ENGL1925: Stephen King's The Stand

3 CreditsFreshman SeminarIntellectual Community

In this seminar we will read Stephen King's long novel The Stand, in which an epidemic wipes out most of the US population and a battle between good and evil follows. As we read, we will pay attention to the novel's themes and techniques, breaking down plotting and characterization, noticing symbol and metaphor, and examining the construction of individual paragraphs and sentences. We'll wrestle with the book's range of references, from myth and religion to mid-twentieth-century American popular culture. We'll choose our favorite characters! Some warnings: The Stand is a horror novel, and its depictions of violence and suffering are graphic. In addition, while we will often admire the author's ability to evoke strong feelings, we may question decisions he makes about what to depict, what lines of thought to pursue, and what kinds of language to use. We will follow King where he takes us, but we'll also imagine alternatives to the nightmare world he so absorbingly and carefully describes.

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