These books were chosen with a general literature and composition class in mind. The novels cover different aspects of literature that promote the mental, moral, and academic growth of the high school student. The Canterbury Tales and Paradise Lost will introduce readers to two canonical works that examine social issues of the authors’ times that can be related to the modern student. These texts can also be modified to fit the time frame of a particular class due to the fact that they are both comprised of smaller texts that can be examined individually. Students will appreciate the humor found in The Canterbury Tales. These texts can also be included in a poetry unit.
Dora Bruder and “Copenhagen” can be taught in a unit on the function and characteristics of memory. The fact that one is a novel and the other is a play can show how similar ideas can be portrayed through various genres. An exploration of issues surrounding World War II can also occur with these two texts given that they both deal with the search for the truth regarding events that occurred due to the war.
The effects of authorial intent, style, and humor can be examined in Civil War Stories, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Absalom, Absalom. Civil War Stories and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are two different textual examples of sinister and cynical moods. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn can be a great way to explore the social tensions of 19th Century America that may still be present today. Civil War Stories can also be modified for shorter class periods in that it is a compilation of short stories that deal with the brutal reality of war. Absalom, Absalom can be used in an examination of stream of consciousness as well as race relations. All three of these texts can be used together in an examination of 19th Century America and its effect on the lives of subsequent generations.
The Sun Also Rises, East of Eden, and Bless Me, Ultima can be used to explore gender roles, the individual struggle for a purpose in life, as well as conflict that occurs from family obligations and expectations. By including a non-canonical work with two canonical works, students will be able to recognize commonalities between three seemingly different texts with various settings.
SearchTitle Copyright Year ISBN Number Publisher Name Purchase Price Date Purchased PagesEast of Eden19929780140186390Penguin Books14.002002602
Civil War Stories19949780486280387Dover Publications, INC.1.001998123
Paradise Lost20049781593083649Barnes & Noble Books25.002004442
Bless Me, Ultima19999780446675369Warner Books12.002009290
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn20049780312400292Bedford/St. Martin's15.002009550
The Canterbury Tales20039780140424386Penguin Books10.002006528
The Sun Also Rises20069780743297332Scribner15.002008256
Dora Bruder19999780520214262University of California Press15.002008123