ENG 241: American Literature Survey II                                                                  Spring 2016

Instructor: Jake Jakaitis

Classroom: University Hall 207

Office:  Root Hall A209

Meeting Time:  Tu Th 11-12:15

Office Phone:  237-3269

Office Hours:  1-1:50, & 3:30-4:30 Tu Th and by appt.


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


ENG 241, a foundational survey of American literature from 1865 to the present, begins with post-civil war local color writers, and then covers realism and naturalism before moving on to modernism, the beat generation, and contemporary American literature.  The fiction, poetry, and drama of each period will be read and discussed, often with attention to historical and political contexts as well as to literary and aesthetic concerns.


          ISBN:  9780393934786

          ISBN:  9780393934793

          ISBN:  9780393934809


1.  Attendance and Participation (100 Points)

Attendance:  Full attendance is expected.  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 attendance 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, preferably before the next class meeting.  Of course, each unexcused absence will reduce your attendance score. Attendance will account for 50 of your total points.

Participation:  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 improve 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, I will assign you a letter grade for participation based on your accumulated point total. 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, exams, and the final examination.  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.  If you do intend to meet with me during one of my office hours, it is best to let me know that you are coming so that I can reserve the time for you. A semester goes by rather quickly; please see me immediately if you begin having difficulty with any of the course materials.  Participation will account for 50 of your total points.

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 this course 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 e-mail, instant messaging, or any purpose not directly related to the ongoing class discussion. 


2. Response Papers (200 Points)

You will write two 3-4 page [1,000-1,300 word], typed response papers on a topic of your choice.  Each essay will be typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins on all four sides of the page.  Use a standard Times New Roman or Cambria 12 font size.  Essays will be submitted by e-mail attachment and will be returned in the same manner.  Each essay will be worth 100 points. More detailed instructions for essay submissions, including an explanation of MLA documentation style and the course plagiarism policy, will appear in the essay assignments. Plagiarism: Presenting work that in whole or in part is the work of someone else is plagiarism. Whether the source of the plagiarism is professional writing or the work of another student, presenting work that is not your own will result in failure in the course.

3.  Hour Examinations (400 Points)

During weeks five and ten, you will write examinations including both short answer questions about concepts, terms, and assigned works discussed in class and an extended response to an essay question.  These examinations will cover the readings as well as the broad issues in American literature discussed in class. It is crucial that you attend the scheduled review class meeting for each examination. Each examination is worth 200 points.


4.  Final Examination (200 Points)

You will complete a final examination covering material assigned from week twelve through the end of the semester.  Like the mid-term, the final will include both short answer and essay components.  The final will be written during our final examination class meeting on Thursday, May 5, at 10:00 a.m. in University Hall 207.


The following point totals are tentative guidelines and are subject to change.  I reserve the right to alter assignments and percentage values as the semester progresses.  If changes become necessary, I will inform the class in advance and post all changes on our course website:



Response Papers


Exam #1


Exam #2


Final Exam




We will work on a 1,000–point system. In accord with the University's grading policy, including minus final grades, the following scale will be used: 828 points or higher = A; 810 = A-; 765 = B+; 738 = B; 720 = B-; 675 = C+; 648 = C; 630 = C-; 585 = D+; 558 = D; 540 = D-; fewer than 540 = F.

 ****Retain this policy statement and 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.

ENG 241: American Literature Survey II                                                   Spring 2016 Syllabus

This is a tentative schedule of readings and is subject to change as the semester continues. Please check the on-line syllabus and schedule of readings regularly, for I will frequently update with additional links and supporting information on texts and authors.  All reading assignments are in the Norton Anthologies unless otherwise indicated. The readings from weeks 1-4 are in the Norton Anthology Volume C, from weeks 5-9 in Norton Anthology Volume D, & from weeks 12-16 in Norton Anthology Volume E in the schedule of readings.


WEEK ONE:  Course Introduction

 1-12  [Tu]     Course Introduction
 1-14 [Th]      "Mark Twain" [118-121], "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" [121-125], & “Fennimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses” [325-334].

WEEK TWO: Realism

1-19 [Tu]       "Henry James" [417-420], "From The Art of Fiction" [908-910], & Daisy Miller [421-459]. SQ  James and Social Realism

1-21 [Th]       "Edith Wharton" [813-814], "The Other Two" [814-827], and “Roman Fever” [828-836]. Edith Wharton Society

WEEK THREE:  Realism

1-26 [Tu]       “Kate Chopin” [550-551] & The Awakening [561-652] The Kate Chopin International Society  Naturalism  More Notes on Naturalism


1-28 [Th]       "William Dean Howells" [374-375], "From Novel Writing and Novel -Reading: An Impersonal Explanation" [905-907], & "Editha" [376-385].

WEEK FOUR:  From Realism to Naturalism

2-2  [Tu]         "Theodore Dreiser" [927-29], "Theodore Dreiser: True Art Speaks Plainly" [916-917], & two chapters from Sister Carrie [929-943]. SQ

2-4  [Th]         "Frank Norris:  A Pleas for Romantic Fiction" [913-916], "Stephen Crane" [943-946], & Maggie: A Girl of the Streets [946-989].

Response paper #1 due, Friday, February 5, by 11:59 p.m.

WEEK FIVE:  Examination #1

2-9   [Tu]        “Sherwood Anderson” [263-264], Winesburg, Ohio [265-277]The Anderson Foundation


Stories in Assigned Order

2-11 [Th]                                           EXAM #1  Scoring Charts: 200 Point   65 Point  50 Point   20 Point     

WEEK SIX:  Early 20th Century Poetry

2-16 [Tu]       Poetry by Robert Frost: "Mending Wall" [252-53], "The Road Not Taken" [241-42], "Stopping by the Woods..." [245], & "Design" [246].

                      Poetry by Carl Sandburg: "Chicago," "Fog," "Cool Tombs," & "Grass" [278-281].

2-18  [Th]      Poetry by Wallace Stevens: "The Emperor of Ice Cream" [284-285], "Sunday Morning" [285-288], & "The Anecdote of the Jar" [288-289].

                      Poetry by William Carlos Williams: "The Young Housewife" & "Portrait of a Lady" [304], "The Red Wheelbarrow" [309], "This is Just to say" [310],

                      and "The Dance" [311]. View Breughel's painting The Wedding Dance before your read this poem. 

WEEK SEVEN: Modernism

2-23 [Tu]       Poetry by Ezra Pound: "To Whistler, America" [316], "A Pact" & "In a Station at the Metro" [318],"The River Merchant's Wife" [318-19].

                      T.S. Eliot: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" [368-371] & "The Hollow Men" [391-394]

                       Marianne Moore: "Poetry," "To a Snail," & "The Paper Nautilus" [359-362].

2-25 [Th]       "Ernest Hemingway" [824-826]& "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" [826-842] & F. Scott Fitzgerald" [658-659] & "Babylon Revisited" [675-689].

                      Hemingway Foundation    Hemingway Resource Center   F. Scott Fitzgerald Society

Response paper #2 due Wednesday, March 9, by 11:59 p.m.

WEEK EIGHT: Mid-Century American Drama

3-1   [Tu]        "Eugene O'Neill" [400-402] & A Long Day's Journey into Night I & II [402-440]. Teach for America

3-3   [Th]        "Eugene O'Neill":  A Long Day's Journey into Night III & IV [441-480].

WEEK NINE : Mid-Century Fiction and Poetry

3-8    [Tu]       "William Faulkner" [695-696], "A Rose for Emily" [794-800], & “Barn  Burning” [800-812].

3-10  [Th]      “Countee Cullen” [892-893] & Poems: “Yet I Do Marvel,” “Incident,” & “Uncle Jim” [893-897]; “Richard Wright” &

“The Man Who Was Almost a Man” [898-907].                  



WEEK ELEVEN:  Examination #2

3-22  [Tu]                              NO CLASS: STUDY DAY

3-24  [Th]                                          EXAM #2

WEEK TWELVE: The Beat Generation

3-29 [Tu]       "Allen Ginsburg" [490-491],Howl[492-499], “Footnote to Howl” [500], "A Supermarket in California" [500], & “Sunflower Sutra” [501-503].

                        Jack Kerouac    Walt Whitman: Song of Myself

3-31 [Th]       Poetry by Gary Snyder [596-97]: "Milton by Firelight" & "Riprap" [598-99] & "Beneath My Hand and Eye the Distant Hills Your Body" [600-01]

                       Amiri Baraka [669-670]: "An Agony. As Now" & "A Poem for Willie Best" [670-75] Snyder on Ecology  Baraka: The Way of Things & Dope

WEEK THIRTEEN:  Mid-Century Poets

4-5  [Tu]         Poetry by Robert Penn Warren [28-29]: "Bearded Oaks" [30] & "Mortal Limit" [36-37]. Reading "Love Recognized."

                       Theodore Roethke [37-38]: "My Papa's Waltz" [42],"The Waking", "Elegy for Jane," and "I knew a Woman" [47-49]. & "In a Dark Time" [50].

                       Elizabeth Bishop [71-72]: "The Fish" 73-74], "The Armadillo" & "Sestina" [81-83], & "One Art" [89-90].

4-7  [Th]         “Eudora Welty” & “Petrified Man” [50-60]. &“Grace Paley”& “A Conversation with My Father” and “Here” [386-390].

WEEK FOURTEEN:  Beyond Dramatic Realism

4-12 [Tu]       “Tennessee Williams” & A Streetcar Named Desire”  [90-155].

4-14 [Th]       "Ralph Ellison" & Chapter I of Invisible Man [206-224].

WEEK FIFTEEN: Identity and Race

4-19 [Tu]       “August Wilson” & Fences [927-974].

4-21 [Th]       "Toni Morrison” & "Recitatif” [608-622].


4-26 [Tu]       "Flannery O'Connor"[436-437] & "Good Country People" [445-458].

4-28 [Th]       "Raymond Carver" & "Cathedral" [736-746]. FINAL EXAMINATION PREPARATION

FINAL EXAM:  THURSDAY, MAY 5 @ 10:00 A.M. in University Hall 207

[Attendance at the final examination period is mandatory.]