English 101: Introduction to Fiction

Professor John Rickard

Fall 2011


Meets in Coleman Hall 117

MWF 12:00 - 12:52 pm

E-mail: rickard@bucknell.edu

Office Phone: 577-1424

Office: Vaughan Literature 231

Office Hours: WF 1:00-2:30 pm and by appointment


Our textbook should be available in the Bucknell Bookstore; if you have any problems obtaining it, please let me know.

The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction.  Eighth Edition. Ed. Ann Charters. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2011. ISBN: 0312596235.



For students beginning with the class of 2014, this course counts toward the Arts and Humanities Learning Goals of the College Core Curriculum (CCC). In this type of course, the emphasis is on textual interpretation (rather than creation of literary texts). Such courses deepen students' skills in (1) interpreting texts with awareness of the texts' basic orientation in the world (historical, philosophical, religious, linguistic, etc.); (2) constructing arguments and evaluating canons using appropriate evidence and tools of critical analysis; and (3) developing an appreciation of the fundamental ambiguities and complexities involved in all human attempts to answer questions about knowledge, values, and life.
As a W1 course, this class will: (1) include recurring instruction in writing; (2) teach the writing process: planning, composing, revising, editing; (3) teach and emphasize the importance of the following expository skills:
* addressing intended audiences
* achieving purposes
* organizing the whole paper, paragraphs, and sentences
* choosing appropriate words
* punctuating and spelling correctly;
(4) require frequent writing from each student; and (5) teach the use of writing as thinking and as a means of creating and processing knowledge.



This is a provisional syllabus; changes will be discussed and announced in class. We may decide we need to spend more time on some things and less on others. You are responsible for learning of and responding to syllabus changes during the semester. I will expect you to have the works read by the first day they are listed on the syllabus.You can find additional course materials for this course at http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/rickard/ENGL101.html.

Wednesday, August 24
Business matters; introduction to course
Friday, August 26
Margaret Atwood, "Happy Endings" and "Reading Blind" (pp. 1435-1438); and Appendix 1 ("Reading Short Stories," including Grace Paley's story, "Samuel")  


Monday, August 28
Julio Cortazar, "A Continuity of Parks"; Claire Vaye Watkins, "The Last Thing We Need" (be sure to click "Next Page" links to read all five pages); and Appendix 2 ("The Elements of Fiction")
Wednesday, August 30
Kate Chopin, "The Story of an Hour" and Ernest Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants"
Friday, September 2
Edgar Allan Poe, "The Fall of the House of Usher" and Poe Casebook (1683-1686; Brooks and Warren, 1690-1691; and Eisner graphic version, 1694-1699) and Appendix 3: "A Brief History of the Short Story," pp. 1742-1751


Monday, September 5
Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown"; Herman Melville, "Blackness in Hawthorne's 'Young Goodman Brown'," pp. 1518-1522; and Appendix 4: "Writing about Short Stories," pp. 1752-1762
Wednesday, September 7 
Herman Melville, "Bartleby the Scrivener" and J. Hillis Miller, "A Deconstructive Reading of Melville's 'Bartleby the Scrivener,'" pp. 1522-1527
Friday, September 9
Anton Chekhov, "The Lady With the Little Dog"; Chekhov, "Technique in Writing the Short Story" (pp. 1448-1449); Vladimir Nabokov, "A Reading of Chekhov's 'The Lady with the Little Dog'" (pp. 1534-1539); and Richard Ford, "Why We Like Chekhov" (pp.1474-1478)


Monday, September 12
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper" and Gilbert and Casebook, pp. 1625-1636
Wednesday, September 14
Franz Kafka, "The Metamorphosis," Janouch, "Kafka's View of 'The Metamorphosis'"
Friday, September 16
Franz Kafka, "The Hunger Artist" and R. Crumb and David Mairowitz, "A Hunger Artist" (Graphic version, pp. 1458-1467) and Lydia Davis, "On the Short, Short Story" (p. 1468)


Monday, September 19 -- Rough Draft Workshop -- Bring full draft of Paper 1 to class
Wednesday, September 21
James Joyce, "Araby" and Toni Cade Bambara, "The Lesson"
Friday, September 23
James Joyce, "The Dead" and Richard Ellmann, "A Biographical Perspective on James Joyce's 'The Dead'"
DUE: First draft of Paper 1


Monday, September 26
James Joyce, "The Dead"
Wednesday, September 28
Finish Joyce, "The Dead"
Friday, September 30
Final Draft Workshop for Paper 1


Monday, October 3
Joseph Conrad, "Heart of Darkness" and Said, "The Past and the Present" (pp. 1557-1559)
DUE: Paper 1
Wednesday, October 5
Conrad, "Heart of Darkness" and Chinua Achebe, "An Image of Africa: Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'" (pp. 1423-1428)
Friday, October 7
Conrad, "Heart of Darkness" and skim John Rickard's "Eating Like a White Man"


Monday, October 10
Wednesday, October 12
Finish "Heart of Darkness"
Friday, October 14
D. H. Lawrence, "Odour of Chrysanthemums"; John Steinbeck, "The Chrysanthemums"; and Jay Parini, "Lawrence's and Steinbeck's 'Chrysanthemums'" (pp. 1550-1552); Appendix 4: "Writing about Short Stories," pp. 1763-1769


Monday, October 17
William Faulkner, "That Evening Sun"
Wednesday, October 19
Flannery O'Connor, "Good Country People" Casebook, pp. 1645-1653; and Dorothy Tuck McFarland, "On 'Good Country People'" (pp. 1667-1671)
Friday, October 21
Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and Casebook, pp. 1653-1664


Monday, October 24
Joyce Carol Oates, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" and Casebook, pp. 1672-1682
Wednesday, October 26
Ralph Ellison, "Battle Royal" and Ellison, "The Influence of Folklore on 'Battle Royal'" (pp. 1469-1470)
Friday, October 28
James Baldwin, "Sonny's Blues" and Casebook, pp. 1591-1603


Monday, October 31
Draft Workshop for Paper 2 -- Bring full draft to class
Wednesday, November 2
Zora Neale Hurston, "The Gilded Six-Bits" and "Sweat" and Casebook, pp. 1484-1492
Friday, November 4
Tadeusz Borowski, "This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen" and Cynthia Ozick, "The Shawl" and Appendix 4: "Writing about Short Stories," pp. 1770-1778


Monday, November 7

Frank O'Connor, "Guests of the Nation"; Tim O'Brien, "The Things They Carried" and "Alpha Company," pp. 1542-1543

DUE BY NOON: Paper 2

Wednesday, November 9
Discussion of Research and Paper Three
Friday, November 11
Shirley Jackson, "The Lottery" and "The Morning of June 28, 1948, and 'The Lottery'," pp. 1493-1495; Angela Carter, "The Werewolf"; and Ursula K. LeGuin, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" and "The Scapegoat in Omelas," pp. 1508-1509


Monday, November 14
Raymond Carver, Biographical note on p. 190; "A Small, Good Thing" and Casebook, pp. 1604-1617
Wednesday, November 16
Raymond Carver, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" "Cathedral"; and Casebook, pp. 1617-1624
Friday, November 18
Philip Roth, "The Conversion of the Jews" and Nicole Krauss, "The Last Words on Earth" (in "Course Materials" folder of ENGL 101 Blackboard space)


Monday, November 21
Louise Erdrich, "The Red Convertible"; Leslie Marmon Silko, "Yellow Woman" and "Language and Literature from a Pueblo Indian Perspective" (pp. 1560-1565); and Paula Gunn Allen, "Whirlwind Man Steals Yellow Woman" (1431-1432). Bring first three pages of Final Paper to class today for short workshop
Wednesday, November 23 and Friday, November 25


Monday, November 28

Aimee Bender, "The Rememberer"; Lydia Davis, "Television"; and Tobias Wolff, "Say Yes"

Wednesday, November 30
Amy Tan, "Two Kinds" and "In the Canon, For All the Wrong Reasons" (pp. 1567-1570); and Gish Jen, "Who's Irish?"Course Evaluations
Friday, December 2
Rough Draft Workshop for Research Paper

Monday, December 5
Graphic Storytelling: Alison Bechdel, From Fun Home: Old Father, Old Artificer; Joe Sacco, From Palestine; Marjane Satrapi, "Persepolis: The Veil"; Art Spiegelman, "Prisoner on the Hell Planet" and Casebook Eight (pp. 1700-1717)



COURSE OBJECTIVES: English 101 will focus on developing reading, writing, and critical thinking skills through an in-depth exploration of "ways of reading," the writing process, and the close analysis of fiction. We will read a number of short stories and one novel and write a series of essays aimed at developing various types of writing skills. Formal analysis, comparative analysis, and researched analysis are some of the "modes" we will practice. An important part of my job is making sure that you know how to use sources carefully and correctly in academic writing and that you understand the University's policies concerning plagiarism, which I define as the unacknowledged use, either intentional or unintentional, of material first expressed by another person. We'll discuss plagiarism and proper methods of documentation during the semester, but if, at any time, you have questions about plagiarism problems in this or any other class, please come and ask me about them.

CLASS FORMAT: Participation in discussion and in other in-class activities is crucial in ENGL 101 and will certainly be part of your grade. I will occasionally ask you to do in-class writing, to work in small groups, or to prepare for class by responding in writing to quiz questions I assign. I expect you to keep up with the reading and to prepare for class; it is your responsibility to find out what we covered in any classes you missed and whether any extra out-of-class work was assigned. Because participation is very important for this class, excessive absences (or tardiness) will hurt your grade in English 101. After three absences your participation grade will begin to drop. More than six absences will guarantee an "F" for the class. If you do not feel that you are willing or able to keep up with the reading, attend class daily, and participate in discussion, you should drop the course before the end of the drop-add period.

ASSIGNMENTS: You will write three longer essays in this class, involving formal analysis, comparative analysis, and researched analysis essays. Part of your grade for each of these assignments will be based on your preparation of drafts and participation in rough draft workshops in class. You will also present two "reaction papers" orally in class, handing the written paper in to me after each presentation.  We will often begin class with in-class writings about the overnight reading that will help us focus on our readings and prepare for class discussions.  I will also give a number of unannounced reading quizzes during the semester.


Paper 1: Analysis 20%
Paper 2: Comparative Analysis  
Paper 3: Researched Analysis
Reaction Papers Sign-up sheet distributed in class 15%
Participation, Attendance, Additional Writings, and Quizzes   10%


LATE PAPERS: I will at times allow students an extra day to work on finishing a late paper, but only if you have an acceptable reason for turning the essay in late and only if you ask me for an extension before the paper is due. Many students who get their essays in on time consider it unfair for a professor to allow other students extra time to finish assignments; therefore, unexcused late papers will go down one grade increment (i.e., a plus or minus) for every day they are late. I will not allow extensions on the reaction papers or on the final paper. FINALLY . . . I am available in my office during my normally-scheduled office hours to meet with you. If you need to speak with me outside of my scheduled office hours, you can e-mail me at rickard@bucknell.edu, call me at 577-1424 or leave a message for me with the English Department at 577-1553.