The Search for Self
What separates the man from the monster, the dutiful daughter from the public revolutionary, or the rebellious lover from the obedient citizen? This course explores these questions and more. The course examines the search for self in works of literature from ancient Greece (Antigone), ancient and modern India (Sakuntala), nineteenth-century England (Frankenstein), and America. The readings all highlight the acts of rebellious individuals against established social expectations, gender roles, and/or political and cultural norms. We will ask throughout the course how identities are made, and how the process of self-formation is explored by works of literature and some films.
The course is designed as an introduction to comparative literature. No prior knowledge is assumed. The course will be divided into four units, each focused on a contrasting pair of readings and a particular genre (short story, novel, drama, poem).
The major texts for this course are:
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Various short stories and poems available through online reserves.