ENGL440 - The Novel in America to 1914

With a focus on the novel, this course will investigate the American imagination, the American self, and particularly the peculiar nature of American freedom. The background our study of the democratic experiment will include consideration of Alexis De Tocqueville's Democracy in America (1840) and other general sources.   Many of the novels in this course are long.  We will study Charles Brockden Brown’s Edgar Huntly, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Deerslayer, Herman Melville‘s Moby-Dick, Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, and Gertrude Stein’s Three Lives.  Mid-term, final, and two papers.  Regular attendance and participation are required.  If you believe that you will be unable to attend virtually every class, please consider taking another course.  Few students with recurrent absences -- for whatever good reasons -- do well in this demanding course.  NO LAPTOPS OPEN IN CLASS.  Kindle editions MUST have the same pagination as the ordered texts (e.g., you must buy for your Kindle the same Penguin edition of Moby-Dick that we use in class).


Two lower-level English courses, at least one in literature; or permission of ARHU-English department.