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CN English-American literature test paper (April, 2009) IV

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IV. Topic Discussion(20 points in all, 10 for each)
Write no less than 150 words on each of the following topics in English in the corresponding space on the answer sheet.

49. Briefly discuss William Shakespeare's artistic achievements in characterization,plot construction and language.

As one of the most remarkable playwrights and poets the worlds has ever known, Shakespeare has effected his influence far beyond the time he lived—the Renaissance period. In this greatest tragedy “ Hamlet”, his skillful handling of plot construction, powerful condemnations of the royal corruption as well as his genius application of soliloquy are all displayed perfectly, which not only makes this play the most popular one on the stage,  but  also  creates  Shakespeare  an  everlasting  fame in the  literary  world, going beyond  the  national boundaries for centuries.

50. Briefly discuss Mark Twain's art of fiction in terms of the setting, the language, and the characters, etc., based on his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

1).Adventures of Huckleberry find proved itself to be the milestone in American literature and thus firmly established Twain’s position in American literature.

2) Adventures of Huckleberry Finn marks the climax of Twain’s literary creativity. The novel is written in a language that is totally different from the rhetorical language used by Emerson, Poe, and Melville. It is simple, direct, lucid, and faithful to the colloquial speech. Speaking in vernacular, a wild and uneducated Huck, running away from civilization for his freedom, is vividly brought to life. Indeed, with his great mastery and effective use of vernacular, Twain has made colloquial speech an accepted, respectable literary medium in the literary history of the country.

3) Mark Twain’s humor is remarkable, too. His humor is not only of witty remarks mocking at small things or of farcical elements making people laugh, but a kind of artistic style used to criticize the social injustice and satirize the decayed romanticism.

4). The profound portrait of Huckleberry Finn is another great contribution of the book to the legacy of American literature.

5). Twain, known as a local colorist, preferred to present social life through portraits of the local characters of his regions, including  people living  in that  area, the  landscape, and  other  peculiarities like  the customs,  dialects, costumes and so on. The Mississippi valley and the West became his major theme. Unlike James and Howells, Mark Twain wrote about the lower-class people. He successfully used local color and historical settings to illustrate and shed light on the contemporary society.  As a true father of American national literature, Twain has impresses the whole world with his milestone work “ Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, which not only gives a record of a vanished life moving millions of people worldwide, but also become a classic for both children and adults owing to its vernacular and remarkable humor.

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