2.5 Characterisation

How do writers of prose fiction make us respond to the imaginary people they create? In order to encourage us to continue reading writers must force us to react in some way to their characters, whether it is to identify, empathise or sympathise with them, to dislike or disapprove of them, or to pass judgement on their actions, behaviour and values. As we have already seen, the fundamental question we repeatedly ask when we read a story is what happened next. Equally importantly we want to kno
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1 Why do we read prose fiction?

Prose fiction, whether in the form of the novel or the short story, is unarguably the most popular and widely consumed literary genre. One only has to see the proliferation of bookstalls at railway stations and airports, for example, and the predominance of novels over other forms of writing made available in such locations to realise the appeal of fiction.

Take a few moments to think about Why we read fiction? What do we hope to gain from reading stories about imag
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • recognise and discuss selected library texts from the Renaissance to the present;

  • know how to approach literary texts in terms of genre, gender and the canon;

  • understand and be able to apply technical analytical terms;

  • engage in close analysis of narrative and poetic language;

  • recognise performance is an interpretation of dramatic texts;

  • engage in comparative
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References

Aristotle, Horace, Loginus (1984) Classical Literary Criticism, translated with an introduction by T.S. Dorsch, Penguin.
Baldick, R., Radice, B. and Jones, C.A. (eds) (1964) Aristophanes: The Wasps, The Poet and the Woman, and The Frogs, Penguin.
Barthes, R. (1977) ‘The death of the author’, in Image-Music-Text, edited and translated by Stephen Heath
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7.1 Soliloquy

A soliloquy is a speech, usually quite lengthy, delivered by a character who is alone onstage. It is a convention of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods in particular, apparently giving direct access to that character's thoughts and feelings, divulging their intentions and reactions to events and to other people, and thus making that character more intimately known to the audience.

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1 Preliminary exercise

Before you start work on this unit, please watch the video sequence ‘Introducing the Roman World’ below. This visual introduction will introduce many of the terms to be defined in this unit and set them in context. It will also show the kinds of sources you might work on for evidence of culture, identity and power in the Roman empire if you continue to study this topic. You may wish to replay this short sequence as you work on the unit, but for now enjoy looking at the wide range of ideas
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2.4 African Red Slip ware

Between about 30 BC and AD 75 the most common type of ceramic tableware in the empire was terra sigillata (often known as Samian ware). This was a shiny red-surfaced ceramic which was first made in Arezzo in Tuscany, Italy and then widely imitated in many areas such as Campania, Rome, southern and eastern Gaul, and Asia Minor. The forms of this pottery were typically cups, bowls, plates and dishes. Beyond the areas where it was produced, the pottery was widely traded and it has been fo
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2.2.3 Model 3: African + Roman = African persistence and no evidence of Roman traits dominating (sep

This scenario sees African culture surviving following the Roman conquest, and where Roman culture is visible it does not replace preexisting practice. Here we might imagine a laissez-faire attitude on the part of the Roman state, allowing the conquered people to carry on in their previous ways and the African people not needing to, or wanting to, adopt Roman customs, practices, forms of representation and cultural identity. In this model we might expect to find Roman and African trait
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • practise identification of ‘indigenous’ identity and culture;

  • practise identification of ‘Roman’ identity and culture;

  • study the development of Romano-African culture.


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2.2 Insider/outsider perspectives

Social historians have long argued that we must study history ‘from the underside’, if we want to thoroughly understand a society. In other words, it is not sufficient to have a top-down knowledge of a society's institutions and politics. We need also to examine how ordinary, ‘unimportant’ people operate within a culture: what influences them and what they can (and cannot) influence; how they see their role in society and how others see it. The outsider view is the view from the outsi
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1.6 Sources of authority

A very useful way of gaining insight into a religion and seeing how it works is to examine its sources of authority: for example, whether authority is vested in scriptures, in religious specialists, in tradition, in personal experience or a combination of these. Even in traditions where there is some agreement on what counts as an authoritative text, there are still contested issues of how that text is to be interpreted, by whom, with what degree of literalness and in what context. Similarly,
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1.1 What are the issues?

Some themes recur when we start to think about religion. These include issues of continuity and change, representation, differing perspectives, authority, community and identity. In this unit we start to consider some of them in detail.

The full list of themes and issues considered in this section are:

  • Continuity and change

  • Representation

  • The Victoria and Albert Museum 'Sacred Spaces' exhibition of 2000


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4.1 What is a composition?

We are used, in Western art music, to being able to identify a piece of music and its composer. The ‘piece’ is represented by the written notation; it can be realised in somewhat different ways in different performances. One of the problems we have in applying our concepts of composition to the music of other cultures is that it is not always easy the identify a ‘piece’ of music (an item of repertoire), as distinct from a particular performance.

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3.6 Conclusion

I asked the question at the beginning of this section on Sundanese gamelan music: how is it possible for a group of musicians to play highly complex music, in a cohesive manner, without the use of notation and without having to memorise impossibly large amounts of music? My answer came in a number of stages.

  1. Rather than reading, or memorising vast amounts of music, the musicians memorise the simple frameworks of pieces (the Javanese term for this, bal
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3.1 An introduction to gamelan music

The previous section introduced you to a music tradition which places great demands on the inventiveness and virtuosity of a single individual. Although this individual is supported by accompanists, it is to a large extent a soloistic music. We will now move on to a very different kind of music, in a tradition which places more emphasis on group interaction and ensemble playing. This is gamelan music of Sunda, an area comprising roughly the western third of the island of Java, in Indon
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2 The models in action: what counts is what works?

As noted at the start of Session 1, the models of change can be both explanatory and normative. As explanations, each corresponds to a different theoretical tradition. So do you just pick the one that seems most compelling? Or do different theories help explain different kinds of phenomena? The answer suggested here closely follows the work on metaphors by Gareth Morgan (1986), who sets out a number of different models of organisations (some of which map on to those outlined here). Morgan arg
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3.3.1 Japan

After the Second World War, the commander of the allied occupation of Japan (1945–52), General Douglas MacArthur, proclaimed in a September 1945 interview with the New York Times that ‘Japan will never again become a world power'; and, five years later, his economic experts advised that ‘the Japanese economy's best course in the postwar era would be to make “knickknacks” – their word – for underdeveloped countries’ (Fingleton, 1997, pp. 1–2). Today, Japan is a technol
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Activity 10: Critical reflections on Hofstede

Allow 60 minutes for this activity.

You have spent most of this unit working with Hofstede's ideas. He is one of the pioneers of the study of national culture and its impact on organisations, and his work has been very influential.

My aim so far has been to help you understand Hofstede's cultural dimensions and to become familiar with how they can be used to analyse one of the main environments within which organisations operate. National culture is also one of the factors
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Activity 3: Where is the learning?

Allow 40 minutes for this activity.

What we call ‘learning’ has three very important characteristics. These are:

  • learning is an ongoing process
  • learning is linked to experience
  • learning is the development of skills and new approaches to what we do.

Learning as a process

Learning is an ongoing process and not simpl
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Module team

Dr Terry O'Sullivan, Course Chair

Barry Jones, Course Manager

Sue Treacy, Course Team Assistant

Sam Cooper, OU Business School Regional Coordinator

Joan Hunt, OU Business School Regional Manager

Amanda Shepard, Institute of Fundraising

Production Team

Simon Ashby, Editor

Paul Beeby, Media Project Manager

Martin Brazier, Graphic Design
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