I initially came into this semester having no knowledge of Victorian literature- what novels were considered Victorian, defining features, or major authors. I even didn’t know much about the historical context and influences going on during this time. I had read Wuthering Heights in AP Lit senior year of high school, but I hadn’t even been aware of its Victorian roots and classification. So since this scope of literature was so new to me, I found many facets interesting. Particularly, I was especially intrigued by the evolving relationship between class and gender during this time, and how it was presented in literature. In both Wuthering Heights and Great Expectations this relationship was presented in such a way that puts class above gender. I found this interesting because I had always assumed that the relationship, especially during this era, was the other way around. In a society so male-dominated, having characters where women have the upper hand due to their status was enjoyable to read, and see a realistic scope into the past. Along with this, the presentation of emotion in genders was also an intriguing part to read about.
In terms of my favorite part of the semester, I really liked reading Great Expectations! I also enjoyed the structure of the course, and how we split into groups and each had different parts to conquer because we got a very full view on the Victorian era, not just the literature. By having historical context to each piece we were reading, and comments to focus our discussions, I felt I got so much more out of this class than if it was just a lecture with all of us completing the same homework every class. Overall, this class was fun and informative to be apart of!