Select one of the following novels and write an essay exploring one aspect of the novel’s meaning.
Jane Austen (Persuasion, Emma, Sense and Sensibility)
Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre)
Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights)
Daniel Defoe (Moll Flanders, Robinson Crusoe)
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
Fyodor Dostoevski (Crime and Punishment)
George Eliot (Silas Marner)
Henry Fielding (Joseph Andrews)
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
Thomas Hardy (The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the
D’Urbervilles, Return of the Native)
Henry James (Washington Square)
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Anthony Trollope (Barchester Towers)
Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court)
Oscar Wilde (Picture of Dorian Gray)
Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway)
Essay Assignment (Due Wednesday, October 17):
Write an essay of approximately 1000—1200 words developing in some detail a topic central to the novel you have read. Refer frequently and specifically to the novel as you develop your topic. Listed below are several options, but you may see me for approval of other approaches if you wish.
1. The author’s presentation of a central character—how does the character grow or develop during the course of the novel and how is that development central to the novel’s meaning?
2. How does the author identify and develop the central conflict of the novel? How is it related to the novel’s meaning?
3. What social theme or issue is central to understanding the characters’ dilemmas or fates? How does the novel persuade us to share the author’s implied views regarding this issue?
4. Examine a key scene or incident from the novel. Explain how the scene is significant to our understanding of multiple aspects of the novel: characterization, theme, form, and/or structure.