This is quite a fast-paced module, structured in three parts – focussing in turn on poetry (including ‘V’ by Tony Harrison – amazing, and Shakespeare’s Sonnets), prose (Wuthering Heights – see T.E.A’s separate post for this) and drama (Endgame by Samuel Beckett). This module, for me, felt quite different from the others, due to the varied material.
Kate Walchester says: “The aim of ‘Reading English’ is to ease your transition into the undergraduate study of English Literature by introducing you to a wide range of texts from different periods, refreshing your knowledge of literary terms and techniques, and supporting you as you write your first research essay”.
This module may feel like a bit of a rollercoaster, unnerving at times, but it is exactly because of this feeling that the module is so enjoyable. It allows you the opportunity to explore the variations in literature. When it comes to choosing your modules for level 5, you will have a good idea of the different areas of study – for instance 19th Century novels, Modernism and Shakespeare. You will also explore different themes and genres that you can further at level 5, such as Feminism, Gender and Postcolonialism (“PoCo” for short).
Big tip – start reading Wuthering Heights as early as you can, it will help, rather than starting the night before. It’s quite a dense novel if you haven’t already read it, and you may experience a couple of false starts before you really get into it. Take the wonderful opportunity to go on the trip to the Bronte Parsonage. It’s well worth it!
Little tip – don’t be afraid to express your opinion in seminar, much better to have a voice than sit in silence. It’s not only frustrating for the tutor but for your fellow students. This is a great module to further your thoughts and opinions, there are such a wide range of texts and themes that you can really get involved with. Take the opportunity to use your voice, it will benefit you greatly in gaining confidence for those dreaded presentations on other modules!
Lastly, the proposals and essays at the end of this module are left in your hands. It’s up to you to explore an idea and come up with your questions/topics. I struggled with my essay as I chose to write about quite a large topic: when it came to writing the essay I found I simply did not have the space to fully develop my idea. Bear this in mind as you approach the latter half of the module. It’s great to have an impressive idea or an in-depth topic, but remember that you have a limited word count. Enjoy!
Lynne & T.E.A.