Clash of Values

Ref: C3741410

We will start with Forster's 'A Passage to India'. As well as examining the novel's social, political and moral themes, we will also discuss its symphonic structure and superb use of language. The novels many themes include the difficulty of building bridges between different cultures and racial groups. In week 6, we will begin a selection of short stories by Mansfield, Munro and Dinesen. Themes include problems of identity, friendship and love; how the past impinges on the present; and issues of fate and free will. In term 2 we will discuss Joyce's 'Dubliners' and some poems by Seamus Heaney. The stories in 'Dubliners' are about frustrated yearnings and ambitions. Joyce also shows us how colonialism, the Church, attitudes to gender, and questions of national identity affect personal relationships. The course will end with a study of McEwan's complex novel 'Attonement'.

Additional information about this course


Course aim

We will discuss the themes, style and structure of E.M. Forster's 'A Passage to India', short stories by Katherine Mansfield, Isak Dinesen,and Alice Munro, Joyce's 'Dubliners', poems by Seamus Heaney, and Ian McEwan's 'Attonement'.

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:

  • Discuss the social, psychological and moral themes.
  • Comment on contrast of characters, mood and setting.
  • Discuss the themes, attitudes and style of key passages.
  • Analyse the structure of the literary works.
  • Gain practice in providing evidence for arguments 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 Forster's 'A Passage to India'

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 chapters 1-7.

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

Download full Course information sheet

Clash of Values


You can 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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