The Governess

Moll Flanders- Focusing on the Governess Role

The instructions for the paper are attached. I chose the topic of Moll Flanders that is detailed in the instruction document. You will need to have read the book, Moll

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Flanders by Daniel Defoe. Length: 1200-1500 words. Please include a word count at the end of your paper.

Formatting: 12 point Times New Roman, following MLA guidelines.

Due: Submit to D2L by Saturday, November 14, by 11:59 pm.

Choose one of the following prompts. Whichever one you choose, treat the prompt as a set of questions to prompt your own analysis of the play, rather than a map; in other words, I’m not looking for you to answer all the questions of the prompt, in order. Instead, present a specific thesis of your own about the topic you chose—your thesis may answer all, or only some, of the questions in the prompt. Include detailed evidence from the text (or texts) to support your ideas.

 George Herbert’s devotional poetry evolved in response to changing ideas and conflict over the form religion should take in England. Compare two of Herbert’s poems (these can be two of the poems we discussed in class or others) with another poem dealing with religion in the first half of the seventeenth century, by Donne, Lanyer, or Herrick. In contrast to the other poet, what do Herbert’s language and conceits reveal about his understanding of religion? How does he understand his relationship with God? What does each poem tell us about his faith?

 Just as Oroonoko promotes particular ideas of race and colonization, Aphra Behn is equally, if more subtly, invested in a specific idea of gender. Examine the characters of Imoinda and Behn herself as a narrator—how do they compare to each other? What does Behn think it means to be a virtuous woman, and how is her idea of female virtue shaped by her understanding of race? Do women have a role to play in England’s colonization endeavours? If you wish, you may compare Behn’s perspective to that of Cavendish in The Blazing-World.

 While Moll Flanders focuses on the title character, the figures who move in and out of Moll’s life story present intriguing questions, particularly the woman who readers know only as of the Governess. Explore the role of the Governess in Defoe’s novel, both when Moll first meets her and in their later interactions—what do we learn about her as a character? How does she fit within, and defy, social expectations? What does her character show us about Moll, either by similarities or by contrast? How does she contribute to Defoe’s gender and/or class critique?

 In the satirical culture of the eighteenth century, writers and public wits sharpened their pens on each other in different ways. Choose either Mary Wortley Montagu’s “The Reasons…” or Alexander Pope’s Dunciad to analyze closely, using the other poem as a contrast. What is unique about the strategies your chosen writer employs for satire? Based on their language, what conclusions can you draw about how they see good writing? In contrast to the subject of their satire, and to the other poem, how does your writer suggest the value of their own work?

Like the first paper, this is a close reading paper, which means that you should focus on the details of language (imagery, word choice, character, etc) in the text itself, and argue for your interpretation of those details. The goal is to analyze your chosen work, so focus on presenting evidence from the text, in the form of quotations rather than summary or paraphrase. This evidence is the best way to show your reader what you believe is important about the literature.

Make sure to fully explain your evidence—quotations don’t speak for themselves, so your task is to show your reader what you believe is really being said in the quotation, why it supports your interpretation. You can draw on historical information from the Norton and from our class discussions; other than that, no extra historical background is necessary, nor should you consult additional sources. For more information on The Governess check on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Governess

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