Mandatory Reading List For English 103: Analyzing And Interpreting Literature

Literature is an essential part of our culture and how we express ourselves. In this course, you learned how to understand and analyze different types of literature, from poetry to novellas. For this assignment, write an 800-1200-word essay in response to one of the prompts below. Include quotations and textual evidence from the works you’ve chosen and cite them in MLA format. Please cite any lessons you use as resources (including lesson title and instructor’s name). Your essay must be followed by an MLA style References page with at least 2 sources. Do not include an abstract. Including a cover page is optional. 

Assignment Prompts

  1. Your course reading list includes literary works      across three categories: short fiction, poetry and dramatic works. Choose      two works from within one of these categories (two poems, two plays, etc.)      that have similar themes and compare and contrast how they’re treated and      explored. Do the authors use the themes to deliver similar or opposing      messages? Use examples from the work you’ve chosen to support your claims.      
  2. Writers oftentimes create literary works to comment on      or criticize aspects of society during the era when they lived. They use      literary techniques such as allusion, allegory, and/or satire to veil      their criticism in writing. Using either one or two works from your course reading list, write an essay that      describes both how the authors used literary techniques to comment about or      criticize society, and what aspects of society they focus on. 

Reading list 

Reading List


  • Select two      of the following Shakespearean sonnets to read: 
    • Sonnet       18 
    • Sonnet       60 
    • Sonnet       94 
    • Sonnet       116 
    • Sonnet       130 
  • Read all      of the following poems: 
    • ‘Ode       on a Grecian Urn’ by John Keats 
    • ‘Annabel       Lee’ by Edgar Allan Poe 
    • ‘My       Last Duchess’ by Robert Browning 
    • ‘Song       of Myself’ by Walt Whitman 
    • ‘Funeral       Blues’ by W.H. Auden 
    • ‘Birches’       by Robert Frost 

Short Fiction

  • Choose one      of the following novellas: 
    • Heart       of Darkness by Joseph Conrad 
    • Animal       Farm by George Orwell 
    • Ethan       Frome by Edith Wharton 
  • Select two      of the following short stories to read: 
    • ‘Story       of an Hour’ by Kate Chopin 
    • ‘The       Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman 
    • ‘A       Good Man is Hard to Find’ by Flannery O’Connor 
    • ‘The       Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson 
    • ‘The       Life to Come’ by E.M. Forster 
    • ‘A       Clean, Well-Lighted Place’ by Ernest Hemingway 

Dramatic Works

  • Read all      of the following dramatic works: 
    • Oedipus       the King by Sophocles 
    • Waiting       for Godot by Samuel Beckett 
    • A       Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry 
  • Select one      of the following to read: 
    • The       Crucible by Arthur Miller 
    • The       Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams 
    • The       Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde 
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