Fostering academic excellence and biblical virtue to equip students for lives as local and global Christian servants.

English 4/5/6 Western Lit and Comp (Homer, Shelley, Dostoevsky, Twain, and others)

Course Catalog ID:
3903
Subject Categories:
English Language Arts, Literature and Media, Writing and Composition
Description

This course prepares students for college-level literary analysis and writing by inviting students into the great conversation of the Western Canon. Throughout this course, our conversations will be centered around the nature of justice as depicted in some of the most important literary works from the ancient world to the mid-20th century. Beginning with the Greek epic poem, The Iliad, we see how justice is marred by man’s hubris and the whims of the Greek gods. Boethius provides a Christian answer to the problem of evil in his book, The Consolation of Philosophy, and Shakespeare’s Macbeth gives a chilling example of man taking justice into his own hands. Moving into the world of Industrialism, Frankenstein questions what amount of responsibility man must take over his technological creations, and North and South seeks out what restitution a worker is due from his employer. The Brothers Karamazov provides the heart of the course, taking a deep and gut-wrenching look into the heart of man and the true nature of the Christian God. Is He bent on retribution or compassion? Shifting to the realistic period of American fiction, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will spark discussions on how race and class impact the dealing out of justice in the modern world. The course will conclude with C. S. Lewis’s riveting depiction of heaven and ruminations on eternal justice and grace in The Great Divorce. Students will leave the course well-read in the classics of Western Literature, and well-prepared for writing analytical essays in later high school and college.

Prerequisites
Grade Levels*:
10, 11, 12
* Enrollment restricted based on Date of Birth and Grad Year (whichever is more limiting). Enrollment outside these levels requires written concurrence from TPS Support.
Readiness
• Successful completion (75% or higher) of any TPS English 3 Lit and Comp (or higher) course
━ OR ━
• Successful completion of Readiness Test
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).

“This was the last and best high school English class I’ve ever taken. I’m not just saying that — I really mean it. It provided a lot of opportunities to discuss and think about deep and fundamental issues, while also providing rigorous essay assignments and grading, which really pushed me to another level as a writer. All of the books we read had unbelievable amounts of depth, and our teacher didn’t shy away from diving into topics like the meaning of justice, the journey to true happiness, the purpose of science, the industrial revolution, the problem of evil, and much more! Our teacher also spent a large part of class time discussing how to properly structure a paper, edit for errors, and ultimately write powerfully and persuasively. The prompts forced me to really think about deep issues and form solid arguments on the topic. Once submitted, I received more notes on each of my papers than I think I’ve ever had. And almost every time, the criticism was something 100% valid and taught me a lesson that I applied to my next paper. If you’re a student or parent who just wants the easiest path to graduation, I’d avoid this class. Students who don’t engage will likely leave with bad grades. You can get a much easier A elsewhere. I DO RECOMMEND THIS CLASS if you want to be a clear thinker in unthinking times. I do recommend this class if you want to write and discuss with clarity and persuasion, unlike the mindlessly yelling mobs and talking heads that surround us. If you want to grow in your understanding of God’s word, world, and the great story He’s been telling, take this class. You’ll get what you came for. I sure did.”

Jedidiah H
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Student

“This is my favorite course this year and one of my favorite English courses I have ever taken! The teacher is extremely knowledgable, helpful, encouraging, and fun! Though the reading can be somewhat challenging, her lectures in class really helped me better understand the historical context and literary devices and characteristics of each literary work. Discussions in this class are quite animated and insightful; the teacher really has a way for fostering a respectful, open, and comfortable environment for everyone to contribute in discussions. The writing assignments for this course are really well-thought-out to encourage creativity while being grounded in understanding of the texts. The essay prompts give students space and freedom to delve deep into their topic.”

Samuel L
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Student

“This year’s English class increased my skill to evaluate texts and write well-crafted essays and paragraphs. This class renewed my love for writing and gave me a new love for studying texts in depth. Looking at sometimes hard-to-read books is much less daunting now because of the analysis skills I gained in the class. I recommend this course to everyone!”

Olivia R
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Student

“This is such an interesting class, I am really in awe. The teacher is absolutely amazing to have and her feedback for my essays was so helpful. This is my last year at TPS and I am going to miss the four-year experience I had here for the rest of my life. From The Consolation of Philosophy to The Great Divorce, I learned so much and will always be impacted by the ideas I came across during the semesters. I love TPS and the courses I took here so very much, the time was 100% worth it, and from the deepest part of my heart, I will be thankful to the teachers I met along the way and the things they taught me.”

Phoebe Z
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Student

“This course was an absolute blast, with in-class discussions of some of the greatest books in history. Writing for this class seemed less like a chore because of the almost unlimited topic choices. This course not only grew my writing skills but also my discussion and reading abilities. This course is a must-take!”

Malachi G
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Student

“I feel strongly overall that all the TPS English courses I have taken have improved my writing skills greatly. This course helped me to think more deeply on the texts we studied, and really focus on the underlying message each author wanted to convey. This course gives a chance to try writing play scripts, exegeses, and some creative allegorical writing, which I quite enjoyed. Also, the teacher is so sweet, and so on point with her feedback. I am very thankful to be in her class!”

Ariel S
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Student

“The class discussions about the books we read were thought-provoking and enjoyable. Learning to write CEAs (three-sentence analysis paragraphs) was very helpful as it helped me to write concise literary analysis. I also enjoyed the challenge of writing essays that weren’t in the typical literary analysis style; for example, we wrote an essay in the style of a one-act play. When giving feedback on writing assignments the teacher explained specifically how I could go deeper into analysis, which was helpful to me. She is such an encouraging, fun, and kind teacher, and I’ve really enjoyed class with her. I have enjoyed learning about how different authors from different eras tackled the topic of justice in their works. Overall, it’s been a very enjoyable course, and I highly recommend it to other TPS high school students!”

Molly C
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Student

“I personally loved this class! The books are very fun and would engage a myriad of students. I also really loved the writing in this class. There were some creative writing assignments that were super enjoyable, and the general essays weren’t that painful. The teacher loves engaging with her students and allowing them to mingle and share the progress of their essays or their thoughts on the books we read. She’s just great, and truly has a passion for the books in this class.”

Joram R
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Student

“This course dug so deep into literature and I really loved our class discussions! The literature-based course and analysis-based composition was a great follow-up for English 3. Because it is an upper high school class, there is more freedom for creative expression and interpretation of literature. The teacher was amazing and fostered a great class environment that promoted love of literature. My analytical skills and writing skills have improved in this class under her instruction!”

Megan S
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Student

“I recommend this course to those who want to improve their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. This course will teach you how to analyze literature, write essays and research papers, and improve your communication skills. You will learn how to express your ideas effectively and develop your own unique voice. The in-class conversations are thought-provoking and engaging. I also enjoyed all the books this year.”

Tasha L
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Student
Reviews from Students and Parents