Posted by: gdevi | March 13, 2014

19th century Russian Literature Midterm Exam

Dr. Devi

19th Century Russian Literature

Midterm Exam (Take Home exam due on d2L dropbox March 24th 11pm)

Texts: The Bronze Horseman, Eugene Onegin, The Overcoat, Princess Mary, First Love, A Double Life

Short Essay Questions

Answer any two the following short essay questions in essays of no less than three typed, double-spaced pages for each question. The questions are worth 15 points each. You are not required to use secondary sources; I accept close textual reading as a fine scholarly engagement with the texts. However, if you do use secondary sources, please cite your sources both in text parenthetically, and in a separate Works Cited page keyed correctly to the text. I encourage you to use the Dostoevsky essay on Russian uniqueness, and Herzen’s essay on Russian intellectuals that are in your textbook, and which we discussed in class. Please proofread your exam carefully, especially since it is a take-home exam. A typo is an error.

1. Compare and contrast the concept of the “superfluous man” in 19th century Russian literature as created by Pushkin and Lermontov. Your discussion must illustrate how both writers used the “superfluous man” as a trope of self-presentation in comparable, but in two essentially different directions. You must address how we may account for the difference in how the “superfluous man” presents himself when he moves from Onegin to Pechorin. You must have a coherent thesis well developed and supported through close reading of the text.Please make sure that your discussion points are based on textual evidence. (15 points)

2. Discuss how 19th century Russian literature used elements of Realism and Fantasy in order to foreground the country’s growing social and political discontent, civil unrest, and the escalating divide between the affluent and the dispossessed. You must have a coherent thesis well developed and supported through close reading of the text. Your response must address two different texts. You must discuss the combined use of Realism and Fantasy in both texts.  Your discussion must be based on textual details. (15 points)

3. Discuss the role and representation of women in Russian literature in the first half of the 19th century. You must select any two texts and analyze the representation of women characters. You must have a coherent thesis well developed and supported through close reading of the text. You may not use Eugene Onegin since many of you have already worked on the women characters in Pushkin’s text. (15 points)

Formal Essay Question (No less than four typed double-spaced pages, 20 points)

19th century Russian literature is known as the period of the flowering of novels, novellas and novelists. In your analysis, what accounts for the prevalence, preference and attractiveness of the novel form and its genre-kins for 19th century Russian writers? Discuss your hypothesis for the pervasiveness of this particular genre with reference to any three texts we have discussed so far? What makes them succeed as novels or novella alone? What did this genre offer the writers that other genres could not? Please make sure that your discussion is textually based.

Enjoy your spring break. See you on the 24th. Take care, Dr. Devi.


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