dissabte, 30 de maig de 2009

WILLIAM FAULKNER (2)



"Barn Burning"

It is a short story which appeared in 1938. The story deals with class conflicts, the influence of fathers, and vengeance as viewed through the third-person perspective of a young, impressionable child. It is a prequel to The Hamlet, The Town, and The Mansion. These three stories make up the "Snopes" trilogy.

comes from the mid-point of its author's career and finds its creator in consummate control of the modernist devices that he, more than any other, had brought to American prose: stream-of-consciousness narration, decadent and even culturally degenerate settings, extended sentences—interrupted by qualifying clauses—that give the effect of continuously suspended or deferred resolution of the action, and images of extreme violence. Northerners found his depiction of the unassimilated South too regional and Southerners found it too harsh and scandalous to be acceptable.

The Faulkneresque, run-on sentences are longish with a lot of commas which separate the subordinate clauses. The setting is the old south, with a third person limited point of view and an episodic plot.

In ‘‘Barn Burning,’’ Faulkner depicts a child, on the verge of moral awareness, who finds himself cut off from the larger social world of which he is growing conscious; this sense of alienation takes root, moreover, in Sarty's relation with his father, who should be the moral model and means of entry of the child into the larger world. Because of his father's criminal recklessness, Sarty finds himself, in the first part of the story, the object of an insult, and he attacks a boy who, in more ordinary circumstances, might be a school-companion or a...

Like “A Rose for Emily,” “Barn Burning” is one of Faulkner’s most frequently anthologized, though its prose is a bit more ponderous than the garrulous first-person narration of “Emily.” Set roughly 30 years after the Civil War, the story focuses on two members of the Snopes family: Ab Snopes, a poor sharecropper who takes out his frustrations against the post-Civil War aristocracy by burning barns, and his adolescent son, “Sarty,” who dislikes his father’s destructive tendencies and ultimately must choose between family and morality. This powerful coming-of-age story is notable for its conscientious prose styling, in which Faulkner mimics the inward turmoil and questions faced by his principal protagonist, as well as its carefully rendered settings of three historical milieus, each of which has important thematic concerns in the story: the sharecropper’s cabin, the planter’s mansion, and the town’s general store.

Faulkner incorporated the basic narrative of the story into his novel The Hamlet, though it is told in vastly different language and tone.

The theme of Faulkner's "Barn Burning" is Sarty Snopes's desire to break away from the oppressive conditions of his family life. Sarty gains this freedom when he decides to warn the de Spains because his father's violation of his own sort of morality liberates him from what he calls the "pull of blood," or duty to his family.

Sarty believed in this conviction of his father's. He was prepared to defend his father at the first trial and he hopes that the fires will end, but when Abner begins to set ablaze his next barn, Sarty extinguishes the family ties.

This violation liberates Sarty from the "the old blood which he had not been permitted to choose for himself".

The "pull of blood" is not strong enough to corrupt Sarty, to make him into what he seems destined to become. Together his father's offense and his own youthful sensitivity lead Sarty to his noble decision to warn the de Spain's.

dijous, 28 de maig de 2009

VINI, VIDI, VINCI

Eto'o e Messi gol
L'Europa è del Barça

A Roma i catalani si impongono 2-0 sul Manchester United e conquistano la Champions League. Un gol per tempo: prima la perla di Eto'o, poi il colpo di testa di Messi. Gli inglesi imbrigliati dal possesso palla catalano, partono bene, poi vengono sopraffatti dalla squadra di Guardiola. Terza coppa per il Barcellona

ROMA, 27 maggio 2009 - Triplete. È il tre il numero magico del Barcellona, che a Roma diventa campione d’Europa conquistando la sua terza coppa dalle grandi orecchie e portando a casa il terzo trofeo stagionale, dopo Liga e Coppa del Re. La striscia di imbattibilità del Manchester Utd in Champions League si interrompe a 25 partite, proprio sul più bello. La smantellano Eto’o e Messi, grandi firme in una serata di grande calcio. Sfuma, dunque, il sogno dei Red Devils di fare il bis sul tetto d’Europa, impresa mai riuscita a nessuno da quando è nata la Champions.

Xavi e Messi si abbracciano con Eto'o. Reuters
Xavi e Messi si abbracciano con Eto'o. Reuters

BARCELLONA AL PRIMO AFFONDO — Nella meravigliosa cornice dell’Olimpico, l’avvio è tutto di Cristiano Ronaldo. Dopo appena 2 minuti una punizione velenosa del portoghese scalda le mani a Valdes, con Park in lieve ritardo per la correzione a rete. Poi "CR7" ci prova di destro e di sinistro, senza inquadrare il bersaglio. I movimenti d’attacco dello United, con Park, Ronaldo, Giggs e Rooney a scambiarsi vorticosamente le posizioni, creano qualche affanno all’improvvisata difesa blaugrana, in cui giocano Toure e Sylvinho. Al primo tentativo, però, passano i catalani: è il 10’ quando Eto’o riceve palla sulla destra, salta Vidic come un birillo e sorprende Van der Sar sul suo palo. Dopo la finale 2006, il camerunese fa centro in un’altra finale di Champions, sempre contro un club inglese (quella volta era l’Arsenal).

RITMO CATALANO — A quel punto, la sfida si mette nella direzione che il Barça sperava. La squadra di Guardiola comincia a far girare la palla con passaggi rapidi, la specialità della casa. E sale di colpi anche Messi, che con un gran sinistro sfiora il raddoppio. La reazione dello United è affidata a una punizione alta di Giggs e ai tentativi solitari di Ronaldo. Rooney, nervoso e troppo largo a sinistra, è a lungo fuori partita. E il Barça arriva all’intervallo senza troppi scossoni.

PALO DI XAVI — Ferguson, allora, comincia la ripresa con Tevez al posto di un Anderson poco convincente, come al solito. Ma l’inizio di secondo tempo è tutto blaugrana: prima un numero di Henry costringe Van der Sar alla parata di piede, poi una punizione guadagnata dallo straordinario Iniesta e calciata da Xavi finisce sul palo. Nel mezzo, una protesta di Messi per una possibile spinta in area. La risposta è in un inserimento di Park, che non arriva di testa per un soffio su un pallone che sarebbe valso il pari.

Lionel Messi, decisivo. Ap
Lionel Messi, decisivo. Ap

IL SIGILLO DI MESSI — Dentro anche Berbatov al posto di Park, in uno United che diventa super-offensivo. E che perde il centrocampo, offrendo il fianco al Barça. Così, al 25’, Messi fa il passo decisivo verso la conquista del Pallone d’oro colpendo di testa (sì, di testa) un assist perfetto di Xavi. E’ il 2-0 che stende gli inglesi. Il Barça può scatenare la sua festa, mentre la Spagna vince la sua dodicesima Champions League/Coppa dei Campioni e stacca Italia e Inghilterra. Guardiola completa il suo trionfo, a soli 38 anni, entrando nel ristretto circolo di chi questa coppa l’ha alzata sia da giocatore che da tecnico. La curva “culé” lo osanna. Commincia la lunga notte di festa catalana.

(articolo della Gazzetta dello Sport)

dimecres, 27 de maig de 2009

WILLIAM FAULKNER



William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American novelist and poet whose works feature his native state of Mississippi. He is regarded as one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century and was awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Faulkner's writing is often criticized as being dense,and being asubjective to meandering and difficult to understand because of his heavy use of such literary techniques as symbolism, allegory, multiple narrators and points of view, non-linear narrative, and especially stream of consciousness. Faulkner was known for an experimental style with meticulous attention to diction and cadence, in contrast to the minimalist understatement of his peer Ernest Hemingway. Faulkner is sometimes lauded as the inventor of the "stream-of-consciousness" technique in fiction, although this is misleading; other writers, specifically the French novelists of the nineteenth century, probably used this technique first.

Along with Mark Twain and possibly Tennessee Williams, Faulkner is considered to be one of the most important "Southern writers". Although he was relatively unknown before receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949, but his work is now favoured by the general public and critics.

It is understandable that the older Faulkner was influenced by the history of his family and the region in which they lived. Mississippi marked his sense of humor, his sense of the tragic position of blacks and whites, his keen characterization of usual Southern characters and his timeless themes, one of them being that fiercely intelligent people dwelled behind the façades of good old boys and simpletons.

Works

Faulkner's most celebrated novels include The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Light in August (1932), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), and The Unvanquished (1938). Faulkner was a prolific writer of short stories: his first short story collection, These 13 (1932), includes many of his most acclaimed (and most frequently anthologized) stories, including "A Rose for Emily", "Red Leaves", "That Evening Sun", and "Dry September". In 1931 in an effort to make money, Faulkner crafted Sanctuary, a sensationalist "pulp fiction"-styled novel. Its themes of evil and corruption (bearing Southern Gothic tones) resonate to this day. A sequel to the book, Requiem for a Nun, is the only play that he published, except for his "The Marionettes" which he 'self-published' as a young man. "Requiem for a Nun" includes an introduction that is actually one sentence spanning more than a page.

Faulkner was also an acclaimed writer of mysteries, publishing a collection of crime fiction, that featured Gavin Stevens (who also appeared in Knight's Gambit,Light in August, Go Down, Moses, The Town, Intruder in the Dust, and the short story "Hog Pawn"), an attorney, wise to the ways of folk living in Yoknapatawpha County. He set many of his short stories and novels in this fictional location, based on Lafayette County, of which his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, is the county seat. Faulkner wrote three volumes of poetry, The Marble Faun (1924) and A Green Bough (1933), all of which were well received but which were printed in very small editions. As a result, they are among his more valuable works to collect.

diumenge, 24 de maig de 2009

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD


The Great Gatsby

Published in 1925, it is widely considered to be F. Scott Fitzgerald's greatest novel. It is also considered a seminal work on the fallibility of the American dream. It focuses on a young man, Jay Gatsby, who, after falling in love with a woman from the social elite, makes a lot of money in an effort to win her love. She marries a man from her own social strata and he dies disillusioned with the concept of a self-made man. Fitzgerald seems to argue that the possibility of social mobility in America is an illusion, and that the social hierarchies of the "New World" are just as rigid as those of Europe.

The novel is also famous as a description of the "Jazz Age," a phrase which Fitzgerald himself coined. After the shock of moving from a policy of isolationism to involvement in World War I, America prospered in what are termed the "Roaring Twenties." The Eighteenth Amendment to the American Constitution, passed in 1919, prohibited the sale and consumption of alcohol in America. "Prohibition" made millionaires out of bootleggers like Gatsby and owners of underground salons, called "speakeasies." Fitzgerald glamorizes the noveau riche of this period to a certain extent in his Jazz Age novel. He describes their beautiful clothing and lavish parties with great attention to detail and wonderful use of colour. However, the author was uncomfortable with the excesses of the period, and his novel sounds many warning notes against excessive love of money and material success.

Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby was not a great success during his lifetime, but became a smash hit after his death, especially after World War II. It has since become a staple of the canon of American literature, and is taught at many high schools and universities across the country and the world. Four films, an opera, and a play have been made from the text.

Themes

Honesty: Honesty is does not seem to determine which characters are sympathetic and which are not in this novel in quite the same way that it does in others. Nick is able to admire Gatsby despite his knowledge of the man's illegal dealings and bootlegging. Ironically, it is the corrupt Daisy who takes pause at Gatsby's sordid past. Her indignation at his "dishonesty," however, is less moral than class-based. Her sense of why Gatsby should not behave in an immoral manner is based on what she expects from members of her milieu, rather than what she believes to be intrinsically right. The standards for honesty and morality seem to be dependent on class and gender in this novel. Tom finds his wife's infidelity intolerable, however, he does not hesitate to lie to her about his own affair.

Decay: Decay is a word that constantly comes up in The Great Gatsby, which is appropriate in a novel which centres around the death of the American Dream. Decay is most evident in the so-called "valley of ashes." With great virtuosity, Fitzgerald describes a barren wasteland which probably has little to do with the New York landscape and instead serves to comment on the downfall of American society. It seems that the American dream has been perverted, reversed. Gatsby lives in West Egg and Daisy in East Egg; therefore, Gatsby looks East with yearning, rather than West, the traditional direction of American frontier ambitions. Fitzgerald portrays the chauvinistic and racist Tom in a very negative light, clearly scoffing at his apocalyptic vision of the races intermarrying. Fitzgerald's implication seems to be that society has already decayed enough and requires no new twist.

Gender Roles: In some respects, Fitzgerald writes about gender roles in a quite conservative manner. In his novel, men work to earn money for the maintenance of the women. Men are dominant over women, especially in the case of Tom, who asserts his physical strength to subdue them. The only hint of a role reversal is in the pair of Nick and Jordan. Jordan's androgynous name and cool, collected style masculinize her more than any other female character. However, in the end, Nick does exert his dominance over her by ending the relationship. The women in the novel are an interesting group, because they do not divide into the traditional groups of Mary Magdalene and Madonna figures, instead, none of them are pure. Myrtle is the most obviously sensual, but the fact that Jordan and Daisy wear white dresses only highlights their corruption.

Violence: Violence is a key theme in The Great Gatsby, and is most embodied by the character of Tom. An ex-football player, he uses his immense physical strength to intimidate those around him. When Myrtle taunts him with his wife's name, he strikes her across the face. The other source of violence in the novel besides Tom are cars. A new commodity at the time that it was published, Fitzgerald uses cars to symbolize the dangers of modernity and the dangers of wealth. The climax of the novel, the accident that kills Myrtle, is foreshadowed by the conversation between Nick and Jordan about how bad driving can cause explosive violence. The end of the novel, of course, consists of violence against Gatsby. The choice of handgun as a weapon suggests Gatsby's shady past, but it is symbolic that it is his love affair, not his business life, that kills Gatsby in the end.

Class: Class is an unusual theme for an American novel. It is more common to find references to it in European, especially British novels. However, the societies of East and West Egg are deeply divided by the difference between the noveau riche and the older moneyed families. Gatsby is aware of the existence of a class structure in America, because a true meritocracy would put him in touch with some of the finest people, but, as things stand, he is held at arm's length. Gatsby tries desperately to fake status, even buying British shirts and claiming to have attended Oxford in an attempt to justify his position in society. Ultimately, however, it is a class gulf that separates Gatsby and Daisy, and cements the latter in her relationship to her husbad, who is from the same class as she is.

Religion: It is interesting that Fitzgerald chooses to use some religious tropes in a novel that focuses on the American Dream, a concept which leaves no room for religion save for the doctrine of individualism. The most obvious is the image of the "valley of ashes," which exemplifies America's moral state during the "Roaring Twenties." This wasteland is presided over by the empty eyes of an advertisement. Fitzgerald strongly implies that these are the eyes of God. This equation of religion with advertising and material gain are made even more terrifying by the fact that the eyes see nothing and can help no one (for example, this "God" can do nothing to prevent Myrtle or Gatsby's deaths).

World War I: Because The Great Gatsby is set in the Roaring Twenties, the topic of the Great War is unavoidable. The war was crucial to Gatsby's development, providing a brief period of social mobility which, Fitzgerald claims, quickly closed after the war. Gatsby only came into contact with a classy young debutante like Daisy as a result of the fact that he was a soldier and that no one could vouch for whether he was upper-class or not. The war provided him with further opportunities to see the world, and make some money in the service of a millionaire. Gatsby's opportunities closed up after the end of the war, however, when he found upon returning to America that the social structure there was every bit as rigid as it was in Europe. Unable to convince anyone that he is truly upper-class (although his participation in the war gave him some leeway about lying), Gatsby finds himself unable to break into East Egg society.

dissabte, 23 de maig de 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN!

DearJohn,
I wish you have a great birthday as you deserve!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR JOHN,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!


God bless you always.
Kisses,
Mònica
http://www.goear.com/listen/aaa4440/Happy-Birthday-Frank-Sinatra

JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE!


Ma chère Amparo,
je veux te désirer un JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE comme tu mérites! Il faut nous rappeller toujours des amis auxquels on aime et qui sont toujours là quan on en a besoin, et ceci est ton cas!
Merci pour être mon amie, pour m'avoir aidé maintes fois et pour être comme tu est, FANTASTIQUE!
Pour cela, j'aimerais te chanter la chanson d'anniversaire, mais comme il ne sera pas possible de nous réunir aujourd'hui, alors je te l'envoie par ici, d'accord?

JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE,
JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE,
MA CHÈRE AMPARO,
JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE!

À bientôt! Je t'aime!
Mònica
http://www.goear.com/listen/aaa4440/Happy-Birthday-Frank-Sinatra

JOHN STEINBECK (4)



The grapes of wrath
Themes

Kinship: Ma Joad repeatedly stresses the importance of family bonds. If the Joads stand together in familial love, they can have a meaningful and worthwhile life. Ma applies her philosophy to society as a whole, regarding all men as brothers. She welcomes Jim Casy and the Wilsons; she feeds hungry children at a migrant camp even though she has barely enough food for her own family. The example she sets greatly influences her daughter, Rose of Sharon, who, the end of the novel, nurses a starving man with her breast milk.
Unity and Cooperation: Casy espouses unity and cooperation in his attempts to organize the migrant workers into a single voice that demands justice and fair wages. After Casy dies, Tom Joad decides to devote himself to carrying on Casy’s cause. Ma Joad also espouses unity and cooperation, stressing the importance of maintaining family ties and of cooperating with others to achieve common goals. After meeting the Wilsons on the road, she says, “Each’ll help each, an’ we’ll all git to California.”
Love: Casy, a former preacher, believes that loving fellow human beings and acting on their behalf is more important than ranting from the pulpit and warning people to live by the letter of the law. He willingly accepts blame and goes to jail for an offense that he did not commit. And he dies in the service of fellow human beings. Some scholars regard him as a Christ figure: His initials are J. C. and he lays down his life for others.
Perseverance in the Face of Hostility: The third chapter of the novel presents this theme when a truck deliberately runs over a turtle, knocking it to the side of the road. On its back, the turtle reaches out with its legs, grabs onto a rock, rights itself, and resumes its journey. This chapter foreshadows the response of the Joads to the troubles they face on their journey.
Deceit: Landowners and labor contractors lure the impoverished to California with handbills promising jobs for everyone. This tactic is a ploy to attract more workers than needed and then to offer the jobs to those willing to accept meager wages.
Prejudice: Many Californians assume that Oklahoma migrants are the lowest of the low and give them a name, Okies, charged with negative connotations. “Okie means you’re scum,” one migrant worker tells Tom.
Greed: Car salesmen take advantage of migrants desperate for transportation to California. A business charges traveling migrants for water. Landowners pay migrants very low wages in order to turn a profit.
Hope: Ma Joad never loses hope for a better future. Tom’s decision to continue Casy’s effort to organize workers and Rose of Sharon’s simple act of nursing a starving man both suggest Ma’s hope is not unfounded. Where people help each other, there is every reason to believe that good will come of it.

Writing techniques

.Steinbeck uses a variety of writing techniques in The Grapes of Wrath to enhance his presentation. One of them is his somewhat poetic descriptions of nature. They frequently employ personification, as in the following two paragraphs from Chapter 1 in which a cunning wind uproots corn (much as the banks and landowners root up the tenant farmers) but later cries and whimpers over the corn (perhaps in mockery).

.......The wind grew stronger, whisked under stones, carried up straws and old leaves, and even little clods, marking its course as it sailed across the fields. The air and the sky darkened and through them the sun shone redly, and there was a raw sting in the air. During a night the wind raced faster over the land, dung cunningly among the rootlets of the corn, and the corn fought the wind with its weakened leaves until the roots were freed by the prying wind and then each stalk settled wearily sideways toward the earth and pointed the direction of the wind.
.....Another technique is the use of omniscient narration in passages in which characters unidentified by name reveal their thoughts in second-person point of view. In the following passage from Chapter 7, Steinbeck employs this technique to reveal the thoughts of a dishonest car salesman:

Watch the woman's face. If the woman likes it [a car] we can screw the old man. Start 'em on that Cad'. Then you can work 'em down to that '26 Buick. 'F you start on the Buick, they'll go for a Ford. Roll up your sleeves an' get to work.

.......A third technique is the use of dialogue that imitates the patois of particular regions and social classes. The following conversation from Chapter 13 takes place after the death of Grampa Joad. Young Al is upset that Grampa died before having a chance to experience the wonders of California, especially the grapes that he was going to squeeze over his head in a joyous celebration.
.......A fourth technique is the rat-a-tat presentation of abundant specific details to capture the atmosphere of a particular locale.
Symbolism
.Among the symbols that Steinbeck uses in the novel are the following:
Dust: (1) Utter ruination of a way of life; death; (2) forces beyond the control of the Joads.
The Turtle: Perseverance of the Joads.
Light Truck That Hits the Turtle: Law officers and others hostile toward the Joads.
Bulldozer: The brute power of the unfeeling, indifferent banks.
Route 66: The lands traversed by Moses and the Israelites on their way toward Canaan.
The Thousands of Migrants on the Road: The Israelites in their exodus from Egypt.
California: False Promised Land.
Rose of Sharon: Fertile and plantable future for the Joads. Sharon is a fertile plain along the coast of Israel, and a rose of sharon is a shrub with showy flowers. Early in the novel, Rose is the showy flower; late in the novel, she is the fertile plain full of promise and nourishment for survival. In the Bible, the rose of Sharon is mentioned in Chapter 2, Verse 1, of the Canticle of Canticles (or Song of Solomon).

divendres, 22 de maig de 2009

JOHN STEINBECK (3)



The Grapes of Wrath is frequently read in American high school and college literature classes. A celebrated Hollywood film version, starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford, was made in 1940; however, the endings of the book and the movie differ greatly.

Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on a poor family of sharecroppers, the Joads, driven from their home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in the agriculture industry. In a nearly hopeless situation, they set out for California's Central Valley along with thousands of other "Okies " in search of land, jobs, and dignity.

While en route, they discover that all of the roads and the highways are saturated with other families who are also making the same trek, ensnared by the same promise. As the Joads continue on their journey and hear many stories from others, some coming from California, they are forced to confront the possibility that their prospects may not be what they hoped. This realization, supported by the deaths of Grandpa and Grandma and the departure of Noah (the eldest Joad son) and Connie (the husband of the pregnant Joad daughter, Rose of Sharon), is forced from their thoughts: they must go on because they have no choice--there is nothing remaining for them in Oklahoma.

Upon arrival, they find little hope of finding a decent wage, as there is an oversupply of labor and a lack of rights, and the big corporate farmers are in collusion. The tragedy lies in the simplicity and impossibility of their dream: a house, a family, and a steady job. The final act is said to illustrate the spontaneous mutual sharing that will lead to a new awareness of collective values.

After the First World War turned European farmlands into battlefields, American agriculture prospered. To improve productivity, the U.S. agricultural industry borrowed money for machinery and more land. When Europe resumed production after the war, American farm owners received far less for wheat, corn, and other crops. Consequently, they had to struggle to repay loans. Banks began to seize the property of defaulting landowners and evict sharecroppers living and working on the farms. After the stock market crashed in 1929, the world economy entered a deep depression. On farms that escaped foreclosure, financial prolems worsened. Meanwhile, parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado experienced widespread soil erosion as a result of overplanting that stripped away grasses needed to hold the soil in place. Then, between 1934 and 1937, drought and wind turned these agricultural heartlands into what a newspaper called a "dust bowl." Banks seized more farms, leaving hundreds of thousands of sharecroppers and other farm laborers without work. Because these workers had little or no training in other occupations, their prospects for new employment were severely limited. As a result, many of them moved west, to California, responding to handbills advertising for field workers. Farm jobs in California were thought to be plentiful partly because of its favorable climate year round. The fictional Joad family, on whom

Narrative structure

Steinbeck’s novel centers, enters the stream of job seekers bound for California full of hope–and little else.

The narrator tells the story in third-person point of view. Generally, the narrator is omniscient, or all-knowing, seeing and reporting the thoughts of the characters as well as witnessing and reporting the action. At times, however, he reports only the action without revealing the characters' thoughts. The narration alternates between chapters centering on society, nature, universal themes, or background information and chapters centering on specific people and places. For example, Chapter 1 presents information about the the Dust Bowl and society's reaction to it. Chapter 2 centers on Tom Joad and a truck driver who gives Tom a ride home after his release from prison. Chapter 3 centers on a turtle that exhibits the kind of perseverance that sustains the Joad family during their journey west. Chapter 4 focuses on Tom and Jim Casy, a former preacher who tags along with Tom. Chapter 5 presents general information on how banks evict tenant farmers. Chapter 6 zeroes in on Tom, Casy, and Muley Graves at the abandoned Joad homestead. The narration continues to alternate chapters in this way, giving the novel a balanced structure.


dijous, 21 de maig de 2009

JOHN STEINBECK (2)




For The Grapes of Wrath- the title originated from Julia Ward Howe's The Battle Hymn of the Republic (1861)-Steinbeck travelled around California migrant camps in 1936. When the book appeared, it was attacked by US Congressman Lyle Boren, who characterized it as "a lie, a black, infernal creation of twisted, distorted mind". Later, when Steinbeck received his Nobel Prize, the Swedish Academy called it simply "an epic chronicle."

The Exodus story of Okies on their way to an uncertain future in California, ends with a scene in which Rose of Sharon, who has just delivered a stillborn child, suckles a starving man with her breast.

John Ford's film version from 1940, dismissed this ending-the final images optimistically celebrate President Roosevelt's New Deal. Steinbeck himself was skeptical of Hollywood's faithfulness to his material. However, after seeing the film he agreed it had been faithfully adapted.

During WW II, Steinbeck served as a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune in Great Britain and the Mediterranean area. He wrote such government propaganda as the novel THE MOON IS DOWN (1942), about resistance movement in a small town occupied by the Nazis. Its film version, starring Henry Travers, Cedric Hardwicke, and Lee J. Cobb, was shot on the set of How Green Was My Valley (1941), which depicted a Welsh mining village.

Steinbeck's postwar works include THE PEARL (1947), a symbolic tale of a Mexican Indian pearl diver Kino. He finds a valuable pearl which changes his life, but not in the way he did expect. Kino sees the pearl as his opportunity to better life. When the townsfolk of La Paz learn of Kino's treasury, he is soon surrounded by a greedy priest, doctor, and businessmen. Kino's family suffers series of disasters and finally he throws the pearl back into ocean. Thereafter his tragedy is legendary in the town.

A RUSSIAN JOURNAL (1948) was an account of the author's journey to the Soviet Union with the photographer Robert Capa. Steinbeck's idea was to describe the country without prejudices, but he could not move freely, he could not speak Russian, and the Soviet hosts, perhaps by the order of Stalin himself, took care that there were more than enough vodka, champagne, caviar, chickens, honey, tomatoes, kebabs, and watermelons on their guest's table.

The director Elia Kazan and Steinbeck's most famous film project, East of Eden, included James Dean to make his debut in the film. Kazan originally wanted Marlon Brando to play the role of Cal. He sent Dean to see Steinbeck, who considered him a snotty kid, but said he was Cal "sure as hell". Dean received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

EAST OF EDEN (1952), the title referring to the fallen world, is long family novel, is set in rural California in the years around the turn of the century. In the centre of the saga, based partly on the story of Cain and Abel, is two families of settlers, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, whose history reflect the formation of the United States. The second half of the story focus on the lives of the twins, Aron and Caleb, and their conflict. Between them is Cathy, tiny, pretty, but an adulteress and murderess.

THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT (1961), set in contemporary America, was Steinbeck's last major novel. The book was not well received, and critics considered him an exhausted. Not even the Nobel Prize changed opinions.