Narrative Essay

Question description

– You are required to write a 3000 word essay that makes substantial reference to two of the texts you have studied on the unit in the Spring term.

– The Essay should begin: ‘In this essay I will argue…’

[This form of words is particular to THIS assignment and is intended to help you construct an essay that advances an argument in response to your chosen question.]

– MHRA Referencing!

-Deadline 16th/April 12:00 Noon UK time

Select one question from the list below.

  • ‘To read a narrative is to engage with an alternative world that has its own temporal and spatial structures.’ (Teresa Bridgeman) In what ways do the presentation of EITHER time OR space impact on the reading of any two modernist and/or postmodernist texts studied in Term 2 of this unit?
  • ‘Genre directs the ways in which we writeread, and interpret texts.’ (Heta Pyrhönen) Giving a detailed account of the function of genre, consider the ways in which it ‘directs’ the reading of any two texts studied in Term 2 of this unit.
  • ‘The text has a meaning only through its readers; it changes with them; it is ordered in accord with codes of perception that it does not control.’ (Michel de Certeau) Evaluate this claim in relation to any two modernist and/or postmodernist texts studied in Term 2 of this unit.
  • ‘The frontiers of a book are never clear-cut [ . . . ] it is caught up in a system of references to other books, other texts, other sentences…’ Discuss the concept of intertextuality in relation to any two texts studied in Term 2 of this unit.
  • Consider the ways in which two texts studied in Term 2 of this unit use generic conventions AND/OR narrative voice to raise questions about gender AND/OR racial identity.
  • ‘There is much more to the telling of a story than simply listing what happens.’ Compare and contrast the narrative methods of any two modernist and/or postmodernist texts studied in Term 2 of this unit.
  • ‘In ergodic literature, nontrivial effort is required to traverse the text.’ (Espen Aarseth). Discuss the demands placed on the reader in interpreting, or creating, meaning in relation to any two texts (digital or otherwise) studied in Term 2 of this unit.
  1. Discuss the ways in which any two texts studied in Term 2 of this unit draw attention to their own fictionality and consider the effects that this has on the stories that they tell.

The texts that are eligible for discussion are:

  • John Barth, ‘Lost in the Funhouse’
  • Robert Coover, ‘The Babysitter’
  • Meg Jayanth, 80 Days
  • Jackie Kay, Red Dust Road
  • Stephen Marche, ‘Lucy Hardin’s Missing Period’
  • Gaultam Mulkani, Londonstani
  • Emily Short, Galatea
  • Virginia Woolf, ‘The Mark on the Wall’
  • Virginia Woolf, ‘Monday or Tuesday’

Learning Outcome 1: Identify and analyse various aspects of narrative.

Learning Outcome 2: Use relevant theoretical concepts and terminology in the analysis of narrative.

Learning Outcome 3: Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the periods, movements and genres central to the development of prose narrative.

Learning Outcome 4: Plan and produce a critical essay

 
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