American Literature Carey Hall Room 202
EE51 Office Hours: 2:15-3:30 p.m. (daily)
Spragins jspragins@gilman.edu 
Spring 2020 (443) 608-8068
1st and 2nd Periods: Odd Days

Second Semester Topics:


Cliffdwellers (1913) 
by George Bellows

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1892) by Stephen Crane
 


Blue and Green Music, 1919. 
Georgia O'Keeffe

 

Modernism Independent Projects

 

The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Salvage the Bones (2012) by Jesmyn Ward


One Act Playwriting Project


Month Day Cycle
Assignment


2/       

3 Day 5
Mon.
 




Stag at Sharkey's (1909) George Bellows

Essay on Huck Finn due by 3:30 p.m.

The Transcendent City vs. The Modern City:

Homework:

  • What happened to Whitman's hopeful vision of the American city during the second half of the nineteenth century?

2/       

4 Day 6
Tues.
2/
5
Day 7
Wed.Parent Conference Day
2/
6
Day 8
Thurs.
2/
7
Day 9
Fri.

 

Jacob Riis, Mulberry Street (1890)


Jacob Riis, Bandit's Roost


Lower East Side Tenement Museum

The Transcendent City vs. The Modern City:

New York City 1888:


Stephen Crane:

Homework:

2/
10
Day 10
Mon.
2/
11
Day 1
Tues.


Typical Toughs (1890) Jacob Riis
How the Other Half Lives (1890)


Daumier, Melodrama Show (1860)


Little Mother (1890) Jacob Riis
Creative Assignment on Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets due Thursday, February 27th at 3:30 p.m.

Stephen Crane and Literary Naturalism
:
  • Setting: Describe the situation of children who grow up in the Rum Alley ghetto.
  • Plot: What can you predict will happen to the heroine in a melodrama
  • Style: What is Crane's perspective on his characters? 
  • NaturalismLiterary Definition Is Maggie's character determined by biology or economics or psychology? 

Homework:

Key Questions:

  • What prevents Maggie from achieving the insight necessary to understand her situation? What makes her unable to accomplish this goal? Do you hold her responsible?
  • What could Maggie have learned from Nellie? Would that have saved her?
  • What has Maggie realized when Pete throws her out of his bar? What options does Maggie have at this point?
  • Could Maggie have done anything to interrupt this slide down the slippery slope?

2/

12
Day 2
Wed.


2        

13
Day 3
Thurs.



Stag at Sharkey's (1909) George Bellows


Henri, Robert alome 1909 Mead Art Museum


Creative Assignment on Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets due Thursday, February 27th at 3:30 p.m.

Discuss Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (part two) (Quiz 2) Study Guide; (Lecture Two) (Google Study Guide Part Two)

Homework:

Review Maggie and choose which scene you consider to be the key moment which decides her fate.

  • What is the primary obstacle to Maggie achieving the insight necessary to understand her situation? What makes her unable to accomplish this goal? Do you hold her responsible?
  • What could Maggie have learned from Nellie? Would that have saved her?
  • What has Maggie realized at the moment that she is dumped by Pete? What options does Maggie have at this point? 
  • Could Maggie have done anything to interrupt this slide down the slippery slope?

Criticism on Maggie:

2 

14
Day 4
Fri. Professional Day

2/   

17
Day 0
Mon.Presidents' Day
2/18Day 4Tues.

2/   

19
Day 5
Wed. 

Shinn, Eviction (1904)


Cliffdwellers (1913) 
by George Bellows


Daumier, Melodrama Show (1860)


42 Kids
(1907) George Bellows

Review Maggie and choose which scene you consider to be the key moment which decides her fate.

Maggie Creative Project:
Approaches to Interpreting Maggie:
  1. Marx: Maggie belongs to a class which Marx called the lumpen proletariat: that layer of the working class which is unable to gain class consciousness; on her own, she is doomed. What would Maggie need to understand to achieve this consciousness? How does the culture she absorbs daily help keep the working class in its place?
  2. Darwin: Social Darwinist thinkers loosely combined Darwin's conception of  natural selection with classical liberal economic theory to argue that some races and ethnicities were losing out in the struggle for survival and therefore deserved to be allowed to die off. Other more radical Social Darwinists argued that poverty bred contagious social threats which needed to be medically removed. Is Crane a Social Darwinist?
  3. Freud: Freudian theory held that children traumatized in their development would struggle to establish independence when they reach adulthood. How does the trauma Maggie experienced as a child manifest itself when she becomes a young adult? Can Maggie be treated? 
  4. Nietzsche: Nietzsche argued that people should overcome their rational and religious qualms about taking the necessary action to assert one's own power over others. Who would Maggie need to become to achieve such power?
  5. Liberal: How would liberals respond to Maggie's dilemma? They are soft determinists who insist that even if environment influences a person's character, each individual is ultimately responsible for his or her own fate. ("You always have a choice.") To what degree is Maggie herself responsible for the terrible situation she finds herself in?
Homework:
2/ 20 Day 6
Thurs.

2/   

21
Day 7
Fri.  





Maggie Creative Project:

Creative Assignment on Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets due Thursday, February 27th at 3:30 p.m.

Review Maggie and choose which scene you consider to be the key moment which decides her fate.

Section One:Section Two:
Melodramas:
2/
24
Day 8
Mon.

2/
25
Day 9
Tues.


Maggie Creative Project:

Creative Assignment on Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets due Thursday, February 27th at 3:30 p.m.

Review Maggie and choose which scene you consider to be the key moment which decides her fate.

Section One:Section Two:
2/
26
Day 10
Wed.

2/    

27
Day 1
Thurs.
 

Charles Demuth, The Figure 5 in Gold, 1928. 


Creative Assignment on Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets due Thursday, February 27th at 3:30 p.m.

Modernism Independent Projects:

The Intellectual Backgrounds to Modern Consciousness:


Homework:
2/
28
Day 2
Fri.






3/  

2
Day 3
Mon.
  


The Voice of the City of New York Interpreted: The Bridge, 1920-22. Joseph Stella


Foghorns (1907) by Arthur Dove

 

Maggie Movies:

Section One:Section Two:

Modernism Independent Projects:

Independent Projects on American Modernism

The Intellectual Backgrounds to Modern Consciousness:

This Essay is Due on Thursday, March 13th at 3:30 pm

Check out the Thomson Gale Literature Resources CenterJSTOR, or Bloom's Literary Reference Online on the Gilman On-line Database Page.  

Homework:






3/   

3
Day 4
Tues.

3/  

4
Day 5
Wed.



Foghorns (1907) by Arthur Dove

Independent Projects on American Modernism

The Intellectual Backgrounds to Modern Consciousness:

Check out the Thomson Gale Literature Resources CenterJSTOR , or Bloom's Literary Reference Online on the Gilman On-line Database Page.

Homework:
  • This Essay is Due on Thursday, March 13th at 3:30 pm
3/5
Day 6
Thurs.

3/

6
 Day 7
Fri.
   
Zora Neale Hurston (1925)

Independent Projects on American Modernism

The Intellectual Backgrounds to Modern Consciousness:

The Zeitgeist of Modernism 

Check out the Thomson Gale Literature Resources CenterJSTOR , or Bloom's Literary Reference Online on the Gilman On-line Database Page.

This Essay is Due on Thursday, March 13th at 3:30 pm

3/
9
 Day 8
Mon.
3/
10
Day 9
Tues.




Langston Hughes (1925)


Independent Projects on American Modernism

The Intellectual Backgrounds to Modern Consciousness:

The Zeitgeist of Modernism 

Check out the Thomson Gale Literature Resources CenterJSTOR, or Bloom's Literary Reference Online on the Gilman On-line Database Page. 

Remember that you MUST turn in a Works Cited Page with your essay. You MUST cite sources for ideas which are not your own using correct MLA form.

Internet Citation Machines:

Homework:

  • This Essay is Due on Thursday, March 13th at 3:30 pm

3/

11
Day 10
Wed.
3/
12
Day 1
Thurs.




Peer Review

Independent Projects on American Modernism

The Intellectual Backgrounds to Modern Consciousness:

The Zeitgeist of Modernism 

Check out the Thomson Gale Literature Resources CenterJSTOR, or Bloom's Literary Reference Online on the Gilman On-line Database Page. 

Remember that you MUST turn in a Works Cited Page with your essay. You MUST cite sources for ideas which are not your own using correct MLA form.

Internet Citation Machines:

Homework:

  • This Essay is Due on Thursday, March 13th at 3:30 pm
3/
13
Day 2
Fri.

3/

14
Day 0
Sat. SPRING BREAK
3/23Day 0
Mon.SPRING BREAK
3/24 Day 3Tues.
Orientation to Online Learning

Homework:

Participate in the Online Graded Discussion at Canvas
3
25
Day 4
Wed.

3/   

26
Day 5
Thurs.
  


The Great Gatsby (1925) Dust Jacket Illustration by Francis Cugat

 

Introduction to The Great Gatsby (1925)

Homework:

Read The Great Gatsby, Chapter One (1-26) (GoogleDocs VersionStudy Guide

For Further Reading (and listening): 

3/27 Day 6Fri.
3/30Day 7Mon.

 

 

 

The map (1917) shows the locations of Fitzgerald's imaginary West Egg and East Egg, as well as of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.


Scott and Zelda


"
A Flapper's Appeal to Her Parents" (1922)

Essay on The Great Gatsby due Friday, April 13th at 3:30 pm.

The Jazz Age (Notes)

The Great Gatsby, Chapter One (1-26) Study Guide

  • Describe the frame which Fitzgerald creates for Gatsby's story. Why tell this story from the point of view of Nick Carroway? 
  • What is it about Gatsby which so fascinates Nick? Why is he telling us Gatsby's story?
  • How does Fitzgerald characterize East Egg society at the dinner party where Nick socializes with Daisy, Tom and Jordan?
  • Fitzgerald's Imagery vs The Real Character of These People 

Homework:

For further reading:




3/
31
Day 8
Tues.

4/
1
Day 9
Wed.

 



(Video clip from 2013 film)


Karen Black as Myrtle Wilson


Jason Clark as George Wilson

VIDEO: The Roaring Twenties: Dance Craze


Essay on The Great Gatsby due Friday, April 17th at 3:30 pm.

The Great Gatsby, Chapter One (1-26) (GoogleDocs Version) Study Guide

Review: Chapter One

  • Describe the narrative frame which Fitzgerald creates for Gatsby's story. Why tell this story from the point of view of Nick Carroway? 
  • What is it about Gatsby which so fascinates Nick? Why is he telling us Gatsby's story?
  • Party #1: How does Fitzgerald characterize East Egg society as represented by the Daisy, Tom and Jordan?
  • Fitzgerald's Imagery vs The Real Character of These People
The Great Gatsby, Chapter Two (27-42) Study Guide Homework:

For further reading:

4/   

2
Day 10 Thurs.
4/
3
Day 1
Fri.

 

 

 


Zelda at age 18


The Party Machine at Gatsby's Mansion


To Live in the 1920's


Essay on The Great Gatsby due Friday, April 17th at 3:30 pm.

Gatsby Quiz Chapters Three and Four

The Great Gatsby, Chapters Three and Four (43-85) (GoogleDocs Version) Study Guide Three and Four

Party #3
Describe the Gatsby party machine in action.
  • Why has Gatsby invited Nick to the party? What does he talk about with Jordan? (She won't tell Nick.) Why has Gatsby been throwing all these parties?!
  • Nick and Jordan 

Chapter Four: Lunch In NYC: What picture of Gatsby's character is beginning to emerge for Nick and for you as we learn more and more about him?

How about Nick? What is happening in his life? Where is his relationship with Jordan, Daisy, Tom, and Gatsby leading him?

Homework:


4/
6
Day 2
Mon.
4/
7
Day 3
Tues.  

 

 
 



Gatsby and Daisy

 

Essay on The Great Gatsby due Friday, April 17th at 3:30 pm.

The Great Gatsby, Chapters Five and Six  Study Guide Five and Six
(GoogleDocs Five) (GoogleDocs Six)

Gatsby Quiz Five and Six

Music mentioned in the text:

Homework:

4/
8
Day 4
Wed.

4/

9
Day 5
Thurs.
 


Essay on The Great Gatsby due Friday, April 17th at 3:30 pm.

The Great Gatsby, Chapters Five and Six (Googledocs 5) (Googledocs 6) Study Guide Five and Six The Great Gatsby, Chapter Seven (119-153) (Googledocs Chapter SevenStudy Guide Seven 

Gatsby Quiz Chapter Seven

Party #6: The Catastrophe
  • Paragraph: Unpack the meaning of the action's catastrophe. Consider the details: the heat, the reprise of details from earlier in the novel, Gatsby and Tom's confrontation, and the mistaken identities which lead to Myrtle's death. All the strands of the novel come together. How does the scene relate to Fitzgerald's overall intention?
Homework:
4/10Day 0Fri.Good Friday

4/13Day 0Mon. Professional Day

4/  

14
Day 6
Tues.

4/  

15
Day 7
Wed.



The Great Gatsby (1925) Dust Jacket Illustration by Francis Cugat


The Great Gatsby, Chapter Eight and Nine (154-189) (GoogleDocs Eight and Nine) Study Guide Eight and Nine
  • What ultimately separates Gatsby from Daisy? Is it class? Or is the barrier something else?  To what extent could any real woman live up to the dreams Gatsby spins about Daisy and her wealthy lifestyle?
  • Make sense of Gatsby's murder as part of Fitzgerald's overall purpose in the novel?
  • How many of the summer guests who came to Gatsby's parties showed up at his funeral? (See Chapter 4)
  • Unpack the final image of the novel. What has Nick learned about the American Dream?

Gatsby Quiz Eight and Nine

Homework:

Essay on The Great Gatsby due Friday, April 17th at 3:30 pm.

4/16Day 8Thurs.

4/  

17
Day 9
Fri.



Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, newlyweds,  3 April 1920


Essay Workshop

Peer Review

Check out the Thomson Gale Literature Resources CenterJSTOR , or Bloom's Literary Reference Online on the Gilman On-line Database Page

Essay on The Great Gatsby due Friday, April 17th at 3:30 pm.

Introduction to Salvage the Bones (2011) by Jesmyn Ward

"THE FIRST DAY: BIRTH IN A BARE-BULB PLACE" (pp. 1-19)
4/
20
Day 10
Mon.

4/21
Day 1
Tues.

THE SECOND DAY: HIDDEN EGGS

THE THIRD DAY: SICKNESS IN THE DIRT

4/
22
Day 2
Wed.






4/23
Day 3
Thurs.
4/24
Day 4
Fri.






4/27Day 5Mon.

4/

28 Day 6
Tues.
4/
29
Day 7
Wed.






4/

30
Day 8
Thurs.
5/1
Day 9
Fri.




5/4
Day 10
Mon.
5/5
Day 1
Tues.




5/6
Day 2
Wed.
5/
7
Day 3
Thurs.





5/

8
Day 4
Fri.
5/11Day 5Mon

5/

12
Day 6
Tues.
5/13Day 7Wed.




5/

14
Day 8
Thurs.

5/

15
Day 9
Fri.
5/
18
Day 10
Mon.

5/19
Day 1
Tues.




5/20
Day 2
Wed.
5/21Day 3Thurs.2015-16




5/
22
Day 4
Fri.




Lila Essay Due by 3:30 p.m.

Creative Writing ala Zen Buddhism:
Journal Entry #3: (prompt 1) (Goldberg 145) (prompt 2) (prompt 3) (Goldberg 166)

5/25Day 6Mon.Memorial Day

5/ 26
Day 5
Tues.EXAMS-9

5/

27
 Day 6
Wed.

5/

28
 Day 7
Thurs.




One Act Playwriting Project:

Homework:

5/29Day 8Fri.EXAMs

6/

1
Day 9
Mon.


One Act Playwriting Project: Day Two  
Monologues from The Glass Menagerie: 
Homework:

6/

2
Day 10Tues.

6/
3
Day 1
Wed.

6/

4
 Day 0
Thurs.  EXAM MAKE UP DAY

6/5 Day 0Fri.BACCALAUREATE

6/
6
Day 0
Sat.FOUNDERS' DAY