“The Enduring Chill”

Rarely are we lucky enough to not only have a great story to read in class that’s 1) set in the South, 2) short enough to hold your attention span and 3) had a fantastic performance to accompany it…. but this week we are in fact lucky enough to have all three in Flannery O’Connor’s short story “The Enduring Chill”, and the performance of this story by Stephen Colbert at Symphony Space in New York last year.

Click here to access the short story “The Enduring Chill”.

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As we examine this text, please remember that you should be looking for how the themes of the Southern Gothic are present, how O’Connor uses irony and how she uses very simple diction and images to create very point and engaging imagery.

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11th Grade American Literature Fall 2016 Uncategorized

The Southern Gothic, The Grotesque, and Flannery O’Connor

As we mark the transition from Modernist literature to Post Modernist, we are taking the time to pay special attention to a unique ‘bubble’ of literature that sprung up in response to the changing culture of the 1950’s and 1960’s, and the stolid culture of the American South – The Southern Gothic.

As culture changed rapidly in America between the 1950’s and the 1960’s, the ‘South’ was a unique place where the struggle between the ‘old ways’ and the ‘new ways’ played out in startling clarity – both in real life and in our literature.

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The transition from ‘wholesome’ all-American family values, and traditional ideas about race, sex, gender and religion change dramatically during the 1950’s and 60’s.

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Within her stories, specifically ‘The Enduring Chill’, Flannery O’Connor examines these changes and how the South provide a unique background on which to analyze the drama, conflict, and irony that these changes wrought in American life.

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For the full powerpoint/lecture notes over today’s introduction to The Southern Gothic and Flannery O’Connor, please click here.

 

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2016

American Literature End of Course Assessment

It’s that time of year again kids – testing season. So as you recover from Thanksgiving and prepare for the wild-rumpus that is Christmas, remember to review the format and requirements for your End of Course (EOC) exam!

 

Below you will find links to not only the assessment overview booklet from the Georgia Department of Education, but also the student/parent study guide provided by the GADOE. Please review the documents as needed – and remember, I make my class a little more difficult than the EOC so you are over prepared for this exam…. don’t stress, do your best, and follow the directions and you should be fine! 🙂

 

Click here to access the American Literature EOC Assessment Overview packet.

Click here to access the American Literature EOC study guide.

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2016

Charlotte Perkins Gilman – The Yellow Wallpaper

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Over the next two days we will be reading the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. A feminist, social reformer and novelist, Gilman based the story of “The Yellow Wallpaper” on her own experiences with depression and the popular 19th century ‘rest cure’. In her short story she examines the impact that this ‘cure’ has on the mental state of her female protagonist, and makes a clear statement against the control that a patriarchal society held over every aspect of women’s lives in the 19th century.

 

As we examine this text, remember to apply the lens of Feminist Criticism to your analysis. If you’ve forgotten how to do this, remember:

Feminist Criticism:  Feminist criticism is concerned with the impact of gender on writing and
reading. It usually begins with a critique of patriarchal culture. It is concerned with the place of female writers in the literary cannon. Finally, it includes a search for a feminine theory or approach to texts. Feminist criticism is political and often revisionist. Feminists often argue that male fears are portrayed through female characters. They may argue that gender determines everything, or just the opposite: that all gender differences are imposed by society, and gender determines nothing.

Advantages: Women have been underrepresented in the traditional cannon, and a feminist approach to literature attempts to redress this problem.

Disadvantages: Feminists turn literary criticism into a political battlefield and overlook the merits of works they consider “patriarchal.” When arguing for a distinct feminine writing style, they tend to relegate women’s literature to a ghetto status; this in turn prevents female literature from being naturally included in the literary cannon. The feminist approach is often too theoretical.

Checklist of Feminist Critical Questions:

  • To what extent does the representation of women (and men) in the work reflect the place and time in which the work was written?
  • How are the relationships between men and women or those between members of the same sex presented in the work?
  • What roles do men and women assume and perform and with what consequences?
  • Does the author present the work from within a predominantly male or female sensibility?
  • Why might this have been done, and with what effects?
  • How do the facts of the author’s life relate to the presentation of men and women in the work? To their relative degrees of power?
  • How do other works by the author correspond to this one in their depiction of the power relationships between men and women?

Please click here for access to Gilman’s story “The Yellow Wallpaper”.

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2016

Paul Lawrence Dunbar – We Wear the Mask

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Paul Laurence Dunbar was an American poet, novelist, and playwright of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dunbar’s parents had both been slaves prior to the Civil War, and he was apart of the first group of African Americans to be born free and emancipated from slavery in the United States. His work focused on the dialect and language of the Southern slaves and African Americans, though he had a difficult time publishing this work. He wanted to record and preserve the language of the southern African Americans, as slaves had been kept illiterate, and he knew that this history would be lost. Eventually Dunbar would go on to write poems, stories and articles in standard forms, and would receive acclaim and praise for them.

 

In class we are analyzing Dunbar’s poem ‘We Wear The Mask’, and tracing how not only the tone of the poem shifts in each stanza, but also how the speaker feels about the ‘mask’ they where. Please be sure to analyze this poem thoroughly, and it will be on your test!

 

Click here to access Dunbar’s poem.

 

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2016

Naturalism in American Literature

As we move away from the Realist period in American literature and into the 20th century, we approach the literary period known as ‘Naturalism’. While many of the other periods of writing in American literature had fairly distinct timelines and major events that acted as ‘endcaps’, the Naturalist period overlaps many of the other time periods – Realism, and The Harlem Renaissance. While very similar to Realism, there are distinct differences between the two periods:realism-and-naturalism-in-acting-context-6-638

As we read through these texts, pay attention to how we are finally presented with stories that have characters who struggle with their emotions and their own psychology. We will also be examining stories that develop the struggles of characters in poverty and characters who are disenfranchised in society.

 

Please watch the video below to catch up on your in-class notes if you missed them!

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2016