E 328 • English Novel in the Nineteenth Century
Please refer to the course schedule for course days, time, room location, prerequisites and possible cross-listings: http://registrar.utexas.edu/schedules/
What is "Victorian" about the Victorian novel? What does the novel tell us about the way Victorians perceived themselves and their place in Britain, the British Empire, and the world? Is there a difference between the nineteenth-century English novel and its Scottish and Irish contemporaries? Among many other things, the Victorian novel concerned itself with questions of identity: national and imperial, economic and social, religious and gender. People accustomed to finding their predetermined place in the social order began to see themselves as part of larger groups with common interests: owners and workers, landlords and tenants, men and women, Whigs and Tories. In this class we will test Disraeli's famous characterization of Victorian Britain as Two Nations, one wealthy and complacent, the other dispossessed and menacing, will be a starting point for examining the Victorian novels quest to find a stable basis for personal and social identity in the midst of bewildering change.
Weekly response essays, 20%; 1 oral presentation, 15%; 2 take-home examinations, 30%; 1 paper proposal (250-500 words), 5%; 1 final paper (7-8 pages), 30%
Sir Walter Scott, Guy Mannering; William Thackeray, Vanity Fair; Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South; Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights; Charles Dickens, Great Expectations; George Eliot, Middlemarch; Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native