Monthly Archives: October 2019

British Soc & Lit 2: Blog Post 3 (Hitchhiker’s Guide)

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Douglas Adams – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979) [Only the first book in the series]

PowerPoints on Postwar EnglandBritish HumorGeek Culture

Blog posts and presentations due: Monday, November 11

  • Group 6: The meaning(s) of “42.”

Write a post here of about 200 words discussing one of these questions; or make your post a reply to someone else’s post. 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. The book is silly, but are there any values that are taken seriously in it? What are they?
  2. There are few actual family or life-long relationships in the novel. What does the book say about family, or friendship?
  3. There is no racism or real discrimination against different species or life-forms in the novel. Why do you think this is so?
  4. Is it possible that the major events in the story aren’t random, but are somehow planned by the ship’s supercomputer? What do you think?
  5. Arthur Dent is a fairly normal, dull person in comparison to the strange people around him. Is this true? If so, why would the author write him this way?
  6. Why 42? Why doesn’t the supercomputer know how to explain what 42 means? Why is this important?
  7. At several times Trillian feels sorry for Arthur and defends him or protects him. Why do you think she does this?
  8. What joke do you think the novel makes about governments, or the way organizations are run?
  9. There are hints in the book that Slartibartfast helps Arthur and the others to escape the mice and the police. Do you agree? Why might Slartibartfast do this?
  10. Choose another topic or theme in the book you feel is important.

British Soc & Mod Novels: Blog Post 3 (Flush)

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Flush – Virginia Woolf (1933) – PPT Presentation on WWII – PPT on Flush

Blog posts and presentations due: Wednesday, November 6

  • Group 5: How Flush is happier with Miss Barrett than with Miss Mitford.
  • Group 6: Why did Woolf tell a story from a dog’s point of view?

Write a post here of about 200 words discussing one of these suggested questions; or make your post a reply to someone else; or write about something else that interests you. For the group project, choose one story per group. Your project must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. Speak to me or e-mail me to have your topic approved.

  1. Do you think Flush has a better life as a house dog with Miss Barrett? Wouldn’t he have been happier as an outdoor dog with Miss Mitford? It seems strange that in a novel about liberty, Flush isn’t free– or is he, especially in Italy?
  2. Do you think Miss Barrett is actually sick, or just crushed by her oppressive father?
  3. Woolf feels that the ‘democracy’ of dogs is better than the class distinctions of England. Is this true? Are dogs really ‘democratic’?
  4. Woolf doesn’t seem to like her country; she compares the stagnant, authoritarian England vs. warm freedom in Italy. Or is it just because her father is there? Discuss.
  5. What does the episode of Flush being stolen by thieves tell us about Miss Barrett, or Mr. Browning, or others?
  6. Why tell a story from a dog’s point of view? Why not just write a novel about Elizabeth Barrett Browning?
  7. The end of Flush’s life is told very quickly. Do you think there is a reason why?
  8. Critics have accused Woolf of being a snob; and in Flush the few working-class people we meet are servants or thieves. Is this true?
  9. Flush isn’t always a good dog; he sulks and gets jealous when Miss Barrett begins to date, or when her baby is born. Why does Woolf tell us this?
  10. What other things do you notice that are interesting in the novella?

British Soc & Lit 2: Blog Post 2 (Lord of the Flies)

Lord of the Flies – William Golding (1954) PPT File

Blog posts due and presentation day: Monday, October 21

  • Group 4: (Live) a comparison of Ralph and Jack’s leadership styles
  • Group 5: No e-mail was received yet.

Write a post here of about 200 words discussing Lord of the Flies. Feel free to make your post a reply to someone else’s post if you like. Choose one topic for your presentation or for online discussion or your paper. One topic per group. A narrow, focused discussion is usually more interesting.

What is the importance of ___________ in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

  1. The conch shell
  2. Piggy (the boy)
  3. Piggy’s glasses
  4. Ralph’s leadership versus Jack’s
  5. The gender of the characters–why no girls?
  6. The fire
  7. Scars (on people, or on the land)
  8. The pointed sticks
  9. The “littleuns” (the younger children)
  10. The naval officer