Major American Novels

Course Description

In this class, we will be reading and considering a number of the most important or most critically lauded moments in the development of the American novel.

Assignment #3—Mapping Novels

One of the major themes in this class has been the production, management, and description of the American landscape. Each work, in it’s own way, deals with a specific space and the ways in which each author’s characters move through that specifically encoded space.

Mapmaking as Criticism

How can mapping a character’s interactions with space change our understanding of their actions? What other ways might we think about a character in this fashion? For this assignment, you will produce an annotated Google Map charting the action of one of the novels we have read. You will need to “pin” between 15 and 25 locations. Additionally, you will need to briefly annotate each “pin” with some explanation of what occurs at each location

You may have to focus your analysis on a specific episode or a specific character in order to produce a map that isn’t completely chaotic.


  1. The Link To Your Map
  2. A 1-2 Page Statement Detailing What You Have Mapped and What You Think It Reveals

Making a Map

  1. Visit the Site
  2. Click on “Create New Map”
  3. You Can Search For Locations, Drop Pins, and Draw Maps
  4. Set up the Share Settings:
    1. Click “Share”
    2. Under “Who Has Access,” Click the “Change…” Link
    3. Change “Private” to “Anyone Who Has the Link”
  5. Copy and Paste the link under “Link to Share.” Submit this link with your essay.

Here’s a Map I Created