English 24

Freshman Seminar: Mark Twain's Boys

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Spring 2014 Hutson, Richard
W 12-1 205 Wheeler

Book List

Twain, Mark: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Twain, Mark: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Twain, Mark: The Prince and the Pauper


Mark Twain became immensely popular with his stories about boys like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, as well as his prince and pauper.  In the post-Civil War era, 1865-1910, writers like Horatio Alger, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, and others (even Henry James) wrote popular stories about boys and girls, an era in which childhood had become a problem and a test for the nation at large.  What is going on in a nation, undergoing immense change in the rise of industrialism, immigration, urbanization, strife, that it should focus on children and teenagers to carry the burden of the national culture?  We will look at three books of Mark Twain to see if we can understand the interest in children as the heroes of popular culture. Requirements are: regular class attendance, keeping up with the reading schedule, willingness to discuss the readings, and a short written paper due at the end of the semester.

This 1-unit course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required to complete the English major.

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