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CN English-American literature test paper (April, 2010) III

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III. Questions and Answers (24 points in all, 6 for each)
Give  a  brief  answer  to  each  of  the  following  questions  in  English.  Write  your  answers  in  the
corresponding space on the answer sheet.

45. Working through the tradition of a Christian humanism, Milton wrote Paradise Lost, intending to
expose the ways of Satan and to “justify the ways of God to men. ” What is Milton’ s fundamental
concern in Paradise Lost?

At the center of the conflict between human love and spiritual duty lies Milton's fundamental concern
with freedom and choice.The theme is the "Fall of Man," i.e. man's disobedience and the loss of
Paradise.In the fall of man Adam discovered his full humanity. The freedom of the will is the keystone of Milton's creed.  

46. Briefly introduce Blake’ s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience.

The Songs of Innocence is a lovely volume of poems, presenting a happy and innocent world,
though not without its evils and sufferings. His Songs of Experience paints a different world, a
world of misery, poverty, disease, war and repression with a melancholy tone. Childhood is central to
Blake's concern in the Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience.

47. What are the factors that gave rise to American naturalism?

The impact of Darwin's evolutionary theory on the American thought and the influence of the 19th
century French literature on the American men of letters gave rise to yet another school of realism:
American  naturalism.  Darwin,  in  his  The  Origin  of  Species  (1859)  and  Descent  of  Man  (1871), hypothesized that over the millennia man had evolved from lower forms of life. The American naturalists accepted the more negative implications of this theory and used it to account for the behavior of those characters in literary works who were conceived as more or less complex combinations of inherited attributes, their habits conditioned by social and economic forces.

In a word, naturalism is evolved from realism when the author's tone in writing becomes less serious
and less sympathetic but more ironic and more pessimistic. It is no more than a different philosophical
approach to reality, or to human existence.

48. Briefly state Mark Twain’ s magic power with language in his novels.

A.Setting: In the novel Mark Twain recreates a small-town world of America and presents the local color.

B.Language: He uses simple, direct language faithful to the colloquial speech, the vernacular language
of the local people.

C.Character: The author recreates two rebels and fugitives running away from civilization, especially
Huckleberry Finn, an innocent boy who refuses to accept the conventional village morality.

D.Theme:  The  novel  is  a  criticism  of  social  injustice,  hypocrisy,  conservativeness  and  narrow-
mindedness of the American small town society.

E.Style: The novel employs a humorous style of narration and is also highly symbolic with the central
symbol



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