West Chester University

Fall 2004and
Spring 2005

West Chester University

Spring 2003

Fall 2002

Spring 2002

Fall 2001






Course Information
  LIT 165 Syllabus
  LIT 165 Announcements
  LIT 165 Assignments
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  WRT 120 Announcements
  WRT 120 Assigmments

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Spring 2005)
  Adieu to Imaginary Worlds
  One Last Look at Imaginary Worlds
  Notes on 'Before the Law'
  Samuel Beckett Links
  Notes on 'Waiting for Godot'
  Approaching 'Waiting for Godot'
  Notes on 'Axolotl' by Julio Cortazar
  Notes on 'EPICAC' by Kurt Vonnegut
  DIRECTIONS: Independent Project
  Suggested Readings: Independent Project
  Utopia/Dystopia Links
  Character Analysis: Brave New World
  Analyzing the Brave New World
  Defining Utopia
  Embarking on the Brave New World
  A Critique of BRAVE NEW WORLD
  Dante Links
  Inferno: Final Destinations, Cantos XXXII-XXXIV
  Inferno: Malebolge, Cantos XVIII-XXXI
  Inferno: Questions/Analysis, Cantos XII - XVII
  Structure in the Inferno: Analysis, Cantos V - XI
  Inferno: Questions for Analysis, Cantos I - V
  Introducing Canto I
  Approaching the Divine Comedy
  Relating to Dante's Inferno
  Our Goals for Studying the Inferno
  Assignment Sheet: PAPER #1
  The Birthmark
  Leaf By Niggle
  Responses to Leaf By Niggle
  'On Fairy Stories' by J.R.R. Tolkien
  Notes on Ovid and 'Metamorphoses'
  Analyzing the Mythic Tales
  The Four Functions of Myth
  Myth and Metaphor
  Myth - Links
  Filtering the Introduction to 'Fantastic Worlds'
  'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' and 'The Zebra Storyteller
  Introducing the 'Imaginary Worlds' Theme
  Alice In Wonderland
  The Metamorphosis

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2004)
  Conference Schedule: 4/21 and 4/26
  Commentary: Following Up Your Response
  Critical Thinking and Commentary
  Casebook: Evaluating Sources
  What is Argument?
  Parts of an Argument
  Casebook Assignment Sheet
  Rubric for Evaluation of Writing
  Assignment Sheet: Essay#1
  Expressive Writing
  Short Stories About Identity
  Thoughts on Stories About Identity
  Poems About Identity
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'
  Mind-map: Identity

ENG Q20: Basic Writing (Fall 2004)
  ENG Q20 Syllabus
  Frederick Douglass Excerpt
  Propaganda Analysis
  How to Detect Propaganda
  George Orwell's Politics and the English Language
  Propaganda Analysis Exercise

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Writing Assistance on the Web
  Blackboard at WCU
  WCU Homepage
  WCU's Francis Harvey Green Library


~~ Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds ~~
Paper #3


Assigned Readings
EPICAC by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Cockroaches by Bruno Schulz
Axolotl by Julio Cortázar
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Optional Readings
"Introduction to Absurd Drama" by Martin Esslin (online)
"The Imagery Museum of Samuel Beckett" by Raymond Federman (online)
"Essay on Waiting for Godot" by Michael Sinclair (online)

Directions: Develop your own specific topic based on either an expressive, objective, or persuasive approach to the assigned readings. Your paper should engage both of the assigned readings in some depth. Research to supplement your own commentary is strictly optional, but if you do include researched material from a source other than our textbook, you are responsible for documenting it correctly using MLA style parenthetical documentation.

Topic Approaches
These notes are meant to be suggestive, not exclusive.

Write a commentary that substantively explores your response to the unconventionality of Waiting for Godot. You can discuss the ways in which the play met or defied your expectations, as well as how you understood the purpose or "meaning" of the play. You can discuss the impact or relevance of the play's dialogue, characters, situations, or imagery. You can explore the significant ways in which Waiting for Godot either does or does not resonate with your understanding of the human condition.

Develop a paper that analyzes or interprets the meaning of one or more works assigned.

  • Write a comparative analysis.
  • Trace the development of a common theme through both works.
  • Present an objective interpretation of one or both works.
  • Write a thematic analysis of one or both works.
  • Write a critique of one or both works.

Identify the ambiguity in at least one of the works on the reading list and then argue for a particular interpretation. Acknowledge other interpretations but prove, by your close analysis of details in the text, that your interpretation is a strong one. Argue for a particular reading of one or more of the works we studied.


  • Write an interior monologue from the point of view of something not human.
  • Write a dramatic scene based on at least two of the characters from the readings. You can use the same characters or invent new ones, as long as they're inspired by or related to the characters we observed in the readings. Include set description, character description, dialogue, and stage directions.


Objective and Persuasive Topic Suggestions


  • Compare/contrast Waiting for Godot to traditional drama. How is Waiting for Godot "unconventional"? In what ways does it frustrate audience expectations?
  • Read Martin Esslin's essay on "Absurd Drama" (online). Analyze the ways in which Waiting for Godot fits his description of absurd drama.
  • Trace the existential elements in Waiting for Godot.
  • Compare/contrast the theme of suffering in Waiting for Godot to "Axolotl" and "Cockroaches."
  • Compare/contrast the anthropomorphic elements in "EPICAC," "Axolotl," and "Cockroaches."
  • Analyze the mythic overtones in Waiting for Godot. What do you infer from the various biblical references in the play?


  • Define "nihilism" and "existentialism" and argue for an interpretation of the play based on your understanding of these concepts.
  • Define "postmodernism" and argue for an interpretation of the play based on your understanding of this concept.
  • Define "abstract expressionism" and argue for an interpretation of the play based on your understanding of this concept.






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