ENGB02Y: English Literature: An Historical Survey

Forms, Genres:

Ballad
Pastoral
Elegy & Pastoral Elegy
Dramatic Monologue
Epic
Gothic
Sonnet

Other terms and concepts:

the sublime
double or doppelganger
Byronic hero or Satanic hero
Utilitarianism
Impressionism
stream of consciousness

Themes and topics to connect different writers, different works:

childhood
the states of innocence and experience
nature; country versus city
attitudes toward industrialization, technology
organic versus mechanistic
relation of mind to nature
ordinary life as subject matter for literature, ordinary language as appropriate style
increasing democratization
attitudes to civilization, laws, institutions
changing concepts of authority
leader figures, heroes and anti-heroes
the supernatural; transcendent realities
alienation, isolation
solipsism; the haunted mind
reason/imagination (facts/fancy; "knowledge"/"wisdom")
spiritual autobiography or biography; the growth of the artist
loss and recovery; function of memory
story-telling; the importance of narrative
translation of religious experience into secular terms: e.g.the fall from innocence, conversion motif (baptism), resurrection
approach to education: children, women, working class, universities
images of women, role of women; women's self-determination
treatment of gender difference
the quest motif: traditional versus modern quest; male versus female quest
attitudes toward the past, history, time (time as progress)
"medievalism"; the Gothic revival (in architecture)
rebellion, revolution, subversion
revolution versus reform; concepts of how change should come about
private versus public worlds
attitudes to capitalism
the work ethic
rise of science, Darwinism
subjective/objective approaches to writing poetry
absolute truth vs. subjective, relative, or multiple truths
focus on internal reality or external reality
representations of consciousness, the unconscious
tradition, influence, revision: writers reacting to other writers