Monthly Archives: November 2019

British Soc & Lit 2: Blog Post 4 (Harry Potter)

Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling (1997) — The first book in the series

Blog posts due and presentation day: Monday, December 9

  • Group 7: How and why is Harry a hero? Or is he?
  • Group 8:

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

  1. Does Dumbledore act as a sort of ‘father’ to Harry, or does Hagrid or another person fit this role better? How and why?
  2. Are there funny scenes in the novel, or things satirized from the real world, such as campus sports (Quidditch) or junk food? How does Rowling create humor in the story?
  3. Some religious or parents groups complain that children should not read such stories about witchcraft and magic. Are novels such as this good for children? What lessons do they learn from this book?
  4. Discuss the ‘antique’ technology in the novel. For example, why is everything done with owls and candles? Why can’t Hogwarts have Wi-Fi and laptops and have the students arrive by flying KTX trains?
  5. Snape always seems misjudged in the novel. Is he a sympathetic character? Is there a reason why he always appears evil and is vindicated at the end of the story?
  6. Hermione is a perfectionist and always seems stressed, but she breaks down and cries at one point. Analyze her character, or discuss another female.
  7. Research residential boarding schools in England. Is Hogwarts like these schools? Do you see any reason why the story is set in such a school?
  8. Much of the novel is very sad, dealing with Harry’s feelings of loss over his parents, or the coldness of the Dursleys. For many other characters family is very important. Does this also have a reason or purpose in the novel?
  9. Authority works strangely in the novel. For some minor actions the students receive harsh punishments; but at times, such as when he tries to find the stone, Harry disobeys the rules in ways which should get him in serious trouble but he’s praised. Why?
  10. If your first introduction to Harry Potter was in movie form, how did the experience of reading the novel feel different to you?

British Soc & Mod Novels: Blog Post 4 (Lucky Jim)

Lucky Jim – Kingsley Amis (1954). Blog posts due and presentations: Wednesday, December 4.

  • Group 7: 
  • Group 8:

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing Lucky Jim. 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.

  1. Do you like Dixon, or sympathize with him? Would you want him as a friend?
  2. Discuss Margaret or Christine. How do they influence or change Dixon?
  3. Welch seems strangely forgiving of Dixon’s actions. Is Welch a bad or good man, or is he just a little stupid?
  4. Discuss morality in the novel. Who are the worst people in the story?
  5. Amis has been accused of hating women– are his portrayals of women in the novel fair?
  6. What do you think is the funniest scene in the novel? Describe and discuss how Amis makes the scene funny.
  7. Do you think the novel satirizes universities or English society? How or why?
  8. Why is Jim Dixon lucky? (Or is he?)
  9. Does Dixon grow up throughout the novel, or change? How and why?
  10. Some critics believe the ending is contrived or unrealistic, that Dixon doesn’t deserve to be “saved” by Gore-Urquhart. Do you agree?

Course Paper for British Soc & Lit 2

Course Paper Project for British Society and Literature II

Topics already approved

  1. Flies: Why the novel’s name is Lord of the Flies.
  2. Harry: The importance of the philosopher’s stone in the novel.

Write an MLA format argument paper of about 800-900 words on one or more of the course texts: Pygmalion, Lord of the Flies, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, or any poem. Try to discuss an issue or theme which explains the text(s); simply comparing two characters can be boring unless the comparison tells us something meaningful. Feel free to look at the blog questions or think about the presentations for ideas.

Due date, first draft: Thursday, December 5 in class (paper only, no e-mails)

  1. The paper must state an argument with examples and reasons, focused on the text.
  2. It’s OK if you use evidence or history from the time period of the text to help explain it, so long as your emphasis is on the text. Do not write a paper which is really about you, your best friend, or Korea.
  3. The paper must directly quote from the text to prove your arguments. If your paper has three irrelevant quotes I will assume you didn’t read the text. Use short quotes rather than padding the paper with long ones.
  4. Important!: You will first e-mail me (keneckert @ hanyang. ac. kr) a one paragraph proposal, where you will describe what you are going to discuss and what you are specifically going to prove in your paper. You should do this soon, because: a) I won’t accept a paper without an accepted proposal; and b) once a proposal is accepted, no other student can write on the same argument.
  • The most common reason proposals are rejected is that they are too short and vague. One paragraph in length.
  • Your second paper in this course will be a revision of this first paper, due on the last day of classes by e-mail (Monday, December 16).
  • We will be spending four classes discussing how to write, research, and edit academic argument papers.
  • Refer to the “Files” heading on this site for an example of MLA formatting. We’ll discuss this in class as well.
  • Grading will be on five criteria: Grammar; structure; argumentation; text support (quoting); and the proposal. Each draft is worth 15%.

Course Paper for Brit Soc Modern Novels

Course Paper Project for British Society Through Modern Novels

Topics already approved

  1. Flush: A scene comparison of Flush meeting Miss Barrett for the first and last times.
  2. Flush: A feminist reading of the novella—the oppressive males and Flush’s maleness.
  3. Brave and Flush: What does happiness mean in Flush, compared to Brave New World?
  4. Dubliners: Why does Little Chandler choose Byron’s poems in “A little cloud”? Is there a meaning behind this?
  5. Brave: A comparison of the dystopian futures in Brave New World and 1984.

Write an MLA format argument paper of about 800-900 words on one or more of the course texts: Dubliners, Brave New World, Flush, or Lucky Jim. Try to discuss an issue or theme which explains the text(s); simply comparing two characters can be boring unless the comparison tells us something meaningful. Feel free to look at the blog questions or think about the presentations for ideas.

Due date, first draft: Monday, December 2 in class (paper only, no e-mails)

  1. The paper must state an argument with examples and reasons, focused on the text.
  2. It’s OK if you use evidence or history from the time period of the text to help explain it, so long as your emphasis is on the text. Do not write a paper which is really about you, your best friend, or Korea.
  3. The paper must directly quote from the text to prove your arguments. If your paper has three irrelevant quotes I will assume you didn’t read the text. Use short quotes rather than padding the paper with long ones.
  4. Important!: You will first e-mail me (keneckert @ hanyang. ac. kr) a one paragraph proposal, where you will describe what you are going to discuss and what you are specifically going to prove in your paper. You should do this soon, because: a) I won’t accept a paper without an accepted proposal; and b) once a proposal is accepted, no other student can write on the same argument.
  • The most common reason proposals are rejected is that they are too short and vague. One paragraph in length.
  • Your second paper in this course will be a revision of this first paper, due on the last day of classes by e-mail (Monday, December 16).
  • We will be spending four classes discussing how to write, research, and edit academic argument papers.
  • Refer to the “Files” heading on this site for an example of MLA formatting. We’ll discuss this in class as well.
  • Grading will be on five criteria: Grammar; structure; argumentation; text support (quoting); and the proposal. Each draft is worth 15%.