《Introduction to English Literature》教学大纲
Chapter One Fiction
This chapter focuses on the main types, text features, and elements of Fiction. By reading and discussing the works of canonic British and American writers, learners are to command the necessary skills to appreciate and analyze different types of fiction through different approaches.
1.1 What is literature？
In this section, we are going to discuss the definition, significance and functions of “literature”.
In this section, we are going to read Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Through analyzing and discussing the work, learners are to understand the basic elements that constitute a plot and the significance of a plot.
In this section, we are going to read D. H. Lawrence’s “Tickets, Please”, Bharati Mukherjee’s “A Father” and Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path”, Sherwood Anderson’s “The Egg”, through analyzing and discussing these works, learners are to understand the meaning of theme, get to know the common thematic concerns in literature and ways to do theme analysis.
In this section, we are going to read Ernest Hemingway’s short story “In Another Country”. Through analyzing and discussing the work, learners are to understand the elements that constitute the style of an author, and have a taste of Hemingway’s unique writing style.
1.5 Narrators and Narrative Structure
In this section, we are going to introduce different types of narrator, narrative point of view and narrative structures. Through analyzing the narrator and point of view in Ernest Hemingway’s short story “In Another Country”, learners are to understand the function and significance of narrator and narrative point of view to the narrative structure and the text as a whole.
1.6 Character and Characterization
In this section, we are going to read Amy Tan’s “Half and Half” and Margaret Atwood’s “Rape Fantasies”. Through analyzing and discussing these works, learners are to know different types of characters, the methods of characterization, the significance of characters to a literary work and approaches to analyzing characters.
1.7 A Case Study of James Joyce's “The Dead”
This section is an overall case study of James Joyce’s “The Dead” in order to show learners how to analyze all the basic elements of a fiction.
Chapter Two Drama
This chapter focuses on some basic elements inside poems. The basic elements of poetry may consist of the voice, tone, diction, syntax, imagery, figure of speech, rhyme, rhythm, sound, theme, and so on. All elements combined to convey meanings and feelings of poetry.
2.1 Understanding Drama
This section is a brief introduction to the origin of the western drama, with a particular emphasis on tragedy and Aristotle’s Poetics.
2.2 The Merchant of Venice
Section one includes a brief introduction to comedy, the historical context of William Shakespeare’s plays and an analysis of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Section Two continues the discussion of characterization of Shylock with an emphasis on Shakespeare’s negative capability.
2.3 Midsummer Night's Dream
In Section one, the background and plots are introduced in order. In Section two, the themes of carnival, identity, sexuality and patriarchy are briefly analyzed.
2.4 The Father-daughter Relationship in King Lear
In Section one, the background and plot of the play are introduced.In Section two, the father-daughter relationship in the federal society is analyzed.
2.5 A Doll's House
Section One introduces the play and gives a brief character analysis on Nora Helmer. Section Two includes an analysis of Kristine Linde and Torvald Helmer.
2.6 The Theater of the Absurd, Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
In Section one, the definition, development and features of the “Theater of the Absurd” are introduced. In Section two, S. Beckett’s contribution to the “Theater of the Absurd” and the plots of Waiting for Godot are briefly analyzed. In Section three, the characterization and the themes of Absurdism and Freudianism are briefly analyzed.
2.7 Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren's Profession
In Section one, Bernard Shaw’s achievements in drama and the plots of Mrs. Warren’s Profession are introduced. In Section two, the themes of societal prostitution, new womanhood and the characterization are briefly analyzed.
2.8 Lala's Self-conflict in Alfred Uhry's The Last Night of Ballyhoo
In Section one, the playwright, the background and plot of the play are introduced.In Section two, Lala’s self-conflict in Alfred Uhry’s The Last Night of Ballyhoo is analyzed in detail.
2.9 Sam Shepard and The God of Hell
In Section one, the playwright Shepard and a brief introduction to the plot of The God of Hell are provided. In Section two, detailed analysis of metaphors in The God of Hell is given.
2.10 The Blues in August Wilson’s Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
In Section one, a brief introduction to August Wilson and the play are provided. In Section two, African American culture and the blues in August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom are analyzed in detail.
Chapter Three Poetry
This chapter focuses on the main types, text features, and elements of Poetry.
3.1 Understanding Poetry
This section briefly introduces the basic elements of poetry which may consist of the voice, tone, diction, syntax, imagery, figure of speech, rhyme, rhythm, sound, theme, and so on.
3.2 Voice in Poetry
This section mainly talks about voice in poetry, especially about the voice of the speaker whose tone in narrating the poem may be indicative of her attitude toward her subject matter, toward her audience, and even toward herself. Strategies for determining the tone in a poem are discussed and illustrated through concrete examples.
Through the analysis of William Blake’s “London”, this section explains the significance of the connotations of words as well as their denotations.
Through the analyses of Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” and William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow”, this section illustrates the significance of imagery in poetry and summarizes the features of imagism poetry.
This section figures out some symbols in English poetry and tries to identify their symbolic meanings.
“Syntax” in poetry means the word order and sentence structure arranged in the poem. A sophisticated poet can use formal or informal, balanced or fractured, serious or playful syntax to create their poems.
The theme of a poem is different from the storyline in a novel. Mostly the theme in a poem is more implicit and more abstract. To help comprehend and grasp the themes of poetry, this section makes a comparatively thorough introduction to the themes in Emily Dickinson’s poetry.
3.8 Sound and Rhythm in Poetry
This section investigates the acoustic dimensions of poetry, including sound and rhythm. Major sound patterns—such as alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia and rhyme—are discussed with examples drawn from famous English poems. Rhyme scheme and meter are also discussed with a view to identifying some of the most prominent formal features in the tradition of English poetry.
3.9 Tropes in Poetry (Metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche and irony)
This section is focused on the four most fundamental tropes in poetry, namely, metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche and irony. The purpose here is not only to show how those tropes have been used in poetry, but also to examine the cognitive capacities that poetry can gain from their employment for exploring truths about the world.
3.10 Poetry Reading
Key Points of Read poems aloud.