Comparative Study of Texts and Context
Intertextual Connections | Intertextual Perspectives
Symbolism in Sam Mendes’ American Beauty: A Comparative Study of American Beauty and Death of a Salesman
Some of my students are looking at Sam Mendes’ American Beauty and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman as part a unit on The American Dream. When considering the film’s symbols, it’s tempting, but important not to, ignore the plastic bag in Ricky’s film – when explored together with the rose petals, the symbol offers compelling insight into the relationship between an individual and society. CONTINUE READING >
Comparing text and context with Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway and Stephen Daldry’s The Hours.
Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs Dalloway is one of the earliest showcases of the stream-of-consciousness technique. Woolf uses the technique to represent the interior of the human mind as it moves through a constellation of past, present, and future experience. It is also a novel about the decline of the British Empire, life in the machine age, and mental illness…. CONTINUE READING >
George Orwell’s 1984: the Author’s Politics
From incisive essays to allegorical novels like Animal Farm to Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell lays out his vision for how societies should be run, and what they would turn out like if the status quo was to be maintained. To get a sense of what that vision was like, let’s look at the distinctions between some of the key political movements emerging in the early twentieth century, the main subjects of Orwell’s political criticism. CONTINUE READING >
Niccolò Machiavelli: idealist or opportunist?
In this article, we take a closer look at the influence of context on Machiavelli’s texts The Prince and Discourses on Livy.
While in exile on a farm in rural Italy, Machiavelli wrote his famous treatise on governance. It is better to be feared than loved, he declared, and to be cunning rather than good. Above all, Machiavelli’s The Prince is interested in how a ruler can maintain and expand her power, not in whether the means with which power is held are just. CONTINUE READING>