ENGL 320:  The Short Story
Spring 2001
Lyman Baker, Instructor
Course Schedule:
Readings, Writing Assignments, and Exams
Part 3  (Mid-term to Final Exam)
Here are some important things to keep in mind in using the course schedule. Reminders of key times & dates: 

Week of 9-13 Oct (M-F):  Mid-term exam.

2 Mar (F):  (1) Review our editors' remarks on "What Is the Plot?" (pp. 18-19), "How Point of View Shapes a Story" (pp. 53-54), "How Character Creates Action" (pp. 90-91), and "How Time and Place Set a Story" (pp. 136-35).  (2) Read Amy Tan's story "A Pair of Tickets," making a special effort to bring to bear on it from the outset the various curiosities the editors are recommending in those sections.  (3) Re-read Tan's story in light of the editors' questions on p. 135.

5 Mar (M):  (1) Read our editors' remarks on the subject of tone and style137-141.  (2) Then work through Ernest Hemingway's story "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" (pp. 141-44).  (3)  Re-read the story in the light of the editors' questions (p. 145) and Hemingway's remarks (p. 172) on "the direct style."  (4) Sometime in your re-reading of this story, ask yourself where we find verbal irony at work.

7 Mar (W):  (1) Read William Faulkner's story "Barn Burning" (pp. 145-157).  (2) Stylistically this is a very challenging story, so it is something you will want to re-visit several times between now and the final exam.  The editors' questions (p. 158) are good ones to attend to after your first reading.  (Remember, they are using this story, and Hemingway's quite different one, to call attention to style and tone)  (3) Don't forget to bring to bear upon it, sometime during these re-readings, the agenda of curiosity outlined in the General Study Guide.  (That is:  don't forget that it's not just tone and style that deserve our attention here!)  (4) Sometime in your re-reading of this story, ask yourself where we find verbal irony at work.  (5) There is also a Study Guide focused specifically on this story.  Eventually you will want to consult it (especially if you are considering writing your Essay #2 on it).

9 Mar (F):  (1) Read our editors' discussion of different varieties of irony (p. 158-59).  (3) Then read Guy de Maupassant's story "The Necklace" (pp. 160-166).  (3) Before you re-read the story:  Which of our editors' first 3 questions on this story (p. 166) express curiosities about character?  Which draw our attention to matters of plot?  How do the last two questions relate to these interests, with which we are already familiar?

10 March (Saturday):  Live Lecture #2 is scheduled for today, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm, Central Standard Time. We'll focus on Hemingway's "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," so try to work in a fresh re-reading of this piece before tuning in. Again:  it's best to try to log in a few minutes in advance.  By now most of will have worked through the technical problems we may have experienced during the first Live Lecture.  The Tech Staff at DCE will as before be standing by, though, so if you have any troubles, do not hesitate to send an e-mail message to support@dce.ksu.edu with a copy to me (lyman@ksu.edu).  You can also contact the Help Desk by phone.  Call (785) 532-0198 or 1-800-865-6143.  If you ran into technical difficulties during our first LL, it might be a good idea, a day or so in advance of this one, to check to see whether the Tech Staff has updated its answers to Frequently Asked Questions.  If I've come across any new information, I will try to incorporate it in the tips on my own page on Live Lectures.

12 Mar (M):  (1) Read the article (in our on-line glossary of critical concepts) on dramatic irony(2) Read Jorge Luis Borges' story "The Gospel According to Mark" (pp. 167-171).  (3) Read the editors' parting remarks on the subjects of style and tone, "Be Style Conscious" (pp. 173-74)

14 Mar (W):  (1) Work through our editors' observations on the subject of "theme" (pp. 175-177).  (2) Read Stephen Crane's story "The Open Boat" (pp. 178-196).

16 Mar (F):  (1) Review the editors' questions on the stories by Hemingway, Faulkner, and Borges (pp. 145, 158, 171).  (2) Which elements in our General Study Guide might have given rise to the various questions our editors have posed here?

The week of 18 March through 25 March is Spring Break at Kansas State.  The assignment for this week will accordingly be quite brief, and primarily a matter of review.  In compensation for this assignment, moreover, you will have no assignment for Monday, 2 April.

(1) Re-visit the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Good Seed (both of which we read in the first week or so of the course).  (2) Work through our glossary article on the concept of allegory. How would the meaning of the one and of the other be quite different if we were to divorce them from their Biblical context (e.g., if we knew nothing of the particular explications the teller gives in the Gospel according to Mark), and to treat them as illustrative examples of something.  (What might such such situations be examples of?)  (3) Read the parable that the Prophet Nathan tells to King David.  What transformations has Nathan made in "translating" David's situation into the story he tells him?  What do you figure his motives might be for presenting this story instead of simply recounting to the King the literal facts of his situation?

26 Mar (M):  Read Nathaniel Hawthorne's story "The Minister's Black Veil."  This story is not in our anthology, but you can acquire a copy of it from any number of sites on the web (some of which are worth bookmarking, as they offer whole collections of literary works).  Here are some:   1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 (terrible choice of font and background color, though it will print OK) or 6 (only one entry of many for NH on this site) or 7.  (If after your initial reading of the story you're interested in taking a quiz over this story, you can find one here.)

28 Mar (W):  Work through the analysis of how the central symbol in "The Minister's Black Veil" takes on its meanings from the more comprehensive allegorical context in which it is embedded.

30 Mar (F):  (1) Read Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" (pp. 196-206 in our anthology).  (2) There is a Study Guide focused specifically on this story.  (3) Can you see what led the editors to formulate the questions they present on pp. 206-07?

31 March (Saturday):  Live Lecture #3 is scheduled for today, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm, Central Standard Time. We'll focus on the two stories by Hawthorne, so try to work in a fresh re-reading of these before tuning in. Again:  it's best to try to log in a few minutes in advance.  Tech Staff at DCE will as before be standing at support@dce.ksu.edu; if you send them a query, try to remember to send a copy to me (lyman@ksu.edu).  You can also contact the Help Desk by phone.  Call (785) 532-0198 or 1-800-865-6143.

2 Apr (M):  No assignment for today, as you are preparing your Essay #2.

4 Apr (W):  Deadline for submission of Essay #2 is midnight tonight (in the time zone of the address from which you have registered for the course).  The topic options and guidelines for this requirement are available here.  Submit your essay directly to me (no proctors) electronically, by one of the methods described here.

6 Apr (F):  (1) Read Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s story "Harrison Bergeron" (pp. 208--13).  (2) What assumptions were the editors working from if their reading of this story led them to be curious about the issues they raise in their quesitons on p. 213?)  (3) In the excerpt from an interview with Vonnegut that appears on PP. 214-15 we find no mention of the story "Harrison Bergeron.." But what connections clues do you find there to the authorial concerns that may have found expression in that story?  How, exactly, do they show up there?  (4) Work through our editors' parting words on the subject of theme (p. 215).

9 Apr (M):  (1) Work through our editors' introductory remarks on the topic of "symbols" (pp. 217-219).  (2) Then read John Steinbeck's story "The Chrysanthemums."  (pp. 219-227).  (3) In your re-reading of the story, do you find helpful the editor's specific questions on p. 228? (3) There's a sample student paper on this story on pp. 243-245.  Do you think there is more to say, or something that deserves rejoinder there?

11 Apr (W):  (1) Read Shirley Jackson's story "The Lottery" (pp. 229-235).  (2) The editors' questions (p. 235) are good ones.  How do #s 1-5 lay the ground for #6?  What are some emphasized details in the story that don't seem to be accounted for by any of the interpretations offered there?  What is it in the story that causes them to receive the emphasis you detect?

13 Apr (F):  (1) Read Ursula K. LeGuin's "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" (pp. 236-240).  (2) Reread it in light of the editors' questions on p. 240.  (3) In her remarks on this story (pp. 241-242), with whom does LeGuin seem more sympathetic -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky or William James?  What reasons can you detect for this preference?  Does knowing this influence our sense of what might be the theme of "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas"?  (4) There is a Study Guide focused specifically on this story.

23 Apr (M):  (1) Read James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" (pp. 272-273).  (2) What is the climax of this story if we take the protagonist to be Sonny?  (3) What is the multiple reference of the concept in the story's title?

25 Apr (W):  (1) Re-read Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues."  (2) What is the climax of this story if we take the protagonist to be the narrator?

27 Apr (F):  (1) Read Frank O'Connor's "First Confession" (pp. 619).  (1) What differences do you detect between the boy whose experience the narrator shows us and the man who is the narrator?  How is the tone of the narration a crucial clue to this difference?  (What is the boy's attitude towards what happens to him?  What is the narrator's attitude towards this?)  What do you figure accounts for this difference?  Does the kind of man the priest shows himself to be perhaps have a role in this, in the long run?  What is important about the priest's subtle use of verbal irony in speaking to the boy?

30 Apr (M):  (1) Read James Thurber's "The Catbird Seat" (pp. 632-638).  (2) Does this story depend for its effect on our appreciation of any plot ironies?

1 May (W):  The prep sheet for the Final Exam will be posted by noon (Central US Time).  No specific assignment.  Re-reading and participation in the discussions on the class Message Board are the order of the day.

4 May (F):  Once again, no specific assignment.  You should be re-reading stories and jumping into the discussions on the class Message Board.

5 May (Saturday):  11:00 am -- 12:30 am (Central US Time):  Live Lecture #4.  In this session I will be addressing questions from those present regarding issues raised by the prep sheet for the Final Exam.

7, 8, 9 May (M, Tu, W):  The Final Examination will cover only the works assigned since the Mid-Term, but, you will be expected to show a mastery of critical concepts covered throughout the course.  As with the Mid-Term, there will be two parts to the Final Exam.  A detailed idea of what both parts will cover is provided in the prep sheet for the Final Exam, which you will find posted to the web by noon (Central US Time) on Wednesday of Dead Week (i.e., on 2 May).

Part Two of the Final Exam will (as was the case with the Mid-Term) be mailed to the KSU Division of Continuing Education by your proctor.  It must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, May 9.

    Return to the Course Home Page (English 320:  The Short Story).

    Return to Course Schedule 1, for earlier assignments covered by the Mid-Term Exam.

    Return to Course Schedule 2, for later assignments covered by the Mid-Term Exam.

  Suggestions are welcome.  Please send your comments to lyman@ksu.edu .

   Contents copyright © 2000 by Lyman A. Baker.

Permission is granted for non-commercial educational use; all other rights reserved.
  This page last updated ,( January /),(.