Syllabus #2

English 363F1: 19th-Century American Literature
Autumn 1990

Professor S. Winifred Morgan
Edgewood College

Professor Morgan:

"Now--about my syllabus. I made an early, conscious, fairly successful, I believe, choice to blend the extensive choices in the Heath Anthology (Vol 1) with more traditional and well-known nineteenth-century American texts. Most of this worked fairly well. The students liked the 'hands-on,' taking control of their learning approach."


Course Description and Goals:

A foundation course in literature, English 363 F1 provides students with a necessary knowledge base and helps them to develop skills needed to l) situate a work with respect to its historical context, 2) analyze the form and structure of a work, 3) develop aesthetic awareness and judgment, 4) engage in a creative experience. The course serves as a basic introduction to major figures and trends in l9th-century United States literature.

Required Texts

David Madden ed. Eight Classic American Novels. (Harcourt, 1990).

Paul Lauter, et al, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vol 1. (Heath, l990).


SuzAnne Cole and Jeff Lindemann. Reading and Responding to Literature. (Harcourt, 1990).

Course Requirements

Regular attendance. More than three absences will necessarily have an adverse effect on a student's grade.

Diligence. Students are responsible for preparing the entire assignment and for being alert in class.

One short (3-5 page) paper. All papers should be typed, double-spaced, and in accord with the guidelines set forth in class. Students should follow the MLA Style Manual if they decide to cite sources. Active participation in seminars analyzing, discussing, and interpreting assigned novels beyond the one that the entire class will read. Everyone will read 1)Moby Dick and 2) Sister Carrie or The Ambassadors and 3a) The Scarlet Letter or 3b) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or 3c) The Red Badge of Courage and The Awakening.

A passing average on quizzes, tests, seminars, and papers.

(43 classes)

Assignment: ASAP read pp. 1180- 1213, Lauter (Except for the novels, all assignments refer to pages in this anthology.)

F Aug 31 Introductory: the course, texts

Assignment: Read pp.1214-1217; 1225-1226; 1228-1229; 1238- 1239; and one of the legends, tales or myths

W Sept 5 Folk and literary culture; Irving--bridging Old and New World literature

Assignment: Read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," pp.1260-

1280; pp. 1322- 1325

F Sept 7 Washington Irving and the beginning of the short story in


Assignment: Read "Ligeia," pp. 1333-1344; "The Purloined Letter," pp. 1372-1385; "The Cask of Amontillado," pp.1386-1391

M Sept 10 Poe--rationalist and romantic

Assignment: Read pp. 1426-43

W Sept 12 Humor of the Old Southwest; regional and ethnic developments of American identity

Assignment: Read pp 1450-1453, 1467-1470; either "The American Scholar" or "Self-Reliance"

F Sept 14 Emerson and growing sense of national identity

Assignment: Study for quiz; read (for this class and the next one) pp. 1637-1704

M Sept 17 *QUIZ*; Douglass; slave narratives

W Sept 19 Douglass

Assignment: Read pp. 1723-1751

F Sept 21 Brent--the woman's experience

Assignment: Read pp. 1752-1754; 1760-1761; 1769; 1772-1773; one of the first two and one of the later selections

M Sept 24 Native American Voices before the U.S. Civil War

Assignment: Dip into sections starting on pp. 1781, 1886, and

1944, read some introductions and at least one selection

W Sept 26 Democratic ferment

Assignment: pp. 1964-2016

F Sept 28 Thoreau--against the grain; writing about literature

Assignment: pp. 2063-2100

M Oct 1 Hawthorne and American romance

Assignment: pp. 2307-2311, start Moby Dick; study for quiz

W Oct 3 *QUIZ*; Hawthorne and Melville

Assignment: Read "Bartleby the Scrivener," pp. 2400-2430

F Oct 5 "Bartleby"

Assignment: Continue reading Moby Dick; drafts of paper due

M Oct 8 Drafts due, Moby Dick

W Oct 10 Moby Dick

F Oct 12 Moby Dick


Assignment: Finished paper due

W Oct 17 Moby Dick; *PAPER DUE*

F Oct 19 Moby Dick

Assignment: pp. 2638-2643; 2671-2673; 2709-2712

M Oct 22 Many American poetic voices

Assignment: Study for quiz; start reading "Song of Myself," pp. 2727-2778

W Oct 24 *QUIZ*; Whitman

F Oct 26 Whitman

M Oct 29 Whitman

Assignment: Study for mid-term exam

W Oct 31 *MIDTERM*

Assignment: Read short story (to be handed out during class on Oct. 31)

F Nov 2 Romanticism in American literature; romance as a genre; regional beginnings of realism

Assignment: For the rest of the semester, all students in this class will be reading the novels they have committed themselves to read and discuss.

M Nov 5 The Scarlet Letter (seminar)

W Nov 7 The Scarlet Letter

F Nov 9 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (seminar)

M Nov 12 Huckleberry Finn

Assignment: Read the short story or stories distributed during

the previous class.

W Nov 14 Naturalism in American literature

F Nov 16 The Red Badge of Courage (seminar)

M Nov 19 The Red Badge of Courage

Assignment: Start reading Dickinson's poetry, pp. 2838-2902

W Nov 21 Dickinson


M Nov 26 Dickinson

W Nov 28 Dickinson

F Nov 30 The Awakening (seminar}

M Dec 3 The Awakening

W Dec 5 *QUIZ*; Dickinson vs Whitman: likenessess and differences

F Dec 7 Sister Carrie (seminar)

M Dec 10 Sister Carrie

W Dec 12 The Ambassadors (seminar)

F Dec 14 The Ambassadors

FINAL EXAM: MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, l990, 10-11:50

Contents, No. VI