British Literature

Half Year Course – Spring; 90 minutes

The novels listed below will be explored not only for their literary qualities but also for their focus on
consequences of action. Each of the characters in these stories make choices, like people do every day,
and we see that they WILL be held accountable. This is a fifteen week course and will be broken down
into five three-week segments. The three-week segments will follow the clear pattern of (1)Invention;
gathering our thoughts about a particular novel, (2)Arrangement; deciding how to best organize our
ideas, and (3)Elocution; expressing our thoughts clearly through essay and presentation. Computer access
is strongly recommended for this course.

The first two novels will be required to be read over Christmas break, but after that, each novel will be
given three weeks to complete. Every three weeks the students will turn in a five paragraph essay
reflecting on theme, character, setting, plot, or literary devices as they are presented in the novel. We will
explore heroism/adventure, satire, survival and self-reliance, social classes and prejudices as well as hope
and self-sacrifice. There will be a simple rubric to accompany each assignment. The goal of the course is
to grow as thinkers and writers as we explore not only the character of the major roles in the novels, but
also the character of ourselves as we reflect upon them. How do they touch our hearts and expand our
minds? This is what great literature is all about.

Prerequisite(s): N/A


  • Beowulf (Dover Edition)
  • Selected Canturbury Tales (Dover Edition)
  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • A Tale of Two Cities

Additional Fee:

  • $10 fee for content handouts and in-class materials

Instructor: Joanne Van Wie

Revised: 28 November 2023