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ENG 300: Mark Twain and His Times

Course Description

This course is an intensive study of Mark Twain’s writings from "Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" through "Life on the Mississippi", "Huck Finn", "A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court", "Pudd’nhead Wilson" and later writings, with special attention to American democratic vision, technology, Victorian society, and racism. The relation between humor, ethics, and American idealism will be stressed. Students will read selections from Twain’s travel books and short stories.

Prerequisites

  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with Twain's works.
  2. Relate works to historical setting, contexts, and other writers.
  3. Ability to discuss works in writing, citing passages.
  4. Ability to research online and onground and demonstrate results.
  5. Ability to discuss literary criticism and major genres.
  6. Ability to respond to other comments, citing information.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignment(s)

Weight

Discussions (Weeks 1-15)

60%

Quizzes (Weeks 1-15)

15%

Written Assignments (Week 4,  Week 10 and Week 14)

15%

Portfolio (Week 15)

10%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

(Available through our online bookstore)

  • Mark Twain/ Tales, Speeches, Essays, and Sketches, ed. Tom Quirk. (Penguin Books) ISBN:0-14-043417-8
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
  • Pudd'nhead Wilson (Bantam) ISBN: 0-553-21158-7
  • Old Times on the Mississippi ISBN: 9780872432338

Additional Required Materials

Not available through bookstore

  • The following titles are available online at no charge. Click the links below to launch the titles.

  • Mark Twain's Humor: Critical Essays, ed. by David E. E. Sloane, 600+ pages of critical essays on Twain's canon is available at $50.00 plus $5.05 postage, originally $95.00; please send $55.05 check w/ return address to David E. E. Sloane
    4 Edgehill Terrace
    Hamden CT 06517

Course Schedule

Week

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignment(s)

1

1-6

Topic: Introduction to Mark Twain

  • Readings: Quirk Text: "Celebrated Jumping Frog", "Barnum's First Speech in Congress" and "Cannibalism in the Cars"
  • Artemus Ward selections
  • Optional: Daniel Boorstin: The Americans, Volumes 1, 2, 3
  • Read  assigned readings
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Quiz

2

1-6

Topic: Innocents Abroad

  • Readings: Innocents Abroad: Chapters: 1, 6, 7, 19, 27, 28, 32, 34, 44, 45, 53, 57
  • Optional: Sections on Starting Trip, Azores, Paris, Rome, Damascus, Holy Land
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Quiz

3

1-6

Topic: Roughing It

  • Readings: Roughing It: Chapters: 1-7, 10, 24, 47, 53, 60, 61, 64, 66, 67, 72, 73, 77-79
  • Optional: Hawaiian Chapters
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Quiz

4

1-6

Topic: Old Times on the Mississippi (aka, Life on the Mississippi)

  • Readings: Old Time on the Mississippi: Chapters: 1, 2, 4-9, 11, 19-21, 46, 50
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Written Assignment
  • Quiz

5

1-6

Topic: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

  • Readings: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: first half of novel
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Quiz

6

1-6

Topic: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

  • Readings: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: second half of novel
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Quiz

7

1-6

Topic: Sociable Jimmy

  • Readings: Quirk Text: Sociable Jimmy
  • Read assigned readings
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Quiz

8

1-6

Topic: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

  • Readings: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chapters: 1-15
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Quiz

9

1-6

Topic: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

  • Readings: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chapters: 16-28
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Quiz

10

1-6

Topic: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

  • Readings: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chapters: 29-43
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Written Assignment
  • Quiz

11

1-6

Topic: A Connecticut Yankee

  • Readings: A Connecticut Yankee: first half of novel
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Quiz

12

1-6

Topic: A Connecticut Yankee

  • Readings: A Connecticut Yankee: second half of novel
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Quiz

13

1-6

Topic: Pudd 'nhead Wilson

  • Readings: Pudd 'nhead Wilson: first half of novel
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Quiz

14

1-6

Topic: Pudd 'nhead Wilson

  • Readings: Pudd'nhead Wilson: second half of novel
  • Optional: Those Extraordinary Twins
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Written Assignment
  • Quiz
  • Submit Portfolio

15

1-6

Topic: Twain's Short Works

  • Readings: "The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg", "To the Person Sitting in Darkness (and the answer to it by J. K. Bangs in Sloane, Mark Twain's Humor: Critical Essays, if possible),"Extracts from Capt. Stormfield's Visit to Heaven", (skim)"The Mysterious Stranger"and "The Diary of Adam and Eve"
  • Optional: "King Leopold's Soliloquy."
  • Read assigned readings
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Quiz

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies and the “Course Policies” link for specific policies related to this course. COSC Resources information regarding available COSC academic support services and resources.