Literature - Enlightening Novels

Ref: C3840525

The novels to be studied this course are: "The Heart of Darkness", Joseph Conrad; "Red Dust Road", Jackie Kay We will consider each novel in turn and often related poetry, analysing the writer's method. Mindful of critical opinion, we nevertheless will determine our own evaluation of the "truths" presented. If human sympathy and understanding is enlarged by sharing books together then we all become more confident and perceptive readers.

Additional information about this course

No specific qualifications are necessary to attend this course, just an interest in the subject.

Course aim

We will read novels from 3 centuries and evaluate exactly how authors craft their novels, and use words to achieve effects that serve a deliberate purpose.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • An enthusiasm for reading is essential.

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

  • read a novel with confidence
  • outline the content, character and setting of the chosen novels
  • explain to what extent each novel enriches understanding
  • identify and explain a personal preference

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
  • There are no formal tests or exams. No-one will be obliged to read aloud; everyone is encouraged to join in discussion. Any related individual contributions are welcomed and class enthusiasms pursued.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Bring the appropriate text along to each session.You might want to keep a course folder to collect circulated materials and store your own notes

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Learners are expected to read the relevant novel before class discusses it. Jotting down personal notes about first impressions and your experience/questions as you read is useful but not required.

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
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • Further enjoyable reading Open University degree or other literature study

Download full Course information sheet

Literature - Enlightening Novels


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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