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Lecture 14

Lecture 14 - 131028.doc

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Department
English
Course
ENG323H1
Professor
Deidre Lynch
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 14 – 131028 Topics of second interpretive essay is up on Blackboard A Simple Story - What does Miss Milner do that displeases Dorriforth? o - She goes to a masquerade – what she wears to the masquerade is very revealing o Allan Ramsay, Katherine Hall in the character of Diana – goddess of chastity – what she dressed up as o She’s wearing boots which looks masculine o Vol. 2, ch. 8: explains her showy clothes o Vol. ch. 9: she dressed up as a man - Inchbald wants us to think about how love as demanding a kind of acting and wants us to see the authenticity of feeling - Since 1720s, masquerade was part of public entertainment – like places Evelina tours o Open to public and for anyone who has the money for it o 2 famous masquerade entrepreneurs – having public balls for those with money to come with masks - 1724 Reform of Coquette – alternative for the masquerade balls o Read about coquettes and don’t be one o The novel in some ways offers the upheaval of identity that a masquerade also offers  However, done in a safe setting – the private setting - The masquerade sells itself as something to be utterly unknown and to liberate oneself o Offers liberation in concealing your identity o Celebrated and criticized – concealing identity you can get away with anything - A respectable woman, if masked, is able to start a conversation with an unknown man (which is uncalled for usually for women during that period of time) o Teasing sort of conversation o Which is why Dorriforth is so uptight about this o Anonymity opened up o People don’t see through one another’s costumes (could be for its settings – dimmer lights, etc.) - “Masquerade projected an anti-nature; a world upside down…” (quotation from Castle) o The coquette finds the masquerade as her natural habitat - Print from Oxford magazine (1771) from Mrs. Cornely’s Masquerade: o Nun and friar costumes  England was a protestant country, and catholics were othered in 18 century English culture • People dressing up as people being marginalized • Dressing up who have taken up vows of celibacy o People dress up as non-human things – deny humanity (strip yourself of humanity) o Dressing up in ways that transgress class o Coffin  Transgressing identity - Second picture: o Chaos of the masquerade - Novel has long history involvement with the masquerade o 18 century novel presents itself as an anti-masquerade th  Paradox as a form in 18 century – tries to be a vehicle of moral instruction  Women writers in this time had to aim for this didactic form  If everyone acted as they should, they wouldn’t be a novel – paradox of the novel form - The masquerade is why the character takes that step from the home - Masquerade separates the character who ought to be together (ward and her guardian, husband and wife) o Crucial to 18 century fiction - Richardson’s sequel to Pamela – bad things happen in masquerades th - Paradox of the didactic position the writers take in 18 century novels o Inchbald counts on her readers to separate the masquerade to the private - Final two volumes of novel: still living at aftermath of Miss Milner’s presence in masquerade - The masquerade does involve acting – people not in the profession start to act o A way in which the novel incorporates some of the weird role reversals (apparent in acting – cross dressing, as seen in Shakespearean acts) without sacrificing its realism, since masquerades were part of the public entertainment - Masquerade and drama relationship is important - Masquerade shakes up our sense of identity which is so transgressive o Does your choice of masquerade costume show something about your true self or of what you wish to be? o What do we learn about selfhood in the masquerade?  “To put on a mask is to unmask the mind” (poem) • Things that are usually in the private come to the surface - Image 3 – “Wantonness Mask’d”: man unmasks and makes his desires known but the lady he hopes to court keeps him guessing - Image 4 – Henry Morland, A Lady in a Masquerade Habit, 1769: she portrays a hot nun o A veil that’s not really a nun as it doesn’t cover everything - Image 5 – Richard Newton, Progress of a woman of pleasure, circa 1787: woman of pleasure is euphemism for prostitute - Inchbald writes 70 years after A Simple Story: “Who does not scorn that romantic passion, which is inflamed to the highest ardour, by a few hours conversation with a woman whose face is concealed? And yet, who does not here sympathize with the lover and feel a strong agitation, when Letitia, going to take off her mask, exclaims in a tremulous voice—‘This is the most awful moment of my life.’” o Message of the novel as a form is a different message of love (not as irrational, chemistry, etc.)  A lot of emphasis in the novel that love is something that takes time – in novel’s interest  Not like plays and masquerades that start and end in one sitting o Inchbald reminds us in the quotation that is full of mixed feelings – there is love that comes from a few hours of acquaintance (commit yourself to another wholly even if they’re wearing a mask) – she wants this kind of love, even with its many mixed feelings o A Simple Story is so French compared to novels studied in English department  Message that love is something more magical and irrational  It seems as if these characters are absolutely fixed and impossible to navigate until pg. 195 (turns on dime) - Because of the ways in which these sudden changes in characters and emotional mood are tied up with the novel as a whole is of crossing of boundaries and breaking of vows o Once vows are broken, the whole world needs to re-evaluate itself - Second half of the book is totally different yet a repetition o Lord Elmwood is the figure with the mask in the second half of the novel o Things are sacred or things are profane – organization of the novel - What does it mean that Miss Milner attends the masquerade as the goddess of chastity (Diana)? o She tries to prolong the chastity – coquette is figure who can’t commit herself sexually (sexually committing is to lose some of the invulnerability) o “A coquet is a chaste jilt, and differs only from a common one, as a soldier who is perfect in exercise, does from one that is actually in service.” (Richard Steele, The Tatler, no. 109, Dec. 15, 1709)  Oxymoron: “ch
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