Course Guidelines

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A Sense of Self

"And after all, what could either of them get from such a passion but a sense of his or her
own maximum self, in contradistinction to all the rest of life?" (301).
D. H. Lawrence's The Rainbow (1915)


Responses to Path 2 prompts should deliver a structured, narrow argument in only 400-500 words, one you publish on Blackboard by 11:59 p.m. on Friday. Arguments should evince creativity and organization, support their claims with detailed evidence ( incl. page citations), and show signs of careful revision. Remember too that whether I happen to agree or not with your thesis matters little, as long as it is sufficiently supported and logically, persuasively rendered.

Some of the strongest essays will incorporate ideas from path 2 essays written by your peers and/or pertinent path 1 discussions and topics, though neither is required.

Week Six:
The Rainbow (1915), chps 12-13 (332-410) [only bold-faced questions may be used as essay prompts]

1. what is Ursula likely thinking of, specifically, when she considers her “femaleness” as a “secret riches, a reserve . . . the price of freedom” (332)?

2. does Ursula’s appreciation of Miss Inger strike you as homosexual?

3. is Winifred Inger’s sweeping dismissal of men as “all impotent” accurate? Are the male characters we have met all unable to “take a woman,” instead “[coming] to their own idea every time, and [taking] that” (341, my italics)?

4. what makes Winifred Inger and Tom Brangwen Jr. so perfect for one another?

5. why does Will Brangwen move from wood-carving, to modeling in clay, to painting, to jewelry? Why doesn’t he stick with one art form?

6. what function does Skrebensky serve Ursula, in his absence?

7. how do Ursula’s parents react to her aspirations to become a teacher?

8. what factors contribute to Ursula’s initial difficulty at teaching?

9. what changes happen within Ursula that make her into a more effective teacher?

10. does Ursula successfully preserve her “sense of self” amidst her teaching experience?

Nude Descending a Staircase
"Nude Descending a Staircase" (1912)
Marcel Duchamp

Dr. Paul Marchbanks