English 103b—Study Guide
I: The Break with the Past: Romantic Revolution
The French Revolution:
Authors: Burke, Wollstonecraft, and Paine. Major Issues: the justification for the Revolution; the role of tradition; the rights of individuals; monarchy and democracy; the problem of the Terror and regicide; the relationship between the French Revolution, and its predecessors, the Glorious Revolution and the American Revolution.
Industry, Child Labor, Women’s Rights, and Slavery
Authors: Blake, Clarkson, Equiano, Prince, Wollstonecraft. Major Issues: occupational hazards; innocence vs. ignorance; innocence and experience; "mind-forg’d manacles"; the Atlantic Slave Trade; commodities: sugar, molasses, slaves, coffee, rum; the possibility of self-improvement and salvation; Quakers, other Dissenters, and Evangelicals; religious conversion and autobiography.
II: Beauty and Truth: High Romanticism
Authors: W. Wordsworth, D. Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Coleridge, Keats, Austen. Major Issues: self-consciousness; "Spots of Time"; lyric and narrative poetry; "the language of ordinary men"; nature; the aesthetic; Descartes; geometry; the imagination; allegory vs. symbol; satire; "cant"; elegy; "unacknowledged legislators"; the "Byronic hero"; Ancient Greece; beauty and truth; class and social alliances.III: The Victorian Empire and the Literate Public
Authors: Macaulay, Engels, Mill, Darwin, Conan Doyle, Arnold, Dickens. Major Issues: religion and science; capitalism; social reform; freedom of speech and religion; evolution; the scientific world view; Hellenism and Hebraism; culture and anarchy; Christmas; the serial novel.
Authors: Tennyson, Ruskin, R. Browning, E. Browning, Cardinal Newman, Strauss, Colenso, Wilde. Major Issues: empire and responsibility; the Romantic/Victorian quest; morals and moralizing; sincerity and speech acts; the role of the artist; art criticism; aestheticism (to be distinguished from the aesthetic); the sonnet; the aphorism.
- Look over your notes, this study guide, and the lecture outlines. If I mentioned it in the lecture, you should know about it. Know the major issues and terms of each section of the course, and associate each with an author and a work. Whatever you decide to study, cover thoroughly so you have a secure foundation for your answers.
- Think about the broader issues that would be worth discussing in an essay. Outline them, discuss them with your friends, and make practice questions and answers with them.
- Study in short, concentrated periods according to a plan. You’ll retain more information and have better ideas for the essay.