American Literature and Composition 2 X

Course Syllabus -- Spring Semester 2004

Ms. Rinaldi
Room 204
(303)698-6100 ext. 21411

American Literature 2  is a required course for graduation in the Denver Public School system.  The “X” course is the honors level of American Literature, and is geared toward a higher level of analysis and understanding.  Because each student must succeed in the class in order to graduate, the course is designed to be comprehensive and it is expected that all students will work diligently. 

            The Spring semester class covers American Literature in the 20th century.  Essays, poetry, short stories, novels and plays are all examined in the context of historical events and human experience.  It is essential that we make the connection between life and literature, and understand how the writers’ environments and circumstances influenced their work.

In addition to the literature covered in this course, there is a strong writing component, and students will be encouraged to write a great deal.  While the focus will be on mastering the skills of formal and analytical writing, there is also opportunity for poetry and creative work.  The required projects in each 9-week period are designed to focus student effort on specific, practical forms of writing.  In particular, students will master the art of writing a paper.

First Marking Period:

In the first 9 weeks,  writers who formed a new, darker perception of the American Dream will be explored. We will also cover the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s into the era of the Great Depression.  The move westward from the dustbowl and the still struggling and impoverished American South provided important canvasses for the writers of this period. 

  •         Winesburg, OH by Sherwood Anderson

  •         Hemingway short stories, "Hills Like White Elephants," and "A Clean, Well-lighted Place"

  •         Poetry:  Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

  •     Faulkner short stories, "A Rose For Emily,"  and "The Bear"  

  •      Poetry:  Hughes, McKay, Cullen, Toomer (Harlem Renaissance)

  •         Novel :  The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald  

  •     Novel:  Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck  


#1:  Winesburg, OH story "grotesque" 3 pgs.  Due 1/22/04
#2:  3-4 page Literary Analysis of The Great Gatsby  Due 3/8/04

Click on the links below for the details on these projects.

Winesburg, OH

The Great Gatsby

Second Marking Period:

In the final marking period we examine the writers who have truly defined the "modern" era of American Literature.  The novel, poetry and short stories of the latter half of the 20th century reveal a changing nation--and a changing culture that is more and more determined to capture reality in words.

  •        Drama:  Miller, Albee, WIlliams

  •       Short Stories:  Updike, Oates, Capote

  •        Poetry :  Auden, Frost, Brooks, WC Williams, cummings,Pount, St. Vincent Milllay, Sandburg, Plath, Roethke, Rich, Ginsburg, Sexton, Berryman, MacLeish

  •       Novel :  Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger


#3:  3-4 page Literary Analysis of the work of one of the Harlem Renaissance writers.  DUE APRIL 19th
#4:  6-8 page Literary Analysis of an American novel (list of choices will be provided).  DUE MAY 17th

Click on the links below for the details on these projects.

Harlem Renaissance

American Novel

Semester Work:

VOCABULARY:  There are 3-4 vocabulary quizzes per marking period, and each quiz covers 20 words.  Quiz dates are always announced.

EXAMS:  There will be an exam at the end of each marking period covering the literature studied over the nine weeks.  These exams will be announced well in advance, and a review of the material will be conducted before each exam.

SPEECH:  Each student will be required to memorize and present a poem (list of choices will be provided).

Ms. Rinaldi's Syllabus Page

South English Faculty

South Reading and Writing Center

South High Gargoyle --- Click on the Gargoyle to view the history of South High.