American Literature

By Marjorie Ross,2014-06-15 17:19
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American Literature

American Literature


    Students must read all items on the core list.


    ? Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter (including “The Custom-House”) and “Preface” from The House of the

    Seven Gables

? Whitman: Preface to Leaves of Grass (1855), “Song of Myself,” “Out of the Cradle Endlessly

    Rocking,” “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom‟d,” “Beat! Beat! Drums!” “Vigil Strange I

    Kept on the Field One Night,” “The Wound-Dresser,” “Reconciliation”

? Dickinson (Johnson edition numbers):

    #49: I never lost as much but twice; #130: These are the days when Birds come back;

    #249: Wild Nights—Wild Nights!; #258: There‟s a certain Slant of Light;

    #280: I felt a Funeral in my Brain; #291: How the old Mountains drip with Sunset;

    #303: The Soul selects her own Society—; #318: I‟ll tell you how the sun rose;

    #328: A Bird came down the Walk; #341: After great pain, a formal feeling comes;

    #365: Dare you see a Soul at the White Heat?; #465: I heard a Fly buzzwhen I died;

    #501: This World is not Conclusion; #508: I‟m ceded—I‟ve stopped being Theirs―;

    #569: I reckonwhen I count at all; #593: I think I was enchanted;

    #657: I dwell in Possibility―; #670: One need not be a Chamber—to be Haunted―;

    #675: Essential Oils—are wrung―; #754: My Life had stood—a Loaded Gun―;

    #822: This Consciousness that is aware; #986: A Narrow Fellow in the Grass;

    #1129: Tell all the Truth but tell it slant

    Letter 260: To T. W. Higginson, 15 April 1862 […if my Verse is alive]

    Letter 261: To T. W. Higginson, 25 April 1862 […I had a terror…]

    Letter 265: To T. W. Higginson, 7 June 1862 [You think my gait spasmodic…]

    Letter 268: To T. W. Higginson, July 1862 [My Business is Circumference…]

    Letter 459A: To T. W. Higginson, 1876 [Nature is a Haunted House…]

    Letter 233: To [recipient unknown], ca. 1861 [Master letter]

    Letter 912: To Susan Gilbert Dickinson, ca. 1884 [Be Sue…]

    ? Melville: Moby-Dick and “Hawthorne and His Mosses” (first 21 paragraphs)


    ? Twain: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    ? Chopin: The Awakening

    ? James: The Portrait of a Lady and “The Art of Fiction” (first 7 paragraphs)

     th20 CENTURY

    ? T. S. Eliot: The Wasteland, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “The Hollow Men,” “Burnt

    Norton,” + “Tradition and the Individual Talent”

    ? Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury

    ? O’Neill: Long Day’s Journey into Night

    ? Ellison: Invisible Man

    ? Morrison: Song of Solomon


    Choose 13 items as specified within each category. Each checkbox selection = one item. Additionally, your choices must meet the following requirements:

    ? 3 selections must be novels

    ? 3 selections must consist of short stories

    ? 2 selections must consist of poetry

    ? 1 selection must be a play

    (Plus choose 4 more selections from genres and periods of your choice.)


    ? Native American Songs: “Hunting Song” (Navajo); “Rising of the Buffalo Men” (Osage); “Prayer”

    (Navajo); “Song in the Garden of the House of God” (Navajo); “Korosta Katzina Song” (Hopi);

    “Arrow Song” (Chippewa); “Song of War” (Chippewa)

     Native American Tales: “The Woman Who Fell from the Sky” (Seneca); “Jicarilla Genesis” (Jicarilla

    Apache); “Creation” (Hopi); “Great Spirit Names the Animal People: How Coyote Came by His

    Powers” (Okanogan); “Manabozho and the Hell-Diver” (Menomini); “Origin of Eternal Death”


     Bradford: from Of Plymouth Plantation (in Heath Anthology): from chapters IX

    (“…Voyage…”), XI (“…Mayflower…”), XXVIII (“Pequot War”)

     Rowlandson: A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

     Crèvecoeur: from Letters from an American Farmer: from Letter IX (“A Description of Charles-

    Town…”) (in Heath Anthology)

     Equiano: from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano: Chapter 2

     Wheatley: “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” “To the Right Honorable William, Earl of

    Dartmouth,” “To S.M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works”

     [Native songs and tales are available at <>.]

? Bradford: from Of Plymouth Plantation (in Heath Anthology): from Chapter I (“Separatist

    Interpretation…”); Chapter IX (“…Voyage…”); Chapter XI (“…Mayflower…”);

    Chapter XIX (“Thomas Morton…”); Chapter XXIII (“…Dispersal…”); Chapter XXVIII

    (“Pequot War”); Chapter XXXIV (“…Remove to Nauset”)

     Bradstreet: “ The Prologue” [to her book]; “In Honor of That High and Mighty Princess Queen

    Elizabeth of Happy Memory,” “The Author to Her Book,” “Flesh and Spirit,” “Here Follows

    Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House July 10, 1666,” “A Letter to Her Husband, Absent

    upon Public Employment”

     Taylor: “Huswifery,” “Upon a Spider Catching a Fly,” “Meditation 8 (First Series),” “Upon Wedlock

    and the Death of Children”

     Edwards: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and Personal Narrative (from Heath Anthology)

     Franklin: from The Autobiography: Part I (paragraphs 1-2) and Part II

     Ashbridge: from Some Account of the Fore-Part of the Life of Elizabeth Ashbridge (in Heath


     Crèvecoeur: from Letters from an American Farmer: from Letter III,“What is an American?” (in

    Heath Anthology)

     Wheatley: “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” “To the Right Honorable William, Earl of

    Dartmouth,” “To S.M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works”

     th19 CENTURY (choose 3)


    ? Thoreau: from Walden: “Economy” (paragraphs 1-15 and 22-32); “Where I Lived and What I Lived

    For”; “Brute Neighbors”; “Spring” + from “Resistance to Civil Government” (paragraphs 1-27)

? Emerson: from Nature: “Introduction”; Chapter I, “Nature”; Chapter III, “Beauty”; Chapter IV,

    “Language”; Chapter VIII, “Prospects” and Essays: “The Poet” and “The American Scholar”

     Fuller: from The Great Lawsuit: “The Great Radical Dualism” (excerpt in Norton Anthology, Shorter


? Hawthorne: “Rappaccini‟s Daughter” and “Young Goodman Brown”

     Poe: “Ligeia” and “The Fall of the House of Usher”

? Melville: “Bartleby, The Scrivener”

     Davis: “Life in the Iron Mills”


    ? Jewett: Country of the Pointed Firs

? Wharton: House of Mirth

? Dreiser: Sister Carrie

    ? Crane: The Red Badge of Courage; Maggie, A Girl of the Streets; “The Open Boat”; “Blue Hotel”

? Jewett: “A White Heron

     Freeman: “The Revolt of „Mother‟”

     Chesnutt: “The Goophered Grapevine”

     Gilman: “The Yellow Wall-Paper”

     Garland: “Under the Lion‟s Paw”

     Sui Sin Far: “In the Land of the Free”

MODERNIST (choose 2)


    ? Cather: A Lost Lady

? Anderson: Winesburg, Ohio

? Hurston: Their Eyes Were Watching God

? Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby

? Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises or In Our Time

? Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath


    ? Frost: “Design,” “Out, Out―,” “Birches,” “The Road Not Taken,” “After Apple-Picking,” “Mowing,”

    “Mending Wall,” “The Death of the Hired Man,” “The Woodpile,” “Home-Burial,” “Acquainted

    with the Night,” “Directive,” “The Oven Bird,” “Desert Places”

     + Theory: “The Figure a Poem Makes”

     Stevens: “Anecdote of the Jar,” “The Idea of Order at Key West,” “Disillusionment of Ten O‟Clock,”

    “Sunday Morning,” “The Emperor of Ice-Cream,” “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,”

    “The Snow Man,” “A High-Toned Old Christian Woman,” “Peter Quince at the Clavier,” “Of

    Modern Poetry”

     Williams: “Spring and All,” “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus,” “Danse Russe,” “The Red

    Wheelbarrow,” This Is Just to Say,” “The Young Housewife,” “Portrait of a Lady,” “Queen

    Anne‟s Lace,” “The Widow‟s Lament in Springtime,” “The Great Figure,” “At the Ball Game,”

    “The Dance,” “Yachts,” “To Elsie”

     H. D.: “Oread,” “Sea Rose,” “Garden,” “Helen,” “Fragment 36,” “Fragment 68,” “Mid-day,” “The

    Helmsman,” “Eurydice,” “Orchard,” The Walls Do Not Fall (sections 1-4)

    ? Moore: “Poetry,” “The Mind Is an Enchanting Thing,” “To a Snail,” “Paper Nautilus,” “The Fish,”

    “The Pangolin,” “The Steeple-Jack,” “He „Digesteth Harde Yron,‟” “Bird-Witted,”

    “Nevertheless,” “The Wood-Weasel,” “An Egyptian Pulled Glass Bottle in the Shape of a Fish”

     McKay: “The Harlem Dancer,” “America,” “If We Must Die,” “Harlem Shadows”

     Hughes: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “The Weary Blues,” “Sylvester‟s Dying Bed,” Madam‟s Past

    History,” “Mulatto,” “Christ in Alabama,” “Come to the Waldorf-Astoria,” “Goodbye Christ,”

    “Let America Be America Again,” “Ballad of the Landlord,” “Harlem [Dream Deferred],”

    “Homecoming,” “Theme for English B,” “Song for a Dark Girl”

     + Theory: “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain”

     Rukeyser: “The Book of the Dead,” “Boy with His Hair Cut Short,” “Seventh Avenue,” “Paper

    Anniversary,” “Woman as Market,” “Ballad of Orange and Grape,” “The Minotaur,” “The Poem

    as Mask”


    ? Porter: “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”

     Hurston: “Sweat”

     Toomer: “Blood Burning Moon”

     Faulkner: “Barn Burning”

     Hemingway: “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” “Hills Like White


     Welty: “Why I Live at the P.O.”



    ? Bellow: Henderson, The Rain King

? Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse Five or Breakfast of Champions

? Pynchon: The Crying of Lot 49

? Silko: Ceremony

? C. Johnson: Middle Passage

? Smiley: A Thousand Acres

? Alvarez: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents


    ? Sexton: “The Fury of Sunsets,” “The Fury of Cocks,” “For Eleanor Boylan Talking with God,” “In

    Celebration of My Uterus,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “The Starry Night,” “Her

    Kind,” “All My Pretty Ones,” “Wanting to Die,” “The Black Art,”

     Plath: “The Disquieting Muses,” “Daddy,” “Morning Song,” “Lady Lazarus,” “The Applicant,” “The

    Colossus,” “Cut”

     Roethke: “Cuttings,” “Cuttings” (later), “I Knew a Woman,” “In a Dark Time,” “The Far Field,”

    “Dolor,” “Frau Bauman, Frau Schmidt, and Frau Schwartze,” “Elegy for Jane,” “The Waking,”

    “My Papa‟s Waltz,” “Root Cellar”

     Bishop: “In the Waiting Room,” “The Fish,” “The Armadillo,” “One Art,” “The Moose,” “The Man-

    Moth,” “The Monument,” “Filling Station,” “Roosters,” “Pink Dog”

? Hayden: “Those Winter Sundays,” “Mourning Poem for the Queen of Sunday,” “A Plague of

    Starlings,” “For a Young Artist,” “A Letter from Phillis Wheatley,” “The Ballad of Sue Ellen

    Westerfield,” “Monet‟s „Waterlilies,‟” “Bone-Flower Elegy,” “Night, Death, Mississippi,” “O

    Daedalus, Fly Away Home”

     Brooks: “The Second Sermon on the Warpland,” “The Bean Eaters,” “We Real Cool,” “The Ballad of

    Rudolph Reed,” “To the Diaspora,” “The Near-Johannesburg Boy,” “An Aspect of Love, Alive in

    the Ice and Fire,” “the mother,” “a song in the front yard”

     Ginsberg: “Howl,” “America,” “A Supermarket in California,” “Love Poem on Theme by Whitman”

     Rich: “Face to Face,” “Planetarium,” “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning,” “Diving into the Wreck,”

    “Aunt Jennifer‟s Tigers,” “Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law”; from “Twenty-One Love Poems”

    (poems II, XII, XXI)

    ? Levertov: “The Jacob‟s Ladder,” “The Goddess,” “Song for Ishtar,” “About Marriage,” “Overland to

    the Islands,” “Stepping Westward”

     Wright: “A Blessing,” “Autumn Begins at Martin‟s Ferry, Ohio,” “Lying in a Hammock at William

    Duffy‟s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota,” “Saint Judas,” “Beautiful Ohio”

     Clifton: “miss rosie,” “wishes for sons,” “homage to my hips,” “at the cemetery, walnut grove

    plantation, south carolina, 1989,” “i was born with twelve fingers,” “at last we killed the

    roaches,” “scar,” “lorena,” “the times,” “shapeshifter poems”

     Ortiz: “My Father‟s Song,” “Earth and Rain, the Plants & Sun”

     Hogan: “The Truth Is,” “Potatoes,” “Two of Hearts,” “Song for My Name,” “Black Hills Survival

    Gathering, 1980”

     Dove: “Daystar,” “Dusting,” “Parsley,” “After Reading Mickey in the Night Kitchen for the Third Time

    Before Bed,” “Grape Sherbet,” “Sunday Greens”


    ? Baldwin: “Sonny‟s Blues”

     O’Connor: “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” “Good Country People,” “The Artificial Nigger,”

    “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” “Revelation,” “The Displaced Person”

? Paley: “A Conversation with My Father”

     Barth: “Lost in the Funhouse”

     Barthelme: “Sentence”

     Vizenor: “Feral Lasers”

     O’Brien: “The Things They Carried”

     Erdrich: “Fleur”

? Olsen: “I Stand Here Ironing”

     Updike: “A&P”

     Carver: “Cathedral”

     Bambara: “The Lesson”

     Mason: “Shiloh”

     Mukherjee: “A Wife‟s Story”

     T.C. Boyle: “Greasy Lake”


    ? Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire

? Miller: Death of a Salesman

? Albee: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf or The Zoo Story + The American Dream

    ? Hansberry: A Raisin in the Sun

? Wilson: The Piano Lesson or Fences

? Hwang: M. Butterfly

     thth19 and 20 CENTURY AUTOBIOGRAPHY

    ? Jacobs: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, chapters 1, 6, 10, 12, 16, 21, 41

     Zitkala Ša: “Impressions of an Indian Childhood,” “The School Days of an Indian Girl,” “An Indian

    Teacher among Indians”

    ? Douglass: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845 version)

? Neihardt: Black Elk Speaks

? Kingston: The Woman Warrior

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