Do our understandings of the world come filtered through each person's own unique and individual personality and perecptions? Or do we experience our world primarily through our social and cultural associations with others? Modern American literature has provided a range of opinions on this question basic to the issue of identity, and this course will trace that range from the 1920s to the current day, centering on works written in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Authors may include Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Salinger, Ellison, Kerouac, Plath, Morrison, and others less well-known, but equally fascinating. Students will be challenged to explore their own ideas about individualism in American culture through reading, writing frequent short papers, and active class discussion.