ENG 230:  Literary Analysis                                 FALL 2018

 Instructor:  Jake Jakaitis

Meeting Time:  9:30–10:45 Tu Th

Office:  RO A-209

Classroom: Root Hall A-110

Office Hours:  2–3 Tu & Th, & by appointment

E-mail Address: jake.jakaitis@indstate.edu

Office Telephone:  812-237-3269

Home Page: http://isu.indstate.edu/jakaitis


ENG 230: Literary Analysis introduces English majors to close reading skills and critical and theoretical approaches to fiction, poetry, and drama.


Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. 1899. 2nd edition. Ed. Nancy A. Walker. Bedford/St. Martin', 2000. ISBN 978–-0-312–19575–5
Harmon, William. A Handbook to Literature. 12th edition. Longman, 2012. ISBN 978–0–205–02401–8
Mays, Kelly J. Ed. The Norton Introduction to Literature. Shorter 12th edition. Norton, 2017. ISBN 978–0–393–62357–4


  • To prepare English and English teaching majors and English minors for further literarty study and analysis by developing reading, listening, thinking, speaking, and writing skills.
  • To teach technical skills and methods of reading fiction, poetry, and drama closely and critically in order to interpret and understand the meaning of literary texts.
  • To familiarize majors and minors with literary genres, forms, traditions, contexts, techniques, and terms. 
  • To introduce a variety of critical approaches to literature, such as formalism, New Criticism, psychoanalytic criticism, reader-response criticism, feminist/gender criticism, and New Historicism.


While we often will be reading only a single short work and brief definitionsof literary terms and critical perspectives for a single class meeting, the reading and class preparation load for Literary Analysis will be rather intense at times, especially when we are reading Kate Chopin's novel. You will be expected to read carefully, take notes, and come to class prepared to take an objective test or to write short answer and essay responses to quiz questions about the assigned work.  The quizzes will sustain the expectation that you have carefully read and thought about the assigned readings and that you are prepared to participate in meaningful discussion and interpretive analysis of the assigned literary works.  Familiarity with the literature will, of course, prepare you for interpretive analysis and discussion in quizzes and in assigned papers. 

1.  Attendance and Participation (20%)

 Attendance (10%):  Full attendance is expected.  Because we will open some class sessions with a quiz, punctuality is crucial to your success.  If you arrive late, it will be impossible to give you additional time to complete the assignment and since the class discussion following each quiz will rely on students’ responses to the quizzes, completing the work after class is not an acceptable option.  If you accumulate 6 unexcused absences, you will fail this course.  Of course, all absences, excused or unexcused, affect your grade because each absence reduces your quiz and participation score.  If you have an excused absence for medical or other University approved reasons, it is your responsibility to make up missed work by appointment with me before the next class meeting. If you attend every class meeting, you will recieve 100/100 points. I will deduct 5 points for each of the first two unexcused absences and 8 points for each additonal unexcused absence.

Participation (10%):  Much of our time will be spent discussing the assigned readings.  Exemplary performance in these activities will demonstrate that you are effectively preparing and thinking about the material and will significantly increase your attendance/participation score.  After each class meeting, I will assign participation points to students who actively comment on the readings and promote meaningful discussion related to the specified goals of the course. At semester's end, students will receive a letter grade for participation based on my estimation of their cumulative performance. It is in your best interest to take notes and come to class prepared to ask questions or provoke discussion.  These practices will also prepare you to perform well on the short essays and examinations.  Conferences are not required but are encouraged. If you wish to meet with me but cannot attend my office hours, please arrange a conference with me at a more convenient time.  A semester goes by rather quickly; please see me immediately if you begin having difficulty with any of the course materials. You will receive a score out of 5 available points for each class meeting. Regular, meaningful participations will earn you a 5/5; attending but not participating will earn you a 3.5/5 (C-); absent students will receive a 2/5. Your total participation score will determine how many points out of the available 100 you will earn for the course. For example, if you earn 90% of the available participation points, your final participation score will be 90% of 100 or 90 points, which equals an A-.

Professional Courtesy:  You will be expected to behave professionally in this college classroom.  Turn off cell phones before entering the room.  From the moment that you enter the classroom, you should be focused on the materials and assignments in this course.  Reading of newspapers or other material not directly related to work in ENG 230 will not be allowed in the classroom--neither before class has started, nor during our formal class session.   If you are interested in reading newspapers or other materials unrelated to this course as you wait for class to begin, do so outside the classroom. Students who behave rudely, or who have to be asked to put down newspapers or other reading materials will lose participation points.  Under extreme circumstances, such students will be removed from the classroom or dropped from this course.  Laptops may be used for note taking and for review of course materials posted in our on-line syllabus, or for searches during class to support our discussions.  However, this privilege will be revoked for anyone using a laptop for any purpose not directly related to the ongoing class discussion.  The ISU “Code of Conduct” can be found at http://www.indstate.edu/sjp/code.html.

2.   Quizzes (30%)
Class meetings will sometimes open with a quiz.  Some quizzes will ask you to provide brief, factual responses to a series of questions about the assigned readings. More substantive quizzes will require short essay responses that analyze and interpret assigned readings.  These responses must begin with topic sentences that directly answer the question and then supply specific story details to support the topic.  [See the "How to Respond Effectively to Quiz Questions" link below.]  Simply quickly reading the assigned stories will not prepare you to score well on these quizzes.  Instead, you must actively consider literary techniques, plot structures and conflicts, thematic concerns, or the relation of the assigned reading to material presented in lectures and discussions of previously assigned works.  How to Respond Effectively to Quiz Questions

3.  Explication of a Short Story (25%)
You will write an explication of a short story not assigned or discussed in the course. For this assignment, you will choose from a short list of stories appearing in The Norton Introduction to Literature.The essay will be four double-spaced typewritten pages (approximately 1,200 to 1,300 words). Set all four of the page margins to 1 inch. Your interpretive analysis will conform to MLA documentation style when you present and discuss quotations as supporting evidence. Plagiarism—the intentional presentation of work that is not your own—will result in failure on the assignment. In more severe cases of plagiarism, the result will be failure in the course and notice of the offense being sent to Student Judicial Programs. The essay will be submitted by e-mail attachment and will be returned in the same manner. Due dates and more specific instructions for documentation procedures and essay submission will appear in each assignment. 

4.  Poetry Explication (20%)
You will write an explication of a poem, choosing from a short list of poems that we have not discussed in class. As in the explication of a short story assignment, the poems will appear in The Norton Introduction to Literature. The essay will be three to four double-spaced typewritten pages (approximatel 900 to 1,300 words). Set all four of the page margins to 1 inch. You will again conform to MLA documentation procedures.Plagiarism—the intentional presentation of work that is not your own—will result in failure on the assignment. In more severe cases of plagiarism, the result will be failure in the course and notice of the offense being sent to Student Judicial Programs.

5. Oral Presentation (5%)

On December 11 @ 10 a.m. (at our final examination period), you will give a two–three minute oral presentation on the poem thatyou chose for your poetry explication. Detailed instructions will be provided in an assignment sheet.


Attendance (10%)
100 Points
Participation (10%)
100 Points
Quizzes (30%)
300 Points
Short Story Explication (25%)
250 Points
Poetry Explication (20%)
200 Points
Oral Presentation (5%)
50 Points
1,000 Points

Final Grade Scale:  A = 920 points; A- = 900; B+ = 850; B = 820; B- = 800; C+ = 750; C = 720; C- = 700; D+ = 650; D = 620; D = 600; F = less than 600 points.  The same percentage scale applies to each assignment.  For example, if you earn a B on the first short essay, I will assign you somewhere between 82% and 84% of the available points depending on my evaluation of your paper.  The letter grade and specific point score will be noted in my final comments on the paper.
**** Retain all graded assignments until you receive your final grade.  You will have little chance for grade review unless you are able to re-submit your graded work.

Scoring Charts:   10 Point Chart   20 Point Chart

Additional Information:  For information about the Foundational Studies Program—specifically the “Sycamore Standard,” academic freedom, and the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities—consult the Foundational Studies Program website:

ENG 230:  LITERARY ANALYSIS                                   READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS

This is a tentative syllabus.  It is your responsibility to attend regularly, to be prepared for quizzes on the readings, and to adjust to changes in the reading or assignment schedule.  Any changes will be posted in the on-line syllabus.  Please check the web site regularly, as additional supporting materials may be added to the site.



WEEK ONE:  Course Introduction  

8-21 [Tu]       Course Introduction: literary genres, literary studies. Read 1–9 of Norton.

8-23 [Th]       Norton: "Fiction": 12–15; 29–31; "Cathedral" by Raymond Carver: 32–42; "Plot": 85–92.
                      Handbook: Fiction, Short Story, Action, Plot, Dramatic Structure, Conflict, Freytag’s Pyramid, Exposition,
                      Complication, Exciting Force, Inciting Moment, Rising Action, Crisis, Climax, Falling Action, Denouement,
                      Resolution, Unities, Unity, Flashback, Foreshadowing, Suspense.

WEEK TWO:  Narration, Point of View, & Character

8-27 [M]       Last Day to Add/Drop with No Grade

8-28 [Tu]      Norton: "Narration and Point of View": 174–78; "The Cask of Amontillado" by Poe: 178–84;  
                     "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri: 446-461.
                     Handbook: Point of View, Omniscient Point of View, Panoramic Method, Scenic Method, Self-effacing Author,
                     Persona, Narrator, Naïve Narrator, Unreliable Narrator, Intrusive Narrator, Unintrusive Narrator,
                     Stream of Consciousness,Irony, Mood, Tone. 

                       Sun Temple

8-30  [Th]     Norton: “Character”: 218–25; “Barn Burning” by Faulkner: 225–38 SQ; “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
                     by O'Connor: 470–81. SQ
                     Handbook: Characterization, Protagonist, Hero, Antagonist, Antihero, Villain, Round Character, Dynamic
                     Character, Flat Character,Type, Stock Characters, Static Character, Motivation.


WEEK THREE:  Setting and Symbol

9-4 [Tu]         Norton: "Setting": 284–90; "A Pair of Tickets" by Amy Tan: 302–316; "The Gernsbach Continuum "
                     by William Gibson: 31–-327. SQ Tan   SQ Gibson   Streamline Moderne
                      Handbook: Description, Setting, Atmosphere, Locale, Regionalism, Modern, Effect.                      
9-6 [Th]         Norton: “Symbol and Figurative Language”: 334–39; “The Birth-Mark”: 339–51; “A Very Old Man
                      with Enormous Wings”: 405–10.   SQ Hawthorne   SQ Marquez
                      Handbook: Symbol, Figurative Language, Figures of Speech, Metaphor, Tenor and Vehicle, Simile, Allegory,
                     Archetype, Myth, Fantasy, Fantastic, Magic Realism, Fable, Allusion .                      



9-11 [Tu]        Norton: "Theme": 383–87; "Initiation Stories": 145; "The Lesson": 145–61; "Araby": 168–173;
                       "Hills Like White Elephants": 634–38.
                        Handbook: Theme, Epiphany.
9-13 [Th]       Norton: "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane: 387–404; Handbook: Naturalism.


WEEK FIVE: Chopin in Context

9-18  [Tu]       In The Awakening: "Contextual Documents": 140–165; Chs. I–X: 22–52.                                     

9-20 [Th]       In The Awakening: Chs. XI–XXIII: 53–93.

WEEK SIX:  Biography/Feminism

9-25  [Tu]       In The Awakening: Chs. XXIV–XXXIX: 93–139;"Biographical and Historical Contexts: 3–21.

9-27  [Th]       "Feminist Criticism and The Awakening": 186–194; Handbook: Feminist Criticism; Queer Theory.
                       "Tradition and the Female Talent: The Awakening as a Solitary Book": 202–222.

WEEK SEVEN:  Gender Criticism

10-2  [Tu]       "Gender Criticism and The Awakening": 223–233; "The Metaphorical Lesbian": 237–256.
                        INTERIM GRADES DUE

10-4   [Th]       Norton: "A Jury of Her Peers": 537–552; "The Yellow Wallpaper": 526–537.


WEEK EIGHT:  Reader Response/New Historicism

10-9   [Tu ]      "Reader Response Criticism and The Awakening": 337–347;
                        "The Construction of Ambiguity in The Awakening": 352–373.

10-11 [Th]      "The New Historicism and The Awakening": 257–268.
                       "Personal Property: Exchange Value and the Female Self in The Awakening": 274–290.

WEEK NINE: Deconstruction

10-16 [Tu]     "Deconstruction and The Awakening": 291–306.
                      "'A Language Which Nobody Understood': Emancipatory Strategies in The Awakening": 311–336.

10-18 [Th]     "Combining Perspectives on The Awakening": 374–76.
                      "Unutterable Longing: The Discourse of Feminine Sexuality in Kate Chopin's The Awakening": 376–395.

WEEK TEN: Poetry

10-23 [Tu]      POETRY

10-25 [Th]      POETRY
                      ASSIGN PAPER #2: EXPLICATION OF A POEM


10-30  [Tu]       POETRY

11-1    [Th]       POETRY



11-6     [Tu]     POETRY

11-8     [Th]     POETRY


11-13    [Tu]     Norton: "Drama: Reading, Responding, Writing": 1152–55; "Elements of Drama": 1178–87.
                        Handbook: Drama, Dramatic Conventions, Dramatic Personae, Comedy, Tragedy.
                        Norton: "Exploring Shakespeare's Work": 1288-94.

 11-15    [Th]  Norton: A Midsummer Night's Dream: Acts I & II: 1294–1314.




WEEK FIFTEEN:  Shakespearean Comedy

11-27 [Tu]     Norton: A Midsummer Night's Dream: Act III: 1315–32.

11-29 [Th]     Norton: A Midsummer Night's Dream: Acts IV & V: 1332–49.


STUDY WEEK:  Tennessee Wiliams

12-4 [Tu]       Norton: A Streetcar Named Desire: Scenes 1–5: 1817–1853.

12-6 [Th]       Norton: A Streetcar Named Desire: Scenes 6-11: 1853-1883.



[Our examination is on Tuesday, December 11 @ 10:00 in Root Hall A-110.]