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论文作者:留学生论文论文属性:硕士毕业论文 thesis登出时间:2023-01-20编辑:vicky点击率:1806

论文字数:38566论文编号:org202301181644352953语种:英语 English地区:中国价格:$ 66




1.1 Communications with the Dead: Cure of Ailments

This was a time when death was in the air. Six or seven years had passed since the end of the Great War but, on looking back at it now, it seems to me to have been still a period of privation and mournfulness; it was as if all those deaths had cast a long shadow forward…a world dominated by the dead (EM,8). 


Taking place in 1920s London, the novel features ghostly figures lurking in the shadows that appear to be remnants of the First World War. An obvious element of this novel is that many characters try to communicate with the dead. 

“Welcome to the Chemical Theatre. Where all the spirits of your past come in dumb show before you” (EM, 2). That’s what the Harcombes, the central characters of the novel, do for a living. They cure others through mediumistic faith-healing acts in The Chemical Theatre, a place built near the graves of William Blake and John Bunyan. In London, this kind of work done by the Harcombes has always fascinated a number of groups. It attracts a number of people, young and old, many of whom have failed to communicate with society. Margaret Collins is a case in point. She is a cleaner for some offices near Whitechapel, who is about four feet in height, shorter even than Timothy in his childhood. Through her brisk manner, she always projects a positive and cheerful image to those around her. Yet when we take a closer look, we find that she has suffered a lot psychologically. 

1.2 Communications with the Unborn: Emphasis on Cultural Essence

Another element of English Music is that its many characters try to communicate with the unborn. Peter Ackroyd consistently focuses on the role of the Cockney visionary in his own understanding of cultural history, and these visionaries are mainly canonical artists and authors. In English Music, Ackroyd has assembled a collection of canonical works that spans over several centuries of English literature, and it seems that cultural essence still circulates around the canon. In the even chapters of the novel, Timothy encounters a number of canonical authors and artists in dreams. While characters in those canonical stories embody the cultural past of the English, Timothy represents their cultural future and they leave behind him the cultural essence. More importantly, it illustrates Ackroyd’s concern for future cultural development and his willingness to communicate with the unborn.

The reason behind Ackroyd’s eagerness to communicate with the unborn can be attributed to his concern for the dispirited nation and its cultural barrenness. In his writings and speeches, he repeatedly laments that “the social weakness runs very deep” (NNC, 147). Yet people “look upon national traditions and national cultures as something to be ignored or even actively discouraged” and “there may be nothing much left to celebrate or to preserve” (The Collection, 328). What most concerns Ackroyd is the historical and cultural ignorance of those who are involved in the creation and presentation of English culture (The Collection, 329). To some extent, Ackroyd is influenced b论文英语论文网提供整理,提供论文代写英语论文代写代写论文代写英语论文代写留学生论文代写英文论文留学生论文代写相关核心关键词搜索。

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