J.R.R Tolkien argued that speculative fiction allows us to “regain a proper view of the world” through the lives of the fictional characters. Speculative fiction — which includes fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, epic ballads and poems, and more — allows us to place relatable imaginary characters in a relatable imaginary context so we can engage them to learn more about ourselves. In its highest purpose, speculative fiction can be redemptive in helping reconcile God, man, and the Creation. This course engages with various works of classic speculative fiction for the redemptive purpose of regaining a proper biblical view of the world. Works studied include Beowulf, The Fellowship of the Ring; Alice in Wonderland; Watership Down; Out of the Silent Plant Trilogy; Wrinkle in Time; Dune; Life of Pi; and more. The study of each fictional work will include not only reading the work, but also study of the background historical and cultural context that informed and motivated the fictional story. The course includes a strong writing component where students incorporate the background research with thoughtful study and discussion of the fictional works to develop original thesis statements and analytical essays to explain and defend their ideas developed from their study of the speculative fiction.
Notes and Conditions
Transcript Planning: Students typically take two or more English 4/5/6 courses. They may generally be taken in any order, though some sequences may be better for some purposes (e.g., preparation for a particular AP course).