Created through a "student-tested, faculty-approved" review process, LIT includes a wide selection of essential classic and contemporary readings, along with brief introductions to the literary genres, useful writing suggestions, and a down-to-earth, accessible guide to writing about literature.
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Table of Contents
Preface. PART I: A GUIDE TO WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE. 1. Understanding Literature. Understand Imaginative Literature. Recognize Conventional Themes. Understand the Literary Canon. LUISA VALENZUELA, All about Suicide. WOLE SOYINKA, Telephone Conversation. Interpret Literature. Evaluate Literature. Understand the Function of Literary Criticism. CHECKLIST: Evaluating Literary Criticism. 2. Reading and Writing about Literature. Read Literature. Previewing. Highlighting. MAYA ANGELOU, My Arkansas. Annotating. Write about Literature. Planning an Essay. Drafting an Essay. Revising and Editing an Essay. EXERCISE: Two Student Papers. Student Paper: Initiation into Adulthood. Student Paper: Hard Choices. CHECKLIST: Using Highlighting Symbols. CHECKLIST: Using Sources. CHECKLIST: Conventions of Writing about Literature. 3. Writing Special Kinds of Papers. Write a Response Paper. Responding to a Short Story. Student Paper: Response to Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried". Responding to a Poem. Write a Comparison-Contrast. Comparing a Short Story and a Film. Student Paper: Two Cathedrals. Write an Explication. Explicating a Poem. Student Paper: A Lingering Doubt. Write a Character Analysis. Analyzing a Character in a Play. Student Paper: Linda Loman: Breaking the Mold. Write about a Work's Cultural Context. Writing about a Poem's Cultural Context. Student Paper: Dreaming of Home. CHECKLIST: Writing a Response Paper. CHECKLIST: Writing a Comparison-Contrast. CHECKLIST: Writing an Explication. CHECKLIST: Writing a Character Analysis. CHECKLIST: Writing about a Work's Cultural Context. 4. Thinking Critically about Your Writing. Distinguish Fact from Opinion. Evaluate Supporting Evidence. Detect Bias in Your Writing. Understand Logic. Inductive Reasoning. Deductive Reasoning. Toulmin Logic. Recognizing Logical Fallacies. CHECKLIST: Detecting Bias. 5. Writing Literary Arguments. Plan a Literary Argument. Choosing a Debatable Topic. Developing an Argumentative Thesis. Defining Your Terms. Considering Your Audience. Refuting Opposing Arguments. Use Evidence Effectively. Supporting Your Literary Argument. Establishing Credibility. Being Fair. Using Visuals as Evidence. Organize a Literary Argument. Writing a Literary Argument. Student Paper: The Politics of "Everyday Use". CHECKLIST: Developing an Argumentative Thesis. CHECKLIST: Being Fair. 6. Using Sources in Your Writing. Choose a Topic. Do Exploratory Research. Narrow Your Topic. Do Focused Research. Library Research. Internet Research. Take Notes. Integrate Sources. EXERCISE: Integrating Quotations. Draft a Thesis Statement. Make a Formal Outline. Draft Your Paper. Evaluate a Model Literature Paper with MLA Documentation. Student Paper: And Again She Makes the Journey: Character and Act in Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path". CHECKLIST: Evaluating Library Sources. CHECKLIST: Evaluating Web Sites. 7. Documenting Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism. Avoid Plagiarism. Document All Material That Requires Documentation. Enclose Borrowed Words in Quotation Marks. Do Not Imitate a Source's Syntax and Phrasing. Differentiate Your Words from Those of Your Source. Document Sources. Parenthetical References in the Text. The Works-Cited List. Content Notes. CHECKLIST: Plagiarism and Internet Sources. CHECKLIST: Guidelines for Punctuating Parenthetical References. 8. Writing Essay Exams about Literature. Plan an Essay Exam Answer. Review Your Material. Consider Your Audience and Purpose. Read Through the Entire Exam. Read Each Question Carefully. Brainstorm to Find Ideas. Shape an Essay Exam Answer. State Your Thesis. Make a Scratch Outline. Draft and Revise an Essay Exam Answer. Model Student Essay Exam Answer. PART II: FICTION. 9. Understanding Fiction. Identify the Origins of Modern Fiction. The History of the Novel. The History of the Short Story. Define the Short Story. ERNEST HEMINGWAY, Hills Like White Elephants. Understand the Boundaries of Fiction. 10. Fiction Sampler: The Short-Short. Define the Short-Short Story. JULIA ALVAREZ, Snow. JORGE LUIS BORGES, The Plot. DAVE EGGERS, Accident. AMANDA HOLZER, Love and Other Catastrophes: A Mix Tape. JAMAICA KINCAID, Girl. ZZ PACKER, Buffalo Soldiers. ANNIE PROULX, 55 Miles to the Gas Pump. 11. Plot. Recognize Conflict. Recognize Stages of Plot. Recognize Order and Sequence. Graphic Story: BEN KATCHOR, Goner Pillow Company. KATE CHOPIN, The Story of an Hour. STEPHEN DOBYNS, Kansas. WILLIAM FAULKNER, A Rose for Emily. Writing Suggestions: Plot. CHECKLIST: Writing about Plot. 12. Character. Recognize Round and Flat Characters. Recognize Dynamic and Static Characters. Understand Motivation. Graphic Story: ART SPIEGELMAN, Eye Ball. JOHN UPDIKE, A&P. KATHERINE MANSFIELD, Miss Brill. CHARLES BAXTER, Gryphon. Writing Suggestions: Character. CHECKLIST: Writing about Character. 13. Setting. Understand Historical Setting. Understand Geographical Setting. Understand Physical Setting. Graphic Story: MARJANE SATRAPI, from Persepolis. KATE CHOPIN, The Storm. SHERMAN J. ALEXIE, This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona. TILLIE OLSEN, I Stand Here Ironing. Writing Suggestions: Setting. CHECKLIST: Writing about Setting. 14. Point of View. Recognize First-Person Narrators. Unreliable Narrators. Recognize Third-Person Narrators. Omniscient Narrators. Limited Omniscient Narrators. Objective Narrators. Understand the Uses of Point of View. Graphic Story: SHAUN TAN, from The Arrival. RICHARD WRIGHT, Big Black Good Man. EDGAR ALLAN POE, The Cask of Amontillado. WILLIAM FAULKNER, Barn Burning. Writing Suggestions: Point of View. CHECKLIST: Selecting an Appropriate Point of View: Review. CHECKLIST: Writing about Point of View. 15. Style, Tone, and Language. Understand Style and Tone. Understand the Uses of Language. Recognize Formal and Informal Diction. Recognize Imagery. Recognize Figures of Speech. Graphic Story: R. CRUMB, A Hunger Artist. JAMES JOYCE, Araby. (MARY) FLANNERY O'CONNOR, A Good Man Is Hard to Find. TIM O'BRIEN, The Things They Carried. Writing Suggestions: Style, Tone, and Language. CHECKLIST: Writing about Style, Tone, and Language. 16. Symbol, Allegory, and Myth. Recognize Symbols. Literary Symbols. Recognizing Symbols. Recognize Allegory. Recognize Myth. Graphic Story: ALISON BECHDEL, from Fun Home. SHIRLEY JACKSON, The Lottery. ALICE WALKER, Everyday Use. RAYMOND CARVER, Cathedral. NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, Young Goodman Brown. Writing Suggestions: Symbol, Allegory, and Myth. CHECKLIST: Writing about Symbol, Allegory, and Myth. 17. Theme. Understand Theme. Discover a Story's Theme. Graphic Story: LYNDA BARRY, Two Questions. EUDORA WELTY, A Worn Path. DAVID MICHAEL KAPLAN, Doe Season. D(AVID) H(ERBERT) LAWRENCE, The Rocking-Horse Winner. Writing Suggestions: Theme. CHECKLIST: Writing about Theme. 18. Fiction for Further Reading. Appreciate Different Kinds of Fiction. T. CORAGHESSAN BOYLE, Greasy Lake. GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN, The Yellow Wallpaper. EDGAR ALLAN POE, The Tell-Tale Heart. ALBERTO ALVARO RÍOS, The Secret Lion. AMY TAN, Two Kinds. PART III: POETRY. 19. Understanding Poetry. MARIANNE MOORE, Poetry. NIKKI GIOVANNI, Poetry. Identify the Origins of Modern Poetry. Define Poetry. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, That time of year thou mayst in me behold. E. E. CUMMINGS, l(a. Recognize Kinds of Poetry. Narrative Poetry. Lyric Poetry. 20. Poetry Sampler: Poetry and Art. Appreciate Poems about Art. RITA DOVE, Sonnet in Primary Colors. ALLEN GINSBERG, Cezanne's Ports. ROBERT HAYDEN, Monet's "Waterlilies". CATHY SONG, Girl Powdering Her Neck. MAY SWENSON, The Tall Figures of Giacometti. KEVIN YOUNG, The Fun Gallery. Writing Suggestions: Poetry and Art. 21. Voice. EMILY DICKINSON, I'm nobody! Who are you?. Identify the Speaker in the Poem. LOUISE GLÜCK, Gretel in Darkness. LEONARD ADAMÉ, My Grandmother Would Rock Quietly and Hum. LANGSTON HUGHES, Negro. ROBERT BROWNING, My Last Duchess. Further Reading: The Speaker in the Poem. LESLIE MARMON SILKO, Where Mountain Lion Lay Down with Deer. JANICE MIRIKITANI, Suicide Note. Identify the Tone of the Poem. ROBERT FROST, Fire and Ice. THOMAS HARDY, The Man He Killed. AMY LOWELL, Patterns. Further Reading: The Tone of the Poem. WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, The World Is Too Much with Us. ROBERT HERRICK, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time. Recognize Irony. ROBERT BROWNING, Porphyria's Lover. PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, Ozymandias. Further Reading: Irony. W. H. AUDEN, The Unknown Citizen. DUDLEY RANDALL, Ballad of Birmingham. Writing Suggestions: Voice. CHECKLIST: Writing about Voice. 22. Word Choice, Word Order. SIPHO SEPAMLA, Words, Words, Words. Evaluate Word Choice. WALT WHITMAN, When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer. WILLIAM STAFFORD, For the Grave of Daniel Boone. Further Reading: Word Choice. RHINA ESPAILLAT, Bilingual /Bilingue. ADRIENNE RICH, Living in Sin. E. E. CUMMINGS, in Just-. Recognize Levels of Diction. MARGARET ATWOOD, The City Planners. JIM SAGEL, Baca Grande. Further Reading: Levels of Diction. MARK HALLIDAY, The Value of Education. GWENDOLYN BROOKS, We Real Cool. GWENDOLYN BROOKS, What Shall I Give My Children?. Evaluate Word Order. EDMUND SPENSER, One day I wrote her name upon the strand. E. E. CUMMINGS, anyone lived in a pretty how town. Further Reading: Word Order. A. E. HOUSMAN, To an Athlete Dying Young. Writing Suggestions: Word Choice, Word Order. CHECKLIST: Writing about Word Choice and Word Order. 23. Imagery. Recognize and Interpret Imagery. JANE FLANDERS, Cloud Painter. WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS, Red Wheelbarrow. EZRA POUND, In a Station of the Metro. GARY SNYDER, Some Good Things to Be Said for the Iron Age. SUZANNE E. BERGER, The Meal. WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS, The Great Figure. Further Reading: Imagery. ROBERT FROST, Nothing Gold Can Stay. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun. Writing Suggestions: Imagery. CHECKLIST: Writing about Imagery. 24. Figures of Speech. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?. Recognize Simile, Metaphor, and Personification. LANGSTON HUGHES, Harlem. LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI, Constantly Risking Absurdity. AUDRE LORDE, Rooming houses are old women. Further Reading: Simile, Metaphor, and Personification. ROBERT BURNS, Oh, my love is like a red, red rose. N. SCOTT MOMADAY, Simile. SYLVIA PLATH, Metaphors. RANDALL JARRELL, The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner. MARGE PIERCY, The secretary chant. JOHN DONNE, A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning. Recognize Hyperbole and Understatement. SYLVIA PLATH, Daddy. DAVID HUDDLE, Holes Commence Falling. Further Reading: Hyperbole and Understatement. ANDREW MARVELL, To His Coy Mistress. ROBERT FROST, "Out, Out". MARGARET ATWOOD, You fit into me. Recognize Metonymy and Synecdoche. RICHARD LOVELACE, To Lucasta Going to the Wars. Recognize Apostrophe. SONIA SANCHEZ, On Passing thru Morgantown, Pa. Further Reading: Apostrophe. JOHN KEATS, Ode to a Nightingale. Writing Suggestions: Figures of Speech. CHECKLIST: Writing about Figures of Speech. 25. Sound. WALT WHITMAN, Had I the Choice. Recognize Rhythm. GWENDOLYN BROOKS, Sadie and Maud. Recognize Meter. EMILY DICKINSON, I like to see it lap the Miles. Further Reading: Rhythm and Meter. ADRIENNE RICH, Aunt Jennifer's Tigers. Recognize Alliteration and Assonance. ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON, The Eagle. ROBERT HERRICK, Delight in Disorder. Recognize Rhyme. RICHARD WILBUR, In Trackless Woods. Further Reading: Alliteration, Assonance, and Rhyme. GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS, Pied Beauty. W. H. AUDEN, As I Walked Out One Evening. GALWAY KINNELL, Blackberry Eating. LEWIS CARROLL, Jabberwocky. Writing Suggestions: Sound. CHECKLIST: Writing about Sound. 26. Form. JOHN KEATS, On the Sonnet. BILLY COLLINS, Sonnet. Recognize Closed Form. Blank Verse. Stanza. The Sonnet. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, When, in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes. Further Reading: The Sonnet. JOHN KEATS, On First Looking into Chapman's Homer. GWENDOLYN BROOKS, First Fight. Then Fiddle. The Sestina. ALBERTO ALVARO RÍOS, Nani. Further Reading: The Sestina. ELIZABETH BISHOP, Sestina. The Villanelle. THEODORE ROETHKE, The Waking. The Epigram. Further Reading: The Epigram. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, What Is an Epigram?. WILLIAM BLAKE, Her Whole Life Is an Epigram. MARTIN ESPADA, Why I Went to College. Haiku. Further Reading: Haiku. MATSUO BASH?, Four Haiku. Recognize Open Form. CARL SANDBURG, Chicago. E. E. CUMMINGS, the sky was candy. Further Reading: Open Form. WALT WHITMAN, from "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking". WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS, Spring and All. CAROLYN FORCHÉ, The Colonel. PAT MORA, Immigrants. Writing Suggestions: Form. CHECKLIST: Writing about Form. 27. Symbol, Allegory, Allusion, Myth. WILLIAM BLAKE, The Sick Rose. Recognize Symbol. ROBERT FROST, For Once, Then, Something. EMILY DICKINSON, Volcanoes be in Sicily. Further Reading: Symbol. EDGAR ALLAN POE, The Raven. Recognize Allegory. CHRISTINA ROSSETTI, Uphill. Further Reading: Allegory. ADRIENNE RICH, Diving into the Wreck. Recognize Allusion. WOLE SOYINKA, Future Plans. WILLIAM MEREDITH, Dreams of Suicide. Further Reading: Allusion. BILL COYLE, Post-Colonial Studies. Recognize Myth. COUNTEE CULLEN, Yet Do I Marvel. Further Reading: Myth. WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, Leda and the Swan. W. H. AUDEN, Musee des Beaux Arts. T. S. ELIOT, Journey of the Magi. Writing Suggestions: Symbol, Allegory, Allusion, Myth. CHECKLIST: Writing about Symbol, Allegory, Allusion, Myth. 28. Discovering Themes in Poetry. ROBERT HERRICK, The Argument of His Book. Evaluate Poems about Parents. THEODORE ROETHKE, My Papa's Waltz. ROBERT HAYDEN, Those Winter Sundays. EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY, The courage that my mother had. SEAMUS HEANEY, Digging. RAYMOND CARVER, Photograph of My Father in His Twenty-Second Year. MITSUYE YAMADA, The Night Before Goodbye. DYLAN THOMAS, Do not go gentle into that good night. Evaluate Poems about Nature. WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, I wandered lonely as a cloud. MARY OLIVER, Sleeping in the Forest. ROBERT FROST, Birches. WILLIAM STAFFORD, Traveling through the Dark. CARL SANDBURG, Fog. Evaluate Poems about Love. ROBERT BROWNING, Meeting at Night. ROBERT BROWNING, Parting at Morning. ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, How Do I Love Thee?. EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY, What Lips My Lips Have Kissed. DOROTHY PARKER, General Review of the Sex Situation. Evaluate Poems about War. RUPERT BROOKE, The Soldier. WILFRED OWEN, Dulce et Decorum Est. ROBERT LOWELL, For the Union Dead. DENISE LEVERTOV, What Were They Like?. YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA, Facing It. Writing Suggestions: Discovering Themes in Poetry. 29. Poetry for Further Reading. Appreciate Different Kinds of Poetry. MATTHEW ARNOLD, Dover Beach. WILLIAM BLAKE, The Lamb. WILLIAM BLAKE, To see a World in a Grain of Sand. WILLIAM BLAKE, The Tyger. GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON, She Walks in Beauty. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, Kubla Khan. BILLY COLLINS, Introduction to Poetry. EMILY DICKINSON, Because I could not stop for Death. EMILY DICKINSON, "Faith" is a fine invention. EMILY DICKINSON, I heard a Fly buzzwhen I died. JOHN DONNE, Death Be Not Proud. JOHN DONNE, The Flea. T. S. ELIOT, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. LOUISE ERDRICH, Indian Boarding School: The Runaways. ROBERT FROST, Mending Wall. ROBERT FROST, The Road Not Taken. ROBERT FROST, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. LANGSTON HUGHES, Theme for English B. LANGSTON HUGHES, The Negro Speaks of Rivers. JOHN KEATS, Ode on a Grecian Urn. JOHN KEATS, When I Have Fears. ARCHIBALD MACLEISH, Ars Poetica. CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love. CLAUDE MCKAY, If We Must Die. SHARON OLDS, The One Girl at the Boys' Party. MARGE PIERCY, Barbie doll. SYLVIA PLATH, Mirror. SIR WALTER RALEIGH, The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd. EDWARD ARLINGTON ROBINSON, Richard Cory. SONIA SANCHEZ, right on: white america. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Let me not to the marriage of true minds. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Not marble, nor the gilded monuments. PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, Ode to the West Wind. WALLACE STEVENS, The Emperor of Ice-Cream. PHILLIS WHEATLEY, On Being Brought from Africa to America. WALT WHITMAN, from "Song of Myself". WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, London, 1802. WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, My heart leaps up when I behold. WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, The Lake Isle of Innisfree. WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, Sailing to Byzantium. WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, The Second Coming. PART IV: DRAMA. 30. Understanding Drama. Identify the Origins of Modern Drama. The Ancient Greek Theater. The Elizabethan Theater. The Modern Theater. Understand the Nuances of Translations. Read Drama. ANTON CHEKHOV, The Brute. 31. Drama Sampler: Ten-Minute Plays. Define the Ten-Minute Play. JANE MARTIN, Beauty. JOSÉ RIVERA, Tape. ZORA NEALE HURSTON, Poker!. Writing Suggestions: Ten-Minute Plays. 32. Plot. Understand Plot Structure. Plot and Subplot. Understand Plot Development. Flashbacks. Foreshadowing. WARREN LEIGHT, Nine Ten. SUSAN GLASPELL, Trifles. HENRIK IBSEN, A Doll House. Writing Suggestions: Plot. CHECKLIST: Writing about Plot. 33. Character. Consider Characters' Words. Formal and Informal Language. Plain and Elaborate Language. Tone. Irony. Consider Characters' Actions. Consider Stage Directions. Consider Actors' Interpretations. AUGUST STRINDBERG, The Stronger. ARTHUR MILLER, Death of a Salesman. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Hamlet. Writing Suggestions: Character. CHECKLIST: Writing about Character. 34. Staging. Identify Stage Directions. Understand the Uses of Staging. Costumes. Props and Furnishings. Scenery and Lighting. Music and Sound Effects. Consider a Final Note. DAVID IVES, Words, Words, Words. SOPHOCLES, Oedipus the King. Writing Suggestions: Staging. CHECKLIST: Writing about Staging. 35. Theme. Evaluate Titles. Recognize Conflicts. Evaluate Dialogue. Evaluate Characters. Evaluate Staging. Consider a Final Note. AUGUST WILSON, Fences. TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, The Glass Menagerie. Writing Suggestions: Theme. CHECKLIST: Writing about Theme. Appendix. Joyce Carol Oates's "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?": A Casebook for Reading, Research, and Writing. Evaluate Source Materials. JOYCE CAROL OATES, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?. JOYCE CAROL OATES, When Characters from the Page Are Made Flesh on the Screen. GRETCHEN SCHULZ AND R. J. R. ROCKWOOD, from In Fairyland, without a Map: Connie's Exploration Inward in Joyce Carol Oates's "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?". MIKE TIERCE AND JOHN MICHAEL CRAFTON, from Connie's Tambourine Man: A New Reading of Arnold Friend. BOB DYLAN, It's All Over Now, Baby Blue. LAURA KALPAKIAN, from a review of Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?: Selected Early Stories. DON MOSER, from The Pied Piper of Tucson. ANONYMOUS, The Pied Piper of Hamelin. CHARLES PERRAULT, Little Red Riding Hood. Explore Topics for Further Research. Student Paper: Mesmerizing Men and Vulnerable Teens. Credits. Index of First Lines of Poetry. Index of Authors and Titles. Index of Literary Terms. In Review Cards.