Monday, March 3, 2008

Mid-to-End-of-Term Essay Topics

A twenty-five hundred word scholarly essay is due in lecture on March 31st on any one of the following three topics:
  1. Where does George Gissing's In the Year of Jubilee stand on the issue of Culture? Does the novel favour the Nineteenth Century's mass education of the female middle-class as the means to spread "sweetness and light", on the model praised by Matthew Arnold? Does Gissing question the efficacy of this Utilitarian pedagogy; ultimately setting it up for ridicule? Or does the text refuse any final conclusion? Answer with quotations from In the Year of Jubilee and at least one other course reading.
  2. Explain the extent of the influence of social class on writings by the bourgeois women authors on our course readings list. Include the specific determining features of the Victorian middle class as presented in lecture and, if you wish, in your choice of any academically-valid secondary source or sources. Use Florence Nightingale and a minimum of two other women writers in your analysis.
  3. Engage any position that lecture has taken on any of the course reading material and argue a dialectical response. Your essay must show that you understand the precise nature and character of dialectic as it was presented and discussed during lecture.

Conform your essay to an established Style Guide -- the MLA is preferred -- and include a cover page and list of Works Cited.

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