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ENGL 333 [43]


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The English Novel

English 43.1

Fall 2002

11:00-12:15 TR, GL 222


Professor Beverly Taylor                                                                       Office hours: Tu  1:00-1:50pm

Office:  Greenlaw 501                                                                                                Th  1:00-1:50pm

btaylor@email.unc.edu                                                                                       and by appointment   


Course Focus:  In this course we’ll be reading six classics of 18th and 19th-century British fiction.  They’ll give a sense of the novel from its early incarnation in Defoe’s fictional autobiography of a woman criminal to Hardy’s modern representation of a “fallen” woman.  In addition to considering such literary elements as themes, characterization, plot and structure, narrative point of view, imagery and symbol, we’ll discuss cultural issues such as the novels’ representations of gender, race, and class relations, thinking about how each novel represented (and shaped) the ideologies of its time.  We’ll also look at recent film versions of these novels to consider how today’s creative artists have appropriated and altered these familiar tales to address our own time.  We’ll think about what contemporary filmmakers have missed in the original literary texts, and also about what insight their interpretations give us into the concerns of our own society.   While the most immediate result of our study will be familiarity with these six specific novels and related films, the overarching goal of the course is to improve students’ skills in critical analysis, speaking and writing.


Texts:  Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders

            Jane Austen,  Persuasion       

            Emily Brontė, Wuthering Heights

            Charlotte Brontė, Jane Eyre

            Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

            Thomas Hardy, Tess of the Durbervilles



Aug. 20:  Course policies and introduction

Aug. 22, 27, 29, Sept. 3:  Moll Flanders

Sept. 5, 10, 12, 17:  Persuasion

Sept. 19, 24, 26, Oct. 1, 3:  Wuthering Heights

Oct. 8:  exam

Oct. 10, 15, 22, 24, 29:   Jane Eyre (Oct. 17:  Fall Break)

Oct. 31, Nov. 5, 7, 12, 14:  Great Expectations

Nov. 19, 21, 26, Dec. 3, 5:  Tess of the Durbervilles  (Nov. 28:  Thanksgiving)


Honor Code:  In submitting written work in this class, you automatically affirm that you have abided by the letter and the spirit of the university's Honor Code, that the work is fully your own.  If you have any uncertainty about how to make and acknowledge appropriate use of outside sources either to assist your thinking or to write your papers, please discuss your questions with me.


Attendance and grading:  This is not a correspondence course or any form of distance learning experience.  Attendance and class participation are necessary, and you will receive a grade on attendance and participation that is equal in weight to a grade on a test or paper.  (Department policy suggests a failing grade for a student who misses more than 6 classes on a TR schedule.)  Your grade will have 6 components:  (1) 75-minute exam; (2 & 3) papers; (4) class attendance and participation; (5 & 6) final exam.


Writing assignments:  (1) You will have one 75-minute exam, on 8 Oct.  (2) In addition, you will write two essays (each 5-10 pages long)--the first is due on 3 Oct., and the second on 3 Dec.  We will discuss the nature of these papers and possible topics in class.  Be forewarned:  Your papers will be evaluated in terms of both their content and their writing style, so plan ahead to give yourself time to revise your prose.  (3) Throughout the semester you will also write, in class, brief comments (about a page) on previously unannounced questions or topics.


Final Exam:  Tuesday, 10 December, noon.  The exam (composed of essay topics) will cover all six novels on this syllabus.  Please bring blue books.