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The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature with 2009 MLA Update: Reading, Thinking, Writing



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The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature is designed to bring literature to life — and to make students lifelong readers. As an instructor of literature and writing, editor Michael Meyer understands that a particular challenge in today’s classroom is that students may not see literature as relevant to their lives. They may have difficulty reading it critically and lack confidence in their writing skills. With these factors in mind, Meyer has put together a lively collection of literature drawn from many periods, cultures, and voices, with an excellent representation of contemporary authors, women authors, and authors of color.

These works are presented with more than a dozen chapters of critical reading and writing support, and a generous helping of sample close readings, writing assignments, and student papers. And, because everyone teaches a little differently, the book offers more options for working with the literature than any comparable anthology — including in-depth chapters on major authors and case studies on individual works and universal themes.

"I rate The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature as head and shoulders above its competition."- Donald Pharr, Saint Leo University

Author Biography

MICHAEL MEYER (Ph.D., University of Connecticut) has taught introductory writing and literature courses for more than thirty years — since 1981 at the University of Connecticut and before that at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the College of William and Mary. His articles have appeared in such distinguished journals as American Literature, Studies in American Renaissance, and the Virginia Quarterly Review, and he is former president of the Thoreau Society and coauthor (with Walter Harding) of The New Thoreau Handbook, a standard reference source. His other books for Bedford/St. Martin’s include The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Eighth Edition, Poetry: An Introduction, Fifth Edition, and Thinking and Writing About Literature, Second Edition.

Table of Contents

Resources For Reading and Writing about Literature

Preface for Instructors

Introduction: Reading Imaginative

The Nature of Literature

Emily Dickinson, A narrow Fellow in the Grass

The Value of Literature

The Changing Literary Canon



1. Reading Fiction

Reading Fiction Responsively

Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour

A SAMPLE CLOSE READING: An Annotated Section of "The Story of an Hour"

A SAMPLE PAPER: Differences in Responses to Kate Chopin’s "The Story of an Hour"

Explorations and Formulas

A Comparison of Two Stories

Karen Van Der Zee, From A Secret Sorrow

Gail Godwin, A Sorrowful Woman


Kay Mussell, Are Feminism and Romance Novels Mutually Exclusive?

Thomas Jefferson,
On the Dangers of Reading Fiction

2. Writing about Fiction

From Reading to Writing



A First Response to "A Secret Sorrow" and A Sorrowful Woman

A Sample Brainstorming List

A Sample First Draft: Separate Sorrows

A Sample Second Draft: Separate Sorrows

FINAL PAPER: Fulfillment or Failure? Marriage in A Secret Sorrow and "A Sorrowful Woman"

3. Plot

Edgar Rice Burroughs, From Tarzan of the Apes

]Ha Jin, Love in the Air

William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily

PERSPECTIVE: William Faulkner, On "A Rose for Emily"

]A SAMPLE CLOSE READING: An Annotated Section of "A Rose for Emily"

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Conflict and Crisis in William Faulkner’s "A Rose for Emily"

Andre Dubus, Killings

PERSPECTIVES: Thomas E. Kennedy, On Morality and Revenge in "Killings"; A. L. Bader, Nothing Happens in Modern Short Stories

4. Character

Charles Dickens, From Hard Times

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Character in Charles Dickens’s Hard Times

May-lee Chai, Saving Sourdi

Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener

PERSPECTIVES: Nathaniel Hawthorne, On Herman Melville’s Philosophic Stance; Dan McCall, On the Lawyer’s Character in "Bartleby, the Scrivener"

]Susan Straight, Mines

5. Setting

Ernest Hemingway,
Soldier’s Home

PERSPECTIVES: e. e. cummings, my sweet old etcetera; Ernest Hemingway, On What Every Writer Needs

Fay Weldon, IND AFF, or Out of Love in Sarajevo

PERSPECTIVE: Fay Weldon, On the Importance of Place in "IND AFF"

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Setting in Fay Weldon’s "IND, AFF"

]Robert Olen Butler, Christmas 1910

6. Point of View

Third-Person Narrator

First-Person Narrator

]Achy Obejas, We Came All the Way from Cuba so You Could Dress Like This?

Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Pet Dog

PERSPECTIVES: Additional Translations of the Final Paragraphs of Anton Chekhov’s "The Lady with the Pet Dog"

Anton Chekhov, From "The Lady and the Dog"

Anton Chekhov, From "A Lady with a Dog"


Anton Chekhov, On Morality in Fiction

Joyce Carol Oates, The Lady with the Pet Dog

PERSPECTIVE: Matthew C. Brennan, Point of View and Plotting in Chekhov’s and Oates’s "The Lady with the Pet Dog"

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Point of View in Anton Chekhov’s "The Lady with the Pet Dog"

Alice Walker, Roselily

7. Symbolism

Colette, The Hand

Ralph Ellison, Battle Royal

PERSPECTIVE: Mordecai Marcus, "What Is an Initiation Story?"

]A SAMPLE CLOSE READING: An Annotated Section of "Battle Royal"

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Symbolism Ralph Ellison’s in "Battle Royal"

]Peter Meinke, The Cranes

8. Theme

Stephen Crane,
The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

Katherine Mansfield, Miss Brill

Dagoberto Gilb, Love in L.A.

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Theme in Dagoberto Gilb’s "Love in L.A."

]Daley Walker, I am the Grass

9. Style, Tone, and Irony




Raymond Carver, Popular Mechanics

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Minimalist Style in Raymond Carver’s "Popular Mechanics"

Susan Minot,

]Lydia Davis, Letter to a Funeral Parlor

10. Combining the Elements of Fiction: A Writing Process

The Elements Together

Mapping the Story

David Updike, Summer

QUESTIONS FOR WRITING: Developing a Topic into a Revised Thesis

A Sample Brainstorming List

A Sample First Thesis

A Sample Revised Thesis

]A SAMPLE STUDENT ANALYSIS: Inaction and Setting in David Updike’s "Summer"


11. A Study of Nathaniel Hawthorne

A Brief Biography and Introduction

Young Goodman Brown

The Minister’s Black Veil

The Birthmark

PERSPECTIVES on Hawthorne:

Nathaniel Hawthorne,
On Solitude

Nathaniel Hawthorne, On the Power of the Writer’s Imagination

Nathaniel Hawthorne,
On His Stories

Herman Melville, On Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tragic Vision

]Gaylord Brewer, "The Joys of Secret Sin"

12. A Study of Flannery O’Connor

A Brief Biography and Introduction

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Good Country People



Flannery O’Connor, On Faith

Flannery O’Connor, On the Materials of Fiction

Flannery O’Connor, On the Use of Exaggeration and Distortion

Flannery O’Connor, On Theme and Symbol

Josephine Hendin,
On O’Connor’s Refusal to "Do Pretty"

Claire Kahane, The Function of Violence in O’Connor’s Fiction

Edward Kessler,
On O’Connor’s Use of History

]Time Magazine, On "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

13. A Critical Case Study: William Faulkner’s "Barn Burning"

Barn Burning


Jane Hiles,
Blood Ties in "Barn Burning"

Benjamin DeMott,
Abner Snopes as a Victim of Class

Gayle Edward Wilson, Conflict in "Barn Burning"

James Ferguson, Narrative Strategy in "Barn Burning"

QUESTIONS FOR WRITING: Incorporating the Critics

A SAMPLE STUDENT PAPER: The Fires of Class Conflict in William Faulkner’s "Barn Burning"

14. A Cultural Case Study: James Joyce’s "Eveline"

A Brief Biography and Introduction



(photo) Poole Street, Dublin

(almanac) The Alliance Temperance Almanack, On the Resources of Ireland

(letter) Bridget Burke, A Letter Home from an Irish Emigrant

(essay) A Plot Synopsis of The Bohemian Girl

(poster) The Bohemian Girl

15. Thematic Case Study: Literature of the South

(map) U.S. Bureau of the Census, "The South"

(essay) John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed, Definitions of the South

(essay) W.J. Cash, The Old and the New South

(movie still) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Gone with the Wind

(lithograph) Currier and Ives, "The Old Plantation Home"

Irving Howe, The Southern Myth

(painting) John Richards, The Battle of Gettysburg

(essay) Flannery O’Connor, The Regional Writer

(painting) Clyde Broadway, Trinity: Elvis, Jesus, and Robert E. Lee

(photo) Ernest C. Withers, "Bus Station, Colored Waiting Room, Memphis, Tennessee"

(photo) Library of Congress, Elizabeth Eckford at Little Rock Central High School

(photo) Ernest C. Withers, "Sanitation Workers’ Strike, Memphis, Tennessee"

(essay) Richard Wright, The Ethics of Living Jim Crow

(collage) Romare Bearden, Watching the Good Trains Go

(essay) Donald R. Noble, The Future of Southern Writing

(essay) Lee Smith, On Southern Change and Permanence

]16. A Thematic Case Study: Humor and Satire

E. Annie Proulx, 55 Miles to the Gas Pump

T.C. Boyle, Carnal Knowledge

]Lee Smith, The Happy Memories Club

]Mark Twain, The Story of the Good Little Boy

Encountering Fiction: Comics

(comic strip) Matt Groening, from Life in Hell

(comic strip) Lynda Barry, Spelling


17. An Album of Contemporary Stories

]Martin Amis, The Last Days of Muhammad Atta

]Rick Bass, Her First Elk

Amy Bloom, By-and-by

18. Stories for Further Reading

]Joseph Conrad, An Outpost of Progress

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Clothes

Jamaica Kincaid, Girl

Tim O’Brien, How to Tell a True War Story

Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado

Katherine Anne Porter, The Witness

John Updike, A & P



19. Reading Poetry

Reading Poetry Responsively

Marge Piercy, The Secretary Chant

Robert Hayden,
Those Winter Sundays

John Updike, Dog’s Death

The Pleasure of Words

William Hathaway, Oh, Oh

A SAMPLE CLOSE READING: An Annotated Version of ÒOh, OhÓ

Robert Francis, Catch

A SAMPLE STUDENT ANALYSIS: Tossing Metaphors Together in Robert Francis’s ÒCatchÓ

Elizabeth Bishop,
The Fish

Philip Larkin,
A Study of Reading Habits

Robert Morgan, Mountain Graveyard

e. e. cummings, l(a

Western Wind

Regina Barreca, Nighttime Fires

Suggestions for Approaching Poetry

Billy Collins,
Introduction to Poetry

Encountering Poetry: Images of Poetry in Popular Culture

(poster) Dorothy Parker, Unfortunate Coincidence

(photo) Carl Sandburg, Window

(photo) Philip Levine and Terry Allen, Corporate Head

(cartoon) Roz Chast, The Love Song of J. Alfred Crew

(photo) Tim Taylor, I shake the delicate apparatus

(poster) Eric Dunn and Mike Wigton, National Poetry Slam Poster

(photos) David Huang, National Poetry Slam Photographs


](webscreen) Ted Kooser, ÒAmerican Life in PoetryÓ

(column) David Allan Evans, ÒNeighborsÓ

Poetry in Popular Forms

Helen Farries,
Magic of Love

John Frederick Nims,
Love Poem

Bruce Springsteen, You’re Missing

S. Pearl Sharp, It’s the Law

PERSPECTIVE: Robert Francis, On ÒHardÓ Poetry

Poems for Further Study

Alberto R’os,

]Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Crossing the Bar

Li Ho, A Beautiful Girl Combs Her Hair

Louisa Lopez, Junior Year Abroad

]Thomas Lux, The Voice You Hear When You Read Silently

20. Writing about Poetry

From Reading to Writing


Elizabeth Bishop,

]A SAMPLE CLOSE READING: An Annotated Version of ÒMannersÓ

]A SAMPLE STUDENT ANALYSIS: Memory in Elizabeth Bishop’s ÒMannersÓ

21. Word Choice, Word Order, and Tone

Word Choice

Randall Jarrell, The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

e. e. cummings, she being Brand

Word Order


Judith Ortiz Cofer, Common Ground

]Colette Inez, Back When All was Continuous Chuckles

Katharyn Howd Machan, Hazel Tells LaVerne

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: The Tone of Katharyn Howd Machan’s ÒHazel Tells LaVerneÓ

Mart’n Espada, Latin Night at the Pawnshop

]Paul Lawrence Dunbar, To a Captious Critic

Diction and Tone in Three Love Poems

Robert Herrick, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress

]Sharon Olds, Last Night

Poems for Further Study

]Barbara Hamby, Ode to American English

Thomas Hardy, The Convergence of the Twain

David R. Slavitt, Titanic

]Joanne Diaz, On My Father’s Loss of Hearing

Sharon Olds, Sex without Love

John Keats,
Ode on a Grecian Urn

Gwendolyn Brooks, We Real Cool

]Joan Murray, We Old Dudes

Alice Jones, The Larynx

Louis Simpson,
In the Suburbs

A Note on Reading Translation

Three Translations of a Poem by Sappho

Sappho, Immortal Aphrodite of the broidered throne (translated by Henry T. Wharton)

Sappho, Beautiful-throned, immortal Aphrodite (translated by T. W. Higginson)

Prayer to my lady of Paphos (translated by Mary Barnard)

]Three Translations of a Poem by Pablo Neruda

]Pablo Neruda, Verbo (original Spanish version)

]Pablo Neruda, Word (translated by Ben Belitt)

]Pablo Neruda, Word (translated by Kristin Linklater)

]Pablo Neruda, Verb (translated by Ilan Stavins)

22. Images

Poetry’s Appeal to the Senses

William Carlos Williams,

Walt Whitman, Cavalry Crossing a Ford

David Solway, Windsurfing

Theodore Roethke, Root Cellar

Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach

Jimmy Santiago Baca, Green Chile

Poems for Further Study

]Amy Lowell, The Pond

]Sheila Wingfield, A Bird

Mary Robinson, London’s Summer Morning

William Blake, London

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Imagery in William Blake’s ÒLondonÓ and Mary Robinson’s ÒLondon’s Summer MorningÓ

Wilfred Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est

Patricia Smith,
What It is Like to Be a Black Girl

]Charles Simic, To the One Upstairs

Rainer Maria Rilke, The Panther

Sally Croft, Home-Baked Bread

John Keats,
To Autumn

]Kate Clanchy, Spell

Ezra Pound, In a Station of the Metro

]Charles R. Feldstein, Maddie Clifton, 1990-1998

PERSPECTIVE: T. E. Hulme, On the Differences between Poetry and Prose

23. Figures of Speech

William Shakespeare, From Macbeth (Act V, Scene v)

Simile and Metaphor

Margaret Atwood, you fit into me

Emily Dickinson, Presentiment — is that long Shadow — on the lawn —

Anne Bradstreet, The Author to Her Book

Other Figures

Edmund Conti, Pragmatist

Dylan Thomas, The Hand That Signed the Paper

Janice Townley Moore, To a Wasp

J. Patrick Lewis,
The Unkindest Cut

Poems for Further Study

]Gary Snyder, How Poetry Comes to Me

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Figurative Language in Gary Snyder’s ÒHow Poetry Comes to MeÓ

Margaret Atwood,

]William Carlos Williams, To Waken an Old Lady

Ernest Slyman, Lightning Bugs

]Cathy Song, Sunworshippers

William Wordsworth,
London, 1802

Jim Stevens,

John Donne, A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

Linda Pastan,

Ronald Wallace,
Building an Outhouse

Ruth Fainlight, The Clarinettist

PERSPECTIVE: John R. Searle, Figuring Out Metaphors

24. Symbol, Allegory, and Irony


Robert Frost, Acquainted with the Night


Edgar Allan Poe, The Haunted Palace


Edwin Arlington Robinson, Richard Cory

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Symbolism in Edwin Arlington Robinson’s ÒRichard CoryÓ

Kenneth Fearing, AD

e. e. cummings,
next to of course god america i

Stephen Crane, A Man Said to the Universe

Poems for Further Study

]Bob Hicock, Making It in Poetry

Jane Kenyon, Surprise

Mart’n Espada, Bully

Carl Sandburg, Buttons

]Wallace Stevens, Anecdote of the Jar

William Stafford, Traveling through the Dark

Alden Nowlan, The Bull Moose

Julio Marz‡n, Ethnic Poetry

James Merrill, Casual Wear

Henry Reed, Naming of Parts

]Rachel Hadas, The Compact

Robert Browning, My Last Duchess

William Blake,
The Chimney Sweeper

PERSPECTIVE: Ezra Pound, On Symbols

25. Sounds

Listening to Poetry

Anonymous, Scarborough Fair

John Updike,
Player Piano

May Swenson,
A Nosty Fright

Emily Dickinson, A Bird came down the Walk —

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Sound in Emily Dickinson’s ÒA Bird came down the Walk — Ó

Galway Kinnell, Blackberry Eating


Richard Armour, Going to Extremes

Robert Southey, From The Cataract of Lodore

PERSPECTIVE: David Lenson, On the Contemporary Use of Rhyme

Sound and Meaning

Gerard Manley Hopkins, God’s Grandeur

Poems for Further Study

]Thomas Lux, Onomatopoeia

Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson],

William Heyen, The Trains

]Eliza Griswold, Occupation

]Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls

John Donne, Song

Alexander Pope,
From An Essay on Criticism

]Haki R. Madhbuti, The B Network

Maxine Hong Kingston, Restaurant

Paul Humphrey, Blow

Robert Francis,
The Pitcher

Helen Chasin,
The Word Plum

]Howard Nemerov, Because you Asked Me about the Line Between Prose and Poetry

26. Patterns of Rhythm

Some Principles of Meter

Walt Whitman, From Song of the Open Road

William Wordsworth, My Heart Leaps Up

Suggestions for Scanning a Poem

Timothy Steele, Waiting for the Storm

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Rhythm in Timothy Steele’s ÒWaiting for the StormÓ

William Butler Yeats, That the Night Come

Poems for Further Study

Alice Jones, The Foot

A. E. Housman, When I was one-and-twenty

]Rita Dove, Fox Trot Fridays

Robert Herrick, Delight in Disorder

Ben Jonson, Still to Be Neat

William Blake, The Lamb

William Blake, The Tyger

]Carl Sandburg, Chicago

Alfred, Lord Tennyson,
The Charge of the Light Brigade

Theodore Roethke, My Papa’s Waltz

Norman Stock, What I Said

]Lenard D. Moore, Black Girl Tap Dancing

PERSPECTIVE: Louise Bogan, On Formal Poetry

27. Poetic Forms

Some Common Poetic Forms

A. E. Housman, Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Robert Herrick, Upon Julia’s Clothes


John Keats, On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer

William Wordsworth, The World Is Too Much with Us

William Shakespeare, Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

William Shakespeare, My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun

Edna St. Vincent Millay, I will put Chaos into fourteen lines

A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Fixed Form in Edna St. Vincent Millay’s ÒI will put Chaos into fourteen linesÓ

]Seamus Heaney, The Forge

Molly Peacock,

Mark Jarman, Unholy Sonnet


Dylan Thomas, Do not go gentle into that good night

]Wendy Cope, Lonely Heart


Algernon Charles Swinburne,

Florence Cassen Mayers, All-American Sestina


Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
What Is an Epigram?

A. R. Ammons, Coward

David McCord, Epitaph on a Waiter

Paul Laurence Dunbar, Theology


Anonymous, There was a young lady named Bright

Laurence Perrine, The limerick’s never averse

Keith Casto,
She Don’t Bop


Matsuo Basho-
, Under cherry trees

Carolyn Kizer, After Basho-

Sonia Sanchez, c’mon man hold me


]Theodore Roethke, Elegy for Jane


Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode to the West Wind

Picture Poem

Michael McFee, In Medias Res


X. J. Kennedy, A Visit from St. Sigmund

PERSPECTIVES: Robert Morgan, On the Shape of a Poem; Elaine Mitchell, Form

28. Open Form

e. e. cummings,
in Just —

Walt Whitman, From I Sing the Body Electric

PERSPECTIVE: Walt Whitman, On Rhyme and Meter

]A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: The Open Form of Walt Whitman’s ÒI Sing the Body ElectricÓ

]Louis Jenkins, The Prose Poem

Galway Kinnell, After Making Love We Hear Footsteps

Kelly Cherry,

William Carlos Williams, The Red Wheelbarrow

]Natasha Trethewey, Domestic Work, 1937

Gary Gildner,
First Practice

Marilyn Nelson Waniek,
Emily Dickinson’s Defunct

Sharon Olds, Rite of Passage

Julio Marzan,
The Translator at the Reception for Latin American Writers

]Robert Morgan, Overalls

Anonymous, The Frog

Tato Laviera, AmeR’can

Peter Meinke, The ABC of Aerobics

Found Poem

Donald Justice, Order in the Streets

29. Combining Elements of Poetry: A Writing Process

The Elements Together

Mapping the Poem

Asking Questions about the Elements

John Donne,
Death Be Not Proud

]A SAMPLE CLOSE READING: An Annotated Version of ÒDeath Be Not ProudÓ


Organizing Your Thoughts


The Elements and Theme

A SAMPLE EXPLICATION: The Use of Conventional Metaphors for Death in John Donne’s ÒDeath Be Not ProudÓ


30. A Study of Emily Dickinson

A Brief Biography

An Introduction to Her Work

If I can stop one Heart from breaking

If I shouldn’t be alive

The Thought beneath so slight a film —

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee

Success is counted sweetest

Water, is taught by thirst

Safe in their alabaster chambers — (1859 version)

Safe in their alabaster chambers — (1861 version)

Portraits are to daily faces

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church —

ÒHeavenÓ — is what I cannot reach!

]HopeÓ is the thing with Feathers

I like a look of Agony

Wild Nights — Wild Nights!

]I reason, Earth is short —

What Soft — Cherubic Creatures —

The Soul selects her own Society —

Much Madness is divinest Sense —

I dwell in Possibility

After great pain, a formal feeling comes —
I heard a Fly buzz

— when I died —

Because I could not stop for Death —
I felt a cleaving in my mind

]A Light exists in Spring

The Bustle in a House

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant —

]A Word dropped careless on a Page

]There is no Frigate like a Book

]I took one Draught of Life


Emily Dickinson, Dickinson’s Description of Herself

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, On Meeting Dickinson for the First Time

Mabel Loomis Todd, The Character of Amherst

Richard Wilbur, On Dickinson’s Sense of Privation

Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, On Dickinson’s White Dress

Cynthia Griffin Wolff, On the Many Voices in Dickinson’s Poetry

Paula Bennett, On ÒI heard a Fly buzz — when I died —Ó

Martha Nell Smith, On ÒBecause I could not stop for Death — Ó

Ronald Wallace, Miss Goff

QUESTIONS FOR WRITING: Writing About an Author in Depth

A SAMPLE IN-DEPTH STUDY: Religious Faith in Four Poems by Emily Dickinson

ÒFaithÓ is a fine invention

I know that He exists

I never saw a Moor —

Apparently with no surprise

31. A Study of Robert Frost

A Brief Biography

An Introduction to His Work

The Road Not Taken

The Pasture


]My November Guest

]Storm Fear

Mending Wall

Home Burial

After Apple-Picking


ÒOut, Out — Ó

Fire and Ice

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Nothing Gold Can Stay



Neither Out Far nor In Deep

The Silken Tent

]The Most of It


Robert Frost, ÒIn WhiteÓ: an Early Version of ÒDesignÓ

Robert Frost, On the Living Part of a Poem

Amy Lowell, On Frost’s Realistic Technique

Robert Frost, On the Figure a Poem Makes

Robert Frost, On the Way to Read a Poem

Herbert R. Coursen Jr., A Parodic Interpretation of ÒStopping by Woods on a Snowy EveningÓ

Blanche Farley, The Lover Not Taken —

Peter D. Poland, On ÒNeither Out Far nor In DeepÓ

32. A Study of Langston Hughes

A Brief Biography

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

An Introduction to His Life and Work

I, Too


Danse Africaine

Mother to Son

Dream Variations

The Weary Blues


]Esthete in Harlem

Lenox Avenue: Midnight

Song for a Dark Girl

Red Silk Stockings

Rent-Party Shout: For a Lady Dancer


]Park Bench

Ballad of the Landlord

]Morning After

Dream Boogie

]125th Street


Un-American Investigators

Old Walt

Dinner Guest: Me

Frederick Douglass: 1817-1895


Langston Hughes, On Harlem Rent Parties

Donald B. Gibson, The Essential Optimism of Hughes and Whitman

James A. Emanuel, Hughes’s Attitudes toward Religion

Richard K. Barksdale,
On Censoring ÒBallad of the LandlordÓ

David Chinitz, The Romanticization of Africa in the 1920s

]33. A Study of Julia Alvarez: Five Poems

A Brief Biography

An Introduction to Her Work

(essay) ] Julia Alvarez, On Writing ÒQueens, 1963Ó

(poem) ] Julia Alvarez, Queens, 1963

(interview) Marny Requa, From an Interview with Julia Alvarez

(essay) ] Julia Alvarez, Housekeeping Cages

(essay) ] Julia Alvarez, On Writing ÒDustingÓ

(poem) ] Julia Alvarez, Dusting

(essay) ] Julia Alvarez, On Writing ÒIroning Their ClothesÓ

(poem) ] Julia Alvarez, Ironing Their Clothes

(essay) ] Julia Alvarez, On Writing ÒSonnet 42Ó

(poem) ] Julia Alvarez, Sonnet 42

(manuscript) ] Julia Alvarez, Four Drafts of Sonnet 42: A Poet’s Writing Process

(essay) ] Julia Alvarez, On Writing ÒFirst MuseÓ

(poem) ] Julia Alvarez, First Muse

(essay) Kelli Lyon Johnson, Mapping an Identity

34. Critical Case Study: T. S. Eliot’s ÒThe Love Song of J. Alfred PrufrockÓ

An Introduction to His Work

T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock


Elisabeth Schneider, Hints of Eliot in Prufrock

Barbara Everett, The Problem of Tone in Prufrock

Michael L. Baumann, The ÒOverwhelming QuestionÓ for Prufrock

Frederik L. Rusch, Society and Character in ÒThe Love Song of J. Alfred PrufrockÓ

Robert Sward,
A Personal Analysis of ÒThe Love Song of J. Alfred PrufrockÓ

A Thematic Case Study: Border Crossings (color insert)

(poem) Phillis Wheatley, On Being Brought from Africa to America

(painting) William Turner, The Slave Ship

(diagram) An 18th Century Slave Ship

(poster) A 1784 Slave Auction Poster

(poem) Wole Soyinka, Telephone Conversation

(poster) Columbia Pictures, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

(poem) Pat Mora, Legal Alien

(collage) Jacalyn L—pez Garcia, I Just Wanted to Be Me

(poem) Sandra M. Gilbert, Mafioso

(photo) ÒBaggage Examined Here,Ó Ellis Island

(poem) Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Indian Movie, New Jersey

(album cover) Rawal Films, Ladki Pasano Hai (I Like This Girl)

(poem) Janice Mirikatani, Recipe

(photo) Chiaki Tsukumo, Girl and Licca Doll

(poem) Thomas Lynch, Liberty

(photo) Alex MacLean, Somerville, Massachusetts

35. A Thematic Case Study: Love and Longing

Christopher Marlowe, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

William Shakespeare, Not marble, nor the gilded monuments

Anne Bradstreet, To My Dear and Loving Husband

Elizabeth Barret Browning, How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways

Edna St. Vincent Millay, Recuerdo

e. e. cummings, since feeling is first

]Mark Doty, The Embrace

]Billie Bolton, Memorandum

36. A Thematic Case Study: Teaching and Learning

]Robert Bly, Gratitude to Old Teachers

Linda Pastan,

Paul Zimmer, Zimmer’s Head Thudding Against the Blackboard

]Richard Hague, Directions for Resisting the SAT

Mark Halliday, Graded Paper

Judy Page Heitzman, A Schoolroom on the Second Floor of the Knitting Mill

Richard Wakefield, In a Poetry Workshop

]Maggie Anderson, The Thing You Must Remember

Jeffrey Harrison, Fork

PERSPECTIVE: Jeffrey Harrison, On ÒForkÓ as a Work of Fiction

]37. A Thematic Case Study: Humor and Satire

]Fleur Adcock, The Video

John Ciardi, Suburban

]Daisy Fried, Wit’s End

]Ronald Wallace, In a Rut

Howard Nemerov,
Walking the Dog

]Peter Schmitt, Friends with Numbers

]Mart’n Espada, The Community College Revises its Curriculum in Response to Changing Demographics

M. Carl Holman, Mr. Z

Gary Soto, Mexicans Begin Jogging

Bob Hicok,
Spam Leaves an Aftertaste

]Thomas Lux, Commercial Leech Farming Today

]Ann Lauinger, Marvell Noir


38. An Album of Contemporary Poems

Michelle Boisseau, Self-Pity’s Closet

Billy Collins, Marginalia

]Tony Hoagland, America

]Rachel Loden, Locked Ward, Newtown, Connecticut

]Susan Minot, My Husband’s Back

Alberto R’os, The Gathering Evening

Cathy Song, A Poet in the House

William Trowbridge, Poet’s Corner

39. A Collection of Poems

Anonymous, Bonny Barbara Allan

William Blake, The Garden of Love

William Blake,
Infant Sorrow

Anne Bradstreet,
Before the Birth of One of Her Children

]William Cullen Bryant, To a Waterfowl

]Robert Burns, The Red, Red Rose

George Gordon, Lord Byron, She Walks in Beauty

Lucille Clifton, this morning (for the girls of easter high)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
Kubla Khan: or, a Vision in a Dream

]Richard Crashaw, An Epitaph upon a Young Married Couple, Dead and Buried Together

e. e. cummings, Buffalo Bill’s

]John Donne, The Apparition

John Donne,
The Flea

George Eliot [Mary Ann Evans], In a London Drawingroom

]Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Whatever Is

Thomas Hardy,

George Herbert,
The Collar

Gerard Manley Hopkins, Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Windhover

A. E. Housman, Is my team ploughing

A. E. Housman, To an Athlete Dying Young

]Julia Ward Howe, Battle-Hymn of the Republic

Ben Jonson, To Celia

]John Keats, The Human Seasons

John Keats, La Belle Dame sans Merci

Yusef Komunyakaa, Slam, Dunk, and Hook

]Ted Kooser, A Death at the Office

John Milton,
When I consider how my light is spent

]Christina Georgina Rossetti, Some Ladies Dress in Muslin Full and White

Christina Georgina Rossetti, Promises Like Pie Crusts

William Shakespeare, That time of year thou mayst in me behold

]William Shakespeare, When forty winters shall besiege thy brow

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias

]Lydia Huntley Sigourney, Indian Names

Wallace Stevens, The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ulysses

Walt Whitman, One’s-Self I Sing

Walt Whitman, When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

Miller Williams,
Thinking about Bill, Dead of AIDS

William Carlos Williams, This Is Just to Say

]William Wordsworth, A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal

]William Wordsworth, The Solitary Reaper

William Wordsworth, Mutability

William Butler Yeats, Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop

William Butler Yeats, Leda and the Swan



40. Reading Drama

Reading Drama Responsively

Susan Glaspell, Trifles

A SAMPLE CLOSE READING: An Annotated Scene from Trifles

PERSPECTIVE: Susan Glaspell, From the Short Story Version of Trifles

Elements of Drama

]Michael Hollinger, Naked Lunch

Drama in Popular Forms

Larry David,
ÒThe Pitch,Ó a Seinfeld Episode

PERSPECTIVE: Geoffrey O’Brien, On Seinfeld as a Moneymaker

Kari Lizer, ÒDolls and Dolls,Ó a Will & Grace Episode

41. Writing about Drama

From Reading to Writing


A SAMPLE STUDENT PAPER: The Feminist Evidence in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles

42. A Study of Sophocles

Theatrical Conventions of Geek Drama


Sophocles, Oedipus the King (Translated by Robert Fagles)

PERSPECTIVES on Sophocles:

Aristotle, On Tragic Character

Sigmund Freud, On the Oedipus Complex

Sophocles, Another Translation of a Scene from Oedipus the King

Muriel Rukeyser, On Oedipus the King

David Wiles, On Oedpius the King as a Political Play

43. A Study of William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Theater

The Range of Shakespeare’s Drama: History, Comedy, and Tragedy

A Note on Reading Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, Othello the Moor of Venice

PERSPECTIVES on Shakespeare:

The Mayer of London, Objections to the Elizabethan Theater

Lisa Jardin, On Boy Actors in Female Roles

Samuel Johnson, On Shakespeare’s Characters

Jane Adamson,
On Desdemona’s Role in Othello

David Bevington, On Othello’s Heroic Struggle

James Kincaid, On the Value of Comedy in the Face of Tragedy

44. Modern Drama



Theatrical Conventions of Modern Drama

Henrik Ibsen, A Doll House

(Translated by Rolf Fjelde)

PERSPECTIVE: Henrik Ibsen, Notes for A Doll House

45. A Critical Case Study: Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House


Anonymous, A Nineteenth-Century Husband’s Letter to His Wife

Barry Witham and John Lutterbie, A Marxist Approach to A Doll House

Carol Strongin Tufts, A Psychoanalytic Reading of Nora

Joan Templeton, Is A Doll House a Feminist Text?

QUESTIONS FOR WRITING: Applying a Critical Strategy

A SAMPLE STUDENT PAPER: On the Other Side of the Slammed Door in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House

46. A Thematic Case Study: An Album of Contemporary Humor and Satire

]Woody Allen, Old Saybrook

Jane Anderson,
The Reprimand

]David Ives, Moby-Dude, Or: The Three-Minute Whale

John Leguizamo, Mambo Mouth

]Rich Orloff, Playwriting 101: The Rooftop Lesson


47. Plays for Further Reading

]David Henry Hwang, Trying to Find Chinatown

]Jane Martin, Rodeo

Arthur Miller,
Death of a Salesman

PERSPECTIVES on Death of a Salesman:

Arthur Miller, Tragedy and the Common Man

Arthur Miller, On Biff and Willy Loman

Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

PERSPECTIVES on The Glass Menagerie:

Tennessee Williams, Production Notes to The Glass Menagerie

Tennessee Williams, On Theme

]August Wilson, Fences

PERSPECTIVE: David Savran, An Interview with August Wilson


48. Critical Strategies for Reading

Critical Thinking

The Literary Canon: Diversity and Controversy

Formalist Strategies

Biographical Strategies

Psychological Strategies

Historical Strategies

Gender Strategies

Mythological Strategies

Reader-Response Strategies

Deconstructionist Strategies

Selected Bibliography

PERSPECTIVES on Critical Reading

Susan Sontag, Against Interpretation

Andrew P. Debicki, New Criticism and Deconstructionism: Two Attitudes in Teaching Poetry

Peter Rabinowitz, On Close Readings

Harriet Hawkins, Should We Study King Kong or King Lear?

Morris Dickstein, On the Social Responsibility of the Critic

49. Reading and Writing

The Purpose and Value of Writing about Literature

Reading the Work Closely

Annotating the Text and Journal Note Taking

Choosing a Topic

Developing a Thesis

Arguing about Literature

QUESTIONS FOR WRITING: Arguing About Literature

Organizing a Paper

Writing a Draft

Revising and Editing


Manuscript Form

Types of Writing Assignments

Emily Dickinson, There’s a certain Slant of light

A SAMPLE STUDENT EXPLICATION: A Reading of Emily Dickinson’s

"There’s a certain Slant of light"

A SAMPLE STUDENT ANALYSIS: John Updike’s "A&P" as a State of Mind

A SAMPLE STUDENT COMPARISON: The Struggle for Women’s Self-Definition in James Joyce’s "Eveline" and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House

50. The Literary Research Paper

Choosing a Topic

Finding Sources

Evaluating Sources and Taking Notes

Developing a Thesis and Organizing the Paper


Documenting Sources

A SAMPLE STUDENT RESEARCH PAPER: How the Narrator Cultivates William Faulkner’s "A Rose for Emily"

51. Taking Essay Examinations

Preparing for an Essay Exam

Types of Exams

Strategies for Writing Essay Exams

Glossary of Literary Terms


Index of First Lines

Index of Authors and Titles

Index of Terms

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