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ENG365 Lecture 4

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University of Toronto St. George

 Swede as Kennedy  Role model for America, end of American Dream, hardworking, beautiful woman  Married couple seem happy but problems (Kennedy miscarriage vs Levov…)  Zuckerman paints Swede as larger than life like Kennedy was after death  Swede’s father mentioning how Mrs Kennedy brought and ended glove fashion for women -> Swede’s company  Symbol of American golden age before downfall…  Free and direct discourse (objective narrator takes on tone of character)  Multiplicity of narrative voices/tones to distance self from work  Perceived objectivity  How America thinks of itself vs what happens  Rhetorical questions (responsibility…), long paragraphs of conversation, textual history elements (letters, newspapers), levels of narrative  Swede’s self-assured external voice vs Merry’s stuttering… generational and ideological differences  Imagined by Zuckerman… instability of mythical structure, fall and return  Stories connecting across generations and others, unite  Pastoral: romantic, exaggerated rep of bucolic lives of shepherds and herdsmen  Childhood, innocence, simplicity, peace  Implied opposition to complexities of city life  Sometimes connected to Garden of Eden  “Myth functioning as memory…” (Williams)  paradise gains meaning from the fall or don’t recognize it  rather than celebrating real shepherd life (brutal in reality), contrasting peace of country life with disturbance of war and political chaos in cities – Williams  pg 190 Swede’s house  160 years old at point in novel… looks like it’s been there since beginning of country  primitiveness, rocks, infantile citizenship, “natural “ connection to nation  house built at same date of Constitution being negotiated, nation really beginning  symbol of basic inherent connection to America as nation, America made America through natural expression out of landscape rather than out of decision and judgements  Great Gatsby – Gatsby’s house, human dream, enchanted… fresh, green breast of new world…  Dawn’s cattle… to Swede cattle is memory of family when they were not fractured… prized bull… before gap between Dawn and Merry  Swede’s adoption of Johnny Appleseed persona (pg 316)  Identifying closely with Appleseed… use American folklore figure to understand own life  Walking in Old Rimrock village always imagine, pleasure of striding… irony of Hamlin’s General Store, imagining self as pastoral figure in pastoral landscape, Hamlin as another Americana symbol from old age, embody Johnny (not Jewish, not Irish-Catholic… just happy American, go hand in hand)  Will to protect pastoral innocence, stripped of markers of difference like Johnny, embody realization of ideals… melting pot (integration of immigrant communities into nation) and American Dream (prosperity and success)  To become symbol, Swede seems to have given up something of himself… sacrificial nature of becoming one with Americ
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