Topic outline

  • General

    The objective of this course is to familiarise students with American fiction written in the first half of the 20th century. The course also aims to endow students with the necessary knowledge and skills to analyse and interpret a work of fiction written in the stated period. 

  • Topic 1

    The overall purpose of the study of fiction is achieving a “correct” understanding of the fictional work, with the implication that the definition of “correct” might change greatly depending on time and person using the term in her/his subjective evaluation. However, two comments might be made: correct evaluation is based on a detailed analysis and is achieved through as much textual evidence as possible.    


  • Topic 3

    “A Rose for Emily” is one of the most well-known short stories of American fiction. It can be read for many themes including racism, love, deviation, Southern Traditionalism and time. It should also be read as a prime example of Southern Gothic fiction and as a study in modernism.

  • Topic 4

    “Dry September”, too, have nuances of Southern Gothic fiction. It is particularly interesting in its setting, reliance on the concept of White Lily, racism and gender roles.


  • Topic 5

    Fitzgerald is the person who named the Jazz Age. The Great Gatsby is one of the best discussed American novels with a legacy of more than 300 pieces written on. It should certainly be read as a narrative of Jazz Age but it reaches more beyond a reaction to the times of the author. Please pay particular attention to the diligent use of language. 



  • Topic 7

    Of Mice and Men, though nowhere identified as a narrative of the Great Depression, depicts the lives of ordinary workers who chase the American Dream in vain. Their precarious lives -to put it mildly- is nothing more than a toy in the hands of the big forces in life.  

  • Topic 8

    Of Mice and Men continued.


  • Topic 9

    Of Mice and Men Continued

  • Topic 10

    Old Man and The Sea, the minor magnum opus of Hemingway should particularly be read as an allegorical narration of the common man as a tragic hero.  Also, pay attention to the narrative style Hemingway is famous for.

  • Topic 11

    Old Man and the Sea continued


  • Topic 12

    Old Man and the Sea and Revision of the course