First Paper (5-7 pages):
of the following topics:
Write a paper comparing and contrasting a scene, character,
motif, image, or theme in Charles Dickens's Great Expectations (1860-61),
David Lean's Great Expectations (1946), and Alfonso Cuarón's
Expectations (1997). The scene or other element does not have
to appear in all three texts, but its absence from one or two of the texts
must be accounted for as part of your argument. The object of this
assignment is not to discuss whether a movie is "faithful" to its
original. Rather you should work to develop a thesis about aspects
of the three texts that illuminate one another in suggestive ways.
You might consider issues of gender, social class, attitudes toward money,
urban life, violence, justice, or generational differences. Alternatively,
you might consider formal questions--issues of style, development of scene,
genre, point of view, imagery, or narrative sequence. Whatever aspects
of the three texts you discuss, be sure to illustrate your thesis by focusing
closely on a particular element from each work.
This topic is a variant of the first. Write a paper
comparing and contrasting a scene, character, motif, image, or theme in
Jane Austen's Persuasion (1818), Douglas McGrath's Emma (1996),
and Amy Heckerling's Clueless (1995). The same advice as above
applies to this topic. If you want to compare characters, however,
you will have to focus on traits that are shared on the basis of age, class,
gender, etc., since the characters are not versions of the same person.
Write a critique of Henry Churchill's "Jane
Austen Information Page," focusing on the material found in one or
more of the following links (found toward the bottom of Churchill's Longer
Table of Contents). Approximately half of your paper should be devoted
to discussing how some aspect of Austen's Persuasion is illuminated
(or not) by the information located on Churchill's web site.
Notes on the society of Jane Austen's time (especially with respect
to Pride and Prejudice).
Education, Women's Education, and "Accomplishments".
Marriage and the Alternatives: The Status of Women.
Emma on Old-Maidhood.
The plight of governesses, from Charlotte Brontë's Shirley
Jane Austen's opinion on the infidelities of the Prince and Princess of
The wedding ceremony ("Form of Solemnization of Matrimony") from the Church
of England Book of Common Prayer
Money and Marriage.
Other historical notes:
Illustrations of Regency clothing styles
Other Regency illustrations
Jane Austen's Art and her Literary Reputation.
Jane Austen's literary classification, and definitions of chronological
Jane Austen's declarations on her own art.
Jane Austen's correspondence with Mr. Clarke.
Advice to her niece Anna on Novel-Writing.
December 16th 1816, to James Edward Austen.
Diagram of Jane Austen's literary influences
The "Defense of the Novel".
Jane Austen's Limitations.
Feminism in Jane Austen.
Jane Austen quotes on gender differences
Jane Austen's literary reputation.
Notes on Jane Austen's relationship to the society of her day.
The ideal and the improbable vs. the real.
Quotes from Jane Austen on the "heroic" (i.e. falsely idealized) vs. the
Coincidences in Austen's Novels?
Charlotte Brontë's Letters
Write a critique of George Landow's "Great
Expectations Page," focusing on the material found in one or more of
the links on this page. Approximately half of your paper should be
devoted to discussing how some aspect of Dickens's Great Expectations
is illuminated (or not) by the information located on Landow's web site.
Further directions for topics 3 and
Second Paper (5-7 pages):
Directions for submitting papers via email
Write a paper comparing two of our authors--Charlotte
Bronte, Collins, and Trollope--on one of the following issues:
Support your discussion by focusing closely on a particular
scene or motif from each work. Do not try to discuss the entire novels.
colonialism (i.e. India, the Caribbean)
the English country house
physical appearance, beauty, or the body
power or mastery
horses and riding
law and legal procedure
lying or deception
private property (diamonds, jewelry, clothes, etc.)