TF – September
Structured both chronologically and thematically, this course will develop for the students an appreciation for and an understanding of American Literature. The intertwining of history, ideology, and literary movements—as they cross cultural/social/racial/sexual boundaries—will be the major focus of analysis and discussion.
- to help the student understand the American Literary Periods and to enable him to place works within them
- to expose trends and/or breakthroughs in our nation’s literary development
- to enable the student to write intelligently about both individual and juxtapositioned works
- to follow several themes—ideas and thoughts that have preoccupied the American mind
- to embrace the diversity of American authors
- to encourage the creation of literature
DEATH OF A SALESMAN
THE GREAT GATSBY
NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE (lots of lit is herein)
THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD
THE SCARLET LETTER
THE SUN ALSO RISES
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF
1. Each major test counts once.
2. Each Literary Paper counts twice.
3. The Seminar Presentation counts thrice (involves research at a university library)
4. The relevant rant journal counts twice
5. Vocabulary quizzes: each ten of them will count once
6. Each literary creation counts twice.
7. Class participation and readiness counts once.
8. Final exam counts 3 times.
9. Final grade is the sum total of all grades.
RULES AND REGS
1. Be prepared for each class.
2. Hand in papers on time. One full grade is deducted for every two days late.
You are permitted to rewrite a paper if the initial effort is thorough and honest.
3. Plagiarized papers earn an “F” grade.
4. missed work due to absences must be made up the next day.
1. a trip to Constitution Center after school in October followed by a Philly Dining out experience!
2. a professional theatre experience in Philly
Curriculum Units – First Semester
Chronological Units (rough draft – we will not follow this list exactly)
Mini-Unit: The Witch-Hunt
Oleanna (David Mamet)
Good Night, and Good Luck (film)
The Crucible (Arthur Miller)
Mini-Unit: The Native-American Experience
Native American speeches, narratives throughout American history (excerpts, Norton)
“This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” – handout (Sherman Alexie)
Last of the Mohicans—for your independent viewing
“Diary” of Mary Rowlandson
The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian (Sherman Alexie)
Faith-Based Influences: The Puritans
Journal Excerpts/Quotes (William Bradford, John Winthrop)
“Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House” (Anne Bradstreet)
“Young Goodman Brown,” “My Kinsman, Major Molineux” (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“Cathedral” (Raymond Carver)
‘”A Good Man is Hard to Find”
Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne—selected chapters)
Doubt (film based on the play by John Patrick Shanley)
Founding Principles: The Enlightenment and Rationality
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (excerpts, including the 13 Virtues and the Virtues Charts)
The Declaration of Independence (Thomas Jefferson)
Video: John Adams episode on the writing of the Declaration
“What is an American” (J de Crevecoeur)
American Romanticism: Sinister, Metaphysical, Boundless
“Rip Van Winkle” (Washington Irving)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (independent film viewing)
“Each and All” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
“The Raven,” “Annabel Lee,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “ Ligeia,” “The Cask of Amontillado” “Berenice,” “The Black Cat” (Edgar Allan Poe)
“Bartleby the Scrivener” (Herman Melville)
“When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” and other poems from Leaves of Grass (Walt Whitman)
“Wild Nights – Wild Nights!” “I taste a liquor never brewed,” “Some keep the Sabbath going to Church,” “Because I could not stop for Death” (Emily Dickinson)
American Realism: Social Reform and the Frontier
“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” (Ambrose Bierce)
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass – excerpts (Frederick Douglass)
The Souls of Black Folk – excerpt (W.E.B. DuBois)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)
“The Yellow Wall-paper” (Charlotte Perkins Gilman)
The Awakening (Kate Chopin)
For Colored Girls (Ntozake Shange)
“The Other Two,” “Roman Fever” (Edith Wharton)
Thematic Unit: The American Character
Based on some of the works listed above, are there some qualities of American literary figures and American life that can be said to be uniquely “American”? If so, what are they, and how did they come about?
SECOND SEMESTER: TBA
Works under major consideration—some of these may also be moved to semester oneJ
Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Excerpts from Waldon (Henry David Thoreau)
The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
The Sun Also Rises (E. Hemingway)
“A Clean Well-Lighted Place” (E.Hemingway)
A Streetcar Named Desire (T. Williams)
“The Open Boat” (Stephen Crane)
“The Battle Royal” (Ralph Ellison)
“Good Country People” (Flannery O’Connor)
Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Hurston)
“Separating” (John Updike)
Dutchman (Amiri Baraka)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Edward Albee)
Fences (August Wilson)
Death of a salesman (Arthur Miller)
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (T.S. Eliot)
Selected poems from various authors