Short Fiction and the Novel
 

Summary of the course

In this course, we will examine the history of the short story and novel and read some of the best English and American examples from the 18th to 20th century. Attention will be given to those works that are likely to appear in the AP English exams. In our study of the novel, our focus will be on the Victorian novel, for it was in the 19th century that the novel gained its primacy.

    The course will include a series of lectures and discussions on various topics and terms related to the short story and novel, such as point of view, local color, Freytag’s pyramid, naturalism, Gothic, regionalism, realism, romanticism, etc. The year will begin with a talk of the genre in terms of its literary form, its origins, and sociological implications. Then, individual works will be discussed in the context of the author’s cultural and intellectual milieu as well as the author’s biography. If applicable, short stories will be included to accompany the reading of various novels to amplify themes and content of a particular work. Works were carefully chosen for their age appropriateness and literary significance. At the end of the year, student will give a speech inspired by one of the authors or works read. (See Speech Night).


Reading

Student will learn to read critically. Study guide material will test the student’s comprehension of the material. Vocabulary will be gleaned from the works. The following works will be read:


Sample Short Story Authors

Giovanni Boccaccio, Thomas Malory, Joseph Conrad, E. M. Forster, James Joyce, Thomas Hardy, Arthur Conan Doyle, Katherine Mansfield, O. Henry, Willa Cather, Stephen Crane, Susan Glaspell, Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bret Harte, Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, Sherwood Anderson, William James, Jack London, Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy, Alexander Pushkin, Guy de Maupassant, Jean Aicard


Sample English Novels (in full or excerpt form)

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719)

Samuel Richardson, Pamela (1740)

Fanny Burney, Cecilia (1782)

Jane Austin, Mansfield Park (1813)

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)

Charles Dickens, David Copperfield (1850)

Anthony Trollope, The Warden (1855)

George Eliot, Silas Marner (1861)

Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd (1874)

Rudyard Kipling, Kim (1901)


American Novels (in full or excerpt form)

Nathaniel Hawthorne, House of the Seven Gables (1851)

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)

Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952)


Writing and Research

Students will write at least five critical papers on the works read.


Vocabulary Development

Vocabulary chosen from the novels will be committed to memory.