Spring 2002 English 105-08: Introduction to Narrative--Writing Intensive
Required Texts: James Pickering, ed. Fiction 100: An Anthology of Short Fiction, 9th edition
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
In English 105 we will concentrate on short stories, though we will also read a few narrative poems and one novel. The purpose of the course is to enhance your appreciation and enjoyment of fiction by helping you to understand both the texts themselves and the narrative techniques employed by their authors, and by encouraging to bring your own perspective to bear on the reading.
Learning Goals: At the completion of this course, you should be able to
--- Identify and explain the elements of narrative
---Analyze narrative texts from different critical perspectives and, when appropriate, show an understanding of their social and historical contexts
---Demonstrate skills of close reading and clear writing about the texts
In this writing intensive section you will use informal writing as a way of exploring the texts and your own responses to them. Please use a 3-ring looseleaf notebook or folder with pockets as your journal so that you can turn in individual pages and keep them when I return them to you. You will be required to turn in 18 satisfactory journal entries, 9 before and 9 after Spring Break. (See other side for more information about journals.)
You will also write two "formal" papers, due February 28 (with required revision due March 19, worth 20% of your final grade) and April 16 (worth 30%, with optional revision due May 2).
Frequent pop quizzes, given promptly at 11:00, should encourage you to come to class on time, having read the assigned stories carefully. Quizzes cannot be made up, but I will drop the lowest quiz grade. (10% of final grade)
Early in the semester you will choose a story from the syllabus and 2 or 3 classmates with whom you will work on a 45-minute oral presentation to teach your story to the class. (20% of grade)
In place of a final exam, you will turn in a portfolio on May 14 consisting of eight substantially revised journal entries and a final, synthesizing essay. (20%)
Regular participation in class discussions can boost your final grade to the next level if you are near a borderline.
In order to accommodate illness, bad weather, emergencies, and unavoidable obligations such as work requirements and team or arts-related travel, I will permit 4 absences in the course of the semester. Each additional absence will lower your final grade by 3 points unless you have been able to convince me that you were the victim of extraordinary extenuating circumstances.
Bad weather policy: Unless the University is officially closed and classes cancelled as of 11:00, I will be here and I will hold class. If you do not feel safe driving to campus, take the day as one of your 4 permitted absences.
My office is 103 McIver, and I will announce office hours soon. Feel free to visit, call or e-mail me anytime that you want to talk about the course or your assignments. Office phone: 334-3282; home phone: 272-4996 (before 11 P.M. please); email <email@example.com> If you miss class, you are responsible for coming to the next class prepared and for turning in any assignments due in your absence and on your return. Call me if you have a question about the assignments.
Writing Center: 101 McIver. Open Monday - Thursday 9 am - 8 pm, Friday 9 am - 3 pm. This is a drop-in center staffed by graduate and advanced undergraduate student consultants. Highly recommended as a place to go for feedback or instruction when you're writing a paper for this or any other course.
Please TURN OFF all cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices before entering class!!!
You are responsible for turning in a total of 18 journal entries, 9 before Spring Break and 9 after Spring Break (including at least one about the novel Ceremony). To get credit for a journal entry, you must turn it in during class on the day the story is being discussed. (If you are absent, you may turn it in on the day you return to class.) In other words, you cannot turn in a journal on a story after we have discussed it in your presence, and you cannot wait until the end of the semester to complete your quota or to make up for missing entries.
entry must be typed (double spaced)
with a heading that includes your name, the date, the title and author of the
story, and the number (out of 18) of the entry. They must be at least 250
words long. When two stories are assigned for a
The journal is a good place to play with ideas about the stories, and to take risks, puzzle through questions, and express opinions. If you're having trouble deciding what to write about, try one of these suggestions: 1) Pick a character in the story, tell how you respond to that character, and try to figure out what the author has done to elicit that response from you. 2) Choose an object in the story that gets mentioned frequently, and try to figure out what it represents or how the author's use of it changes throughout the story.
3) Pick out some examples
of foreshadowing and explain their significance in the story. 4)
Choose a particular passage or scene to discuss in detail. Analyze the author's style in the passage or
the importance of that scene in relation to the story's theme. 5)
Compare the "before" and "after" of the story. Pick out one person or thing that has
changed considerably, and try to account for the change. 6)
Identify the central conflict in the story. What forces, ideas, attitudes, values, etc. stand in opposition
to each other? How, if at all, is the
conflict resolved? 7) If the story elicits a powerful emotional
response from you (fear? anger? sadness?
hope?), try to account for that response. What has the author done to affect you in this way? 8)
If something in one story (a character, or an event, or an atmosphere)
reminds you of something in another story, explore the comparison. 9) If
you know something about the social, historical, or cultural context of the
story, you can discuss that. 10) Reflect on a connection between something in
the story and something in your own experience -- i.e., write about a way in
which the story reminds you of something in your own life. 11) If you are puzzled by something in a
story, compose a question about it and then explore different possible
answers. 12) If you
I will write brief responses as I read your journal entries and give them a check (fine) or check-plus (fantastic). To meet the course requirement, you must turn in 18 satisfactory (check) journal entries (An UNsatisfactory entry is one that is too short, or that does nothing more than retell the events of the story, or that indicates virtually no reading comprehension, or that is not written with reasonable clarity and competence. You may not revise unsatisfactory journal entries to make them satisfactory, but you may write extra ones to get to a total of 18 satisfactory entries, as long as they are turned in before we discuss the stories in class.) If you turn in fewer than 18 satisfactory journals, you will lose 2 points off your final grade for each one that is missing. On the other hand, if over half of your journal entries get check-pluses, your final grade will be raised by 5 points.
At the end of the semester you will choose eight journal entries (including at least one on Ceremony) to revise, extend, and polish, taking into account your own different perspective on the stories by that point in the semester as well as my comments and our class discussion of the stories. These revised journal entries, along with a final synthesizing essay, will comprise the final portfolio that will account for 20% of your grade.
T 1/15 Introduction
STORIES ABOUT DISILLUSIONMENT
R 1/17 Anderson, "I Want To Know Why" and Joyce, "Araby"
T 1/22 Cisneros, "The House on Mango Street" and Bambara, "The Lesson"
R 1/24 Crane, "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" Sign up for oral presentations.
T 1/29 Mansfield, "Miss Brill" and Strout, "A Little Burst"
STORIES ABOUT GROWING UP
R 1/31 Porter, "The Grave" and Winthrop, "The Golden Darters"
T 2/5 * Oates, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" and Jewett, "A White Heron"
R 2/7 Faulkner, "Barn Burning" Discuss first paper assignment.
T 2/12 * Wright, "The Man Who Was Almost a Man" and Updike, "A & P"
STORIES ABOUT THE NATURE OF HUMAN NATURE
R 2/14 * Williams, "The Use of Force" and Kaufman, "Sunday in the Park"
T 2/19 Poe, "The Cask of Amantillado" and Jackson, "The Lottery"
R 2/21 Singer, "Gimpel the Fool" and Walker, "To Hell with Dying"
T 2/26 * Glaspell, "A Jury of Her Peers" and Camus, "The Guest"
R 2/28 FIRST SUBMISSION OF PAPER #1 DUE. In-class reading of narrative poems.
STORIES THAT TAKE US BEYOND THE ORDINARY
T 3/5 * Bradbury, "August 2002: Night Meeting" and Bierce, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"
R 3/7 Bowen, "Demon Lover" and Godwin, "Dream Children"
T 3/19 REVISION OF PAPER #1 DUE. Reading TBA
STORIES ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS
R 3/21 * Chekhov, "The Lady With the Pet Dog" Discuss second paper assignment
T 3/26 Chopin, "The Story of an Hour" Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper"
R 3/28 * Mason, "Shiloh" and Freeman, "A New England Nun"
T 4/2 * Steinbeck, "The Chrysanthemums" and Boyle, "The Astronomer's Wife"
STORIES ABOUT TRANSFORMATIONS
R 4/4 Malamud, "The Magic Barrel" and Lawrence, "The Horse Dealer's Daughter"
T 4/9 * Carver, "Cathedral" and Papertalk
R 4/11 Baldwin, "Sonny's Blues"
T 4/16 PAPER #2 DUE. Background information and preparation for reading Ceremony
A STORY ABOUT THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF STORIES
R 4/18 Silko, Ceremony
T 4/23 Silko, Ceremony
R 4/25 Silko, Ceremony
T 4/30 Silko, "Yellow Woman"
R 5/2 Tidying up. Instructions for Final Portfolio
T 5/14 at 12 noon: FINAL PORTFOLIO DUE IN MY OFFICE