Sunday, November 21, 2010

Final Paper Proposal

Option A: Extended Literary Analysis Paper

You can also write a new paper if you wish. For this paper, you will also be required to bring in a second text: either a text from our class or a text of your choosing (for instance, you could do a comparative analysis of Carmilla with elements of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer; or compare some song lyrics to aspects of I Am Legend…). This paper should be indicative of your critical understanding of the novel in terms of the Irish tradition as applied to the course texts.

                For the Extended option, I would like to analyze Bram Stokers Dracula against Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.  First, the papers goal would be to establish the comparisons between the two novels; their similarities in influence, such as political and cultural. Comparisons will be made too the suffrage movement that Bronte lived in compared too the reform acts happening at the time of Dracula’s publication and how they had common catalysts and how similar the plight of women is during Jane Eyre’s publication date to the plight of being Irish with Dracula’s.
The second goal of comparing these two works is to show how the middle class, the rising power during this period, placed a majority of its superiority over others by claiming they had a better sense of morality and its role in history during the time of these novels. Specifically, the paper will look too pinpoint what influenced the strong messages from Irishman Bram Stoker towards the British Empire with his novel Dracula.
Examples of placing importance toward morality among the middle class are numerous between both works. With Jane Eyre, this is shown with the role of a governess, who must be the angel of the house. With Dracula, the various characters portray various middle class Irishmen, all who place importance on technology or morality, who are trying not to succumb too the foreign, immoral influence of Dracula. Finally, the aspect of sexual portrayal of Irishmen and Women will be compared between Jane Eyre and Dracula in a hope too prove similarity.
It is hoped that by proving comparison points in the suffrage movement and the inequalities of Irishmen during this time period, the paper will show a blueprint or larger map toward what spurns or has spurned such marginalization.


  1. Nice topic. I like it because I have never read Jane Eyre before and I like how you are having them compared first by the timeframe they are living in. It's interesting how you look past the idea of a vampires but its not completely gone yet the environment around the main theme. Very interesting!!

  2. Sounds like a great idea -- I've actually read both novels and think that they both represent a lot about fear of change and female sexuality. While on the surface, there might not seem to be anything in common between Dracula and Jane Eyre, there are many similarities. I really like your ideas about the middle class and morality in these two novels. I think you could even draw comparisons to Rochester and Dracula with their secluded lifestyles, secrets, and the way that they ultimately act as 'awakeners' of the female characters.

  3. Doh! I realized that I didn't change that sentence about the Irish tradition. It should read "the vampire novel" instead. I used this assignment in my Irish literature class from last semester...

    I think it would also be interesting to see you compare the way in which both novels portray women and work. Both JANE EYRE and DRACULA contain a great deal of ambivalence towards the working woman, and it would be especially interesting to compare how Mina and Jane negotiate professional spaces. I'm also interested in what Tom suggested about the "Byronic" heroes (or antagonist as is the case with Dracula...although a feminist might argue that Dracula IS a hero in that he releases women from the strict sexual confines of late Victorian society, but that's really up to you to decide...). Just be careful that you are taking time to define and contextualize your terms and historical references such as "angel of the house," suffrage movement, and even Irish emancipation. I like the Irish connection you're developing here, and that might be something to examine in this paper, as well. If this is something you are interested in, I would highly recommend getting a hold of Heathcliff and the Great Hunger by Terry Eagleton. He spends a great deal of time locating the "Irishness" in the work of the Bronte's.