Compare the contexts of Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go”, Hardy’s “Far From the Madding Crowd” and the poems of U.A Fanthorpe
The contextual background to these works set a framework for the themes and ideas to be revealed. Learning about the reflection of the authors’ own individuality in their work helps us understand characters and plots more easily. Also, the external influences (both societal and from relationships) elucidate the aims of the authors’. “Far From the Madding Crowd” was written in a time of significant change in Hardy’s life and the theme of change surrounds the entire novel, it exists on a small and large scale. Likewise, “Never Let Me Go” explores the change in the development of the human psyche and the mental changes of life, from Hailsham to the cottages to donations. Again the comparison can be linked to Fanthorpe and the change degradation of the mind which she explores in “Casehistory:Alison”. The societal background and setting contains a lot of significance at least in terms of Hardy and Ishisguro. Both of their novels were written in terms of scientific and societal shift. “Far from the madding crowd” was written 15 years after the publication of Darwin’s “Origin of species”, this new scientific Weltanschauung coupled with the industrial revolution occurring in Britain meant Britain was in a state of rapid transition, particularly the displacement of people from the countryside into busy cities. Dale Kramer commented on “the folklore of Wessex that resisted the importunities of modern existence”i, this raises the notion of Hardy’s idealisation of the Wessex countryside and therefore his resentment of the crowded cities. Likewise Ishiguro’s 2005 novel is set in a dystopian recent past where scientific development has been prioritised over morality. The death of the first cloned sheep “Dolly” two years prior to the novel’s publication may have had some influence in its conceptualisation. Having been born in Nagasaki, Japan (site of a...
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