Intro to Lit: Lit & CW (Satire & Poetry)


will read some great works of literature (old and new), study the genre
trademarks, and then venture to write in these genres themselves.  For instance, when we read Voltaire’s satire Candide,
we’ll pick out his satiric targets for social criticism, such as stupid wars
and colonialism.  We’ll also pick out
specific satiric techniques: irony, incongruous juxtapositions or “clunkers,”
exaggeration (though social reality can outdo us every time), understatement,
and so on.  Then students will try their
hand at a satire: “Candide and Pangloss arrive in Hawai’i, thinking it is the
new paradise.  Choose specific things to
criticize here.  Or C. and P. could talk
about events in the news, if you want to satirize social situations outside
Hawai’i.  Have C. and P. say lines that
are typical of them.  If you want
characters who respond to them to speak pidgin, go ahead.  Use some of the specific satirical techniques
we’ll have learned.  Use a range of
satiric targets, not just one or two.”

: In addition to Candide, we will read Walt Whitman’s “Song of
Myself,” Diane Fisher’s Kettle Bottom, and two plays from He Leo Hou:
Hawaiian Playwrights

 There will also be poetry in a Course Reader.

Assignments: Students will create a satire, some poems, and
dramatic dialogues and monologues in voices other than their own.  Students will also be responsible for several
2-page analytic papers on the literature, plus midterm, final, quizzes, and
class participation.