Lady Windermere's Fan is another of Wilde's dramatic masterpieces circumscribed by conventions – the presence of formidable dowagers, English tea rituals and endless rounds of small and early dances and luncheons, suggesting both the comfort and the emptiness of such routines. This glittering comedy of masks and manners displays many of Wilde's successful dramatic techniques and dilemmas. For my A-level students, I like to examine with them the dramatic devices, techniques and the aesthetic considerations not to mention framing the play with critical theories and Oscar's views about life . In addition the implication of Wilde as a late Victorian and his modernist impulse in his works will be imparted to my students which will be put to good use in appreciating and analyzing Lady Windermere's Fan. The Duchess of Malfi is a challenging text to read, made richer by the many possible ways to look at the text. While on the one hand, it engages in the discursive construction of women and the notion of women as a female ruler, on the other, it undertakes the examination of morality and corruption and the sense that value and meaning depend on the individual's ability to rise above a corrupt and corrupting society by living according to his own principles, regardless of consequence. Is it a political play? A revenge play? Or can it be read allegorically? Whichever way we choose to look at it, Historicism is needed to help us understand the play and the many issues it raises.
"Waterland" is a postmodern novel that investigates historiography, narration, identity and epistemology. It is admittedly a challenging text to read given its postmodernist features. As with all my sessions which are geared towards helping students enjoy the novel and craft insightful, thought-provoking essays for class tests and the exams, I will cover:
- a brief introduction to postmodern fiction
- Graham Swift and his works
- postmodern features in "Waterland"
- issues and Themes in the text
- ways to approach it
- acquire a literary vocabulary related to the narrative
- answer questions on the novel
There are so many ways of approaching a text; the possibilities are almost endless - which can be daunting and exciting. Whatever way we approach a text together with our students, we need to know the following: the exam requirements and expectations the student's abilities Armed with these parameters, I will then proceed to give my students that edge - so that their answers are impressive, their presentations profound and their long essays clever. My students are excited about the texts - they always are before the session is over even when they have hated the text before. The challenge for me is to help them appreciate the text even if the story is sad and the characters have tragic experiences.