Note: This is intended as a guide, but it may not cover everything. Material not listed here might appear on the exam. The notes you took in class should be your best guide.
I. Format. Exam I will consist of three parts: one section of short answer or multiple-choice questions; one section of either identification questions or a short passage for close reading; and one essay question from a choice of two or three questions.
II. Works Covered (You should know title, author, main characters, and the significance of scenes and events). Items marked with an asterisk * were not discussed extensively in class, so while you can use them in writing your essays, there will not be specific questions about them on the exam.
- Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
- Charles Dickens, Hard Times
- Blake, " "London" (course pack)*
Wordsworth, "The world is too much with us" (course pack)*
Melville, "Bartleby, the Scrivener" (GASS 18-48)
- Poe,"The Tell-Tale Heart" (13-17)
Poe, "The Fall of the House of Usher" (course pack)
- George Gordon, Lord Byron, from Manfred (course pack)
Frederick Douglass, from Narrative (course pack)
John Rollin Ridge (Yellow Bird), from Joaquin Murieta (course pack)
- Wordsworth, "Resolution and Independence" (course pack)
Carroll, "The Aged, Aged Man" (course pack)
- Wordsworth, from Preface to Lyrical Ballads (course pack)
Wordsworth, "Tintern Abbey" (course pack)
Coleridge, from Biographia Literaria (course pack)*
- Emerson, from Nature (course pack)
"Each and All" (course pack)
Coleridge, "This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison" (course pack)
- Information from background lectures, including the visit to the MASC
- Dickens and serial publishing
- The sublime, the beautiful, and the picturesque as concepts and as applied in the Hudson River School of American art
- Gothic conventions
- Romantic hero
- Other material from lectures and discussions and reports
IV. Potential Essay Questions. Your class notes and the discussion questions will be your best guides to potential essay questions.
1. Essay questions may ask you
- To compare and contrast
- A specific aspect or character of the two works
- Two characters in the same work:
- Themes or ideas in the works
- Technique or style
- To analyze a passage through close reading as it relates to the work as a whole
- To address a larger theme or idea as it relates to the work
- To analyze a particular pattern of imagery or symbolism in a work
- To respond to a critic’s statement about the work
- To apply a concept to a specific work
2. Sample essay questions. Note: These are samples; there is no guarantee that any of them will be on the exam.
- Romanticism brought with it a new interest in the rights of the individual, but it also highlighted the subject of the relationship between the individual and his or her community. What responsibilities does the individual owe to the community, and vice versa? What happens when an individual chooses to isolate himself or herself?
- What role does madness play in the works we've read so far this semester? Why is it such a significant theme? What are the causes of madness? Choose any two works and discuss this idea.
- How does the idea of the sublime inform any two works we've read this semester?
- In writing Hard Times as a serial, Dickens needed to keep his readers' interest from week to week. Identify at least two characteristics of serial fiction by which he did this and analyze the novel in light of those characteristics.
- What is the role of nature in Romantic poetry?
- How does "The Fall of the House of Usher" or "The Tell-Tale Heart" exemplify the conventions of the gothic?
- Compare the characters of Louisa and Sissy in Hard Times. What does each character represent?
- Analyze this passage from "Tintern Essay."