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Hmmm - time creeps up on me and I am meant to be finishing Nights at the Circus soon, yet barely half way.  Above is very typical of what an A level student has to decipher, extrapolating meaning from a text.  Alas, the higher you go, the more complex it gets. When you start the BA English, Lit Theory shows its ugly head.  So - apply the above to levels 4,5 and 6.

Gender Theory - Does the colour blue force a man/woman/gender neutral et al., to identify themselves into one sterotypical box?

Marxist Theory - Who do the curtains belong to? Who can afford them? Who can't? Is the colour representational of a capitalist conspiracy?

Psychoanalytical Theory - The curtains represent female sexual organs - why are they blue? Are they representing sexual repression, the rejection of Oedipus, a metaphor for the lower sex drives or just a very bad colour for the bedroom?

Feminist Theory - In closing the blue curtains, is the female reclaiming her sexual identity? Is it the man's choice that they are blue? In closing the curtains, is he enforcing his patriarchal dominance over the female?

And so on....
Before you claim that the above text is ridiculous, let me assure you that it isn't.  The course is not about merely expressing how you (the reader/student) feels about this, it is about feeding it through a theory that you can plot your assignment around.  It really IS like that.  Read a batch of books that are a variation of a theme, select a theory or two, interpret those books thus constructing an argument, find secondary books that may assist that concept - then support your evidence through external academic essays and lit theory-specific books.

Rinse and repeat umpteen times during three years, but especially through the major dissertation.  The thin, bluey-greeny part of the Venn diagram is what the examiner thinks and ultimately where your BA English score lies.

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13) Do you have a hero/someone you look up to? If so, who?

Not heroes, but fellow English afficionados, yes. I have been really lucky with my lecturers. My main lecturer is a right fire cracker and would make a cardboard box interesting. I like how she challenges us - she really gets the best out of her students.

There is another brilliant lecturer at Plymouth, who is swamped by students wanting to attend her lectures - hugely inspirational.  There is also a student who recently got his first, who read my first draft Brave New World document for TH2.  He advised me on several points and I was blown away by his intellect.
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Porphyria's Lover - Robert Browning )

Such a dark tale.  The narrator meets with his lover, then kills her - why? He remains silent - she has defied convention to be with him.  She 'worships' him but there is a sense that she will conform to her station and leave him.  He wants to preserve the moment and seals it by strangling her with her own lock of hair - thus gaining absolute control of her.  He toys with her corpse with the full implication that post mortem coitus could occur.  Why would he do that?

Hmm - looking with Psychoanylitcal eyes, this is all wrapped up with Oedipal possesion of the mother figure, sex and death and a whole other host of Freudian schools of thought.


Oct. 12th, 2014 02:08 pm
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I am travelling with some freshers tomorrow to the Mothership (Plymouth Uni) and one of the lectuers is on Macbeth (which isn't on my syllabus, not on Truro Colleges for either this or next academic year).  However, it is going to be on Lit Crit, so I had better brush up my Shakespeare and blag both a film and sparknotes for now. I think this will be more about the Crit than Lit (either that, or I will have to keep my gob firmly shut for a change).

Really I would have preferred reading the new Terry Pratchet A Slip of the Keyboard or Stephen Fry's More Fool Me - hot off the shelf, picked up by me and something I would infinately prefer to read than being bogged down by the Bard.  That and Homer's The Odyssey which right now, I draw a blank on.  In anycase - I will be comatosed by the time I get home tomorrow.
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Ignore the sardonic lyrics - I play this every year when my results are in.

Transactional Writing - 70% (pleased with this one, might have been let down slightly by the travel piece).

What is Theory? - 70% (now that pleasantly surprises me; I presume I did better on the Jane Eyre rewrite and I must've aced Brave New World).

Creative Writing - 72% (very pleased).

Sense of Place - 72% (both Passage to India and Nineteen Eighty-Four went well).

Identity and Nationhoood - 70% (really surprised at this one, the John Harris/Arthur Caddick  was ok, but I really thought I had trashed the last IN3. It was about literature/political purpose and I went waaaay out on a limb for this one, using media and modern-day satire, citing the TV satire and even the use of Huffpost and the irreverence of Newsthump.  Whereas I think the examiner wanted evidence in literature history.  Paid off though - I argued the toss about progression, might not gamble quiet that high in the future).

Introduction to Literature - 67% (Goddammit, must have fell back on Donne and his extended metaphors or maybe the parallels between Wordsworth and T.S Eliot was 'a bridge too far').

Credits Achieved at this stage - 120
Overall aggregate mark - 70.17%

Therefore, my measly 10% have managed to scrape a first for the first year !!! Wooohooooooooooooooo!!!!

*does a happy dance*

Onward to the FdA English Studies Year 2 :-DDDDD
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I am trying to add some added comparisons to this TH2 Monster. I have used Charlotte Perkins Gilman - The Yellow Wallpaper and Henrik Ibsen - A Doll's House, but only in passing as I have just Too Much To Right About, Not Enough Space and I have to Pare Back As It is.  Right now, I can truly identify with Perkin Gilman's character going slowly mental because she is confined to barracks. Also I have had to fight off migraine, great, so I am avoiding chocolate and coffee today  :-/

Charlotte Perkins Gilman - The Yellow Wallpaper ------->

Henrik Ibsen - A Doll's House ----------------------------------->

Alas, if I don't get this sorted by midday Thursday, I will kick it to the kerb.  It is meant to be a Gothic novel and right up my street, but I don't warm to the characters, nor am a keen feminist.  Just not into it.

I have come to the conclusion that I will never get this right, so I am just going to pare back on the words.  I have to lose 177 words (bringing the essay down to 2,200 - or 2,000 with 10% margin) and just resubmit, knowing that at my present level of education, I cannot significantly turn this around without starting from scratch and even then, I do not have the guarantee that I can do it.  My mistake was not annotating the text in the first place, plus not having an interest in either subject does hamper one.  So, mission ::: lose the wordage.  I am not going to burn myself out on an assignment that I cannot significantly turn round in time - over and out.

It is done.  Tomorrow is the sticky political essay IN3 (which I didn't totally cock up, but will need a rethink).
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Currently trying to understand my essay planner from yesterday. I am glad to say I am not the only one floundering with only days to go.  I am reliably informed that a second year (who so kindly helped me yesterday when it came to sorting out my essay) had to do this mid mini dissertation just recently and 5,000 words is a lot to turn round.  I also heard that one of my former Access class mates is trying to write about the evolutionary theory of sleep and asked if I wanted to swap.

LOL - funnily enough, I had the old A Level Psychology about from my Brave New World/Psychoanalytical theory a few days back. Smart ass here quoted chapter and verse.  I should drop the book over to him, but haven't got the time. Right now it's back to the drawing board with 6 days to go.

Oh and it would've been my father's 71st birthday today - happy birthday Dad xxx

This essay is a mess - not a disaster but carnage has been wrought. I am in an anarchistic mood today so Beastie Boys 'Sabotage' is under the cut

Beastie Boys - Sabotage )

Goddamn it - I've written myself into a cul-de-sac AGAIN!! Hatehatehate this theory and this book. What is Theory? It's a bucket of suck!!!!

Some progress made. I think Rochester is a nightmare, an over-grown baby whose propensity for righteous denial is only matched by the fact that he can't keep it in his pants.  Bah! I'm off to read Wild Sargasso Sea.

EDIT::: Well, I have tidied up a bit, but I am 500 words over and the restructuring has only helped a bit.  I am hoping to look at this with fresher eyes tomorrow. The tension in this house is at record levels - Hubby was saying that even if we are there for each other and we know what the other is going through, it doesn't help that we are going through our own crap at the same time.  No rows, no sulking, just one stomps off to the garden and the other goes to the supermarket.

Not good - alas, unavoidable.

Also, a close friend called to say that my former family home had a kitchen fire earlier on this evening.  It is truly horrible watching the fire brigade going in and out of my mother's old house. Everyone is ok though, that's the main thing.
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Bank Holiday Monday and it has been lashing down all day.  My car has not moved all week, because the hoses have split again and I cannot see the mechanic til Thursday.  This always seems to happen when I have a particularly shitty piece of work to do.  Right now it is just as well that I don't have transport, because I would make a bolt for the door and possibly not come back.  Hubby is in a similar position - he is revising for his exam due 8 days after my final submit.  He has ground to a halt because nothing read has sunk in today.

I am looking at TH2 Jane Eyre/Feminist Theory and the essay is awash with the main lecturer's scrawling.  It's a mess and I am in despair - it stands at 59% and I really want to shove it over 65%.  Would be really happy with an upper second, if possible.  Lit Theory is NOT for the faint-hearted.  I have printed off the OWL Purdue checklist re Fem Theory and have stuck it to the side of the computer. Right now, nothing is sticking for me either. Am going to add main lecturer's notes to the new essay and somehow find a way through.

When you have a partner who is in the same boat, it does reap some rewards.  You both know how the other is feeling, both climbing the wall, both supportive etc.  What DOESN'T work is if one (me) is trying to soldier away and the other (he) is wandering aimlessly around, wanting to chat because they are bored.  Being the loving Wifey that I am, I have dragged him into the 21st century and suggests he listens to podcasts from the accredited site.  As I am the only one with speakers, we had a miniature growly face-off, where he suggested frisking the PC for MY set.  No sunshine, that's NOT how it works.  I have now sent him out to get a new set of speakers with an still-in-date Argos card. Hopefully it will do the job :-)

Cross-eyed and reading Gilbert and Gubar.  There is a thin line between high brow and turgid - I am sorry Bronte aficionados, I am not a fan.

I managed to replan my assignment by printing off the rough draft and seeing parallels that I hadn't seen before.  Feeling much better and am off to watch V for Vendetta.  Not that I am interested in Dystopia at all :-DDDDD
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I have managed to slot the 'Pleasure Principle' in (pun fully intended) and now I am trying to read up some Marxist Theory (OWL Purdue has come into its own - but I am reading Rivkin and Ryan at the moment).  I am a bit worried about the time frame; after this, I have four essays to turn round, one of them being TH2 (Jane Eyre/Feminist Theory), then IN3 which is a sticky one about politics.  Might have to totally rethink that one.  Plus the portfolio work.  Not a lot needed for Transactional Writing, minor tweaks at most.

Creative Writing is going to be tougher as although my pieces are ready, the observation writing is still in its infancy. The days left have sunk into single digits and I am worried that I won't make it. I have a LOT to do.  Anyway, onward with the Marxist Theory reading :-/

I laughingly said I wanted a simplistic version of Marx Theory, which is a bit of a joke really considering the subject.  I have found a version and it is on bloody wiki and I can't use it (academic British references only).  Try to find off shoots and you have to wade through everything.  From what I can tell, it is about analysing the base the superstructure and the power relation. Fascinating, but I have only got nine days, guys.

I have had an incredible stroke of luck, via a bone fide British AS/A2 Sociology page.  I feel truly blessed - hope it reaps the right rewards.  I must admit that this gives me a bit of a headache as I did Sociology at 'O' Level and I remember the divisions of the Proletariat and the Bourgeois etc., but this is at a far higher level than I remember.  I do understand a lot of it, because I have read up on it since, but even so - it is about whether I can do this as part of a Level 4 English essay.

*sigh* my brain hurts :-/

Ok, my aim now is to shave off 193 words without losing something critical from the essay.  Here goes :-)

I've done it !!!! Hurrah !!! No more Huxley for the foreseeable future - yeehaaa!!!
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Note to self ::: re Psychoanalytical - read up about the 'pleasure principal'; re Marxist - try to find a more simplistic definition or structure to work from (I appreciate that the latter might just be impossible).
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Struggling through the last of the Psychoanalytical bit - basically finding parallels with Huxley and Oedipus (not as far-fetched as one would imagine - just read the Huxley biog).  I also need to figure the psychological motives of the reader. As one who knows she will return to this story because of its dystopian leanings, I would say that maybe it is about gaining control in an out-of-control environment.  I can identify with this and all of the archetypes that this could project.  Ooer Missus! Bit deep for a Friday afternoon :-)

Found the online Huxley biography - now I understand the final chapters of Brave New World. Suddenly feel quite chastened whilst reading Trev Huxley's demise.  The pressures of being in a highly-strung intellectual family

Online Biography -------->

I can't believe that less than a week ago, I was wrestling with the rough draft of TH3.  Once again, back to the drawing board and I have to shave off 72 words from somewhere.  Quite how I am going to do this, I do not know.  I can tell you that I have nailed the essay as best as a first year can.  If I can get rid of the surplus 70+, then I can move on to Marxist theory ( A-GAIN).

Seriously, I can't afford to let this essay run well into Sunday - I have to face down the Feminist Theory goth horror of Jane Eyre o_O


OK - part one is done and I am now beyond wanting to revisit it.  I have had a look at part two and from all the observations, the reccuring remonstration is  WHAT IS HUXLEY'S POINT? DOES IT SUPPORT THE TEXT? John Bell read my essay and he was VERY useful - makes me realise a) what a genius he is b) I might just have to take a crash-course in Marxist Theory.

Crapola - I am going to bed.
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Day 3 and it is plain that I don't proofread as well as I should.  I have dropped out of the habit since Access and it is becoming a problem.  I dunno - I think I get blinded by what I have written sometimes, I read it so often that spots and blemishes disappear.  I noticed it today whilst reading To The Shore to a friend.  I should really proofread and also read things out.   Brain just switches off, though.  I need more time though and I think it is this factor that worries me somewhat.

Never mind - I will have to go onward with IL3 Wordsworth and Eliot :-/

IL3 is done.  I have noticed that my essays seem to double up, my stream of consciousness writes like someone else is singing a duet with it.  I am a bit irritated as my printer is starting to run out of ink at a pretty critical time and the hose on my car radiator has sprung a leak again. Grrr - wasn't like I was planning on going anywhere, but even so.  Decided to go back to TH3, because this is the assignment that is niggling me the most at the moment.

OK, I think I have got the idea of 'How to be a Theorist' crash course 101.  I *think* my mistake is that I have been putting the text first and the theory very much as a secondary consideration - when it should be the other way round.  I also have to rethink how the population is perceived by the *insert theory* mind.

My head hurts - this is most definitely something I have to brush up on during the summer holiday.

I think I am near the end of the first half. I have to think of the psychological being of the author and the psychological motives of the reader.  Hmmm. Is this going to be awkward territory for me, I wonder? I have a fascination for dystopian societies and I have to see beyond my own motives.  Control issues? Overt control? Sadist Versus Masochist?  I think I might have best part of another day on this.  Loooong slog ahead.
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I won't be labouring with this for much longer as it is about stripping off 200 or so words from plan one and rearranging plan two so everything is cohesive...hopefully.

Goddamn it - I STILL have to shave off 72 words.  Its ok to jettison superfluous bits, but there are things that I can't reword.  It would be like cutting off a limb!

WooHoo!!! I have finished TH3!!! Aldous Huxley can kiss my ass!!!
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After a lapse of four days, I have come back to Brave New World.  Alas I am over by 200 words on Psychoanalytical and under by about 100 words on Marxist.  Plenty of academical references on part one - absolutely zero on part two. I also have a feeling I am gonna have to get some more quotes together too.  Think I am getting there, though - will be so pleased when this is out of my hair and I can concentrate on other things, like the rest of my resubs for a start.

I must admit to having a bit of a brain fog, mostly because I am trying to fit one of the academic essays around the last part and it's not fitting.  The end is in sight and I was to get this done tonight...

*mumble, grumble, crumble*

Ok - I am done for now. I have to shave off 278 words from part one and revamp part two.  This will be done tomorrow (I am learning not to burn out again at the first opportunity).
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I have printed out the Marxist Theory information from the OWL Purdue site and am ready to thrash this.  My main annoyance is that a few days ago, I had a lot of boxed stuff brought to our cottage and it is all sitting in my office straight in front of my wipe board - so planning anything will be impossible until it is shifted. To add to my annoyance, hot on the heels of the last batch of bug, I now have a throat infection.  I am swilling fruit smoothies and echinacea to combat the worst of it.  I have a feeling that most of this will shift when I finish the lot in June.

Back to the grindstone :-/

Something has cropped up and things have not gone well - cannot reveal exactly why, suffice to say that on top of everything else our finances maybe screwed.  Heart and motivation in my boots - because of other personal matters, it has been a horrible, horrible week. I need to get back on track.

Because of unforeseen setbacks, I have decided to organise a more structured plan for the latter half of this assignment.  Right now, I can't concentrate on anything else.  I think I have over done it somewhat and need to recover with an early night :-(((
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Looking over last nights work, I have to re-jig quite a bit of it, so it flows better. 912 words all told, but still have the Jungian archetypes to do.  I have put aside another 'word dump' document to one side, so I can lift texts out and put them elsewhere if I can't think what to do with them right now, but may need at a later date. One thing is for sure, I will have to get another book stand as the one I have is propping up two text books and Brave New World. I really want to get the worst of this done today and move on to Marxist theory tomorrow.

I only have three weeks left; most of this week will be taken up with this essay and attending lecture (though God knows why - we need bumper tutorials and study leave IMHO).

I have ordered another reading stand as I cannot see my desk - it is awash with books, none of which I can put away.  I am over 1,000 words and covering the Oedipus complex now.

I am not in good shape physically.  My whole body is very cramped up and I have a sore throat for some reason.  I do try to take breaks away from the desk, but I am really trying to get this essay cranked out.  I can see the end in sight re psychoanalytical theory but I think I may  wrap up early this evening, go for a walk or have a good stretch - something.

I have reached the end of part one and I have managed 1,338 words.  I can foresee that some judicial editing will have to be done - right now, I am done and my back feels like an oxbow lake :-/
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I have blasted through Brave New World, annotating, theorising and now I am ready to begin. I am to use 1,000 words each theory and will start with Psychoanalytical as it will specifically feed into the Marxist.  I have already planned the first half as to why the citizens are kept in a perpetual state of pseudo happiness and link it to Freud's theories etc. I would love to say more, but as most of it should end up in my essay, I don't want the problem of having to cite my LJ account when they run my stuff through a system check.

Onward :-)

Well, I have cranked out about 362 words and unsurprisingly, I have all of my old 'A' level books in front of me (lucky really - I was going to give them to a first year BSc Psychology student, but forgot to drop them off.  Just as well, considering).  Obviously, I have to use Freud's stages of childhood development, but I think I can use Jung's archetypes which is fascinating. You can story board absolutely ALL of the figures in your own life.  I think it will be VERY interesting when I move towards creative writing full time post BA.

493 but with a lot of research going on. Desk is awash with paper and stuck on side of PC tower, the book stand is crammed with 2 books and propping up another. I am really driven to do this because it is Brave New World AND Psychoanalytical.  Later might be difficult when I tackle Marxism, but I think it will be OK if i deal with it as a social/economic project, with Marxist theory thrown in.

I have topped a thousand, but have saved off the brief Marxist observations and pasted them into Plan 2 (because when I have two parts to an essay, I couldn't see the wood for the trees).  I am not down to 748 and I am nowhere near finished entering the quotes let alone expand on them.  I have a feeling I will have to cherry-pick the best and kick the rest to the kerb.

I am stuck into Freud's Psychosexual Stages and the Id/Ego/Superego. Messy, or what?

I am back up to 898 words and I haven't touched Jung's archetypes yet (and would he complain if I did? :-P).  I think I am about 50% done on the Psychoanalytical, need to concentrate on the rest of it, then pare back to 1,000 before I move onto Plan 2 (Marxist).

Back tomorrow :-)
changeling67: (Default)
I am still at the starter stage as I am rereading and taking notes.  I think I will be doing this for a fair while.  Plus sad, unforeseen circumstances have taken my studies off track this week and I will have to tread very carefully with members of the family. I cannot disclose, suffice to say its too damn sad for words.  The only thing I can do is sit tight and wait, whilst doing my studies.

One area of creative joy is this site, for any budding poet etc ---->

I have had an email from my former lecturer, who wants me to talk to a few Access students next Thursday. It's funny to think I was in their position a year ago.  I am delighted to tell them that the course is well-run and all is going well etc.

I have got the go-ahead from main lecturer - spent the day annotating the book, have got to get a lot done. Alas, tomorrow a friend is leaving to live in Tenerife (I am inheriting her le crueset) and we are seeing a client of Hubby's in the afternoon. Will have to be up early and do some skimming.

Lecturer recommended that I should deal with the two theories separately (1,000 Psychoanalytically/ 1,000 Marxist). Just as well; both theories are well-represented in Brave New World, meshing them would become an absolute nightmare. Get the gist that I may just be a little too ambitious on this one. One thing is for sure - time is running out :-(
changeling67: (Default)

Well, this is the possibility - I have read most of Brave New World and I have some notes on it.  If I am to pull this off, I WILL have to lock myself in.  None of the reading list titles appealed to me (Virginia Woolf The Waves = too complicated for theory at this level; D.H Lawrence Sons and Lovers = read this back in September - interesting, but doesn't hold me; Margaret Attwood The Handmaid's Tale = want to read it, haven't had time). Nothing doing with the printer at the moment, jammed again and it needs Hubby to fix it, so this afternoon, I might just read through it and annotate as I go.  Plus I need to plunder OWL/Purdue site for Theory definitions.

Literary Theories -

I am concerned at this late stage that I have bitten off rather more than I can chew, however it does interest me and I like a challenge (like a hole in the head).
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Including A Passage to India, I have four assignments to do between now and the end of April. Sounds straight forward enough, but I have a tone of research to do - even at this stage.  My main problem, is that I cannot double up and use the same texts. Therefore, I cannot compare Monica Ali's Brick Lane with A Passage to India, or reuse Orwell's 1984 again; not can I compare Ibsen's A Doll's House (20th c) with Jane Eyre (19th c).  However, I can slot Ibsen in with my other final draft assignment of Jane Eyre in TH2 and I can reuse some of these text in next years sitting.

Anyway, back to the present.

SP3 - Discuss E.M. Forster's portrayal of India in A Passage to India (2,000 - 3,000 words).
I have started this and I am sure that my musings will be logged on here as per usual.

IL3 - Using one example of each, contrast the writing of the 19th and 20th centuries (1,000 - 2,000).
I will probably have to speed read Brick Lane and see if there is an 19 c equivalent or rethink a few things.

TH3 - Reading a text from two perspectives (1,000 - 2,000).
Maybe Brick Lane here instead - or not.  Have to read a few things ASAP

IN3 - Can literature have a political purpose? (1,000).
LOL - just thinking of my A Very Hungry Caterpillar opposition speech from last week.  Would love to get that in somehow, but probably can't.

All of this is to be at least 3/4 done before May as next month is about turning every one of these suckers round. In total 12 full essays plus Transactional Writing - 4/5 pieces with revised commentaries for port folio; Creative Writing 4/5 pieces with revised commentaries for port folio.

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