Literature - Elizabeth Gaskell: North and South

Ref: C3530417

Share your understanding and appreciation of a novel that is now considered a classic. Not just a 'condition of England' novel, it examines the progress of the industrial revolution through the perceptions of a great fictional heroine, Margaret Hale. In addition to thinking about the literary themes and characterisations, we'll also be looking at Gaskell's role as a novelist, and her portrayal of the political and social economies of mid-Victorian England. Please read to the end of chapter 10 for discussion at the first session.

Course aim

to discuss the background, construction, presentation and reception of the novel, North and South, and consider some of the influences that may have influenced Mrs Gaskell.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Assess the historical context of the novel.
  • Discuss my responses to Margaret Hale, and consider the ways the narrator directs our reactions to other characters in this novel.
  • Identify common and contrasting themes, and examine the effects they create e.g. how Margaret experiences the situations of rural and industrial characters.

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
  • The tutor will provide a reading schedule at the first session, so that we can discuss set sections of the novels each week.

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
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Please bring an unabridged copy of North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Please read to the end of chapter 10 for discussion at the first session.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

Literature - Elizabeth Gaskell: North and South

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