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Widely used in introductory literature courses, this book provides valuable guidelines for interpreting literature and writing essays. It includes a thorough discussion of the 3 main literary genres—fiction, drama, and poetry, an overview of literary theory, guidelines for writing essays, procedures for writing and documenting research essays, a selection of full-length works that illustrate key points, and student essays. This text provides valuable guidelines for interpreting literature and writing essays about literature.
"I feel that the language of the book and the way that it is sectioned is at exactly the right level of simplicity and depth for my students to clearly understand the concepts without confusion, but also without causing them to feel as if they are being talked down to."
"I think it is the best of its kind, and I hope it continues to be in print for many years to come."
Kelley Griffith earned a BA from Wake Forest University and an MA and PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania. In his 34-year teaching career at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he taught courses in composition, American literature, English literature, European literature, and literary research. In 1996 he won the Alumni Teaching Excellence Award, UNCGreensboro's top honor for outstanding teaching. He is the author of two textbooks, Narrative Fiction: An Introduction and Anthology (Harcourt Brace, 1994) and Writing Essays about Literature: A Guide and Style Sheet (Wadsworth Cengage Learning), soon to appear in its ninth edition. Upon his retirement in 2002, he completed the Fine and Creative Woodworking Program at Rockingham Community College and now makes custom furniture. Examples of his work can be seen at www.sunburstfinewoodworking.com. He continues to be a deeply engaged reader of literature and maintains a strong interest in literary theory and pedagogy. On occasion he teaches non-credit courses at UNCG. In his new career he has been struck by how the skills required for interpreting and writing about literature mesh with those for operating a small business and making furniture. These skills include such things as analyzing complicated structures, doing research, solving problems, thinking systematically, and communicating clearly and persuasively to a general audience.
Preface. Acknowledgments. Introduction. PART I: INTERPRETING LITERATURE. 1. Strategies for Interpreting Literature. 2. What is Literature? Walt Whitman, Cavalry Crossing a Ford. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, My Friend, the Things that Do Attain. Christopher Marlowe, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love. Sir Walter Raleigh, The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd. 3. Interpreting Fiction. 4. Interpreting Drama. 5. Interpreting Poetry. Emily Bronte, The Night Is Darkening Round Me. William Wordsworth, A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal. Louise Bogan, Song for a Lyre. Jane Kenyon, In the Nursing Home. Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach. Robert Browning, My Last Duchess. Samuel Daniel, Love Is a Sickness. Thomas Campion, There Is a Garden in Her Face. William Blake, The Sick Rose. William Shakespeare, Sonnet 129. Edgar Allan Poe, To Helen. William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116. Edna St. Vincent Millay, I, Being Born a Woman. Anonymous, The Daemon Lover. Emily Dickinson, Because I Could Not Stop for Death. Matsuo Basho, How to say goodbye! Taniguchi Buson, Under the blossoming pear. Kobayashi Issa, The old, plump bullfrog. Anonymous, Psalm 23. Ezra Pound, Xenia. Amy Lowell, Road to the Yoshiwara. Langston Hughes, Vagabonds. Elizabeth Bishop, One Art. George Herbert, Easter Wings. e. e. cummings, l(a. Gwendolyn Brooks, We Real Cool. 6. Specialized Approaches to Interpreting Literature. PART II: WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE. 7. Writing about Literature. 8. Choosing Topics. 9. Drafting the Essay. 10. Revising and Editing. 11. Documentation and Research. 12. Taking Essay Tests. 13. Sample Essays. Appendix. Poems. Edwin Arlington Robinson, Richard Cory. Robert Frost, The Death of the Hired Man. Short Stories. Ernest Hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants. Mary Robison, Yours. Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado. Play. Susan Glaspell, Trifles. Glossary. Credits. Index of Concepts and Terms. Index of Critics, Authors, and Works.