AMERICAN LITERATURE: ADVENTURES IN AN UNFAMILIAR LAND
These stories reflect the idea that western European newcomers to the American Continent historically had of themselves as voyagers and adventurers, and all of them are centered on voyages in some sense except The Scarlet Letter, where voyages are a secondary plot, and The Crucible.
Most of the stories do not end well, which is understandable in a country where there was so litle support for the newcomers (who unfortunately were not kind to the native people who might have made their lives much easier had they lived) Twain provides humor, Cather, a strong faith in the goodness of humility, and Thoreau, an unconventional optimism.
This course is recommended for "freshmen" or first year participants in the four year program. The second half of the trimester is focused on WALDEN and on the present day relevance of Thoreau's agenda. Interested participants can join the summer trimester adventure, On the Road, on the River with Jack Kerouac and On the River, In the Woods with Henry David Thoreau
Mark Twain: Huckleberry Finn John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath F Scott Fitzgerald: the Great Gatsby Herman Melville: Moby Dick N.Hawthorn: The Scarlet Letter The Crucible Willa Cather: Death Comes for the Archbishop Henry David Thoreau: Walden