Saturday, October 6, 2007

Mid Term Topics

Take your pick of one of the following mid-term topics. The essay, worth twenty percent of the course grade, is twenty-five hundred words. You are very welcome to bring draught versions to office hours to work through revisions.
  1. It can be said of the Victorian era, and certainly so of the novels on our course reading list, that essays preceded fiction. Taking T.H. Huxley's "On the Physical Basis of Life" and John Stuart Mill's "On Nature" as your samples, and in light of information from lecture, explain what the rhetorical and polemical aspects of the essays reveal about about the implied Victorian reader of fiction.
  2. Assume that George MacDonald wrote The Princess & Curdie as an artistic counterpoint to the selection of writings comprising our course Charles Darwin package (a plausible assumption, in literary-historical terms.) Using techniques of literay analysis, and concentrating on the category of morality, present an anatomy of the representation of anti-Darwinian progress in MacDonald's text.
  3. Begin with a close reading of the opening chapter of Mill on the Floss in terms of course themes and then present an analytical evaluation of how George Eliot's powerful and unique narratorial voice functions in the text, using your own choice of examples.

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