浅析《弗吉尼亚人》中的牛仔文化与《汤姆琼斯》中的绅士文化的异同 Comparison between the Cowboy in Virginian and the Gentleman in Tom Jones毕业论文
关键词：绅士文化; 牛仔文化; 工业革命; 西进运动
Gentleman culture and cowboy culture, important elements in British and American culture, are ubiquitously presented in British and American literature of the eighteen and nineteenth centuries. This paper selects two literary masterpieces “Tom Jones” written by British novelist Henry Fielding and “The Virginian” written by “the Father of Cowboy Novel” Owen Wister. By comparing their different social backgrounds and personalities of the characters, the thesis analyses the similarities and differences between the typical gentleman Tom Jones and classic cowboy the Virginian. Furthermore, distinct from common images of gentleman and cowboy, Tom Jones and the Virginian have their own charms and characteristics. Despite the passage of time, their good qualities and precious spirits, still beneficial to modern civilization, have been shaping the cultures of the two countries. Therefore, the spiritual wealth of traditional gentleman and cowboy are worth exploration.
Keywords: gentleman culture; cowboy culture; Industrial Revolution; Westward Movement
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Gentleman culture 1
1.2 Cowboy culture 2
2 Literature Review 3
2.1 General introduction about Tom Jones 3
2.1.1 Henry Fielding 3
2.1.2 Plot of Tom Jones 3
2.1.3 Image of Tom Jones 4
2.2 General introduction about The Virginian 4
2.2.1 Owen Wister 4
2.2.2 Plot of The Virginian 5
2.2.3 Image of The Virginian 5
3 Comparison amp; Contrast 6
3.1 Similarities between Tom Jones and the Virginian 6
3.1.1 Story settings 6
3.1.2 Experiences 6
3.1.3 Personalities 7
3.1.4 Other similarities 7
3.2 Differences between Tom Jones and The Virginian 8
3.2.1 Attitudes towards values 8
3.2.2 Classes and diligence 9
3.2.3 Ways of loving 9
4 Conclusion 10
A Tentative Comparison on the Cowboy and Gentleman in The Virginian and Tom Jones
With the development of human civilization, some specific culture or group might appear in every society or community. The emergence of gentlemen and cowboys also relies on great historical background. On the one hand, people’s spiritual needs conduced to the birth of one culture. On the other hand, this culture would also react to people’s spirits and behaviors in an unconscious way.
1.1 Gentleman culture
Gentleman culture, the externalization of English national culture, is based on the spirits of aristocracy, with absorption of spirits of other classes. It is neither a mirror image of noble spirits nor the epitome of middle class’s values. Gentleman culture stresses the importance of moral standard as well as indomitable, courageous and struggling spirits. On the one hand, the spirits of aristocracy absorb some values from middle class; on the other hand, middle class looks up to the nobility. This integration facilitates the formation of gentleman culture.
The core of noble spirits is knight spirit, which encourages the spirits of military and fair play as well as the respect to women. The second substance of knighthood is the spirit of self-reliance, which, still highly appreciated nowadays, encourages knights to fight for their own right and pride (Cai, 2007). Out of consideration of their own benefits, nobles also pay attention to their master-consciousness and social responsibility. Meanwhile, they accept elite education so that they can improve their moral trait and comprehensive quality. Edified by the Christian concept and classical culture and influenced by Renaissance from Italy and France, knight spirits of middle age came into vogue in the 18th century again and developed into gentleman culture in conformity to the times.