Department of English, C-309


ENGLISH 66: FALL, 2000


Mon., Wed., Thurs. D hour (11:30 am-12:30 pm)

Office: C-219--Messages: C-309 or 368-5373--E-mail:


Required Readings: (all books are available at the KCC Book Store)


††††††††††† Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (Publ. Washington


††††††††††† Anthem by Ayn Rand (Publ. Signet)

††††††††††† Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi (Publ. Scribner)

††††††††††† The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (Publ. Washington Square)

††††††††††† She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb (Publ. Washington Square)

††††††††††† The Handmaidís Tale by Margaret Atwood (Publ. Fawcett)

††††††††††† A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller


Recommended Reading:

††††††††††† In a Different Voice by Carol Gilligan (Publ. Harvard)


Course Overview


††††††††††† English 66, "Literature and Human Behavior", is a course which examines the complexities of human behavior as they are presented in literature. Our readings are drawn from a wide multicultural base. We will analyze various literary themes and genres in the context of their behavioral implications, and will explore cross-cultural similarities and differences.


††††††††††† This course will be taught in an interactive style. While I will lecture on the material, you will also be expected to take an active role in class and to share your ideas about the works read.


††††††††††† Over the 12-week semester, you will read a number of different works. The overriding themes of the course will be Identity and The Ideal World. Some of the questions we will be exploring are:


††††††††††† 1. How do people define their identity?

††††††††††† 2. What do people do to discover/create their identity?

††††††††††† 3. What, if any, cross-cultural differences exist in the ways people approach/view/define their identity?

††††††††††† 4. What, if any gender differences exist in the ways people approach/view/define their identity?

5. What are the characteristics of an "ideal", or utopic, world?

††††††††††† 6. What are some of the factors that characterize a dystopic world?

††††††††††† 7. What are some of the internal/external factors that influence peoples' decision making?


Method of evaluation:


††††††††††† You will be evaluated on the basis of a midterm exam, a final

exam, a research paper, and the quality of your class participation and preparation.Your grade will be calculated as follows:


††††††††††† Midterm exam: 20%

††††††††††† Final exam: 20%

††††††††††† Research paper: 20%

††††††††††† Class Participation and Preparation: 40%


The midterm and final exam will ask questions that require you to write thoughtful analyses of the books read.


The research paper will require you to read and interpret the book, Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi.


Class Participation and Preparation is key to your success in the course.To be prepared you must finish reading each of the books by the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK in which we discuss them. You will be required to produce an in-class written response to the book on that day.


Course outline:


††††††††††††††††††††††† Timeframes and dates proposed are estimates and will be adjusted

as necessary.


††††††††††††††††††††††† Week 1 (September 18, 19, 21): Introduction to literature and human behavior: Viktor Frankl and Carol Gilligan; psychological theories-Stanley Milgram.


††††††††††††††††††††††† Week 2 (September 25, 26, 28): Anthem by Ayn Rand (Frankl)


††††††††††††††††††††††† Weeks 3 and 4 (October 2, 3, 5, 10, 11, 12): The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (Gilligan)


††††††††††††††††††††††† Week 5 (October 16, 17, 19): The Poetry of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton (Gilligan/Frankl)


††††††††††††††††††††††† Week 6: Midterm exam and review

(Tentative dates for Midterm Exam: October 24 and 26)


Conferences--Term Paper Plan is Due


††††††††††††††††††††††† Weeks 7 and 8 (October 30, 31, November 2, 6, 7, 9): She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb (Gilligan)


Weeks 9 and 10 (November 13, 14, 16, 20, 21): The Handmaidís Tale by Margaret Atwood (Frankl, Gilligan)


Week 11: A View from the Bridge (November 27, 28, 30) by Arthur Miller (Frankl, Milgram, Freud)


††††††††††††††††††††††† Week 12 (December 4, 5, 7): Overall review of themes and issues discussed


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Term paper is due on Monday. December 4


††††††††††††††††††††††† Finals Week: Final exam