The Tenant of Wildfell Hall Topics for Further Study
by Anne Brontë

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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

Brontë’s novel was written and takes place during the early nineteenth century in England. Research the clothing fashions for both men and women of this time and place. What were the differences between the high and low classes? Prepare a ten-minute speech or a detailed visual aid that focuses on a particular area of fashion (such as shoes, jewelry, gowns, or work clothes). Do the clothes look strange to you? Do you see any connection with modern fashion?

Huntington is an alcoholic who denies he has a problem. Findings from a 2005 survey in the United Kingdom show that 19 percent of men and 8 percent of women drink heavily at least once a week. Research alcoholism and learn what the danger signs of alcohol abuse are as well as the steps one can take to break the addiction. In small groups, design an ad campaign aimed toward raising awareness of teen drinking and directing people where they can get help locally. For your campaign, you can make posters, flyers, newspaper advertisements, and radio or television spots.

In the early 2000s, domestic abuse remains a serious problem. Abuse does not need to be physical to do damage. Research domestic abuse in its various forms and read several case studies. How does Huntington fit the profile of an abuser? How do Helen and Arthur fit the profile of abused individuals? Write up the Huntington family as a case study in domestic abuse.

Brontë’s characters love to go on walks. Sometimes they stroll in the garden after dinner and sometimes they take longer hikes (for example, out to the sea). Take a walk or hike of you own in a park or other scenic place, taking particular care to observe your surroundings. What do you see that is unique to that particular setting? What do you see that is familiar and unfamiliar? Do you see anything that pleases you? Immediately after your walk (or during a break in the middle of it) sit down and write a poem or story that captures your experience.

Britain has its own cuisine, although it may not be as famous across the world as French or Italian cuisine. Research recipes for some traditional British foods. Do you see regional differences? How has British cuisine changed? Choose a dish to prepare and bring it to class to share in potluck fashion. Try a little bit of everything and discuss with your classmates what is unusual, what is familiar, what is unpleasant, and what you would like to eat again.