ENGL 243: The American Novel

Class Program
Humanities Lecture
Credits 5 Lecture Hours 55
An introduction to the major American novels of the 19th and 20th centuries. Novels will be chosen from the works of major writers such as Melville, Hawthorne, Crane, James, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Salinger and Mailer.
Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge or skills:

  1. Speak and write intelligently about some of the novels, authors and literary movements of American literature.
  2. Understand the significance of the American novel.
  3. Distinguish between good fiction and trash.
Institutional Outcomes
IO1 Communication: Students will be able to communicate clearly and effectively.
Course Content Outline
  1. Early Novels: Its significance
    1. The Romantic Novel.
    2. The significant writers: Melville, Cooper, and Hawthorne.
  2. The Movement into Realism.
    1. The influence of Mark Twain.
    2. The importance of William Dean Howells.
  3. The Naturalists and the Movement into the 20th Century
    1. The accomplishments of Steven Crane.
    2. Dreiser's successes and controversies.
    3. The novel before World War I.
  4. The Great Period of American Fiction: 1920-1940
    1. The influence of World War I.
    2. The novels and roles of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Faulkner.
    3. John Steinbeck and the great American Novel.
Department Guidelines
The class will be based on lecture/discussion. Some credit will be given for class participation. The formal grades will be based on two to four essay exams and at least two outside papers.