ENG 320 Novel Assignment

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ENG 320 Novel Assignment

ENG 320 Assignment 2019: Middlemarch

Length: 1500 words


  • The essay must focus on analysis.
  • Edit your language carefully.
  • Supply a full reference list – focus on the text itself (which must be listed). You may use two to a maximum of four additional sources, but any sources used must be well digested, and carefully incorporated. Do NOT produce a collage of other people’s views.
  • Use the guidelines for assignments in The Handbook.
  • Print on ONE side of the paper only.
  • Use font size 12 and 1.5 or double spacing. Arial, please.
  • Staple in the top left hand corner. DO NOT USE FANCY FILES OR COVERS.
  • Submit on TurnItIn by 12 noon, and hand in the hard copy at the lecture or in Dr Noomé’s personal box on the 16th floor by 5pm. Do NOT push your essay under her door.

Select ONE of the following topics:

Question 1:

The novel plays with different perspectives – that of the narrator, that of the reader, that of different characters about themselves and about the other characters.

Discuss, analysing at least TWO of the extracts below in context. (Link all the material properly in your argument.)

Show how the extracts reflect the notion of different people’s perspectives and the implications of such differences of perspective for two or three of the characters in the novel.


  • All eyes were for a moment turned towards Will, who said, coolly, ‘Five pounds.’ The auctioneer burst out in deep remonstrance.

‘Ah! the frame alone is worth that. Ladies and gentlemen, for the credit of the town! Suppose it should be discovered hereafter that a gem of art has been amongst us in this town, and nobody in Middlemarch awake to it. Five guineas …’

(b) She had felt stung and disappointed by Will’s resolution to quit Middlemarch, for in spite of what she knew and guessed about his admiration for Dorothea, she secretly cherished the belief that he had, or would necessarily come to have, much more admiration for herself; Rosamond being one of those women who live much in the idea that each man they meet would have preferred them if the preference had not been hopeless. Mrs Casaubon was all very well, but Will’s interest in her dated before he knew Mrs Lydgate. Rosamond took his way of talking to herself, which was a mixture of playful fault-finding and hyperbolical gallantry, as the disguise of a deeper feeling; and in his presence she felt that agreeable titillation of vanity and sense of romantic drama which Lydgate’s presence had no longer the magic to create.

(d) Then went the jury out, whose names were Mr Blindman, Mr No-good, Mr Malice, Mr Love-lust, Mr Live-loose, Mr Heady, Mr Highmind, Mr Enmity, Mr Liar, Mr Cruelty, Mr Hate-light, Mr Implacable, who every one gave in his private verdict against him among themselves, and afterwards unanimously concluded to bring him in guilty before the judge. And first among themselves, Mr Blindman, the foreman, said, I see clearly that this man is a heretic. Then said Mr No-good, Away with such a fellow from the earth! Ay, said Mr Malice, for I hate the very look of him. Then said Mr Love-lust, I could never endure him. Nor I, said Mr Live-loose; for he would be always condemning my way. Hang him, hang him, said Mr Heady. A sorry scrub, said Mr Highmind. My heart riseth against him, said Mr Enmity. He is a rogue, said Mr Liar. Hanging is too good for him, said Mr Cruelty. Let us despatch him out of the way, said Mr Hate-light. Then said Mr Implacable, Might I have all the world given me, I could not be reconciled to him; therefore let us forthwith bring him in guilty of death.

Pilgrim’s Progress

(e) “Oh dear!” Celia said to herself, “I am sure Freshitt Hall would have been pleasanter than this.” She thought of the white freestone, the pillared portico, and the terrace full of flowers, Sir James smiling above them like a prince issuing from his enchantment in a rose-bush, with a handkerchief swiftly metamorphosed from the most delicately-odorous petals – Sir James, who talked so agreeably, always about things which had common-sense in them, and not about learning! Celia had those light young feminine tastes which grave and weather-worn gentlemen sometimes prefer in a wife; but happily Mr Casaubon’s bias had been different, for he would have had no chance with Celia. ENG 320 Novel Assignment


Question 2:

The epigraph to Chapter 4 reads:

1st Gent. Our deeds are fetters that we forge ourselves.

2nd Gent. Ay, truly: but I think it is the world
That brings the iron.

Discuss the validity of this statement fully in relation to at least two characters in the novel.

Your discussion must refer closely to the Prelude and the Finale, and you must analyse at least one other extract (of about ½ to ¾ of a page) from the novel in detail in support of your argument (please append a photocopy of the extract(s) chosen).



Question 3:

George Eliot analyses how people, in particular, men and women, can either support or harm each other, in the “struggle towards some better self, which is achieved, revealed, and defined by the quality of one’s response to others” (Kenney, 1977:734).

Discuss supportive and/or destructive relationships in two or more marriages/courtships in Middlemarch by analysing at least two extracts (of about ½ page each) from the novel in detail in support of your argument (please append a photocopy of the extracts chosen).


Question 4:

George Eliot’s subtitle A Study of Provincial Life suggests that she is undertaking a scientific analysis of some of the patterns of life found in a provincial town, using case studies to illustrate her findings, which have a wider application. ENG 320 Novel Assignment

Discuss the narrative voice in Middlemarch in view of this contention. Analyse at least two extracts (of about ½ page each) from the novel in detail in support of your argument (please append a photocopy of the extracts chosen).

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