English 24

Freshman Seminar: Two Novels by Jane Austen

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Fall 2005 Paley, Morton D.
Paley, Morton
Fri. 10-12 305 Wheeler

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Because we'll be examining a number of passages closely each time, going quickly from passage to passage, we'll need to locate these quickly by page number. For that reason it's important that everyone have the same text of the two novels. I have chosen two paperback editions that are well edited and easily available: Austen, J: Sense and Sensibility (ed. James Kinsley, Oxford World' Classics edition) and Emma (ed. R. Blythe, Penguin Classics edition).


"This seminar is meant to be an interesting and pleasant introduction to the study of a great novelist: Jane Austen. We'll read and discuss two novels: : Sense and Sensibility and Emma a. We'll approach the novels from a number of different perspectives, including (but not limited to): the roles of class and gender, Austen's language, plot structure, ""point of view,"" the thematization of moral concerns, and the interplay of her fiction and the history of her time. We'll also discuss various critical approaches to these two works.

Your responsibilities will be 1) to attend regularly, bringing with you the assigned texts (see the note about the specific editions, above); 2) to participate in discussion; 3) to make a 15-minute (not longer) presentation, and 4) to write a short essay (about 1500 words, 7-8 double-spaced pages) on a subject of your own choice, due at the last seminar meeting. I'll be glad to read rough drafts of your essays in advance.

At our first meeting we'll consider a number of possible presentation subjects for you to choose from, and of course you may also suggest your own. Each of you will have a meeting with me during my office hours to help prepare for this. Some of you may wish to collaborate on presentations. In the latter part of the term, conferences on choosing an essay topic will be encouraged.

I'll begin by providing an introduction to the early Austen, using some passages from her early prose works, and we'll talk about Sense and Sensibility. Please bring your copy of the Oxford World's Classics edition and be prepared to discuss pp. 1-94. "

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