Literature 12 - Kolbe Academy

Literature 12

Modern Era 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.

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.”

This course will enable the student to:

  • Become familiar with some of the major authors & most influential novels from the Modern Era
  • Identify the historical events that took place during the life of the Modern writers & how these events have impacted their writing
  • Have a greater understanding of the evolution of literary style & technique in the Modern Era
  • Learn to interpret & analyze an author’s means of conveying ideas
  • Appreciate the impact of philosophy upon literature, & the subsequent impact of literature upon culture

Students taking this course for Kolbe Core (K) credit will have four papers, a mid-term, and final exam each semester.  Additionally, core students should expect to have daily reading and minor weekly written assignments or quizzes.

Assignment due-dates and grades are established by the parent.  Optionally, a student may be enrolled in the Self-Paced Plus© grading assistance program to receive grading assistance from a Kolbe Academy faculty or staff member on designated assignments in the course.  In this case, parents will still submit final grades to Kolbe for the course, but may choose to incorporate the graded assignments into the student’s overall grade or use the Kolbe-graded assignments to assist in arriving at the student’s final grade.

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
  • A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  • Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
  • The Man Who Was Thursday, G. K. Chesterton
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • 1984, George Orwell
  • The Waste Land, Prufrock and other Poems, T.S. Eliot
  • Modern Literature Lecture Series & Notes
  • MLA Handbook Eighth Edition

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Optional Materials

Digital copies are provided in the Parent Group of the Self-Paced course.  Physical copies are available for purchase in the Kolbe Bookstore.

  • Modern Era Literature Course Plan & Tests
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Study Guide, Kolbe Academy Publishing
  • A Tale of Two Cities Study Guide, Kolbe Academy Publishing
  • Crime and Punishment Study Guide, Kolbe Academy Publishing
  • Brideshead Revisited Study Guide, Kolbe Academy Publishing
  • The Man Who Was Thursday Study Guide,vKolbe Academy Publishing
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Study Guide, Kolbe Academy Publishing
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Study Guide, Kolbe Academy Publishing
  • 1984 Study Guide, Kolbe Academy Publishing
  • The Waste Land Study Guide, Kolbe Academy Publishing

Self-Paced Plus courses include the following:

  • Grading by a highly qualified teacher for selected assignments (listed below) in the course.
  • Access to teacher through the course’s discussion board.
  • Option to report grade given by the teacher, or to report a grade assigned by parent.
  • The pacing is still established by the parent in conjunction with the student’s goals and academic calendar. 
  • Assignments will be graded within 1-2 weeks of the submission date, excluding holiday breaks.  (For the quickest grading, students should turn assignments in incrementally throughout the year.  If a student turns in multiple assignments to be graded at once, expect a response time of 1-2 weeks per assignment submitted.)

Self-Paced Plus Assignment List:

Semester 1 Semester 2
Week 4: Paper Topic* Week 5: Paper Topic*
Week 7: Paper Topic* Week 7: Paper Topic*
Week 9: Midterm 1 Exam Week 9: Midterm 2 Exam
Week 11: Paper Topic* Week 11: Paper Topic*
Week 16: Paper Topic* Week 14: Paper Topic*
Week 18: Semester 1 Exam Week 18: Semester 2 Exam

*We developed a rubric to assist in grading the paper assignments.  Each paper assignment will have the rubric available for the student in the course.


Course Details:

Section Number


Grades (Typical)

9 – 12 (12th)


Mrs. Crawford

Lecture Format




Subscription Length

1 year

Extension may be granted for an additional fee.

Self-Paced Plus


Credits (Type)

 10 (Literature)

Transcript Designation


Self-Paced Companion Courses

Morality & Church History III
US & Modern History
Creative Writing

Online Companion Courses

Morality & Church History III
US & Modern History
Creative Writing


Also offered at the Kolbe Honors
(H) level for an additional $69.

Course Plan Sample

Literature 12

Note: This course plan is built into the
Self-Paced course in a student-friendly format.