Study Guide for Final Exam

Below you will find review questions for each work we've read for Test Three, which is also your final exam. Also, you will find the names of the authors and each work we read--study them carefully, writing each name and title as it appears on this page multiple times to learn the spelling, including quotation marks (" ") and italics (use underlining when writing by hand). You will be expected to provide these names and titles on the Quote ID section. As for the review questions, please consider them supplemental to the discussion questions found on each individual author page--you should re-study those as well.

Review Questions

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Heart of Darkness
  • Why does Conrad have Marlow be a speaking character in the story instead of the narrator? What is Marlow's motivation in speaking?
  • Given that this book highlights the ACT of telling, the power of voice, how does it challenge your idea of reading? What is the connection between reading and LISTENING?
  • Thematically, this novel seems to critique imperialism, but does it uphold the value of civilization? Are not civilization and imperialism rooted in the same human desire?
"Preface to The Nigger of the 'Narcissus'"
  • Conrad mentions "complete, unswerving devotion to the perfect blending of form and substance" as a responsibility of the artist. What is the distinction between form and substance--why are both necessary?
  • What is the task that Conrad is "trying to achieve"? What is the significance of the word "trying"?

James Joyce (1882-1941)

"The Dead"
  • What is free indirect discourse, and how is this technique crucial to characterization in "The Dead"?
  • How does Gabriel's view of his wife develop from the end of the party until his final thoughts about "the dead"?
  • How does this story dramatize the idea of being "thought tormented"? Does Gabriel find a way out his paralysis by the end?

T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
  • What kind of journey does the speaker of the poem want to take us on? Why?
  • Consider that the poem is Prufrock's attempt to be a poet. Does he have anything important to tell us?
  • What is an "objective correlative"? Does Prufrock manage to achieve this standard of poetry?
"Tradition and the Individual Talent"
  • What is the historical sense, and why does Eliot place so much emphasis on it?
  • Explain the significance of the shred of platinum in terms of writing poetry?
  • What is Eliot's "impersonal theory of poetry"? Why does it need to be impersonal in this way?

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

"How Should One Read a Book?"
  • To what extent are we responsible for the experience we have with a book? What role do we play in letting the artist's intended effect happen?
  • If the act of reading does in fact require us to judge, what kind of judgments are we making?
  • Can the act of reading have value as an end in itself? How so or how not?

Albert Camus (1913-1960)

The Stranger
  • The novel is clearly told from a first-person point of view, but exactly whose point of view is it? How does the novel make us question the use of first-person?
  • On what grounds might we sympathize with Mersault? Does he plead for sympathy, or are we invited to offer it regardless, in a more indirect way?
  • Why does Mersault have such a problem with execution by guillotine? How does his explanation help explain the detached tone of much of the narrative?

Literary Terms

speaker | persona | free verse | meter | caesura | enjambment | rhyme | alliteration | objective correlative | impersonal theory of poetry | narrator | narrative | story | plot | setting | ellipsis | flashback | flashforward | character | point of view | free indirect discourse | parable | allegory | epiphany | catharsis | climax | dramatic irony | situational irony | verbal irony | ethical significance | negative capability | representation | ambiguity | juxtaposition | style | diction | image | symbol | metaphor | motif | hyperbole | allusion | historical sense | "make it new" | Enlightenment | Romanticism | Realism | Impressionism | Naturalism | Modernism | Post-Modernism | Minimalism

Virginia Woolf

Background of the author
Read about "How Should One Read a Book?"

Class Discussion Questions:

"How Should One Read a Book?"
  1. Woolf says that giving or taking "advice" about reading is ill-advised. But then she goes on to make some pretty strong-worded suggestions. Do you think she does want you to read with a particular mindset, or is the whole enterprise really wide open?
  2. In terms of reading, what does it mean "to become" an author? Can you describe what that experience might be like? Are the words we read in books a channel to the mind of an author?
  3. What activities are involved in reading even after we have put the book down?

Test Two Impressions

18 out of 20 passed.

11 students made an A (5 more than test 1).
6 students made a B (1 fewer than test 1).
0 students made a C (3 fewer than test 1).
1 student made a D (1 fewer than test 1).

16 students raised their first test grade.
4 students scored the same or lower on test two.

Old Test One average: 79
New Test One average: 83
Test Two average: 86
Current course grade average: 82 (14 have A's or B's)

Many more students made an A or B than made a D or F. This is a better result than test one and indicates not only that the assignments and activities leading up to the test PREPARED you for the test but that you all worked harder, as a class, PREPARING. If you did not make a B or better, chances are that you did not study attentively enough or that you are not engaged enough in class discussion or that you did not seek my help enough in learning the material.

There is still a problem on the discussion questions with incomplete answers. Most knew the terms and could apply them, but not all of you were detailed enough, and some of you answered a different question from the one actually ON the test.

As for Quote IDs, the class did much better this time (the range was +4 to -23, but average was -1). If you lost more than 5 points on this section, you should rethink your approach to reading and studying. Most likely, you should stop cramming and start spending time with the assigned works on a regular basis, from now until the third exam.

I took your second test grade and averaged it with your first to replace the first test grade (if you improved).

If your grade is low and was also low on the first test, then you should TAKE ACTION NOW. In addition to adjusting the way you conduct yourself in class, the way you prepare for class, the method you use when reading, etc., you need to devote more hours of your week to actually studying for this class, in my office if necessary. Based on the overall good performance of the class, low scores on test one and test two likely reflect a low level of effort on your part. What I am asking of you is not "too hard" if SEVENTEEN students made an "A" or "B" on test two.

Joseph Conrad

Background of the author
Read about Heart of Darkness
Read about "√úbermensch"

Class Discussion Questions:

Heart of Darkness
  1. How does the narrative frame of this novel help convey the theme of a journey into the heart of darkness? Who is the narrator? Are there multiple narrators?
  2. What is the literary significance of having Marlow speak out loud in the act of telling his story? What can we deduce about the time-frame and point of view?
  3. What is the "darkness"? Given the title and the multiple uses of the term in the novel (look them up!), the word is heavily loaded. So try to unpack it and see where that takes you--you might find that the word itself is as impenetrable as the thing it signifies.
  4. How is the idea of "voice" tied up in our understanding of Kurtz? What kind of phenomenon IS Kurtz? Is he just a man? On what basis does Marlow pronounce him "remarkable"?
  5. Is Marlow's lie at the end a betrayal?
"Preface to The Nigger of the 'Narcissus'"
  1. Why, according to Conrad, does art need to appeal to the senses? What does this pursuit have to do with Impressionism?
  2. Does Conrad achieve, in Heart of Darkness, the goals he describes in this preface? How so? What role does Marlow play in that achievement?

Major Extra Credit Opportunity

This Friday, from 9:00-4:00 on the Gainesville Campus, UNG will be doing its Annual Research Conference. If you check your email you will see an announcement about this event. It says:

"Dear UNG Faculty, Staff, and Students:

UNG’s 21st Annual Research Conference will take place this Friday, March 25th from 9 am until 4 pm on the Gainesville campus in the Nesbitt building (see complete schedule attached or visit Over 120 student research projects will be presented -- please drop in to see the interesting work UNG students are doing across all of UNG’s campuses!

The ARC keynote speaker this year is Martha Summa, Executive Director of Music Therapy Gateway in Communications. Dr. Summa’s dynamic, interdisciplinary research unites the fields of therapy, medicine, music, and education. She will be giving a talk on her recent research entitled: Biomedical Music Techniques: Overview and Collaborative Research Opportunities. Dr. Summa’s talk is scheduled for 12:30 in Nesbitt 3110."

To earn your reward, you must attend all six parts of the event. And your reward will be this: I will let you make-up, for credit, all of your assignments with a zero.

Click here for the complete schedule.

Here is a more general schedule so you can a picture of the day:

1. 9-10:15 Choice of sessions
2. 10:15-11:30 Choice of sessions
3. 11:30-12:30 Poster session
4. 12:30-1:30 Keynote speaker
5. 1:30-2:45 Choice of sessions
6. 2:45-4:00 Choice of sessions

Guy de Maupassant

Background of the author
Read about "Boule de Suif"
Read about "The Diamond Necklace"

Class Discussion Questions:

"Boule de Suif"
  1. Given the range of characters in the coach, are we meant to read this story allegorically, or does it work better as a Realist portrayal of these particular people in this particular setting?
  2. Are the sides of the moral conflict in this story clearly defined? That is, do we side with Elisabeth as the genuinely virtuous character, or does she fall from grace by sacrificing her body for the group?
  3. What is the effect when the narrator interrupts to comment on the action of the story? For instance, "And in this wise they talked on, fathoming the wishes of God, predicting His judgments, describing Him as interested in matters which assuredly concern Him but little."
"The Diamond Necklace"
  1. Do you take Mathilde as a victim of fate, subject to forces beyond her control, or is she responsible for her own suffering?
  2. The ending of this story is a very famous reversal, a trick ending. Does the surprise challenge us ethically or does Maupassant rely too much on shock to generate interest?

Gustave Flaubert

Background of the author
Read about "A Simple Heart"

Class Discussion Questions:
  1. Given the fairly simple plot structure of this work, the narrative reads almost like a summary of what could have been a much more elaborate and detailed string of events. What is the effect of reading a story that does not, apparently, stop very long on any particular event?
  2. What about the details we DO get? Do they carry symbolic value, or are we expected to take the story at face value, the way would the unremarkable life of an average person?
  3. Is there a spiritual reality that Felicite can access or experience more than the other characters, or does the narrator merely suggest that she "sees" reality that way?
  4. Can we be interested in the life and struggles of Felicite? Is she interesting? If not, what are the implications of Flaubert's choice of protagonist?