Classic English Literature

: The Twentieth Century and After. All reading selections must come from the textbook. If you don’t have the textbook, here is a link to the table of contents:
• Before writing your essay, please read either the introduction to Volume F or the briefer online introduction:
Introduction to Volume F:
• In your essay (750-1000 words or more), you will trace one of these general ideas (listed below) through at least four pieces of literature by different writers from this time period.
• In other words, you will be discussing the work of four writers; you may include more than one work by each of the four writers. (Please do not merely repeat what you wrote in your reading responses if you use the same works.)
• The paper should be in essay form with an introduction, a thesis, body paragraphs, and a conclusion rather than a collection of reading responses. Please do not use sub-headings.
• You must use more than one quotation from each of the the reading selections as support for your general ideas. This is very important.
• Please do not choose long reading selections for this paper.
• If you have questions or need suggestions, please let me know.
The final should show me that you have read selections from various parts of Volume F (The Twentieth Century and After).

Here are some possible ways to group the reading selections (choose ONE topic). You must discuss four reading selections by four different authors for support.
1. Discuss four reading selections that show the increasing diversity in English literature during this time period, especially as it relates to the demise of the British empire. The topic “Nation, Race, and Language” (2718) may help you choose reading selections.
2. Discuss four reading selections that show how writers responded to both World War I and World War II in poetry and fiction. You may wish to contrast the way that poets responded to these two wars, using evidence from the textbook sections (“Voices from World War I” [2016]; “Voices from World War II [2704]). Note: There are very few poems from World War II. It’s acceptable to use only the poets from World War I.
3. Discuss four reading selections that reveal the influence of the modernist movement (early 20th century through 1930s) on poets and fiction writers. Writers who are considered parts of the modernist movement include Yeats, Woolf, Joyce, Lawrence, Eliot, etc. This website may be useful: ) (You will find a discussion of modernism in the instructions for Reading Response 4. There is also a section called Modernist Manifestos in the textbook [2056 ff.].)
4. Discuss four reading selections that you believe are still relevant in today’s world. You must be very specific about how these selections relate to current issues, and you must quote from the reading selections.
5. Discuss four reading selections that relate to the role of women during the 20th century. You may wish to consider the following authors: Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Stevie Smith, Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, Evan Boland, Jean Rhys. It is also acceptable to choose male authors who wrote about women and their roles.
This is a test of your ability to use critical thinking skills as you discuss the stories and poems, so you should use sources sparingly. Also, if you are quoting, even from the textbook, please use quotation marks or block (indent 10 spaces from the left margin) quotations of more than three lines. As always, you should follow MLA format. If you don’t use secondary sources (sources other than the textbook), you do not need a works cited page.

If you use the textbook as your only source, just include page numbers. Do not repeat the authors’ names over and over in parentheses. The authors’ names should be in sentences in the text of the paper, not in parentheses. Only page numbers should be in parentheses.

Here are several links that may be useful:

Introduction to Volume F:

Timeline: The Twentieth Century and After:

Norton Topics Online:

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