Skip to main content

Essay Titles

Essay ONE

Instructions:

Write an essay (1,500 words) on one of the titles below. You must refer to texts we have studied on this module (weeks 1-4). Please submit 2 copies of the essay to the departmental office by the date assigned; make sure that you have attached a signed cover sheet.

Topics:

  1. Julia Kristeva argues that “a feminist language that refuses to participate in ‘masculine’ discourse, that places its future entirely in a feminine, semiotic discourse, risks being politically marginalized by men” (Murfin 187). Analyse the significance / relevance of this statement to one or two texts we have studied.
  2. “By historicizing sexuality, Foucault made it possible for his successors to consider the possibility that all of the categories and assumptions that currently come to mind when we think about sex, sexual difference, gender, and sexuality are social artefacts, the products of cultural discourses” (Murfin 228). Explore the statement in this quote in relation to one or two texts we have studied.
  3. Discuss the implications of Fredric Jameson’s famous statement “Always historicize!” by referring to one or two texts we have studied.
  4. Examine the way in which the individual’s relationship to language is depicted in at least two texts we have studied. You might want to think about the implications of gender, class and / or race.
  5. To what extent are Stanley Fish’s descriptions of texts as “rhetorical presentations” or “dialectical presentations” critically significant? Explain by referring to one or two texts we have studied.

Essay TWO- Essay THREE

 

Instructions:

The topics below can be used for your second assessed essay and for the final (5,000 word) essay. You are not allowed to write on the same topic twice, so choose your titles wisely. If you are planning to write on a text which you have already used for the first essay, please let me know so we can discuss possible overlap and duplication of material.

Essay TWO:

Write an essay (2,000-3,000 words) on one of the titles below. You must refer to texts we have studied on this module. You are strongly encouraged to write on Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber. Please submit 3 copies of the essay to the departmental office by Monday 8th January 2007; make sure that you have attached a signed cover sheet.

Essay Three:

Write an essay (5,000 words) on one of the titles below. You must refer to texts we have studied on the module. Please submit 3 copies of the essay to the departmental office by Monday 23rd April 2007; make sure that you have attached a signed cover sheet.

Topics:

  1. Examine the ways in which characters relate to / challenge the supernatural in two texts we studied.
  2. In addition to their controversial representation of women, Carter’s texts challenge traditional literary portrayals of men. Examine the various competing versions of masculinity depicted in The Bloody Chamber paying particular attention to genre and contexts.
  3. Examine the ways in which two texts we studied relate to / engage with ‘history’.
  4. Conduct a comparative critical analysis of any one of Carter’s tales in The Bloody Chamber and two other versions of the same story. You are encouraged to choose at least one early version of the tale (one of Carter’s source-texts which was provided during the seminar). In your essay you should attend to questions of genre, ideology, historical and political contexts and analyse the significance of Carter’s departure from her source.
  5. Feminist theorists have debated Angela Carter’s controversial representation of women in The Bloody Chamber. With particular reference to the debate initiated by Patricia Duncker and Merja Makinen discuss the problems that Carter’s text poses when read from a feminist perspective.
  6. Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and Carter’s The Bloody Chamber generated a great deal of controversy upon their publication. Consider Peter J. Rabinowitz’s statement that “a society’s ideological assumptions about gender, race and class determine the way in which artistic works are perceived and evaluated”, in relation to these texts.
  7. Anne Williams’s essay on the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” combines psychoanalysis and French feminist perspectives. Williams suggests that the poem “enacts the process by which the speaking subject—the user of language, the teller of tales—is constituted…for Coleridge’s Mariner, the creation of the I in the perception of the eye is spectral flight from unspeakable horrors” (qtd in Fry 239). To what extent is this statement useful in reading Carter’s depiction of her narrators in The Bloody Chamber?

good luck.