Soren Kierkegaard (1813-55) His views framed by a few influential figures. His Father: Father married a maid a year after his 1st wife died, she had a kid 2 months after the wedding, Niels. Niels hated his father, didn't respect him. Got his inheritance and went to the U.S., died young. Other Brother, Peter Christian Became engaged in 1840 Engagement was broken off a year later at Soren's insistence The Concept of Irony (1841) Irony: a writer says one thing but means the opposite Verbal Irony ?He sure looks happy? Cosmic Irony (= Irony of Fate) the irony between a character's aspirations and his fate. (Oedipus) Sarcasm bitter form- the ironic statement is designed to be harmful Situational Irony something happens to a character who expects the opposite outcome. In The Swineherd, we expect the princess to be married and have a kingdom. She doesn't. Kierkegaard is against the Romantics ?The misfortune of the romantic movement is that it does not approach reality...The Romantic falls asleep...Dreams do not satisfy...The more the dream becomes real, the bigger strain put on the Romantic...? Thought Romantic writers were too full of themselves. They were searching, but they didn't see what was in front of them. The Petit-Bourgeois blissful ignorance of his own existence Belongs to Mainstream Somnolent, Mediocre No engagement Therefore, they don't exist they are sleeping while everything else awakens around them Levels of Kierkegaard A = Aesthetic we need more, the eternal. We have a yearning for eternity, not satisfied by the senses. If we feel for the eternal world, we experience angst. We are still persisting in being aesthetic and we will despair In order to escape despair, we need to take a step, move into an ethical being, fighting for a good cause. We'll still have aesthetic pleasures, but we will find a higher calling, which will help lead us away from the despair. Written in Either, Or written at a time when his ex-fiance became engaged again trying to push people towards Christianity, but making their own choice. Introduces the Ethical person in the Accessor, vs. the Passionate Aestheticist John The Seducer's Diary (1843) Written about Don Giovanni- about a man trying to seduce a girl, getting her to want him, to awaken her sexual passion despite what society says about prudent female behavior. In the end, the Seducer succeeds. She gets him, but after that she has nothing left. And that's the Irony! The Swineherd reflects this story. She gives him everything she has to give him, and their passion is consumated, and then he doesn't want anything to do with her. Why is she left lost, why would the Seducer do this? POWER. B = Ethical The Sweethearts: We might have had some Biedermeier love (as opposed to physical, passionate love). The Top The top is striving for happiness, to get engaged. He's the good guy. He's made of mahogany, he can spin, he's really nice. But he's not good enough for the ball. Gains new life, is repainted. The quality of appearance that made the ball so proud is given to the top. That's situational irony. The Ball stuck up. She'd rather go with the uncertainty of the swallow up in the air, as opposed to the down-to-earth certainty of the top. The beauty is gone, it falls from grace, nobody cares about her anymore. Readily left to deteriorate. Her dreams resort to nothing. Conclusion better for the top to think of her with the luster of an old love, than to accept the reality. She has turned old, he has found rejuvenation, she shouldn't have rejected him. Inspiration Riborg Voigt ? one of Andersen's infatuations. she rejected Andersen, but he set himself up because she was already engaged. She didn't have a very exciting life. When he saw her years later, he wasn't impressed with how life had treated her. He was ascending, she was not. The Collar (1848) Can't find appropriate love interest, but not for lack of trying. Gets constantly rejected, becomes a cynic When he becomes old, he really likes to brag at the end. Author putting words into the collar's mouth. Hasn't been redeemed, but ridiculed to a higher degree. can be related back to the Seducer- but has nothing to show for his efforts at the end of the day. But stilla male who thinks highly of himself, wants everyone to know how good he is with the ladies. The Butterfly Could be related to one of Andersen's infatuations Related to Kierkegaard, the thought of waiting, unable to choose and take initiative. Butterfly flutters around, never able to make up its mind. By not choosing, the choice has been made for it. The green grass withers, no more sustenance to be found in that grass Attempts to find guidance from Camomile flower, but clumsy in its address calls it a matron, but it's still a virgin, so she ignores it doesn't give butterfly advice, so he's left to make his own choices (not good) The Butterfly Waits life goes on Mint Plant offered just friendship, says they're too old. Still a rejection Better than nothing, but the Butterfly doesn't even take it. Goes against its nature, explores possibilities outside, into human realms not good, leads to disaster Climax Butterfly returning to starting point. Has learned absolutely nothing. Still yearns for a flower that will be the fulfillment of his dreams. Yearning is answered with fixation. He is stuck on a pin like a flower, which is like a pseudo-marriage. Ironic because he sees this as a consolation. He will remain fixated, with no ability to woo flowers one by one like he should have done earlier. He doesn't succeed, but he sees himself as succeeding. Ignorance is Bliss The potted plants give him the truth, tell him straight. But the Butterfly dismisses them, says that Humans don't know anything about real love. He believes he has found something equivalent to love, has succeeded in his own mind. Andersen is setting himself up for Failure in love: the pitfalls of either Declaring of Not Declaring your Love Constant rejection Kierkegaard: Wealth of information.
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