THE PROBLEMS OF MODERN MAN IN THE 20 C. ENGLISH FICTION

CONTENTS

Introduction..............................2 psl.
1. James Joyce‘s characters in his novel “The Portret of the Man as a Young Artist“..............................3 psl.
2. The Development of Individual Consciousness............6 psl.
3. The Heros and Their Conflicts in Conrad‘s Novel “Heart of Darkness“..............................7 psl.
4. Epiphany in „ The Heart of Darkness“.................11 psl.
5. Modernist’s Experiments in Heart of Darkness..............12 psl
Conclusions..............................14 psl.
References..............................16 psl.

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INTRODUCTION

“ James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish novelist, noted for his experimental use of language in such works as “Ulysses“ (1922) and “Finneganns Wake“ (1939). Joyce’s technical innovations in the art of the novel include an extensive use of interior moonologue; he used a complex network of symbolic parallels drawn from the mythology, history, and literature, and created a unique language of invented words, puns, and allusions. From the age of six Joyce, was educated by Jesuits at Clongowes Wood College, at Clane, and then at Belvedere College in Dublin (1893-97). In 1898 he entered the University College, Dublin. Joyce’s first publication was an essay on Ibsen’s play “When We Dead Awaken“. It appeared in the Fortnightly Review in 1900. At this time hee also began writing lyric poems. Joyce published “Dubliners“ in 1914, “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man“ in 1916, a play “Exiles“ in 1918. In 1907 Joyce had published a collection of poems “Chamber Music“. Also he wrote some stories such as

s „The Sisters“, portraying child‘s confrontation with the illness, “Clay“, “Araby“. “ (1; psl.5).

“Joseph Conrad was born in Berdichev, in the Ukraine, in a region that had once been a part of Poland but was then under Russian rule. Polish-born English novelist and short-story writer, a dreamer, adventurer, and gentleman. He wrote famous preface to “The Nigger of the Narcissus“ (1897). Among Conrad’s most popular works are “Lord Jim“ (1900) and “Heart of Darkness“ (1902). His first novel, “Almayer‘s Folly“ appeared in 1895. It was followed by “An Outcast of the Islands“ (1896). In “Youth (1902) the title story recorded Conrad’s experiences on the sailing-ship Palestine. “Nostromo“ (1904) was an imaginative novel which again explored man’s vulnerability and corruptibility.“(3).

The aim of this work is to represent modern man‘s problems inn Joyce‘s novel “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man“ and Conrad‘s “Heart of Darkness“.

The goal of my work:
1. To discuss the main haracters and their conflicts of these two novels.
2. To dispute the style of Conrad and Joyse.
3. To reveal modern man.

I developed my and not only my knowledge in appropriate way. I used new older literature and the internet. For ease of use, the main material is given in certain chapters and paragraphs. I hope this work will be
e usefull not only for me, but also to whome, who are interested in XX century English literature.

1. James Joyce‘s Characters in His Novel „A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man“

Stephen Dedalus
He is a boy growing up in Ireland at the end of the nineteenth century, as he gradually decides to cast off all his social, familial, and religious constraints to live a life devoted to the art of writing. As a young boy, Stephen’s Catholic faith and Irish nationality heavily influence him. He attends a strict religious boarding school called Clongowes Wood College. At first, Stephen is lonely and homesick at the school, but as time passes he finds his place among the other boys. He enjoys his visits home, even though family tensions run high after the death of the Irish political leader Modeled after Joyce himself, Stephen is a sensitive, thoughtful boy who reappears in Joyce’s later masterpiece, Ulysses. In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, though Stephen’s large family runs into deepening financial difficulties, his parents manage to send him to prestigious schools and eventually to a university. As he grows up, Stephen grapples with his nationality, religion, family, and morality, and fi

inally decides to reject all socially imposed bonds and instead live freely as an artist
Stephen undergoes several crucial transformations over the course of the novel. The first, which occurs during his first years as Clongowes, is from a sheltered little boy to a bright student who understands social interactions and can begin to make sense of the world around him. The second, which occurs when Stephen sleeps with the Dublin prostitute, is from innocence to debauchery. The third, which occurs when Stephen hears Father Arnall’s speech on death and hell, is from an unrepentant sinner to a devout Catholic. Finally, Stephen’s greatest transformation is from near fanatical religiousness to a new devotion to art and beauty. This transition takes place in Chapter 4, when he is offered entry to the Jesuit order but refuses it in order to attend university. Stephen’s refusal and his subsequent epiphany on the beach mark his transition from belief in God to belief in aesthetic beauty. This transformation continues through his college years. By the end of his time in college, Stephen has become a fully formed artist, and his diary entries reflect the independent individual he has become. Brought up in a devout Catholic family, St
tephen initially ascribes to an absolute belief in the morals of the church. As a teenager, this belief leads him to two opposite extremes, both of which are harmful. At first, he falls into the extreme of sin, repeatedly sleeping with prostitutes and deliberately turning his back on religion. Though Stephen sins willfully, he is always aware that he acts in violation of the church’s rules. Then, when Father Arnall’s speech prompts him to return to Catholicism, he bounces to the other extreme, becoming a perfect, near fanatical model of religious devotion and obedience. Eventually, however, Stephen realizes that both of these lifestyles—the completely sinful and the completely devout—are extremes that have been false and harmful. He does not want to lead a completely debauched life, but also rejects austere Catholicism because he feels that it does not permit him the full experience of being human. Stephen ultimately reaches a decision to embrace life and celebrate humanity after seeing a young girl wading at a beach. To him, the girl is a symbol of pure goodness and of life lived to the fullest.

Major conflict – Stephen struggles to decide whether he should be loyal to his family, his church, his nation, or his vocation as an artist.
Simon Dedalus
He spends a great deal of his time reliving past experiences, lost in his own sentimental nostalgia. Joyce often uses Simon to symbolize the bonds and burdens that Stephen’s family and nationality place upon him as he grows up. Simon is a nostalgic, tragic figure: he has a deep pride in tradition, but he is unable to keep his own affairs in order. To Stephen, his father Simon represents the parts of family, nation, and tradition that hold him back, and against which he feels he must rebel. The closest look we get at Simon is on the visit to Cork with Stephen, during which Simon gets drunk and sentimentalizes about his past. Joyce paints a picture of a man who has ruined himself and, instead of facing his problems, drowns them in alcohol and nostalgia.
Emma Clery
She is Stephen’s “beloved,” the young girl to whom he is intensely attracted over the course of many years. She appears only in glimpses throughout most of Stephen’s young life, and he never gets to know her as a person. Instead, she becomes a symbol of pure love, untainted by sexuality or reality. Stephen worships Emma as the ideal of feminine purity. When he goes through his devoutly religious phase, he imagines his reward for his piety as a union with Emma in heaven. It is only later, when he is at the university, that we finally see a real conversation between Stephen and Emma. Stephen’s diary entry regarding this conversation portrays her as a real, friendly, and somewhat ordinary girl, but certainly not the goddess Stephen earlier makes her out to be. This more balanced view of Emma mirrors Stephen’s abandonment of the extremes of complete sin and complete devotion in favor of a middle path, the devotion to the appreciation of beauty. Stephen does not know Emma particularly well, and is generally too embarrassed or afraid to talk to her, but feels a powerful response stirring within him whenever he sees her. Stephen’s first poem, “To E— C—,” is written to Emma. She is a shadowy figure throughout the novel, and we know almost nothing about her even at the novel’s end. For Stephen, Emma symbolizes one end of a spectrum of femininity. Stephen seems able to perceive only the extremes of this spectrum: for him, women are either pure, distant, and unapproachable, like Emma, or impure, sexual, and common, like the prostitutes he visits during his time at Belvedere.
Charles Stewart Parnell

Parnell is not fictional, and does not actually appear as a character in the novel. However, as an Irish political leader, he is a polarizing figure whose death influences many characters in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. During the late nineteenth century, Parnell had been the powerful leader of the Irish National Party, and his influence seemed to promise Irish independence from England. When Parnell’s affair with a married woman was exposed, however, he was condemned by the Catholic Church and fell from grace. His fevered attempts to regain his former position of influence contributed to his death from exhaustion. Many people in Ireland, such as the character of John Casey in Joyce’s novel, considered Parnell a hero and blamed the church for his death. Many others, such as the character Dante, thought the church had done the right thing to condemn Parnell. These disputes over Parnell’s character are at the root of the bitter and abusive argument that erupts during the Dedalus family’s Christmas dinner when Stephen is still a young boy. In this sense, Parnell represents the burden of Irish nationality that Stephen comes to believe is preventing him from realizing himself as an artist. This sensitive subject becomes the topic of a furious, politically charged argument over the family’s Christmas dinner.
Cranly

Stephen’s best friend at the university, Cranly also acts as a kind of nonreligious confessor for Stephen. In long, late-night talks, Stephen tells Cranly everything, just as he used to tell the priests everything during his days of religious fervor. While Cranly is a good friend to Stephen, he does not understand Stephen’s need for absolute freedom. Indeed, to Cranly, leaving behind all the trappings of society would be terribly lonely. It is this difference that separates the true artist, Stephen, from the artist’s friend, Cranly. In that sense, Cranly represents the nongenius, a young man who is not called to greatness as Stephen is, and who therefore does not have to make the same sacrifices.

2. The Development of Individual Consciousness

Perhaps the most famous aspect of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is Joyce’s innovative use of stream of consciousness, a style in which the author directly transcribes the thoughts and sensations that go through a character’s mind, rather than simply describing those sensations from the external standpoint of an observer. Joyce’s use of stream of consciousness makes A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man a story of the development of Stephen’s mind. In the first chapter, the very young Stephen is only capable of describing his world in simple words and phrases. The sensations that he experiences are all jumbled together with a child’s lack of attention to cause and effect. Later, when Stephen is a teenager obsessed with religion, he is able to think in a clearer, more adult manner. Paragraphs are more logically ordered than in the opening sections of the novel, and thoughts progress logically. Stephen’s mind is more mature and he is now more coherently aware of his surroundings. Nonetheless, he still trusts blindly in the church, and his passionate emotions of guilt and religious ecstasy are so strong that they get in the way of rational thought. It is only in the final chapter, when Stephen is in the university, that he seems truly rational. By the end of the novel, Joyce renders a portrait of a mind that has achieved emotional, intellectual, and artistic adulthood. The development of Stephen’s consciousness in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is particularly interesting because, insofar as Stephen is a portrait of Joyce himself, Stephen’s development gives us insight into the development of a literary genius. Stephen’s experiences hint at the influences that transformed Joyce himself into the great writer he is considered today: Stephen’s obsession with language; his strained relations with religion, family, and culture; and his dedication to forging an aesthetic of his own mirror the ways in which Joyce related to the various tensions in his life during his formative years. In the last chapter of the novel, we also learn that genius, though in many ways a calling, also requires great work and considerable sacrifice. Watching Stephen’s daily struggle to puzzle out his aesthetic philosophy, we get a sense of the great task that awaits him.

3. The Heroes and Their Conflicts in Conrad‘s Novel „ The Heart of Darkness“

Marlow
He appears in several of Conrad’s other works, it is important not to view him as merely a surrogate for the author. Marlow is a complicated man who anticipates the figures of high modernism while also reflecting his Victorian predecessors. Marlow is in many ways a traditional hero: tough, honest, an independent thinker, a capable man. “Yet he is also “broken” or “damaged,” like T. S. Eliot’s J. Alfred Prufrock or William Faulkner’s Quentin Compson. The world has defeated him in some fundamental way, and he is weary, skeptical, and cynical.” Marlow also mediates between the figure of the intellectual and that of the “working tough.” While he is clearly intelligent, eloquent, and a natural philosopher, he is not saddled with the angst of centuries’ worth of Western thought. At the same time, while he is highly skilled at what he does—he repairs and then ably pilots his own ship—he is no mere manual laborer. Work, for him, is a distraction, a concrete alternative to the posturing and excuse-making of those around him. Marlow can also be read as an intermediary between the two extremes of Kurtz and the Company. He is moderate enough to allow the reader to identify with him, yet open-minded enough to identify at least partially with either extreme. Thus, he acts as a guide for the reader. Marlow’s intermediary position can be seen in his eventual illness and recovery. Unlike those who truly confront or at least acknowledge Africa and the darkness within themselves, Marlow does not die, but unlike the Company men, who focus only on money and advancement, Marlow suffers horribly. He is thus “contaminated” by his experiences and memories, and, like Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, destined, as purgation or penance, to repeat his story to all who will listen.

Kurtz
Kurtz, like Marlow, can be situated within a larger tradition. Kurtz resembles the archetypal “evil genius”: the highly gifted but ultimately degenerate individual whose fall is the stuff of legend. Kurtz is related to figures like Faustus, Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost, Moby-Dick’s Ahab, and Wuthering Heights’s Heathcliff. Like these characters, he is significant both for his style and eloquence and for his grandiose, almost megalomaniacal scheming. In a world of mundanely malicious men and “flabby devils,” attracting enough attention to be worthy of damnation is indeed something. Kurtz can be criticized in the same terms that Heart of Darkness is sometimes criticized: style entirely overrules substance, providing a justification for amorality and evil.
In fact, it can be argued that style does not just override substance but actually masks the fact that Kurtz is utterly lacking in substance. Marlow refers to Kurtz as “hollow” more than once. This could be taken negatively, to mean that Kurtz is not worthy of contemplation. However, it also points to Kurtz’s ability to function as a “choice of nightmares” for Marlow: in his essential emptiness, he becomes a cipher, a site upon which other things can be projected. This emptiness should not be read as benign, however, just as Kurtz’s eloquence should not be allowed to overshadow the malice of his actions. Instead, Kurtz provides Marlow with a set of paradoxes that Marlow can use to evaluate himself and the Company’s men.
Indeed, Kurtz is not so much a fully realized individual as a series of images constructed by others for their own use. As Marlow’s visits with Kurtz’s cousin, the Belgian journalist, and Kurtz’s fiancée demonstrate, there seems to be no true Kurtz. To his cousin, he was a great musician; to the journalist, a brilliant politician and leader of men; to his fiancée, a great humanitarian and genius. All of these contrast with Marlow’s version of the man, and he is left doubting the validity of his memories. Yet Kurtz, through his charisma and larger-than-life plans, remains with Marlow and with the reader.

Manager

Marlow’s direct supervisor, he is a hard, greedy man who values power and money above everything else. Yet he masks this behind a civilized demeanor. He seems to have an ability to outlive those around him. The Manager would like nothing more than to surpass Kurtz in the ivory trade and see him dead, that he would not interfere anymore with the competitive trade. He makes people uneasy, and the only explanation Marlow offers is that he is “hollow.”
Brickmaker

The so-called first agent, who is the Manager’s pet and spy. He never actually makes bricks; supposedly he is waiting for the delivery of an essential ingredient. The Brickmaker is an unlikable character, cunning and very contemptible. He goes against Marlow’s work ethic, and is thought to also be hollow inside.
Russian

Kurtz’s devoted companion, he is an idealistic explorer who has wandered to the Congo on a Dutch ship and has been taken into the web of Kurtz’s obsessive ivory hunt. He is worthy of both pity and praise‹he is so young that it is uncertain whether or not he fully understands what he is doing in the Africa. He is more or less attracted to the glamour of adventure. Yet his unwavering support of Kurtz marks him as humble and admirable.
Natives

They are a collective presence throughout the story. It is notable that the black people exist both in subordination and in contrast to all the white men, and that they are never described in terms beyond the level of animals.
Chief Accountant

He is a top official in the main Station, who befriends Marlow when he first arrives in Africa. He is a cruel man, but ironically also the picture of the perfectly “civilized European.” Marlow admires his work habits, but this admiration is terribly misguided towards his stunning, flawless appearance instead of personality.
Marlow’s aunt

She is the connection to the Company in which Marlow receives a position. She appears to be the only female contact that Marlow has in his life, and she fully supports Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden.”
Kurtz’s fiancee

An unnamed woman who only appears in the last few pages, she is the symbol of a life that Kurtz completely leaves behind when he arrives in the Congo. She is pure and lives in a dream world built around who she believes Kurtz is. Her impressions of him are so disparate from what the reader observes that we marvel at the change that comes about in Kurtz.
Pilgrims

The collective white presence in the story, they accompany Marlow and the Manager on the voyage to Kurtz’s station. They exist in opposition to the natives and the cannibals, and their fear makes it apparent that they are unwilling to relinquish preconceived notions about animalistic blacks: they treat them horribly. Mostly they are greedy and looking to have their own stations, but they never seem to accomplish anything towards this goal.

Cannibals

They are a specific sect of the native presence. They are the grunt crew of Marlow’s ship, and they are the only group of natives who ever voice any kind of statement or opinion to the whites. Marlow is surprised at their tranquil manner and he seems to respect them.
Director

The captain in charge aboard the Thames river ship, from which Marlow tells the tale. He is loved by all, and we are tempted to draw a comparison between him and the Manager. He is a good sailor, but now works on land.
Accountant

Also a passenger aboard the Thames ship, who does nothing in our eyes except play dominoes. Both together constitute a crew of gentility, which contrasts with the crew from Marlow’s Congo ship.
Narrator

An unnamed passenger aboard the Thames ship, he provides a structure for Marlow’s story, and is a stand-in for audience perspective and participation. He was once a sailor, and he seems to be very affected by Kurtz’s tale, due to a somewhat romantic nature.

4. Epiphany in „ The Heart of Darkness“

Marlow, in the novel “The Heart of Darkness,” experiences an epiphany, or a dramatic moment in which a character intuitively grasps the essential nature or meaning of some situation.

The moment in which Marlow experiences his epiphany is right after the helmsman gets killed by natives, which are associated with Kurtz. The thing that Marlow realizes is the savagery of man and the corruption of the ivory trade. The actual change takes place when Marlow sees the helmsman die. Marlow sees the death take place and is shocked. “The side of his head hit the wheel twice, and the end of what appeared a long cane clattered round and knocked over a little campstool. . my feet felt so very warm and wet that I had to look down. . It was the shaft of a spear that.had caught him in the side just below the ribs. I had to make and effort to free my eyes from his gaze and attend to the steering. . I declare it looked as though he would presently put to us some question in an understandable language; but he died without uttering a sound, without moving a limb, without twitching a muscle. . ‘He is dead,’ murmured the fellow, immensely impressed. ‘No doubt about it,’ said I.” When this happened, Marlow realized the savagery of man, horror of death, and the corruption of the ivory trade. He realizes that in the ivory trade, that the ivory is more valuable than human life and that traders will do almost anything to get it. Marlow also realizes man’s savagery in the event that man puts greater value on riches than on human life. This is the epiphany of Marlow in “The Heart of Darkness.”

The epiphany of Marlow in “The Heart of Darkness” has significance in the overall story. The theme of the story is how every man has inside himself a heart of darkness and that a person, being alienated like Kurtz, will become more savage. Marlow, in his epiphany, realizes the savagery of man and how being alienated from modern civilization causes one to be savage and raw. This savagery is shown especially in the death of the helmsman, which is where Marlow’s epiphany takes place, but the savagery is also show in Kurtz. The link that Kurtz has to the natives and the death of the helmsman is that the natives work for Kurtz. This also shows how Kurtz has become more savage–that killing and death has no effect on him anymore. His savagery is shown by how the natives will kill to get what they want and Kurtz wants. This savagery shown by the natives and Kurtz in the death of the helmsman, links both Marlow’s epiphany and the theme of “The Heart of Darkness” together.

This, overall, explains the significance of the epiphany and the theme of “The Heart of Darkness” and how they are linked to one another.

5. Modernist’s Experiments in „ The Heart of Darkness“

In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, a chaotic form of writing takes place which is characteristic of the Modernist’s experiments in their style of literature of stream-of-consciousness. Written before Worl War I took place, he spoke of a different type of chaos and uncertainty present in the world at this time; the issue of slavery.

Heart of Darkness describes a voyage to Africa, common for the British still, despite the horrific treatment which was apparent of colonization. The chaotic, stream-of-consciousness style Conrad took on helped to display the confusion, and made the reader have to interpret for themselves what they thought the writer meant. Conrad experiments with this style, leaving some sentences without ending: “not a sentimental pretense but an idea;.something you can set up.and offer a sacrifice to..” (2), a very choppy form of literature and causes the reader to fill in the holes and interpret themselves, alone. Conrad skips about from talking of the “two women knitted black wool feverishly” at the gate of the city (of hell), to his aunt which he feels women are “out of touch with truth,” to how the British are as “weak-eyed devil(s) of a rapacious and pitiless folly” (2). Conrad’s mind moves about as ours do along a large duration of literary monologue to convey to the reader the author’s ideas, as interpreted by the reader.

Conrad’s narrative frame also continues his experimentation with literary form in Modernist style. Two separate monologues are present throughout Heart of Darkness. The first part starts out with an unnamed narrator aboard the ship Nelly, describing to himself, as well as to the reader, those aboard the ship, particularly Marlow. At first, the narrator is not known for sure to be a character aboard the ship until a few paragraphs later identify him as a person observing the others-“Between us there was, as I have already said,” (2). Marlow gradually takes over the narration, beginning “‘And this also,’ said Marlow suddenly” (2) is the first breaking point in Conrad’s Modernist narrative experiment. Conrad has Marlow take over the entire monologue narrative, as the unnamed narrator jumps time after time, but is rarely thought of for the majority of Heart of Darkness.

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