Exam 2A August 2010 - University w of Glasgow Degree of...

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Unformatted text preview:University w of Glasgow Degree of M.A. English Literature 2A: Writing & Ideology 2.30 — 4.30pm, Wednesday 4 August 2010 0 Please answer TWO questions, one from each section. 0 You must not write extensively on the same text 0r author in more than one answer. You must not write on texts already used in your Essay. 0 You must not leave the examination room in the first 30 minutes and not within the last 15 minutes of the examination. Section One 1. 2. Discuss how at least two texts studied self-consciously address the role of the story-teller in the making of history. 'The central function of imaginative literature is to make you realize that other people act on moral convictions different from your own...' (William Empson). Discuss (with reference to at least two texts studied). "'Ideology " can designate anything from. . .the indispensable medium in which individuals live out their relations to a social structure to false ideas which legitimate a dominant political power" (Slavoj Ziiek). What definition(s) of the term 'ideology' have you found most useful when studying the texts on this course? (illustrate your answer with reference to at least two texts studied) Discuss the role of Utopian (and/or dystopian) thinking or depictions in any two texts studied. 'We have at once learnt to see the great events of history from below, from the perspective of the outcasts, the suspects, the powerless, the oppressed, the reviled, in short, from the perspective of those who suffer.' (Bonhoeffer). How is this perspective reflected in at least two texts studied? Discuss. Continued Overleaf -2- 6. 'But we must not see the role of literature only in terms of providing latent support for things as they are, for it does also offer the kinetic energy necessary for social transition and change' (Chinua Achebe). Discuss with reference to at least two texts studied. 7. Discuss the treatment of One of the following in at least two texts: gender and/or sexuality; education; the Law and/or justice; war; honour; travel; Nature and/or animals. SECTION TWO 8. a) Write on the role of proverbs and storytelling in Things Fall Apart. OR b) In Things Fall Apart to what extent, if any, does Achebe present Okonkwo as a representative figure for his culture and how does any such presentation shape the meaning of the narrative as a whole? Discuss. 9. a) 'The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation' (Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto). In the light of this statement discuss the role of 'the bourgeoise' in The Communist Manifesto. 0R b) 'The robe of speculative cobwebs, embroidered with flowers of rhetoric, steeped in the dew of sickly sentiment...' (Marx and Engels describing the German Socialists in The Communist Manifesto). Use this brief extract as the basis for an essay on how The Communist Manifesto exploits literary devices (e.g. dramatisations, metaphors, and other rhetorical figures of speech). 10. a) Discuss Scott's treatment of clashing cultural values. Refer to at least two tales studied for this course (these may include the framing narrative of Chronicles of the Canongate). 0R b) How does Scott set about portraying the relationship between the individual and wider historical forces? Refer to at least two tales studied for this course (these may include the framing narrative of Chronicles of the Canongate). Continued Overleaf 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. a) OR b) OR b) OR 13) 0R b) OR 13) -3- 'The passages of satirical allusion are few, and thrown at random, among a scattered mass of incoherent fiction. But no word drops from Gulliver's pen in vain' (Walter Scott, on Gulliver 's Travels). Discuss Gulliver 's Travels in the light of this critical observation. To what ends does Swift exploit differences of scale and perspective in Swift's Gulliver 's Travels? 'He was as ready to stretch the young imagination as to invite the adult to play' (J. M. S. Tompkins on Kipling in The Jungle Books). Discuss. Do The Jungle Books serve to question or uphold English imperial values? Discuss. How does the creation of imagined worlds in Le Guin's The Dispossessed prompt us to reflect upon our own? How does the narrative structure of Le Guin's The Dispossessed shape the broader meaning of the novel? Discuss. It has often been said that the ending of George Eliot's The Mill on The Floss is a necessary compromise. Do you agree? Discuss. introducing ThexMill on the Floss, A. S. Byatt writes of George Eliot's 'effort to record local particularities of speech, landscape, custom and morality'. Discuss the novel in the light of this observation. 'My sentence is for open war' (Paradise Lost II, 51). Discuss the treatment of war and the heroic in Paradise Lost. Hail wedded Love, mysterious law, true source Of human offspring, sole propriety In Paradise of all things common else. (Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 4, 11. 750-75). Discuss how Milton portrays "wedded love" and/or other family relationships in Paradise Lost. Continued Overleaf -4- I want a hero, an uncommon want, When every year and month send forth a new one, Till after cloying the gazettes with cant, The age discovers he is not the true one. Of such as these I should not care a vaunt; I'll therefore take our ancient friend Don Juan (Byron, Don Juan, Canto 1, i) What sort of hero is Don Juan in the Byron poem that bears his name? (limiting your discussion to the designated sections of the poem is acceptable) OR b) Discuss the treatment of ONE of the following themes in Bryon's Don Juan: the Orient; femininity and/or masculinity; war and/or patriotism; public opinion; rival poets (limiting your discussion to the designated sections of the poem is acceptable). 'THERSITES: Agamemnon is a fool, Achilles is a fool, Theristes is a fool, and as aforesaid, Patroclus is a fool' (Troilus and Cressida, Act 2, so. 3). Are we encouraged to respect any of the characters in this cynical play? Discuss. Can you account for why, after being dismissed or simply ignored for so long, Troilius and Cressida is now attracting new readers and audiences? Discuss. END OF QUESTION PAPER