Elements of Literature Sixth Course
The Twentieth Century
Darwin, Marx, and Freud: Undermining Victorian Ideas
The Man Behind the Name
Karl Marx wasn’t always pleased with the way people enacted his theories about economics and human freedom. In fact, later in his life he denied he was a “Marxist,” at least as the term was widely understood at the time. Pick up the History Guide to find out more about the man whose name, according to Friedrich Engels, “will endure through the ages.”
A Freudian Trip
Sigmund Freud’s revolutionary model of the human mind as a battlefield between the Id, the Ego, and the Superego radically changed the way people view themselves. It also changed the lives of many of Freud’s patients. Drop by the Library of Congress to meet Anna O., the Rat Man, and H.D., a few of Freud’s most famous patients.
The Great War: “A War to End All Wars”
The Pity of War
To understand how World War I contributed to a deepening cynicism in Great Britain, you have to understand the horror of a war that began as an idealistic enterprise and ended as a bloodbath. Take a trip back in time and step into the trenches of World War I for a closer look at a war that changed the “romantic nonsense” of the Victorian past into a sharp, new realism.
A Deadly Legacy
World War I’s dark shadow hangs over the battlefields surrounding Verdun, France, where buried bombs continue to poison, maim, and kill careless tourists. Watch your step through the toxic wasteland of Verdun as you accompany a bomb squad on the seemingly endless task of cleaning up after the Great War.
Experimentation in the Arts: Shocking in Form and Content
Expanding Possibilities
James Joyce’s epic masterpiece Ulysses may not seem so experimental in today’s hypertext world, but the novel was a radical break from literary tradition when it was first published. Pick up a virtual copy of The Irish Times, and let Joyce expert Terence Killeen explain why Ulysses is worth all the fuss.
The Rise of Dictatorships: Origins of World War II
The Road to War
The German economy was already in shambles when the Great Depression spread across the world and hit Germany hard. Adolf Hitler took advantage of the situation by exploiting the German people’s anger and wounded pride. Visit BBC Online to learn how Hitler rose to power by casting himself as Germany’s “last hope.”
British Writing Today: A Remarkable Diversity
A New Breed
What were the Angry Young Men so angry about? Flip open Compton’s Encyclopedia Online and read more about this group of writers who disapproved of elitist universities, the Church of England, and the drabness of working-class life. Then, discover other writers who have helped create a reputation of diversity in British literature.
World Literature: Writing from Afar Near at Hand
The Politics of Power
Hundreds of writers from former British colonies have struggled to express the effects of Britain’s cultural domination and racism, but how did that domination come about? Stop by the Victorian Web and let professor David Cody explain how the British justification for colonization evolved from mercantilist to paternalistic and racist.
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