This course emphasizes the critical assessment of Canadian and world literature. Students will study specific genres, authors, themes, and cultures in a range of challenging texts, and respond critically and creatively to them. An important focus will be on integrating their knowledge of literary movements, as well as concepts and theories found in literary criticism, into their responses to texts.
Literature as a Depiction of Heroism
This unit is entitled “Literature as a Depiction of Heroism.” In this unit, students will analyse and research works of literature from various literary periods and their characteristics as they examine the archetype of the quest and evolving concepts of the hero. Students will study William Shakespeare's title hero in Othello.
Literature as an Exploration of the Human Psyche
This unit will focus on the different perspectives that readers and writers bring to a text. Students will continue to apply reading, writing, and research skills to explore a variety of approaches to literature and the nature of language as a communication process. They explore the psychoanalytic theories of Freud and Jung and apply the psychoanalytic approach to interpret works of literature and to analyse Robertson Davies’ novel Fifth Business. Students will study the specific characteristics inherent to first person narratives, examining such elements as form, style, tone, content, voice, symbolism, and imagery. Students will develop their own use of the personal narrative as a writing tool to extend their unique perspectives.
Literature as a Social Commentary
This unit will again focus on the different perspectives that readers and writers bring to a text. Students will continue to apply reading, writing, and research skills to explore a variety of approaches to literature. They will read, analyse, and interpret a variety of short stories. Students will create a short story imitating a style and a perspective studied and will partake in a round-table discussion.
Literature as a Depiction of the Human Condition
Unit 5 which is entitled “Literature as a Depiction of the Human Condition” examines the role of the twentieth and twenty-first century writer in depicting realistic characters and events and pertinent issues. The unit also explores the theme of the human condition, focusing on the existentialist movement and on Modernist and Post-modernist works. Students analyse short stories, essays, and an American novel by Richard Wright entitled A Father’s Law, interpreting its literary elements and responding to it in a creative text.