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ENG 2010 CCE

Course Credit by Examination
ENG 2010—Critical Analysis of Fiction and Non-Fiction Prose

Three Semester Hours

SS 10/12


University Requisite: ENG 1510 (formerly ENG 151)

Course Description

Introduces students to the different forms of fiction and non-fiction prose (novels, short stories, essays, life-writing) as they have developed and changed over time. Students will acquire and deploy a critical vocabulary in learning to read and analyze these texts. 

Textbooks and Supplies

  • Bausch, Richard and R. V. Cassill, eds. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. 7th ed. New York: Norton, 2006. [ISBN: 9780393926125]
  • Barry, Peter. Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. 3rd ed. New York: Manchester UP, 2009. [ISBN: 9780719079276]
  • Conrad, Joseph. The Secret Sharer and Other Stories (Dover Thrift Editions). New York: Dover, 1993. [ISBN: 9780486275468]
  • Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. New York: Vintage, 1995. [ISBN: 9780679732761]
  • Gogol, Nikolai. Diary of a Madman and Other Stories. New York: Dover, 2006. [ISBN: 9780486452357]
  • Viramontes, Helena Maria. Under the Feet of Jesus. New York: Plume, 1996. [ISBN: 9780452273870]

Reading Assignments

The readings include chapters from the Barry text and fictional works in which you can apply the concepts that Barry describes. The fiction will consist of short stories from the Norton anthology and four novels: Gogol’s Diary of a Madman, Viramontes’ Under the Feet of Jesus, Ellison’s Invisible Man, and Conrad’s The Secret Sharer. 

From the Barry text, you will be responsible for the Introduction and Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 12, as well as Appendix I: The Oval Portrait, Edgar Allan Poe. 

In the Norton text, you will read the following:

  • Sonny’s Blues, James Baldwin
  • Gorilla, My Love, Toni Cade Bambara
  • Snow, Ann Beattie
  • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce
  • Cathedral, Raymond Carver
  • Paul’s Case, Willa Cather
  • The Enormous Radio, John Cheever
  • The Lady with the Dog, Anton Chekhov 
  • The Story of an Hour, Kate Chopin
  • A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner
  • Babylon Revisited, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Hills Like White Elephants, Ernest Hemingway
  • The Dead, James Joyce
  • A Hunger Artist, Franz Kafka
  • Girl, Jamaica Kincaid 
  • Bartleby, the Scrivener, Herman Melville
  • The Management of Grief, Bharati Mukherjee
  • The Things they Carried, Tim O’Brien
  • A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O’Connor
  • The Yellow Wall-paper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman 
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, James Thurber 
  • A & P, John Updike 
  • Everyday Use, Alice Walker 
  • The Use of Force, William Carlos Williams
  • The Man Who Was Almost a Man, Richard Wright 

As well as two other stories of your choice. 

Nature of the Examination

The following are meant as a guide only, to give you some sense of the type of questions to expect on the exam. Besides questions such as these, you will also be expected to define important theoretical concepts and to match major literary theorists with the statement that best describes them. 

Sample question one:

For the following passage, identify the title of the story, the author, and the significance of that extract to the overall story. Then analyze the passage through two theoretical approaches of your choice.

[…] and after awhile I saw the girl put a Scotch and milk on top of the piano for Sonny. He didn’t seem to notice it, but just before they started playing again, he sipped from it and looked toward me, and nodded. Then he put it back on top of the piano. For me, then, as they began to play again, it glowed and shook above my brother’s head like the very cup of trembling. 

Sample question two:

Identify the type of narration (first-person participant, third-person omniscient, etc.) in Ann Beattie’s Snow, Anton Chekhov’s The Lady with the Dog, Herman Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener and James Thurber’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Then, with two of these stories, detail how they would be different if they employed each other’s narrative type. 

Sample question three:

From Invisible Man, select the passages that you feel best illustrate the theories of narratology, psychoanalysis and one other theory of your choice. Quote (or paraphrase) each of the three passages and explain why you chose it, where it fits into the context of the narrative, and how the passage relates to that particular theory and vice versa.