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ENG 3220 CCE

Course Credit by Examination
ENG 3220—American Literature, 1865–1918

Three Semester Hours

AW 1/13


University Requisite: ENG 2010 or 2020 or 250 or 2 courses above ENG 200

Course Description

Authors, works, and genres of American literature from the end of the Civil War to the end of World War I.

Textbook and Supplies

You may use any editions of the novels. Although The American Tradition in Literature contains all the other selections you must read, you can easily find the short stories, play, and poems elsewhere. However, if you do decide to use The American Tradition in Literature, note that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is contained therein. 

  • Twain, Mark, and R. Kent Rasmussen. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Penguin Classics, 2014. [ISBN: 9780143107323]
  • James, Henry. The American. New York: Signet Classics, 2005.[ISBN: 9780451529664]
  • William Dean, Howell. The Rise of Silas Lapham. Signet Classics, 1963.[ISBN: 9780451524966]
  • Wharton, Edith. The House of Mirth. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover, 2002.[ISBN: 9780486420493]
  • Perkins, George B., and Barbara Perkins. The American Tradition in Literature. 12th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2009. [ISBN: 9780077239053]

Reading Assignments

The examination will cover the following novels: 

  1. Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 
  2. Henry James, The American 
  3. William Dean Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham 
  4. Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth 

You are also responsible for the following selections from The American Tradition in Literature (although they are readily available elsewhere): 

  • Ambrose Bierce, “Chickamauga” 
  • Charles W. Chesnutt, “The Passing of Grandison” 
  • Stephen Crane, “Maggie: A Girl of the Streets” 
  • Hamlin Garland, “Under the Lion’s Paw” 
  • Sarah Orne Jewett, “A White Heron” 
  • Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour” 
  • Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” 
  • “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” 

Emily Dickinson’s poems (they may be numbered in your edition): 

  • 258: There’s a certain Slant of light 
  • 303: The Soul selects her own Society— 
  • 465: I heard a Fly buzz—when I died— 
  • 657: I dwell in Possibility— 
  • 712: Because I could not stop for Death 
  • 1052: I never saw a Moor— 
  • 1129: Tell all the Truth but tell it slant— 
  • 1263: There is no Frigate like a Book 
  • 1624: Apparently with no surprise 
  • 1732: My life closed twice before its close— 
  • Susan Glaspell’s play, Trifles 

Robert Frost’s poems:

“Mending Wall,” “The Death of the Hired Man,” “Home Burial,” “After Apple-Picking,” and “The Road Not Taken” 

T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” 

It is advisable that you consult a guide to literary terms, such as William Harmon and Hugh Holman’s A Handbook to Literature. You will want be familiar with such terms as setting and irony, for example. 

Although this may not be necessary to note, Monarch or Cliff Notes on the materials for this course, although possibly helpful as a supplement, will in no way be enough for you to pass this examination. In addition, if you pass up the opportunity to read these marvelous works, you are short-changing yourself in so many ways. The questions on the exam have been defined to avoid outline-type knowledge and to call on firsthand reading knowledge.

Nature of the Examination

The examination will ask you to write four concise essays, each no more than three or four good- sized paragraphs. Quality of response, not quantity, will be the important factor. Some questions may ask a question that will allow you some choice, and the essays will ask you to consider the works by themselves, and in certain cases to compare them with others. 

You will need specific knowledge about the individual readings and should be able to arrive at generalizations based on that knowledge. Subjects that might reasonably appear include themes and aims of works, techniques, and characterization. For whatever you write, you will be evaluated on how well you make a case for whatever you believe and how well you can present (with evidence from the text) an organized, coherent essay. 

One note of caution: It is essential that you read the exam all the way through before beginning and pay careful attention to the instructor’s wording. Answer every part of the question asked. 

You will be allowed three hours for the examination. All materials you will need will be provided; you are not permitted to use books, notes, or supplementary aids.