Masterpieces of Western Literature II

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EGL 242

       Course Name: Masterpieces of Western Literature II

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

EGL 101 or placement into 101.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces various masterpieces of Western literature from 1650 to the present. Content includes important currents of western thought during the period; comparative study of selected works; terminology and methods of literary analysis and evaluation.

IV.   Learning Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Identify some of the major works and periods of the Western literary tradition, such as: the Enlightenment, the Romantic, Victorian and Modern periods.
  2. Explain some of the distinctive characteristics and development of literary forms and conventions such as: satire, tragi-comedy; naturalism, stream of consciousness and expressionism.
  3. Delineate the social, intellectual, cultural, and historical influences specific to each author and region.
  4. Interpret the formal elements of these works, using appropriate terminology, such as: theme, conflict, figurative language, etc.
  5. Analyze works in the context of their literary, cultural, and historical backgrounds.
  6. Synthesize knowledge of genre, formal elements, and background material.
  7. Incorporate secondary sources in the analysis and interpretation of literary texts.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Week 1:  Introduction to Literary Analysis Texts will be drawn from the late  Renaissance to illustrate themes or literary principles appropriate to developing skills of literary analysis.

Weeks 2‑4:  Neoclassicism and Romanticism.  Texts to be drawn from Voltaire, Rousseau, Pope, Swift, Goethe, Wordsworth, Keats, Heine, and other neoclassical and romantic dramatists, poets and philosophers.

Weeks 5-10:  Realism and Naturalism:  Texts to be drawn from Flaubert, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, George Eliot, Thackeray, Woolf, Mill, Marx, Darwin, Hegel, Ibsen, Chekhov, Zola and other realistic and naturalistic writers.

Weeks 11-16:  Moderns and Contemporaries:  Texts to be drawn from such writer as Strindberg, Brecht, Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Yeats, Pirandello, Kafka, Freud, Lorca, Beckett, Sartre, Camus, de Beauvoir, Fanon, and other modern and contemporary writers.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

The course will be conducted through lectures, discussions and the use of other appropriate media.  Students will read a variety of literary forms and demonstrate competence though papers, quizzes, exams and discussion.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as a face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

Reading, writing and testing; possibly oral presentations.  Out of class writing including short essays and research papers to total a minimum of 20 pages.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Textbooks might be drawn from:

MacMillan Literature of the Western World
Norton Anthology of World Literature

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Evaluation methods include grading of student essays, quizzes, exams and oral presentations and evaluating students' participation in discussion.

XI.   Other Course Information

Attendance policy; other information or procedures for which the instructor holds the student accountable.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.