- Using the link above, locate the passage that begins “’Absurd!” he cried. ‘This is the worst of trying to tell….’” and ends with “They—the women, I mean—are out of it—should be out of it.”
- Read the passage and answer the following question: Why does Marlow believe that women should be prevented from knowing the truth? What is the truth that he thinks they shouldn’t know?
- Using the link above, locate the passage that begins “A complaining clamour, modulated in savage discords…” and ends with “…how they would live.”
- Read the passage and answer the following question: a. On the rare occasion that Africans speak, what can be inferred about what they say (and when they say it)? b. What do you make of the contrast between the way the Europeans and the Africans on the steamer react to the “clamour” on the shore?
- Using the link above, locate the passage that begins “Why in the name…” and ends with “…whiteness of the fog.”
- Read the passage and answer the following question: If the “cannibal” African helpers on the steamer are so hungry and know that they are facing death why do they not eat Marlow and the European pilgrims? Why does the behavior of the crew differ from Marlow’s expectation?
- Using the link above, locate the passage that begins “You should have heard him say, ‘My ivory…” and ends with “Not be contaminated.”
- Read the passage and answer the following question: Is the “light” of English civilization enough to combat the encroaching “darkness” of “prehistoric” or pre-modern civilization? Or is the entire ideology of the civilizing mission called into question? Give examples from the text.
Consider the spaces inhabited (and/or invaded) by vampires in the most recent sections of the novel. If we see these choices as deliberately made by Stoker to draw our attention to the relationship between space and cultural identity, what do they reveal about the state of Englishness at this point in the narrative? Select one or two spaces on which to comment.
Examples you might examine (you may choose others, of course):
—Lucy in the London Cemetery.
—Dracula’s lodgings in Mile End and Bermondsy (both average ‘Londoner’ districts) and Picadilly, the center of the city.
—Dracula feeding in the English bedroom: implications for gender and sexuality.
Hello, everyone! Our course blog is live now. We’ll be using this space to gather our thoughts, create connections between our readings and the world around us, and post student-curated content. Please feel free to use this space to post any links to course-relevant online materials that you’d like, even when you do not have a specific blog assignment.
In The Information, James Gleick argues
“Information is what our world runs on: the blood and the fuel, the vital principle….Now even biology has become an information science, a subject of messages, instructions, and code. Genes encapsulate information and enable procedures for reading it in and writing it out. Life spreads by networking. The body itself is an information processor. Memory resides not just in brains but in every cell. No wonder genetics bloomed along with information theory. DNA is the quintessential information molecule, the most advanced message processor at the cellular level—an alphabet and a code, 6 billion bits to form a human being. “What lies at the heart of every living thing is not a fire, not warm breath, not a ‘spark of life,’ ” declares the evolutionary theorist Richard Dawkins. “It is information, words, instructions.… If you want to understand life, don’t think about vibrant, throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology.” The cells of an organism are nodes in a richly interwoven communications network, transmitting and receiving, coding and decoding. Evolution itself embodies an ongoing exchange of information between organism and environment” (Gleick, 197).
As we launch our semester of investigating the implications of this understanding of information, what thoughts do you have as you make contact with these preliminary concepts? Does this way of looking at energy, biology, social organization, science, literature and other arts—in a word, life— as information challenge ways that you’ve seen things before? Do you have any questions or ideas you want to explore at this point?