A lot of Wuthering on the Heights

This week’s Victorian Vision Online session has followed on from our brief survey of changing attitudes to the novel from its inception to the later twentieth century in class last week.  The class went away with the first chapter of Terry Eagleton’s Heathcliff and the Great Hunger (Verso, 1995) to read and reflect on, which very clearly designates Heathcliff as Irish.  I’m incredibly impressed with the level of debate and discussion of the novel going on in the Forum this week.  Stormy arguments rage about the extent of Emily Bronte’s conscious awareness of the class and racial issues the students perceive the novel as exploring.   Again I find myself pondering just how involved and passionate students can get over this novel.  It’s as though the passion in the novel spills over into their responses to it.

I discover a monitoring tool within our VLE that means I can see how many times any given student has looked at posts in any given Forum.  I never knew it existed previously and I find myself wondering slightly whether this might in any way influence my marking when I come to do that.  As a  general rule it would probably be true to say that students who show the most engagement with VVO do best, although obviously bald statistics say nothing at all about the quality of students’ posts.  One student has looked at posts in the ‘Heathcliff, It’s Me’ Forum more than 160 times this week.  Wow.  Wow.  Another was posting at 2.30am and 4am this morning.  Dear me.  I don’t want to be held responsible for damaging their social life or sleep patterns…