Category Archives: British Soc & Lit 1

British Soc & Lit 1: Blog Post 3 (Pride & Prejudice)

Jane Austen – Pride & Prejudice (1813)

Readings: If you can’t read the entire novel, at least read these sections (1/2 of the novel):

  • Volume 1: Chapters 1, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, 22
  • Volume 2: Chapters 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18
  • Volume 3: Chapters 1, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19

Presentations: Thursday, April 19

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing the novel. Choose one topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

For the presentations, choose one topic per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. Sometimes we hear that “everyone felt sorry for the Bennets” or “everyone was jealous of the Bennets,” and the opinions keep changing. Can you always trust whether the narrator is honest or joking?
  2. How does Elizabeth change or grow as a person? Do you agree with her decisions?
  3. How are women represented in the novel? Are they mean? Trapped? Practical? Manipulative? Does Austen always have sympathy for them?
  4. Does Charlotte do the right thing in marrying Collins? Is there an ‘ideal’ type of marriage in the novel?
  5. Austen originally called her novel First Impressions. How do “first impressions” matter in the novel? Why do you think the novel has the name it does?
  6. Mr. Bennet’s humor is enjoyable in the novel, but at times he seems to be a bad father and husband. Is this true? How and why?
  7. People in 1813 of course didn’t actually speak in the elegant, sophisticated way they do in the novel. Why might Austen have written in this way?
  8. Austen seems to feel that upbringing is more important than people’s basic personalities. Is this true? For example, is Lydia badly raised or just a foolish, boy-crazy girl?
  9. One criticism of the novel is that it is a little snobbish– the rich people are always conveniently the best people. Do you think this is true?

British Soc. & Lit 1: Blog Post 2 (Merchant of Venice)

The Merchant of Venice – William Shakespeare (1598)

Feel free to use whatever version of the play you like– but remember that class presentations, papers, or other assignments involving the play must use the original language.

Presentations: Wednesday, April 4; Blog posts due: Thursday, April 5

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing the play. Choose one topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

For the presentations, choose one topic per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. How does money affect how people in the play relate to each other? Do you think Shakespeare is making a statement about this?
  2. A Korean professor once told me that Koreans would find Jessica’s abandonment of her father unacceptable. Are Jessica’s actions justified?
  3. Why is Shylock treated so badly? He’s mean, but does he deserve what happens to him? Discuss the anti-Semitism of the play.
  4. In the play, the women seem smarter and in charge. Is this humorous, or do you think Shakespeare is saying something in this?
  5. Is it right that the women trick the husbands into giving up their rings? What do the rings symbolize?
  6. Do Jessica and Lorenzo really love each other? Why is this subplot in the play?
  7. The climax of the play is where Portia, pretending she’s a judge, states that justice should be about mercy. The characters believe Shylock receives mercy at the end; do you agree?
  8. Most scholars agree that Antonio and Bassanio are simply good friends who show affection for each other. Some think it’s more than just friendship. What do you think?
  9. Analyze a character or scene in the play you feel is interesting or important.

British Soc & Lit 1 Blog Post 1 (Miller’s Tale / Wife of Bath)

“The Miller’s Tale” & “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” from Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1386)

Blog posts due: Friday, March 23

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing “The Miller’s Tale” or “The Wife of Bath’s Tale.” Choose one topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

  1. Is the Miller’s Tale disgusting or offensive, or just silly? Why might people find it funny?
  2. Do you feel sorry for John the husband, or does he get what he deserves?
  3. Some feminists have noticed that everyone in the Miller’s Tale is punished in some way, except for Alison, who does what she wants. Is this correct, or fair?
  4. Is there some kind of moral lesson in the Miller’s Tale?
  5. What is either story saying about love?
  6. What is the Wife of Bath saying about marriage in her tale?
  7. Do you agree with the Wife of Bath’s logic or arguments? Do they make sense?
  8. Although the Wife of Bath wins over her husband, he is still technically a rapist. Is he a sympathetic character? Do you like him?
  9. Is Alison or the Wife of Bath a stronger woman? What do you think Chaucer thinks of women in these stories?

British Society & Lit 1: Sign-Up for Groups

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British Soc & Lit 1 Group Sign-Up

Date: March 14, 2018

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What Available Spots
Merchant, Wed Apr 4 #1: Yoo J.
#2: Soyeon K.
#3: Jiwon l.
Merchant, Wed Apr 4 #1: Kyung ho L.
#2: Yoohyeong S.
#3: Hassaan S.
Pride & Prd, Thu Apr 19 #1: ?JungYeon K.
#2: ?JiHyun L.
Pride & Prd, Thu Apr 19 #1: Alina K.
#2: Suhyun J.
#3: ByeongRack L.
Poetry, Thu May 3 #1: ByungJun P.
#2: Do won K.
#3: Jieun P.
Dorian, Thu May 17 #1: Inkyeong L.
#2: Hyejoon J.
#3: Melanie M.
Dorian, Thu May 17 #1: Lorene U.
#2: Bae B.

Course Readings for Spring 2018

Course readings for Spring 2018

  • Writing Academic Papers in English (optional): buy online or download readings 1234

British Society & Literature 1

British Society Through Contemporary Novels

Shakespeare

PBL Vision & Career

  • No texts; course videos are on YouTube and will be listed on this website

Peer Edit

For British Society & Lit 1 and Shakespeare:

Remember to bring 3 copies in print of your paper, in progress, for peer edit. The peer edit day is included as an in-class writing assignment.

  • Brit Soc & Lit 1 meets Wednesday, June 14 for peer edit.
  • Shakespeare class meets Thursday, June 15 for peer edit.

Wikipedia Articles

Here are some of the Wikipedia entries by the involved groups. Please remember that your entries cannot be like essays– they must be objective and include cited references for all claims. Pages may change as other editors alter information– which is how Wikipedia works.

I won’t evaluate these pages for a few days in case groups wish to do some last improvements!

  1. Dorian Gray (character)
  2. Montjoy (character)
  3. Dark Lady (character)
  4. Ferdinand (The Tempest)