English 105-05 Spring 2003
Intro. to Narrative Zacharias
TEXTS: Ann Charters, Ed., The Story and Its Writer, 5th edition
Kaye Gibbons, Ellen Foster
Kent Haruf, Plainsong
Lee Smith, Oral History
INSTRUCTOR: Lee Zacharias with intern Hardy Gieske
Office 131 McIver
Lee Zacharias, 11-12 T Th and by appointment
Hardy Gieske, to be announced
COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this introductory course in fiction we will read a variety of short stories, novellas, and novels and explore strategies for the analysis and interpretation of fiction, paying special attention to such basic elements of fiction as point of view, character, plot, and setting—and to its cultural context.
STUDENT LEARNING GOALS: Upon completion of this course, students should be
able to identify and understand the basic elements of fiction, be familiar with a number of basic literary terms, apply strategies for literary analysis and interpretation to fiction, and demonstrate an understanding of how cultural context impacts meaning.
Class discussion of reading assignments. Some discussion will take place in groups to be assigned. These are the same groups that will produce collaborative final projects.
Critical Vocabulary. There is a glossary of literary terms in the back of the Charters anthology. A list of terms students are to know will be provided. Terms need not be memorized all at once, but as they come up in relation to the stories we read. Exams will include questions on these literary terms.
Journals. Students are to keep journals in response to reading assignments. Entries should include two observations or questions in response to each story read.
Journals will be collected on March 25. Throughout the semester students will be called on in class to report what they have noted in their journals.
Quizzes. If you do not keep up your journals and a thoughtful classroom dialogue about the fiction we are reading, the instructor will give unannounced reading quizzes.
Examinations. There will be three examinations on reading assignments and literary terms. The exams will be composed of short-answer questions and essays. Exams will count equally and cover only the material covered in the exam period. Note that the last exam is scheduled for the last regular class period (May 1) rather than the final exam period. Students won't need 3 hours for that exam, and that will leave the 3-hour final exam period for group project presentations.
Group Project. Groups will be assigned after the drop-add period is over. Each group is to develop a project to be presented to the rest of the class in response to one (or more) works of fiction read over the course of the semester. This project might be a panel discussion, a dramatization, a mock press conference, interview, art work, musical review, video, or—it's up to you! Use your imagination. Have fun. Plan on about 15-20 minutes for the presentation. The only rules are that the presentation must be legal on university property and that every member of the group must participate.
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY. All work submitted to the course must abide by
the Academic Integrity Policy, which is covered in the UNCG Student Calendar
and Handbook and available online.
ATTENDANCE POLICY: Students are expected to attend class on time. Three consecutive unexcused absences will result in my requesting that the Registrar remove a student from the class roster. A total of four unexcused absences will lower a student's semester grade by one letter, and a total of five unexcused absences will result in a grade of F for the course. A student's grade will be lowered by one letter for frequent tardies. The instructor knows there is a parking problem—she has to park on campus too. Plan accordingly.
GRADING: Semester grades will be computed on the following basis:
Exams: 24 % each
Group Project: 14%
Class Discussion: 14%
(Note: If the instructor finds it necessary to give quizzes, quiz scores will become part of the class participation grade, with a bonus 2 points for students who receive an A in class discussion and a bonus 1 point for students who receive a B in discussion. Note that students who do not contribute to class discussion will receive a 0.
Jan. 16 Introduction to Narrative Fiction (handout)
Ernest Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants"
Who tells the story?
(Point of View)
Jan. 21 Leo Tolstoy, "The Death of Ivan Ilych"
Jan. 23 Edith Wharton, "Roman Fever"
Flannery O'Connor, "Everything That Rises Must Converge"
Jan. 28 Susan Sontag, "The Way We Live Now"
Jan. 30 Amy Tan, "Two Kinds"
John Updike, "A & P"
Feb. 4 Raymond Carver, "Cathedral"
James Joyce, "Araby"
Feb. 6 Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper"
William Faulkner, "A Rose for Emily"
Feb. 11 Exam 1
Who animates it?
(Character and Characterization)
Feb. 13 Nikolai Gogol, "The Overcoat"
Feb. 18 Isaac Bashevis Singer, "Gimpel the Fool"
Feb. 20 Anton Chekov, "The Darling"
Leo Tolstoy, "Chekov's Intent in 'The Darling'"
Eudora Welty, "Plot and Character in Chekov's 'The Darling'"
Feb. 25 Franz Kafka, "The Metapmorphosis"
John Updike, "Kafka and 'The Metamorphosis'"
Feb. 27 Toni Cade Bambara, "The Lesson"
Charles Johnson, "The Menagerie"
How does it unfold?
Plot and Structure
Mar. 4 Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man Is Hard To Find"
Edgar Allen Poe, "The Cask of Amontillado"
Mar. 6 Frank O'Connor, "Guests of the Nation"
Albert Camus, "The Guest"
Mar. 18 John Cheever, "The Swimmer"
Tim O'Brien, "The Things They Carried"
What is its climate?
Setting and Language
Mar. 20 Ralph Ellison, "Battle Royal"
Ralph Ellison, "The Influence of Folklore on 'The Battle Royal'"
Cynthia Ozick, "The Shawl"
Mar. 25 Gabriel García Marquez, "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"
Leslie Marmon Silko, "Yellow Woman"
Mar. 27 Exam 2
Apr. 1 Kaye Gibbons, Ellen Foster (through chapter 10)
Apr. 3 Ellen Foster (finish)
Apr. 8 Kent Haruf, Plainsong (through page 100)
Apr. 10 Plainsong (through page 200)
Apr. 15 Plainsong (finish)
Apr. 17 Lee Smith, Oral History (opening section and Part I)
Apr. 22 Oral History (Part II)
Apr. 24 Oral History (Part III)
Apr. 29 Oral Histoy (finish)
May 1 Exam 3
May 8 Presentation of Group Projects