged. Victor is the ideal example of an irresponsible creator.

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Prospero’s Use of Magic as Technology in The Tempest

Technology in its broadest sense is the craft of using knowledge and tools to control or adapt to a certain environment. This idea of technology can be understood as the central theme of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The protagonist Prospero uses his knowledge and his craft to single handedly control all the activity upon the island in order to achieve his own personal goals. The knowledge that he has and the technology he uses are all in the form of magic, represented by Ariel. The sorcery he uses ultimately carries out his master plan and main goal. He brings his enemies all together onto the same island he was exiled to, tricks and confuses them into believing they’re stranded and alone, seals his daughter’s future as the Queen of Naples and makes amends with those who betrayed him while regaining the power he once had. His use of magic through Ariel is a form of technology, and can be credited for the seemingly coincidental, yet carefully thought out unfolding of events in The Tempest.
Prospero uses magic as a technology in order to get his plan started. A storm is conjured up, fires are set, tricks are played and the crew of a ship are scattered upon an island that seems uninhabited. Ariel uses his magical abilities at the request of Prospero in order to get all the men onto the island, and have them think that many of their crew members are dead. Despite all the tragedy they have witnessed, no one was truly hurt during Ariel’s terrorizing at sea, “Not a hair perished./On their sustaining garments not a blemish,/ But fresher than before; and as thou bad’st me,/ In troops I have dispersed them ‘bout the isle (I.ii.217-220).” It is imperative to the plot that all aboard the ship were kept safe, but also led to believe that they each may be the only survivors of the tempest that hit them. Prospero’s use of magic was through Ariel the spirit who is indebted to him. This magic is the technology being used to bring everyone together in the same place so Prospero can further carry out his plans.
Prospero’s knowledge is the contributing factor to his powerful magic. He indulges in studying and reading from his many books so much that he has ended up “neglect[ing] worldly ends (I.ii.89).” He is very dedicated to seeking knowledge and applying it to his surrounding environment on the island, eventually controlling and adapting to it. His daughter Miranda is the only one with him, but also a very big part of his plan. Growing up, he passes certain things down to her, teaching her what he wants her to know. Ultimately, he is shaping her in a way that works to his advantage. By keeping her isolated until she is a young lady, she is kept from being exposed to other men. She has only met two men in her life, the first being her father and the second, Caliban, whose identity as a full human man is questionable. The third man she meets is the son of the king of Naples, whom she falls in love with. This union is short of coincidence. Rather it is Prospero’s doing. He calls upon magic and has Ariel conjure up music to lure Ferdinand over Miranda’s way. As they begin to fall in love, Prospero decides that he has arranged everything too conveniently for them, and decides to challenge Ferdinand a little, in order for his success in winning Miranda be that much more rewarding, “They are both in either’s pow’rs. But this swift business I must uneasy make, lest too light winning/Make the prize light (I.ii.451).” Even after Miranda has decided to act upon her feelings, Prospero interferes in order for his intended goal to be as successful as possible.
Prospero’s plans are carried out as he had planned, but along the way the deserted crew member make treacherous plans of their own. They intend on taking Prospero’s life, and would have been successful if not for Prospero’s magical helping hand. Ariel reports the plan and ideas of the men back to Prospero, who understands how he must deal with them. He uses Ariel to conjure up music again to lure the group of men to the area where Prospero needs them. He rallies everyone together, and has them under a spell while he speaks to them, scolding them for their betrayal and treachery. He makes amends with his brother Antonio, granting him forgiveness but revoking his throne as well. He blesses Alonso with the sight of his son Ferdinand playing chess with his bride-to-be, Miranda, and grants Ariel the freedom he has been seeking. Because of his careful execution, and the advantage of having magical technology on his side, Prospero was able to be just to all those on the island while still fulfilling his goals. As everyone is gathered, Prospero realizes everything he has wanted is falling into place, and he no longer will need to resort to magic. He says, “…At this hour/Lies at my mercy all mine enemies. /Shortly shall all my labors end, and thou/Shall have the air at freedom (IV.i.262).”
Technology in The Tempest is represented through the use of Prospero’s magic. He applies his magical knowledge and craft, and has Ariel carry out his commands in order for certain events to unfold, and ultimately grant Prospero the success he has been seeking. His magic helps him achieve his intended goals by allowing him to control, and manipulate the environment he is in.

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