Homework for Nov 7

Hi Class,


For next Thursday, we will have a reading quiz over the terms globalization and realism and three stories by Doctorow, Jin, and Parsons.

Also, I found I have made a big mistake on the grade report, and I have now fixed it. So I will print out a new set for next week. My mistake was to put the 5 points for turning in the Midterm Essay on time in the wrong category. I’ve now put these points in the “Participation” category instead of the “Midterm Essay” category, which will have a positive effect for students who got less than 5 points. I apologize for this mistake.


Prof. Scanlan

Homework for October 31

Hi Class,


Here is the homework for next week:

 Homework:  read Ha Jin and E.L. Doctorow (in the Readings menu tab)

 Homework:  Journal 4: which of the two stories is more realistic and why? (300 words)

Also: make sure that you have in your notes the six Hallmarks of modernism and the four formal writing characteristics.

Happy Halloween!

Prof. Scanlan

New Reading Is Up…And Reminders

Hi Class,

I hope that each of you gained something from our discussion of the first page and the peer review. Continue to work diligently on the essay. Use your classmates for their knowledge! Trade essays and ask each other questions.

Try to be on time next Thursday; and have your essay printed and ready to turn in at 6:04.

The readings: I decided to post a short reading from John Dos Passos instead of Fitzgerald. I think this reading really hits a modernist note. It is the first chapter of the novel Manhattan Transfer. The chapter is titled “Ferryslip.” It is in Readings.


Prof. Scanlan

Notes for October 17

Hi Class,

For October 17, make sure to spend several hours working on the draft of the Midterm Essay. Do not try to write the draft in one setting. I suggest breaking up the essay writing task into three parts, to be done over three days.

Day one: Spend about an hour rereading the stories that you will write about.

Day two: Then spend an hour or so taking notes and freewriting your ideas.

Day three: Then spend at least an hour writing your notes and freewrites into the formal essay. Make sure to spend considerable time writing and revising your thesis. Make sure that the essay is not a summary of the stories or merely a description of the key characters. Think of gothic themes and concepts. Make sure each paragraph has a job to do that is connected to the thesis and begins with a strong topic sentence.

Also: please read the following very short texts:

  1. Introduction and up to page 13 in Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons–in Readings. The intro will help explain the concept of modernist fiction.
  2. “A Very Short Story” by Ernest Hemingway.


Prof. Scanlan

Readings and Midterm Essay Details Are Up

Hi Class,

I really appreciated your engagement with the Faulkner story! Let’s keep that level of enthusiasm going.

I’ve posted two stories for next week: Ellison’s “Prologue to Invisible Man” and Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist.”

In addition, I’ve posted the Midterm Essay details in the Assignments menu tab.

Homework for next week: Study for Quiz 2 which will cover Ellison, Kafka, and Melville. Also study key terms in Lloyd-Smith and Todorov.



Prof. Scanlan

Additional Notes for Thursday, October 3rd

Hi Class,

I want to begin the class by going over some key points of the Lloyd-Smith article. Specifically, I want to cover:

1-The idea that American gothic was derived from British gothic

2-The unique cultural pressures that led to a particular American gothic

3-The concept of innocence betrayed

4-American social anxieties and fears to influenced American gothic


Journal 3: write a 300 word journal in which you chose either Melville or Faulkner and answer these two questions: what lessons do the main characters learn? and what do readers learn? There may or may not be a difference between these two points of view.

Best wishes,

Prof. Scanlan

Three Readings Are Up for September 26


I reposted the House of Asterion short story. Hope it works better.


Hi Class,

I’ve posted the three pieces in the Readings menu tab (Lloyd-Smith, Marquez, and Borges).

The homework for next week:

Journal 2: write a journal in which you explore the idea of focal point and narration in either Borges or Marquez (300 words).

Focal Point: the distance between the viewer or seer (reader) and the character. The person who narrates is usually the focalizer, the one who situates the experiences we read. But, the narrator can also be the one who speaks but whose vision we do not follow.

Narrator: the voice which tells the story in the first, second,  or third person… or through an omniscient narrator (an all-knowing or god-like story teller as in “An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge”).



Prof. Scanlan

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