online syllabus:


course description





~ schedule ~



Literature 100: Reading of Literature
Introduction to Literature
Poetry ~ Fiction ~ Drama
Traverse City

spring 2004

Dr. Abby Coykendall

Office Phone: (734) 487-0147

Office Location: Pray-Harrold Hall 603G
Office Hours: Monday 12-1; Wednesday 12-2, 3-5

~ or by appointment ~

Section One; Registration #32304
Sat 4-9 PM; Mon-Thurs 8-2 PM; Fri 8-12 PM
Northwestern Michigan College (Main Campus)

Scholars Hall Building; Room 105 (Off Munson Ave)



 “The private person who squares his accounts with reality in his office demands that the interior be maintained in his illusions. …  From this springs the phantasmagorias of the interior.  For the private individual the private environment represents the universe.  In it he gathers remote places and the past.  His drawing room is a box in the world theater.”

Walter Benjamin, “Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century,” Reflections


Course Description: Reading of Literature

Literature 100 is a class in which you will explore a wide variety of literature — novels, short stories, poetry, and drama — ranging in period from the fifteenth-century to the present and encompassing authors from around the world.  The aim is to provide a general introduction to literature, including an examination of the major literary periods, movements, and genres.  By the end of the course, you will have surveyed representative works written in English, honed your interpretative skills, familiarized yourself with literary conventions, and learned to think critically and carefully about those conventions.  Whether discussing literature or world events, we will attempt to expand rather than confine our engagement with the material, ultimately seeing how literature offers a means to (re)envision and hopefully to (re)create the material world in which we all live.

*** Note: You must read Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein before the class begins.


Required Texts

The following books (one anthology and one novel) are available at Ned’s bookstore —; 483-6400; 707 W. Cross Street — although additional copies may be available at other EMU bookstores:






v       Heath Introduction to Literature, Ed. Alice S. Landy and William Rodney Allen, 6th edition (Houghton Mifflin, 2000; ISBN #0395980704)

v       Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Ed. Harold Bloom (Penguin Signet Classic, 2000; ISBN #0451527712)

Make sure to get the same editions pictured and listed above; otherwise, the differing page numbers will make it difficult, if not impossible, for you to follow along with class discussions.  Nothing is more vital for success in this class than keeping up with, and actively engaging in, the daily reading assignments and class discussions.  Make sure to bring a copy of each text that we will be discussing to class.  You will need to have read the assigned material, and have it on hand, when I call on you in class or when we do group work, which will be often.  There will also be periodic quizzes. 






Daily Responses, Quizzes, Poetry Presentation,
& Class Participation




Examination #1: The Novel & Short Story

Tuesday, June 13



Examination #2: Poetry & Drama

Friday, June 16



Five-Page Essay

Monday, June 26


The exams will consist only of essay questions.  The first exam will have one question on the novel and another on short fiction; the second exam will have one question on poetry and another on drama.  You will be able refer to an outline during the exams, but not to the texts themselves.  The final essay, due roughly one week after the end of the class, will be given two grades: one for the quality of the theme and one for the quality of the writing.


Due to the intensive nature of this course, attendance is a must.  Lateness or poor attendance will impact the final grade that you receive significantly: a single day absent — equivalent to two weeks in a regular semester — will mean a reduction of your final grade one full grade (e.g. an A will be reduced to a B).


Academic Dishonesty

Any academic dishonesty will result in a failing, zero-percent grade for the assignment.  Thus, if you plagiarize on the essay, you can expect, at most, to receive a C- (or 70%) for your final grade, supposing that you did everything else in the class perfectly.  Similarly, if you cheat on one of the exams, you can expect at most to receive a C (or 75%), again supposing that you did everything else perfectly. 


Plagiarism is a very serious offense against the Code of Student Conduct.  According to Funk and Wagnalls’ New Standard Dictionary (1921), plagiarism is the “act of plagiarizing or appropriating the ideas, writings, or inventions of another without due acknowledgment; specifically, the stealing of passages either for word or in substance, from the writings of another and publishing them as one’s own.”  The general rule is that if you use three or more words of another writer in a row without enclosing those words in quotation marks and acknowledging your source, you are guilty of plagiarism. 


With the internet, plagiarism is quite easy and tempting to do; however, the internet also makes plagiarism that much more easy to catch and document, so do not even think about doing it in this class or elsewhere.  Note: Turning in a paper that you wrote for another class as an essay for this class, i.e. recycling the same words for double credit, also constitutes academic dishonesty at EMU. 



Saturday, June 12: The Novel

4:00-4:30 PM:           Student Introductions; Introduction to Literature 100; Class Itinerary; Selection from Adrienne Rich, “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision”

4:30 -5:30 PM:          Discuss Shelley’s Frankenstein

5:30-6:30 PM:           Dinner Break

6:30-8:30 PM:           Video: Film Adaptations of Frankenstein

8:30-9:00 PM:           Discuss Frankenstein and Adaptations

Homework: Review the Keywords (below) from the “Handbook of Literary Terms” handout; Read Michael Herr, “Dispatches,” 200-208; Ambrose Bierce,  “Chickamauga,” 213-218; Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour,” 21-24.

Keywords for Review: allegory, allusion, character, character development, fiction, flashback, foreshadowing, genre, hero, irony, narrator, novel, plot, point of view, and protagonist

Sunday, June 13: The Short Story (Point of View)

8:00-8:30 AM:          Overview of Perspective in Fiction; Application to Frankenstein

8:30-10:00 AM:        Michael Herr’s “Dispatches” and Ambrose Bierce’s “Chickamauga

10:00-10:15 AM:      Break

10:15-11:15 PM:       Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”

11:15-12:00 PM:       In-Class Writing Assignment: Compare and Contrast Point of View

12:00-1:00 PM:         Lunch Break

1:00-2:00 PM:           Group Work: Point of View

Homework: Review the Keywords (below) from the “Handbook of Literary Terms”; Read Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” 77-89; James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues,” 230-253; Kurt Vonnegut, “Harrison Bergeron,” 176-181

Keywords for Review: antagonist, dialect, flat character, ideology, metaphor, motif, multiculturalism, satire, setting, and short story

Monday, June 14: The Short Story (Elements of Fiction)

8:00-8:30 AM:          Introduction to the Elements of Fiction

8:30-9:00 AM:          Voice, Tone, Theme: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “Yellow Wallpaper”

9:00-9:30 PM:           Plot, Character, Conflict, Climax: James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues”

9:30-10:15 PM:         Group Work: The Elements of Fiction

10:15-10:30 AM:      Break

10:30 -12:00 PM:      Setting: Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron”

12:00-1:00 PM:         Lunch Break

1:00-2:00 PM:           In-Class Assignment and Discussion

Homework: Prepare outlines for Exam #1 on the Novel and Short Story

Tuesday, June 15: Poetry (Sound and Text)

8:00-10:00 AM:        Exam #1: Fiction (The Novel and Short Story)

10:00-10:15 AM:      Break

10:15-11:15 AM:      Video: Langston Hughes

11:15-12:00:              Discuss Langston Hughes, “Harlem” (408-409)

12:00-1:00 PM:         Lunch Break

1:00-2:00 PM:           Discuss the Difference between Sound and Text: Robert Creeley’s “Oh Max”; Wallace Stevens’ “Chaos in Motion and Not in Motion”; Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy”

Homework: 1) Review the Keywords (below) from the “Handbook of Literary Terms”; 2) Read “Metaphor,” 409-410; “Word Choice,” 343; “Symbol and Allegory,” 419-420 (Heath Anthology); 3) Prepare an informal presentation on one of the following poems and read the others: Edna St. Vincent Millay, “What Lips My Lips Have Kissed,” 359; William Butler Yeats, “Irish Airman,” 379; e. e. cummings, “next to of course god america I,” 394; Adrienne Rich, “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers,” 400; Dorothy Parker, “Résumé,” 401; Denise Levertov, “Mid-American Tragedy,” 404; William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 18,” 433; Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” 474; Marianne Moore, “Poetry,” 517; T. S. Eliot, “Love Song,” 518; Sharon Olds, “Sex without Love,” 533.

Keywords for Review: aesthetics, alliteration, antithesis, assonance, diction, figure of speech, form, free verse, meter, overstatement, persona, personification, simile, sonnet, and understatement

Wednesday, June 16: Poetry (Elements of Poetry)

8:00-9:00 AM:          Video: T. S. Eliot (“Love Song”)

9:00-10:00 AM:        Poetry Presentations

10:00-10:15 AM:      Break

10:15-12:00 AM:      Poetry Presentations Continued

12:00-1:00 PM:         Lunch Break

1:00-2:00 PM:           Begin William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing

Homework: 1) Read the discussion of Drama (“Tragedy” and “Comedy,” pgs. 31-33 of the “Glossary of Literary Terms” handout); 2) Review the Keywords (below) from the “Handbook of Literary Terms”; 3) Read William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, 749-818; Write a brief (1 ˝ page) response paper.

Keywords for Review: anticlimax, antihero, archetype, aside, catharsis, comedy, dialogue, drama, exposition, hubris, monologue, soliloquy, tragedy, and tragic flaw

Thursday, June 17: Drama (Elements of Drama)

8:00-8:30 AM:          Introduction to the Elements of Drama

8:30-10:00 AM:        Discuss and Perform William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing

10:00-10:15 AM:      Break

10:15-12:15 AM:      Watch Film Adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing

12:15-1:15 PM:         Lunch Break

1:15-2:00 PM:           Discussion of Much Ado About Nothing and its Adaptations

Homework: Prepare outlines for Exam #2 on Poetry and Drama

Friday, June 18: Exam Poetry and Drama

8:00-11:00 AM: Exam #2: Poetry and Drama

Homework: Write a five-page essay on at least one of the works in the Heath Introduction to Literature that is not listed above and that we have not covered in class.  The essay (double spaced, typed, with one inch margins, and in Times New Roman 12-point font) is due on June 26.  Either email it to me as an MS Word attachment or drop it in my mailbox in the English Department (612 Pray Harrold).