Honors 293i: Romantic Literature and the Discipline of Memory
First Paper Assignment
Paper 1. Analyze Texts, Apply What You've Learned
Due: Friday, Feb. 6, noon. We don't meet that day so you will put your papers in a folder on my office door, Tompkins 270, on or before that day and time.
Length = 5 pages. Use 12-pt font; double-space the text. Put a significant title on your paper.
Wordsworth praises "years the bring a philosophic mind" and often aims to write what he calls a philosophic poem. But would English philosophers agree with his ideas about memory and personality? Imagine John Locke and/or William Godwin is reading Wordsworth. How would either philosopher evaluate the poet's thinking about memory and its consequences for people? Which of Wordsworth's ideas would each most support? Which might they criticize? Why? Would each be more likely to endorse or reject Wordsworth's thoughts on memory?
While your paper needs to answer these questions, it is up to you to determine a thesis and a most effective order for the argument.
Your evidence for what Wordsworth thinks about memory will come from whatever parts of his Intimations Ode, Tintern Abbey, and Preface to Lyrical ballads; your evidence for what the philosophers claim will come from the selections we've read from them. In each work look for what you think is Wordsworth's most important idea about memory.
You may choose either Locke or Godwin, or both as your philosopher(s). If you do both I will recognize a higher degree of difficulty in the grading, but the weight of the paper will be 15% of the final grade regardless of this choice.