Thursday, March 27, 2014

Reading Period 28: March 26 - April 1: Thomas Hardy


From Chapter 11 of Tess -- Beware lusty cousins!
In your textbook: 652-656, 690-704
Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Chapter 1 (and Chapter 11)
Jude the Obscure, Chapter 1
(Don't forget to fill out your First Chapter Challenge form for these two novels!)


Art Connection:

Sketch the three men who arrive at the shepherd's party in the story "The Three Strangers." Make sure their facial expressions, props, costumes, and other indicators let us know exactly which is which.

History Connection:

Read this essay on the Victorian theme of the "fallen woman" and Thomas Hardy's approach to this theme in Tess of the D'Urberville's. In 250 words, explain how the Victorians generally thought of a "fallen woman" and how Hardy turned that upside down. How do we view this subject differently today?

Writing Connection:

Jude's beloved Christminster was based on the real Oxford.
In the novel Jude the Obscure, Jude is relentlessly driven to pursue higher education even though he has no money and no social standing. In our time, it is very normal for someone from a working class family to go to college and learn whatever they want. In Jude's time, however, it was very unusual for someone to even want that, let alone achieve it. For Jude, college represents a "city of light" where anything is possible and he can completely change his life. In 250 words, explain your own expectations of college, if you intend to go, and whether you feel it will or can change your life.


1. In chapter 1 of the novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles, what is the reason for the change Jack Durbeyfield experiences in his attitude and self-assessment, from the start of the chapter to the finish?
2. Based on this chapter, what do you imagine the book will be about?
3. In chapter 1 of the novel Jude the Obscure, what was the reason the village schoolmaster was leaving the village?
4. Given that this is in the first chapter, how might this foreshadow the events of the book, do you imagine?
5. In the poem "Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?" (654) who is digging on the grave, and why? Why is this funny?
6. Summarize the meaning of "In Time of "The Breaking of Nations"" (655) in a sentence or two. What is the meaning of this poem?
7. Explain or paraphrase in simpler terms this line from the story "The Three Strangers" (692, middle of second column): "Absolute confidence in each other's good opinion begat perfect ease, while the finishing stroke of manner, amounting to a truly princely serenity, was lent to the majority by the absence of any expression or trait denoting that they wished to get on in the world, enlarge their minds, or do any eclipsing thing whatever -- which nowadays so generally nips the bloom and bonhomie of all except the two extremes of the social scale."
8. What is the profession of the stranger in cinder grey?
9. After the identity of the second stranger and the third stranger are revealed, and the villagers are chasing the third stranger into the night, (p 701) what pressing question naturally weighs heavily on the mind of any reader?
10. Why did the first stranger become so legendary in Higher Crowstairs?

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