The Journey of Life

Ref: C3741396

We will start with Dylan Thomas's 'Under Milk Wood'. In 'Under Milk Wood' does Thomas depict a rural paradise or a community troubled by dreams, fears, longings, gossip, and fantasies about sex? As well as discussing the themes we will also consider Thomas's superb experiments with language. We will then consider John Cheever's 'The Wapshot Chronicle'. This eccentric book is a comic portrayal of problems of love and sex, family life, the search for a vocation, contrasts between the country and the city, and a celebration of the sea. We will end with Ian McEwan's 'Atonement'. As well as exploring the growth of love and empathy, the novel also explores the issues of social class and privelege; clashes between illusions about peace and the realities of war; and the dangers of a romantic imagination.

Course aim

We will discuss the themes, style,and structure of Dylan Thomas's 'Under Milk Wood', John Cheever's novel 'The Wapshot Chronicle', and Ian McEwan's 'Atonement'.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • The course is for anyone who is interested in Literature. Although the course is taught at Level 3, there are no entry requirements apart from an interest and enthusiasm for literature

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Analyse the themes and contrast of characters.
  • Comment on memorable passages in 'Under Milk Wood'.
  • Discuss the key literary features of the :The Wapshop Chronicle'.
  • Analyse the structure of 'Atonement' and its various styles of writing.
  • Gain confidence in providing evidence for argument and counter arguments.

How will I be taught?

  • Your tutor will encourage you to take part in discussion. Each week you will be given questions and issues to think about in preparation for the next week's session. You will have the opportunity to introduce a topic, but this is not required.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • The tutor will give you informal feedback on your progress. You can contact the tutor by email if you need advice or feedback. The tutor will give you advice about how to build up your confidence if you feel shy about participating.

What else do I need to know?

  • For the first session, you will need to bring a copy of 'Under Milk Wood'

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • It would be helpful if you could read the whole book before the first meeting. At the first meeting we will be concentrating on the early part. You will be sent issues to think about a month before the course begins.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/

Download full course outline

The Journey of Life Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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