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Students respond powerfully to literature when it explores issues that matter to them, such as how love can be compromised by the demands of tradition, how authoritarian injustice can be resisted, and how popular culture influences behavior. And when students learn to analyze and argue for how literature engages such issues and exerts such power, they develop and hone their critical thinking and writing skills. In its fifth edition Making Literature Mattercontinues to deliver on the promise of its title. Its thematic anthology gathers memorable stories, poems, plays, and essays into unique literary clusters addressing issues that rouse passionate responses in students. At the same time, its comprehensive rhetoric shows students how to harness those responses into thoughtful arguments about the issues raised by the clusters and the literature.
John Schilb (Ph.D., State University of New York — Binghamton) is a professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he holds the Culbertson Chair in Writing. Currently the editor of College English, he has co-edited Contending with Words: Composition and Rhetoric in a Postmodern Age and, with John Clifford, Writing Theory and Critical Theory. He is author of Between the Lines: Relating Composition Theory and Literary Theory and Rhetorical Refusals: Defying Audiences’ Expectations.
John Clifford (Ph.D., New York University) is a professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Editor of The Experience of Reading: Louis Rosenblatt and Reader-Response Theory, he has published numerous scholarly articles on pedagogy, critical theory and composition theory, most recently in College English, in Relations, Locations, Positions: Composition Theory for Writing Teachers and in The Norton Book of Composition Studies.
Table of Contents
PART ONE: Working with Literature
1. What Is Literature? How and Why Does It Matter? James Wright, Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota (poem) How Have People Defined Literature? * What Makes Literature “Literature”? Comparing a News Story and a Poem * Joyce Wadler, “Peter Rabbit Must Die” (news story) Maxine Kumin, “Woodchucks” (poem) Why Study Literature in a College Writing Course? What Can You Do to Make Literature Matter to Others?
2. How to Read Closely Basic Strategies for Close Reading Close Readings of a Poem Sharon Olds, “Summer Solstice, New York City” (poem) * Reading Closely by Annotating X. J. Kennedy, Death of a Window Washer (poem) * Further Strategies for Close Reading * Identify Characters’ Emotions * Edward Hirsch, Execution (poem) * Identify Speech Acts * Paul Lisicky, What Will Life Be Like in the Twenty-First Century? (story) Using Topics of Literary Studies to Get Ideas Lynda Hull, Night Waitress (poem)
3. How to Make Arguments about Literature Daniel Orozco, Orientation (story) Jamaica Kincaid, Girl (story) Strategies for Making Arguments about Literature Looking at Literature as Argument John Milton, When I Consider How My Light Is Spent (poem) W. H. Auden, The Unknown Citizen (poem) Robert Frost, Mending Wall (poem)
4. The Writing Process William Wordsworth, The Solitary Reaper (poem) Strategies for Exploring Strategies for Planning Strategies for Composing First Draft of a Student Paper Abby Hazelton, The Passage of Time in “The Solitary Reaper” Strategies for Revising Revised Draft of a Student Paper Abby Hazelton, The Passage of Time in “The Solitary Reaper” Strategies for Writing a Comparative Paper * Don Paterson, Two Trees (poem) * Luisa A. Igloria, Regarding History (poem) * Jeremy Cooper, Don Paterson’s Criticism of Nature’s Owners
5. How to Write about Stories Eudora Welty, A Visit of Charity William Carlos Williams, The Use of Force * Ira Sher, The Man in the Well Students’ Personal Responses to the Stories The Elements of Short Fiction Final Draft of a Student Paper Alison Caldwell, Forms of Blindness in “The Use of Force”
6. How to Write about Poems Charles Fort, We Did Not Fear the Father Philip Levine, What Work Is Mary Oliver, Singapore Yusef Komunyakaa, Blackberries Edwin Arlington Robinson, The Mill Jimmy Santiago Baca, So Mexicans Are Taking Jobs Away from Americans Louise Erdrich, The Lady in the Pink Mustang Marge Piercy, The Secretary Chant * James Tate, The Restaurant Business A Student’s Personal Responses to the Poems Michaela Fiorruci, Boundaries in Robinson, Komunyakaa, and Oliver The Elements of Poetry Revised Draft of a Student Paper Michaela Fiorruci, Negotiating Boundaries
7. How to Write about Plays Tennessee Williams, From The Glass Menagerie (scene) Marsha Norman, from ‘night Mother (scene) The Elements of Drama Final Draft of a Student Paper Tim Kerwin, The Significance of What Jessie “Thinks”
8. How to Write about Essays June Jordan, Many Rivers to Cross Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens A Student’s Personal Response The Elements of Essays Final Draft of a Student Paper Isla Bravo, Resisting Women’s Roles
9. How to Write a Research Paper Strategies for Identifying an Issue and a Tentative Claim Strategies for Finding and Using Secondary Sources Strategies for Working with Sources Strategies for Integrating Sources Strategies for Documenting Sources (MLA Format) Four Annotated Student Research Papers A Paper that Deals with Existing Interpretations of a Literary Work Katie Johnson, The Meaning of the Husband’s Fainting in “The Yellow Wall-Paper” A Paper that Places Literature in Historical and Cultural Context Brittany Thomas, The Relative Absence of the Human Touch in “The Yellow Wall-Paper” *A Paper that Analyzes a Literary Work through the Framework of a Particular Theorist * Jacob Grobowicz, Using Foucault to Understand Disciplinary Power in Gilman’s “The
Yellow Wallpaper” A Paper that Uses a Literary Work to Examine Social Issues * Sarah Michaels, “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a Guide to Social Factors in Postpartum Depression *Poems and Pictures: A Portfolio for Writers
PART TWO: Literature and Its Issues
10. Families Memories of Family: Essays Brent Staples, The Runaway Son Rick Moody, Demonology * bell hooks, from Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood Reconciling with Fathers: Poems Lucille Clifton, forgiving my father Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays Theodore Roethke, My Papa's Waltz Li-Young Lee, My Father, in Heaven, Is Reading Out Loud * Molly Peacock, Say You Love Me Exorcising the Dead: Critical Commentaries on a Poem Sylvia Plath, Daddy Critical Commentaries: Mary Lynn Broe, From Protean Poetic: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath Lynda K. Bundtzen, From Plath's Incarnations Steven Gould Axelrod, From Sylvia Plath: The Wound and the Cure of Words Tim Kendall, from Sylvia Plath: A Critical Study Mothers and Daughters: Stories
Tillie Olsen, I Stand Here Ironing Amy Tan, Two Kinds Alice Walker, Everyday Use Siblings in Conflict: Stories Tobias Wolff, The Rich Brother James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues
Family Dramas: Re-Visions of a Play Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie Christopher Durang, For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls Grandparents and Legacies: Poems Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Grandfather at the Indian Health Clinic Nikki Giovanni, Legacies Linda Hogan, Heritage
Gary Soto, Behind Grandma's House Alberto Ríos, Mi Abuelo * Lorna Dee Cervantes, Refugee Ship Judith Ortiz Cofer, Claims *Poetic Visions of Family: A Collection of Poems by Sharon Olds * Sharon Olds, I Go Back to May 1937 * Sharon Olds, His Stillness * Sharon Olds, My Son the Man * Sharon Olds, First Thanksgiving A Family’s Dreams: Cultural Contexts for a Play Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun Cultural Contexts: The Crisis, The Hansberrys of Chicago: They Join Business Acumen with Social Vision Lorraine Hansberry, April 23, 1964, Letter to the New York Times Alan Ehrenhalt, From The Lost City: Discovering the Forgotten Virtues of Community in
the Chicago of the 1950s Sidney Poitier, from The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography *A Conflict in Values: A Story in the News Hanif Kureishi, My Son, the Fanatic In the News: * Haroon Siddiqui, American anti-Muslim prejudice goes mainstream * The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Attacks on Mosque Site Pervert Values * Andrew Norfolk, Muslim group behind “mega-mosque” seeks to convert all Britain * Barbara Bradley Hagerty, New College Teaches Young American Muslims Fateful Decisions about Parenthood: Stories Ernest Hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants T. Coraghessan Boyle, The Love of My Life * John Edgar Wideman, newborn thrown in trash and dies Gays and Lesbians in Families: Poems Essex Hemphill, Commitments * Audre Lorde, Who Said It Was Simple Minnie Bruce Pratt, Two Small-Sized Girls Rane Arroyo, My Transvestite Uncle Is Missing
11. Love True Love: Poems William Shakespeare, Let me not to the marriage of true minds * John Keats, Bright Star Emily Dickinson, Wild Nights--Wild Nights! * Edna St. Vincent Millay, What My Lips Have Kissed, and Where, and Why e. e. cummings, somewhere i have never travelled Wislawa Szymborska, True Love Michael S. Harper, Discovery Wendy Rose, Julia Romantic Dreams: Stories Leslie Marmon Silko, Yellow Woman James Joyce, Araby John Updike, A & P *The Pull of Tradition: Cultural Contexts for a Story * Jhumpa Lahiri, Going Ashore Cultural Contexts: * Jhumpa Lahiri My Two Lives * Anita Jain, Is Arranged Marriage Really Any Worse than Craigslist? * Miguel Helft, A Decent Proposal *Mourning Loved Ones: Poems in the News * W.H. Auden, Funeral Blues * Theodore Roethke, Elegy for Jane * Anne Sexton, Sylvia’s Death In the News: * Adam Cohen, A New Kind of Memorial for the Internet Age * Lisa Miller, R.I.P. on Facebook * Scott Duke Harris, Online Memorials: Internet ads new dimension to grieving process *Places in the Heart: Essays M. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain * Barry Lopez, Emancipation * Ken Burns, Our Best Selves A Seductive Argument: Re-Visions of a Poem Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress Peter De Vries, To His Importunate Mistress T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock The Appearance of Love: A Collection of Stories by Kate Chopin Kate Chopin, The Storm Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour Kate Chopin, Désirée's Baby Is This Love?: Stories William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love * Zora Neale Hurston, Sweat *Jealous Love: Critical Commentaries on a Play William Shakespeare, Othello * Critical Commentaries: * A.C. Bradley, The Noble Othello * Millicent Bell, Othello’s Jealousy * Jeffrie G. Murphy, Jealousy, Shame, and Rival Love as a Haven? Poems Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach Susan Minot, My Husband’s Back
12. Freedom and Confinement Freedom for Animals: Poems * William Blake, The Tyger D. H. Lawrence, Snake Elizabeth Bishop, The Fish Thomas Lux, To Help the Monkey Cross the River * Dean Young, Clam Ode Can Tradition Be a Trap?: Critical Commentaries on a Story Shirley Jackson, The Lottery Critical Commentaries * Shirley Jackson, The Morning of June 28, 1948, and “The Lottery” Nick Crawford, Learning from “The Lottery”: How Jackson’s Story Might Help Us Rethink
Tradition Jon Schneiderman, Tradition, Justice, and Bloodlust in American Society Aimee Wilson, Under the Guise of Tradition: “The Lottery” and Female Circumcision The Marriage Trap: Plays Henrik Ibsen, A Doll House Susan Glaspell, Trifles Confined for Her Own Good: Cultural Contexts for a Story Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper Cultural Contexts Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Why I Wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper” S. Weir Mitchell, From The Evolution of the Rest Treatment John Harvey Kellogg, From The Ladies’ Guide in Health and Disease Hobbled by Language: Essays Richard Rodriguez, Aria Tomás Rivera, On Richard Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory Victor Villaneuva, Jr., Reflecting on Richard Rodriguez Trapped in Stereotypes: Poems Chrystos, Today Was a Bad Day Like TB Louise Erdrich, Dear John Wayne Dwight Okita, In Response to Executive Order 9066 David Hernandez, Pigeons Pat Mora, Legal Alien * Toi Derricotte, Black Boys Play the Classics Naomi Shihab Nye, Blood Remembering the Death Camps: Poems Martin Niemoller, First They Came for the Jews * Nelly Sachs, Chorus of the Rescued * Marianne Cohn, I Shall Betray Tomorrow Karen Gershon, Race Anne Sexton, After Auschwitz Prisoners of Masculinity: Stories * Ann Beattie, The Four-Night Fight * Olaf Olafsson, On the Lake Haruki Murakami, Another Way to Die A Dream of Freedom: A Collection of Poems by Langston Hughes Langston Hughes, Let America Be America Again Langston Hughes, Open Letter to the South Langston Hughes, Theme for English B Langston Hughes, Harlem *Vampires Unleashed: A Story in the News * Karen Russell, Vampires in the Lemon Grove In the News: * Jason Zinoman, “Necking: True Blood Reinvents Vampire Sex” * Kim Hone McMahan, “Vampire Fad Really Bites When Teens Leave Marks” * The Dominion Post, “Vampire Victim in Hospital for a Week” Variations on a Stereotype: Re-Visions of a Story Charles Perrault, Little Red Riding Hood Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, Little Red Cap Angela Carter, The Company of Wolves
13. Doing Justice *Civil Disobedience: Essays * Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience * Rebecca Solnit, The Thoreau Problem Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail Discovering Injustice: Stories Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown Toni Cade Bambara, The Lesson * Alice Walker, The Flowers Punishments: Poems Seamus Heaney, Punishment Carolyn Forché, The Colonel * C.K. Williams, The Nail
Sherman Alexie, Capital Punishment Critiquing a Justice System: Essays Scott Russell Sanders, Doing Time in the Thirteenth Chair Maxine Hong Kingston, No Name Woman * Atul Gawande, Hellhole He Said/She Said: Re-Visions of a Poem Robert Browning, My Last Duchess Gabriel Spera, My Ex-Husband Taking Revenge: Stories Andre Dubus, Killings * Ha Jin, Saboteur Issues of Guilt: A Collection of Stories by Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-tale Heart Edgar Allan Poe, Hop-Frog Eyewitness Testimony: Cultural Contexts for a Play Ida Fink, The Table Cultural Contexts Wladyslaw Szpilman, The Umschleagplatz Dori Laub and Shoshana Felman, Bearing Witness Misfit Justice: Critical Commentaries on a Story
Flannery O’Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find Critical Commentaries Flannery O’Connor, from Mystery and Manners Martha Stephens, from The Question of Flannery O’Connor Stephen Bandy, from “’One of My Babies’: The Misfit and the Grandmother” * John Desmond, from “Flannery O’Connor’s Misfit and the Mystery of Evil” *Women Resisting Injustice: A Play in the News Sophocles, Antigone In the News: * Peter Beaumont and Saeed Kamali Deghan, Iran: Women on the frontline of the fight for rights * Isabel Hilton, A Triumph for Moral Authority Racial Injustice: Poems Countee Cullen, Incident Natasha Trethewey, Incident *What Is a Criminal? Stories * Sherwood Anderson, Hands * Rebecca Makkai, The Briefcase * Linh Dinh, “!” Envisioning a More Just World: Poems * William Blake, The Chimney Sweeper * Martin Espada, Imagine the Angels of Bread * Mark Jarman, If I Were Paul
14. Journeys An Errand of Love? Critical Commentaries on a Story Eudora Welty, A Worn Path Critical Commentaries: Roland Bartel, Life and Death in Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” Neil Isaacs, Life for Phoenix Eudora Welty, Is Phoenix Jackson’s Grandson Really Dead? Going on Uncertain Journeys: Stories Joyce Carol Oates, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? * Jill McCorkle, Magic Words Sherman Alexie, What You Pawn I Will Redeem Roads Taken: A Collection of Poems by Robert Frost Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken Robert Frost, Acquainted with the Night *Journeys to Addiction: Nonfiction * Richard Wright, Craving * Caroline Knapp, Love * Susan Cheever, Drinking with Daddy *A Journey to War: In the News Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried In the News * Valerie Seiling Jacobs, Packing for the Ineffable Keep This Boy Running: Cultural Contexts for a Story Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal” Cultural Contexts: Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Exposition Address W.E. B. DuBois, Of Mr. Booker T. Washington Gunnar Myrdal, Social Equality Journeys to a Dark Future: Stories * Ray Bradbury, Mars Is Heaven! * Octavia Butler, Bloodchild Ursula Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Harrison Bergeron Travels Through the Dark: Re-Visions of a Poem William Stafford, Traveling Through the Dark John Burnside, Penitence Robert Wrigley, Highway 12, Just East of Paradise, Idaho Loren Goodman, Traveling Through the Dark (2005) End of a Journey: Plays Marsha Norman, ’night, Mother * Terence McNally, Andre’s Mother A Journey to Death: Poems Mary Oliver, When Death Comes John Donne, Death Be Not Proud Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night Wislawa Szymborska, On Death, without Exaggeration * Emily Dickinson, I heard a Fly buzz—when I died Crossing the Waters: Poems Katia Kapovich, The Ferry Linda Pastan, Leaving the Island Mark Doty, Night Ferry
Appendix: Critical Approaches to Literature Contemporary Schools of Criticism Working with the Critical Approaches James Joyce, Counterparts (story) * James Joyce, Eveline (story)