Thursday, March 16, 2017

Reading Period 21: March 17-23: 1984

Due Dates: 
Quiz: Monday, Mar 20
Assignments: Wednesday, Mar 22

Long Read: 

1984 by George Orwell, Part 1 (chapters 1-8)

Creative Assignments:

Write a diary entry that starts out as a normal, calm chronicle of the day's events and then devolves into a hysterical rant, something like Winston's first diary entry in chapter 1. Your hysterical rant won't have anything to do with Big Brother, though. What deep, repressed screaming fit is locked inside you, beneath all that politeness? What will come out when you start letting your subconscious flow onto the page for 250 words?


Pretend you are Big Brother and you are organizing a daily schedule for everyone. Consider what they should eat and drink, when they should get up and go to bed, and what they should do for exercise, when they should work, etc. The citizens  you're responsible for will only do what you tell them to do, and no more. What's good for them, in what balance? After you've organized a daily schedule, write 250 words about it. Why did you make these choices? Would you follow the schedule yourself? Do you think people would benefit by being forced to do things that are good for them?

Writing Assignments:

Write an essay on one of the following quotes:

"The revolution will be complete when the language is perfect." 


"Until they become conscious, they can never rebel; and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious." 

In the first essay, explain how the party in Oceania is changing the language to control the minds of the party members. Give examples of newspeak and how the language functions, what its goals are. Then write about how you see language, how you perceive abbreviations and what, if any, effect you see on the language getting smaller (or bigger?) from texting and social media. 

In the second essay, you'll talk about the proletariat, as the "they" referred to in the quote. As defined in 1984, the proletariat is kept happy and stupid on entertainment and beer, and does the work of the country, leaving the party members to be administrators and organizers. What does it mean that they cannot rebel without becoming conscious? What does it mean that they cannot become conscious without rebellion? Do you see anything familiar or disturbing about this portrayal of 85% of humanity?


1. When Winston opens the door on Mrs. Parsons, what has he left in plain view?
2. Who calls Winston a traitor and a thought criminal in chapter 2?
3. Winston thinks of an image that represents his memory of his mother. What is the image?
4. What is doublethink?
5. What is Winston's job?
6. What is an unperson?
7. Translate the following into newspeak: good, bad, great, terrible. 
8. Why does Winston think that Symes is doomed to be vaporized?
9. Who are the proles and why does Winston believe they are the only hope?
10. What does Winston buy at the junk shop?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Reading Period 20: March 3 - 9: Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Due Dates:
Quiz: Monday, March 6
Assignments: Wednesday, March 8

Long Read: Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Phase 6 and 7

Short Read: 

In your textbook, 670-671.
Read Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti. Yes, you must read ALL of it. It is that amazing.
Listen to this BBC podcast, "In Our Time," featuring a discussion of Christina Rossetti.
Flip through this gallery of Dante Rossetti's artwork at the Tate Gallery.

Creative Assignments:

Tell the plot of Tess of the D'Urbervilles via Angel Clare's or Alec D'Urberville's Facebook status updates. Can include random postings of anguish or delight that these characters might share, but also relationship status changes, life events including new jobs or change of address, etc. Must include at least 10 different posts. If you want to do both characters, to show more of the plot, that's awesome. If you want to create a fake FB account, that is also awesome.


Goblin Market!
Watch this clip from the BBC show "The Love School," in which Dante Gabriel Rossetti reads a poem he's written to Lizzie Siddal. Write a poem, using the same rhyme scheme as Rossetti's poem "Silent Noon," on page 670, in which you describe something or someone you find beautiful.

Writing Assignments:

Read this article at the Metropolitan Museum of Art web site. Who were the Pre-Raphaelites? What did they want, and what did they NOT want? Who did they respect, and who did they disdain? What were the characteristics of their work? Write 250 words about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, of which Dante Gabriel Rossetti was a founding member, and reference at least one of Rossetti's paintings as an example. 


Write a 500 word literary essay on symbolism in Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Hardy uses symbolism in several different ways in the book -- color symbolism, symbolism for foreshadowing, and symbols to illustrate the characters. Focus particularly on one of these choices, and write a well-constructed essay about Hardy's symbols as they appear in the novel, how they're used, and what they mean. If you are prepping for the AP Literature and Composition exam, you must choose this option. 


To complete this quiz, you may need to also do some research online. Take a look at Dante Rossetti's Wikipedia page and Christina Rossetti's Wikipedia page.

1. Dante Rossetti was not only a poet, he was also a ___________.
2. In what ways did Dante Rossetti's two art forms intersect and overlap?
3. What "brotherhood" did Dante Rossetti found and what was the significance of the name?
4. How did Dante Rossetti meet his wife and what was her name? Why has she been called the original supermodel?
5. What dramatic act did Dante Rossetti engage in when his wife died, that he later took back?
6. What animal was Rossetti particularly fascinated by?
7. Dante Rossetti was addicted to chloral. What is it and how is it administered?
8. Take a look at Dante Rossetti's illustration for Christina Rossetti's poem, Goblin Market: ( Write down five observations about this illustration.
9. What was the St. Mary Magdalene "house of charity" where Christina Rossetti worked? How did that place possibly inspire her work?
10. What popular Christmas carol did Christina Rossetti write?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Reading Period 19: February 24 - March 2: Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Gerard Manley Hopkins
Due Dates:
Quiz: Monday, Feb 27
Assignments: Wednesday, Mar 1
History: Friday, Mar 3

Long Read: 

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, phase 5, "The Woman Pays" (chapters 35-44)

Short Read: 

In the textbook, read pages 657-666.
Online, read the following:
The Wreck of the Deutschland
As Kingfishers Catch Fire Dragonflies Draw Flame
My Own Heart Let Me Have More Pity On

Creative Assignments:

Write a poem. Here are your parameters:

1. It must have one of the following as a first line:

I play in ten thousand places
I speak in spells
Hark, hearer, hear what I do
I come, a listless stranger
I have asked to be where no storms come
Tell me your choice

2. It must include alliteration, visual and aural imagery, metaphor, and simile.


Angel Clare is a character in the novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and "Angel Clare" is also the title of an album by Art Garfunkel, his first solo effort. After listening to "All I Know" and maybe also "Travelling Boy" from this album, create a YouTube playlist of ten songs for Angel Clare, the character. Then create a YouTube playlist of ten songs for Alec D'Urberville, Angel's foil character.

Writing Assignments:

Choose three examples of irony in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, as discussed in class on Tuesday, Feb 28. (If you're writing this before class on Tuesday, you can choose your own ironies.) Write a 500 word essay in which you explain what irony is (this may be the hardest part!) and how these two examples of irony in the novel work to advance the novel's themes.


Tess of the D'Urbervilles takes place in one county in England. However, the various settings couldn't be more different from each other. Hardy uses setting to create a mood and to highlight the plot. Write a 500 word essay in which you compare Talbothay's Dairy to Flintcomb Ash Farm. Describe each place using quotes from the novel, and then describe how the details of nature, machinery, and people create a place suited for the events at each farm.


1. What does it mean that Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poems were published posthumously?

2. What big change did Gerard Manley Hopkins experience in his practice of religion and what effect did that have on his work?

3. What literary device is at work in the first two lines of “The Windhover”?

4. Read about “Sprung Rhythm” on page 662. Then type the first stanza of Pied Beauty with the stressed syllables in capital letters. How does this demonstrate sprung rhythm?

5. How many stanzas of “The Wreck of the Deutschland” does it take to get to a mention of actual ship and shipwreck? Tell me the line where it first comes up.

6. Give three examples of invented words in Hopkins’ “Epithalamion.” Choose your three favorite.

7. Having read “The Beginning of the End,” would you say it is an example of Hopkins’ use of sprung rhythm or is it an example of the more traditional running rhythm?

A.E. Housman
8. A. E. Housman’s most famous collection of poems is called “A Shropshire Lad.” Google Shropshire, and tell me something interesting about Shropshire, where A. E. Housman grew up.

9. Looking at Housman’s poems in the book, would you say he was innovating with form, or would you say he was using traditional forms?

10. Describe the dialogue in “Is My Team Ploughing?” Who is asking questions and who is answering those questions?

11. Why does the speaker say that the athlete in “To an Athlete Dying Young” is fortunate?

12. What did Housman teach at Cambridge University?


Are you watching the series, "Victoria" on PBS? If you are, great! If not, you can go here to watch at least one full episode.

Consider as you watch the show that we must always question what we read and see, and verify with reliable sources. Please read this article in Time magazine about the historical accuracy of the series. While the events portrayed are not incorrect, the creators of the show have stretched the truth in a number of ways. Victoria was fat and ugly, Melbourne was fat and old, Victoria wasn't afraid of rats, etc. After reading this article and watching at least one episode of "Victoria," please answer the following question in a 300 word essay: Is it wrong for television to invent love stories, beauty, and drama when portraying real life people and historic events? You must come down on one side or the other with your essay -- no "it depends." In your essay you'll need to describe the show, giving several specific details, and then reference the article, giving at least one quote. You'll also need to give your opinion and your reasons. Please cite the Time magazine article and the TV show at the end of your essay -- remember Purdue OWL is your friend for formatting info.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Reading Period 18: Feb 17 - 23: Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Long Read:

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Phase the 4th (Chapters 25-34)

Short Read: 

Read the selections on Robert Browning in the textbook: pages 638-646.
Read about Elizabeth Barrett Browning on her Wikipedia page.
Read The Cry of the Children by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Read two sonnets by Elizabeth Barrett Browning on page 669.

Creative Assignments:

Listen to this reading of "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning. Take a look at these three portraits of duchesses. Choose one and reproduce it as exactly as you can, in paint or crayon or colored pencil. You could also do a digital drawing, if it's colorful. Pay special attention to the facial expression and try to reproduce that strange expression described in the poem. Which one of these three portraits comes closest to the demeanor described there?


Take a closer look at the description of the cows and the surrounding farmland as Tess arrives at Talbothay's dairy (chapter 16). We know that the narrator of this novel is a close observer, and Hardy's descriptions work not only to give the reader a picture but also a feeling about the place. You're going to write a descriptive passage inspired by Hardy's description of Talbothay's dairy that uses some of Hardy's techniques to create a scene and a mood. Go outside (you don't have to find a cow pasture) and sit and observe as closely as you can the things that are going on around you, to create the mood of this place. Feel where you are. Then write a 300 word descriptive passage that gives the reader the objects and landscape, the time of day, the time of year, and a strong mood connected with the place you are. When you've written it, post it to the Google+ Community, then take a few moments to read other students' work and try to identify the mood they were trying to create, and the techniques they used to create it.


Read this article about child labor during the industrial revolution. The Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem "The Cry of the Children" was written in support of the "Ten Hours Bill." What was the Ten Hour Bill, what relief did it bring to working children? Using this article as a source, write 300 words connecting the bill to the poem. You'll need to explain what Browning says (use quotes!), what the Ten Hours Bill is, and how the two are connected.


The subtitle of the novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles is "A Pure Woman, Faithfully Presented." What do you think Hardy means by this? How is Tess pure? How is Hardy faithful in his presentation? Is the title ironic? Consider the subtitle of the novel, and this quote: "An immeasurable social chasm was to divide our heroine’s personality thereafter from that previous self of hers who stepped from her mother’s door to try her fortune at Trantridge poultry-farm." Is Tess pure or fallen? What does pure mean and what does fallen mean? What is Hardy's intention in this subtitle? Write a 300 word essay in which you explore some aspect of this, including your own opinion.


1. Why do we have so many of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poems that she wrote as a child? And what is this collection called, when we read works that an author created when they were very young?
2. How did Elizabeth's father respond to her marriage to Robert Browning?
3. How long were Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning married?
4. To whom did Elizabeth Barrett Browning write her "Sonnets from the Portuguese" and why did she call them that?
5. Based on the poem "My Last Duchess," will the Duke make a nice husband for the count's daughter?
6. How would you characterize the Duke's wife who's pictured in the portrait? What sort of person was she?
7. What is a dramatic monologue?
8. What clue does the speaker of "Home Thoughts, From Abroad" give as to the place where he currently lives?
9. What does Browning imagine is on the other side of death, in the poem "Prospice"?
10. What two features of Browning's poetry are considered significant, in his lasting contribution to British Literature? His interest in _____________ and his openness to ________, and his stylistic experimentation, including rough ______ and surprising _______.
Liz 'n' Rob


Work through this section on the Victorians from the national archives of the UK. When you and Rebecca and Jatinda are all done, submit your user ID from the site in an email to me, with the subject header Zombie Hotsauce History Reading Period 18, so I can take a look at your notes.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Reading Period 17: February 10-16: Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Angel v. Alec
Due Dates:
Quiz: Monday, Feb 13
Assignments: Wednesday, Feb 15
No History

 Long Read:

Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Phase 2 and 3, "Maiden No More" and "The Rally," chapters 12-24.

Short Read: 

Read the selection about the Victorian Age and also the textbook's section on Alfred, Lord Tennyson. In total, pages 599-637.

Creative Assignments:

Create an illustration of the opening lines of Tennyson's poem "Mariana" using any medium you choose.

With blackest moss the flower-plots
Were thickly crusted, one and all;
The rusted nails fell from the knots
That held the pear to the gable wall.
The broken sheds looked sad and strange:
Unlifted was the clinking latch;
Weeded and worn the ancient thatch
Upon the lonely moated grange.

The poem is inspired by a line and character from Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure: "Mariana in the moated grange." You may want to look up "grange" and also find out what a thatched roof might look like. Here's a link to the full poem to inspire and inform you.


Create an illustration of this passage from Tess of the D'Urbervilles using any medium you choose:

The outskirt of the garden in which Tess found herself had been left uncultivated for some years, and was now damp and rank with juicy grass which sent up mists of pollen at a touch; and with tall blooming weeds emitting offensive smells—weeds whose red and yellow and purple hues formed a polychrome as dazzling as that of cultivated flowers. She went stealthily as a cat through this profusion of growth, gathering cuckoo-spittle on her skirts, cracking snails that were underfoot, staining her hands with thistle-milk and slug-slime, and rubbing off upon her naked arms sticky blights which, though snow-white on the apple-tree trunks, made madder stains on her skin; thus she drew quite near to Clare, still unobserved of him.

Forget Joan Durbeyfield and Tess's ridiculous father. After you have read the section titled, "Maiden No More," pretend you are Tess's parent and write a letter to Alec D'Urberville's mother. Explain what Tess has been going through and make whatever demands or recriminations you feel are appropriate. Don't worry about Victorian ideas. Let the full force of your 2017 sense of fairness and morality flow.

Writing Assignments:

Write a prose version of the poem "The Lady of Shallott" in 300 words.


Read the poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Tennyson. Here's the full text of the poem. The topic of this poem is the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. Write 300 words on the Crimean War -- who was involved, what was being disputed, how long did it last, and who were the victors? Make mention of the Battle of Balaclava and address the facts referenced in the poem, to give some historical context for this work. Now, here's how I'd like you to do your research: Go to YouTube and look for videos on the Crimean War. Evaluate each one for reliability, choose one, use it as a resource for your essay, and post a link to it at the bottom of your assignment. After you've posted, check to see if others used the same video, and discuss the reasons for their and  your selection in the comments.


This quiz covers the section in your textbook on the Victorian Age:

1. What was the significance of the First Reform Bill in 1832?
2. What hardships were imposed upon the lower classes by the Corn Laws?
3. What was the purpose of the Great Exhibition of 1851?
4. Which political Party came to represent the interests of the affluent middle class?
5. What law extended the vote to most members of the working class?
6. How did Evangelicalism and Utilitarianism heighten awareness of conditions among the working poor?
7. Which two writers argued forcefully for the moral and spiritual value of literature?
8. Which writer recognized that ideals of individual freedom had to include women as well as men?
9. Which two Victorian poets are associated with stylistic experiments?
10. Why was the novel so well suited to the expression of Victorian sensibility?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Reading Period 16: February 3-9: Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Long Read: 

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Phase the First, "The Maiden" (Chapters 1-11)


Read all the poems by Byron, Shelley, and Keats, and biographical notes on these gentlemen from page 526-584.

Creative Assignments:

Write a poem using the "hoofbeats" meter Lord Byron demonstrates in "Stanzas Written on the Road" (p 530). Also, analyze the meter and describe the foot (or feet) in use. The topic of your poem should reflect the "vigor and exuberance" of the meter. Another example of this is "The Destruction of Sennacherib," also by Lord Byron.  


Read this essay about English landscape artist John Constable. Think about how Constable expressed the ideas of the Romantic age by painting very personal scenes of immediate importance to himself instead of seeking out grand landscapes and mythological themes. In the style of Constable, create a picture of an outdoor place in your immediate environment that is important to you. This could be your back yard, your front yard, a scene on your street or a nearby park. No, you don't have to create a six-foot canvas.

Please watch this in preparation for class next week:

Writing Assignments

Write a literary essay in which you discuss the symbolism in the first eleven chapters of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Introduce your essay, explain three symbols, and then make a conclusion Thomas Hardy's use of symbolism. You may choose to write about Tess's attire in the village dance, the treacle on Car Darch's back, the death of Prince, the blindness of Mrs. D'Urberville, or any other symbol you identify. In each case, describe the symbol as it appears in the novel, and then explain its meaning, given what happens in the section as a whole.


Shelley and Byron spent their time in Italy after Napoleon had invaded and withdrawn. They visited during the beginning of the "Risorgimento," a reunification of the different states in Italy (Tuscany, Milano, Venetia, etc) into one country for the whole peninsula. Do some research online, and then write a well-constructed 300 word essay about the Risorgimento. You can skip parenthetical notations, but provide links to your sources.


The quiz covers the six pages of biographical info for the three poets we're meeting this week. Should be a quite easy test after these long Jane Austen quizzes.

1.What physical deformity affected Byron from birth?
 A. Club foot.
 B. Cleft palate.
 C. Albinism.
 D. Heart murmur.

2.Which of these things did Byron NOT do as a young person?
 A. Drink from a human skull.
 B. Own a pet bear.
 C. Travel the world.
 D. Become addicted to opium.

3.What was the name of the group of friends Byron formed with Shelley?
 A. The Wicked Lords
 B. The Pisan Circle
 C. The London Rogues
 D. The Poet Savants

4.Byron went to Cambridge University. Where did Shelley go?
 A. Cambridge
 B. Oxford
 C. Durham
 D. Canterbury

5.How old were Shelley and his wife Harriet when they married?
 A. He was 18, she was 45.
 B. He was 16, she was 18.
 C. He was 18, she was 16.
 D. He was 18, she was 18.

6.How did Shelley die?
 A. He drowned after falling out of a boat during a storm.
 B. He was consumed by Byron's pet bear.
 C. He suffered from the same disease that killed Jane Austen.
 D. He was killed in a duel while living in Venice.

7.For what career did Keats formally train?
 A. Apothecary
 B. Poet
 C. Clergyman
 D. Barrister

8.What commitment did Keats take seriously and feel strongly about?
 A. Cleaning and decorating his London home.
 B. Defending the politicians that agreed with him.
 C. Taking care of his many pets and plants.
 D. Taking care of his brothers and sisters.

9.How did Keats die?
 A. Tuberculosis.
 B. Consumption.
 C. He rage quit out of Minecraft and then died of shame.
 D. Drowning.

10.Who wrote Ode on a Grecian Urn?
 A. Byron
 B. Shelley
 C. Keats
 D. Shakespeare

Friday, January 20, 2017

British Literature Fall 2016 Final Exam

This exam should take two hours to complete.

Pencil (or pen) and paper
Your class notes from my lectures
Adventures in English Literature (the brown textbook)
The Story of Britain
Pride and Prejudice
Wuthering Heights
King Lear
A Tale of Two Cities

1. Write a step by step description of how to write a research paper. Start with the impetus for writing, explain the steps, and end with the benefits of having completed such a thing.  This essay will be worth 15 pts.

2. Write an essay describing the intellectual and artistic shift from the Age of Enlightenment to the Romantic Age. You must reference at least four literary works and at least two historical events. 15 pts.

3. In all three of the major works we read this fall, parallelism played a major part in illustrating the author's ideas. Write an essay describing the use of parallelism to illustrate an idea in King Lear, A Tale of Two Cities, and Wuthering Heights. 20 pts.