Prerequisite: English Faculty Recommendation
This course surveys American Literature from the European arrival in the 17th century until the early 20th century. As students move through the units of reading, a sense of the American voice develops. Readings incorporate many genres as drama, journal entries, poetry, essays, novels, excerpts and short stories are analyzed in their historical contexts. Students are exposed to significant writers and writings to foster an understanding of the literary and cultural groups and movements of the country. Authors include Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, Edith Wharton, and Walt Whitman. Students learn to develop focused analytical arguments as they critically evaluate and assess a range of American texts.
This class assumes that students are independent learners who can work with limited teacher support. Students are advanced and enthusiastic readers; they can make inferences, draw connections, comprehend and appreciate texts with sophisticated vocabulary and themes read at a fast pace. Students are strong expository and narrative writers who understand grammar, mechanics, spelling and sentence/paragraph structure.