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The American Tragedy, the American Dream

In: English and Literature

Submitted By michellegwen88
Words 935
Pages 4
Meeks 1
Michelle Meeks
Dr. Jon Glover
ENC 1102 (MTWR 12:45)
July 26, 2012

Richard Cory:
The American Tragedy, The American Revolution
Primary Sources
1. Robinson, Edwin Arlington. Richard Cory. 1897. Edwin Robinson wrote a short narrative poem about a man, Richard Cory. Robinson describes Richard Cory as a man who is wealthy, admired, educated, stylish, and modest. At the end of the poem the feeling of admiration changes to shock after it was revealed that Richard Cory "went home and put a bullet through his head." Robinson taught the moral "money doesn't buy happiness" through the magic of envy.
2. Simon, Paul. Richard Cory. 1966. Literature In Paul Simon's adaptation of Richard Cory he reconceived the original poem and added a chorus that emphasized a separate truth. Simon talks about Richard Cory being Meeks 2
"born into society" and painted a picture of Cory being a wealthy playboy with tones like "the orgies on his yacht." Simon wants his readers/listeners to view Richard Cory as a type of lifestyle.
Secondary Sources
3. Morse, David E. Avant-Rock in the Classroom. The English Journal, Vol. 58, No. 2 (Feb., 1969), pp. 196-200+297. Print. This article suggests that using avant-rock in the classroom the students would show more interest in literature. "The whole avant-rock movement clearly challenges the traditional notions of what is literature." Morse believes that by doing this they will bring many students who react sentimentally to ballads will undertake meaning with art of their culture. Morse uses the process of comparison between Edwin Arlington Robinson's poem Richard Cory and Paul Simon's adaptation of that poem. By bringing avant-rock into classrooms it allows the reader to be more open to interpretation, acquires a more immediate emotional response, and brings new life to the original.
3. Ehrlich, Howard J. Social Conflict in America: The 1960's. 1971. The Social Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp.295-307. Print. Ehrlich is discussing the events of the decade of the 1960's and their direct implications for the structure of democracy in America. Ehrlich goes on to talk about the brutality and violence of Newark, New Jersey, burning of Detroit, Michigan, riots in Negro areas, and the extent of poverty. The 1960's "in its societal effects, equality of Meeks 3 access has resulted in the retention of prevailing inequalities"(pg.307). The social conflicts that arose in the 1960's would be a good insight into Paul Simon's adaptation of Richard Cory.
4. Sweet, Charles A. Jr. A Re-Examination of "Richard Cory." 1972. Colby Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 11, p. 579-582. Print. Charles Sweet gives a closer look into the suicide of Richard Cory in Edwin Robinson's poem. Sweet suggests that Cory's suicide was from loneliness, but interprets that the townspeople "pointed the weapon at his temple"(pg. 581). Sweet supports his thesis by revealing that Cory "makes an attempt to communicate with the people" (pg.580), but "through their own mental prejudice and unfounded exaggerations" (pg.581) they denied him the necessity of human communication.
5. Howe, Daniel Walker. American Victorianism As A Culture. 1975. American Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 5, pp.507-532. Print. "The period marked a crucial transformation of the United States; it was a time of industrialization, knowledge explosion, immigration and vast population growth, urbanization, geographical expansion, changing race relationships, and the greatest armed conflict on American soil" (pg. 507). During the beginning of the Victorian culture Americans sustained a proper national identity. American Victorianism teeter-tottered between society and culture. "In the nineteenth century, Victorian culture was shaped at least as much by liberal Protestants, who had moved beyond their strict Reformation heritage, as by orthodox evangelicals" (pg. 513). The cultural history is related to the Meeks 4 social history of a cosmopolitan outlook, was immeasurably enriched, and appealed to the values of modernization.
6. Coben, Stanley. The Assault on Victorianism in the Twentieth Century. 1975. American Quarterly, Vol. 27, No.5, pp.604-625. Print. Coben discusses the Victorian values in American life and the most important aspects of the changes in the Victorian values, such as loss in confidence in the civilization's conceptual bases. "Twice in the twentieth century, culminating in the 1920's and 1960's, discontent with the prevailing culture became so intense and widespread that strong, organized movements and dense networks of rebellious individuals developed with the intention of instituting drastic change. "Victorian culture virtually disappeared as a respectable idea" (pg. 614). Paul Goodman attempted to explain the consequences of the intellectual's deficiencies: "There is no persuasive program for social reconstruction, thought up by man minds, corrected by endless criticism, made practical by much political activity....The young are honorable and see the problems, but they don't know anything because we have not taught them anything" (pg. 625).
7. Woolf, Leonard. Literature in a Technological Age: Maintaining the Wonder. 1971. The English Journal. Vol. 60, No. 9, pp. 1217-1220+1224. Print. Woolf talks about enhancing the students wonder about literature; the motives of the writer, how it might feel to be a certain character. The use of language by a fellow human being in a personal and social situation. Language development as means is to provide students with a wide range of language experiences to different kinds of language Meeks 5 behavior. Woolf uses Paul Simon's adaptation as an example: "I wonder, for example, why an entertainer of today, Paul Simon, wrote the poem "Richard Cory" in 1965"(pg.1220). Woolf further explains that they are attempting to put the reading of literary selections into the total context of literature.…...

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