Literature in Context

Literature in Context

This module aims to introduce you to methods of critical and contextual reading central to the English programme, and to the range of core skills essential to successful study at university level: at least that's the fancy way of explaining the module. Over the duration of the module you will analyse and compare literature from the 1950s and look at the cultural history of a novel, (it may sound boring but you will probably enjoy it, which is okay!). You will also be looking at how the novel was influenced by what was going on at the time. The pace of the module is set by the short story ‘The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner’ which is what your first assignment is on, but don't worry too much: it's only 600 words (the assignment, not the story). The texts that follow from the 1950s are Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes, Sam Selvon's The Lonely Londoners and Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey...
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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner' by Alan Sillitoe: As the first text you’ll study for Literature in Context you will read this short story of a young working class man and his journey, both literally and metaphorically. The book raises questions about the class system, dialect and questioning our idea of morality. Here are some hints and tips as to how to best approach this short story: It is provided in the module booklet: Hurrah, save 60p from Amazon Market Place  and spend it on toast in the morning. Any freebies (I say freebies, £9000, but who’s splitting hairs?) like this are made for highlighting and underlining, go nuts in the lecture by scrawling notes over it to help you with writing your first essay in Literature in Context. It will be the first piece you have to write about at University: Despite being an introductory essay of 600 words there will be a ripple of fear through the room at the prospect...
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Film/TV Adaptations.

Film/TV Adaptations.

I have mentioned in my Wuthering Heights post that it is not good to rely on the film or TV version of a book. I stand by this. Reading the book is essential. Films and TV just don't have the time or the scope to convey everything that a book can. I'm sure you already know this as you've chosen English, but it's surprising how many students will try to dodge the reading. During group work on Lolita I was amazed to find that I'd missed a whole scene in the book, as had four others in my group. Whilst one student talked very excitedly about the significance of the scene the rest of us looked at each other, puzzled. The question was then asked, "Where in the book is that?" The student looked sheepish, "I've not read the book, I watched the film" (Groan!). But if you avoid this potential shame, watching a film or TV version can be...
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