Introduction to the Novel

Introduction to the Novel

ENGL209-011 Prof. Grossman
MWF 11:15-12:05

The aim of this course is to introduce you to the novel as a historical literary form. We will explore the rise of the novel from its eighteenth-century beginnings, discussing in particular the ways that the novel actively shapes society and self. Through an examination of stories concerned with such defining social issues as crime, madness, gendered conflict, and racial oppression, we will consider how the novel, which has often been mistaken for an entertaining escape, itself defines us, its readers. Novelists we will study include Daniel Defoe, Mary Shelley, Charlotte Bront´┐Ż, Joseph Conrad, Jean Rhys, and Zora Neale Hurston. Requirements: lively class participation, one class presentation, numerous short papers, and one final 6-page paper.

Required Books
Course Requirements

Class List
Checklist of Basic Mechanics for Your Papers
Paper Advice
The Writing Center

Of interest to us:
Hogarth's "Harlot's Progress"
Fuseli's "The Incubus" (also called The Nightmare) and a terrific Gothic page
"Africa and Africans in Conrad's Heart of Darkness," A Lawrence University Freshman Studies Lecture given by: Candice Bradley Associate Professor of Anthropology
A smart comment on the frame narrative of Heart of Darkness
Apocalypse Now/Heart of Darkness


  1. simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action
  2. a : continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite) b : uncertainty as to which approach to follow

quotidian: everyday, commonplace

bildungsroman: a novel of development, of formation