ENGLISH 431 - The Victorian Novel
Section: 101
Term: SP 2008
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

How do we understand the Victorian novel, especially from our vantage point in the twenty-first century? Do we think of it in socio-historical terms, as a response to and reflection of a rapidly industrializing society, or in aesthetic terms, as a new convention of realism with distinctively modern forms of narration, or in ethical terms, as an attempt to educate its readers about problems of choice, free will, and determinism? The class will be organized around themes of work and poverty, the place of women, religion and society, and race and empire, as we attempt to make sense of the Victorian novel and explore its cultural significance. Thus, we will ponder these questions (and many others) as we as we look at a small selection of the vast range of Victorian novels and think about the distinctiveness of their forms of narrative and modes of representation. The Victorian novels to be studied will probably include: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847), Charles Dickens’ Hard Times (1854), Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South (1855), and George Eliot’s Adam Bede (1859).

There will be lectures to introduce each theme, but classes will mainly focus on student participation via oral presentations, group work, and creative exercises — all of which will enable you to set the agenda for discussion and identify key questions and/or problems for analysis and debate. Requirements will include reading responses, a class quiz, and two short papers; and, of course, class attendance is important and will form part of the final grade.

ENGLISH 431 - The Victorian Novel
Schedule Listing
101 (REC)
MW 10:00AM - 12:00PM
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