Write an essay of approximately 3,500 words on the following topics. Two copies of the essay should be handed in to the English Department office by 3.00 p.m. on Monday 24th April, 2006. Extensions will only be granted for very serious reasons. Any request for extensions should be made in advance to the Director of Undergraduate Studies and should normally be accompanied by a medical certificate.
Further titles may be provided by the tutors.
You should not discuss texts studied for Literature and the Modern World.
1. "We have class, race, fucking and farce" (Buddha). Show how gender, class and sexuality are important organizational elements in any two novels that you have studied this term.
2. "The Novel is the sole genre that continues to develop, that is as yet uncompleted" (M. M. Bakhtin). To what extent is this true? Discuss by using at least 2 examples from each genre you consider.
3. What evidence do we have that the Bildungsroman (and its variations) remains the dominant form in the modern novel? Use two or three works in your answer.
4. "Oranges is an experimental novel; its interests are anti-linear" (Winterson). Discuss the anti-linear elements of Oranges and compare/contrast these to at least one more novel in your course.
5. "Silence, exile, cunning" (Portrait). Why are these qualities central to the persona of the modernist artist?
6. "Here was a play, however, where the art-versus-politics argument could never be resolved" (Murray on The Plough and the Stars). Can successful theatre also be political? Discuss with reference to at least two plays from your course.
7. "Laughter can both liberate and mystify" (Bennett and Royle). Analyze the function of laughter and comic elements in two plays that you have studied this term.
8. Write an essay on intertextuality in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
9. "Drama . . . is a refuge and one of the only real weapons against the hopelessness of these places" (Joe White on Our Country's Good). Comment on the connection between performance and empowerment in at least two plays.
10. "Literature is itself a little . . . queer" (Bennett and Royle). What are the formal and thematic elements that make literature 'queer'?