Topics for the Critical Paper
N.B. The due date for this paper is April 5
Directions: These papers should be 5-7 pages in length (typed, double-spaced) and should make a persuasive argument for your thesis and cite enough evidence to support your claims. Remember: these are only topics. You will need to find an issue worth arguing that is related to the topic you choose. If you can frame that issue as a question, your thesis can be the general answer to that question. You should clearly identify by number at the top of the first page which topic you have chosen and ensure that all the pages of your paper are numbered except for page 1. Cite page numbers in the novel and line number for the poetry in parentheses in the body of your paper. We will assume that you are citing the editions of the books we have ordered for this class. If you make use of any secondary sources including online sources you must give full citations on your Works Cited page. If you are unsure about the format for online citations, go to the MLA Format and Citation Guide which is available through our online course syllabus.
1) Love and the Problem of Narcissism in Jane Eyre and The Picture of Dorian Gray.
2) Love and the Problem of Identification in "In Memoriam."
3) "Working out the beast": Darwinism in Hardy and Tennyson.
4) "Goblin Market" and the Paradoxes of Desire.
5) "Goblin Market" and Problems of Gender.
6) The Meaning of "Nature" in Wollstonecraft's Vindication.
7) Aesthetic Passivity in Pater.
8) Pater and Wordsworth: "The Child in the House."
9) The Function of the Greek Gods in Swinburne.
10) Christ and Mary in "The Hymn to Proserpine."
11) Dorian Gray as Anti-Bildungsroman.
12) Dorian Gray and "Survival of the Fittest."
13) The Education of Dorian Gray.
We encourage you to come up with a thesis and run it by us, either during office hours or on email. You may email a first paragraph to us which contains your thesis and forecasts the direction your argument will take and we will respond with advice.
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