Comparative Literature | Culture and Modern Experience
C155 | 19156 | C. van den Broek
MW 5:45 - 7:00 pm
Fulfills A & H and CS requirements
No Rest for the Wicked: Stories of the Guilty
The modern era can best be described as the time of emerging
individualism. The West experienced massive changes in both the
public and private spheres of life. People of all classes
experienced a change in political and personal rights but also
responsibilities. These ranged from the right to vote granted by new
democracies, to the individual responsibilities that came along with
a decline in the influence of religion on our everyday lives. This
course will examine the role of guilt in modern literature. What is
guilt? Who determines who is guilty? How do we take responsibility
for our guilt? What if nobody knows that you're the one who did it?
Can we be traumatized by our own guilt? Can we take our secrets to
the grave or do we need to be punished to deal with our guilt?
Readings will likely include E.T.A. Hoffmann's "The Sandman," short
stories by Franz Kafka, Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray, Edgar
Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart, and films such as "Atonement."