Introduction to Literature

Introduction to Literature


Spring 2011
01/18/2011 - 05/15/2011

Course Information

Section 012
TTh 12:00 - 13:15
CYP1 1118
Heidi Juel

Office Hours

No office hours have been entered for this term

Course Requirements

Papers and Other Assignments

Note: all assignments and most handouts are posted on Blackboard.


At various points in the semester you’ll write short responses to assigned readings.  These in-class graded assignments will include a short quiz, a brief but effective summary of the reading, and short answer responses to questions that ask you to analyze various literary elements in the reading.  You may also be asked to write a personal response to the reading, which may include questions you might have for the author or for a particular character, thoughts on themes, style, or author’s intent, or your own personal experiences that may be relevant to the reading.  Unlike the formal papers you will write for this class, these assignments allow you to use the first person (“I”).  Average required length: two and a half to three pages

In-class graded assignments cannot be made up nor can they be taken at the end of class if you arrive late. 



For this paper, you will read four assigned short stories and write a comparative analysis of two of them.  Your paper will compare plot and will analyze four literary elements—conflict, character, point of view, and theme.  You must write distinct, focused paragraphs that include supporting evidence from the text.  And you will need a clear conclusion that summarizes the main points of your comparative analysis.   We will discuss conflict, character, point of view, and theme in class before you write this paper.  A sample student paper that conducts a comparative analysis is in your book.  MLA Works Cited and in-text citations required.



This paper involves the analysis of a play and a developed argument defending your interpretation of certain elements of the play.  In class, we will discuss ways to incorporate argument into the analysis of a literary work.  A Works Cited page and in-text citations using the MLA format for quoting from a play is required.



For this paper, you will choose 1-2 poems and write an essay that contains the elements of analysis and evaluation.  A Works Cited page and in-text citations in the MLA format for quoting from a poem are required.



This is the final paper of the semester and constitutes the largest portion of your semester grade (25%).  For this paper, you will write a comparative analysis on the theme of oppression and resistance or, more generally, social critique.  Your paper must include the novel and at least two other readings from this semester.  Those additional readings must come from at least two other genres: short fiction, drama, or poetry.  A Works Cited page and in-text citations in the proper MLA format are required.



This is a small group presentation to the class that requires research, a handout for each student in the class, a visual and/or audio presentation, and may include reading portions of the text out loud to the class.  Each student in the group will receive the same grade.  If a student is absent on the day of the presentation, that student will receive half credit. 


Grades and Due Dates

Paper #1: 20%                          In-class graded work: 15%

Paper #2: 15%                          Presentation: 15%

Paper #3: 10%

Paper #4: 25%


Each paper has a due date on the syllabus.  Unless otherwise noted, all papers are due at the beginning of class on the due date.  LATE PAPERS RECEIVE ONE LETTER GRADE (10%) DEDUCTION PER CLASS DAY THAT THE PAPER IS LATE.  HARD COPIES ARE REQUIRED.  ALL FOUR PAPERS ARE REQUIRED.  In-class graded work cannot be made up.  The consequence for being absent on the day that your group presents is half credit on your own presentation grade. 

If you are concerned about an evaluation you received on a paper, please note the specific area(s) of concern, provide me with the necessary paperwork, allow me time to reflect on it, and then we can get together to address your concerns.  Do not discard any drafts, notes, papers or research materials you produce during the semester until you receive a final grade. 

As per English Department policy, you must turn in all graded material at the end of the semester.  I will keep your graded work through the end of next semester.


Required Textbooks

-- Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 11th edition. Edited by X.J. Kennedy

   and Dana Gioia. (Published by Pearson/Longman)

-- In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez      

Daily reading assignments are posted in the COURSE SUBJECTS section.

Course Subjects


 Note: all assignments, evaluation sheets, and most handouts are posted on Blackboard.

Each date listed below contains both in-class activities and the assignments for the next class period. 

Changes to this syllabus may occur and will be announced in class; be sure to contact me if you are absent.


 TUES Jan 18      Introduction to the course and to Blackboard.  Bring your book to class.

                        Assignment: Read pages 5-6, 22, 1912-16, and “Dead Men’s Path” (ACHEBE)


THURS Jan 20    In class: Review the elements for analysis of short fiction.  Discuss Achebe. 

                        Paper #1 is assigned.

                        Assignment: Read pages 183-5, 220-22, 1929-32, and “Shiloh” (MASON).


TUES Jan 25      In class: Discuss theme and how to write a comparative analysis.  Discuss Mason.

                         Assignment: Read pages 25-29, 74-5, “Everyday Use” (WALKER), and pages 462-70.


THURS Jan 27    In class: Discuss point of view and Walker.

                         Assignment: Read pages 78-9, 105-6, “Cathedral” (CARVER), and “With Eyes Closed” (PAZ). 

                        Work on Paper #1.


TUES Feb 1       In class: Discuss character, Carver, and Paz.

                         Assignment: Read pages 107-9, 146-7, pages 341-44, and “My Life with the Wave” (PAZ). 

                        Work on Paper #1.


THURS Feb 3     Paper #1 is due.

                        In class: Discuss setting, Magic Realism, and Paz.

                         Assignment: Read pages 148-51, 180-2, “Young Goodman Brown” (HAWTHORNE) and

                        pages 432-5.  Prepare for in-class graded work on these assigned readings.


TUES Feb 8       In class: graded response to Hawthorne and to tone and style.

                         Assignment: Read pages 223-5, 253-8, and “Saboteur” (JIN)


THURS Feb 10   In class: Discuss symbol, Hawthorne, and Jin.

                         Assignment: “Harrison Bergeron” (VONNEGUT).


TUES Feb 15      In class: Discuss satire and Vonnegut.  Introduction to Drama.

                         Assignment: Read pages 1108-32.


THURS Feb 17   In class: Discuss Glaspell.  Paper #2 is assigned.

                         Assignment: Read pages 1133-5, 1158-63, and 1235.

                        Read Antigone (pages 1202-31) and pages 1236-8.  Prepare for in-class graded worksheet

                        on these assigned readings.


TUES Feb 22      In class: graded response to Antigone.  Discuss Greek tragedy.

                         Assignment: Work on Paper #2.


THURS Feb 24   Paper #2 is due.

                        In class: Discuss Antigone.  Sign up for presentations.

                         Assignment: Read pages 1141-3 in your book and pages 156-65 of the handout I Don’t

                        Have to Show You No Stinking Badges!(VALDEZ).


TUES Mar 1       In class: Discuss comedy and Prologue and Act I, scene 1 of Valdez.

                        Groups present.              

                        Assignment: Read pages 165-86 of Valdez.


THURS Mar 3     In class: Discuss Act I, scene 2.

                        Groups present.

                         Assignment: Read pages 187-209 of Valdez.


TUES Mar 8       In class: Discuss Act II, scenes 1 and 2.

                        Groups present.

                        Assignment: Read pages 209 to end and the scholarly articles (handouts and on  Blackboard).


THURS Mar 10   In class: Discuss Act II, scenes 2 and 3, Epilogue, and the scholarly articles.

                        Groups present.

                         Assignment: Enjoy Spring Break!  Preview the poetry unit.





TUES Mar 22     In class: Introduction to Poetry.

                        Assignment: Read “Reading a Poem” (631-2), “Reading and Hearing Poems Aloud” (783-4),

                        “Theme and Subject” (633-4), “Tone” (645, 669), “Imagery” (711, 724-5), “Poetry” (MOORE

                        1069), “The Panther” (RILKE 715), and “The Tyger” (BLAKE 1026).


THURS Mar 24   In class: Discuss the assigned readings. 

                        Assignment: Read “Persona” (652), “Archetype” (871), “Ballads” (756), “The Sonnet” (816,

                        827-8), “La Belle Dame sans Merci” (KEATS 872-4), “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the

                        sun” (SHAKESPEARE 1084), and “Muchos Somos” (NERUDA 921-2).


TUES Mar 29     In class: Paper #3 is assigned.  Discuss the assigned readings.

                        Assignment: Read “Denotation and Connotation” (698-9, 707-8), “The Minefield” (THIEL

                        704), “The Day the Gates Closed” (RASH 704-5), “Tears, Idle Tears” (TENNYSON 705), and

                        “A Dream within a Dream” (POE 1076).  Prepare for an in-class graded response on these.


THURS Mar 31   In class: graded worksheet on the assigned readings.

                        Assignment: Read “Metaphor and Simile” (732-4, 748), “Alliteration and Assonance” (775-

                        6), “Rime” (777-81), “To see a world in a grain of sand” (BLAKE 735), and “God’s Grandeur”

                        (HOPKINS 782).


TUES Apr 5        In class: Discuss MLA format for citing poetry.  Discuss the assigned readings.

                        Assignment: Read “I Hear America Singing” (WHITMAN 1096), and “The Powwow at

                        the End of the World” (ALEXIE 895-6).  Work on Paper #3.


THURS Apr 7     In class: Discuss the assigned readings.

                        Assignment: Read “Culture, Race, and Ethnicity” (892-3, 903), “Mother to Son” (HUGHES

                        975-6), “Dream Variations” (HUGHES 976), “I, Too” (HUGHES 976-7), “Ballad of the

                        Landlord” (HUGHES 978-9), “The Voices in Langston Hughes” (986-7), “Black Identity in

                        Langston Hughes” (988).


TUES Apr 12      In class: Discuss themes of oppression and resistance; discuss the assigned readings.

                        Assignment: Read “Allusion” (680), “The Second Coming” (YEATS 874-5), and “The world is

                        too much with us” (WORDSWORTH 868).  Work on Paper #3.


THURS Apr 14   Paper #3 is due.

                        Assignment: Read “September 1, 1939” (AUDEN 942-5).


TUES Apr 19      In class: Discuss historical context, social critique, and the assigned readings.

                        Assignment: Read “The Hollow Men” (ELIOT—a handout), “London” (BLAKE 700-1), and

                        “Composed upon Westminster Bridge” (WORDSWORTH 1099).


THURS Apr 21    In class: Discuss the assigned readings.

                        Assignment: Read Chapters 1-4 of In the Time of the Butterflies (ALVAREZ).


Monday, April 25 is the last day to withdraw from the class.


TUES Apr 26      In class: Discuss Chapters 1-4.

                          Assignment: Read Chapters 5-7.


THURS Apr 28   In class: Discuss Chapters 5-7.  Paper #4 is assigned.

                         Assignment: Read Chapters 8-11.  Prepare for in-class graded worksheet.


TUES May 3       In class: graded worksheet on Chapters 8-11.

                         Assignment: Read Chapter 12 and the Epilogue.


THURS May 5    In class: Discuss Chapters 8-12 and the Epilogue.

                         Assignment: Work on Paper #4.


TUES May 10    In class: Discuss Paper #4.  View the film Romero.

                         Assignment: Work on Paper #4.


THURS May 12 Paper #4 is due at the beginning of class.

                        In class: Finish and discuss Romero.


I will notify you via Blackboard email when you can come by and pick up your graded paper.

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives

Course Description

English 2342, Introduction to Literature, is a study of the main genres of literature:  poetry, drama, and prose.  It thus involves selected readings, arranged by types.

Course Objectives

  • To provide a working knowledge of the characteristics of each literary genre;
  • To develop analytical skills and critical thinking through reading, discussion, and written assignments; 
  • To broaden students’ intercultural reading experience;
  • To deepen students’ awareness of the universal human concerns that are the basis for literary works;
  • To stimulate a greater appreciation of language as an artistic medium and of the aesthetic principles that shape literary works;
  • To understand literature as an expression of human values within an historical and social context.