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VI. William Butler Yeats

II. The great war poets

1. What were the two main varieties of British Great War poetry? Characterise them briefly and give their representatives.

2. Compare Brooke’s “The Dead” and Owen’s “Anthem for Doomed Youth”

3. Compare Brooke’s “The Soldier” and Rosenberg’s “The Immortals”

4. Discuss the irony in Sassoon’s “The General,” “They” and “The Hero”

5. Discuss the significance of the rat and the poppies in Rosenberg’s “Break of Day in the Trenches.”

III. James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man


1. Discuss A Portrait… as a Bildungsroman:

a. What are the most important stages in Stephen’s development?

b. What does Stephen rebel against and why?


2. Discuss the novel as a Küstlerroman.

a. What predispositions does Stephen have for becoming an artist?

b. What is the function and meaning of art for Stephen?


3. Discuss Joyce’s use of the stream of consciousness technique in the novel

4.Discuss Joyce’s concept of epiphany in relation to the novel

5.How does the novel make use of myth?


IV. T. S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”

1. “The Waste Land” can be described as a modernist anti-epic. Why?

2. What is the poem’s epigraph and how does it relate to its general theme?

3. Discuss the poem’s composition. What gives structural unity to the poem?

4. Discuss the anthropological-literary inspirations behind Eliot’s concept of the wasteland.

5. How does the poem question the possibility of rebirth and regeneration?

6. Identify at least three literary texts that The Waste Land refers to.

7. Discuss the apocalyptic quality of the poem’s final section.

8. What is the significance of the references to non-Western culture in the poem?

V. Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

1. Discuss the novel’s composition. What is modernist about it?

2. How does the novel communicate the message that life has both its happy and tragic


3. How does the novel communicate one of Woolf’s crucial concerns, i.e. the subjective

character of the human perception of reality?

4. All the three major characters experience the modernist fear of history. How do Mr.

Ramsay, Mrs. Ramsay and Lily Briscoe cope with this problem? Which of the ways seems

to be the most successful one and why?

5. In what ways does the novel express Woolf’s metafictional concerns?

6. Give examples of intertextual references in the novel and discuss their function.

7. How does the novel explore the issues of gender? Think of

a. Mrs Ramsay and her relation to Mr. Ramsay

b. Lily Brisoce and her relation to men

8. Discuss the novel’s central symbols:

a. the lighthouse

b. the painting

c. the boar’s skull

d. the sea

VI. William Butler Yeats


VI.I: “The Second Coming”


1. This poem is a dramatic rewriting of St John’s Apocalypse. What are the similarities and differences between these two texts?


VI.II: “Sailing to Byzantium”


1. What is the poem’s general theme and what message does it communicate?

2. How does this message relate to the motif of a journey to Byzantium?

3. How does the poem make use of the opposition between nature and culture?

4. Would you read the poem’s message in the normative or rather ironic way? Why?


VII. Graham Green, The Power and the Glory


  1. Discuss the negative and positive aspects of the whisky priest.
  2. How does the novel make use of the concept of martyrdom and what kinds of martyrs are there in Greene’s text?
  3. How does Greene’s novel problematise the so-called hagiographic texts?
  4. According to the novel, what are the greatest/most dangerous sins? How is this notion communicated in the novel?
  5. Which characters in the novel represent false religiousness?
  6. What are the problematic and the positive aspects of the Roman-Catholic religion implied in the text?
  7. Identify at least three references to the New Testament in the novel
  8. Discuss the dream that the whisky priest has on the night before his execution and the one that the boy has after the priest has been executed.
  9. How does the novel represent the utopian quality of socialist ideology?
  10. How would you interpret the novel’s title?


VIII. George Orwell, Animal Farm


1. What genres does the novella make use of?

2. Animal Farm in a concise way presents all the major stages in the development of revolution. Identify and discuss them as they occur in Orwell’s text.

3. Discuss the mechanisms of the totalitarian state on the basis of the novella. Think of

a. the fight for power

b. social elitism

c. the personality cult

d. persecution of political opponents

e. propaganda

f. national rituals and ceremonies

g. the function of religion


4. To some extent, the blame for the oppression of the common animals can also be put on these animals themselves. In what sense?

5. Choose one character from the novel and be ready to discuss him/her in detail

6. Apart from criticising the dangers of the totalitarian, communist system Orwell communicates a much more general political message. What is it?


IX. Samuel Beckett, Waiting for godot


1. Discuss the play as a tragic-comedy

2. Discuss the play’s structure. What is its function?

3. How does Beckett suggest that the play is about man in general?

4. Who is Godot and what does waiting for him mean?

5. Discuss the existential aspect of the play. Think of

a. religion

b. waiting vs. acting

c. human condition in the universe

6. How does the play make use of the two famous assumptions that the world is a stage and that our life is a dream?

7. Are we supposed to think of Beckett’s play as a nihilistic text? Why(not)?


X. William Golding, The spire


1. Discuss the meaning of the novel’s central symbol with reference to

- religious vision

- madness

- human pride

- repressed sexuality

- sacrifice

- self-discovery

How do particular characters refer to these issues?


XI. john fowles, the french lieutenant’s woman


1. The French Lieutenant’s Woman is sometimes defined as a Victorian afternovel, because it draws on the tradition of Victorian writing but also questions it at the same time. Identify the Victorian and postmodern elements in the novel, paying special attention to


- the story and the characters

- the ideological content

- the plot and narration

- the way Fowles negotiates a place between tradition and modernity

- the most important characters


xii. ted hughes, the crow


  1. Where did Ted Hughes take his inspiration for The Crow from?
  2. Who or what is the crow?
  3. How does The Crow rewrite the Christian creation myth?
  4. How does The Crow question Christian theology?


xiii. David Lodge, small world


  1. Lodge’s novel is representative of the so-called campus novel. Explain why.
  2. Discuss the novel as a parody of the medieval romance.
  3. Discuss the novel as a parody of contemporary literary theory
  4. Give three examples of humour in the novel.



Exam questions


√ Below are examples of exam questions − the exam format will be precisely the same.


Ex. 1: Identify the following (1 point for each correct answer)


1. Cheryl Summerbee


    1. a character from David Lodge’s Small World. She works at Heathrow airport and sees many of the novel’s characters embark on trips. : 1 point
    2. a character from David Lodge’s Small World: 0.5 points
    3. a character from Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory 0 points



Ex.2: Identify the texts and the authors the passages have been taken from (1 point for each correct answer)

The river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed. Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.


    1. T. S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”: 1 point
    2. W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming”: 0 points


Ex. 3: Answer the questions below (1 point for each correct answer)


1. How does Boxer die?


    1. He is ordered by the pigs to be taken to a slaughter house: 1 point
    2. He is killed in an accident: 0 points



Ex.4 Explain the following terms and place them with appropriate names, epochs or texts (1-5) or briefly answer the questions (6-10) (2 points for each correct answer)


1. epiphany


    1. a literary concept invented by James Joyce. Epiphany is a sudden moment of revelation when some ultimate truth is all of a sudden revealed to the character. Epiphany has a profound effect on the character and leads to an important change in his life. A very good example is Stephen Dedalus’s realisation that his vocation is to become an artist towards the end of Joyce’s novel: 2 points
    2. a moment of revelation experienced by a character: 1 point
    3. an important moment: 0 points


2. Give three typical themes in Joseph Conrad’s fiction


  1. the opposition between reality and illusion, isolation, importance of work: 2 points
  2. isolation, importance of work: 1 point
  3. living a decent life : 0 points


Ex. 5: Decide whether the statements below are true or false (1 point for each correct answer)


1. John Fowles’s The French Lietuenant’s Woman starts as a postmodern novel.


  1. false: 1 point
  2. true: 0 points


Ex. 6: Which of the writers discussed in the lectures …? In some cases more than one answer is correct (1 correct point for each answer)


1. was also a seaman


  1. Joseph Conrad: 1 point
  2. T. S. Eliot: 0 points


Ex. 7: Complete the sentences with a word or a short phrase. There are a number of correct options for most of the answers (1 point for each correct answer)


1. … is political novel written by Joseph Conrad.

  1. Nostromo: 1 point
  2. Lord Jim: 0 points



Ex. 8 Identify the authors of these texts (1 point for each correct answer)


1. “Tradition and the Individual Talent”


  1. T.S. Eliot: 1 point
  2. W.B. Yeats: 0 points



Ex. 9: Choose ONE of the questions below and write an essay in response to it (there is no word limit). Your essay will be assessed for its substantial informative quality only and you will not be penalized for problems with organization or language (The maximum score is 20 points)


1. Discuss Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” from the psychoanalytic perspective.


√ The maximum score for the test is 100 points and the rating scale is as follows:

0-49: 2 (failed)

50-59: 3

60-69: 3+

70-79: 4

80-84: 4+

85-100: 5


√ Those students who will fail the exam in June will take it again some time in September. If the number of those who failed is small, they will take an oral test. Otherwise, the test will come in a written form.


√ Good luck with your exam!



Date: 2015-12-11; view: 610

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