World Literature

Literature allows us to glimpse how complex social interactions unfold in people’s lives. We see characters caught between traditions and emerging realities. Nowhere is this complex interaction more evident than in the literature of societies in crisis. Although themes in this literature often arise out of violent encounters or heart-wrenching experiences, the purpose of the course will be to examine the capacity of the individual and community to support human dignity in difficult times.

This course seeks to understand the ways in which characters in a fiction negotiate the challenging events that shape their futures, allowing us to explore the deep and abiding sources of hope in the individual and community. We’ll delve into novels that focus on life in Algeria, Nigeria, Poland, Ukraine/Soviet Union, and Palestine.
Students will write a short reflective essay on each reading. The reflective essays explore such issues as setting, theme, and character (2-3 pages). Students will also write two interpretive essays, each developed from one of their reflective essays. Interpretive essays present and defend a thesis based on close textual analysis (5-6 pages).

  • "Mr. Wray is doing a terrific job of correcting my son’s essays. He provides feedback over and over and my son keeps making them better. He doesn’t mind helping him rewrite and then rewrite again. He gives not only advice on wordiness and grammar, but on getting the main idea and the feel. He is encouraging but at the same time finds all things that need to be improved."
    - Shelly C, California

  • "Thank you Mr Wray, I  really loved this class, especially the discussions. I think the topics you chose, as well as the source material, were really great and engaging. You were always kind, respectful,  and thoughtful to all of us. When someone shared an idea they perhaps didn't think through 100%, you would always take it into consideration, and lead it into more thought-out ideas. Your energy in our discussions was infectious! The course helped me very much in regards my writing as well."
    Judah F, California