Honors Literature 12

Honors Modern Literature

This is a challenging course intended to be taken in conjunction with the 12th grade Modern and US History course. The course is largely based on reflective reading and writing essays based on text analysis. The novels have been chosen for their timelessness and their accurate, stunning portrayal of important historical events and the ideas that have helped shape the Modern world.

Course Description

This course in Modern Literature will show how modern times have reaffirmed man's capacity for terror. Dickens presents "Madame Guillotine" as the patroness of a new nation. In Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov, a brilliant young man, caters to a philosophy that is utterly evil and self-destructive. Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited chronicles the struggle of the individual seeking goodness and truth in a world that is increasingly indifferent to man's spiritual needs. Robert Louis Stevenson shows how the degenerative possibilities of scientific discoveries can affect the nature of man and subconsciously devolve him into a Mr. Hyde. In 1984, the path of atheistic politics strikes the beauty and integrity of man, and dwarf him from a creature made to love and serve God to a cog in the machine of a finite and pathetic state deity. Although modernity, in the words of T.S. Eliot, is a Waste Land "where the sun beats and the dead tree gives no shelter," the Church is the refuge for Heaven-directed pilgrims, and it is a large rock in the desert inviting all to "come under the shadow of this red rock."

Students will become familiar with some of the major authors and most influential novels from the Modern Era; identify the historical events that took place during the life of the Modern writers and how these events have impacted their writing; have a greater understanding of the evolution of literary style and technique in the Modern Era; learn to interpret and analyze an author's means of conveying ideas; and appreciate the impact of philosophy upon literature, and the subsequent impact of literature upon culture.

Course Expectations

Students taking this course for Kolbe Honors (OH) credit will have 4 papers per semester as chosen by their main instructor.  Daily reading, minor weekly written assignments, required participation, and exams will also be assigned and graded by the instructor.

New for the 2016-17 School year, honors students will attend a live Honors Seminar that meets periodically throughout the year.  Honors seminar will require projects and additional reading in the form of short stories, poems, essays, articles, and/or encyclicals with the purpose of going into more depth on the topics being studied in class. Students will be graded on active participation during live seminar.  The type of participation required will vary but includes activities such as active discussion, collaborative group work, and presentations.  The participation grade from honors seminar will be weighted 20% into the student’s overall grade for the honors course.

Course Texts
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Brideshead Revisited
  • The Man Who was Thursday
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
  • 1984
  • The Waste Land, Prufrock and other Poems
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers


Course Details:

Section Number



Mrs. Crawford

Grades (Typical)

9 - 12 (12th)

Live Class Meets

1x per week

1 hr. 20 min.



Class Period


Regular Class Time

10:30 AM - 11:50 AM PT

1:30 - 2:50 PM ET

Honors Seminar Day

Lead Teacher: Mrs. Crawford

Seminar for Literature 12 meets on the following Mondays:
9/17, 10/8, 11/5, 12/3, 2/11, 3/18, 4/8, 5/6

Honors Seminar Time

10:30 - 11:50 AM PT

1:30 - 2:50 PM ET



Honors Fee


Credits (Type)

10 (Literature)

Transcript Designation


Companion Courses

Honors Morality & Church History III

Honors US & Modern History

Honors Creative Writing


Also offered at the Kolbe Core (OK) level.