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The Spiritual Wilderness and the Realistic Return-the Comparison Between The Return of the Native and The Waste Land

Author JinZuoZhu
Tutor LiDeYi
School Northeast Agricultural University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Thomas Hardy T.S.Eliot archetypal criticism The Return of the Native The Waste
CLC
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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The literature is communicated with each other and using for references. Only there have the comparisons, people can distinguish them. Through the comparisons with the different literary works, we may inherit and spread the literature better and also be simultaneously more advantageous to study the literary works and to understand the literary works deeply. Northrop Frye considers that the narration of literature is a kind of repeated processing behavior to symbolize the communication, that is to say, is a ceremony.There are many kinds of archetypes of the two works in this paper, not only has the similar archetypes such as the demonic world and the image of the water and fire, but also has the different rituals and archetypes. The archetype accumulates the wisdom and the psychological energy of many generations. Longitudinally it makes the modern people to inherit our ancestors and latitudinally it connects one race and other races. The archetype is the mystery of the literary art and also is the worth of theory of archetypal criticism. With the help of the theory of archetypes, my thesis aims at analyzing Hardy’s The Return of the Native and Eliot’s The Waste Land.This paper chose the works of Hardy and Eliot although they were not in the exact period their works had the same images, such as the human anxiety and pessimism, the complex feeling and emotion in people’s heart, the archetypes of the Greek mystery and so on. The first chapter was the introduction of the two writers, two works and the theory of the archetypal criticism which contained Northrop Frye’s life introduction and his famous work The Anatomy of Criticism. In the second chapter, it was a brief report of the research on the two works. The third chapter considered that the two works both had the images of the spiritual wilderness and compared the contradictory and harmonious relations of the two works from the dualistic images. The conflicts were analyzed at first, the wilderness images in Frye’s view were the demonic world and although in the two works there were full of different deaths they have the meaning of regeneration as a same point. Then the paper researched on the images of the water and fire of the two works that provided a new perspective to research on Hardy and Eliot’s creation. In The Anatomy of Criticism, Frye considered the water was the way to purify man’s soul and Eustacia’s soul was purified in the storm and the wilder were expected for the falling rain; and also his point to the fire that it divided into the hell fire or the purgatory fire. In the next part the paper talked about the harmonies of the two works which contained the analysis of the archetypes of the animal world and made a research on the influences of Christianity on the two writers: Hardy’s attitude towards Christianity was transited from the early faithful belief to suspicious loss to the late ironic criticism; the attitude of Eliot to Christianity was from exploring to believing and eventually he thought only Christianity could rescue the society. In the fourth part, this paper considered that the two writers both wanted to find the realistic return. It compared the similarities of the two writers and works and then analyzed the myth archetypes of the main characters who were the vagrants eager to find a place to rest their souls such as Eustacia- the style of the Goddess, Clym- the Oedipus hero, Venn-a mysterious knight, the fisher king-the God of fertility, the immortal Sibyl, the poor Philomel and the long living Tiresias.The archetypal criticism reached its climax in the 60s of the 20th century and it had significant influences to the literature research. Since the 70s of the 20th century, with the emergence of the structuralism criticism it gradually lost its influence. In recent years, the literary criticism at home and abroad tried to reread, explain and restructure the archetypal criticism from other angles, researched on the relationship between the culture study and other contemporary criticism theory especially its integral tendency of culture criticism and illuminative influences to the current culture criticism and some other issues. Even today, this criticism still had its own power and it could give people some new inspirations and thoughts. Through this research, the readers should pay more attention to the theory of archetypes and can use Frye’s theory in the other literary works and have a further understanding of The Return of the Native and The Waste Land.

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