Modern British Literature: Explorations in Middle-Earth

(Not Currently Offered)

With unprecedented speed, the 20th century changed the course of humanity forever. At the same time as some technological advancements allowed us to go beyond our world, others made it possible for us to end our world with the push of a button. Closely held beliefs which were once considered a given---that God exists, that men and women are part of a divine plan, that there is Truth, that Good and Evil are real, that there is more to life than what we can experience through our senses---have now been questioned, tested and (in many cases) rejected. Where does that leave us, the inheritors of the sweeping changes of the 20th century? Are traditional values and beliefs truly archaic? Do our lives have meaning? Our ability to ask these questions and to be brave enough to face the answers could be the difference between falling into a state of apathy or even despair and embracing an abundant life!

Our tutorial is an introduction to a selection of early 20th century authors who dared to ask these and other hard questions. However, unlike so many of their colleagues, these authors dared to confront the possibility that Man is not a futile being tossing about alone on an ocean of despair. Though living in the midst of a turbulent and changing culture (much like our own), and often enduring sorrows and hardships in their personal lives, these authors still challenge us to take another, closer, look at the reality of things: the wonders of creation; the noble spirit lying dormant in the most ordinary people; and that ever-present human desire for something beyond itself. This course will explore these ideas in the works of Francis Thompson; G.K. Chesterton; J.R.R. Tolkien; C.S. Lewis; Charles Williams; Dorothy Sayers; T.S. Eliot; and Evelyn Waugh, while also considering some of the important works which influenced them.

Click here to view and print the Modern British Literature Syllabus!!