Well, it has been fun, I suppose. I haven't been the best at keeping up with this blog posting thing, but it was a new experience. And the reading was interesting. Before my paper, I had no idea why we read half the books we did. Now, like I said in my last post, I'm a little more aware of why those themes are important. I also found it interesting how the work of Darwin affected the US more then anywhere else, perhaps because of a stronger intellectual movement in Europe? Anyway, I fear I will begin rambling if I continue on that subject.
My time in class, I have conflicting feelings about. To be honest, I felt it was too heavily based on the academic ideas and not enough time was given to the concepts of social movements. For example, I think we did an excellent job of analyzing the naturalist elements in McTeague, but we did not spend much time talking about the overall reason that such elements were important to the culture at the time. Same with our first book, the Blithedale Romance. While we touched on the idea of feminist movements, we did not really explore them in a greater context. Before my paper, I had no idea that Darwin's work had influenced the culture in the way that it had. In general, I suppose that was the point, to give greater perspective. I just wish we had spent more time exploring such perspective. While the individual is interesting (ie, the individual author's perspectives), it is the culture surrounding them that shapes them.