Two Literary Greats

Ref: C3741230

This course, run by a widely published writer, compares two early twentieth century works, Mrs Dalloway, the novel by Virginia Woolf, and The Secret Sharer, the long short story by Joseph Conrad. The sessions will be devoted primarily to a close reading of the works and discussion of details of meaning, implication and style, especially the contrasting narrative methods used; but attention will also be paid to the psychological themes of both works and the theme of self-evaluation and anxiety. You'll be encouraged to develop your own views.

Course aim

To provide an introduction to the novel Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, and the story The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad. We'll look at the way thoughts and anxieties are treated.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • Students need a level 2 qualification in English to join this course

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • talk in an informed way about narrative form, Labov's theory, and how the forms of the texts differ
  • talk confidently about narrative style, including 'stream of consciousness'
  • develop your own ideas about the theme of self-evaluation common to both books
  • recognised at least three different kinds of 'point of view' used in the books

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full Course information sheet

Two Literary Greats


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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