RCHUMS 217 - Fathers and Sons
Section: 001
Term: FA 2008
Subject: RC Humanities (RCHUMS)
Department: LSA Residential College
Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Throughout the ages, from Odysseus and Telemachus (The Odyssey) to Willie Loman and Biff (Death of a Salesman), stories about complex and passionate relationships between fathers and sons have been the stuff of great literature. In the case of Antigone's narcissistic Creon who demands that his son obey him totally, tragedy is the result. Because sons want their fathers to be models of behavior and beliefs they can respect and emulate, when the father satisfies these expectations--and we shall encounter a number who do-the father often becomes a hero. In instances in which a father fails to live up to these expectations or offers the wrong goals, as in the case of Willie Loman, the result is often a series of torturous confrontations. We will examine books and films that chronicle both harmonious and troubled relationships: novels such as Ingmar Bergman's Sunday's Children, Chaim Potok's The Chosen, Saul Bellow's Seize the Day, Richard Russo's The Risk Pool, Art Spiegelman's ("comic" book) Maus: A Survivor's Tale; short stories such as Ernest Hemingway's "Indian Camp," "The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife"; plays such as Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Eugene O'Neill's A Long Days Journey into Night, or Athol Fugard's Master Harold...and the boys; poems such as Ken Mikolowski's "michael/alternatives"; autobiographies such as Philip Roth's Patrimony; and films such as Pat Conroy's The Great Santini, Elia Kazan's East of Eden, or Chris Eyre's Smoke Signals. Students will write three papers plus a mid-semester and final exam.

RCHUMS 217 - Fathers and Sons
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
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