February 25, 2013

Week 9 seminar questions

Questions to prepare for the seminar on Jude the Obscure:

  • "You must either make a tool of the creature of a man of him" (Ruskin); "Culture has one great passion, the passion for sweetness and light. It has one even yet greater! - the passion for making them prevail. It is not satisfied till we all come to a perfect man; it knows that the sweetness and light of the few must be imperfect until the raw and unkindled masses of humanity are touched with sweetness and light" (Arnold); How does Jude respond to the ideas about culture set out by Ruskin and Arnold?
  • "I am not aware that there is anything in the handling to which exception can be taken"; why do you think Jude was shocking to contemporary readers? What remains shocking about it today?
  • Hardy addresses similar questions around marriage and the sexual double standard that we encountered in Tess of the D'urbervilles; what similarities and differences can you discern here?

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