Directions

1. Submit them to Professor Landow in the body of the e-mail

2. Due accoding to the exam schedule on 13 May, but you can send them in up to 4 pm on Monday, 17 May. No late projects accepted.

3. For each of the following passages identify its author's full name, the work's exact title, and its date (1 point). Then write mini-essays, such as you written in your question sets, for each passage that explain three ways in which the passage relates (whatever you take that term to mean) to Dickens's Great Expectations. Be as ingenious and specific as possible! One of these connections must concern theme (3 points), a second must concern technique (4 points), such as imagery, description, setting, characterization, style, ethos, metre, stanza form, narrative structure, endings, and so on, and a third some aspect of the religious, philosophical, historical, or scientific context (2 pints). Please do not repeat the same themes, techniques, or contexts; that is, if you discuss imagery in one answer, choose different techniques for the others. Before you begin writing, make sure you have clear the distinction between theme and context. Note: one of your essays on context may concern biographical context.

Hints and Additional Directions

  1. To make your point include appropriate passages from Great Expectations in your mini-essay.
  2. Not all the relations you discover or create will turn out to be obvious ones, such as matters of influence or of analogous ideas and techniques. Some may take the form of contrasts or oppositions that tell us something interesting about the authors, literary forms, or times in which these works appeared. Others, particularly matters of context, may require you to use the materials in the web to formulate an hypothesis. In many cases the web provides the materials to create an answer but not an answer itself.
  3. Until the point at which you actually begin writing about a passage, you can discuss the passages below with other members of the class.
  4. Provide the title and, where possible, the author of any hypertext or other materials, such as the Norton Anthology, Wikipedia [do not use more than once], OED Online, Victorian Web, Norton Critical Editions, or reference works, from which you quote or draw. Use the directions on site for forms of in-text citation and bibliographies. Remember to provide the full URL for any document from a website you use.
  5. Do not use period or stylistic terms, such as Romantic or Victorian, to explain a passage or provide a context. Remember, Carlyle, Carroll, and Dickens did not write in a particular way because they were Victorian. Because they wrote that way, we call such writing Victorian.
  6. Feel free to make brief comparisons and contrasts to other works when such would add to your discussion.
  7. Remember: Avoid forms of to be and passive verbs as much as possible, and check out the materials on writing linked to the syllabus before you begin to write.

1.

One story I will try to reproduce. But, alas! it is like trying to reconstruct a forest out of broken branches and withered leaves. In the fairy book, everything was just as it should be, though whether in words or something else, I cannot tell. It glowed and flashed the thoughts upon the soul, with such a power that the medium disappeared from the consciousness, and it was occupied only with the things themselves. My representation of it must resemble a translation from a rich and powerful language, capable of embodying the thoughts of a splendidly developed people, into the meagre and half-articulate speech of a savage tribe. Of course, while I read it, I was Cosmo, and his history was mine. Yet, all the time, I seemed to have a kind of double consciousness, and the story a double meaning.

2.

'I like the Walrus best,' said Alice: 'because you see he was a LITTLE sorry for the poor oysters.'

'He ate more than the Carpenter, though,' said Tweedledee. 'You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that the Carpenter couldn't count how many he took: contrariwise.'

'That was mean!' Alice said indignantly. 'Then I like the Carpenter bestĐif he didn't eat so many as the Walrus.'

'But he ate as many as he could get,' said Tweedledum.

This was a puzzler. After a pause, Alice began, 'Well! They were BOTH very unpleasant characters —'

3.

"So careful of the type?" but no.
      From scarped cliff and quarried stone
      She cries, "A thousand types are gone:
I care for nothing, all shall go.

"Thou makest thine appeal to me:
      I bring to life, I bring to death:
      The spirit does but mean the breath:
I know no more." And he, shall he,

Man, her last work, who seem'd so fair,
      Such splendid purpose in his eyes,
      Who roll'd the psalm to wintry skies,
Who built him fanes of fruitless prayer,

Who trusted God was love indeed
      And love Creation's final law —
      Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek'd against his creed —

Who loved, who suffer'd countless ills,
      Who battled for the True, the Just,
      Be blown about the desert dust,

Or seal'd within the iron hills?

4.

Her lips began to scorch,
That juice was wormwood to her tongue,
She loathed the feast:
Writhing as one possessed she leaped and sung,
Rent all her robe, and wrung
Her hands in lamentable haste,
And beat her breast.
Her locks streamed like the torch
Borne by a racer at full speed,
Or like the mane of horses in their flight,
Or like an eagle when she stems the light
Straight toward the sun,
Or like a caged thing freed,
Or like a flying flag when armies run.
Swift fire spread through her veins, knocked at her heart,
Met the fire smouldering there
And overbore its lesser flame,
She gorged on bitterness without a name:
Ah! fool, to choose such part
Of soul-consuming care!

5.

Tully, my masters? Ulpian serves his need!
And then how I shall lie through centuries,
And hear the blessed mutter of the mass,
And see God made and eaten all day long,
And feel the steady candle-flame, and taste
Good strong thick stupefying incense-smoke!
For as I lie here, hours of the dead night,
Dying in state and by such slow degrees,
I fold my arms as if they clasped a crook,
And stretch my feet forth straight as stone can point,
And let the bedclothes, for a mortcloth, drop
Into great laps and folds of sculptor's-work:
And as yon tapers dwindle, and strange thoughts
Grow, with a certain humming in my ears,
About the life before I lived this life,
And this life too, popes, cardinals and priests, . . .
Your tall pale mother with her talking eyes,
And new-found agate urns as fresh as day,
And marble's language, Latin pure, discreet,

6.

Venus looked on Helen's gift,
               (O Troy Town!)
Looked and smiled with subtle drift,
Saw the work of her heart's desire: —
'There thou kneel'st for Love to lift!═
               (O Troy's down,
               Tall Troy's on fire!)

Venus looked in Helen's face,
               (O Troy Town!)
Knew far off an hour and place,
And fire lit from the heart's desire;
Laughed and said, 'Thy gift hath grace!═
               (O Troy's down,
               Tall Troy's on fire!)

Cupid looked on Helen's breast,
               (O Troy Town!)
Saw the heart within its nest,
Saw the flame of the heart's desire, —
Marked his arrow's burning crest.
               (O Troy's down,
               Tall Troy's on fire!)

Cupid took another dart,
               (O Troy Town!)
Fledged it for another heart,
Winged the shaft with the heart's desire,
Drew the string and said, 'Depart!═
               (O Troy's down,
               Tall Troy's on fire!)

Paris turned upon his bed,
               (O Troy Town!)
Turned upon his bed and said,
Dead at heart with the heart's desire, —
'Oh to clasp her golden head!═
               (O Troy's down,
               Tall Troy's on fire!)

7.

His form was of the same strong and stalwart contour as ever: his port was still erect, his hair was still raven black; nor were his features altered or sunk: not in one year's space, by any sorrow, could his athletic strength be quelled or his vigorous prime blighted. But in his countenance I saw a change: that looked desperate and brooding Đ that reminded me of some wronged and fettered wild beast or bird, dangerous to approach in his sullen woe. The caged eagle, whose gold-ringed eyes cruelty has extinguished, might look as looked that sightless Samson. . . .

"It is time some one undertook to rehumanise you," said I, parting his thick and long uncut locks; "for I see you are being metamorphosed into a lion, or something of that sort. You have a 'faux air' of Nebuchadnezzar in the fields about you, that is certain: your hair reminds me of eagles' feathers; whether your nails are grown like birds' claws or not, I have not yet noticed." . . .

Am I hideous, Jane?"

"Very, sir: you always were, you know."

8.

Here is all the end of all his glory --
    Dust, and grass, and barren silent stones.
Dead, like him, one hollow tower and hoary
    Naked in the sea-wind stands and moans,
Filled and thrilled with its perpetual story:
    Here, where earth is dense with dead men's bones.

                                11

Low and loud and long, a voice for ever,
    Sounds the wind's clear story like a song.             440
Tomb from tomb the waves devouring sever,
    Dust from dust as years relapse along;
Graves where men made sure to rest, and never
    Lie dismantled by the seasons' wrong.

                                12

Now displaced, devoured and desecrated,
    Now by Time's hands darkly disinterred,
These poor dead that sleeping here awaited
    Long the archangel's re-creating word,
Closed about with roofs and walls high-gated
    Till the blast of judgment should be heard,             450

                                13

Naked, shamed, cast out of consecration,
    Corpse and coffin, yea the very graves,
Scoffed at, scattered, shaken from their station,
    Spurned and scourged of wind and sea like slaves,
Desolate beyond man's desolation,
    Shrink and sink into the waste of waves.

                                14

Tombs, with bare white piteous bones protruded,
    Shroudless, down the loose collapsing banks,
Crumble, from their constant place detruded,
    That the sea devours and gives not thanks.             460
Where hope and prayer and sorrow brooded
    Gape and slide and perish, ranks on ranks.

9.

An omnibus across the bridge
Crawls like a yellow butterfly,
And, here and there, a passer-by
Shows like a little restless midge.

Big barges full of yellow hay
Are moored against the shadowy wharf,
And, like a yellow silken scarf,
The thick fog hangs along the quay.

The yellow leaves begin to fade
And flutter from the Temple elms,
And at my feet the pale green Thames
Lies like a rod of rippled jade.

10. Research assignment

Go to the John Hay Library, which is open 9-5 on weekdays, and find in an article contemporary with one of the texts read in English 60 for some relevant material. In an essay equivalent to at least three double-spaced pages include selections from the material you found along with complete bibliographic citation and an introduction and discussion of the material that explains its relevance to the book you've chosen. You might go, for example, to The Illustrated London News, London Times, Punch, or one of the intellectual quarterlies, such as The Westminster Review, to which George Eliot contributed, or The Cornhill Review, which Thackeray edited. There you might find articles on, say, Australia, the condition of governesses, missionary work in India, orphan asylums, primary education, and so on. Make sure these contemporary materials are in fact contemporary — that is, that they come from a few years before or after the work to which you relate them. In this part of the assignment, I am asking you to do scholarship, and scholarship is detective work. Last year several students found so much material that they decided to use these sources for the context sections of other questions. You can do so, too, but please use a different article for each context part of your essay.


Last modified 14 April 2009