Bonjour, premièrement je souhaite une très bonne année 2017 à ceux qui tomberont sur ce sujet ! Je suis en terminale L et je vous poste cet oral puisque je dois le passer jeudi prochain. J'aimerais naturellement avoir quelques avis si possible sur le contenu et sa pertinence et une correction des fautes que vous pourriez probablement relever.
Merci d'avance et bonne lecture !
ORAL LELE : THE WRITER IN HIS TIME
I'm going to talk about the theme “The writer in his time”. Some writers don't hesitate to criticize their own society through their work in expressing their way of thinking under the form of stories in books for example. So we may wonder : How do writers reveal their society through their work ? To answer this question I have chosen 3 literary works which are rather well-known around the world : Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and finally The Great Gatsby written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald.
Firstly, Pygmalion, a play which was first performed in 1914, is a way for Shaw to criticize his society in England in the beginning of the 20th century. With the first act of this play, Shaw uses his characters, especially Eliza and Professor Higgins to put forward his views on different subjects like the breaking down of the class barriers or the emancipation of women. Indeed, with the way of speaking of Eliza, we guess that she is a poor woman who received a bad education but she proves to be an interesting character with good values and the task of Professor Higgins is to give her a better education in order to integrate her in the upper class people. We can see that with Pygmalion, Shaw is indeed a writer in his time.
Secondly, Charles Dickens was born in the Victorian Britain in the 19th century. Oliver Twist is a book,written in 1837-1838, which takes part in the 1830s and the main character is a little boy who is an orphan. With my extract from chapter 2, we can notice with the sentence “The system was in full operation” that Dickens refers to the New Poor Law. A system in his time which was created to help the destitute but they had no choice but to enter the workhouse in which the living conditions were dreadful and the meals were gruel only. So in this passage, Charles Dickens criticizes the conditions of the workhouses at his time and the stupidity of the people in charge.
Finally, my third document is an extract from The Great Gatsby, a novel written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald in 1925. The story of this book sets in New York during the Prohibition era which was a time of excess. We notice in this novel a world of money, of class and power ; an era that Fitzgerald named “the Jazz Age” due to the importance of music. For this author, the Jazz Age was a beautiful time with creativity and exuberance but also there was a form of corruption in the relations between people because of superficiality. The new world that was America three centuries ago was corrupted by the insatiable search for profit. In this context and in this extract in which the narrator looks at the house of Gatsby, this character represents at the same time an actor of this corruption and the embodiment of the American dream.
To conclude, we have seen that the three authors of these documents reveal the society of their time and above all the problems of the period they lived. Shaw, for his part, criticizes the problems related to education through his play. Dickens denounces the bad conditions in the workhouses in his century. Fitzgerald depicted the society of the 1920's in America and criticizes the superficiality of this time.