Home Assignment

  Wide Sargasso Sea
  Wuthering Heights
  The Lottery
  The Purloined Letter
  A Jury of Her Peers
  The Story of an Hour




HOME ASSIGNMENT (15% of the overall grade)

For this assignment you will use one of these novels or short stories we read in this course:

.... Jean Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea
Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
.... Shirley Jackson: “The Lottery”
.... Edgar Allan Poe: “The Purloined Letter”
.... Susan Glaspell: “A Jury of Her Peers”
.... Kate Chopin: "The Story of an Hour"

You are supposed to use one of the approaches of literary criticism discussed in Peter Barry’s book Beginning Theory: i.e. structuralist, post-structuralist (deconstruction), psychoanalytic (Freud or Lacan), feminist, lesbian/gay, marxist or post-colonial on the text. You can pick a part of the story or treat it as a whole, depending upon what you are going to do. You can go to the individual pages for each theory (see the left column) and see what they are about.

This is how you start: Go the page in Beginning Theory where Peter Barry describes the method of the approach you have picked, where the heading is: “What do X critics do?” Pick one or two of the issues - do not try to cover them all, there is not space enough in an essay of this length.


Page 49


Page 73


Page 73


Page 105 and/or 115


Page 134


Page 148


Page 167


Page 199

More details
I made even more detailed instructions, as students kept writing e-mails, asking how to do this. Click here to view them (PDF-file, 3 pages, 38 kb). It should leave you with no questions at all!

This should be typed, 12p Times New Roman, double-spaced, with reasonable margins, and should be about 3-4 pages (you can exceed the length if you must - your grade will not suffer). The assignment will be evaluated for clarity of expression, understanding of material, and use of the readings and lectures. You must have an introduction, about one paragraph, and a title for the essay. Use your imagination to come up with a title!

You do not necessarily have to use references, but if you do, add a "Works Cited" page. For instructions on how to format references, see the UNC page on citations. It is always a good idea to look at Proquest for references, if you want them. Also, I have a subscription to E-Notes, if you see an article there - just contact me.

This is a paper you write at home and deliver before midnight on Wednesday 7 April UNDER THE "VERKEFNI/PRÓF" tab on UGLA. Please remember to give the document your name, with underlining to fill the spaces (no dots, and no Icelandic-specific letters, replace Ð with D, Þ with TH, Á with A, etc.). Here is an example: “Astridur_Thorsteinsdottir_Home_Assignment.” Also, put your name and kennitala in the document itself.

Do you want to look at feminism in "A Jury of Her Peers"? The minute you read the story, you think of the way women are treated. A marxist reading of "The Lottery", aha! Look at how the people have been manipulated. There are endless possibilites, for all the stories.

And yes, you can write about Wide Sargasso Sea. Here is, for instance, a starter for those who want to study the narratology of that story. And here is a starter for those who want to study the environment in the novel.

Webmaster: Anna Heida Palsdottir