DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Fictions
Module Code EL108
School 67
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Gearoid O'Flaherty
Semester 2: Gearoid O'Flaherty
Autumn: Gearoid O'Flaherty
Module TeachersGearoid O'Flaherty
Jim Shanahan
Ellen Howley
Jennifer Mooney
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only
The repeat Autumn assignment will duplicate the format of the assignment from the first semester.

This module studies both generic issues and the nature of fiction in relation to the short story and the novel. It defines key concepts and theories of fiction and shows the development of those concepts as the forms developed in Britain, Ireland and America from the early eighteenth-century to the contemporary moment. The module will trace the development of the novel considering its relationship to history, realism and fantasy. The relationship between the centrality of individual characters to the wider issues of nation and community will be explored. A chronological overview of the short story will be provided with a focus on some of the most prominent practitioners of the form from different countries. The short story strand concentrates on the form of short fiction and looks at its different characteristics including the following: unity of impression, narrative voice; tributary forms such as the fairytale; as well as the contention that the short story deals with marginal figures of society and ‘submerged population groups’.

Learning Outcomes

1. Show how they have accumulated an appropriately problematic understanding of fiction and fictionality through the study of exemplary texts
2. Be aware of the defining characteristics of fictional forms and the conventional expectations they arouse
3. Trace the development of the novel & short story in relation to history, realism and genre.
4. Describe the relationship between individual characters and wider issues of community and society
5. Identify various characteristics of fiction including the following: narrative voice; narrative style; character-focused narratives; exploration of larger philosophical themes regarding the human condition and the will of nature; the relationship between the short story and submerged population groups

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Covering the range of texts, contexts and concepts associated with the module
Tutorial3Guided class discussion in smaller groups
Independent Study100Reading, analysis, revision
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to Fictions
History and characteristics of 'The Novel' and 'Short Story'.

The Early Novel
Defoe, Daniel, Robinson Crusoe (1719).

The 19th Century Novel
Dickens, Charles, Hard Times (1854).

The American Novel
Walker, Alice, The Color Purple (1982).

Young Adult Novel
Hinton, S. E., The Outsiders (1967).

Short Story: American Gothic
Poe, Edgar Allan, ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’, ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’ (1843).

Short Story: Mystery
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, ‘The Minister’s Black Veil’ (1836-7).

Short Story: Epiphany
Joyce, James, Dubliners (1914).

Short Story: Suggestion and Implication
Mansfield, Katherine, ‘Miss Brill’ (1920), ‘The Garden Party’ (1922).

Short Story: War and Duty
O’Connor, Frank, ‘Guests of the Nation’ (1931)

Short Story: Tradition and Ritual
Jackson, Shirley, ‘The Lottery’ (1948)

Short Story: Diversity
Danticat, Edwidge, ‘Tatiana, Mon Amour’ (2004)

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reflective journalStudents provide a reflective account of their progress in the module from session to session, theme to theme75%Sem 1 End
EssayStudents provide a critical analysis of at least one text from the module25%Week 8
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Eagleton, Terry: 2005, The English Novel: An Introduction, Blackwell, Oxford,
  • Bradbury, Malcolm and Ruland, Richard.: 0, From Puritanism to Postmodernism, 9781138642065
  • Bulson, Eric: 2006, The Cambridge Introduction to James Joyce, Cambridge UP, Cambridge,
  • Fiedler, Leslie A.: 1966, Love and Death in the American Novel, Stein & Day,
  • Hale, Dorothy J. (ed.): 2006, The Novel: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory 1900-2000, Oxford,
  • Hughes, George: 2005, Reading Novels, Vanderbilt, Nashville, US,
  • Ingman, Heather,: 2009, A History of the Irish Short Story, Cambridge,
  • May, Charles: 2002, The Short Story: The Reality of Artifice, London,
  • Moretti, Franco (ed.): 2006, The Novel: Volume I: History, Geography, and Culture, Princeton,
  • Moretti, Franco (ed.): 2006, The Novel: Volume 2: Forms and Themes, Princeton,
  • Watt, Ian: 1981, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richards and Fielding, London,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BREBachelor of Religious Education &English

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement