Honors | Ideas & Human Experience
H212 | 0004 | Richard Burke


This course COAS Intensive Writing and also requires registration in COAS
W333 section #0276.

4:00-5:15p TR  SY210

We will examine the concepts of justice, fairness, equality and the search
for the "good life." We will begin with Rousseau's Discourse on Inequality
and Freud's Civilization and its Discontents as attempts to demonstrate how
the growth of civilization corrupts natural happiness and freedom. We will
continue with the Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels and Hard Times by
Charles Dickens as examinations of conditions that create artificial
inequalities of wealth, power and social privilege.

The second segment of the seminar will concentrate on the various roles of
individuals in society. In this segment we will consider, "heroes, dreamers
and survivors" as represented in Ibsen's Enemy of the People, Miller's Death
of a Salesman, Brecht's Mother Courage and the Good Person of Szechwan, and
Bolt's  A Man for All Seasons.

In the third segment of the seminar we will study questions of race, gender
and social class. Our readings will be Shaw's Major Barbara, and Pygmalion
Ibsen's A Doll's House, and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.

In the final segment of the seminar we will consider writers who seem to be
asking " do these questions of fairness, justice and the good life have any
meaning?" In this final segment we will read the Death of Ivan Ilych, The
Plague and Waiting for Godot.

Throughout the semester will be considering questions such as:

-- How do we form societies that encourage a sense of community?

-- How do human beings fulfill their responsibilities to themselves and to

-- Must there be social "winners" and "losers?"

-- Are we asking the "right" questions?