The hypocrisy of imperialism is evident in Conrad’s work. I found it fascinating that Kurtz, the most unsympathetic character, is also the most honest about what he is doing. While Marlowe believes himself honorable, he is there for the very same reason of Kurtz, only Marlowe also embodies the very idea of imperialism. The idea that simply because you hold the power to take resources and oppress a population of people, that you are somehow entitled to it. While I see the evidence of castigation of imperalism in Heart of Darkness, Kurtz’s death and how he is seen by others makes me wonder if the text is actually promoting the hypocrisy. Specifically, the message that not only do we, and we as in the opressors, deserve the goods of this land, we are doing it for the good of the barbaric peoples that live here, as well.
Modernism is abundant in Kafka’s Metamorphis. Without any information about how Gregor is transformed, only that he woke up one morning a large insect, creates anxiety in the reader. It makes a reader wonder if there is something about Gregor that is deserving of his fate; that he was involved in something that he should not have been. His death is tragic, though. It makes Gregor a more sympathetic character, and his family less sympathetic. In a perfect world, his family should have realized that it was still their son/brother inside, but all they seem to see is this outer shell. I would think that everyone should hope to see their children in whatever form they appear.
Weinstein describes the modernist movement as hegemonic, which makes sense to me. It appears that the very search for self-empowerment that is significant, not the ends. (98) Where the enlightment tends to reach for spiritual education, the realist movement tends to be more ambitious. Ambitious for a Newtonian universe, I believe. The Newtonian universe seems to represent a world that every action is followed by an equeal reaction, such as that as Weinstein’s example of Madame Bovary’s marriage. She made her bed, now she must lie in it.
The Kafka example seems to reiterate the fact that space and time are not significant. The reader doesn’t know when the lmen appeared or how long they were there. Their importance lies it the fact that K doesn’t know they are there until they are referred to by the inspector.
Modernist fiction does not rely on space and time for verisimilitude for the reader’s investment.
A Doll’s House is considered typically realistic if you are using Weinstien’s measurements. It contains ordinary people in everyday situations, and Nora seems to be “pregnant with a future.” She is looking forward to paying off her debt and moving on to a more comfortable life without deceit with her husband.
I also looked at this play from a woman’s perspective as well. Nora looks, in the beginning, to be a simple, pretty woman there just for mere decoration. We later learn that she is in fact the strong one in the family, holding everyone together so her husband can look and feel presentable. However, even when her husband discovers all she has done for the family, he is angry. He refuses to see that what she did, she did out of love and desire to keep her family afloat. Torvald seems to be enraged and disappointed to discover his wife isn’t just a pretty face after all, she has intelligence and perseverance within her as well.
This play speaks of what men thought of women at this time.
Kate Chopin’s Desiree’s Baby is rich with historical content. The realism of the story is evident in the sense that Desiree, as the woman of questionable bloodline, is automatically blamed for what Armand labels ‘a curse.’ This context seems to repeat itself over and over again throughout history and literature. What is most telling, it seems, is that Armand does not seem to care where the bloodline came from, as he destroys his life regardless. And the very fact that he chooses to destroy not only himself, but those around him, is evident that he must have had some knowledge of himself, and hated it.
The most obvious juxtaposition I related to the story is the that of King Henry VIII, and his quest for a male heir. Women were divorced and even killed for not providing him with an heir, yet science tells us now that it is actually the male which determines the sex of the baby. If only Anne Boleyn would have known that!