Final Exam Study Guide

The ideas/themes (which have discussed in class) below are intended to help you think about the works we've read and studied this semester. Use these ideas with your notes and own ideas to think about the poems, prose, fiction, and drama we have read. Don't forget the Intro. to the Victorian Age discusses many of these ideas, along with the author bios. This is not an all-inclusive list and does not cover every idea or work that may be on the final exam.

Focus on your notes and the texts. Write out practice responses to previous quiz questions and questions you make up. Also, review your midterm responses. Remember the quiz and midterms examples we went over in class throughout the semester. The cards/in-class group work contain your good notes. Course Notes page (website) also has info. to help you study.

Question types:

  1. Identifications: You will identify a passage (title of the piece) and explain its significance as well as its larger context within the work as a whole. (I will not give you obscure passages.)*
  2. Multiple choice or fill in the blank*
  3. Short Answer*
  4. **New: Longer essay question focusing on a single work or on comparing/contrasting works. Also, you will have some choices.

*1-3 are like quiz questions.

The final exam will focus on readings since the midterm, but there are four carry-over works you will be responsible for.
Carry-Over Works
: The Strange Case . . . Mr. Hyde, Culture and Anarchy, "The Lady of Shalott," and On Liberty.

Time for midterm: approx. 1 1/4 - 1/2 hrs for thinking, planning, writing, and reviewing. You will have two hours for the exam if you wish.

Below are issues we have considered since the midterm. Expand on these and add works not listed here. Also, works might fit in more than one category.  Finally, consider the main themes (Gender, Victorian Medievalism, Laughing with/at the Victorians) these works fit into.

Key Concepts: Dramatic Monologue, Culture (Arnold), PreRaphaelites, Aestheticism, Commodity Fetishism, Victorian Medievalism

  1. Gender and sexuality - what was the position of women in Victorian England? What issues were important for women--domesticity, education, independence? How was marriage viewed? What social/cultural attitudes were reflected in but also shaped ideas about gender and sexuality? Separate spheres doctrine? Also, what about the meaning of masculinity and what it means to be a man/male?  Consider works we read this semester: e.g., "The Lady of Shalott," "Andrea del Sarto," "The Blessed Damozel," lack of female characters in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Wilde's IBE.
  2. Individual and Society. Begin with Mill's notion of individualism. What defines individualism in the Victorian period? What struggles and conflicts does the individual face? How does one remain an individual and belong to society? Connected to this idea are the ideas of liberty and freedom, defined in numerous ways. Consider, for example, , Culture and Anarchy, Past and Present, Arnold's "Stanzas," Wuthering Heights (movie),"Goblin Market,"  Wilde's IBE.
  3. What is the role of art? And the artist? Does the artist have a social responsibility or should he/she be concerned with only the art object itself--its beauty and subjective expression of feeling, emotion, etc.? Also, Also, D. Rossetti was thought to be a poet in his painting and a painter in his poetry. Consider D. Rossetti's "The Blessed Damozel"/painting (1441), Morris's painting of The Defense of Guenevere (handout)/the poem, Wilde's IBE. Know the concepts of the Pre-Raphaelite and Aestheticism movements.
  4. Victorian Medievalism - the use of the past. Why did the Victorians look to the past [Gothic, Anglo-Saxon, Middle Ages] for solutions to address social troubles in the Victorian present? What differences exist between nostalgic and progressive views of history? Also, think of the past as a moral barometer for the Victorian present. Think of Ruskin's The Stones of Venice, Arnold's "Stanzas from the Grand Chartreuse," "The Defense of Guenevere"
  5. Industrialization and its Effects - Works we've read this semester discuss the effects of industrialization. Connected to this concept is social criticism of urban life and social/economic conditions of workers/Victorian citizens. For example, think of The Stones of Venice, Past and Present. Also, our Marxist reading of "Goblin Market."
  6. Poetry and poetic form/style (**I will not ask you the scan lines of poems.**) - Consider how form and meter reinforce themes we have discussed. For example, consider Arnold's "Stanzas," "Goblin Market," "The Blessed Damozel," "The Defense of Guenevere."

Don't forget about humor - Wilde's IBE and "The Jummblies."