L355 1971 EAKIN
American Fiction to 1900

2:30p-3:45p TR (30) 3 cr.

In this course we will read a series of novels and a few short stories designed to suggest something of the range and development of American fiction during the nineteenth century. The transition from a village to an urban culture, changes in the characterization of women, and the progressive sophistication in narrative technique and in the rendering of consciousness will receive special emphasis. A tentative list of the writers and novels to be studied includes the following: James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans; Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter; Edgar Allan Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “Ligeia,” and other stories; Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin; Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Henry James, The Turn of the Screw and selected fiction; Kate Chopin, The Awakening; Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth; Stephen Crane, Maggie; and Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie.

Because the amount of reading will be heavy, students will be asked to keep a running journal account of their responses to the fiction in lieu of the usual critical paper. There will be one or two hour exams and a final.