Padlet – RestoraTwitter

As a tweeter, I did the Twitter narrative project. I worked on gathering tweets throughout the hashtag from myself and peers.

I went through the hashtag for our class, #en2490, and grouped it on the narrative as by work, which is each color coded, and then webbed together through primary themes and quotations and analyses that our class discussed throughout the class periods. At the very bottom and all the way left of the narrative, I have a few sections that are color coded in white, which symbolizes the common themes that we discussed, and are then linked to the works that are in different colors.

For more gathering on my thought processes, just follow the lined web of each section and color coded area of the picture narrative.

It begins all the way to the left, just as any other reading, with a positive and uplifting gif from the professor, showing her excitement for this class. Looking down from the top left of the Padlet, it then moves into the themes of the Restoration Period. Looking on the same plane as before but to the right, it’ll begin with the prominent readings of the time period and the color coding, and is grouped through the timeline of what came out first, ending with what came out last.

Below is a photo of my Padlet, but it’s also possible to follow the link, to see the full work. Following the link will also allow clicking on each section to show the full tweet.

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Humanism in Restoration Comedy

Refresher on Comedy of Manners and the link within The Country Wife

Image result for the country wife

 

In the story The Country Wife, we see plenty of examples within the text and the personalities of the characters we meet that are resembling a direct focus on the ideas of Humanism, a major theory of thought at the time this play is set. Humanism, in simple terms, is the philosophical idea of human behavior being a result of emphasizing human needs rather than the work of a divine or supernatural force. We see a lot of things within this play, but where exactly do we see this link between humanism and the characters that make the story? Where do these characters prove that their actions are to benefit themselves rather than to please God? A simple answer to that is; everywhere.

In the beginning of the play, the first characters we meet are Horner and The Quack, who are discussing the genius of Horner’s new plan. He has faked a surgery that went wrong, leaving him impotent, simply because he wants to sleep with the wives of the surrounding characters. With him being considered impotent in the eyes of the men, they will not see him as a threat, but more as a helper. Someone who can do the things with the women they do not want to do. In the very beginning, Horner is talking to Sir Jasper immediately after his conversation with The Quack.

 

“Sir Jaspar: Won’t you be acquainted with her Sir? (Aside.) So the report is true, I find by his aversion to the Sex; but I’ll play the wag with him. (Aloud) Pray salute my Wife, Sir.

Horner: I will kiss no Man.s Wife for him, Sir. I have taken my eternal leave of the Sex already, Sir.”

(The Country Wife Act 1, Scene 1)

 

What we are seeing here is the first example of a situation being created to benefit Horner and his desires, while disregarding his reputation in the eyes of God. In the story of Adam and Eve, death is called upon when the two decide to lie to God and follow the words of the serpent. Because of this, lying becomes a sin and is therefore displeasing in the eyes of the Lord. With this time in history being influenced by social standings and economical class, it was normal for people to present themselves in ways that pleased the others around them. Reputation relied, and still does rely,  heavily on behavior. Religion was still a major social belief and society was framed around the belief of higher powers, in most cases in history. What Horner was doing when he created this lie for the benefit of his own sexual desires was fall into his first example of Sin. His lies straight from the beginning of the play show us that this story isn’t going to follow a traditional frame of society, but an exaggerated one that  proves that personal desires overcome God’s desires and how a higher power would want you to behave.

It’s not just the men, however, that follow this frame of humanistic desire. We see plenty of examples within the women of this play that also show us that society as a whole, both male and female, have these same desires and will act upon them if they are safe from the judgements of society rather than the judgements of divine beings. In Act 4, Scene 3, otherwise known as the ‘China Scene’, we get a very in depth glance at yet another Sin being committed here by Horner and Lady Fidget, this time in the category of Lust and even Greed.

 

“Horner: If you talk a word more of your Honor, you’ll make me incapable to wrong it.

 

Lady Fidget: But you can’t blame a Lady of my reputation to be chary.

 

Horner: Chary—I have been chary of it already, by the report I have caused of myself.

 

Lady Fidget: Ay, but if you should ever let other women know that dear secret, it would come out. Nay, you must have a great care of your conduct, for my acquaintance are so censorious and detracting that perhaps they’ll talk to the prejudice of my Honor.

 

Horner: Nay Madam, rather than they shall prejudice your Honor, I’ll prejudice theirs. And to serve you, I’ll lie with them all, make the secret their own, and then they’ll keep it.

 

Lady Fidget: A secret is better kept, I hope, by a single person than a multitude, therefore pray do not trust anybody else with it, dear, dear Mr. Horner. (Embracing him.) (The Country Wife, Act 4 Scene 3)

 

Here, we are seeing the beginning of what becomes the scene that had this play banned from the stage for hundreds of years. When Lady Fidget states she is chary, she is talking about her worry of her reputation being ruined for her desire to sleep with Horner. They continue going on, talking about the fact that if too many people learn of Horner’s lie, then word will get out to the husbands. Lady Fidget continues to express the fact that she believes it is a secret best kept between them rather than having Horner sleep with all of the women in an attempt to make this secret something they all must hold because of their unfaithful behaviors. After this, Sir Jasper walks in, Lady Fidget lies, and then in the room over Horner and Lady Fidget have sex as they explain they are “searching for China.” Though it is more exciting seeing the text of the actual scene itself, that is not the point here. The point is that Lady Fidget as well as Horner go to great lengths to defend this secret and still engage in the desires they hope to fulfill. Horner has succumbed to Greed as he sleeps with people’s wives for his own benefit. They both lie compulsively to keep the secret going. And they prove that the only thing holding them back, especially in Lady Fidget’s position, is the possibility of their reputations in society being jeopardized. Not once do they reference their reputations in the eyes of a divine power, because deep down they are absent minded to the idea that these actions could affect the way they view religion and their beliefs.

So with that being said, it’s interesting to see the ideas these characters have. In a time of Protestant and Catholic uprising, they only define their roles in the world based on their reputation from other everyday people. This entire story, though a Comedy of Manners, is still viewed directly from a Humanistic approach and puts into perspective the failed ability to place personal desire beneath their outwards seeming beliefs they preach to society.

 

Sources:

  • The Country Wife. William Wycherley. 1675. Play.
  • Wycherley, The Country Wife Introduction. The Virginia Anthology. Article.

 

Restoration Quick Finds

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Image from History Extra

 

This is some information about portrait paintings from The Met Museum. It’s loaded with links to paintings.

British Library has a few pages about food culture by the century, and it even briefly talks about power structures and how they influence food culture!

History Extra has a longish article about fashion in 17th century London, but it’s worth the read! The clothing is about as lacy and poofy as you’re imagining.

There’s lots of info on the web about culture throughout history.

 

 

Ink In England Revision

Ink In Englimg_9001and by Jessica Bowman. My resubmission for the Restoration Period project. Here is the app that I designed and included in this post you can see a picture of what the mobile app icon will look like. This app is a world builder genre and works off the idea of creating a successful publishing house business from the ground up. Multiplayer functions available! More details are in the Prezi whose hyperlink you can find in the name of the app above.

 

Featured image from google images by printinghistory.org

An Immodest Proposal

Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal is presented in a way that is insanely inhumane, but also in a rather formal, convincing manner. To modern day readers, this proposition would first strike as blasphemy, but given that this was created in the Restoration period, this was not meant to portray an idea of realism but rather a suggestive hope for improvement, given the brilliant satire in the piece. “The greater share of the seventeenth century satires are in prose and follow the broader definition of a satire as ‘biting wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose vice or folly (uknowledge.uky.edu).’” Satire was used in the Restoration period for the purpose of improving humanity by acknowledging problems in society and attempting to reform them by using a comical and witty manner. Through the use of satire, Jonathan swift was able to expose and critique social injustices by proposing his satirical plan in an effort to express the problem that was Catholic oppression in Ireland in the 1700’s.

We are introduced to Swift’s satire right away in the text. He says, “… having turned my thoughts for many years, upon this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes of our projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in their computation… I propose to provide for them (babies) in such a manner, as, instead of being a charge upon their parents, or the parish, or wanting food and raiment for the rest of their lives, they shall, on the contrary, contribute to the feeding, and partly to the cloathing of many thousands (Swift 141).” Here, we see Swift’s satirical plan, which is using the babies of the poor Irish for food and clothing, with which their parents will be rewarded a certain amount of money for. The satire in this passage is his use of the phrase “…and maturely weighed the several schemes of our projectors…” Although Swift may have weighed options for schemes to dissolve Ireland’s oppression and deprivation (Swift was raised fatherless and in poverty, a native of Ireland, a Protestant), his proposal turns out to be quite the opposite of “mature.” Swift, by saying that babies would “contribute to the feeding and partly to the clothing for many thousands,” is depicting this desire to solve Ireland’s oppressive problem in an immature and comical way, which is the element of satire. Here is a student-made video portraying the satire by Jonathan Swift, but in a more modernized light:

 

In this screenshot, you can see how this student depicted Swift’s attempt to display the poor people and see through their lens. I like how this video included a begging scene, because this proposal was not just satirically humorous with the act of eating babies, but had underlying notions that get uncovered as well.

The satire that Jonathan Swift uses is purposeful in the act to shed light upon these societal issues of a nation not coping and the poor being burdened. Swift says,

“Some persons of a desponding spirit are in great concern about that vast number of poor people who are aged, diseased, or maimed; and I have been desired to employ my thoughts on what course may be taken, to ease the nation of so grievous an incumbrance … they are every day dying, and rotting, by cold and famine, and filth, and vermin, as fast as can be reasonably expected… it would greatly lessen the number of Papists (Roman Catholics), with whom we are yearly over-run… (Swift 143-144).”

In this one passage, Swift first explains that the upper class Protestants were not confident enough to eat the poor Catholic babies because they were concerned with them carrying diseases. Then, he goes on to say that, yes, they are indeed “dying, rotting, by cold and famine, and filth, and vermin…” Here, Swift completely downplays the idea of the poor being sickly and struggling for survival by saying that the rich weren’t very excited to eat their babies because they might be carrying diseases and could in turn make them sick by consuming them. Even though he is speaking neglectfully and nonsensically, this satirical moment does shed light on the fact that there are poor people who are dying and aren’t getting any acknowledgement.

 

Swift, in A Modest Proposal also likes to shed the light onto the English landlords, with whom he blames for much of the Catholic’s struggle. He writes, “I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children (Swift 142).”

Swift is placing some blame on the landlords for putting the Catholics out on the street, a.k.a. “devouring” them because they would most likely starve and end up sick. On this subject, I found this quote online:

“He believed England was exploiting and oppressing Ireland. Many Irishmen worked farms owned by Englishmen who charged high rents—so high that the Irish were frequently unable to pay them. Consequently, many Irish farming families continually lived on the edge of starvation…Swift satirizes the English landlords with outrageous humor, proposing that Irish infants be sold as food at age one, when they are plump and healthy, to give the Irish a new source of income and the English a new food product to bolster their economy and eliminate a social problem (cummingsstudyguides.net).”

So, one of the major initiators to this starving and begging problem that we see with the Catholics can be titled to the landlords. Swift satirically notions that, because it was these landlords who “devoured” the parents, they should be entitled to “devour” their one year-old babies. This can obviously be seen as a comical statement and a reckless suggestion.

One thing that Jonathan Swift does well is proposing actually reasonable solutions to Ireland’s problems, but then brushing them off as a waste of time. “Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of taxing our absentess at five shillings a pound: Of using neither cloaths, nor household furniture, except what is of our own growth and manufacture: Of utterly rejecting the materials and instruments that promote foreign luxury: … Of teaching landlords to have at least one degree of mercy towards their tenants (Swift 145).” Here, we find out that Swift actually did take the time to think of schemes that would benefit everyday life in Ireland. But, he won’t listen to these “expedients,” as he says. Here, he is calling reasonable solutions blasphemous and sticking to his theory for selling and consuming one year-old babies. Can you see the satire?

A Modest Proposal is satirically brilliant. It is both convincing and absolutely barbaric at the same time. Swift does a good job to give reasons why this plan would work and then makes fun of the whole idea. The Restoration period laid the grounds for satirical writing and Swift took the idea and ran with it in this piece. He was able to speak of a topic that was surrounded by much controversy and feud during the era of the early-to-mid 1700’s and also be able to infuse satire into it. By satirically publishing this “modest” proposal, Swift exposed social injustices to the public, calling attention to abuses inflicted on Irish Catholics by well-to-do English Protestants.

 

 

Work Cited

 

Cummings. “A Modest Proposal: A Study Guide.” A Modest Proposal: A Study Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

Seago, Kate. “Restoration Satire.” Uknowledge.uky.edu. N.p., n.d. Web.

Swift, Jonathan. A Modest ProposalCurrents in British Literature II Course Packet. Comp. Ann McClellan. Plymouth, NH: 2014. Pg. 141-147.

 

 

Ink In England: Jessica Bowman

Ink In England by Jessica Bowman. My submission for the Restoration Period project. Here is the app that I designed and included in this post you can see a picture of what the mobile app icon will look like. This app is a world builder genre and works off the idea of creating a successful publishing house business from the ground up. Multiplayer functions available! More details are in the Prezi whose hyperlink you can find in the name of the app above.