A Summary on She Stoops To Conquer

Alright, this is a first for me. The whole alternating between writing and typing up a whole post at a sitting. I’m more used to and prefer working it out on paper for a while – even days – before posting online. So I’m buzzing right now and trying to figure things out and make them as plain as possible.

What we have today is a short summary on the first scene in the first act of She Stoops To Conquer. Here we go again.

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God, he looks ticked.

The scene opens up in the classic style, romantic walk shared between a man and wife ( Mr. and Mrs. Hardcastle ) into the chamber of their old-fashioned house. The play was first performed in London in 1773, so no mutants and zombies in post apocalyptic America for us. *sigh*

After a short discourse between them about how everyone follows the trend of going to town to let loose and look young and dressy and extravagant again, followed by a shift in subject to their marriage with a little flirtation, their son Tony charges onto the scene, in a rush to visit his friends “the Pigeons” at the alehouse ( that’s what we call a Drinks Bar in old, 17th century talk ). He came up in earlier conversation too ( speak of the devil, right? )

We see Mr. Hardcastle’s character unfold through his thoughts and same for his wife, in some ways. After Tony and his mother leave the scene Miss Kate Hardcastle, their daughter, comes in. She’s dressy and headstrong and you kinda get this empowerment and feminism vibe from her. Of course, as a father, Mr. Hardcastle tried to reason with her about her mode of dressing shortly before dropping a bomb on her. He was arranging a marriage between her and the son of one of his friends ( Mr. Marlow ) – without her knowing. I know what you’re thinking. And oh yes he did!! But after he told her he was intelligent, sophisticated, young, brave, very handsome and rich, she was totally down with it. Like if that was her supply as a human baby factory for life, she’d totally go for it. Except when he told her that he was reserved. She didn’t like the idea because she was confident and outspoken – but after a little more persuasion, she came back around ( Well, it’s more like she’s open-minded but still keeping her options open, y’know).

So Dad’s left the scene now. It’s just Kate and her thoughts. Then, as all girls have done since the dawning of time … She called her best friend over so they’d talk. Don’t act like you didn’t see that coming. We all saw that one coming. Constance Neville is her name ( Yup. Cute, isn’t it? Longbottom, anyone? #HarryPotterReference ).

They first check each other out and talk about how on fleek they were – Yas honey! – before the question of “Are you alright?” and others such came up – in Victorian English of course. What followed was talk about relationship issues.

We find out that Neville is crushing hard on Kate’s suitor’s best friend since forever, and is not interested in marrying Kate’s brother, whom Mrs. Hardcastle is grooming Neville for. Just read the play. There’s something unruly about Tony, I’d say. Neville doesn’t truly like him either. At all. Page 6 says it all. Looks like Miss Harcastle wants her grubby little hands on Neville’s wealth – or maybe a share in it – through her son’s marriage to her. She’s in custody of Neville’s jewels which she will hand over only if Neville marries her son. Bitch maybe??

Wat
Yeah, like totally!! Weird shit was going down in the 1700s

The scene ends with them complaining of their afternoon walk they’d have to take with Miss Hardcastle after the bell is sounded. And the adventure continues.

Well that was fun, wasn’t it? I thought it was… How about you? Was there anything you saw differently in the play? Anything I might have overlooked? Feel free to share in the comments, email me or subscribe to the blog, you alphabet soup loving fearless eater, you. I’ll be back real soon. Chao Chao!

 

 

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Update

Let me start off by saying to myself in a very Miranda Hart fashion, congrats for diversifying this shit, good ol’ chum … *smiley face*. There’s another part of the multi-faceted clockwork monster that is our Literature syllabus and we are slowly going to break into those areas and soon, staring with non-African drama. Don’t worry, we’ll re-visit African poetry again as per my discoveries and your inquisition.

Lazy shits

Sorry, what was that, you might ask?

Nothing, reader. Certainly not a passive-aggressive statement uttered under my breath. So …

The drama we’ll be engorging ourselves with (what a word! ENGORGING) is She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. No? Doesn’t matter – moving on anyways.

We’re going to have such fun looking at this wonderful literary adventure (Well, staying positive never killed anyone). In the course of the week, we’ll rush into things so get your notebooks, teachers and internet ready. We’ve got some alphabet soup binging to do! Chao Chao!

Literary devices you may not know are in Vanity

Hello again my munchable little fearless eaters. Ok, so today I got a little less than an earful for you all but I must sincerely apologize first for my delay in postage. Lots of stuff went down at home this week … Shit got REAL real. And I’ve been working on a new commandment, just for myself: Thou shalt not infect more than 20 people with thy nasty cold. But now, I’m alright. Along doth we goesth.

Today’s focus is going to be on the literary devices used in Vanity. 

 

But before we get acquainted with the fair idea of what we’ll be tackling today I want to give a big shout out to my fellow blogger and new friend Sampson who runs the blog everydaygladiator.com. Y’all go check him out, he is awesomesauce. Also, tattoo artist and piercing expert FrancoisWSimpson is also here on WordPress @ francoistattoos.com. Give him a visit too. He’s done some great work.

Sad as it may seem, I didn’t have much to work with on this post …

Cuz I needed you do more research and I’m a good blogger who wouldn’t spoon feed you?? Sure, let’s go with that.

Back to the point though, this post will feature personifications, similes, repetitions, parallelism, conflict and imagery used in the poem. Get ready for lots of references.

Personification Sprinkled all over the poetry, personification is one key device used to enhance the feel of the poem – that is, if you felt anything at all. It attributes human qualities to inanimate objects. For instance, the ‘hearts’ and the ‘dead’ in lines one and five of stanza three are perfect examples

What heart will listen to our clamouring?

And

When our Dead come with their Dead

Imagery It’s evident in the poetry that the message is delivered in a very visual way. The words almost immediately get you to visualize what’s being narrated. The ‘large mouths’, ‘tumours’ and ‘signs’ from the ‘dead’ are but a few examples of the use of imagery in Vanity.

‘Which grows in us like a tumour                                                                                                                  

In the black depth of our plaintive throats?’

And

They have left on the earth their cries,                                                                                                          

 In the air, on the water, where they have traced their signs.

Those are lines 13-14 and 20-21 from stanzas three and four, respectively.

Conflict is a pervading device in the lineup. The personas are constantly reviewing the rhetoric of the younger generation turning a deaf ear to their pleas and cries. They want to speak. Y’know what? They actually are speaking! But as we all do with movie critics and the terms and conditions on licensed software, the ‘big children’ totally ignore. Yaaay us, right?

Simile. Now this may come as a no-brainer for many but the use of the word like shows that the poem might just have gifted you a free literary device. So enjoy the gift card! Courtesy of stanza 3, line 13.

Parallelism. The big one. Ok I had trouble digesting and regurgitating this for y’all. Even coming to understand it for myself. Parallelism is a literary device that uses successive verbal constructions which correspond in grammatical structure, sound, meter, meaning, etc. It may also function as a tool for persuasion as well because of the repetition it uses – as stated in literarydevices.net.

Parallelism, I find, after much probing and search and toil is used so much in the poem. Lines 3 and 5 make use of the common word ‘who’ – and the question of who will hear without laughing – while ‘when’ starts lines 15 and 16. They are seen below, respectively:

Who then will hear our voices without laughter,                                                                                

Who indeed will hear our voices without laughter.

*

When our Dead come with their Dead                                                                                                  

When they have spoken to us with their clumsy voices.

Additionally, lines 11 and 12 and the first two lines of the final stanza seem to have an element of parallelism. Consult the ‘sharks’ or your teacher (or your internet service provider) in case of any doubt.

Repetition. Maybe this can also be said of similes. They’re both the no-brainers of the literati world of literary devices . . . excuse me while I regain balance from the discombobulating series of tongue twisters that seem to come from nowhere.

Ok I’m fine now. Back to it!

You know you’re desperate when repetition is one of the devices you have to point out . . . while knowing everyone else shall find and write what looks ( to the teacher ) like the exact same thing . . . If they care enough to mark, of course. So let me just point these out and we can get outta here. Lines 8 and 10, 21 and 24. By the way I hope I didn’t forget to mention this; the first lines of stanzas, one, two and three are repeated in the final stanza and form its bulk.

Alright! Alright!! Alright!!!

That’s done. I can keep fighting off my cold now. Some nice, warm alphabet soup ought to set me right. Until the next time my dear fearless eaters, binge till you drop. Peace out!!

The Themes in Vanity

After all the while of regrouping and reading, we’re back to discussing Vanity again. Yaay! Although that’s all we’ve been looking at and you’re sick of it, you’ll have to suck it up.

Bursting with joy
OK ….Well, whatever.

Cuz we’ll be doing a whole lot more and changing it up over time. Today, the focus is on its themes  of the effects of Karma, failure to appreciate what you have till it’s gone and a few others. The insinuations and connotations are widespread.

The effects of Karma or the guilt it brings is as prominent in the poem as meat in a bowl of chop bar fufu ( puts a reminder in calendar to visit a chop bar later ). The third stanza significantly portrays how the new generation mock and ignore the older generation just as the cycle occurred with their ancestors. The guilt creeps in with the memory of the deceased, as well as the knowledge that the old generation had once turned a deaf ear to their elders’ advice. Karma is also buttressed in the last stanza – and my, my … What a bitch!

And since we did not understand our dead

Since we have never listened to their cries

If we weep, gently, gently

If we cry roughly of our torments

What heart will listen to our clamouring,

What ear to our sobbing hearts?

Uuuum. Ok awkward.

The personas have come to realize that despite their pleas and admonishment, the past has caught up with them. The new generation will learn only when it’s too late, just as it happened in the past where the ‘dead’ were not understood and were never heard.

Another strong theme here is the failure to appreciate what one has until it’s gone. Yes, apparently that overused drivel is here too. Go figure.   The personas had the chance to listen to whatever their elders and ancestors had to say, but the opportunity passed when they died and took their nuggets of wisdom with them. Forever! It seems, in their regret, they took it upon themselves to pass on the information they took for granted as a means to redeem themselves. Ironically, the chance to have the young ones to pay attention and listen to them has long passed as well. This is evident in the sad, opening lines of the poetry – to name a few.

If we tell, gently, gently

All that we shall one day have to tell,

Who then will hear our voices without laughter,

catz
Geez, talk about melancholy and bleak! Next theme, please!!!

The apathy of the modern generation is another resounding theme. As sick as we all get of hearing from old people that we don’t listen, the personas are old people . . . Putting one and two together now? The ‘unworthy Sons’ and ‘big children’ are in no mood to give any flying fucks about what the personas have to offer in terms of wisdom. They’re too busy laughing and poking fun and tormenting them.

In all the stanzas, it is made clear that no one is going to listen to the personas and the children are shoved into the spotlight for the craven, nonchalant, reckless and depraved generation they are, upon whom God shall sick the apocalypse . . . . *sigh. I can’t even.*

AND NOW, THE THEME YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR. The abandonment of the old generation by the modern generations. Isn’t that classic? African poets seem to have this superiority complex that translates into their personas giving off elitist know-all-about-my-culture vibes – or is it just me?

Maybe the old generation talked about history, custom, value and culture? Maybe they structured healthy or unhealthy models of life in society, progressive or not?

All in all, time is working fast and hard against them in their bid to reserve their ancestry and that of those before them, before finally meeting their maker. Talk about a late life crisis. The personas are reminded of their dead whose ‘signs’ and legacies are traced in several places and how they made nothing of it. The fear of abandonment is heavy.

They have left on the earth their cries,

In the air, on the water, where they have traced their signs

For us, blind deaf and unworthy Sons

Who see nothing of what they have made

In the air, on the water, where they have traced their signs.

Clifford 20160715_212005
They should really lighten up and let go. And they’re old! The stress would be horrible for their wrinkles.

The poetry is quite dark with subject matters of apathy, despair, mockery and neglect. It shouts a message of not abandoning your roots and sticking to your values. A truly touching and – in a sense – poignant work of art, if you may. But that’s that for now. Enjoy your literature and Alphabet soup. And till the next time, keep learning and loving you and being you! Cuz you’re awesome. You already know that, right?

More posts coming soon. Chao Chao!