Ivan Ilych Versus Emma Bovary Marriage Essay

Daily Writing Assignments and Lecture Notes Links: Spring 2016

For each class, go directly to the Syllabus to see the reading assignment that accompanies these writing assignments

Class 2 (Pope, Lecture 1) due Friday, January 8

Complete your More Reflections form to turn in.

Read the argument (summary) and first stanza of Pope's Essay on Man. Write a page about the first stanza (lines 1-16) answering Shannon's 4 questions*. If the idea of a close reading is new to you, you might want to check out this page on how to do a close reading.

  1. What is confusing?
  2. What is repeated?
  3. What is familiar?
  4. What is strange?

*This and all subsequent references to Shannon are from Edward Shannon's The Prentice Hall Guide to Writing about Literature (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2002) which went out of print in 2010. I replaced it with A Short Guide as a textbook for our class. Details about what he means by "confusing, repeated, familiar and strange" can be found here.

Write a one-paragraph to one-page summary of Chapter 1 in A Short Guide. Include the title of each chapter in your heading, since it should reflect the main point of the chapter. Your summary should include the main points and any others that seem especially helpful or surprising to you. Some students prefer to an outline format or question format. (See this example of a question format and this example of an outline format.) Outlining, writing questions, and summarizing are all useful skills. You may handwrite or type it, and you may include it on the same page with your discussion of the first stanza of Essay on Man. You may submit A Short Guide assignments electronically since I will not make extensive comments on them. If they are submitted electronically, they will be returned to you electronically.

Print out Lecture Notes on The Enlightenment and The Great Chain of Being if you want to use them to take notes.

In addition, for this and the next assignment, take a look at my web page on Explication de Texte. It will be useful for your Poetry Presentation due on January 29 and February 1.

Class 3 (Pope, Lecture 2) due Monday, January 11

  1. Read Essay on Man and write a page about your stanza to turn in. In case you're not sure what a stanza is, you can look this and other literary terms up in our course Glossary, the Glossary in Appendix B of A Short Guide to Writing About Literature, or the Glossary on the Norton web site.

    Note that the Roman numerals I-X at the beginning of each stanza correspond to your assigned stanza number (not a page or line number). What is the stanza about? Give a one-sentence summary. Answer Shannon's 4 questions. Also, what are the key words and images in the stanza? How does the stanza connect with the ideas of the Enlightenment we've discussed? What is the attitude of the narrator? What is the role of nature, especially animals, if any appear in your stanza?
  2. Write a one-paragraph to one-page summary or outline of Chapter 2 in A Short Guide to turn in. Take, correct, and turn in your answers to the Quiz in Appendix B 364-371 of A Short Guide.
  3. Print out Academic Integrity form. Please sign, date, and turn in.
  4. Your first Moodle post is due tonight at midnight. Instructions:
    • Login to https://wolfware.ncsu.edu/.
    • Enter your Unity ID and Password.
    • On your My Courses page, click on FL 222.
    • To see the first discussion assignment, go to Block 5, Discussion Topics.
    • Click on Introductions.
    • You will see the prompt I have posted: Please introduce yourself to the rest of the class and tell us: if you could invite any three people, alive, dead or fictional, to dinner at your place, whom would you invite, why, and what would you serve?
  5. See the Extra Credit Assignment on Myers-Briggs Type in College: I'm INFJ. If you have comments or questions about Myers-Briggs Type, feel free to share them as part of the introduction. You can do this assignment any time in the first month of classes. If you're a Game of Thrones fan, you might enjoy this.

Class 4 (Voltaire, Lecture 1) due Wednesday, January 13

  1. See Lecture Notes on Different Forms of Prose Fiction; Satire, Irony and Utopia. Read Panglossian.
  2. Write a page about the first thirteen chapters of Candide answering Shannon's 4 questions.
  3. Read Chapter 10 in A Short Guide and write a summary to turn in.
  4. Consider bookmarking an online dictionary, such as dictionary.com or Merriam-Webster to make it easy to look up words you don't know. If you are doing the Reading Notebook, you can print out the definitions to include in your notebook. Do you like words or want to improve your vocabulary (GRE in your future?)? I recommend that you sign up for the free daily email from Anu Gang A Word a Day.

Class 5 (Voltaire, Lecture 2) due Friday, January 15

  • Discuss the following questions after you do the reading assignment (Chapters 14-22). Quote from the text with examples to support your answers and include the page reference for each quotation.
    • Is Eldorado a genuine utopia or (in one critic's words) "a colossal bore…satirized by Voltaire as foolish and futile"?
    • Which specific behaviors or institutions show us that Voltaire wants the reader to see Eldorado as utopic?
    • Does Voltaire have a philosophical lesson in mind or is it pure satire? Or both?
    • How does it correspond to your personal view of Utopia?
  • Read Chapter 3 in A Short Guide and write a summary to turn in.
  • The first original contribution post—on Pope—is due tonight at midnight. You will have many authors to choose from to do your required 14 posts (7 original contributions and 7 responses), but I encourage you to get in the habit of posting by starting with Pope or Voltaire. For an original contribution post, make a point or develop an argument of at least one full paragraph (5-8 sentences) based on something you read, learned or thought while reading An Essay on Man. Ask a question or make a provocative statement for your classmates to respond to. You may also include a quote from the text under discussion or links to other web sites. Did something in your homework get praise or a lot of comment from me? If so, it might be the basis of a good post.

Class 6 (Voltaire, Lecture 3)due Wednesday, January 20

Read the page in Supplementary Materials, Quotes from different critics about "Il faut cultiver notre jardin." Write a page which includes answers to the following questions: what are some literal and figurative meanings of the word garden? How do they apply to Candide's garden? How do you interpret the final line of the story?

To help you to understand the difference between literal and figurative, here is an example I found online:

literal vs. figurative meaning - relates to the meanings of words and phrases or expressions. For example, "She was all ears" has a figurative meaning (She was listening intently) as well as a literal meaning (Her body was composed of ears or she had a huge set of ears). Literary Terms for English

Read A Short Guide Chapter 4, and write a summary to turn in.

Recommended reading before Romanticism: Preface xxi-xxvi; the rest of What is Enlightenment? 16-52 in the Norton Anthology.

: In honor of the Martin Luther King Holiday, watch and/or read MLK's celebrated I Have a Dream speech and write a page about it from a literary perspective. How did it entertain and instruct? What figures of speech or rhetoric were used? Any literary allusions? What was repeated and familiar? (Ideally, not too much will be strange or confusing.) If you prefer, you could also choose the lyrics from your favorite song, and write a short literary analysis, with special focus on the figures of speech used there.

Class 7 (Romanticism; Pushkin, Lecture 1) due Monday, January 25

  • Reading assignment from Syllabus: Romanticism: 530-543. Art Plates 5, 6. Pushkin 737-738; Queen of Spades: 739-746.
  • Write a page answering Shannon's 4 questions for the first two chapters of Queen of Spades.
  • Read Chapter 13 in A Short Guide and write a summary to turn in.
  • Read about Poetry Presentations and be prepared to sign up in class for a Romantic poem to present. You will need to work with a partner. The Poetry Presentations page explains which poems you can choose. (First come, first served.)
  • Original Commentary on Voltaire due by midnight.
  • Reading Notebooks will be due on Friday, January 29. See Course Information for details about the Reading Notebook. They will cover Pope, Voltaire, Pushkin, and Rousseau. Please print out and sign the grading rubric to turn in with your notebook.

Class 8 (Pushkin and Rousseau) due Wednesday, January 27

  1. See Lecture Notes on Autobiography
  2. Read the pages by the two authors as indicated on the Syllabus. For your assigned selection in Pushkin (746-757) or Rousseau (580-585), write a page in which you summarize the chapter/passage in a sentence or two, answer Shannon's 4 Questions, and identify key passages and romantic elements (words, images, style) from A Comparison between the Enlightenment and Romanticism
  3. Prepare for the Poetry Presentation by consulting A Short Guide Chapters 4 and 13, the Explication de Texte handout and, of course, the poem.
  4. Write a summary of Chapter 14 in A Short Guide to turn in. See the web page created for this chapter as an honor's project in Spring 2012.
  5. Response post on Pope due at midnight.
  6. Update your copy of the syllabus if you printed it out: it should be dated January 25.

If you are a slow reader or perfer to listen to a book, especially a long one like Madame Bovary, you might consider downloading an audiobook and getting a head start--be sure to get the unabridged version. Plays can also be much more fun when you listen and read along. Students have recommended: http://www.audible.com

Class 9 (Romantic Poetry: Wordsworth and Keats)due Friday, January 29

  1. See Lecture Notes on Elegy, Ode, and Pathetic Fallacy
  2. Read the two poems listed on the syllabus by Wordsworth and Keats. For each poem, write 1-3 paragraphs looking at the way nature is portrayed in the poem. Be sure to illustrate your answer with examples, complete with line numbers and direct quotes, from the poems, as evidence.
  3. Write a summary of Chapter 16 in A Short Guide to turn in.
  4. OCs on Pushkin and/or Rousseau due at midnight.

Reading Notebook due (covers Pope, Voltaire, Pushkin, Rousseau). Print out the grading rubric to turn in with your notebook. Sign the pledge on that form for each submission.

Classes 10 and 11 (Romantic Poetry) due Monday, February 1 and Wednesday, February 3

Prepare your Poetry Presentation.

Before coming to class, each student (including the presenters for that day) should read the poems and write a thoughtful/probing question for each poem being presented.

Summary of A Short Guide, Chapter 5 due. The section on writing a review is especially relevant, since you can go see a play this semester and submit a review for .

The written portion of the Poetry Presentation is due on the day that you present. Keep in mind that the Poetry Presentation is worth 10% of your final grade: 5% for the in-class presentation and 5% for the individual paper.

Monday, February 1

 PagePoemAuthorPresenter(s)
1.909The LambBlakeChris
2.911The Chimney SweeperBlakeHarrison
3.912Earth's AnswerBlakeHank
4.918To The FatesHöderlinIan Deprospero (5 point penalty for not emailing me with selection)
5.925A Few Lines…Tintern AbbeyWordsworthAnna, Alexandra
6.1009UlyssesTennysonJacob
7.915And Did Those FeetBlakeKat Stafford (5 point penalty for not selecting a poem before presentation day.)

Response post on Voltaire due at midnight.

Wednesday, February 3

In addition to a question about each poem being presented, turn in your summary of Chapter 11, A Short Guide.

 PagePoemAuthorPresenters
1.913The TygerBlakeBryan, Brian
2.923We Are SevenWordsworthFiona, Will
3933The World is Too Much with UsWordsworthEmily
4.988To AutumnKeatsMcKenzie, David
5.1000III, Unlike are we…Elizabeth BrowningPaulina
6.1017Love Among the RuinsRobert BrowningAmani
7.1039O Captain, My CaptainWhitmanTim

Reponse post on Pushkin and/or Rousseau due at midnight.

Class 12 (Realism and Flaubert 1)due Friday, February 5

Writing assignment: Summing up Romanticism.

  • How was romantic literature different from what you expected? (If it wasn't different, explain why not.)
  • Which was your favorite piece? Why?
  • Choose 4 elements of romanticism from A Comparison between the Enlightenment and Romanticism and illustrate each element with evidence (a quoted example) from a romantic text that you have read over the past two weeks. Use a different romantic text for each element.

See Lecture notes on The Nineteenth Century, Realism, and Madame Bovary. Read the discussion on Realism in the Anthology: pages 1110-1116. See Art plates 7, 8, 9. Flaubert: 1215-1218; Madame Bovary: 1219-1225. Here's a link for a free audio version of the novel.

Write a summary of Chapter 9 in A Short Guide to turn in.

is due on Monday, February 8, if you choose to do it.

OC posts on Romantic Poets (including Wordsworth, Keats, presentation poems) due by midnight.

Class 13 (Flaubert 2) due Monday, February 8

Reading assignment: Madame Bovary: 1225-1277.

Write a page about your assigned section in Madame Bovary. Summarize your section in a sentence or two and explain why it is significant in the overall plot. Answer Shannon's 4 questions; pick out the most important objects, images & key passages. Identify important realist elements. Symbols to watch for: horses, windows, books, clothes.

Group 1: Charles meets Emma: Part 1, Chapters 2 and 3 (pages 1225-1233)
Group 2: The Wedding: Part 1, Chapter 4 (pages 1233-1236)
Group 3: Emma's schooling: Part 1, Chapter 6 (pages 1239-1242)
Group 4: The Ball: Part 1, Chapter 8 (pages 1246-1252)
Group 5: Emma meets Léon Part 2, Chapter 2 (1266-1270)

In class today, sign up for a character or pair of characters for Wednesday's writing assignment, a Character Sketch.

is due today, if you choose to do it.

Are you caught up with A Short Guide?

Class 14 (Flaubert 3)due Wednesday February 10

Note: If you are unhappy with the grade on your written Poetry Paper, you may revise/rewrite it and I will average the two grades. This revision and the original must be turned in by February 29.

Reading assignment: Madame Bovary: 1277-1333.

Write a summary of Chapter 6 in A Short Guide to turn in.

Writing assignment: Character Sketch. Write 1-2 pages about one or more of the secondary characters in Parts 1 and 2 of Madame Bovary. Tell in which chapters they appear and their relationship with Emma and Charles. Use examples from the text to back up your comments and include page references. You will write about these characters in Part 3, too, but that won't be due until the final class on Madame Bovary.

To write a character sketch, consider:

  • his/her appearance
  • his/her profession and success at this profession
  • his/her strengths and weaknesses
  • his/her feelings and behavior towards the other characters
  • how other characters feel about him/ her
  • his/her personality and whether it changes over the course of the story
  • key passage or scene

This list provides helpful vocabulary for a character sketch. A Short Guide also covered character sketches on pages 131-135, 173-174 (checklist), and 206-207 (foils).

  • Léon: Mackenzie, David
  • Homais: Tim, Amani
  • Rodolphe: Alexandra, Emily
  • Berthe and Madame Rollet: Jacob, Paulina
  • The Priest, Abbé Bournisien: Ian, Kat
  • Lheureux and Binet: Chris, Hank, Anna
  • Hippolyte (Parts 2 & 3) and the Blind Man (Part 3 only): Bryan
  • Félicité and Justin: Harrison
  • Emma's father, Monsieur Rouault and Charles' mother, Madame Bovary: Will, Fiona

In class today you will also sign up to write an original question about Madame Bovary based on one of the following approaches to literary criticism from Critical questions. The question will be due on FRIDAY--- send the question to me electrioncially so I don't need to retype it, please.

A Short Guide also discusses different approaches to literary criticism in Chapter 9. If you'd prefer to use one of the additional categories listed there (deconstruction, archetypal, new historicism), indicate the category in your homework.

  • FORMALIST CRITICISM:
  • SOCIOLOGICAL CRITICISM
    • Marxist Criticism:
    • Feminist Criticism:
  • CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL CRITICISM:
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL CRITICISM:
  • READER RESPONSE CRITICISM:
  • ECOLOGICAL CRITICISM:
  • QUEER THEORY: Paulina

Class 15 (Flaubert 4)due Friday, February 12

Reading assignment: Madame Bovary: 1334-1390. In addition, since we'll be reading a lot about love and marriage for the rest of the semester, read this chapter from Jonathan Haidt's The Happiness Hypothesis. It is also on e-reserve for our class.

Write your own question on Madame Bovary based on the one of the categories of Critical questions. The more thoughtful and/or provocative the question is, the more likely it will be to have an interesting answer. No yes/no questions, please.

Send me your question by email, please. I will post all the questions for you to consider. You'll answer your own question or another of your choice for Monday. The rest of your character sketch will also be due on Monday.

Response post on Romantic Poets due at midnight.

Class 16 (Flaubert 5) due Monday, February 15

SNOW DAY 2: Instead of class, find my final lecture here.

Finish reading Madame Bovary 1390-1436.

First museum visit Friday, February 19, 7-8:30 pm. Email me to sign up. The group visit is optional (and receives extra-credit) but all students must visit the NC Museum of Art this semester. See web page for details.

Writing assignments:

  • Write a summary of Chapter 7 in A Short Guide to turn in.
  • Finish your character sketch to turn in. What happens to your character(s) in Part 3?
  • Choose any one of the following questions to answer and include the question with your answer. These questions would also inspire some good discussions in your Moodle posts.

    FORMALIST CRITICISM:

    • How are the extremes of each character in Madame Bovary integral to revealing the character of Emma?
    • From what point of view does Flaubert compose Madame Bovary? How does this point of view contribute to the plot/themes, and how does this point of view aid in the reader's comprehension of key ideas?

    SOCIOLOGICAL CRITICISM:

    Marxist Criticism:

    •  "What sort of 'change of fate' do characters in Madame Bovary experience when they interact with characters in other social classes, if any?
    • How do the characters reflect the divisions of social class of this time, and the challenges surrounding social mobility?
    • What do you think Flaubert was trying to highlight about social class through his writing of Madame Bovary?

    Feminist Criticism:

    • How do Emma's ideas about love and marriage hinder her relationships with the men in her life?
    • What message is Emma's personality presenting about the role of women and their desires, particularly compared to their male counterparts?

    CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL CRITICISM:

    • How does Flaubert portray the social mores of the Bourgeoisie (French Middle Class) of the late nineteenth-century through his characters, and is his portrayal historically correct?
    • What are the historical implications of Flaubert's choice to make Charles a doctor (health officer) in this time period? What was the public opinion of people in the medical field?
    • How does Flaubert's Realist writing differ from the Romantic works of Wordsworth and Pushkin?

    PSYCHOLOGICAL CRITICISM:

    • Emma is plagued by delusions of grandeur and maintains unrealistic expectations throughout the novel. Oftentimes these kinds of issues are formed early in childhood due to a child's environment, or they can be caused by chemical/hormonal imbalances within the body. What is the cause of Emma's need for attention and unrealistic expectations and could her psychological troubles be passed on to Berthe?
    • Do you think that Emma's romantic life and maybe life in general is based on only wanting what she can't have?

    READER RESPONSE CRITICISM:

    • What was your impression on Emma from Part 1 and how has it changed after reading parts 2 (and 3)?

    ECOLOGICAL CRITICISM:

    • What is the impact of the original location of the characters and how does that impact relate to their character? (i.e. Madame Bovary III is originally from a rural farm).

    QUEER THEORY:

    • In what ways does Emma's short and unsuccessful contrition for religious healing foreshadow her ensuing sexuality with Leon? (Think about what/who led her to the church in Part II, Ch. 6) Is it ironic or superficial that after a church tour, Emma and Leon make love?
    • How does Emma deal with her own sexual deviance and breaking of social norms?

Class 17 (Tolstoy 1)due Wednesday, February 17

See Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich: quotes to ponder.
On Russian names: See pdf on Russian names in this story
On the legal system of the time: See pdf about the Code of 1864

Read chapters 1-6. Write a page about your assigned chapter.

Chapter 1: Tim, Fiona, Ian
Chapter 2: Chris, Jacob, Alexandra
Chapter 3: Brian, Will, Mackenzie
Chapter 4: Emily, Bryan, Harrison
Chapter 5: Amani, David, Hank
Chapter 6: Anna, Paulina, Kat

Summarize it in a sentence or two. Explain why it is significant in the overall plot. Answer Shannon's 4 questions; pick out the most important objects, images & key passages. Identify important realist elements.

Write a summary of Chapter 8 in A Short Guide to turn in.

If you are interested in reading about Tolstoy's religious conversion, you can find his Confession online.

OC on Flaubert due at midnight

Class 18 (Tolstoy 2)due Friday, February 19

Write a page about your assigned chapter. Summarize your chapter in a sentence or two. Explain why it is significant in the overall plot. Answer Shannon's 4 questions; pick out the most important objects, images & key passages. Identify important realist elements.

First museum visit Friday, February 19, 7-8:30 pm. Email me to sign up. The group visit is optional (and receives extra-credit) but all students must visit the NC Museum of Art this semester. See web page for details.

Reading Notebooks will be due on Wednesday, February 24. Just the Facts, Vocabulary, and Lightning for Wordsworth, Keats, Flaubert, and Tolstoy. For the poetry presentations, all you need to include is the homework assignment on Summing up Romantic Poetry. Please include your own feedback to my comments on the first notebook submission and/or your homework. Sign the grading rubric to turn in with your notebook.

Class 19 (Ibsen 1) due Monday, February 22

Writing assignment: After reading Act 1 of Hedda Gabler, write a list of 2 similarities and 2 differences between this play and Madame Bovary.

A student from last semester found a complete version of Hedda Gabler on YouTube. I haven't seen it yet, but Diana Rigg is a fabulous actress.

Read and summarize Chapter 12, "Writing about Drama" in A Short Guide.

OC on Tolstoy due at midnight.

Class 20 (Ibsen 2) due Wednesday, February 24

After finishing the play, answer the following questions:

  1. Who has power in this play? How does he/she use or abuse it?
  2. Why does Hedda commit suicide? How is it similar to or different from Emma's suicide.

EXAMS: There will be a midterm (15% of final grade) and a final exam (20% of final grade) as indicated on the Syllabus. Make-up for exams will be granted only if you are excused in advance with proper documentation.

Fill out Sample ID page for Midterm to discuss in class and turn in along with the Pre-exam Study Strategies form.

Reading Notebook 2 due for those choosing to do it.

Exams will consist of:

  1. Identification of selected passages. (36 points) Identify the author, work, approximate date of publication (within 10 years), and original language (2 points). Briefly discuss the passage (2 points) and its relevance to the work as a whole (2 points) with attention to both form and content.
  2. Short essay in two parts (min. 300 words) on the literary movements studied. (29 points) You will be expected to define and illustrate the movement(s) by referring to authors, works, main ideas, relevant literary terms (satire, autobiography, absurd) and any appropriate social or historical events. Include two examples of non-literary cultural artifacts that relate to the period, such as music of the era (heard in class or on your own) or art works from the North Carolina Museum of Art and explain why these works illustrate the artistic movement. (Chapter 14 in A ShortGuide has helpful suggestions about writing about pictures.)
  3. Long essay (min. 400 words) (35 points) on a given topic or theme and how it is treated in at least two works we have studied.

Class 21 (Baudelaire and the New Poets) due Friday, February 26

See Baudelaire posters. Read the poems listed on the Syllabus. See web page The New Poets: translations and more.

Writing assignment:

  1. Read the three translations of "To the Reader", as well as the translation in our textbook (pp. 1042-3). Choose at least one stanza to compare. Use the original French of your chosen stanza to get a Google translate version. Compare the different versions of the stanza: type up or write out the stanzas you are comparing; read them out loud; write a paragraph where you tell which translation you like best and why.
  2. Choose another poem from today's reading assignment. Answer Shannon's 4 questions. Note important images and poetic devices. Write a short paragraph about what you think the poem means.

Response post on Flaubert due at midnight.

Class 22 (Wilde) due Monday, February 29

Read The Importance of Being Earnest (not in our anthology; you don't need to bring Norton to class, but do bring your copy of the play).

See Lecture Notes on Aestheticism and Art for Art's Sake

Write a page on the theme of the double in The Importance of Being Earnest. Choose either Algernon and Jack or Cecily and Gwendolyn and explore:

  • How are the two characters related?
  • How do they contrast?
  • How does one character illuminate or impact the other?
  • How does the theme of the double apply to each member of the pair individually (double life, double standard…)?
  • Are their manners and morals similar or different? (Think also about Wilde's double life as a married gay man in Victorian England.)

Class 23 (Chekhov) due Wednesday, March 2

Read the short story, "The Lady with a Dog." Prepare your assigned chapter for class discussion and presentation by writing a page to turn in.

  • Summarize the chapter in a sentence or two.
  • Answer Shannon's 4 Questions
  • Identify key passages and realist elements (words, images, style).
  • How does the treatment of marriage and adultery compare with the other stories we have read?

Response post on Tolstoy due at midnight.

Class 24 (Midterm) in class Friday, March 4

Exams will consist of:

  1. Identification of selected passages. Identify the author, work, approximate date of publication (within 10 years), and original language. Briefly discuss the passage and its relevance to the work as a whole with attention to both form and content.
  2. Short essay in two parts (min. 300 words) on the literary movements studied. You will be expected to define and illustrate the movement(s) by referring to authors, works, main ideas, relevant literary terms (satire, autobiography, absurd) and any appropriate social or historical events. Include two examples from non-literary cultural artefacts such as music of the era (heard in class or on your own) or art works from the North Carolina Museum of Art.
  3. Long essay (min. 450 words) on a given topic or theme and how it is treated in at least two works we have studied.

Parts 1 and 2a will be taken in class on Friday, March 4. Bring paper/blue books. (There will be an automatic 5-point penalty for students who come to class without paper/blue book or pen/pencil.) Parts 2b and 3 (take-home) will be distributed in class and will be due Monday, March 14.

Class 25 (Modernism) due Monday, March 14

Turn in Parts 2b and 3 of the Midterm. Reading Assignment: Modernism: 1681-1690. Art plates 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. 

Original commentary on Ibsen due at midnight

Class 26 (Mann 1) due Wednesday, March 16

Read Chapters 1 and 2 of Death in Venice.

Writing assignment: Character sketch of Gustav von Aschenbach. Write a page or design a Facebook or other social media page. Consider:

  • his appearance
  • his profession, work ethic, and success at this profession
  • his strengths and weaknesses
  • his feelings and behavior towards the other characters, including his family

Also answer this question (there are several correct answers): What metaphor in Chapter 2 serves as a symbol for Aschenbach's life?

Sign up in class for your Greek god/demi-god(s).

Class 27 (Mann 2) due Friday, March 18

Reading Assignments: Read Chapter 3 of Death in Venice. Read and summarize Chapter 15, "Writing about an Author in Depth" in A Short Guide.

Writing Assignment: Write up a page about your god or demi-god(s), including attributes (the objects they commonly hold) and major stories. Also provide at least one image from classical or modern art. Be sure to cite your sources for your mythological research as well as your image. This assignment may be submitted electronically or via GoogleDocs.

  • Hermes: Anna, Fiona, Amani
  • Eros/ Cupid: Alexandra
  • Apollo/ Helios: Will, Tim
  • Dionysus: Chris, Mackenzie
  • Hades/ Charon: Jacob, Emily, Bryan
  • Pan/ Silenus: Hank

From Jereme (Fall 2015): I'm linking a video from youtube from the channel NerdWriter1.  He has an ongoing series called "Understanding Art" where he analyses both paintings and movies.  Listening to these analyses could prove useful to other students. Dr. B adds: I especially like this one on The Treachery of Images.

Post due at midnight: oc on Baudelaire and/or Verlaine.

Class 28 (Mann 3) due Monday, March 21

“References to Greek culture permeate this story because they represent Aschenbach’s traditional German admiration for Greek art and philosophy and partly because the web of allusions supports the development of other themes in the novella.”

Once you've finished the story, write a page about how your mythological figure(s) from the previous assignment fits into or enriches the story as a whole. What themes in the story are connected to your god or demi-gods?

Important Dates coming up:

  • The final organized museum visit is Friday, April 1. Email me to sign up. All papers on the required art museum visit are due by Monday, April 4, but they can be turned in at any time.
  • It is time for you to begin thinking about your term paper/project. Read about possible topics. Think about an approach and texts that you find interesting enough for you to consider for your project. We will do a thesis exercise and peer review draft. On Wednesday, April 6 you will bring a peer review draft of your paper to class (first page/outline of the paper), and we will do a thesis exercise. The full rough draft will be due to me on Monday, April 11. Email me with ideas and questions as needed. I am happy to discuss ideas with you at any time.

Post due at midnight: oc on Wilde. Are you half-way through with your Moodle posts? If not, be sure to post frequently over the next few weeks.

Class 29 (Proust)due Wednesday, March 23

Read lecture notes on Proust. [Warning: this is the hardest text we will read all semester. Do not read it in bed! Do not use secondary sources for your homework!]

Writing assignment:

  1. How does the narration disorient or defamiliarize the reader in the first four pages, especially in regards to time and space?
  2. Prepare your assigned section for class discussion and presentation by writing a page to turn in. Summarize the selection in a sentence or two; answer Shannon's 4 Questions, identify key passages and modernist elements. The beginning and ending words of each selection is given below.
    • Section 1 (begins page 1814; paragraph 1) I would go back to sleep… what I had been told about them. (end of paragraph 1, page 1817)
    • Section 2 (begins page 1817; paragraph 2) At Combray, every day…an involuntary tear was always drying. (top of page 1820)
    • Section 3: (begins page 1820; paragraph 1) My sole consolation…with serene irony (bottom of page 1823)
    • Section 4: (begins page 1830; paragraph 1) I did not take…turn back now. (end of paragaph 1; page 1834)
    • Section 5: (begins 1834; paragraph 2) I heard the footsteps …silence of the evening. (paragraph 2, page 1837)
    • Section 6: (begins 1837; paragraph 1) Mama spent that night…separated them from me. (paragraph 1, 1841)
    • Section 7: (begins 1841; paragraph 2) So it was that…from my cup of tea. (end, page 1844)
  3. Cultural Conversations paper due.
  4. Fill out the Midterm exam reflection to turn in. You can write the answers on a sheet of paper or submit electronically.
    1. About the exam--Was it what you expected? Are you satisfied with your grade? Were you well prepared? Will you do anything different to prepare for the final?
    2. What would you like me to know about you as a student that will help us to have a successful semester?
    3. Please come see me in my office if you have any questions about the exam or your grade.

Post due at midnight: response on Ibsen.

Class 30 (Joyce 1)due Monday, March 28

  • Based on the first half of the story (pp 1848-1866), what do we learn about Gabriel Conroy and his wife Gretta? Next, what do we learn about their relationship in this part of the story? Briefly compare their marriage to others in the works we've read so far this semester.
  • Write a summary of A Short Guide, Chapter 17 to turn in. (You should now have completed the book!)
  • The final organized museum visit is Friday, April 1. Email me to sign up. All papers on the required art museum visit are due by Monday, April 4.

Post due at midnight: original commentary on Chekhov

Class 31 (Joyce 2) due Wednesday, March 30

  • What do we learn about Gretta and Gabriel in the second half of the story?
  • How does our understanding of them individually and our understanding of their marriage develop in this half of the story?
  • What are some differences between romantic love and married love? Be sure you have read the chapter from Haidt's book The Happiness Hypothesis on reserve before answering this question.
  • What is Gabriel's epiphany at the end of the story? Is it a happy or sad ending? Or both?

Post due at midnight: response on Baudelaire, Verlaine

Class 32 (Kafka 1)due Friday, April 1

The final organized, museum visit is tonight, Friday, April 1. Email me to sign up. All papers on the required art museum visit are due by Monday, April 4.

See lecture notes on Kafka, Expressionism, and Literature of the Absurd.

Choose one of the categories of critical questions: Formalist, Marxist, Feminist, Cultural and Historical, Psychological, Reader Response, Queer, or Ecological Criticism. Write a question, then answer it, based on the first half of The Metamorphosis (pp 1880-1902). Indicate which category you have chosen along with your question. Please submit this assignment electronically, so I don't have to retype your question. See the assignment for Class 16 above for some examples of questions inspired by Madame Bovary. However, this time you will write AND answer your own question. Keep Margaret Atwood's quote in mind: The answers you get from literature depend on the questions you pose.

  • FORMALIST CRITICISM: Anna
  • SOCIOLOGICAL CRITICISM
    • Marxist Criticism:
    • Feminist Criticism:
  • CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL CRITICISM:
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL CRITICISM:
  • READER RESPONSE CRITICISM:
  • ECOLOGICAL CRITICISM:
  • QUEER THEORY:

Post due at midnight: response on Wilde

Class 33 (Kafka 2)due Monday, April 4

Visit to the Museum paper due

After finishing the story, answer your own question, or another student's based on the whole story. In other words, how might we interpret the Metamorphosis through the lens of Formalist, Marxist, Feminist… criticism? Think especially about the violin scene, the death scene and the final paragraph.

For fun, check out: Which character are you in The Metamorphosis?

"We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life." Tennessee Williams. Recommended reading: two articles relate to what I'll call The Gerasim Effect—The United States holds tens of thousands of inmates in long-term solitary confinement. Is this torture? by Atul Gawande and Comforter and Comforted in an Unfolding Mystery by Nell Burger Kirst. These articles could lead to a potential paper topic.

FORMALIST CRITICISM:

  • How does the bug’s eye view contribute to our understanding of the inner natures possessed by Gregor’s father and his sister Grete?
  • Gregor’s mother, father, and sister cope with his metamorphosis in different ways. What details about their relationships and personalities are revealed through the form of the story?

SOCIOLOGICAL CRITICISM:

Marxist Criticism:

  • How does The Metamorphisis break the expectation of a Marxist society in the first half of the book?
  • What social class is Gregor and his family? How do you know? How does this factor into the story?

Feminist Criticism:

  • How do the two women in the story, Grete and Gregor's mother, play differing roles as far as Gregor's care goes and how do they reflect or contrast the typical roles and behavior of women during the time?

CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL CRITICISM:

  • How does Kafka portray the social norms in the time period The Metamorphosis represents?
  • Franz Kafka never directly identifies the anti-Semitic conditions in Europe in The Metamorphosis, yet it has been suggested that this is one of the social problems addressed in The Metamorphosis.  Therefore, how might Kafka be illustrating the social conflicts facing Jews in central Europe at the end of World War I?

PSYCHOLOGICAL CRITICISM:

  • Throughout the first half of the story we can observe that Gregor is a man who is capable of excepting his circumstances, regardless of how miraculous or befuddling as they appear to be. What could cause Gregor to not question the fact that he has turned into an insect? Or, has he even been changed at all and he simply perceives himself as an insect?
  • What do you think Kafka is trying to say with the interactions of the characters to the metamorphosis?
  • Is there a specific mental disorder that Gregor is suffering from after his transformation? 
  • How do Gregor's way of thinking and identity change throughout the first half of The Metamorphosis?
  • In what way does Kafka present a sort of internal struggle in his work "Metamorphosis"?

READER RESPONSE CRITICISM:

  • What effect does communication have on Gregor as a human and a bug in understanding his identity and daily routines?

  • How do your own experiences affect your interpretation of The Metamorphosis? if it were me who turned into a big insect-like creature, I would hide myself and not let anyone find me.
  • How do you feel when Gregor's family is treating him completely different due to his appearance?

ECOLOGICAL CRITICISM:

  • Why is Gregor's family so repulsed by his new (natural) form?

QUEER THEORY:

  • How does the way Gregor's family treats him after he becomes a vermin similar to the behavior of homophobic family or friends?

Post due at midnight: Original commentary on Mann, response on Chekhov

Class 34 (Thesis exercise and Peer review of Term Paper proposal) due Wednesday, April 6

The first part of class will be devoted to The Thesis Exercise. Read the web page about how to write a thesis for a literary paper. Print and fill out the page of sample FL 222 theses where you rate the examples. The second half of class will be devoted to peer review of the first pre-draft of your Paper.

Print out two copies of the Peer Review Feedback Form to include with the two copies of your draft which you will bring for your classmates. Fill out the top part of the form with your name, paper title, and date. Do not wait until the last minute to print these materials out. Email me before class if you have an idea for your own original topic so that I can approve it. Speaking of original, a very creative paper where almost all the main characters meet in Hell written by a former student is featured here, and my favorite missing chapter of Candide is here. The complete first draft will be due to me on Monday, April 11.

Selected writing advice from the Term Paper page:

Read through the topic choices below. Consult Chapter 10 in A Short Guide, Writing about Fiction: the World of the Story, especially the pages on "Getting Ideas" (171-5). Which texts have been your favorite or challenged you the most? Send me an email or make an appointment if you need help deciding on a topic. If you are doing a creative project, you will not have a thesis per se in your rough draft, but you will replace that with a story premise that explains what the goal of your project is and how it relates to the text(s) you are responding to.

Paper Topics

A. Critical creative rewriting

You become the author/artist. Take one of your favorite stories, poems or plays and imagine what happens to the characters after the story ends. You could also rewrite the story before it starts or focus on an important scene from a different character's point of view: Cunégonde's, Berthe's or Gerasim's… One student rewrote Pope's Essay on Man in the format of Baudelaire's "Enivirez-vous." You could also write a letter from one character to another in the same story or a different story. For example: What advice would Rodolphe give Ashenbach? For a model, see Ben Franklin's letter of "Advice on Choosing a Mistress".

Pay attention to the author's narrative style, plot, characterization, vocabulary and imagery, so that you can imitate it (or even make a parody of it). If you use direct quotes from the original text, put these passages in italics. Include the page reference for your quote. Do not include historical anachronisms, such as a telephone in Madame Bovary or snooze button on Gregor's alarm clock.

The creative part of the paper should be two to three pages long.

The second half of the paper will be the critical portion: a writing journal or commentary. It should also be a minimum of three pages long for the final version. Explain the stages of your project: first, the choice of story or character, next, the problems and reflections you had while rewriting, including all the ideas you came up with and rejected and the reasons why. Some of the other ideas may lead to other projects later and it is good to have a record of them. Finally, include what you learned about your author and text and the process of writing. For example, what did you notice about your author's style when you read the story for class? What did you notice for the first time during or after class? How did your observation or appreciation of his/her style change as you worked on imitating it? For specifics, be sure to mention the criteria listed here. The writing journal portion of this paper is one of the rare occasions in a college paper where it is appropriate to use "I," as you recount your experience as a writer.

In other words, your rewrite is your response to a text. Your commentary is the reflection on that response. For the peer review draft, you should include a page of your rewriting and a page of commentary, perhaps an outline. You will not have a thesis, per se, but you should have a very clear story idea or premise for alternative art project. Date entries in your writer's journal. Each time you get new input, such as your peer reviews and your instructor review, revise your creative section, and add to the journal section to reflect the new issues raised by the reviewers.

You can read the stories written by students in previous semesters here. An amazing example which includes the majority of characters studied in FL 222 is To Hell With Literature(Joey Schopper, Fall 2006).

Need a name for a character in your creative story? To get the nationality right, check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_popular_given_names

B. Compare and contrast at least 2 texts from 2 different authors, including one from the second half of the semester. Use the following comments as a guide to develop your own thesis. You do not need to answer all of them; you do need to have a coherent thesis. Reminder: an thesis is not a topic, fact or opinion. It is an argument. You may also choose your own topic. (See D below.)

  1. The Function of Setting in… (Tolstoy, Woolf, Kafka, Joyce, Brecht, Camus…) Discuss how the setting in these texts contributes to the main theme. Include such issues as the history, particular location, spatial relations and the meaning of movement from one space to another, the social meaning of space and place, etc.
  2. Illness, Disease and Death in… (Flaubert, Tolstoy, Joyce, Mann, Kafka…) Describe how the authors represent illness, disease, and death, and how these themes function in the texts. Pay attention to the societal aspects of disease and death. Recommended reading—two articles related to what I call The Gerasim Effect—The United States holds tens of thousands of inmates in long-term solitary confinement. Is this torture? by Atul Gawande and Comforter and Comforted in an Unfolding Mystery by Nell Burger Kirst.
  3. The representation of gender roles in…What positions do men and women occupy in society? What is expected of them because of their gender? What limitations does their gender impose? How does it shape romantic love? What are the differences between married love and romantic love that are portrayed? You may end with a comparison to contemporary gender roles.

C. Text and Film/ Theater. See a filmed version of one of the texts we have read in class or attend one of the plays performed locally this semester. Films can be viewed online or at DH Hill (see reserve holdings for our class). Write an analysis comparing the two—consider how reading and watching film are different. For example, Madame Bovary, "The Dead," "The Lady with a Dog," "The Importance of Being Earnest," and Death in Venice have all been made into films. Your thesis should focus your evaluation of how the filmed version relates to the text version. Is it a successful, weak or failed adaptation? Is it a respectful hommage? A brilliant or flawed reworking of the original?

Here are some questions to think about:

  • What scenes were left out and what scenes were added? How did these changes improve or detract from the story? You might want to concentrate on one element or even one scene, such as the ending.
  • How would you rate the director and the choice of cast? Did the actors who played the roles in the film conform to your expectations?
  • How does the use of language, or the way certain actors behave, imply a whole range of characteristics described in words in the book?
  • Did the director set the right tone for the film?
  • How is seeing a play performed different than reading it?

See "Getting Ideas for Writing about a Film Based on a Work of Literature" (176-78) or "Getting Ideas for Writing about a Film Based on a Play" (216-20) in A Short Guide.

If you are using a novel that has been remade into film several times, you might want to consider the same scene in more than one version and think about time-related choices. For instance, Madame Bovary has been remade in almost every decade of the 20th century, incuding versions by Jean Renoir in 1933, Vincent Minnelli in 1949, and Claude Chabrol in 1991. The emphasis in the films is different in part because each reflects its own time and the ideas of its director.

See A Short Guide (339) to cite a film or DVD. A useful site to find important quotes from movies: http://www.imdb.com/Search/quotes. It is also often useful to listen to the director's commentary, if you are using a DVD with this feature.

D. You may also propose your own topic as long as it is a comparison. Your proposed topic must be submitted to me for approval by the date of the peer review (today).

Sample topics from previous semesters: Blake's "London" and Wordsworth's "Composed on Westminster Bridge"; Autumn poems by Keats, Baudelaire, Verlaine and Auden; Death-bed scenes in Dickinson's 465 "I heard a Fly buzz" or 712 "Because I could not stop for Death," and Emma's death scene in Madame Bovary or Ivan's in The Death of Ivan Ilyich; Candide and Forrest Gump; Utopias in Candide and The Village; Wedding Crashers and The Importance of Being Earnest; Slumdog Millionaire and Madame Bovary or Candide; "A Room of One's Own" and Michael Cunningham's The Hours;The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Abrom's Tuesdays with Morrie; Paintings and Poems… The list goes on…

Posts due at midnight: original commentary on Proust

Class 35 (Eliot and the Surrealists) due Friday, April 8

Choose a poem from today's reading assignment to write about: "The Hollow Men," "Dadaist Disgust," "Proclamation without Pretension," or "Free Union." Answer Shannon's 4 questions. Note important images, poetic devices, and modernist elements. What does the poem defamiliarize or do that is unexpected? Write a sentence or two about what you think the poem means. You do not need to bring your Norton Anthology, since the poems are not in there, but in the pdf linked here and on the syllabus. It would be good to have copies of the poems with you, either as hard copies or on your computer/device. Be sure to bring a blank piece of notebook paper to class today as well.

Post due at midnight: original commentary on Joyce, response on Mann

Class 36 (Rough draft of Paper), due Monday, April 11

Come to the classroom to turn the rough draft of your Final Project; include peer reviews and along peer review drafts.

Post due at midnight: Original commentary on Kafka, response on Proust

Class 37 (Woolf 1) due Wednesday, April 13

Exquisite Corpse poems. Illustrate your favorite for extra credit. (Due Monday, April 18)

The horrible
tiger
eats
the fat
mosquito.
The precious
toadstool
danced
the beautiful
pimp.
The massive
dog
destroys
the erratic
queen.
The provocative
squirrel
swims
a full
tree.
A belligerent
horse
runs
the old
butt.
An illegitimate
bird
flies
a lusty
Jedi.
The beautiful
dog
poisons
a paintbrush-wielding
butler.
An apple-red
duck
attracts
a disgusting
chair.
The luxurious
girlfriend
implores
the joyfu
building.
A lovely
Albania
flies
an elaborate
wolf.
The exquisite
concubine
fights
a purple
flower.
A brown
pen
swims
the timid
pencil.

See lecture notes Virginia Woolf and Feminism: a few quotes to consider.

Choose the most provocative or thought-provoking statement in Chapter 2 (ie not Chapter 1) of the assignment. Include the page number. Write a paragraph (or more) agreeing or disagreeing. Be prepared to read your passage out loud in class and explain why you think it is provocative or thought-provoking.

Notebook Check 3 coming up: Monday, April 18

Post due at midnight: Original commentary on Eliot & the Surrealists, response on Joyce

Class 38 (Woolf 2)due Friday, April 15

Alert: Class will be meeting at the new Stanhope IHOP (International House of Pancakes) on Hillsborough Street today, provided it opens on April 10 as announced. ! I will be taking roll and collecting homework. You'll also be discussing your answers to the following questions, and some that I pass out at IHOP from chapter 3, and submitting a group report.

Writing Assignment:

  1. Who is Judith Shakespeare? Why does Woolf create her? What is the message about women and women writers that Woolf suggests by telling Judith's story? Is Judith fact, fiction, truth, a lie?
  2. Choose any work we've read so far and speculate about how it might have been different if the work had been written by a woman rather than a man. (There is no right or wrong answer: let your imagination take you somewhere. Would the characters be different? The plot? The ending? How does the author's gender impact his or her art?)
  3. Watch this eleven-minute video by French director Eleonore Pourriat. What is your reaction? What issues does it share with A Room of One's Own? How do you think Virginia Woolf might react to it if she could see it?

Post due at midnight: Original commentary on Woolf, response on Kafka.

Class 39 (Brecht 1) due Monday, April 18

Turn in if you've chosen to do it. (See Class 37.) See the gallery here.

See lecture notes on Brecht. Read Scenes 1-5a.

Analyze a scene: What happens? Important symbols and imagery? Alienation effects? (It's not what you think). What is the relation of this scene to the rest of the play? 2-3 people per big scene, 2 people mini-scene (a)

Prologue: Mackenzie
Scene 1: Harrison, Ian
Scene 1a: Hank
Scene 2: Chris, Alexandra
Scene 3: Tim, Fiona
Scene 3a: Amani
Scene 4: Jacob, Anna
Scene 4a: Will
Scene 5: David, Emily
Scene 5a: Bryan

Reading Notebook Check 3.

Posts due at midnight: response on Eliot and the Surrealists.

Class 40 (Brecht 2) due Wednesday, April 20

I will pass out your comfort zone/participation grade form which is due on the last day of class.

Finish the play. Analyze a scene: What happens? Important symbols and imagery? Alienation effects? What is the relation of this scene to the rest of the play?

6: Fiona, Anna
6a: Hank
7: Tim, Alexandra, Mackenzie
7a: Chris
8: Jacob, Emily
9: David, Brian
9a: Amani
10: Will, Ian
Epilogue: Harrison

Work on your rewrite for the final draft of your term paper. Here are descriptions of what will earn you an A in terms of Content from the Checklists linked below:

Essays: Excellent to very good: knowledgeable; substantive, thorough development of the new story, including appropriate plot and tone; characters are well chosen; dialogue is appropriate for the period; point of view appropriate for the story, good imitation/appreciation of the original material; literary devices noted and repeated; reflection portion shows understanding of the original text as well as the writing process, relevant to the topic assigned. Adaptation is imaginative and nuanced.

Creative rewriting: Excellent to very good: knowledgeable; substantive, thorough development of the new story, including appropriate plot and tone; characters are well chosen; dialogue is appropriate for the period; point of view appropriate for the story, good imitation/appreciation of the original material; literary devices noted and repeated; reflection portion shows understanding of the original text as well as the writing process, relevant to the topic assigned. Adaptation is imaginative and nuanced.

Art work: Excellent to very good: knowledgeable; substantive, thorough development of art work, good imitation/appreciation of the original material; literary devices noted and displayed in new medium; reflection portion shows understanding of the original text as well as the creative process. Adaptation is imaginative and powerful.

Post due at midnight: original commentary on Brecht, response on Woolf

Class 41 (Camus)due Friday, April 22

Exquisite Corpse gallery

Writing assignment: Answer these two questions

  1. Why does the Arab take the road to the prison?
  2. What is the significance of the sentence written on the blackboard at the end of the story? Who wrote it? Why?

Post due at midnight: original commentary on Camus, response on Brecht

Class 42 (Review) Monday, April 25

Wednesday, April 27 Final Exam 8-11 am in the classroom

The format of the exam is exactly like the midterm. For identifications, I will give quotes from texts studied since the midterm: Mann to Camus. For your essays, you may write about works from the entire semester. It will be closed book. You will not be expected to provide direct quotations.

Bring 2 bluebooks or enough paper to write on. (There will be an automatic 5-point penalty for students who come to class without paper/blue book or pen/pencil.) You may also bring a prepared 3 X 5 inch index card, with dates, titles, authors' names or anything else you like.

Reading Notebook 4 also due at the final: Eliot, Tzara, Breton, Brecht, Camus.

Papers will be returned to you at the final exam

Analysis of Death of Ivan Ilych Essay

1778 Words8 Pages

Letting Pain Be

     To many individuals the word “progress” has a positive meaning behind it. It suggests improvement, something humans have been obsessed with since the dawn of society. However, if closely examined, progress can also have a negative connotation as well. While bringing improvement, progress can simultaneously spark conformity, dependency, and the obsession of perfection within the individuals caught in its midst. It is this aspect of progress within modern society that negatively affects Ivan Ilych, Leo Tolstoy’s main character in The Death of Ivan Ilych. Ivan’s attempt to conform to modern society’s view of perfection takes away his life long before he dies. Furthermore, his fear of death and…show more content…

The physical death he must face at the end scares him because it forces him to realize the life he has lived has been completely false. When confronted with death Ivan starts retracing his past, wondering what he has done to deserve such pain and suffering. He realizes when he is bed ridden that he was much more alive as a child then as an adult. In chapter five of The Death of Ivan Ilych, Ivan admits that “…the further back he looked the more life there had been. There had been more of what was good in life and more of life itself,” (Tolstoy 238). If one were to observe small children play, they would notice it does not take much to hold a child’s interest, and often they are much more fascinated by things that don’t work correctly then things that do. With the pressure to conform to society’s views of perfection as an adult, Ivan loses the liveliness he possessed as a child. Having to face death terrifies him because it forces him to admit he actually did not do the correct thing like he thought he did.
     The progress of modern society and the pressure to conform has not only hastened Ivan Ilych’s death but also made him a die a very miserable death. As soon Ivan realizes he has a physical problem, a problem that began with his obsession of having the perfect house, he consults one of the best doctors he

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