EN278: Ends and Beginnings
Term 3, 2015/16
The Exam: Two, equally weighted sections. Answer one question from each section.
What you will need:
Good organization and a strong argument;
Analysis, not plot summary;
Close reading. This is an unseen exam, however, so memorization of quotations, etc.
is neither expected nor desirable.
Sample Questions
Section A
(Thematic, comparative questions requiring a discussion of TWO works)
1. Analyze the representation of genteel poverty in any TWO works from the
2. “The New Woman was by turns: a mannish Amazon and a womanly Woman;
she was oversexed, undersexed, or same sex identified; she was anti-maternal
or a racial supermother; she was male-identified, or manhating and/or maneating, or self-appointed saviour of benighted masculinity; she was antidomestic, or she sought to make domestic values prevail; she was radical,
socialist, or revolutionary, or she was reactionary and conservative; she was
the agent of social and/or racial regeneration, or symptom and agent of
decline.” (Lyn Pykett, foreword to The New Woman in Fiction and Fact xii)
Analyze this comment with respect to any TWO works from the module.
3. Challenge Raymond Williams’s characterization of the fin-de-siècle as a
period of “unfinished lines; a tentative redirection.” Be sure to use TWO
works in your response.
Section B
Questions about a single text. These questions are designed to be enjoyable.
However, you are not being marked on your creativity, but on the strength of your
analysis and your familiarity with the themes, topics, and texts covered by the module.
1. Imagine you are a visitor to London from China in the 1910s, and you read the
stories in Thomas Burke’s bestselling Limehouse Nights. Write a letter to the
author in which you challenge his depiction of Chinese immigrants.
2. You want to produce an anthology of writing about childhood in the period
1880-1914. Explain your rationale for including any TWO of the primary
texts from this module (or, in the case of longer works, selections thereof) in
your edited collection.
3. You are directing a new production of Ghosts. You have decided to have an
all-female cast. What effect would this decision have on your interpretation
and staging of the play?

EN278: Ends and Beginnings Term 3, 2015/16