He begins by commenting on himself, stating that he learned from his father to reserve judgment about other people, because if he holds them up to his own moral standards, he will misunderstand them. The tragedies of World War II are well known. The Great Cat Massacre, Introduction and Chapter 1. A friend of Daisy's is also in attendance. By putting these tales in the context of that time period, he says that we are able to take the stories and study the meaning they might have had on the peasants. 1. international sales information. Scientific Style and Format A Police Inspector Sorts His Files: The Anatomy of the Republic of Letters 5. Chapter 2 Summary: “Workers Revolt: The Great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint-Séverin” In the late 1730s a group of apprentices and journeymen at a Paris printing shop spent the better part of a day slaughtering scores of cats, indiscriminately and with abandon. The latter, incidentally, is the chapter dealing with the great cat massacre, which as far as one can tell is featured on the title page only because it is catchy. Books to Borrow. Folklores are usually in verbal instead of written form and therefore, are easily changed by word of mouth. Skip to main content. This book is a series of short essays by Darnton. In the title chapter, the author rises to the challenge, correctly put, of accounting for how the slaughter of dozens or maybe hundreds of cats can be gleeful. This woman, whose name is Jordan Baker, makes her living as a professional golfer. This study of French Mother Goose stories is cultural history because Darnton uses these stories to analyze the relationships between parents and children and the rich and the poor. In 1914, a train pulled into a provincial British railway station. The Cat Massacre continued for religious reasons for another 300 years. By that time the Protestant Reformation had swept Europe, and many people (including the Queen) were no longer practicing Catholicism. Site Map Not to be repetitive of the other comments in the class but chapter 1 of Darnton’s book is a great example of a discursive analysis. He studied how people socialized and traded. While this may seem peculiar to us, Darnton points out that historians can find out many things from studying these stories. Certainly the occasion involved is far removed from our notions of entertainment or even humanity. The funniest thing that ever happened in the printing shop of Jacques Vincent, according to a worker who witnessed it, was a riotous massacre of cats. The government, vets, and animal charities all advised against this killing. The tragedies of World War II are well known. . Another example is the difference and similarity between the western Cinderella story and the Chinese Cinderella story in “The great cat Massacre” and how they showed that people in different societies may have the same wishes or view points and therefore, developed tales with the similar storyline; however, their culture difference contributes to the different details and background in the tales. In his book The Great Cat Massacre, Darnton (chapter 2) describes the informal justice meted out to offending neighborhood cats- some of whom were owned and adored by their master's wife- by a group of young male printer's apprentices in Paris during the late 1730s. [The Great Dog and Cat Massacre] does a service to those animals who gave their lives before their time.”, Biological Sciences: Peasants Tell Tales: The Meaning of Mother Goose 2. New York: Basic Books, 1999 XIII + 298. Danton uses some interesting, less thought about ways of looking at the age of enlightenment. Although I don't believe Darnton needed to present so many stories, he does achieve the task of comparing cultures through the metaphor of Mother Goose stories. For example, after looking at many of the fairy tales, it becomes apparent that they all deal with the idea of an underdog defeating the bad guy through some form of trickery. In the case of Mother Goose, these stories were told and retold until they were eventually compiled into what we have come to know as "The Little Red Riding Hood" and other stories. Website. This book is a series of short essays by Darnton. But at least one has been forgotten: in September 1939, four hundred thousand cats and dogs were massacred in Britain. The Great Cat Massacre Review The Great Cat Massacre entails understanding history differently. CHAPTER 3: WARFARE AND CONFLICT. Instead it is a version that has no happy ending and served as a warming to little kids. His favorite pet of theirs was a large black cat named Pluto. Certainly the focus is mostly on French tales, but inclusion of the other cultures allows for a comparison and generalization of each country’s individual storytelling style, and with that, cultural cues. in Germany versus France in the time of the “Age of the Enlightenment”. 14 day loan required to access EPUB and PDF files. There is some interesting importance here; why just study history in the way the upper class viewed/lived it? Darnton highlights the fact that many of the stories featured adult themes like violence and sex and uses this to give insight on how peasants viewed life and the roles of children and adults. The Great Cat Massacre entails understanding history differently. They used this to their advantage in order to avoid taxes or gain tax breaks as well as tricking or humiliating powerful and wealthy individuals. First Edition. University of Chicago. Through the tales that different groups tell, Darnton can also assert the how the social structures of each group were formed i.e. Rather than droning through factual information in textbooks about numbers and dates regarding the Enlightenment, we are given a keyhole into the peasants’ lives, and are partially able to understand their view on their livelihood and culture during this time period. Theses stories gives us a chance to see cultural history and understand it. Through these original French stories, Darnton glances into the harsh realities that peasants faced every day. In order to achieve this, Darnton presents various texts and compares those texts with their counterparts at various points in history. Life as an apprentice was hard, he explained. . Crowds made bonfires, jumped over them, danced around them, and threw into them objects with magical power, hoping to avoid disaster and obtain good fortune during the rest of the year. Folklores are between fantasy and reality. If you were curious.) . It is in times of greatest difficulty that one discovers who one’s friends are. Perhaps it proves that there was class mobility at the time because it was so frequently mentioned. To truly appreciate the study of cultural history behind the introduction and chapter one of Robert Darnton’s The Great Cat Massacre And Other Episodes in French Cultural History one must be familiar with the characteristics of cultural studies listed in Ziauddin Sardar and Borin van Loon’s Introducing Cultural Studies A Graphic Guide. Darnton uses these stories as a so called "lense" to get a look into the lives of peasants that he would not have had otherwise. Please see the supplementary resources provided below for other helpful content related to this book. The Great Cat Massacre reveals the secrets and mysteries of that time period through his stories and essays, which keeps the reader entertained and longing for more. If common sense "expresses the common basis of experience in a given social order," then we must ask what common experiences peasants shared in order to find out what "common sense" meant for them (23). He characterizes himself as both highly moral and highly tolerant. In the introduction and first chapter of The Great Cat Massacre, the author chooses to focus on the fairytales and extensive oral storytelling tradition of not only the French, but also the English, German, and Italian. . Like a piece of paper folded into origami, it reveals new dimensions to a tragic subject. The chapter about the Great Cat Massacre is also entitled ‘Workers Revolt’, but its subject is not a revolt but a gruesome charivari. The opening chapter of the book, “Peasants Tell Tales: The Meaning of Mother Goose”, provides a historical reading of the many fairy tales we were told as young innocent children. Kean not only brings animals into the wartime narrative in their own right, but challenges the way historians have treated the wartime experience. In the first chapter of "The Great Cat Massacre", Robert Darnton uses old fairy tales passed down through the generations to examine history, rather than just examining the history itself. “Clearly illustrates how the widely accepted narrative of Brits keeping calm and carrying on was not all that it was cracked up to be. Draw examples from pages 1-14, and 57-60 of your "Introducing Cultural Studies" book. A title that sounded so cruel and serious, turned out to be pretty funny when explained. What meaning did these tales have on the peasants? Not only do we find out more about the people int the societies that shared these stories, but historians can also analyze the stories themselves to find out more about the culture. March 2018, Published I imagined these peasants lived harsh lives, but after reading some of the examples shown in the stories, I realized I underestimated these realities. The worker, Nicolas Contat, told the story in an account of his apprenticeship in the shop, rue Saint-Severin, Paris, during the late 1730s. Darnton also studied family life from the stories. In 1980, the American historian and printing specialist came across this anecdote, and studied it in part of his work, The Great Cat Massacre. By comparing a tale from one country to another country's version, one can possibly deduce the characteristics and problems specific to each country and their social problems and issues at the time. Also includes sites with a short overview, synopsis, book report, or summary of Robert Darnton’s The Great Cat Massacre. What does this show? Darnton examines the tone, meaning, and significance of these stories. Contains a wealth of fascinating detail. One particular method that Darnton chooses to focus on in the first chapter of his book is the study of fairy tales and folklore. In Darnton's approach to studying the Enlightenment, however, this doesn't matter. He uses the Little Red Riding Hood as an example of how the version had been changed over time to fit into different cultures, and how the original version was nothing like the one we know today. THE GREAT CAT MASSACRE – SPREADING THE PLAGUE, 1232. Rather, Darnton looks at the socio-political context within which narratives exist and examines "cultural practices and their relation to power" in order to "expose power relationships" and show how they "influence and shape cultural practices" (Sardar 9). The stories passed down by peasants provide clues to the intricacies of everyday life in the France of centuries past. But it is matched by her meticulous recovery of the changing aspect of animal-human relations throughout the remaining six years of conflict.”, “This is a profoundly important book. Please see the supplementary resources provided below for other helpful content related to this book. Animal Lives The tragedies of World War II are well known. Darnton analyzes some of the popular French stories that were being spread by peasants at the time and connects them to subject matter such as the strife and power struggle between the rich and the poor, or the roles and relationship between children and adults. In turn, the meaning behind such stories has provided a window into ancient cultures that we as a society may never have otherwise had an opportunity to find or see. Darnton adopts this characteristic to further understand and analyze society at the time by exploring the context of the tales. The pranksters carry out their master plan by killing the Cats and then staging a mock trial. Language is perpetually changing and simply studying the language of then compared to now shows the shifts in culture. The Great Cat Massacre Although the title of this book strikes the reader as unusual it begins to make complete sense once it is read. I want to start reading it all over again to see just how Kean pulled this off.”, “Beginning with the mass slaughter of household pets immediately after Britain’s declaration of war on Germany in 1939, Kean’s compelling account explores the varied ways in which domesticated animals experienced the Home Front. Kean’s book brings to light an uncomfortable chapter in British history.”, “By unearthing this odd but significant moment of compassionate hysteria, Kean’s book undercuts this portrayal of the resolute Empire, suggesting the terror and irrationality beneath the stiff upper lip.”, “A multifaceted history. The three boats set off once more, but two of them, manned by Stubb and Flask, come close to the whale and are again broken to bits (these being replacement boats, quickly readied from the previous day).The three harpooners and Stubb and Flask swim with bits of debris back to the Pequod, and quickly try to make the boats ready and water-tight, to continue to attack Moby Dick. As a character, Little Red Ridding Hood changes as a character to match the social and political context she is being told within. This reflected on the circumstances of the French Peasants of those days who saw high death rates and faced starvation. Darnton uses Mother Goose to examine the changing cultures from early peasantry to early modern France of the Enlightenment. The Great Cat Massacre on the Rue Saint-Séverin was, in the words of the perpetrators, “the funniest thing that ever happened at Jacques Vincent’s printing works.”. He uses these stories to uncover the social aspects of peasant life in order to derive their historical and cultural significance. This book is a series of short essays by Darnton. The chapter about the Great Cat Massacre is also entitled ‘Workers Revolt’, but its subject is not a revolt but a gruesome charivari. Workers Revolt: The Great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint-Severin 3. These different versions reveal the changes in French society over the generations. You may also wish to purchase from either Amazon or Blackwell’s. The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History Robert Darnton Limited preview - 2009. The opening chapter of the book, “Peasants Tell Tales: The Meaning of Mother Goose”, provides a historical reading of the many fairy tales we were told as young innocent children. The second chapter (The Great Cat Massacre) has a unique pretext and continues the "otherness" theme, although it's even more disturbing to modern sensibilities. parallel chapter titles, a bit contrived, attempt to suggest their fundamental similarity: "Peasants tell Tales," "Workers Revolt," and so forth. Darnton uses this to show the similarities and differences in the outlooks of peasants from different countries. In the first chapter, he studies many old folk tales from this era. By telling stories that dealt with this theme, it provided an escape from the daily hardships of life and gave some laughs. it absolutely was writtern very completely and beneficial. A favorite object was cats—cats tied up in bags, cats suspended from ropes, or cats burned at the stake. I never intended to write a book about the war. How did differences in horse breeding affect the outcome at the Battle of Poitiers (732) and the Battle of Hittin (1187)? By doing this, we are able to ask questions like: Why did the peasants tell these stories? It is the story of vengeance of some ill fed journeymen at the face of their bourgeoisie master’s attitude. One reoccurring theme visible throughout the tales is the fact that peasants lived harsh lives where they struggled to survive. . I believe this is a strong strategy to study cultural history because by using the actual accounts from peasants living at this time period, one can gain an insight into their minds and what they were thinking and living through. Hayes 1 Zoe Hayes Jie Zhao HTY 200 September 25, 2016 Workers Revolt: The Great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint-Severin In chapter two, the meaning behind the title of the book was answered. From this observation, we may be able to conclude that the peasants during that time saw trickery as a tangible way to get through life and sometimes end up on top. Throughout “The Great Cat Massacre, and Other Episodes in French Cultural History”, Darnton uses Mother Goose tales to depict the differences in cultures and societies around the world and to study the Age of Enlightenment. The porter, a curious chap, asked the regiment of soldiers where they were from. March 2018, Published Daisy is Nick's cousin, while Tom was Nick's classmate at Yale. Introducing Animals, Historians, and the "People's War" A significant section of Britons, by the way, thought first of their pets. This characteristic is portrayed through the differences within “Little Red Ridding Hood” throughout the different cultures- German, English, French, etc. The eponymous Bourgeois in ‘The City as Text’ describes his town of Montpellier in terms of the three traditional estates, and other marks of … Michel Foucault, Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Maybe then, this issue was raised in many tales because it was a sever issue. The Great Cat Massacre Essay 3168 Words | 13 Pages. What makes this cultural history? The Great Cat Massacre consists of the analysis of six cultural artefacts, all from eighteenth-century France, layered by social group of origin and level of sophistication. We all know the classic stories of Mother Goose, but Darnton puts the stories into their original context in order to show their changing meanings, structures, and audience. Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Black Cat” uses an unreliable narrator to tell a story of unrelenting mental instability that ends with a killer’s self-revelation of his deadly deed.. Seeing as cultural studies most often focuses on the questions of why a society acted as it did, or why certain stories were told, or why a peasant force rebelled when it did, it is easy to connect French fairytales and oral tradition with the study of French culture. Darnton’s introduction of the tale “Little Red Ridding Hood” exposes the historical dimension that often goes unnoticed. I thought that was interesting because he could see how similar the cultures were. Robert Darnton. British and Irish History | After reading the introduction and the first chapter of the book, what methods does the historian use to study the "Age of the Enlightenment"? . Sites like SparkNotes with a The Great Cat Massacre study guide or cliff notes. . Another characteristic of cultural studies that Darnton delves into as mentioned in "Cultural Studies A Graphic Guide" is "examining the subject matter" of the time. Kean does a thorough job of collecting anecdotes, letters, news clippings that collectively shed light on the many experiences of pet owners, their children, vets, animal rescuers, politicians, and the animals themselves. etc. Other stories may not be as similar to modern readers. Peasants Tell Tales: The Meaning of Mother Goose 2. What we previously believed and understood to be fantasy could in fact be reality. However, once I read on and learned about the cruelty that enveloped the peasants, I understood their constant fear of danger. Create your own unique website with customizable templates. The pranksters carry out their master plan by killing the Cats and then staging a mock trial. We found no such entries for this book title. Books. In the first two chapters, Darnton basically tries to capture values of French culture through a comparative study of European folklore (chapter 1) and to explain symbolic meaning of cat & working condition in a typical French printing shop (chapter 2). Raises sobering questions about how far attitudes of disposability towards the animals we call our companions still persist.”, “This is a well-researched and well-crafted book, and by bringing animals into the wartime narrative in their right, Kean does help to reshape our historical understanding of what has often been called the “People’s War.”. With the exception of what contemporaries criticized as ‘the holocaust of pets,’ most of these experiences were shared by human and non-human animals. ’The killing of cats; or, is the past a foreign country?’ attempts to examine the thought processes of people from the past. The thought processes of a particular past time can be condensed into a mentalité. For example, many folklores few centuries ago are about how women failed to resist temptation or made mistakes and “deserved” to be eaten; those folklores represent the gender issue of women status that existed in those societies. . Adding links … You may purchase this title at .Kean recovers how animals and humans meaningfully interacted and, in so doing, challenges the ways historians have interpreted the wartime experience. By reviewing the tales that have been passed down through the years, Darnton is showing how they are changed based upon the people that have handled them which is almost like game of telephone in which you verbally tell someone a story and they tell another etc. The first chapter of this book is a good summary of what we covered in that class, and it's really interesting. This can demonstrate how different people view the symbolism within the stories, and how they might deter them in order to make a stronger point that would apply to their culture. . Many of the stories involve people working like crazy and he studied that, and how it related back to people’s lives. Darnton not only presents the stories, but also gives some background on peasant cultures so his audience can see her directly the stories related to the hardships of peasant life in the seventeenth century. 6. By retrieving evidence of the lives of individual companion animals, as well as by documenting the increasing official acknowledgment of their value and standing, Kean offers a fresh perspective on what has often been called the ‘People’s War.’”, “For those who think everything has been said about Britain’s war, here is a book that will change our perspective on the popular image of the British people calmly coping with the challenges of the home front. One characteristic of cultural studies is social context. .Without doubt, Hilda Kean has written an original and challenging monograph whose message forces readers to rethink their attitudes about themselves and the animals around them.”, "The many personal, and often moving, reminiscences collected in this book reveal just how many enduring wartime memories, happy or sad, featured an animal. The eponymous Bourgeois in ‘The City as Text’ describes his town of Montpellier in terms of the three traditional estates, and other marks of … Turabian Although we all know the stories of Mother Goose, most of us are unaware of their long histories and cultural significance. Social History. Outside the USA, see our and you see how differently the tale ends ups at the with the last person. . The Great Cat Massacre with out a doubt has one of the most unusual titles ever created especially for a book about history. 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