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University Degree: Literary Criticism

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  1. Orientalism, Edward Said. Orientalism legitimates a vocabulary, a universe of representative discourse peculiar to the discussion and understanding of the Orient (Said 71) and it consisted of a set of representative figures, or trope

    (Said 70) The fact that Orientalism derived its authentic from its unchanging nature would cause problems with the emergence of the 19th century. Orientalism would have to change to survive with the times. There was disillusionment when it was realized that the classical Orient did not properly represent the actual Orient. It became what was known as the 'betrayed dream'. What was realized was that one could only really use generalities to describe the Orient in order not to conflict with the specific actualities; it was almost as if "a bin called 'Oriental existed into which all the authoritative, anonymous, and traditional Western attitudes to the East were dumped unthinkingly."

    • Word count: 3900
  2. The Role of Fear and Obsession on Gothic Literature. It seems within these texts that a sense of Gothic, with regard to the influence and obsession of the characters, comes not so much from the conventional fear of the supernatural and the mystical but m

    The use of heavy adjectival phrases in describing the woman, the idea of 'deepest black', the woman described as 'pathetically wasted...pale and gaunt with disease' and the alliterative skin 'stretched and strained', give an initially comprehensive description of the woman which not only creates fear but also develops it steadily and makes it feel ubiquitous and unavoidable, as though every element of her is grotesque. Within the pre-1948 setting of the novel the idea of wasting, particularly referring to Tuberculosis, would have had a particularly chilling effect as the disease would have been the cause of many deaths and, before

    • Word count: 3402
  3. Writers seem to find greatest expression when writing about the power of memories over the present. On the basis of your reading of Ishiguros The Remains of the Day and of your selection of Hardys poem

    Even the phrase's dissonance highlights the disjointedness between the physical world and the land of his memories. Hardy continued writing about Emma even after his second marriage to Florence Dugdale, further proof that he could never move forward, perhaps due to guilt about his new-found love and happiness after denying Emma these very same things. This idea is continued in the third stanza by the simile 'drawn rose-bright'3, with 'drawn' suggesting the permanence of what he faces - as if the memories were etched onto his mind's eye - and 'bright' highlighting how they shine out while everything else fades in comparison.

    • Word count: 3557
  4. Oscar Wildes The Nightingale and the Rose, similar to other Oscar Wildes short stories, is written in an aesthetic voice. Throughout the story, Oscar Wilde employs various stylistic devices for the expression of aesthetic concept. In order to show h

    For all the information you have put in the essay, you are required to indicate their sources each by means of brackets and then to match them in the references at the end of the essay. 1. Overview of Stylistics 1.1 Definitions of stylistics Stylistics refers to stylistic study specially. The aim of the stylistic study is to interpret the literary meaning and aesthetic effect of literature texts linguistically. There are many definitions on the stylistics. Leech and Short(1981:23)defined that "Compared with many other studies, literary stylistics is a new science, a linguistic approach towards literature works.

    • Word count: 5275
  5. Appreciation of The Unicorn in the Gardenand What is literature?

    And the main character Paul (symbolized himself) eventually got freedom from his mother's death and his lovers' left could be deemed as his hope to his life. Under authors' pen, the letters are come to life to tell out the authors' view and response on something. Jane Austin shows her worldview on marriage that it is not built on wealth, but on spiritual understanding of each other, in her greatest novel "Pride and Prejudice". Some assume that literature is simply anything that is written. Derived from the Latin littera, meaning "letter," the root meaning of literature refers primarily to the written works.

    • Word count: 4187
  6. South Park isnt Sesame Street, it is not poison either

    South Park isn't Sesame Street, it is not poison either1 -"I think we all learned something today ..."- I have never come across a TV series that has such a wide range of subjects they criticize as South Park does. Hate Crimes, Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, Voting, Global Warning, Parenting, Nambla, Al Quaeda, Homosexuality, Gay marriage, Illegal Immigration, Pedophilic priests. Different religious beliefs and groups like The Mormons, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Scientology. There is nothing that the creators of South Park would not criticize; nothing that they don't feel comfortable enough to make fun off.

    • Word count: 4688
  7. Puddnhead Wilson as Fabulation

    Can it appropriately be read in the tradition of Madame Bovary, A Modern Instance, The Portrait of a Lady, and Sister Carrie? Or is the question of realism irrelevant, and should the book be read in an altogether different tradition? Not unexpectedly, my answer is that it should be read in another tradition. The appropriate one, it seems to me, is the great story-telling tradition that stretches from Cervantes, Fielding, Smollett and Sterne to such writers of our own day as Heller, Vonnegut, and Hawkes.

    • Word count: 5033
  8. Childrens literature - it is clear that some material from nonsense books such as Alice In Wonderland and Lears Book Of Nonsense is merely that, nonsense, and to pull meaning from it would kill it as some theorists suggests. However, there is arguably

    This opinion is indeed favoured by many critics who regard nonsense writing as an excellent way to excite children, away from the didactic and moral stories expressed in most books for children at the time. Examples of such nonsense is featured in Carroll's Alice In Wonderland and Lear's Book of Nonsense and Nonsense Songs. Both books use the familiar theme of food and people used and featured in imaginative situations. Food is perhaps the primary desire of young children to whom sex is inaccessible; therefore using food in this way would grab their attention.

    • Word count: 3074
  9. Analyse the relationship between body and writing in Winterson and Lispector

    3 Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body and Clarice Lispector's The Hour of the Star are both stories that explore this relationship between language and body. In Winterson's novel, the extract used as a blurb on all of the editions (found on page 89 of the novel) is: "Written on the body is a secret code only visible in certain lights: the accumulations of a lifetime gather there. In places the palimpsest is so heavily worked that the letters feel like Braille.

    • Word count: 3345
  10. Using Evelyn Waughs, A Handful of Dust and Isabel Allendes Daughters of Fortune, as a starting point discuss the relationship between gender and movement.

    she is inst?ntly relieved with h?ppiness th?t] 'John ... John ?ndrew ... I ... oh? th?nk God...' (W?ugh 118). This one line is strong enough to ch?nge the opinions of all of Brend?'s supporters. ? re?der could underst?nd ? bored wife th?t is involved in ? love ?ff?ir reacting like Brenda, but not th? f?ct th?t ? moth?r would prefer her only son's de?th over ? m?n who she b?rely knew except for ? count?ble number of months. C?n even ? self-condemned wom?n be such ? p?th?tic he?rtless moth?r? ? wom?n is ?lw?ys regarded ?s th? more sensitive p?rtner when it comes to the child th?t she has willingly b?red for th?

    • Word count: 6614
  11. A Bakhtinian Reading of Geoffrey Chaucer

    is just as comic. There can be something of a carnival atmosphere to their journey, at times. Indeed, the host claims that on their journey, they will be 'telling tales and making holiday.'7 Whilst the travellers are indeed, on a holy pilgrimage, and, as such, a holy day, it is more to the carnival than the religious that the host alludes. Bakhtin states that 'nearly every church feast had its comic folk aspect, which were traditionally recognized. Such, for instance, were the parish feasts, usually marked by fairs and open-air amusements.'8 The stories told by the pilgrims can be likened to these distractions from day-to-day life.

    • Word count: 4298
  12. English Preromanticism: William Blake

    All these aspects mentioned above reflects the events of the Enlightenment in the 18th century, which awakened Romanticism. Consequently, Romanticism ideas are relevant to the Modern World. The Preromantic poets were interested in nature, in the past, which pure and unspoilt, and in the individual. We live in an age of disturbance and we are very used to the idea of the eccentric artist who doesn't follow the rules. Modern audiences have projected back a lot of their tolerances and preferences onto another age and see W.Blake as "a pioneering wild man of art" (Preromanticism Criticism).

    • Word count: 3408
  13. Năm Nhỏ in Cải ơi by Nguyễn Ngọc Tư: A critical approach to the characteristics of the southern people in Vietnam

    Although Cai is just his stepdaughter, he still loves her and has a close relationship with her: "�ng d� dat con nho di h�i xo�i ch�n trong vuon hoang, d� chat chu�i l�m be cho n� loi, tha tr�u, choi di�u, �ng d� c�ng con nho di tat m�y vat d�ng d� kh�m benh ch� �ng b�c si gi� m�i khi n� nhuc d�u, s� mui. C�y kep nho, mo d�y thun khoanh, m�y cuc keo dua vung vinh trong t�i �o m�i khi �ng di cho v�."

    • Word count: 4714
  14. With close reference to the text, discuss the use of contrast as one of the structural principles of Wuthering Heights.

    Bront� uses these contrasting pairs throughout her novel to present to the reader the consequences of such contrasting people, places and themes have in the nineteenth-century. I am going to investigate and talk about each of these contrasting pairs in detail and come to a conclusion as to why Bront� used them so vividly in her novel. The central theme of Wuthering Heights seems to be the mutual love and passion Heathcliff and Catherine have for each other. Heathcliff and Catherine's love for each other is stronger and more long-lasting than any other emotion or passion in the novel, and

    • Word count: 3722
  15. Sex, Shame and Guilt: Reflections on Bernhard Schlink's der Vorleser (the Reader) and J

    she is illiterate. The discrepancy in education could, then, hardly be greater. And it is not only expressed but accentuated by the fact that Michael spends a great deal of time at her request reading out loud to Hanna (he is the 'Vorleser' of the title). In Coetzee's novel, David Lurie, a university professor of English aged fifty-two, has an affair with one of his students, Melanie Isaacs, who is twenty. The affair soon comes to light and causes a scandal; David has to answer to a disciplinary tribunal and in consequence loses his job.

    • Word count: 15467
  16. Discuss the ways in which women are constructed in any two texts on the course.

    The Atlantic acts as a divider between Lily and her problems. By crossing the Atlantic she believes she has escaped her troubled life. Europe presents an opportunity for Lily to escape reality. This extract could be interpreted as presenting how Lily goes to Europe to construct a new reality for herself. Even though she is not free from her debts this section presents how being in a foreign country makes her problems seem less real. Firstly, the use of landscape helps to construct women as transient and free. In spite of her money woes Lily is still able to travel to Europe.

    • Word count: 4842
  17. It is clear when upon reading a novel that it does much more than simply lists the events as they occur. The narrative structure used in Equianos Travels and The Pilgrims Progress clearly support this theory.

    The primary purpose of this novel is to inform the reader and impose a religious message upon the reader. Unlike a typical novel The Pilgrims Progress contains notes in the margin, which are similar to teaching text books. This technique reinforces the novels scholastic intentions while emphasizing its moralistic undertone. It is a didactic novel in very palpable way as there are an astounding amounts amount of morals within the novel. For example, the characters themselves are used as a method of conveying the morals in this book, such as Hopeful, Goodwill, Faithful and the main character himself, Christian.

    • Word count: 3457
  18. Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba: Visual and Aural Cues Contributing to an Appreciation of Interaction

    As a playwright, Lorca relies on visual and aural cues that assuredly would have appeared as apposite phases in a work meant to be read rather than seen and heard.5 These unspoken references are a subtext to the spoken word and associated action, giving the latter both special context and added meaning. From the opening act in the play, imagery propels drama. The desire to escape - a desire so strong that it ends in tragic consequences - emerges as a leitmotif against which Lorca employs a continuity of metaphorical imagery to shape dialogue, foresee action, accentuate vital information, and advance narrative.

    • Word count: 3367
  19. A close comparative literary and linguistic study

    Harrison's father desperately clings to the fantasy that his wife will one day return to him. In keeping this fantasy alive, he continues to carry out everyday routines: he "kept her slippers" warm and "put hot water bottles / her side of the bed" (Long Distance II, lines 2-3). These actions reveal the love Harrison's father felt for his wife, as they show his desire to continue caring for his wife by ensuring that she is comfortable within the home even after she has departed.

    • Word count: 4880
  20. Frank McGuinness.

    At first the three men are aggressive and hostile, treating one another as though they are enemies. They fail to realize that the real enemies are those political terrorists who keep them imprisoned in Beirut. Initially the hostages fail to understand that they need to support and help each other, rather than constantly causing assault and offence. However, over time they recognize that they are the only real support and salvation left for each other. It is only through this understanding that they find the compassion and the imagination they need to enable them to survive their ordeal.

    • Word count: 3209
  21. Assess the artistic and religious purpose and significance of the book of Kells.

    However, due to the fact that we are working mainly on assumptions, it is not clear as to whether this is a direct reference to the book itself or rather its ornamental shrine which was also stolen at the time.3 These inextricable links to St. Columcille were still present even in relatively modern times and indeed the book was famously introduced to Queen Victoria in 1849 as 'St. Columba's book'.4 Also, in 1655 Samuel O Neale writes how the people of Kells believed the book to be 'written as they say, by Columbkilles own hand, but is of such a character that none of this age can read it'.

    • Word count: 3061
  22. An Exploration of Conflict within Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts.

    Will his wife, Isa, act on hers for the mysterious Haines? Will it rain on the pageant? Part of the anticipation of action in the novel revolves around the forthcoming war: not necessarily for the characters, but for the reader who realises that less than two months after the novel is set, Britain is at war. One is able to examine how, despite the war only being explicitly mentioned half a dozen times or so, it permeates the tone of the book.

    • Word count: 3272
  23. What was new about Modernist literature? Explain with reference to two or more texts.

    Therefore due to the characters' taciturn and the minimal plot, the stream of consciousness technique is vital to the novel's characterisation; She makes her Mrs. Ramsay- by giving us her stream of consciousness -amazingly alive; and she supplements this just sufficiently, from outside, as it were, by giving us also, intermittently, the streams of consciousness of her husband, of her friend Lily Brisco, of her children: so that we are documented, as to Mrs. Ramsay, from every quarter and arrive at a solid vision of her by a process of triangulation (Aiken 1958: 17)

    • Word count: 3041
  24. Samuel Richardsons' Pamela.

    B's suspicious family and aristocratic friends. Pamela's ascension of wealth, class and happiness are presented as the rewards due to her exemplary virtue- the novel is subtitled 'Virtue Rewarded'. (Cato) By examining Pamela's every move, Richardson created a new female character type. As a result of Pamela's lengthy, and sometimes tedious, letters, Richardson is able to truly develop a new breed of woman. The devotion to Pamela's every thought is critical to the novel and to the revolution it outlined.

    • Word count: 3378
  25. Discuss the narrative strategies used by Grace Paley in 'Conversation with my father' to represent the relationship between the narrator and his/her parent, and comment on their effectiveness.

    The ideas narration and story telling are central to the text. 'Conversation with my father' is based around story telling. The father is very interested in writing showing his knowledge of great Russian authors shown by phrases such as "Turgenev wouldn't do that. Chekov wouldn't do that" and daughter appears to be some sort of author. The idea of writing and narrative is subtley introduced in the discourse in the opening paragraph when the daughter explains "Despite my metaphors" when using the imagery of a "bloody motor" to describe his aged heart.

    • Word count: 3109

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."

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