This course centers on the theme of characters on journeys. Of particular interest are those who are undergoing the transition from youth to maturity. Students examine the various ways in which young people in literature negotiate this transition, weighing dependence and independence, family and friends, duty and passion, self-possession and love. They also explore these tensions in their own writing. Works studied in all sections of this course are J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, and selected short stories. Other authors recently studied are Golding, Hughes, Potok, Shaw, Steinbeck, Tan, Twain, Wiesel, and Wright. The English Department participates with other departments in introducing important foundational skills for reading and writing across the curriculum. The English writing curriculum develops further, as it emerges from the reading, and introduces the students to a variety of expository forms, including descriptive, narrative, reminiscent, and personal essays. Students compile a portfolio of their work at the end of the year. The course also covers a core group of topics in grammar and mechanics, culminating in a test on these topics taken by all freshmen.
Open to: Freshmen