Satire and The Importance of Being Earnest

Hi All!

I gave a presentation on how we can examine Earnest as political satire.  I argued that due to the social structure of the Victorian era, which did not allow for freedom to be anything other than is expected (no duality), the sexual repression, and the push towards high society and its manners and mannerisms led to the creation of this play.  It’s a fairly obvious argument, but you can tie the satire in with A Modest Proposal, Fun Home, Elliot’s Invisible Man.  The definition of satire and Earnest can also be linked to the idea of Du Bois’ idea of double counsciousness, and the rrepression of this dualism (He is both Earnest and Jack.  He must act as if he is high-born, when he believes himself to be an orphan.  If you want to read into the sexual connotations of this play, you can argue that both Jack and Earnest are repressing their sexual desires in order to marry Cacily and Gwendolyn, and fit in with social norms.  They had to be one thing, and that thing had to be what society dictated.)  All of my links are in the slides, or as presenter’s comments in the slides.  I used a source for definition of satire named Robert C. Elliott.  Here’s a link to his main article:  Here’s the link to the presentation:

Be well, and good luck!

Brennan’s Transmission of Affect Presentation: Links to other texts

Hi Guys!

I recently did a joint theory presentation with Brandon and Ikram.  Brandon highlighted the chapters of Parker on new historicism and psychoanalytic theories and their connections to Brennan’s theory about Affect.  Ikram gave a comprehensive presentation on the theory itself, and I tried to tie the theory in with as many sources as humanly possible.  I am attaching the information that I used in y presentation.  If you can use any of the links that I established, or can think of any others that might be useful to you, that’s wonderful!  Good luck, and see you all soon!

P.S. : Any page numbers I reference in the following list are from Brennan’s chapter.

  1. The Yellow Wallpaper: Page 1: The Transmission of Affect…is social or psychological in origin.  But the transmission is also responsible for bodily changes…alters the biochemistry and neurology of the subject.  It can be argued that the madness was due to both the room and the character.  Her interaction with the room change her is some way.  This same idea can be connected to Spot on the Wall by Virginia Woolf.  The women were changed in some way by the environment.
  2. Oscar Wao: Page 2: Notions of the transmission of affect are suspect as non-white and colonial cultures are usually suspect: Oscar is not emotionally contained.  He gets depressed.  We see his emotions overflow onto Yunior and others.  We see that Oscar’s decisions are reflected and mirrored in the actions and decisions of others.  The multigenerational story allows for us to view his interactions with others (even genetic and cyclical interactions that are indirect)
  3. Fun Home: PAge 2; This complicates the idea that Affect is transmitted, as the setting is often at odds with the affect.  Emotions are different, but her core reaction to being in close proximity to a funeral home and mourners was not mournful.
  4. Bhabha- places have an affect on us.  This ties in well with the theory presented by Teresa Brennan, as the surroundings influence people.  One has to do with place, and the other with people, but they are able to be connected very easily.
  5. Invisible Man: Page 1 and 8: Ellison’s narrator is a great orator.  Crowds are moved to action in several places in the novel.  Mob mentality can be connected to the theory of Affect.  We are unconscious of the vibes of others, but they influence our thinking and basic physiology.
  6. Page 8: The God of Small Things: The twins: Rahel and Estha were sometimes eerily of “one mind,”  where they understood intrinsically the thoughts of the other.  Also possibly due to shared environmental factors- which Roy talks about- as once the twins are separated, the strange connection ceases until they meet again in India.
  7. Page 7: Even if I am picking up on your affect,…the thoughts I attach…remain my own.  This is similar to Reader-response theory.  We attach meaning to texts and situations, not the other way around.
  8. Pages 1 and 8: The social nature of the group mentality of the Saxons and Britons and the group amnesia can be connected to the idea that people remember and forget together.  Memory and kinship  are Affects or something close, not emotions, I think.
  9. Shakespeare: Midsummer: Love potion changed how people and fairies perceived situations and one another, changing the natural transmission of Affect, hence the unnaturalness of it all.