English R1A

Reading and Composition: Metamorphosis and Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
9 Spring 2007 Erin E. Edwards
TTh 3:30-5 2062 Valley LSB

Other Readings and Media

"Faulkner, W.: As I Lay Dying

Hacker, D.: Rules for Writers

Kafka, F.: The Metamorphosis

Kuper, P.: The Metamorphosis

Sexton, A.: Transformations

Stevenson, R. L.: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Woolf, V.: Orlando

Course reader, including selections from Ovid, Angela Carter, Sigmund Freud, and the Grimm Brothers"


"This course examines why metamorphosis has been such an enduring motif in literature and how its meanings change over time. Starting with classical myths and working through more modern fairy tales, poems, novels, and psychological case studies, we will ask what metamorphosis implies about voluntarism and the unconscious; nature, animality, and the demands of socialization; and the possibilities and limits of subjectivity. In each text, we will pay close attention to the kinds of language and narrative techniques used to express changes in form. We will also examine generic transformations, considering, for example, how Anne Sexton's poems revise the tales of Grimm, and how Hollywood films transform the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The theme of metamorphosis informs the primary goals of the course: becoming more critical readers and more effective writers. In class discussions, response papers, and short essays, we will focus on developing critical arguments from initial observations or questions about the texts, and we will practice revision strategies that transform essays from their first incarnations. "

Back to Semester List