The final period in English literature we will study is the Victorian Era. Ending at approximately the turn of the Twentieth Century, the Victorian period is filled with contradictions. Read these brief histories at The Victorian Web:
- “Victorians and Victorianism — An Introduction”
- “Shades of Yellow: Representations of Change and Decay in Victorian Literature”
- “The Gentleman“
Feel free to follow links to authors or events mentioned. When you have finished reading and taking notes, complete the worksheet questions.
Assignment 1 -Please complete the three worksheets in excel. ( A total of 30 questions)
The Importance Of Being Earnest
In 2002 Oscar Wilde’s play was adapted into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon, Dame Judi Dench, Rupert Everest, and Colin Firth–in other words, an impressive cast. The movie is available through Netflix and seems to be available to view for free on several websites (but I won’t link to any of those because I cannot determine their legitimacy.) Find or rent the movie to watch (it might also be at your library if you have a library with a video collection).
Attempts to categorize the play often lead to heated debate. Is it a satire? A farce? A comedy of manners?
- We discussed satire in the previous unit, so refer to your notes and to the three guiding questions to ask of a satire. Look up “farce” and “comedy of manners” and write a definition of each in your own words.
- Read The Importance of Being Earnest then watch the 2002 movie adaptation of the play.
- Determine whether you consider the play to be a satire, a farce, a comedy of manners, or some blending of the three.
- Referring to both the written play and the movie production, compose an essay (minimum 750 words) defending your categorization of the play. You might discuss how one version does a better job of showing satire/farce/comedy, or you might argue that the written play fits one category but that the director has moved the movie into a different category.
- It is okay to focus on a specific scene or character from the play and movie to develop your proof.
- Create a Works Cited page listing the play, the movie, and any websites consulted to create your definitions.
Importance of Being Earnest Movie
Read The Importance of Being Earnest then watch the 2002 movie adaptation of the play.
Determine whether you consider the play to be a satire, a farce, a comedy of manners, or some blending of the three.
Referring to both the written play and the movie production, compose an essay (minimum 750 words) defending your categorization of the play. You might discuss how one version does a better job of showing satire/farce/comedy, or you might argue that the written play fits one category but that the director has moved the movie into a different category.
Create a Works Cited page listing the play, the movie, and any websites consulted to create your definitions. Format your essay according to MLA guidelines.
Assignment 3 ( This assignment consist of 1 brainstorm list & 3 one page essays. All essays should be in MLA format.
Emily Bronte is one of three sisters who, despite their limited publications, made a great contribution to English literature. Read her brief biography here.
Bronte is known primarily for her novel Wuthering Heights.The thwarted romance of Catherine and Heathcliff rivals Romeo and Juliet. Read the novel online here. A version with a Kindle download option can be found here.
As you read, consider the topics of sibling rivalry & the ramifications of marriage.
- How do the Earnshaw children compete for their father’s love?
- How does this sibling competition affect Heathcliff?
- What are the ramifications of marriage in terms of social class and property? How are the marriage outcomes different from men and women?
Sibling Rivalry & the Ramifications of Marriage
Directions: Complete all 3 assignments explained below. Use separate documents. You will submit 4 documents total for this assignment: 1 brainstorm list & 3 one page essays. All essays should be in MLA format.
Topic: Wuthering Heights: Sibling Rilvary
Assignment 1: Wuthering Heights is a story about the history of two families and how an outsider tries to reconstruct their history. Think about your own family history for a moment.
Step 1: Create a list or a chart of the past three generations of your own family including your siblings; parents, aunts and uncles; and grandparents. List all important details about your family members to include in this history.
Step 2: In a one-page essay free of spelling and grammar errors, address the following questions:
- What information do you find important to include in your family history?
- What did you leave out of your history? Why?
- What kind of information is difficult to explain to an outsider?
Submit both the list & the one page essay.
Assignment 2: Much of the conflicts in Wuthering Heights stem from the Earnshaw children competing for their father’s love.
In a one-page essay free of spelling and grammar errors, compare Wuthering Heights to another story about sibling rivalry (e.g. Cinderella, King Leer, Pride and Prejudice, To Kill A Mockingbird, Harry Potter, etc…).
How are the two stories similar? How are they different? Why do the siblings in these stories quarrel? How does one’s place in a family affect behavior in positive and negative ways?
Topic: Wuthering Heights: The Ramifications of Marriage
“I’m glad, for I shall be master of the Grange after him–and Catherine always spoke of it as her house. It isn’t hers! It’s mine: papa says everything she has is mine. All her nice books are mine; she offered to give me them, and her pretty birds, and her pony Minny, if I would get the key of our room, and let her out; but I told her she had nothing to give, they were all, all mine.” (Chapter 28, pg. 257)
Assignment 3: The concept of marriage in the 18th century (as seen in Wuthering Heights) is largely based on social and economic advancement and not love. In other words, couples married to either keep their social status or advance to a new level. Love, unfortunately, had little to do with the decision to wed. This was especially detrimental to women who lost all of their rights and property to men upon marriage.
In a one-page essay, compare modern day marriage to marriage in the 18th century.
Consider the following: Would you be willing to give up all of your personal property to be married (if you were a female) or marry someone and assume all legal responsibility (if you are a male)? Why or why not.
Be sure to use evidence from the novel as support for your answer and create a paper free of grammar errors.
Wuthering Heights –Ghost Writer
A ghostwriter is a person who creates an alternative point-of-view for a chapter, ending, or an entire story.
Choose a section from Wuthering Heights and rewrite it with a fresh perspective (other than what Emily Brontë’s novel provides).
For example, your “chapter” might explain what happened to Catherine Earnshaw during her five week stay at the Linton’s while she is injured (chapter 7), or cover what Heathcliff did when he left the region (between Chapter 9 and 10). Or, perhaps your version will instead be told by Isabella, Joseph, or Hindley Earnshaw. You might even narrate the events from the “ghost” woman that Lockwood thinks he sees knocking on the window in Chapter 3.
Writing Guidelines: Think deeply about who will tell the story and why. Put yourself in his/her/its place and consider how this will affect the outcome of the new version of the chapter.
Write in the style of the person whom is telling the story (how he/she/it might sound, speak, act, etc…).
Be creative! This is your chance to change the story and the characters!
The essay is a minimum of 1000 words and must be free of spelling and grammar errors.