English Literature

How does this thesis help you understand the culture that has created these texts/monsters?

the professor provided me with 9 questions I’m to choose 2 questions and write a short essay about the many different monster stories in the victorian era here are the instructions : Please answer TWO of the questions listed below, in roughly two to three double-spaced pages each. Please be careful to choose questions in such a way that your answers do not overlap. Note that all questions require that you discuss two texts but if it helps your answer you can refer to a third text in passing – I am looking for a synthesis of your accumulated knowledge and insights. The more details you bring in your answers, including quotes from texts, the more effective your essay will be. You need not worry about citation or footnotes on the essay. Make sure your answers have a thesis and an argument. Because these are short essays, you may keep your introduction short as well (two or three sentences) to leave ample room for analysis. Answer TWO questions. Use your discussion of the topic to demonstrate your broad knowledge of the era and the works. Refer to specific characters and events and bring citations (or paraphrases), and refer to relevant socio-historical contexts to support your claims (e.g. separate spheres, Victorian gender ideology, the rise of urbanization, industrialism, and capitalism, urban poverty and immigration, Darwin’s theory of evolution, degeneration theory, eugenics, criminology and the concept of the criminal mind, physiognomy and phrenology, imperialism and the expansion of the British Empire, Victorian approach to homosexuality…to name but a few.) In your analysis of how the novels and poems reflect on these socio-historical contexts, think about how they do so through their formal elements (genre, narrator, point of view, plot, allusion, imagery and metaphor, irony, etc.) Important: Refer to two or three texts in your answers. Make sure there is no overlap in your answers (or keep it to a minimum). That is, your essay should cover at least four different texts. 1. Consider two novels’ depiction of and comment on Victorian gender norms through their use of monsters. Topics to consider include the separate spheres, the Victorian ideal of womanhood, the fallen woman, unequal opportunities, the marriage institution and the marriage market, intersections of gender and class (working women, the gentleman, the immigrant, etc), conventional masculinity. 2. In at least two texts, discuss how the use of monsters engages with or critiques England’s ideology of progress (this includes imperial and colonial expansion, scientific and technological advances, Capitalism and economic growth, as well as individual progress through education, profession, marriage, and reproduction). 3. Account for the connection between monstrosity and writing by focusing on monstrous formal and stylistic choices. You might consider narrative structure, plot or plotlessness, fragmented narratives, mixed media, excessive or grotesque imagery, etc. (Or, in poetry, monstrous form, meter, rhyme, figurative language, etc.) 4. Pick one thesis out of Cohen’s “Monster Culture (Seven Theses)” – the thesis you find most compelling, interesting, or problematic — and apply it as a lens through which to read at least two texts that were published far apart in the century. How does this thesis help you understand the culture that has created these texts/monsters? Conversely, are there ways in which the monsters in these texts do not fit Cohen’s thesis? 5. The vampire is a monster particularly rife with potential meanings. Enumerate as many possible interpretations of the vampire as you can in Carmilla and Dracula (you may also refer to implicit vampirism in other texts if you’re so inclined). Note points of similarity and difference between these texts and how these help us discern different cultural occupations and anxieties. 6. Read at least two texts through their preoccupations with popular sciences and pseudosciences of their time (you may consider galvanism, physiognomy, phrenology, degeneration theory, Darwin’s theory of evolution and social Darwinism, criminology) and/or technologies (the microscope, trains, telegrams, typewriters, phonographs, etc.) 7. Compare two novels’ negotiation of body and mind as elements that comprise the self. What are the issues that are come up in the relationship between the physical and the emotional/spiritual? Are they always separate or does one influence on or reflect the other? Does the protagonist’s understanding of this divide coincide with or contradict their society’s? Does the narrator’s? Do the monsters in the text confirm or negate the conventions of the body/mind divide? 8. In all of the texts we have read, doubles and doppelgangers were a recurring trope. Karl Miller, a theorist of the double, posits that “Doubles may appear to come from outside, as a form of possession, or from inside, as a form of projection. Doubles are both, and we see them as both.” Discuss in relation to at least two texts (e.g. Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, Carmilla, Goblin Market, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula) 9. The fin de siècle monster departs in certain ways from monsters earlier in the century. Define this monster archetype, what it demonstrates about societal fears and desires, drawing on The Picture of Dorian Gray, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and Dracula to support your thesis (you may briefly refer to earlier texts such as Frankenstein or Jane Eyre as points of comparison). would you kindly discuss with me after reading the questions which ones you choose and what argument you wish to discuss also it mentioned that there no need for citation be nonetheless I wish to know the exact page number and title of the paragraph or quote you choose to relay to the essay ill attach the novels we studied you are to choose 4 of them and tell me which ones you choose. thank you

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