Blog Archives

Writing Selves: Understanding Autobiography ~ Journal [65%, 2007]

Image of the feedback sheet returned to Chris Larham, critiquing the journal [65%, 2007] submitted as part of the 'Writing Selves: Understanding Autobiography' module.

The texts which I will be discussing in this journal are Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ‘Confessions’, Primo Levi’s ‘If This is a Man’, J. G. Ballard’s ‘Empire of the Sun’, Lorna Sage’s ‘Bad Blood’, and Albert Camus’ ‘The First Man’.[…]

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Posted in English Degree [Bachelor of Arts]

A Close Analysis of Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Valentine’ [66%, 2004]

An image of the feedback sheet critiquing Chris Larham's close analysis of Carol Ann Duffy's 'Valentine' [66%, 2004].

In this close analysis of Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Valentine’, I intend to demonstrate that Duffy forces her gift of an onion onto the object of her affection – an honest, yet threatening, gesture. I will do this by working my way analytically through the poem, before highlighting the way in which the onion is used to symbolize Duffy’s beliefs about relationships. Through probing her lexical choices, I shall highlight the menacing subtext to her poem.[…]

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Posted in English Degree [Bachelor of Arts]

‘Consider whether or not there are distinct characteristics in women’s writing.’ [70%, 2006]

An image of the feedback sheet critiquing Chris Larham's essay examining whether or not there are distinct characteristics in women's writing [70%, 2006].

In this essay I will compare and contrast Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ in order to consider whether or not there are distinct characteristics in women’s writing. Through a close analysis of each text I will offer an interpretation of both stories that highlights the common underlying concerns of the two authors; concerns embedded in the text which might not be evident from a superficial, literal reading of the stories. With reference to Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’, I also hope to illustrate the use of emotionally-rich language that is characteristic in women’s writing.[…]

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Posted in English Degree [Bachelor of Arts]

An Analysis of the Narrator and the Narrative Techniques Used In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ [69%, 2004]

An image of the feedback sheet critiquing Chris Larham's essay analysing the narrator and the narrative techniques used in F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' [69%, 2004].

In this essay I aim to demonstrate that F. Scott Fitzgerald uses Nick Carraway- the first-person narrator in his novel- and a variety of narrative techniques to put forward a plethora of social comments to a literate audience. Through close analysis of Carraway and his narration of the events that unfolded before him, it should become clear that Fitzgerald used the novel to articulate his firm ideas about American society in the 1920s – beliefs that include a critique of notions such as: materialism; class distinctions; the revolutionizing of the old guard’s methods; American society excess; and, most importantly, the concept of the various ways in which ‘reality’ is produced.

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Posted in English Degree [Bachelor of Arts]

Ambivalent Intimacies – Essay One [64%, 2007]

Image of the feedback sheet critiquing Chris Larham's essay discussing Anthony Giddens' quotation on the nature of subjectivity [64%, 2007].

This essay will ultimately contest Anthony Giddens’ statement that our sense of self, our identity, is not derived from our ‘subjectivity’ – “determined by one’s own mind or consciousness” – but instead comes about through ‘inter-subjectivity’, our relationships “between, among” others. In order to discuss Giddens’ aforementioned quote, I will make reference to the concept of the ‘mirror stage’ formulated by Jacques Lacan, a concept which stipulates that our “sense of self, then, comes from something external.” Following Lacan’s lead, I will provide examples from Sarah Waters’ ‘Affinity’ and Helen Simpson’s ‘Hey yeah right get’ a life that appear to provide support for the notion that it is our relationships among others which provides the basis for our sense of self. Closely examining Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ‘Confessions’ and Friedrich Nietzsche’s ‘Beyond Good and Evil’, I will then proceed to deconstruct Giddens’ statement, showing how ‘inter-subjectivity’ cannot be the guarantor of one’s sense of self. The final step of this deconstruction will be to demonstrate that ‘subjectivity’ and ‘inter-subjectivity’ are not even categorically distinct concepts, and I shall highlight the inextricable interplay between the two terms, inherent in their definition, with an example from Jim Crace’s ‘Being Dead’.

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Posted in English Degree [Bachelor of Arts]

5. ‘I am inclined to think that love springs from animal instinct, and therefore is, in a measure, divine’ (Kate Chopin) [68%, 2008]

An image of the tutor's feedback sheet critiquing Chris Larham's 2,900 word essay responding to Kate Chopin's quote [68%, 2008].

Before discussing Kate Chopin’s statement with reference to four texts studied on the module, I intend to employ Jacques Derrida’s deconstructive methodology with a view to teasing out the implications of this quotation.[…]

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Posted in English Degree [Bachelor of Arts]

‘To what extent are women shackled by patriarchy in Shakespeare’s plays?’ (65%, 2008)

An image of the feedback sheet pertaining to Chris Larham's essay examining the extent to which women are shackled by patriarchy in Shakespeare's plays [65%, 2008].

In this essay I will examine the extent to which women are shackled by patriarchy in William Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘The Merchant of Venice’. I will firstly apply Vladimir Propp’s tool of narrative analysis to ‘Twelfth Night’ in order to provide Structuralist evidence for the Feminist critique of this play propounded by Lisa Jardine. I will then extend Jardine’s contentions to ‘The Merchant of Venice’, using Propp’s narratological principles to highlight the various ways in which women are constrained by patriarchy in this play. The insights which arise from this methodology will be fully explored in the conclusion to this essay.[…]

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Posted in English Degree [Bachelor of Arts]