English 200:
Critical Reading and Writing About Literature
MWF 11:40-12:30
Dan Bivona
Office: C339, 5-7748
Hrs. MW 2-4 and by appointment

Course Overview:

This course will be an introduction to the terminology, methods, and objectives of the study of literature for English majors. We will read and analyze a representative sample of works from the three major literary modes (poetry, drama, and fiction).


Four major writing assignments will count for 80% of your final grade: three 3-5 page critical papers (45%) and one 8-10 page critical research paper (35%). Two of the critical papers may be revised and resubmitted after consultation with your instructor. The final 20% of your grade will be based on attendance and contributions to class discussion.


Kennedy, X. J., Literature: An Introduction to Fiction... 6th ed. (1995).

This book is now available at the ASU Bookstore.


Date Topic and Readings

M, 8/25 Introduction to the course
W, 8/27 Fiction:  Maugham, "The Appointment in Samarra" (4); Updike, "A&P" (12)
F, 8/29 Faulkner, "A Rose for Emily" (25)

M, 9/1 No class -- Labor Day
W, 9/3 Baldwin, "Sonny's Blues" (37); Poe, "A Tell-Tale Heart" (61)
F, 9/5 Walker, "Everyday Use" (90)

M, 9/8 Hemingway, "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" (158)
W, 9/10 Joyce, "Araby" (177)
F, 9/12 Borges, "The Gospel According to Mark" (183)

M, 9/15 Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown" (211)
W, 9/17 O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" (255)
F, 9/19* Lawrence, "The Rocking-Horse Winner" (404)
First critical paper due

M, 9/22 Woolf, "A Haunted House" (484)
W, 9/24 Poetry:
Browning, "My Last Duchess" (500); Hardy, "The Workbox" (520)
F, 9/26 NO CLASS

M, 9/29 Auden, "The Unknown Citizen" (517); Blake, "The Chimney Sweeper" (524)
W, 10/1 Hardy, "The Ruined Maid" (541); Wordsworth, "Mutability" (547)
F, 10/3 Blake, "London" (551); Stevens, "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock" (553); Frost, "Fire and Ice" (556)

M, 10/6 Pound, "In a Station of the Metro" (558); Plath, "Metaphors" (580); Dickinson, "It Dropped So Low--In My Regard" (580); Momaday, "Simile" (580)
W, 10/8 Atwood, "You Fit Into Me" (590); Ashbery, "The Cathedral Is" (590); Jonson, "To Celia" (594)
F, 10/10 Yeats, "Leda and the Swan" (623); Eliot, "Virginia" (629)

M, 10/13 Brooks, "We Real Cool" (634); Stevens, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" (672); Dickinson, "I Heard a Fly Buzz--When I Died" (691)
W, 10/15 Frost, "The Road Not Taken" (692); Stevens, "Anecdote of the Jar" (694)
F, 10/17* Plath, "Lady Lazarus" (710)
Second critical paper due

M , 10/20 Rios, "Spring in the Only Place Spring Was" (724); Larkin, "Aubade" (726)
W, 10/22 Yeats, "Sailing to Byzantium" (738); Shelley, "Ozymandias" (741)
F, 10/24  NO CLASS
M, 10/27 Bronte, "Love and Friendship" (767); Auden, "Musee des Beaux Arts" (763)
W, 10/29  Donne, "The Flea" (776); "A Valediction:  Forbidding Mourning" (777)
F, 10/31  Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (780)

M, 11/3  Jarrell, "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" (803); Jonson, "On My First Son" (804)
W, 11/5  Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (804)
F, 11/7  Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress" (813); Walcott, "The Virgins" (847)

M, 11/10  Drama: Sophocles, Oedipus the King (908)
W, 11/12 Oedipus cont.
F, 11/14* Shakespeare, Hamlet (956)
Third critical paper due

M, 11/17 Hamlet cont.
W, 11/19 Hamlet cont.
F, 11/21* Hamlet cont.
Thesis statement for critical research paper due

M, 11/24 Ibsen, A Doll's House (1079)
W, 11/26 A Doll's House cont.
F, 11/28 NO CLASS--Thanksgiving holiday

12/1 Miller, Death of a Salesman (1159)
12/3 Death of a Salesman cont.
12/5 Death of a Salesman cont.

12/8 Henley, Crimes of the Heart (1281)
12/10** Crimes of the Heart cont.
Critical research paper due

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