This course provides a survey of modern British fiction from its development early in the
twentieth century, to its current achievements and trends. The course focuses on the work of
six representative novelists and examines the way these writers perceive the world around them
and how they construct their fiction. A close critical reading of six novels allows students
to understand each work on its own terms, to place it in the context of each writer's full
body of work, and, finally, to see in it reflections of the major themes of modern British
The primary response to a work of literature is the direct experience of it. Analysis and
criticism serve to provide the tools and the information necessary to make that experience
more complete. In specific terms, after completion of this course, students should be able
- Trace the broad developments in the British novel during the twentieth century.
- Identify and account for some of the concerns of modern novelists.
- Identify some of the changes in the forms of modern fiction.
- Demonstrate a capacity for a close critical reading of a literary text.
- Communicate clearly, in writing, an informed response to that text.
In addition to a brief introduction and summary, the course is organized into six
- Unit 1: Sons and Lovers
- Unit 2: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
- Unit 3: To the Lighthouse
- Unit 4: The French Lieutenant's Woman
- Unit 5: London Fields
- Unit 6: White Teeth
Required text and materials
Students will receive all course materials in their course package.
- Amis, Martin. London Fields. New York: Vintage International, 1991.
- Fowles, John. The French Lieutenant's Woman. Back Bay Books Edition,
Type: Novel ISBN: 9780316291163
- Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Ed. John Paul Riquelme. New
York: W. W. Norton, 2007.
Type: Novel ISBN: 9780393926798
- Lawrence, D. H. Sons and Lovers. Eds. Helen Baron and Carl Baron. London: Penguin
Type: Novel ISBN: 9780141441443
- Smith, Zadie. White Teeth. London: Penguin Books, 2001.
Type: Novel ISBN:
- Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse. Ed. David Bradshaw. Oxford: Oxford University
Type: Novel ISBN: 9780192805607
Computer with Internet is required for this course. Refer to pages 104-105 or the TRU-OL
CD player is recommended.
Two audio CD's are recommended for this course. They are not required, but students may find
them helpful and interesting. The CD's, which are readings from James Joyce's A Portrait of
the Artist as a Young Man and from Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, are available to borrow
from TRU Library.
Please be aware that due to COVID-19 safety guidelines all in-person exams have been suspended. As such, all final exams are currently being delivered through ProctorU, which has an approximate fee of $35 involved. There will be more information in your course shell, on how to apply, if your course has a final exam.
In order to successfully complete this course, students must obtain at least 50% on the final
mandatory examination and 50% overall.
|Final examination *
Open Learning Faculty Member
An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is
through the Learning Environment’s “Mail” tool or by phone. Students will receive the
necessary contact information when starting the course.