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The themes and ideas in Audens The Age of Anxiety reflect his belief that mans quest for self actualization is in vain I Audens background A As a 1930s poet 1 Views of Society 2 Diagnosis of the industrial society B Major conflicts of his works II The Age of Anxiety overview A As a quest poem 1 Characters search for self-actualization 2 Characters inevitable failure in the quest B Characters views on the general situation 1 Their belief to be in Purgatory when they are allegorically in Hell 2 Their disbelief in impossibility III The Age of Anxiety character analysis A Quant B Malin C Rosetta D Emble IV Part I A Commonly called Prologue B Introduces scene and characters C Characters think aloud to reveal their nature 1 Quant views himself with false admiration 2 Malin examines the theoretical nature of man 3 Rosetta endeavors to create an imaginary and happy past 4 Emble passes his youthful judgment on the others follies V First act of Part II The Seven Ages A Malins domination of this act 1 Serves as a guide 2 Controls the characters through his introduction of each age B Others support Malins theories by drawing from past present and potential future experiences C The ages 1 The first age a Malin asks the reader to Behold the infant b Child is helpless in cradle and Righteous still but already has a Dread in his dreams 2 The second age a Youth as Malin describes it b Age at which man realizes his life-bet with a lying self c Naive belief in self and place in life is boundless d It is the age of belief in the possibility
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