English R1A

Reading & Composition: Identity in Modern Fiction

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
9 Spring 2008 Gordon, Zachary
Zach Gordon
TTh 5-6:30 222 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim ; F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby ; Jean Toomer, Cane ; Virginia Woolf, Orlando ; Diana Hacker, Rules for Writers 5 th edition; Alfred Hitchcock, Vertigo ; Course reader


"This class will focus on developing critical reading and writing skills through the study of modern fiction. The main point of entry for our texts will be the complex issue of personal identity, which we will examine from several different angles over the course of the semester. In exploring this slippery concept our central questions will be: What does identity consist in for the characters of these texts? To what extent can they create themselves? To what extent do external forces constitute their identities? What brings about crises of identity and how are they resolved, if at all? To what extent is identity a function of race, class, gender, nation, and how do these categories compete and coexist within the same individual? In addition to our four primary texts and one film screening there will be course reader with selections from W.E.B. Du Bois, T.S. Eliot, Sigmund Freud, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

This is a writing intensive course and, as such, a significant portion of the class will be dedicated to developing your expository skills. Students will be required to complete a number of short essays and several revisions. "

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