Final Exam Study Guide: Engl 325

 The purpose of this study guide is not to indicate exactly what will be on the exam. The ideas (which have discussed in class) below are intended to help you think about the works we've read and studied this semester. Use these ideas with your notes and own ideas to think about the poems and prose we have read. Don't forget the Intro. to the Victorian Age and the Queen Victoria's Empire video discuss many of these ideas, along with the author bios. This is not an all-inclusive list and does not cover every idea or work that may be on the midterm exam.

A main focus should be the themes are course is organizied around. (See the syllabus and course description.)  Think about how each work we've read and discussed reflects its theme.  But also consider how individual works address more than one theme:  Empire; Education; The Individualism, Society, and Democracy; Play and Games; Victorian Medievalism 

Focus on your notes and the texts. Write out practice responses to previous quiz questions and questions you make up. Also, review your midterm responses. Remember the quiz and midterms examples we have gone over in class. The cards you used for group work in class have good notes. Course Notes (website) also have info. to help you study.  Review your midterm exam.

Question types:

  1. Identifications: You will identify a passage (title of a work) and explain its significance. (I will not give you obscure passages.)*
  2. Multiple choice or fill in the blank*
  3. Short Answer*
  4. NEW:  Longer essay question (1 1/2-2pgs) focusing on a single work or on comparing/contrasting works. Also, you will have some choices.

*1-3 are like quiz/midterm questions.

Carry-Over Works: "The Man Who Would Be King," Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Idea of a University

Time you will have to complete the final exam: 2 hrs for thinking, planning, writing, and reviewing.

Key Concepts:  Gothic Literary Tradition, Separate Spheres Doctrine, Homosocial/-erotic/-sexual, Divided Self/Doubles, Dramatic Monologue, Commodity Fetishism, Play Theory, Victorian Medievalism

Below are some issues/themes we have considered this semester. Expand on these issues and add works not listed here. Also, works might fit in more than one category. Remember, the exam questions will not necessarily be taken literally from this list.

  1. Individualism, Society, and Democracy:  This theme encompasses a number of subthemes we explored: social class, science & technology--religious faith, gender, (laissez-faire) capitalism, industrialization.  What defines individualism in the Victorian period? What struggles and conflicts does the individual face? How does/Can one remain an individual and belong to society? How is individualism affected by societal concerns, such as class, gender and sexuality, capitalism and industrialization?  Is religious faith an expression of individualism and societal values? Differences here?  Gender and sexuality address the role and position of women in Victorian England. What issues were important for women--domesticity, education, (economic) independence? How was marriage viewed? What attitudes reflected but also shaped ideas about gender and sexuality? Separate spheres doctrine? And what about men?  How is masculinity defined? And are men caught up in gender definition as women are?  What about industrialization as a social criticism of urban life and social/economic conditions of workers/Victorian citizens?  Connected to all of these ideas are the concepts of liberty and freedom, defined in numerous ways. Consider works we read this semester: e.g., In Memoriam, "Goblin Market," Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, "Andrea del Sarto," The Great Towns, the paintings we discussed: Work, The Last Judgment, Rain, Steam, and Speed.  Newman's The Idea of a University: liberal education benefits the Individual and society?  Finally, you might look at this theme on the midterm study guide.
  2. Play and Games: The Gospel of Play is central to an understanding of the Victorian Age.  What does play provide individuals?  Why is it needed? Necessary?  (Think of our readings about Victorian education.) What does play do for individualus and society?  Is play the oppposite of work or an extension of it?  What is play (as a noun)? Consider that play is the raw material of games.  What features/characteristics do we associate with play? With games? Difference between playing play and playing a game? (See Course Notes page: "The Victorian Gospel of Play."  What is the significance of competition?  Of rules?  Consider our selections from The Pickwick Papers and Carroll's Alice.
  3. Victorian Medievalism - Why did the Victorians look to the medieval past for solutions to address social troubles in the Victorian present? What differences exist between nostalgic (community, faith, order, duty/check against progress) and progressive views of history (look how far we've come/progressed--nation and empire)? Also, think of the past as a moral barometer for the Victorian present. Remember, Medievalism is more than a cultural phenomenon; it's a mode of cultural discourse the addresses (both supports and critiques) concepts of chivalry, manliness, sleflessness, gallantry, nobility, honor, fidelity, spiritual power of love, and moral influence of women.  Consider "The Defense of Guenevere" and Tennyson's "The Passing of Arthur (Idylls).
  4. Poetry and poetic form/style.(**I will not ask you the scan lines of poems.**)  Consider how form and meter reinforce themes we have discussed. For example, consider In Memoriam, "Andrea del Sarto," "Goblin Market," "The Defense of Guenevere."
  5. What is the role of art? And the artist? Does the artist have a social responsibility or should he/she be concerned with only the art object itself?  Consider "Andrea del Sarto," Morris's painting of The Defense of Guenevere (handout)/the poem.