English 336:  Modern British Literature

Richard Ruppel—Fall, 2011

Meetings:  Thursday 7-9:50pm, Beckman 204

Office Hours:  Tuesday & Thursday, 9-11am, & by appointment
Office:  Wilkinson 24A
Phone:  (714) 997-6754 (office)

Email:  ruppel@chapman.edu
Updated December 1, 2011


Suggested Links  


Course Description & Learning Objectives:  20th Century British literature traces the seismic disruptions of the 20th century, including radical and unsettling advances in science, technology, and psychology; the pressures of colonial conquest, competition, and divestment; two world wars (during which approximately 100 million people died); competing empires and governments; liberation movements; and the decline of traditional faith systems. 


We’ll read a representative sample of that literature, from Thomas Hardy (born 1840) to Salman Rushdie (born 1947), noting the major themes and literary innovations of that tumultuous century.  


This course involves significant reading and writing, both informal (on our discussion board) and formal (essays and essay exams).  Through our reading, discussion, and writing, we'll develop a clearer understanding of the period and its art.   

English 336 is one of the electives you may take to fulfill the English literature major.  In the discussion board responses, formal essays, and essay exams, you will have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate the English Literature Program Learning Objectives listed below: 

1.    Skill in critical reading, or the practice of identifying and interpreting the formal, rhetorical, and stylistic features of a text


2.    Ability to identify and compare key literary movements and genres


3.    Ability to explain and apply significant theoretical and critical approaches in the field of English studies


4.    Skill in writing grammatically, coherently, and persuasively


5.    Skill in finding, analyzing, and utilizing secondary sources (including the appropriate methods of citation)


6.      Skill in crafting a compelling thesis-driven essay, with substantiating evidence



The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th edition, Volume F

James Joyce, Dubliners (1914), Norton

E.M. Forster, Passage to India (1924), Penguin 

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927), Oxford
Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day (1989), Vintage

Course Requirements

Attendance:  Please make every effort to attend class.  Missing more than two sessions will adversely affect your grade, and students who miss three or more classes will fail the course.

Communication:  Whether online or in class, please be courteous and constructive.  I receive a large number of emails, so when emailing, please identify the course (336), your last name, and the subject in the subject line. 

Essays:  We'll discuss criteria for the essays, and I'll provide an essay description with suggested topics, several weeks before the due dates.  These essays should be submitted both in hard copies the day they’re due, and electronically, sent directly to my email address:  ruppel@chapman.edu  (Please don't use the Blackboard Drop-Box.) 

Grades:  Participation (including Blackboard Discussion posts):  20%
              Essay 1 (due October 13):  20%
              Essay 2 (due November 17):  30%
              Final:  30%

Computers in class:  If you need to use a computer to take class notes, let me know.  Otherwise, computers should stay closed. 

Chapman University Academic Integrity Policy

Chapman University is a community of scholars that emphasizes the mutual responsibility of all members to seek knowledge honestly and in good faith.  Students are responsible for doing their own work, and academic dishonesty of any kind will be subject to sanction by the instructor and referral to the university's Academic Integrity Committee, which may impose additional sanctions up to and including dismissal.  (See the Undergraduate Catalog for the full policy.)


Chapman's Students with Disabilities Policy:

In compliance with ADA guidelines, students who have any condition, either permanent or temporary, that might affect their ability to perform in this class are encouraged to inform the instructor at the beginning of the term. The University, through the Disability Services Office, will work with the appropriate faculty member who is asked to provide the accommodations for a student in determining what accommodations are suitable based on the documentation and the individual student needs. The granting of any accommodation will not be retroactive and cannot jeopardize the academic standards or integrity of the course.

Weekly Course Schedule*:


Week 1:  September 1—Introduction and Hardy. 

Week 2:  September 8—Hardy and Heart of Darkness

Week 3:  September 15—Heart of Darkness. 

Week 4:  September 22—Dubliners.

Week 5:  September 29—Dubliners, Voices from World War I, Yeats.

Week 6:  October 6—Yeats. 

Week 7:  October 13—Passage to India & Mansfield—essay 1 due.

Week 8:  October 20— Passage to India & Mansfield. 

Week 9:  October 27— W. H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, To the Lighthouse. 

Week 10:  November 3—To the Lighthouse, Philip Larkin.

Week 11:  November 10—The Remains of the Day.

Week 12:  November 17—Harold Pinter, The Dumb Waiter (2601-2622).

Week 13:  November 24—Thanksgiving Break.

Week 14:  December 1— Salman Rushdie, "The Prophet's Hairand Samuel Becket's Endgameessay 2 due.

Week 15:  December 8—Final Words, preparation for the final. 

Week 16:  Final, 7-9:30pm, Thursday, December 15. 


*We might decide to alter this schedule, but I'll give you plenty of advance notice.

 Daily Assignments


For September 8:  Read Thomas Hardy's "Hap," "Neutral Tones," "A Broken Appointment," "Drummer Hodge," "The Darkling Thrush," "The Ruined Maid," "Channel Firing," "The Convergence of the Twain," "The Voice," and "During Wind and Rain."  Answer the question on the Blackboard Discussion page by noon Tuesday (September 6).  Begin reading Heart of Darkness
For September 15:  Read the introduction to Conrad, 1885-86, and finish reading Heart of Darkness (1890-1947).  Respond to the Blackboard question by 7pm Wednesday (September 14).  (The question asks you to formulate three questions about Heart of Darkness.)
For September 22:  Read “The Sisters,” “An Encounter,” “Araby,” “Eveline,” “Two Gallants,” “The Boarding House,” and “A Little Cloud” in Joyce’s Dubliners.  Answer the question on Blackboard by 7pm, September 21st. 
For September 29:  Read “Counterparts,” “A Painful Case,” “A Mother,” “Grace,” and “The Dead” in Dubliners.  (See below for links to parts of John Huston’s fine adaptation of “The Dead.”) Read "Voices from World War I," pages 1954-1980 in our anthology, and the introduction to William Butler Yeats (2019-2022) and his "The Stolen Child" (2022), "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" (2025), "When You are Old" (2026), "Adam's Curse" (2028), "No Second Troy" (2029), "A Coat" 2029), "September 1913" (2030), "Easter, 1916" (2031), and "The Second Coming" (2036).  Bring ideas for paper topics. 
For October 6:  Read Yeats's "A Prayer for My Daughter" (2037), "Leda & the Swan" (2039), "Sailing to Byzantium" (2040), "Among School Children" (2041), and "Lapis Lazuli" (2046).  Answer the question about Yeats's poetry in Blackboard (due by noon, October 5).  Read Part 1 of Passage to India (through page 112 of our edition). And bring the thesis for your first essay. 
For October 13:  Finish Passage to India.  Answer the question about the book in Blackboard. Bring a hard copy of your first paper to class, and send me an electronic copy. 

For October 20:  Read Katherine Mansfield’s “The Garden Party” (2346-56). 
For October 27:  Read the introduction to W. H. Auden (2421-22) and all the poems in our collection (2422-2434).  Read the introduction to Dylan Thomas (2444-45) and the (regrettably brief) selection of his poems (2445-50).  Begin reading To the Lighthouse.  Respond to the Blackboard question about Auden's or Thomas's poetry by noon, October 27. 
For November 3:  Finish To the Lighthouse.  Respond to the question about one of the novel’s symbols in Blackboard.  Read the poems by Philip Larkin (2566-74).
For November 10:  Read our last novel: The Remains of the Day.  Bring ideas for your second paper topics to class. 
For November 17:  Read Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter (2601-2622).  Answer the discussion question on Blackboard by noon the 17th.  (Formulate a final exam essay question on The Remains of the Day and The Dumb Waiter.)
For December 1:  Read Salman Rushdie’s “The Prophet’s Hair” (2852-2863) and Samuel Becket’s Endgame (2393-2420). Bring a hard copy of your second paper to class, and send me an electronic copy.

For December 8:  Respond to the LAST Blackboard post, by noon Wednesday, December 7, asking for one more final exam question.   

Web Links:


Ruppel's Home Page
Chapman English Department
Chapman University