Eng 2480 British Literature after 1790

Eng 2480 British Literature after 1790


Final Exam

Instructions: Complete the responses below in one to two fully developed paragraphs. (250-300 words minimum, not including quotes). Always cite specifics from the texts as textual evidence to support your ideas. Remember, too, that the first sentence should contain a specific thesis, and your last sentence should be a clear synthesis. (20 points each).

1.) Which era contains the best poetry: Romantic, Victorian, or Modern, and why? Compare and contrast one poem from each era to defend your answer.

2.) Out of all the modern works we’ve read (starting from Yeats and ending with Zadie Smith), which work is the most modern? Why?

3.) Close read William Blake’s “Holy Thursday” on pp. 56-57 in our book. What forms of imagery are present in the poem, and how do they affect the theme?

4.) Close read Thomas Hardy’s “The Darkling Thrush” on p. 989 in our book. Based on the Modernism-themed lectures and your readings of modern writers, should critics consider it the first work of Modernism? Defend your answer.

5.) Close read the passage below. How does it demonstrate “personal multiplicity” and other Postcolonial concepts?

But all the same, she reflected, slamming the door behind her, it was a nice area; she couldn’t deny it as she stormed towards the high street, avoiding pavement trees where previously, in Whitechapel, she had avoided flung-out mattresses and the homeless. It would be good for the child. Alsana had a deep-seated belief that living near green spaces was morally beneficial to the young and there to her right was Gladstone Park, a sweeping horizon of green named after the Liberal prime minister (Alsana was from a respected old Bengal family and had read her English History), and in the Liberal tradition it was a park without fences, unlike the more affluent Queen’s Park (Victoria’s) with its pointed metal railings. Willesden was not as pretty as Queen’s Park but it was a nice area. No denying it. No NF kids breaking the basement windows with their steel-capped boots like in Whitechapel. Now she was pregnant she needed a little bit of peace and quiet. Though it was the same here in a way; they all looked at her strangely, this tiny Indian woman stalking the high street in a mackintosh, her plentiful hair flying every which way. Mali’s Kebabs, Mr Cheungs, Raj’s, Malkovich Bakeries—she read the new, unfamiliar signs as she passed. She was shrewd. She saw what this was. ‘Liberal? Hosh-kosh nonsense!’ No one was more liberal than anyone else anywhere anyway. It was only that here, in Willesden, there wasn’t enough of any one thing to gang up against any other thing and send it running to the cellars while windows were smashed.

–Zadie Smith “The Waiter’s Wife” (1547).


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