E f328 • The English Novel in the Nineteenth Century (CANCELLED)
2:30 PM-4:00 PM
This course studies the Victorian novel and concentrates on works by major figures in the period such as the Brontës, Dickens, and Hardy. We begin by looking at the cultural context in which the novels were written and by reading brief selections from some background texts. In discussions of the novelists themselves, we concentrate on several different subjects: why narrative became so popular as literary form in this period; how the novelists tried to deal with questions of social identity; the emergence of the modern mind; and the predicaments caused by deep changes in the political, moral, and technological environment.
There is a lot of reading in the course, all of it rich, engaging, and demanding. Students need to keep up with the reading since there is no room in the course for backtracking. Written work and grades are based on a number of factors, but the most important is the level and thoroughness of the reading you do for the course.
It is helpful to have at least a minimum sense of the basic techniques of fiction, e.g. the difference between first and third person narration. Generally, I don't expect a lot of background. It would be much to your advantage to have read at least one of the novels before class begins.
Quizzes & participation 20%
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
George Eliot, Middlemarch
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles