[O]n the lecture today, [I] found that you when you talk about [W]ilson's book, you touch upon a lot of little things, how much of those little things do we need to know?(stuff like snobbery and little themes contained only within its own chapter, if not paragraph)That's a fair observation, & not just a negative snipe. I have an answer, of course, but that doesn't make the comment illigitimate: it's important to state opinions freely & respectfully, as this one was.
From my perpective, I want to balance generalities & specifics in my lectures, because too much of one or the other tends to bore students. If you want to which is easier, for me I can talk about general issues all day (literally!) but like all true scholarship it is effort to work through the fine grain.
Now, with Ethel Wilson's Innocent Traveller, it is my understanding that it is absolutely essential to concentrate on the "little things"....because the book is nothing else but a collection of little things! It is like the picture of the face in the top right here: if the little things that make up the picture (the small images) were ignored, there would be nothing there! With Innocent Traveller, the book is nothing but an aggregation of fine, specific and precise details -- that is her art, just like a work of needlepoint is "just stitches" -- but take the stitcjes away & there is nothing there. (An appropriate metaphor, by the bye, because both Wilson's novel & a work of needlepoint are female-associated creative acts.)
I hope that this explains my lecture method, and I hope also that it encourages questions or concerns to be as precisiely & respectfully listed in the comments section as our term progresses.
Update: The "big theme" of Ethel Wilson's book is, of course, Time & Relativity: that's the major sweep of of her artistic design. It is also a representation of matriarchy -- a culture ruled by female values -- specifically in its portrayal of romance from women's perspective. These high-level facts to the novel were certainly laid out in lecture; but, again, with Wilson's artistic method, they appear in details, in minutiæ. And that is the way that we, as analytical readers, have to appraoch & engage the text. Fairly said?