School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University
Representing Everyday Life in Literary and Visual Cultures 101917, Dr Lorraine Sim
Due Date: Friday 10 September, by midnight (please note, I have changed this to one week after the original due date specified in the Learning Guide to give all students extra time to complete this assessment during these challenging times)
Length: 1200 words (+/- 10%)
Citation Style: MLA or Chicago (Humanities)
Write a 1200-word essay in response to one of the below topics on Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse. Your essay must:
- Develop a clear and well-supported argument in response to the topic;
- Offer detailed close readings of selected passages from the novel to support your analysis and argument: it is up to you to select relevant passages for close reading as appropriate to the topic;
- Engage with relevant ideas and information from the lectures and cite them accordingly;
- Engage with relevant ideas from two secondary sources in your essay: these can include one or more of the theoretical essays studied in Week 2 (by Lefebvre, Highmore, Felski); Woolf’s essay ‘Modern Fiction’ (available via the ‘Readings and Resources’ link in vUWS); and/or other scholarly resources relating to Virginia Woolf’s writing or To the Lighthouse that you source online through the library. Please note: generalist, non-peer reviewed websites do not count as secondary sources;
- Please read the Marking Criteria carefully (page 10 of the Learning Guide).
Topics (choose one):
- While a universal category, no two people experience everyday life in the same way. Using this statement as a starting point, compare and contrast two characters’ perspectives on, and experiences of, the everyday in To the Lighthouse.
- Focusing on one or two ordinary objects that feature in To the Lighthouse, write an essay explaining how these objects become important either thematically or in terms of Woolf’s development of character. Objects you might focus your discussion on include, but are not limited to, a table, a window, a shawl, teacups, jewellery, items of furniture, etc.
- In To the Lighthouse, Woolf challenges the idea that the weather is necessarily a neutral or trivial topic. Using this statement as a starting point, write an essay explaining how the weather functions as an important topic and theme in the novel.
- Critically discuss how Woolf explores the relationship between major events and the everyday in To the Lighthouse.