English (ENGL) 345

American Literature II (Revision 4)

ENGL 345 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: ENGL 211 and ENGL 212 or equivalent first year English course(s).

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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ENGL 345 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This course follows the introduction to American literature begun in ENGL 344. ENGL 345 continues the exploration of the history and development of American literature and its rich variety of forms and techniques. The course takes as its focus works of American literature written from approximately 1900 to 1950. Beginning with Naturalism and Realism, the course works through Modernism in its various manifestations and finishes with significant works of African-American literature. Students study written works from a variety of genres, styles, racial and ethnic backgrounds and, through this critical survey, develop a deeper understanding of the main issues and movements shaping American culture in the first half of the twentieth century.

Note: Since this is a senior-level course, students are expected to have good reading and writing skills as well as the basic critical tools and knowledge of literary forms and techniques that are acquired in an introductory university course, such as Athabasca University’s English 211 and English 212.


English 345: American Literature II comprises eleven lessons as indicated below.

  • Lesson 1: The Iron Heel by Jack London
  • Lesson 2: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  • Lesson 3: American Modernism: Frost, Stevens, and Williams
  • Lesson 4: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  • Lesson 5: High Modernism: Pound, Eliot, and Moore
  • Lesson 6: The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  • Lesson 7: Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Lesson 8: Harlem Renaissance: McKay, Hughes, and Cullen
  • Lesson 9: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Lesson 10: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Heale Hurston
  • Lesson 11: Native Son by Richard Wright


To receive credit for ENGL 345, you must achieve a composite course grade of at least D (50 percent), you must complete a summary assignment, two essays, and a final exam; you must receive a grade of at least 50% on each of these requirements. All assignments are required in order to pass the course. The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Summary Assignment 5%
Essay 1 25%
Essay 2 40%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Faulkner, William. The Sound and the Fury.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. Tender is the Night.

Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms.

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel.

London, Jack. The Iron Heel.

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath.

The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Gen. Ed. Nina Baym. Shorter 7th Edition. Vol. D: 1914-1945. New York: W. W. Norton, 2008.

Wharton, Edith. The House of Mirth.

Wright, Richard. Native Son.

Other Materials

All other materials are available online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for ENGL 345 challenge for credit, you must pass the essay and the examination. Credit is awarded on a pass/fail basis only.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, September 18, 2012

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