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Essay Titles 3

Final Essay


Write an essay (5,000 words) on one of the topics below.

Your essay should refer to texts we have studied on the module and should demonstrate an awareness of the critical debates and relevant literary contexts.

You may formulate your own essay title but you must agree it with me in advance.

My office hours for term 3 can be found on my webpage: 

The deadline for this essay has been set for Monday June 26th, 2006 (12:00)

You should submit 2 copies of your essay and attach the department’s cover sheet which you should sign and date.

Please make sure that you proofread your essay thoroughly, that your bibliography is complete and that it follows a recognised citation style. (Make sure that you do not mix referencing styles between the in-text citations and the bibliography)

Suggested titles

Title ONE

In the chapter entitled “The interrogative text” Catherine Belsey writes:

“It is this contradiction in the subject—between the conscious self, which is conscious in so far as it is able to feature in language, and the self which is only partially represented there—which constitutes the source of possible change. The child’s submission to the discursive practices of society is challenged by the existence of another self, which is not synonymous with the subject of its utterance” (Critical Practice 78).

Examine the extent to which this statement can be used to illustrate some of the struggles for individuation depicted in the texts we have studied.


Title TWO

In the chapter on “Criticism and meaning” Catherine Belsey announces that,

“the task of a new critical practice is first to identify the effects of the limitation which confines ‘correct’ reading into an acceptance of the position from which the text is most ‘obviously’ intelligible, the position of a transcendent subject addressed by an autonomous and authoritative author. Thereafter, it becomes possible to refuse this limitation, to liberate the plurality of the text, to reject the ‘obvious’ and to produce meaning” (Critical Practice 50).

Examine the issues raised in this statement and assess its validity. You may want to construct your argument by referring to one text we studied and a selection of scholarly articles relating to it.