Novels of the 1920s - The Jazz Age (Part 2)

Ref: C3741580

Scott Fitzgerald famously dubbed the 1920s as 'The Jazz Age’, and as ‘an age of miracles and excess'. Jazz music became the symbol of the modernist revolt in a nation undergoing unprecedented change. In England too, the effects of WW1 and economic uncertainty brought about a sense of unease, an anxious desire to live in the moment, a fear for the future. The books will reflect and explore this uncertainty and the effects of moral, social and political change in England and America in the ‘Roaring Twenties’.

Course aim

In this course we shall explore some important novels that reflect the effects of moral, social and political change occuring in England and America in the what was known as the Roaring Twenties.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • No experience needed but just an open-minded interest in reading and discussing novels.

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

  • develop your critical skills or gain confidence in reading and discussing literature.
  • describe the background to the period: the political, social and cultural changes that came about in the aftermath of WW1.
  • describe the background to each book studied and the contexts within which they were written.
  • outline the authors' biographies, literary interests, style and any innovations in literature that they brought about
  • examine the texts themselves, their structure, notable characteristics and significant differences from each other.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • You will be given hand-outs on the novels, links to websites, youtube videos, books, literary criticism and other relevant information that you can use and explore in your own time, should you wish to.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • Your tutor will be ready to offer help and guidance in developing and extending your knowledge and appreciation of the context of the period and of the texts studied.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • A reading list is available from the Branch Secretary.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • It is best to read the books as the course progresses as then they will be fresh in your mind for class discussion. Prior reading is very useful if you have time, but not essential.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • Further literature classes will be offerred by this Branch later on in the year. Enquiries to the tutor, class or branch secretary.

Download full Course information sheet

Novels of the 1920s - The Jazz Age (Part 2)


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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