Dr. Don King‎ > ‎Course Syllabi‎ > ‎

English 324

Spring 2015
English 324, 20th Century British Writers
12-12:50, MWF
Belk 219

Don W. King: Home page
Phone 828-545-3293

COURSE  DESCRIPTION: Writers from England and Ireland from World War I to the present, concentrating on William Butler Yeats, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, and Seamus Heaney. 



The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 2, 8th ed.
Joyce, James, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Lawrence, D.H. Sons and Lovers
Greene, Graham, The Power and the Glory
Waugh, Evelyn, Brideshead Revisited
Pitter, Ruth, Collected Poems
Levenson, Michael, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Modernism, 2nd ed

Strongly recommended: 

A Handbook to Literature, Eds. William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th ed), Ed. Joseph Gibaldi.

Also, see Oxford Reference Online www.oxfordreference.com for some basic reference assistance.  It contains desktop access to 100 key Oxford dictionaries and reference works. The Core Collection brings together 100 language and subject dictionaries and reference works - containing well over 60,000 pages - into a single cross-searchable resource.  Also, see the Oxford English Dictionary, the grandfather of all dictionaries at http://dictionary.oed.com 

The list of databases at http://www.montreat.edu/library/completeelectronic.asp provides links to a variety of databases containing journal articles, online reference sources, and electronic books (ebooks).  These databases are accessible both on and off campus. You can search for journals at http://www.montreat.edu/library/electronic.asp.  Ask the library staff for a password for remote access if you live off campus.


1. What are the important philosophical, social, political, and religious ideas of this period? In particular, what is “modernism” and how does it influence 20th Century British literature?

2. What are the significant markers of 20th Century British literature? 

3. How pivotal is a knowledge of Scripture when reading, analyzing, and interpreting literature? What "views" of Scripture are revealed by 20th Century British writers? Which biblical texts most inform these writers?

4. How is 20th Century British informed by Romantic and Victorian notions of art, poetry, fiction, drama, and criticism? 

5. How do the various writers view the relationship between passion and reason, flesh and spirit, body and soul, matter and spirit? Are their views biblical?

6. In general, what view do the writers hold regarding the human condition?  Are we "created a little lower" than the angels or are we simply sophisticated animals? Why is how they approach this question important?


1. That you read and analyze important novels, poems, short stories, dramas, and prose non-fiction of selected 20th century English writers.

2. That you write at least one in class essay.

3. That you write a literary analysis and demonstrate your ability to gather information and present it effectively by combining summary with analysis, application with theory, and research with synthesis.

4. That you complete quizzes and major tests.

5. That you complete a creative project. 

6. That you learn to value the literature covered in this course as something that can enrich your life, revealing the complexity of the human experience and informing your spiritual life.


Jan. 9    Course Introduction

Jan. 12-16  Thomas Hardy and A. E. Housman

Jan. 21    Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Quiz

Jan. 23-28  WWI Poets; view on your own All Quiet on the Western Front

Jan. 30 Essay

Feb. 2  Modernism

Feb. 4-6  W. B. Yeats

Feb. 9-11  T. S. Eliot

Feb. 13 Essay

Feb. 16 D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, Chapters 1-7; Quiz

Feb. 18-20  T. S. Eliot

Feb. 23  Sons and Lovers, Chapters 8-15

Feb. 25-27 Ruth Pitter

Mar. 2 James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Parts 1-3, Quiz

Mar. 4-6 A Portrait and Pitter

Spring Break

Mar. 16 A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Parts 4-5, Quiz 

Mar. 18-20 W. H Auden and Dylan Thomas

Mar. 23  Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory, Parts, 1-2 (chp. 1), Quiz

Mar. 25-27 George Orwell

Mar. 30 The Power and the Glory, Parts 2, chp. 2-4, Quiz

Apr. 1-7 Philip Larkin

Easter Break

Apr. 8 Selected poets

April 10 Essay

Apr. 13 Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited, Part 1, Chp. 1-4, Quiz

Apr. 15-17 Seamus Heaney and selected writers

Apr. 20 Brideshead Revisited, Part 1, Chp. 5-8, Quiz

Apr. 22-23 Selected writers

Apr. 27 Brideshead Revisited, Part 2, Quiz

Apr. 29-May 1 Paper Presentations/Creative Projects

May 5 Literary Analysis due at 10 a.m.


1.  There will be tests, quizzes, essays, and/or journals that will constitute 60% of your grade in the course. If you are asked to keep a journal, as a rule of thumb, you should journal three to five times each week (roughly 200 words+ for each journal entry). In your journal you should reflect, react, respond, question, speculate, and so on with regard to what you are reading. Please date each entry.

2.  A book review will count 10%. You can write a review of of The Cambridge Companion to Modernism or any other book in the course bibliography. Due by midnight, April 11, 2015.

3.  You will also write a literary analysis of 1,250 to 1,500 words (5 to 6 pages). The analysis will count 10% of your final grade and is due at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.

4.  You will develop a creative project based upon your personal reaction to anything we have studied throughout the semester.  I prefer that this project be creative in whatever fashion you are creative.  For example, in the past students have put on skits, built or baked various things, written songs, done videotape or computer presentations, painted pictures, sculpted figures, done needlepoint, conducted interviews, written satires, and so on.  “The sky’s the limit” but you should check out your idea with me before you begin.  Group projects are possible but need to be approved by me. The project will count 10% of your final grade and must be presented in front of the class on or before the last regular class meeting.

5.  The remaining 10% will come from your class participation, discussion, regular attendance, homework, reserve and supplemental reading, group work and various short writing assignments.

6.  There are a total of 1000 pts possible in the course. Final grades will be compiled using the following guidelines:

1000-900    A to A-
899-800      B+ to B-
799-700      C+ to C-
699-600      D+ to D-
599-0          F

LIBRARY: All students are encouraged to take advantage of the services and resources available from the library.  You can search the online catalog and the library’s databases by going to http://www.montreat.edu/library/.  Select “Catalog” to search the online catalog or “Electronic Resources” to search the databases.  The catalog lists all of the books in the Montreat College library as well as the holdings of five other colleges.  You may check out books from all of these libraries.  In addition, you may request books or journal articles via interlibrary loan.  From the online catalog, you can also check on reserve materials by selecting “Reserve Desk” and searching by instructor name or course name.  


Allen, Walter. The English Novel.
Attridge, Derek. The Cambridge Companion to James Joyce.
Baker, Ernest. The History of the Novel, 11 volumes.
Baldick, Chris. The Modern Movement (OHEL).
Bergonzi, Bernard. Heroes’ Twilight: A Study of the Literature of the Great War.
-----------. Wartime and Aftermath: English Literature and Its Background, 1939-60.
Bradbury, Malcolm. The Social Context of Modern English Literature.
Booth, Allyson. Postcards from the Trenches: Negotiating the Space between Modernism and the First World War.
Booth, Wayne. The Rhetoric of Fiction.
Boulton, Marjorie. The Anatomy of the Novel.
Cecil, Hugh. The Flower of Battle: Fiction Writers of the First World War.
Conrad, Robert. Modern Times, Modern Places.
Cross, Wilber. The Development of the English Novel.
Davis, Lennard. Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel.
Esty, Jed. A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in England.
Fernihough, Anne.  The Cambridge Companion to D. H. Lawrence.
Forster, E. M. Aspects of the Novel.
Fussell, Paul. The Great War and Modern Memory.
----------. Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War.
Frye, Northrop. The Anatomy of Criticism.
Gilbert, Martin. A History of the Twentieth Century, 3 vols.
Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar. No Man’s Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century, 3 vols.
Graham, Desmond. The Truth of War: Owen, Rosenberg and Blunden.
Head, Dominic. The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Fiction, 1950–2000.
Howe, Irving. The Idea of the Modern in Literature and the Arts.
Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New.
Hynes, Samuel. A War Imagined: The First World War and English Culture.
James, Henry. The Art of the Novel.
Johnston, John. English Poetry of the First World War: A Study in the Evolution of Lyric and Narrative Forms.
Kellogg, Robert and Robert Scholes. The Nature of Narrative.
King, Don W. Hunting the Unicorn: A Critical Biography of Ruth Pitter.
Klein, Holger, J. E. Flower, and Eric Homberger, eds. The Second World War in Fiction.
Kramer, Dale. The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Hardy.
Leavis, F. R. The Great Tradition.
Levenson, Michael, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Modernism.
Lovett, Robert. The History of the English Novel.
Lubbock, Percy. The Craft of Fiction.
Milligan, Ian.  The Novel in English:  An Introduction.
Neill, Diana.  A Short History of the English Novel.
Rawlinson, Mark. British Writing of the Second World War.
Scannell, Vernon. Not without Glory: Poets of the Second World War.
Sherry, Vincent, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the First World War.
-----------. The Great War and the Language of Modernism.
Shires, Linda. British Poetry of the Second World War.
Silkin, John. Out of Battle: The Poetry of the Great War.
Spender, Stephen. The Struggle of the Modern.
Stead, C. K. The New Poetic: Yeats to Eliot.
----------. Pound, Yeats, Eliot, and the Modernist Movement.
Stevenson, Lionel. The English Novel: A Panorama.
Stevenson, Randall. The Last of England? (OHEL).
Stevick, Philip. The Theory of the Novel.
Stewart, J. I. M. Writers of the Early Twentieth Century: Hardy to Lawrence (OHEL); original title, Eight Modern Writers.
Tindall, William York.  Forces in Modern British Literature.
Watson, George. British Literature since 1945.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: For all individual assignments students are expected to present their own work; documentation of research for your literary analysis must follow the specific criteria as outlined in the MLA Handbook for Writer of Research Paper or The Columbia Guide to Online Style second edition. Cases of academic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating and plagiarism, will result in either of failure of the assignment or of the course.  

FINAL COMMENTS: This syllabus and other details about the course, including your grades for the course, are available through the college's online platform, Moodle. Please feel free to call me at 828-545-3293 or email me at dking@montreat.edu if you need help with any aspect of the course.

All students are encouraged to take advantage of the resources available in the Writing Center, located adjacent to the Bell Library computer lab.
Don W. King: Home page
I reserve the right to make minor changes to this syllabus as we move through the course.