ENGLISH 291: Survey of the Novel

Spring 2005

Professor John Rickard
Office: Carnegie 202
Phone: 577-1424
E-mail: rickard@bucknell.edu
Home Page: http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/rickard/

Class meets MWF 11:00-11:52 am, Dana 321

Office Hours: TR 2:00 - 3:30 pm, and by appointment

Required Texts:

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre, Bantam ed.
Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe, Oxford ed.
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations, Penguin ed.
Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man, Vintage ed.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby, Scribner ed.
Morrison, Toni. Sula, Plume.
Twain, Mark. Huckleberry Finn, Penguin ed.
Woolf, Virgina. Mrs. Dalloway, Harcourt Brace ed.

Required Readings:

Wednesday, January 19: The novel and the historical study of literature

Friday, January 21: The Nature and History of the Novel

Read: "What is a Novel?" by Terry Eagleton


Monday, January 24: Nature and History of the Novel, Continued

Read: "Happy Endings," by Margaret Atwood)

Wednesday, January 26: Begin Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; read "Introduction" and pp. 3-57

Friday, January 28: Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; read pp. 57-113


Monday, January 31: Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; read pp. 114-179

Extra Reading: Karl Marx on Robinson Crusoe

Wednesday, February 2: Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; read pp. 180-241

Extra Reading: Virginia Woolf on Robinson Crusoe

Friday, February 4: Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; read pp. 242-306


Monday, February 7: Brontë, Jane Eyre; read Introduction, Preface, and Chapters 1-10 (pages 1-85) 

Wednesday, February 9: Brontë, Jane Eyre; read Chapters 11-17 (pages 85-170)

Extra Reading: Virginia Woolf on Jane Eyre

Friday, February 11: Brontë, Jane Eyre; read Chapters 18-23 (pages 170-244)


Monday, February 14: Brontë, Jane Eyre; read Chapters 24-31 (pages 244-349)

Wednesday, February 16: Brontë, Jane Eyre; read Chapters 32-38 (pages 349-433)

Friday, February 18: Dickens, Great Expectations, Introduction and Chapters 1-12 (pages 3-99)


Monday, February 21: Dickens, Great Expectations, Chapters 13-24 (pages 99-202)


Wednesday, February 23: Dickens, Great Expectations, Chapters 25-38 (pages 202-298)

 Friday, February 25: Dickens, Great Expectations, Chapters 39-48 (pages 299-394)

Monday, February 28:
Dickens, Great Expectations, Chapters 49-59 (pages 394-484), and Appendix A ("The Ending as Originally Conceived"), pages 508-509

Wednesday, March 2: Mid-Term Examination

Friday, March 4: Twain, Huckleberry Finn; read Introduction and Chapters 1-10 (pages vii-61)

Monday, March 7:
Twain, Huckleberry Finn; read Chapters 11-21 (pages 62-159)

Wednesday, March 9: Twain, Huckleberry Finn; read Chapters 22-31 (pages 160-239)

Friday, March 11: Twain, Huckleberry Finn; read Chapters 32-End (pages 240-321)

Monday, March 14 - Friday, March 18: SPRING BREAK

Monday, March 21: Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; read Introduction and up to page 100

Wednesday, March 23: Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; read to page 150

Friday, March 25: Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; read to page 194 (end of book)

Monday, March 28:
Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

Wednesday, March 30: Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

Friday, April 1: Fitzgerald, Great Gatsby

Monday, April 4:
Fitzgerald, Great Gatsby

Wednesday, April 6: Fitzgerald, Great Gatsby

Friday, April 8: Ellison, Invisible Man, Chapters 1-3 (up to page 97)

Monday, April 11: Ellison, Invisible Man, Chapters 4-8 (pages 98-171)

Wednesday, April 13: Ellison, Invisible Man, Chapters 9-11 (pages 172-250)

Friday, April 15: Ellison, Invisible Man, Chapters 12-16 (pages 251-355)

Monday, April 18:
Ellison, Invisible Man, Chapters 17-20 (pages 356-444)

Wednesday, April 20: Ellison, Invisible Man, Chapters 21-23 (pages 445-512)

Friday, April 22: Ellison, Invisible Man, Chapters 24-Epilogue (pages 513-581)


Monday, April 25: Morrison, Sula

Wednesday, April 27: Morrison, Sula

Friday, April 29: Morrison, Sula

Monday, May 2: Conclusions



This course satisfies the survey requirement for the new English major. It seeks to provide a general overview of the history of the novel as a genre, in both English and American literature. Like any general survey, such a course cannot hope to be comprehensive, but we will read some important works of fiction and to draw some limited conclusions from this survey concerning the nature and history of the novel as a literary form. We will also work on developing reading, writing, and critical thinking skills through discussion, papers, exams, and in-class writings. Although at times I will lecture in order to present background information, I do expect class participation in discussion and in other in-class activities. I expect you to keep up with the reading and to prepare for class. Class attendance in a literature class is essential for a good grade; therefore, I expect you to attend class regularly, to be prepared for class, and to participate when you are here. Your grade in this class will begin to drop after three absences. MORE THAN SIX UNEXCUSED ABSENCES WILL RESULT IN AN F GRADE IN ENGLISH 286.



Papers: (1) a shorter paper (approx. 6-8 pages) focusing on your own intrepretation of a critical problem, a crucial passage, or a comparison of elements from two or three works; and (2) a longer essay, 10-12 pages in length, incorporating researched sources to support an argument about one or more of the works we've read.

Exams: There will be a mid-term exam and a final examination. Your midterm exam will cover everything up to that point in the semester, including introductory and background historical material on the novel. The final will be comprehensive, but will focus especially on material read after the midterm.

In-class Writing: I will assign brief, graded in-class writings on each novel.


Paper 1 (February 21) -- 15%

Mid-term Exam (March 2) -- 20%

Paper 2 (April 23) -- 20%

Final Exam -- 25%

In-class Writing -- 10%

Class Participation -- 10%

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 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.