• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

University Degree: Literary Criticism

Browse by

Currently browsing by:

Meet our team of inspirational teachers

find out about the team

Get help from 80+ teachers and hundreds of thousands of student written documents

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  1. Sense and sensibility in 'Howard's End' and 'Sense and Sensibility'

    One could argue that Elinor represents 'sense' whilst Marianne represents 'sensibility'. However, the sisters show how when 'sense' or 'sensibility' control the mind excessively, these personality traits can have a destructive effect on their romantic lives. The title of Austen's novel shows the need for a state of balance between 'sense' and 'sensibility'. This is similar to the 'inner life' and 'outer life' which are explored in E.M. Forster's Howards End, where Helen represents the emotionally driven 'inner life' and Henry Wilcox represents the 'outer life', a world ruled by 'telegrams and anger' (Forster 25).

    • Word count: 1446
  2. Marxist reading of Mansfield's The Garden Party

    On the surface, class conflict and prejudice are the obvious themes of 'The Garden Party'. It is deemed perfectly natural that the haves and the have-nots coexist along side each other and lead parallel lives. Everyone knows their place in society and all interaction between the classes is governed by strict codes of behavior. Every now and we get an inkling of underlying tension, such as when Laura's mother remarks that she's 'terrified' of the cook5. However such frictions are quickly and deftly smoothed over.

    • Word count: 1172
  3. Why I Write is a short essay by George Orwell (1946) in which he details the different writing stages he went through since his childhood until he became an adult

    In this piece, the Orwell supports " it is his job, to discipline his temperament and avoid getting stuck at some immature stage, but if he escapes from his early influences, he will have killed his impulse to write"2. What the author tries to explain on this statement is that writers must learn how to manage theirs feelings. Furthermore, the message of the latter evidence is that the control of an author�s own emotion is definitely necessary so as to write what they consider in a proper way.

    • Word count: 1803
  4. Pastoral writing is fundamentally conservative and opposed to change Using the books Brideshead revisited and Tess of the Durbervilles, discuss this claim.

    Charles also describes Sebastian as being someone with 'epicene beauty', which highlights the physical androgyny in the character and thus lack of sexual characteristic. Waugh also explores this relationship along Pastoral lines by, from the perspective of Charles, constructing Sebastian as an icon. He is the child who 'never had spots', enacting his representation of eternal youth. Other aspects of character further enhance this; he always carries his teddy bear, 'Aloysius', around with him for example, and even goes so far as apply to 'childish' rules of ownership to characters like Charles, who he explains that Samgrass is 'someone of mummies' and Rex is 'someone of Julia's'.

    • Word count: 1914
  5. Recurring Themes and Concerns in Prose and Poetry that Reshaped the Character of Australia

    Earlier subjects such as the convicts or gold miners told the story of their lives and their concerns. These poems and ballads were stories about the treatment of convicts, some written by the convicts themselves such as 'Frank the Poet', providing his view of life and his concerns. It is from this beginning that much of the material available shows the male prospective with very little influence or acknowledgement of women. Even when women are included in the content, such as "The Female Transport", "The Girl with the Black Velvet Band", "The Old Bullock Dray", "Gold Field Girls" and "The Twentieth Century Girl" (cited in Anthology LCS12 2009, pp 11, 14, 21, 31, 113)

    • Word count: 1848
  6. Orientalism: Linguistic and Cultural Representation of Truth. Said provides a critique of Orientalism as the basis of humanistic practice.

    The writings on the Orient are meant to be studied and investigated as a compilation of information that generalizes the characteristics of that region of the world through the lens of the Occident. The Orient is a discursive formation, which is subject to rules of conditions of existence, coexistence, modification; all that is outside of the discourse is 'non-discursive', which refers to the silences and elisions mentioned by Said. These are the boundaries of the discourse, for non-discursive things threaten the discursive formation. So, what is so important about discursive formation? It, in fact, directly pertains to notions of power.

    • Word count: 1342
  7. In what ways is Eliots The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock, an example of modernist writing? Discuss this in relation to form as well as content.

    Modernist influences can be seen through TS Eliots utilization of language and form. TS Eliots use of irony is prevalent in the title of the poem itself, as we determine that 'The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufock' is not a love poem but rather a depiction of a lonely, isolated figure who feels alienated from the society around him. The opening lines 'Let us go then, you and I/ When the evening is spread out through the sky' signal the start of a traditional love poem, and emanate thoughts of romance.

    • Word count: 1448
  8. William Gilpins 1794 essay On Picturesque Travel discusses the picturesque mode of beauty. This beauty is characterised by roughness and variety. Yet Gilpin is not only preoccupied with the visual qualities of the picturesque: he em

    I give permission for the Department to run the e-copy of my assignment through plagiarism detection software. By the submission of this cover sheet, I acknowledge the above. College ID number (9 digit number, eg 101234567): 090172506 College Username (eg le01234): le09094 Module Code: ESH334 Seminar Leader: Andrew Lincoln Assignment Number & Element (e.g. '1. Short Essay'): Writing Exercise 1: 20% Title: Writing Exercise Begin your assignment beneath this line Writing and Vision in the Romantic Period Written Exercise b) Examine the relationship between seeing and feeling in the passage, and consider some cultural implications of Gilpin's understanding of beauty.

    • Word count: 1479
  9. Themes in Ben Johnsons Plays

    827-830). Johnson's reputation was established as a writer of comedy. He was famous for his satirical plays. He was friends with his contemporary great English poet and playwright William Shakespeare. Shakespeare even acted in one of his plays called 'Every Man in His Humor'. Johnson used to live a bohemian life and he was once almost sentenced to death after he had killed a Spanish actor in a duel. Most of his great plays are written after this incident of his life. His greatest works are 'Volpone', 'The Alchemist', and 'Bartholomew Fair' which were written and acted between 1605 and 1615.

    • Word count: 1216
  10. The journey in Conrads Heart of Darkness enables him to frame his narrative. Explain.

    There is mindless blasting of hills to build a railway line where there is no obstruction, the imported drainage pipes are dumped causing them to break and hence rendering them useless and the inhuman treatment meted out to the natives where they are tied down like animals with iron collars and ropes which presents a very wicked picture of colonization. This madness is further established by the fact that the object of procurement, ivory, is of no intrinsic value to the colonizers; it is just the fetish that leads them to unleash the eternal "gloom" on natives.

    • Word count: 1035
  11. To what extent can different aspects of Marxist literary theory be applied to Tony Harrisons poem, The Red Lights of Plenty?

    Thus it could be argued that the horn of plenty is a symbol of capitalism. Equally, it could be argued that "PLENTY" represents the worker, as the term is inextricably linked to Marxist ideas of production. Marx described capitalism, "with its predominance of quantity over quality", as converting "social products" into "market commodities"1. In personifying "PLENTY" (through use of capital letters) individualism is lost in the formation of the collective. The workers become dehumanised; reified by capitalism and alienated from themselves. The exploitation of the working classes is explored further through the way in which the poem is structured to portray the plenty (the workers)

    • Word count: 1820
  12. The Significance of Discourse in Jane Austens Emma

    Furthermore, the discourse in the novel, wrought with miscommunication, underscore the role of women at this time, and reveal the social status of Austen's characters. Every character, with the exception of Robert Martin, has a voice in the novel. A character's use or misuse of that voice establishes the degree of social merit for which that character qualifies. Also, the root cause behind the misuse of language is an important determining factor. An infraction of language rules based on ignorance is a lesser violation than an offense based on profit and self-indulgence.

    • Word count: 1715
  13. Uncle Toms Cabin: A Novel of Christian Ideals

    Stowe's novel still remains one of the most controversial novels ever written; then for its righteous portrayal of slaves, and now for its language and simplification of characters. Regardless of the many criticisms, however, all would agree that Stowe's sentimental and moving fictional account of slavery employs the force of Christianity and morality to appose the cruel and inhumane acts of slavery. Stowe shows her readers how life could improve for a person if they simply embrace Christianity. Stowe wrote for a predominantly religious audience, and being Protestant herself, she took great care to properly illustrate how the moral code of Christianity greatly opposes the system of slavery.

    • Word count: 1569
  14. Hard Times: A Characterization of Englands Industrial Revolution

    Wealthy factory owners began to capitalize on cheap labor, and the working class suffered due to nonexistent labor laws, long days, and little compensation. Dickens' Coketown, as presented in his novel, Hard Times, paints a picture of this progressive and uneasy time in England's history, using characters which represent each of the different social classes. Through character interaction and dialogue, Dickens presents his reader with a critical view of the blurred social status of the aristocrats, the greed, amorality, and flawed philosophy of the wealthy middle class, the daily suffrage of the working class, and the economically crippled life of the impoverished.

    • Word count: 1767
  15. The Analysis of the Dialogues in The Last Leaf Based on Cooperative Principle

    "Six," said Johnsy, in almost a whisper. "They're falling faster now. Three days ago there were almost a hundred. It made my head ache to count them. But now it's easy. There goes another one. There are only five left now." (2) "Five what, dear? Tell your Sudie." (3) "Leaves. On the ivy vine. When the last one falls I must go too. I've known that for three days. Didn't the doctor tell you?" (4) "Oh, I never heard of such nonsense!"

    • Word count: 1757
  16. Romanticism Literature Review

    This supports Wordsworth's ideals that appreciating nature can raise mankind to a height of sublime in a way that society cannot. The poem is written in structured blank verse, and comprises of paragraphs rather than stanzas and it is here we see the development of the conversation poem thought to be invented by Coleridge and Wordsworth. The imagery and language remain consistent through Wordsworth's poetry when considering the sublime, adhering to rules he set out in the 1802 preface to the Lyrical Ballads.

    • Word count: 1867
  17. Close reading of Lady with the Dog

    Upon recognizing the behaviors of Dmitri Gurov from 'The Lady with the Dog' (Passage 3, 15) it appears that this character lives his life trying to escape the depression he feels from being emasculated by his wife, has affairs to regain the control he so deeply craves, and degrades women to reaffirm his own worth and manhood. These three attributes become key signifiers of his character and personality. They become even more prominent when he begins to fall in love with Anna against his own will. Dmitri Gurov's flawed and shadowed perspective of the world is the product of his bitter relationship with his wife.

    • Word count: 1200
  18. Sonny's Blues

    As a reader, I felt connected to this story because it is relatable, realistic, and inspirational. I connected to and understood these imperfect characters and situations, who although fictional, lived and felt in a world that is real. Personally, I find that when characters experience events and moments that play out authentically, I am able to connect with them. Recognizing raw and honest elements in the characters I read about allow me to share in their grief, as well as celebrate in their accomplishments. When the journey of the characters results in something positive, I am usually at peace and enlightened about the path they have taken because the happy ending feels human and attainable.

    • Word count: 1279
  19. Mrs. Dalloway. Clarissa Dalloway and Peter Walsh are defined by their memories. Virginia Woolf creates their characters through the memories they share, and fabricates their very identities from these mutual experiences.

    "One must seek out the people who completed them; even the places," (171), and it was with Sally and Peter at Bourton that Clarissa took shape, forming the seed of the woman she becomes by her fifties. It was at Bourton that Clarissa first tasted love and it left its mark on her in the form of memories. Clarissa's memories of Peter aren't of moonlight walks or love letters; rather they are the more personal observations, personality traits that were impressed upon her memory "his eyes, his pocket-knife, his smile, his grumpiness" (1).

    • Word count: 1268
  20. Mrs. Dalloway & The Hours

    Dalloway in The Hours, and finally to the source of it all-the mind of Virginia Woolf. "Many people, including Michael Cunningham, didn't think the novel could be turned into a movie" (Ansen 21). The process of writing a screen play to ultimately accomplish the essence of a novel such as The Hours can be quite a challenge. A novel, as a piece of literature, contains inner thoughts and feelings that are felt by the characters of the novel. A work of literature also may consist of an array of emotional tones and characteristics that can only be portrayed in a piece of literature.

    • Word count: 1804
  21. The Fall of the House of Usher

    However, by the conclusion of both tales Gardner's remake of "The Fall of the House of Usher" is still a considerably lighter version of Poe's gothic story. Both stories correlate within their morbid tones as the narrators of the two tales discuss the stormy environment, which plagues the beginning of the stories. Poe characterizes the storm as "abroad in all its wrath...with huge masses of agitated vapour" (Poe 160). Then he goes onto describe an "unnatural light of a faintly luminous and distinctly visible gaseous exhalation which hugh about and enshrouded the mansion" (Poe 160).

    • Word count: 1114
  22. Absurdist Theatre Waiting for Godot

    There is no conceivable plot in the sense of traditional theatre. What is even more interesting is that the second act is a repeat or reprise of the first act so it is a play in which nothing happens twice over. Waiting and doing "nothing", turn nothing into something by passing the time, in a premise which offers no hope. Estragon demonstrates this, "Nothing to be done" with Vladimir replying, " I'm beginning to come round to that opinion". Although initially this refers to Estragon's boots, it also is used later in respect to Vladimir's hat.

    • Word count: 1481
  23. Turn of the Screw

    Due to the Gothic genre's popularity in the late nineteenth century, James's choice of style for his novella could be viewed as a deliberate fa�ade for an examination into the depths of the human psyche. I would argue that The Turn of the Screw makes more sense when read alongside works such as William James's Principles of Psychology (1890) and works by Sigmund Freud such as an Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1917). It is essential to first examine at one of James's contempories to establish a typical Victorian Ghost Story.

    • Word count: 1671
  24. Mrs. Dalloway. In the book Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, the role of the upper-class woman entails certain behaviours and activities that are of utmost necessity, and is the reason for Clarissas reserved behaviour, the choice to marry Richard Dallow

    Interestingly enough, Clarissa resents this position at one point. There is the question of propriety evident when Peter Walsh interrupts Clarissa's process of getting ready, and Clarissa hurries to keep Peter from seeing her dress, "like a virgin protecting chastity." In Clarissa's opinion, seeing her mend this dress would prove to Peter what he respects least - her eagerness to conform and thrive in high class society, as if all that worries her is how perfect her dress will look. Nonetheless, since this is what Clarissa has chosen, it is indeed expected of her to be mending dresses and to be preparing for glamorous parties.

    • Word count: 1052
  25. Victor Frankenstein the Villain

    Throughout the poem the meter alternates between iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter. Her use of the punctuations are structured and organized at first, but as the speaker is losing her sanity the punctuations turn chaotic, more frequent commas and dashes. Dickinson lived in isolation, surrounded by her poetry and letters. Her lifestyle plays out in her poetry. She uses physical things and sounds she hears as metaphors to describe speakers' emotional distress. Using repetition "treading - treading", "beating - beating", Dickinson influences readers' ear with steady progression of sounds heard by the speaker like mourners footsteps.

    • Word count: 1202

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss the ways in which women are constructed in any two texts on the course.

    "The post-twentieth century societies depicted in Sister Carrie and House of Mirth reward those who are able to adapt to a more independent, self-sufficient way of life. Carrie is able to reconstruct herself as she progresses in society. This is in contrast to Lily, who allows other people to impose their constructions of her upon her but fails to construct an identity for herself. Ultimately the constructions of Carrie and Lily are founded on illusions. They are the perceptions and ideas of other characters, which are imposed upon the female leads of Wharton and Dreiser's novels. Even Carrie's construction of herself is based on illusion. Ironically, the only construction of a character that is rooted in reality is Lily. Death is a tragically real ending for Wharton's heroine. However, Wharton's use of the mysterious word at the novel's conclusion constructs Lily as still being alive, her legacy being a construct based on the mystery of the unspoken word and the imaginings and fantasies of the reader over what the word is."

  • To what extent is the word postmodern an effective critical term for describing late twentieth-century literature and culture?

    "In conclusion, I do not think that postmodern is an effective critical term for describing late twentieth-century literature and culture. The term can be used to describe political theories or philosophies, but for literature and culture it just does not evoke the true essence of the period or movement. I think it suggests too much of an extension of the attributes of modernism, instead of the reaction against modernism that it really is."

  • Discuss the way that children's literature works variations on the theme of 'the missing parents

    "In conclusion, with so many childrens texts containing this theme of 'missing parents', it seems that this theme is necessary in some way to these texts. The centralisation of this theme perhaps adds a level of reality to these stories; on the transition to adulthood a child normally has experiences that are devoid of adult guidance, that though scary, change the child in the long run. This transitional period is often missed by a younger child, and is instead picked up on a later reading of the text. Furthermore, it is perhaps time to ask, 'is this theme what defines a children's book?' On the evidence above, and close reading of many other texts as a child, i argue that although it may not conclusively define a childrens book, it is an important aspect of a childrens book. There are many examples where this theme strengthens the plot of the story, involving the reader more than the author would otherwise have been able."

Marked by a teacher

This document has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the document.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the document page.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student document reviewing squad. Read the full review under the document preview on this page.