kitsjay: (Default)
HELP!

Okay, so I need some advice. I have a paper due soon and it's over The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. If anyone has read that, then I would be greatly appreciative if you can help me out with this.

Basically we were talking in class about class distinctions and the like in the book, which led to everyone naturally assuming that Toad was the upper-class of society. I was talking this over with Sean (who has never read the book, but is excellent for bouncing ideas off of) and I think I've established a tentative theory, but I'm not certain it holds water. So, if you're familiar with either class structure. in England during the Industrial Age or the book, read on:

1. Badger, Mole, and Rat are closer to Nature and therefore more content, while Toad is constantly attempting to break into the human world and getting into trouble because of it;

2. The animal society may be broken up into lower, middle, and upper class like human society, but the human society is an entirely different sphere;

3. When the two mix, not only does trouble arise, but even the lower-class of the human sphere is considered above the upper-class of the animal sphere (e.g., when the barge woman throws Toad off and proclaims him a filthy toad; no matter how rich he is, he is still a filthy creature);

4. Toad inherited his wealth from his father, who presumably worked to earn it, and so assumes he is on par with the aristocracy/nobility because he was born with wealth, HOWEVER he was not born with a title, which is more important in the long run;

5. ERGO Grahame is using Toad to represent the nouveau riche of the industrial age in England. Mole & co. are content with their place in life and closer to Nature, and represent gentlemen, but they are still not Lord or Baron etc. Toad, however, is trying to go against his nature as well as Nature, breaking into a sphere of society where he does not belong. No matter how wealthy, he is still a Toad by birth, not a titled gentry.


I've been mulling it over and think it makes sense, but my knowledge of late 19th-early 20th British history is curiously lacking. I also feel as if Grahame is incredibly hard to analyze. It seemed every time I had put my finger on something I felt was important, he would have another character who directly contradicted that notion. I still feel as if there's something that completely destroys my argument in one line that I somehow completely missed.

Anyway, thoughts? My first draft is due on Tuesday.
kitsjay: (Flipflops)
Highlights from Morgan's class today:

"The word 'Italia' originally referred to 'the land of heifers'. Whether they meant the cattle or the women, I don't know."

"I have nothing against sheep--except that they're stupid and dirty. And I have nothing against shepherds, except they perpetuate sheep."

"The Greeks were very 'Why are we here?' and talked about it for 2000 years. The Romans said, 'Because! Right, that's settled, let's get on with it.' "

"No one knows where the Etruscans came from and who cares, anyway? They're constantly theorizing and such. A giant spaceship could have landed and brought them all. Very Stargate, with Ra coming and saying, 'Right, you're all Etruscans!' I mean, it's like high school. Who cares what high school was like? You're an undergrad! Why does it matter what you were before? You're all Etruscans now!"

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January 2014

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