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Syllabus - English 231-03 syllabus English 231 British...

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English 231-03 syllabus English 231: British literature 1800-present David Hennessee Winter 2009 Office: 47-22-H, 756-6136 Section 03: TTH 4:10-6, 22-312 [email protected] Office hours: MTWF 1-2. Also available by email, phone, and appointment Texts Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther James Joyce, Dubliners Jeanette Winterson, Oranges are not the only fruit Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary Course description "And they lived happily ever after." "They" more likely than not got married. As a device of narrative closure, marriage is ubiquitous, and to sustain interest until the happy event occurs, literary texts often describe obstacles to nuptial bliss. In this course, we will examine love and the marriage plot under stress. We will read (and view) texts that question and probe the nature of love, and that complicate, evade or even thwart the marriage plot. In doing so, we will have three goals: 1.) to understand the socio-historical conditioning of (what might seem) timeless, natural dynamics of love, sex, heterosexuality, and marriage; 2.) to examine how different literary forms shape ideas of love and the marriage; 3.) to use the marriage plot as a window through which to view cultural changes in British society and formal changes in British literature, 1800-present. More generally, the course offers a survey of some important texts in British literature of the last 200 years, whose often bizarre plots will hopefully prove enjoyable. Some lecture on historical context, a few in-class screenings of film adaptations, more discussion.
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