ENGL 320:  Introduction to the Short Story
Spring 1999
Lyman Baker, Instructor
Course Schedule:
Readings, Writing Assignments, and Exams
Part 2:  Week 5 through the Mid-Term Exam)

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1 Feb (M):  (1) Revision of Writing Assignment on "Story of an Hour" due at the beginning of class.  Have read for discussion (2) Kate Chopin's "How I Stumbled upon Maupassant" (pp. 1448-49), (3) the Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace" (pp. 976-82), (4) the latter's remarks on "The Writer's Goal" (pp. 1504-05).  Be sure to read the headnotes to all of these selections.

3 Feb (W):  (1) Use the glossary entry on "Classifying Plots in Terms of Character Development" to review what we said in class about the distinction between dynamic and static characterization.  (2) Have read for discussion Kate Chopin's "Désirée's Baby" (pp. 329-333).  (3) Review the headnote on Chopin (p. 328).

5 Feb (F):  (1) Read the headnote on Katherine Anne Porter (p. 1155) and (2) her story "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" (pp 1156-1162), in light of (3) the Study Guide.  While you're at it, (4) acquaint yourself with "First-Person Narration and First-Person Narrators".  (Keep in mind that Porter's story is written from an different point of view -- "limited omniscient" narration -- but notice making Granny's consciousness of things our only window onto events raises some of the same issues that we confront in first-person narration.) Finally, (5) have a look at the following entries in the glossary at the back of our text:  "central intelligence" (p. 1724), "flat character" (p. 1727), "round character" (p. 1730), and "limited omniscience" (p. 1728).

8 Feb (M):  Showing in class of Randa Haines and Corinne Jacker's film version of The Jilting of Granny Weatherall.  In preparation for this, have read (1) Corinne Jacker's "On Writing the Screenplay for Katherine Anne Porter's 'The Jilting of Granny Weatherall,'" (pp. 1660-63) and (2) the final scene from Jacker's screenplay (pp. 1663-66).  Finally, today you should begin reading Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilych" (which begins on p. 1279).  (3) Start with the headnote on Tolstoy (p. 1278).  (4) Then read Chapter I (pp. 1279-1284).  As you read the novel, put a mark (the letter "P," say) in the margin every time you encounter the phrase "pleasant and proper" or its synonyms ("pleasure and propriety" or, in the adjective mode, "agreeable and decorous").

10 Feb (W):  The (optional) Writing Assignment on Porter's story is due at the beginning of class.  (1) Have read for discussion Carolyn G. Heilbrun's critical discussion of Porter's story (p. 1471-73).  (2) An important feature of our text is Appendix 2, a series of short essays on the elements of fiction.  For today, read the section on "Point of View" (pp. 1689-92).  (3) Continue with your reading of Tolstoy's novella, aiming to finish Chapter II (pp. 1285-90).  Remember to be taking notes in the margins.

12 Feb (F):  (1) Have a look at the headnote (p. 107) on Toni Cade Bambara.  (2) Come to class having read Bambara's "The Lesson" (pp. 108-13).  (3) Review the material in our web glossary on "First Person Narration" (see 5 Feb, above) and (4) the section in Appendix 2 of our text on "Point of View" (pp. 1689-92).  (5) Add to this the little section on "Style and Voice" (p. 1692). Then, as you re-read Bambara's story, ask your self:  To what degree is the protagonist a reliable guide to what's going on?  To what extent is she an unreliable narrator (cf. glossary entry, p. 1732)?  (6) Continue with your reading of Tolstoy's novella, finishing Chapters III and IV (pp. 1290-1300).  Don't forget to keep marginal notes.

15 Feb (M):  (1) Come to class having finished your reading (with marginal notes) of Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilych."  If you've been keeping up with the assignments for the previous week, this will mean completing Chapters V-XII (pp. 1300-19).  (2) Be sure to read through the Writing Assignment on Tolstoy's story, even if you don't plan to do it.  Ask yourself:  how did the story itself tell the reader that these questions should be pursued?  If you plan to submit a writing assignment on Tolstoy's novella, you should turn it in at the beginning of class today.

17 Feb (W): We will continue our discussion of "The Death of Ivan Ilych."  (1)  Have read for discussion, too, the material in Appendix 2 on "Plot" and "Character" (1683-88).  (2) Work through the material on our Character and Characterization.  Finally, begin your reading of Franz Kafka's novella "The Metamorphosis."  (3) Start with the headnote on Kafka (p. 787).  (4) Then work through Section I of the story (pp. 794-805).

19 Feb (F):  We will continue our discussion of "The Death of Ivan Ilych," and also review some of the other stories we have read so far in light of the critical concepts introduced up to now.  (1) Work through the discussion on our web glossary of Foil and Point of View.  As you do this, ask yourself which characters in Tolstoy's story function as foils to Ivan Ilych.  (2) Check out the last paragraph on p. 1695.  (3) For a lark, let's do Donald Barthelme's "At the Tolstoy Museum" (pp. 129-38).  Meanwhile, (4) continue your reading of Kafka's "Metamorphosis," completing Section II (pp. 805-16).

22 Feb (M):  (1) Take in the discussion, in Appendix 2, of "Symbolism and Allegory" (p. 1693).  Then (2) finish your reading of "The Metamorphosis" (i.e., Section III, pp. 816-27).  Finally, take in (3) John Updike's remarks on "Kafka and 'The Metamorphosis'" (pp. 1560-1561).

24 Feb (W):  In class we will continue our discussion of Kafka's "The Metamorphosis."  (1) Come to class having read the piece in Appendix 2 on "Theme" (pp. 1693-95), (2) Gustav Janouch on "Kafka's View of 'The Metamorphosis'" (pp. 1486-87), (3) Milan Kundera on "Kafka and Modern History" (pp. 1491-92), and (4) Jane Smiley's, "My Life as a Bug" (pp. 1550-52).

26 Feb (F):  Come to class having read (1) Kafka's "A Hunger Artist" (pp. 778-794) in the light of (2) the Study Guide

1 Mar (M):  We'll have more to say on "A Hunger Artist."  (1) The Writing Assignment on this story is due, from everybody, at the beginning of class.  (That is, this is the second of the writing assignments that is obligatory for everyone.)  (2) You will also want to review our glossary entry on "Foil and Point of View" (see 12 Feb).

3 Mar (W):  (1) Have read for discussion Philip Roth's "'I Always Wanted You to Admire My Fasting'; or Looking at Kafka" (pp. 1169-1182). (2) 

5 Mar (F):  Review for the coming Mid-Term.  Come to class having reviewed all the material we have studied so far about critical concepts.  This includes (1) Appendix 2, "The Elements of Fiction" (pp. 1683-1695), (2) the series of pages on the concept of psychological repression (1, 2, 3), and the pages on (3) characterization, (4) foil, (5) one way of classifying plots, (6) first-person narration, and (7) motif.  (You should already have these in hand from the assignments so far.)

8 Mar (M):  Mid-Term Examination.  A week before the exam I will post a fairly detailed prep sheet for the in-class portion of the exam.  Before that, it would be profitable for you to study carefully the Criteria for Evaluating Exams, and to ask any questions you may have about these.  Please note that the out-of-class essay component of the exam will be either an "analytical essay" or a "comparison-contrast essay" rather than an "explication."  You can find out the important differences between these two forms of exposition by looking at the discussion and illustrations given in Appendix 3 of our text, under the section "Types of Literary Papers" (pp. 1701-09).  There is also a discussion of the distinction between the first of these two in our web glossary page on Explication vs. Analysis.

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

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

    Go to Course Schedule 3, for assignments between the Mid-Term and Final Exam.

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

   Contents copyright © 1999 by Lyman A. Baker

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  This page last updated 29 March 1999.