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John Fowles in the Classroom?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:48 am
by StBlazes
I'm teaching The French Lieutenant's Woman for the first time this semester to finish up my Brit-lit survey course, and I was curious what experiences any of you have had with Fowles in the classroom, either as a teacher or as a student.

Re: John Fowles in the Classroom?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:57 pm
by drkellyindc
I've had success teaching FLW several times in 400-level courses on postmodernism. I always take two full weeks with it, and give quizzes to see who's done the reading. I also have them write one-page weekly response papers, and these help me to gauge reactions and set an agenda for discussion. Female students have generally tended to like it more than male students. In each class of about 30 I've had at least one student for whom it was a test of patience. I try to win everyone over to it but I'm sure you know how that goes.

Students tend to be dazzled by Chapter 13 and the alternate endings; it takes some work to get them to recognize how much else is going on--the book's gravitas, moral seriousness, social commentary, old-fashioned sensual pleasures, and so on.

Good luck!