Week 1: Introduction to Fiction


Key terms


"The Appointment in Samarra"

"Godfather Death"


Week 2: Point of View and Character


Key terms

"Sonny's Blues"

"The Tell-Tale Heart"

"Everyday Use"

"Gimpel the Fool"

Week 3: Setting and Style


Key terms

Journal 1

"The Storm"

"To Build a Fire"

"A Pair of Tickets"

"The Gospel According to Mark"

"Barn Burning"

Week 4: Symbolism and Theme


Key terms

Journal 2


"The Yellow Wallpaper"

In the nineteenth century, women were described as being reproductive rather than productive creatures. In other words, they not only were responsible for giving birth, but were incapable of creative, original contributions to society. Furthermore, people of the period believed in "separate spheres" and that a woman's responsibility was the domestic sphere, where she managed the household by cooking, cleaning, and caring for the children. Indeed, a poet from this period wrote that the woman was "queen of the hearth." Marriage was considered an important goal for women, and remaining single was considered a sign of failure. People objected to women's working because they believed that they were not biologically or mentally equipped to do the work, that they were sentimental, and that work might expose women to moral corruption. It was thought that after puberty women could not achieve on the level of men because they were disabled by their menstrual periods. In the 1870s, an Illinois judge argued that women were incapable of being lawyers because their brains were not equipped to cope with legal concepts.

To work outside the home was considered unladylike. Women worked only if they had to work because they were single or because their husbands were dead or disabled. The idea of a woman's working for self-fulfillment did not exist. Women who did work tended to take jobs akin to the ones they would do at home: laundress, governess, nurse. Of course, there were exceptions to the rule. In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell--an English woman who enrolled in a medical school in Geneva, New York, in 1845--became the first woman to graduate from an American college with a medical degree. Later, other women studied medicine--often at schools they founded--so that they could care for other women, particularly because women of the Victorian period were not comfortable allowing a man to treat them.

"The Open Boat"

Weeks 5-7: The Novel


Key terms

Journal 3

Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Zora Neale Hurston

To Kill a Mocking Bird

by Harper Lee

Week 8: Introduction to Poetry


Key terms

Journal 4


"Sir Patrick Spence"

"Out, Out--"

"My Last Duchess"

"The Author to Her Book"

"To a Locomotive in Winter"

"I like to see it lap the Miles"

"For My Daughter"

"The Day Zimmer Lost Religion"

"The Unknown Citizen"

"Rites of Passage"

"The Workbox"

"To Lucasta"

"Dulce et Decorum Est"

"High Treason"

"In Place of a Curse"

"Down, Wanton, Down!"

"Batter my heart, three-personed God, for You"

"Saint Judas"

"Lonely Hearts"

"Once in a While a Protest Poem"



Week 9: Sound and Form


Key terms


"The splendor falls on castle walls"

"Leda and the Swan"

"God's Grandeur"

"In Memoriam John Coltrane"

"We Real Cool"


"Dream Boogie"


"Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part"




"Do not go gentle into that good night"

"Victory comes late"

"The Dance"

"Calvary Crossing a Ford"

"Easter Wings"

"Jump Cabling"

"The City Limits"

Week 10: Figurative Language


Key terms

"Root Cellar"

"The Fish"

"Pied Beauty"



"Not Waving but Drowning"

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"

"Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?"

"Sindhi Woman"

"It dropped so low--in my Regard"

"You fit into me"

"Kubla Khan"

"Because I Could Not Stop for Death"

"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

Weeks 11 and 12: Poetry in Depth


Journal 5

"To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time"

"Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend"

"Dream Deferred"

"On My First Son"

"Ode on a Grecian Urn"

"To His Coy Mistress"

"When I consider how my life is spent"


"To Helen"


"I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing"

"Traveling Through the Dark"

"A Child's Grave Marker"


"Sailing to Byzantium"


"Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"

"The New Colossus"

"Annabel Lee"

"Criticism: On Poetry"

Week 13: Introduction to Drama


Key terms

A Streetcar Named Desire

Weeks 14-15: Shakespeare


Key terms

The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice

Act 1

Act 2

Act 3

Act 4 

Act 5

Week 16: Review


Read On!