Thursday, September 15, 2011

For Credit: Well, What Would YOU Like To Write About?

As I said in class today, a paper prompt should be coming your way, sometime this weekend.  But in the meantime, what would you like to write about for this paper?  Given the material we've read so far, what questions or issues would you like to explore further in a sustained piece of writing?

Deadline: Saturday (9/17) midnight.


  1. 1) I think that all the pieces we have read, Fantomina, Robinson Crusoe, and Pamela have each given us a rather interesting and different view of morality, duty, and spirituality. After allowing her virtue to be taken from her, Fantomina endeavored to tame Beauplaisir’s libertine ways while remaining constant to her first amour. Although she is “ruined,” the narrator does not hint at much remorse engulfing Fantomina’s mind. In fact, the only feelings she may harbor involve not how she had given up her virginity, but how she might be able to keep giving herself to this same man. Is it her duty then as a ruined woman, to remain faithful to the man who had ruined her? Fantomina does not see her lost virtue in the same way that Pamela does. Pamela attempts to hold on to Innocence for as long as possible. Is her prudence due to her indomitable moral compass, or is she actually realizing the power she has while still maintaining her chastity? Is her duty to her parents or to her Master intertwined with morality? Is she being coy and playing hard to get for the sake of morality or for her own advancement? Crusoe shows us yet another facet to morality and spirituality. Throughout the novel, we see signs of spiritual growth, and yet many others will argue that the spiritual growth is mainly intrinsic and not shown through his actions. For Fantomina and Pamela, it seems as though women’s spirituality and morality is primarily focused on their actions, and more specifically, on their bodies while a man’s spiritual growth and morality is primarily concerned with the mind and inner enlightenments.
    2)Robinson goes from a content middle class family to king of his own island and later as a wealthy plantation owner. Fantomina becomes different women of different classes simply by changing her clothes, fooling the same man by making him believe that she is a different woman in each encounter. Finally, Pamela is almost raped by Squire B. while thinking that he is the servant, Nan (a woman) because he was dressed in women’s clothing. Can we gain any insight through the changing classes as evidenced in our readings? Furthermore, if individuals can become someone else by putting on different clothes (whether it be women of different social standings or men cross-dressing), what do these interesting events in the plot tell us about identity?

  2. I am not sure if this response is good, but I really agree with Kirsten. :D I think her both her two points are great.