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ENGL 2240: Module 1: PROSE

Introduction

The study of prose--literature written in a linear fashion, rather than, say, in short lined-stanzas like poetry, or in character-driven dialogue like plays and other dramas--requires very close reading, building a personal working vocabulary of literary terminology with which to discuss and critically analyze various narratives, and developing an appreciation of writerrs and the literature they have created.

The structure of the Prose Module will roughly follow a chronological timeline, beginning with the earliest types of prose literature--myths and legends--and move forward into the Oral Tradition of folk tales, fairy tales, and tall tales, and from there into the short story and contemporary fiction.  We will examine different forms of prose literature, delve into the basic elements and structure of narrative fiction--characters, settings, emotion and theme--working to uncover meaning, motive, and structure, using a specialized vocabulary to communicate our findings.

In this course, the readings will begin with a number of fairly short myths and supplemental pieces, while we begin exploring and expanding our literary terminology.  As the semester progresses toward midterm, however, the number of readings will decrease, but, conversely, increase in length.  After midterm, we will leave prose literature behind and turn our focus to poetry and drama.