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English 150 - Emery C. Mollenhauer, FSC 

Fall 1999

Office: Olney 167 Phone: 95l --ll69

email: mollenha@lasalle


  "Welcome," John La Farge, American, New York Metropolitan Museum


Objectives for Experience of Literature : 

As a result of readings in fiction, poetry, and drama and after experience in the classroom in discussing, analyzing, and evaluating literary materials, the student should be able to

1. read more attentively and perceptively;

2. understand and through that understanding respond to literature;

3. see how individual stories, poems, and plays work, how effects are achieved, and what these effects are;

4. communicate more effectively in written and oral forms;

5. understand and apply literary terms in describing and analyzing works of literature;

6. develop critical judgment; and

7. recognize and assess values expressed implicitly and explicitly in works of literature.


San Francisco-Oakland (Bay) Bridge 


Literature, fifth edition (paperback), James H. Pickering and Jeffrey D. Hoeper (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, l997)


"The Things They Carried," Tim O’Brien, Penguin Books


Course Requirements:

Ù Readings as assigned

Ù The Pickering text must be brought to each class.

Ù Conferences: Plan to arrange a conference at least twice this semester. I would recommend particularly that you check with me before submitting any paper. I have an ample listing of conference times posted on the door of 0 167; moreover, when not in class or at a meeting, ordinarily I am in my office.

Ù Papers: See text pp. 5 - 27. Two short papers (three pages or 900) words each) will be required. What is expected for each paper will be explained at least three weeks before the paper is due.

Due the week of October 11 (and gratefully accepted before then): An analysis of a theme in "The Things They Carried." – e.g. courage, cowardice, the interplay of memory and imagination, the nature of war, or a similar thesis. You will, of course, want to supported your thesis with specifics from the book. More specific information about this assignment will be given by the third week of class. Begin reading this brief narrative soon.

Due the week of November 8: Compare and contrast the character or personality of the mother and the son in "The Glass Menagerie." Special directive for this analysis will be given at least three weeks before this short paper is due.

 "The Championship Sculler," Thomas Eakins, 1871, Metropolitan museum

Ù Academic Integrity: Academic integrity is violated if a student knowingly represents the work of others as his/her own. Collaborative work also violates academic integrity. A student who violates academic integrity or plagiarizes is subject to receiving an "F" grade.


Ù Attendance: Cutting class affects continuity and precludes a real grasp of the subject matter; moreover, attendance affects the final grade, especially since student participation is related to presence in class. Absence required to provide for conditions beyond the control of the student should be explained to the instructor.


Ù Examinations: There will be two in-class examinations, each valued at l5 points. Tentative dates for these exams: the week of September 27 and the week of November 1. There will, of course, be a final exam also.

Ù * Logs: I am interested in your individual responses to the readings. Through writing down your reaction to or impression of individual texts, you yourself can better appreciate your own growth in active, perceptive reading, and in critical thinking. After all, it is your personal response, rather than the instructor's, that you will be working with and developing.


Logs often will form the basis of class discussion; they will be collected regularly. Although logs will not be graded when initially submitted, they will be reviewed at the end of the semester and then graded in terms of quality, completeness, and progress. Each response should be approximately 140 words (done on one side of the sheet) and done on an 8 and l/2 by ll sheet of paper. (Feel free to use the same sheet for a second or third log.) In addition to your own name, be sure that each of your logs indicates the date of the assignment and the title of the assignment(s).


Ordinarily, you should submit one log a week, beginning the second week of the semester. If you do not submit a log in any particular week, you may submit two logs the following week. However. two logs in any one week will be accepted no more than twice. You should have thirteen logs – no more -- completed by the end of the semester.

No log will be accepted if it is submitted after we have discussed the individual story, poem, or play.

* Content of Logs/Journal: Enter into a conversation with the text or the author or yourself. Comment on what puzzles you, what attracts you about the reading, and indicate reasons for your response. You might also want to pose a couple of questions about the assignment; if you do that, offer some tentative response of your own. (And, of course, don't simply state "What does this mean?" Rather, specify what stops you and what you find difficult about the section or assignment.) Sometimes you might find the literary terms that we will be incorporating in the course and that are in the text (pp. l873 - 1921) useful for speaking about an assignment. Please relate specific questions to specific pages of the text. Keep in mind that these logs will serve as the basis for class discussion.

  Brooklyn Bridge view from Manhattan

è Quizzes: To help motivate students to read assignments regularly, we will have unannounced quizzes based on assigned readings.


In sum, then, you will be expected to complete thirteen logs and respond to fifteen quizzes during the semester.


Grading: Belfield Today

In-class examinations: 30

Final examination: 25

Papers: 20

Logs, participation, quizzes: 25


In addition to having considerably more material than we will be able to "cover" in one semester, our basic text offers more technical information than I think is appropriate for an introductory college course. Hence, since we will not always follow the sequence of background material and readings as presented in the text, you will want to be particularly attentive to the order of readings assigned.


For the most part, the literary terms here will be reviewed in relationship to the individual assignments for the week the terms are listed. The Pickering text (pp. 1740 ff.) offers succinct definitions for each of these terms.

Sequence: In order to make reading assignments easier for you at the end of the semester, we will take the three

literary genres in this order: fiction, drama, poetry.


  The Schuylkill, Philadephia

"The Old Magician," Manet, 1862, National Gallery, Washington, D.C.


Please note also that this syllabus is intended as a guideline. Because the amount of class time we will spend on individual works will vary, it is almost inevitable that we will not be able to follow this syllabus precisely. Since I review forthcoming assignments at the beginning of each class and also take questions at that time about assignments, I trust that no one will be unduly upset because of adjustments to this syllabus.


Week of August 30:

Introduction to course

Introduction to fiction and to the short story.

Read pp. 32 - 37; see also handout on the short story.

"The Cask of Amontillado," 120

Terms: plot/ falling action /characterization/ exposition /denouement/ setting / atmosphere

First log assignment: "My Kinsman, Major Molineux," 38…. Group lead questions


  E.A. Poe Nathaniel HawthorneHerman Melville

Week of September 7:

pp. 61 - 77

"The Yellow Wallpaper," 247; "Bartleby the Scrivener," 131

antagonist/ protagonist/ theme /symbol/ allegory / diction/ verismilitude/ resolution

 Get to "The Things They Carried" ……. Explanation of first paper



Week of September 13:

pp. 78 - 94

"The Real Thing," 229; "Araby," 322 "; "The Dead," 326

style/ tone/ syntax/ irony/ explication /analysis/ topic/ thesis/ theme /point of view


 James JoyceHenry JamesE. Hemingway


Week of September 20:

pp. 5 – 27


"Hills Like White Elephants," 374; "The Death of Ivan Ilych," 991; "King of the Bingo Game," 442

foreshadowing/ connotation /denotation /flashback /paradox/ allusion



Week of September 27:

"Barn Burning," 414; "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," 449


First Examination


William Faulkner Flannery O'Connor 


Casting for roles in the plays



Week of October 4:

"O Youth and Beauty!" 461; "A & P," 520; "Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?" 525



Week of October 11:

"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" 525; "Shiloh," 62


Joyce Carol Oates John Updike B.A. Mason

Paper due

Discussion of "The Things They Carried"


pp. 1113- 1122; 1128 - 1132


dialogue/ tragedy/ comedy/ soliloquy /catharsis/ hamartia/ dramatis personae/ proscenium /aside



Week of October 18:

Explanation of second paper

  Discussion of "The Things They Carried"


Introduction to Drama


Oedipus Rex, 1170

pp. 1144 - 1169, as designated


tragic flaw/ hubris / farce/ foil/ deus ex machina



Week of October 27:


Hedda Gabler, 1505

Henrick Ibsen and his farm house


Week of November 1:


Hedda Gabler"


Second examination


"The Glass Menagerie,", 1671 Tennessee Williams


pp 766 - 772; 697 - 700; 707 - 711



Week of November 8:

Second paper due.



"The Glass Menagerie" pp. 714 - 715; 718 - 723; 733 - 74


Central Park Rockefeller Center

Introduction to poetry



"On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," 701 "Ars Poetica," 702; "Recessional," 720;"To Helen," 939


connotation/ denotation/ imagery/ stanza /metaphor /ambiguity/ allusion


 John Keats

  John Donne Ireland and England

Week of November 15:


"The Man He Killed," 731; "Richard Cory," 733; "Ozymandias," 736; "Not Marble, Nor the Gilded Monuments," 875; "I Taste a Liquor," 787; "Not Waving But Drowning," 774; "The Flea," 746

refrain/ pun /paradox /irony/ satire/ simile /conceit/ personification/ apostrophe / hyperbole



Week of November 22:

PP. 776 - 789;805 - 812; 819


"Apparently with No Surprise," 757; "Ex-Basketball Player," 757; "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard," 899 "Dulce et Decorum Est," 815; "To an Athlete Dying YOung," 978


paraphrase/ metaphor /scansion/ foot /iamb/ trochee /dactyl/ anapest/ meter/ rhythm/ allegory/ symbol

  Emily Dickinson

  Robert Frost A Vermont pond

Week of November 29:


"Ode on a Grecian Urn," 930; "Ulysses," 942; "Spring and Fall," 976; ; "When I Was One and Twenty," 977; "After Apple-Picking," 992; "next too course god america i," 1022; "Buffalo Bill’s," 1019; "A Blessing," 1072

trimeter /tetrameter/ pentameter/ onomotopoeia/ blank verse/ elegy/ ballad /sonnet/ alliteration




Week of December 6:


"Church Going," 1056; "This Is Just to Say," 931; "Do Not Go Gentle...," 1043; "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers," 1083; "Journey of the Magi," 1010


quatrain /dramatic monologue/ enjambment /internal rime/ doggerel /epic

  Library of Congress, Washington, DC


Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan