E 362L • The British Novel in the Twentieth Century
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
We will begin our study of the modern British novel by exploring two writers: D.H. Lawrence and E.M. Forster. In Sons and Lovers Lawrence uses the form of the bildungsroman to chart the psychological and sexual parameters of British working class culture. In A Passage to India Forster examines British class assumptions against a rich background of colonialist aspiration and exploitation in India. Our third novel introduces stunning experimental innovations. Woolf's To the Lighthouse traces the complex interrelationships of a family affected by the tyranny and blessings of love in a time of change. Then we will study two works by Jean Rhys, an author born in the distant British colony of Dominica, in the Lesser Antilles. In Voyage in the Dark Rhys presents a naturalistic study of a young woman from the Caribbean who struggles to make her way in a predatory man's world in Great Britain. Quartet is a dark roman à clef that dramatizes Rhys' real-life affair with another great Modernist, Ford Madox Ford. The course concludes with a recent novel, Pat Barker's historically grounded Regeneration. Here Barker takes us back to the seminal event of 20th century British history: the Great War. We will also see two or three film versions of novels read in the course.
Class Participation 15%
Mid-Term Exam 25%
Essay Assignment 30%
Final Exam 30%
Punctual attendance of all class meetings (to be explained further in course policy handout).
D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers
E. M. Forster, A Passage to India
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
Jean Rhys, Voyage in the Dark
Jean Rhys, Quartet
Pat Barker, Regeneration