Nature in Modern Literature

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Nature in Modern Literature
Nature in Modern Literature
Desirèe Mosca VA
Aims of the path
 Examine in depth Modern literature
 Find connections between texts
 Train in view of the final examination
Reasons for the path
 Nature as a recurring theme in literture
 Interest in symbolism of flowers
My path…
Natural references in J.Joyce’s Ulysses
Natural references in V.Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway
Natural references in G.D’Annunzio’s La pioggia nel pineto
Natural references in O.Wildes’s The Picture of Dorian Gray
Extracts from Molly’s interior monologue
… of course a nice plant for the middle of the table Id get that cheaper in wait
wheres this I saw them not long ago I love flowers Id love to have the whole place
swimming in roses God of heaven theres nothing like nature the wild mountains
then the sea and the waves rushing then the beautiful country with the fields of
oats and wheat and all kinds of things and all the fine cattle going about that would
do your heart good to see rivers and lakes and flowers all sorts of shapes and
smells and colours springing up even out of the ditches primroses and violets
nature it is…
What? purpose to adorn the house  appreciation of Nature
How? flux of thoughts: inside  outside small  big
abolition of spatial distance
expression of opinion and feelings
language of sense impression (sight, hearing)
repetition (I love, flowers)
adjectives (nice, fine, wild, beautiful)
Why? involvement
…they might as well try to stop the sun from rising tomorrow the sun shines for
you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head…
…he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a womans
body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you
today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a
woman is …
What? memories: quotation  situation
reflections and judgements
pair Love/Nature Woman/Flower
How? repetition of key words (sun, flowers, woman)
repetition of formulas (yes, that was)
Why? multiple roles of Nature: source for collective imagination
setting of sweet memories
…and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson
sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda
gardens yes and all the queer little streets and the pink and blue and yellow
houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses
and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put
the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and
how he kissed me under the Moorish wall …
What? memories: landscape and atmosphere
pair: Nature/Human being (Gibraltar, girl; Molly, flower)
How? focus on colors (red  passion)
adjectives (awful, glorious)
geographical, botanical and anthropological references
 passion for detail
personification (Gibraltar as a girl)
Why? realism
floral symbolism: rose, jessamine  love
geranium  aristocracy
 multiple interpretations
Extracts from Mrs.Dalloway
There were flowers: delphiniums, sweet peas, bunches of lilac; and carnations,
masses of carnations. There were roses; there were irises. Ah yes — so she
breathed in the earthy garden sweet smell as she stood talking to Miss Pym who
owed her help, and thought her kind, for kind she had been years ago; very kind, but
she looked older, this year, turning her head from side to side among the irises and
roses and nodding tufts of lilac with her eyes half closed, snuffing in, after the
street uproar, the delicious scent, the exquisite coolness.
What? Mrs. Dalloway’s behavior at the florist
How? botanical refereces
appeal to senses (sight, smell)
adjectives (awful, glorious)
Why? realism
characterisation  information about the protagonist
And then, opening her eyes, how fresh like frilled linen clean from a laundry
laid in wicker trays the roses looked; and dark and prim the red carnations,
holding their heads up; and all the sweet peas spreading in their bowls, tinged
violet, snow white, pale — as if it were the evening and girls in muslin frocks
came out to pick sweet peas and roses after the superb summer’s day, with its
almost blue-black sky, its delphiniums, its carnations, its arum lilies was over; and
it was the moment between six and seven when every flower — roses, carnations,
irises, lilac — glows; white, violet, red, deep orange; every flower seems to burn
by itself, softly, purely in the misty beds; and how she loved the grey-white
moths spinning in and out, over the cherry pie, over the evening primroses!
How? simile
focus on colors
personification of flowers
Why? evocative power of nature
Extracts from La pioggia nel pineto
Ascolta. Piove
dalle nuvole sparse.
Piove su le tamerici
salmastre ed arse,
piove su i pini
scagliosi ed irti,
piove su i mirti
su le ginestre fulgenti
di fiori accolti,
su i ginepri folti
di coccole aulenti,
piove su i nostri volti
piove su le nostre mani
su i nostri vestimenti
su i freschi pensieri
che l'anima schiude
What? evocation of a superhuman experience
How? botanical refereces
appeal to senses (sight, hearing)
Why? metamorphosis
variety of nature
greatness of the experience
E il pino
ha un suono, e il mirto
altro suono, e il ginepro
altro ancóra, stromenti
sotto innumerevoli dita.
E immersi
noi siam nello spirto
d'arborea vita viventi;
e il tuo volto ebro
è molle di pioggia
come una foglia,
e le tue chiome
auliscono come
le chiare ginestre,
o creatura terrestre
che hai nome
How? botanical refereces
appeal to senses (sight, hearing)
Why? metamorphosis
power of nature
properties of plants
bound Nature/Human being
Extract from The Picture of Dorian Gray
The studio was filled with the rich odor of roses, and when the light summer
wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden there came through the open door the
heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering
thorn. From the corner of the divan of Persian saddle-bags on which he was
lying, smoking, as usual, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just
catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-colored blossoms of the
laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of
a beauty so flame-like as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of
birds in flight flitted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in
front of the huge window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, and
making him think of those pallid jade-faced painters who, in an art that is
necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiftness and motion.
What? description of a scene
How? botanical refereces
appeal to senses (sight,smell)
passion for detail
Why? power of sensation  pleasure
Summing up…
Incitement to
Vehicle of emotions
Part of collective
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