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West Chester University

Fall 2001

Spring 2002

West Chester University

Fall 2002

 

 

 

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Course Information
  Lit 165 Syllabus
  About the Instructor

Notes for Introduction to Literature
  Approaching Literature
  Ambiguity
  Your Response and Mine
  Critical Approaches to Literature
  Fundamental Questions about Literature
  Four Short Stories (Considerations)
  Genesis of the Short Story
  Responding to 'The Birthmark'
  Notes on Nathaniel Hawthorne
  Bartleby - A Guided Reading
  Bartleby - Questions for Analysis
  A Few Notes on Herman Melville
  A Vocabulary for Fiction and Beyond
  Notes on Innovative Fiction
  Five Writers Define the Short Story
  A Study Guide for the Fiction Exam
  Ars Poetica
  Poets Define the Art of Poetry
  Reading Poetry
  Supplemental Poems
  The Craft of Poetry - Imagery
  The Craft of Poetry - Sound
  The Forms of Poetry
  Revisiting Theme, Ambiguity, Irony, Symbol, and Parodox in Poetry
  Study Guide for the Poetry Exam
  The Birth of Drama
  Aristotle's Tragic Hero
  Stepping Through Oedipus the King
  The Relevance of Oedipus Today
  Oedipus the King -- Study Questions
  Ibsen's Theater / A Doll House
  A Study Guide for the Drama Exam
  Study Guide for the Final Exam

General Announcements
  Announcements
  Assignments

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  A Weblog for LIT 165
  Writing Assistance on the Web

Join the Conversation
  LIT 165 Discussion List

 
~~ Study Guide for the Fiction Exam ~~
LIT 165 - Introduction to Literature, Spring 2002

Be prepared to recall and identify the following short stories, which were assigned and discussed in class:

The Story of an Hour
A Sorrowful Woman
A&P
Eveline
Miss Brill
Bartleby the Scrivener
The Birthmark
How to Tell A True War Story
Popular Mechanics
Girl
Young Man On Sixth Avenue

Be prepared to analyze these stories in terms of the formal elements defined in class and in notes supplied on the web: plot, character, point of view, theme, symbol, irony, paradox, and ambiguity. Know the context-specific meanings and extended vocabulary associated with these terms. Be prepared to apply any of these terms to the stories we've read.

Be prepared to identify several criteria (discussed in class, supplied in notes on the web) which readers can use to distinguish literature that's worthy of study.

Be prepared to define the short story in both technical and more open-ended ways (discussed in class, supplied in notes on the web).

Be prepared to answer questions about how several influential writers (specifically Poe, Chekhov, Conrad, Hemingway, and Carver) defined the "art" of the short story. Be prepared to differentiate their respective ideas/quotations we discussed in class (handout).


OPTIONAL
You may also wish to prepare to answer an extra credit (one paragraph) question by reading ONE of the following short stories as well:

The Lesson
Soldier's Home
A Good Man Is Hard to Find
Young Goodman Brown
Killings
Lust


Here are some additional questions (which revisit the same material above) to help you study for the exam on Wednesday.

THE ART OF THE SHORT STORY

1. In class, we identified several qualities or criteria to distinguish great literature. List three, then choose one of these and apply it to at least three short stories assigned for study.

2. In class, we differentiated the modern form known as the "short story" from earlier kinds of prose narratives like the "tale" and the "fable." Name two qualities that differentiate the modern short story from these earlier forms. Discuss two ways in which one of the short stories assigned for study is clearly a modern short story.

3. Recall the variety of ways in which we defined the art of the short story: by using a literary glossary (supplied in class and in notes on the web); by listening to writers who helped shape the genre in its early stages (handout); by listening to writing students (handout); and by considering the short story's formal elements (character, plot, point of view). Working from any of these sources, write two alternative definitions of the short story.

4. We discussed several writers whose contribution to an understanding of the art of short story is widely recognized. Paraphrase what each of these writers have said about the art of the short story.

FORMAL ELEMENTS OF SHORT STORIES

1. What is "exposition" and what are two stories in which it plays a key role in the plot? Briefly explain.

2. What are "conflict" and "dilemma" in the context a short story's plot? Why are they so essential to the short story? Choose three stories assigned for study and describe the conflict in each one. Choose one story whose plot leads to a dilemma for one of the characters.

3. What is the meaning of "protagonist" and "antagonist"? For each story we studied, identify the protagonist and antagonist.

4. How do you define "dynamic character," and what are three examples of dynamic characters in the short stories assigned for study?

5. How do you define "static character" and what are three examples of static characters in the short stories assigned for study?

6. List all the stories assigned for study which have a first person point-of-view, then list all the stories which have a third person point-of view. Distinguish the third-person point of view stories further (i.e., total omniscience, limited omniscience, and "objective" or "camera-eye" omniscience).

7. We defined several literary terms that apply to short stories as well as the other genres we'll study. These terms were ambiguity, symbol, theme, irony, and paradox. Define and illustrate each of these terms below with examples from the stories assigned for study.


 

 

 

     

 


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