Week 24 & 25–Matthew Arnold, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling and the Midterm Review

Week 24

This is technically our spring break, for observing Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. ❤ I would still use it to study for the midterm.

Week 25 

He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

Matthew 16:2-3

Monday–Matthew Arnold “Dover Beach” and Thomas Hardy “Darkling Thrush” ❤

This week we are going to finish the Victorian Era and get ready to move into the last quarter of the class, which will focus on the Twentieth Century. Things are about to get really crazy. But I want you to remember what Mrs. Kim taught you–the philosophy of people like Kant, Marx, and Hegel actually changed the society and moved it further and further away from Christ. Today I want you to read a powerful poem by a man who saw that change coming, and despaired of it. This poem is perfect. My favorite thing about it is how the use of assonance, alliteration and varied meter creates as the mood of despair–the sound affects the mood. It is so good.

  • Listen–Before you read the next poem I want you to listen to the sound of a thrush singing. You don’t need to listen to the whole thing.

  • Read “Darkling Thrush”
  • Note–Hardy wrote this poem on December 31, 1900. The last day of the year and the century. It was a poem about the end of an age. The Victorian Age came to an end and the Modern Age began.
  • Read Thomas Hardy’s Artistry in Darkling Thrush

Thinking and Writing Questions

  1. In “Dover Beach” which lines of the poem do you react most strongly to, and why?
  2. What is the setting of the first stanza, who is the speaker and whom is he addressing?
  3. What is the mood do the first six lines evoke for you? What images in the second half of the first stanza begin to change the mood for you?
  4. What is the speaker’s view of his world as it is presented in the last stanza? Do you think this view is relevant to today’s world? Explain, why or why not.
  5. In “Darkling Thrush” what details in the first stanza establish the setting for the poem?
  6. Does the speaker’s mood change significantly in the course of the poem? If so, how?
  7. Both Arnold and Hardy wrote their poems many, many years ago–well before the global wars that shattered the world. Do you think the poems are prophetic (not in a biblical sense)? Do you think they had insight about the times they were living in, and where it would lead? Please explain.
  8. Why is this bird a source of inspiration to the poet? What does this thrush show us about how to live life?
  9. Copy down 2 Timothy 3:1-5 and then copy down Matthew 16:2-3
  10. What do you think the future holds for us, in this century? Give reasons for your answer. Your reasons can be your opinion, common sense, the Bible, trends, etc.

Tuesday–Kipling “The Mark of the Beast”

The new  Jungle Book movie is going to come out in theaters April 16. I don’t know if any of you are planning to go see it. It is PG. Maybe it is too “little kid” for you, but it looks pretty good.

So I want to make sure that we spend a little bit of time learning about Kipling. This week you are going to read a story called “The Mark of the Beast.” The title is an allusion of course to the Bible, but the story itself takes place in India and it tells a crazy tale of what can happen when you mess with Hindu “gods.”

Kipling himself was born in India. He spent his early childhood there. That is how he was able to create the world he did in The Jungle Book. When he was old enough for school, he went to live with a couple who were guardians of children, whose parents were in India. These people were quite abusive. His only joy was one month in the summer, when he would go live with his aunt. He never told anyone of the abuse until he was older. He later said, “Often and often afterwards, the beloved Aunt would ask me why I had never told any one how I was being treated. Children tell little more than animals, for what comes to them they accept as eternally established. Also, badly-treated children have a clear notion of what they are likely to get if they betray the secrets of a prison-house before they are clear of it.”

That is so heavy. “badly-treated children have a clear notion of what they are likely to get if they betray the secrets of a prison-house before they are clear of it.” This is so true. It breaks my heart.  I think that the fears he faced as a kid, also impacted his character development in The Jungle Book as well. Who is a kid to trust? “Who loves me? Who will protect me? Who will be there for me? Who will deceive me? Who will hurt me?” These are important, universal questions that we all must answer.

First and foremost we see this spiritually. The Lord loves you. He is your Shepherd/Protector. He laid down His life for you. He came to give you life more abundantly. And the devil is the thief who comes to steal kill and destroy. (John 10)

The following story has nothing to do with any of that, while it does take place in India. And it does show the tensions of British colonialism. Is it just a culture clash? Or is it a clash in the spiritual realm as well?

Read“The Mark of the Beast”

Thinking and Writing–

  1. Is Kipling’s story as scary as other werewolf stories or movies you know? Why or why not?
  2. Describe the stories opening conflict. What tensions arise from cultural misunderstandings?
  3. Who or what is the Silver Man? What details in the story support your interpretation?
  4. What does the story reveal about the British presence in India during this time period?
  5. Critics have called this story “nasty,” “poisonous,” and even “sadistic.” Explain why you agree or disagree with these assessments.

Thursday and Friday

Study for Midterm!!!

Don’t forget your note card and homework from this week.


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