Anglo-Irish Literature 2010-11: First Essay Questions
1. How far does Anglo-Irish literature represent the Big House as offering an escape from the political realities of Ireland?
2. The Anglo-Irish: "a hyphenated people, forever English in Ireland, forever Irish in England" (Declan Kiberd). Discuss in relation to any two or more instances of Anglo-Irish writing.
3. What values attach to the presentation of women and/or the feminine in any two or more works of Anglo-Irish literature you have studied?
4. Compare the attitudes to blood sacrifice among two or more Anglo-Irish writers.
5. Evaluate two or more literary responses to the Easter Rising of 1916. Do they offer us myth-making or critique?
6. "Synge is not writing out of the failure of heroism. He is registering its failure in regard to society, or, conversely, society's failure in regard to it" (Seamus Deane). Write about any two or more works you have studied with reference to this comment.
7. Discuss the concept of inheritance as it is explored in the work of any two writers on the course.
8. " 'Oh, Sir Condy, we'll not be induging ourselves in any unpleasant retrospects,' says Jason" (Castle Rackrent). Discuss the role of social mobility in two or more Anglo-Irish works of your choice.
9. Is Castle Rackrent an elegy for or a satire on the landlord class, or neither? Discuss.
10. How far is it accurate to call Yeats a public poet?
11. Discuss the relationship between sexual politics and national politics in any two or more works you have studied.
12. What creative and political tensions were faced by the Irish Literary Renaissance? Examine the work of one or more of its major figures in the light of these tensions.
13. What role did folklore play in the shaping of a national literature in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in Ireland?
14. Discuss the presentation and significance of either the mother or religion in any two or more works of Anglo-Irish literature you have read.
15. Compose a question of your own choosing, to be discussed and approved by me before the end of week 8, term 1.