The Future Writes Back

Ref: C3530610

Some literature is so iconic that future authors feel the need to write back in response. This course examines a series of such icons—from Cleopatra to Jane Eyre—then analyses the works written in reply. Includes writers such as Shakespeare, Charlotte Brontë, and T.S. Eliot. There will also be a case study of Jean Rhys’ famous reaction to Brontë in “The Wide Sargasso Sea”.

Course aim

To explore the links between, art, literature, and social history. We will read a text closely; be it painting, poem, or film. We will then examine its literary and historical context.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • Must be able to read English.

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

  • Explain how Rochester exemplifies the Byronic hero.
  • Discuss the servant problem and the governess.
  • Relate “The Wide Sargasso Sea” to “Jane Eyre”.
  • Analyse Shakespeare’s use of Plutarch.
  • Describe T.S. Eliot’s use of Shakespeare.

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
  • People will be expected to keep up with the reading and to contribute in class discussions (if they wish to do so).

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • 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
  • Feedback will be informal; there will be no formal tests or exams.

What else do I need to know?

  • You will need two novels: Charlotte Brontë “Jane Eyre” (1847) and Jean Rhys “The Wide Sargasso Sea” (1966); all other texts will be supplied.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • The books will be studied in the order listed above. It will be helpful to have begun “Jane Eyre” prior to the first session.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • There will be a "Text into Film" course by the same tutor in the following term.

Download full course information sheet

The Future Writes Back

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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