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ENG 3230 CCE

Course Credit by Examination
ENG 3230—American Literature, 1918–Present

Three Semester Hours

SS 10/12


University Requisite: ENG 2010 or 2020 or 250 or two courses above ENG 200/2000

Course Description

Authors, works, and genres of American literature from the 20th century to the present. 

Textbook and Supplies

  • Abbey, Edward. Desert Solitaire. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1988. [ISBN: 9780816510573]
  • Anderson, Sherwood, and Glen A. Love. Winesburg, Ohio. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. [ISBN: 9780199540723]
  • Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1995. [ISBN: 9780684801223]
  • Ramazani, Jahan, Richard Ellman, and Robert O’Clair. The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry. 3rd ed. New York: Norton, 2003. [ISBN: 9780393979787]
  • Robinson, Marilynne. Housekeeping. [1st Picador ed. New York: Picador, 20041980. [ISBN: 9780312424091]
  • Steinbeck, John and Robert J. DeMott. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin Books, 20061939. [ISBN: 9780143039433]
  • West, Nathanael. The Day of the Locust. New York: Library of America, 1997. [ISBN: 9781883011284]
  • Williams, Terry Tempest. Refuge. New York: Vintage Books, 1992. [ISBN: 9780679740247]

In addition, every college student should have access to a quality, hardbound dictionary. 

Note: You may use any available edition of the texts, except for the Norton anthology, which must be the edition listed.

Reading Assignments


  • Winesburg, Ohio (Sherwood Anderson) 
  • The Day of the Locust (Nathanael West) 
  • The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) 
  • The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
  • Desert Solitaire (Edward Abbey) 
  • Housekeeping (Marilynne Robinson) 
  • Refuge (Terry Tempest Williams)

From The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry

  • Selections from Spoon River Anthology (in vol. 1) (Edgar Lee Masters)
  • The Wasteland (in vol. 1) (T.S. Eliot)
  • “The Fish” (in vol. 2) (Elizabeth Bishop)
  • “The Purse-Seine” (in vol. 1) (Robinson Jeffers)
  • “Hurt Hawks” (in vol. 1) (Robinson Jeffers)
  • “Shine, Perishing Republic” (in vol. 1) (Robinson Jeffers)
  • “Carmel Point” (in vol. 1) (Robinson Jeffers)
  • “The Road Not Taken” (in vol. 1) (Robert Frost)
  • “Two Tramps in Mudtime” (in vol. 1) (Robert Frost)
  • “Long Time Ago” (in vol. 2) (Leslie Marmon Silko)

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 relevance and significance of that extract to the overall story.

I ain’t saying I’m like Jesus . . . But I got tired like Him, an’ I got mixed up like Him, an’ I went into the wilderness like Him, without no campin’ stuff. Nighttime I’d lay on my back an’ look up at the stars; morning I’d set an’ watch the sun come up; midday I’d look down from a hill at the rollin’ dry country; evenin’ I’d foller the sun down. Sometimes I’d pray like I always done. On’y I couldn’ figure what I was prayin’ for. There was the hills, an’ there was me, an’ we wasn’t separate no more. We was one thing. An’ that one thing was holy.

Sample question two:

Write a fully developed three-part essay (with an introduction, body, and conclusion) drawing upon two of the novels that you read in this course, comparing and contrasting how they represent the theme of broken dreams, failed ambitions, and unrealized opportunities. Be thorough in your response and deal with all parts of the question.