A Little Literature 2009 MLA Update

by ; ; ;
  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-02-10
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $75.00


Featuring the smallest trim size and page count of any comparable anthology, this appealing new three-genre collection encourages students to experience the pleasures of reading literature.#xA0; Updated to reflect the new MLA Guidelines, A Little Literature: Reading, Writing, and Argument, 2009 MLA Update#xA0;offers a compact and economical alternative to bulky anthologies.#xA0; Despite the brevity of this compilation, a judicious mix of classic and contemporary selections-from Sophocles and Shakespeare to Amy Tan and Tobias Wolff-offers ample reading choices for instructors and students.#xA0; Concise, yet complete, editorial apparatus provides guidance on reading, writing, and, most particularly, developing arguments about literature.

Table of Contents


Letter to Students


1  Writing Arguments about Literature: A Crash Course in Critical Thinking and Writing

Getting Ideas for Writing: Asking Questions and Annotating a Text

            William Shakespeare, Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more      

Literature as Performance

A Second Poem and Two Interpretations

            Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

What Characterizes a Sound Interpretation?

 Student Essay: Peter Franken, The Meaning of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

Thinking Critically about Responses to Literature: Arguing with Yourself

Student Essay: Sara Fong, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” as a Short Story

Four Very Short Stories

            Emily Wu, The Lesson of the Master

            Tobias Wolff, Powder

            Mitsuye Yamada, The Question of Loyalty

            Gwendolyn Brooks, We Real Cool

Why We Write Arguments about Literature

The Writing Process

Checklist: Basic Strategies

Reading for Pleasure


2 Writing About Literature: From Idea to Essay

More about Writing Arguments about Literature

Getting Ideas: Pre-Writing

            Annotating a Text

            Pat Mora, Immigrants

            Brainstorming for Ideas for Writing.

            Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour

Focused Free Writing

Listing and Clustering

Developing an Awareness of the Writer's Use of Language

Asking Questions

Keeping a Journal

Arriving at a Thesis to Argue

Writing a Draft

Sample Draft of an Essay on Kate Chopin's “The Story of an Hour”

Revising a Draft

Checklist: Revising Paragraphs

Peer Review.

Checklist: Thinking Critically about a Draft

            The Final Version

A Brief Overview of the Final Version.


A Sample Explication

William Butler Yeats, The Balloon of the Mind

Explication as Argument

Checklist: Drafting an Explication

Comparison and Contrast: A Way of Arguing

Checklist: Revising a Comparison

Additional Readings for Pleasure and for Argumentative Writing

Luke,  The Parable of the Prodigal Son 

            Grace Paley, Samuel

            Katherine Mansfield, Miss Brill

             James Merrill, Christmas Tree


II  The Pleasures of Fiction

3 Approaching Fiction: Responding in Writing

Ernest Hemingway, Cat in the Rain

Responses, Annotations and Journal Entries

A Sample Essay by a Student


4 Stories and Meanings: Plot, Character, Theme

Aesop, The Vixen and the Lioness

 W. Somerset Maugham, The Appointment in Samara

Anonymous, Muddy Road

Anton Chekhov, Misery

Alice Walker, Everyday Use


5 Narrative Point of View

Participant (or First-Person) Points of View

Nonparticipant (or Third-Person) Points of View

The Point of a Point of View

John Updike, A & P

Katherine Anne Porter, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall


6 Allegory and Symbolism

A Note on Setting

Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown

John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums

Eudora Welty, A Worn Path


7 In Brief: Writing Arguments About Fiction



Point of View





A Story, Notes, and an Essay

Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado

A Student's Written Response to a Story


A Sample Response Essay


8 A Fiction Writer in Depth: Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O’Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Flannery O’Connor, Revelation

On Fiction: Remarks from Essays and Letters.

From “The Fiction Writer and His Country”

From “Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction”

From “The Nature and Aim of Fiction”

From “Writing Short Stories”

“A Reasonable Use of the Unreasonable”

On Interpreting “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”


9 American Voices: Fiction for a Diverse Nation

Leslie Marmon Silko, The Man to Send Rain Clouds

Jack Forbes, Only Approved Indians Can Play: Made in USA

Gloria Naylor, The Two

Diana Chang, The Oriental Contingent

Gish Jen, Who’s Irish?

Toni Cade Bambara, The Lesson

Michele Serros, Senior Picture Day


10 A Collection of Short Fiction

Guy de Maupassant, The Necklace

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper

James Joyce, Araby

William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily

Langston Hughes, One Friday Morning

Ralph Ellison, Battle Royal

Joyce Carol Oates, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Bobbie Ann Mason, Shiloh

Jamaica Kincaid, Girl

Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried

Amy Tan, Two Kinds

Elizabeth Tallent, No One's a Mystery

Louise Erdrich, The Red Convertible 



11 Approaching Poetry: Responding in Writing

Langston Hughes, Harlem

Thinking About “Harlem”

Some Journal Entries

Final Draft:

Aphra Behn, Song: Love Armed

Journal Entries

A Sample Essay by a Student: “The Double Nature of Love”


12   Narrative Poetry

Anonymous, There was a young fellow from Riga

Thomas Hardy, The Convergence of the Twain

Siegfried Sassoon,  The General

Countee Cullen, Incident

Edward Arlington Robinson, Richard Cory

Emily Dickinson, Because I could not stop for Death


13 Lyric Poetry

Anonymous, Michael Row the Boat Ashore

Anonymous, Careless Love

Anonymous, The Colorado Trail

Anonymous, Western Wind

Julia Ward Howe, Battle Hymn of the Republic  

Langston Hughes, Evenin' Air Blues

Li-Young Lee, I Ask My Mother to Sing

Edna St. Vincent Millay, The Spring and the Fall

Wilfred Owen, Anthem for Doomed Youth

Walt Whitman, A Noiseless Patient Spider

John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sympathy

Linda Pastan, Jump Cabling


14 The Speaking Tone of Voice.

Emily Dickinson, I'm Nobody! Who are you?

Gwendolyn Brooks, The Mother  

The Reader as the Speaker

Stevie Smith, Not Waving but Drowning

Wislawa Szymborska, The Terrorist, He Watches

John Updike, Icarus

The Dramatic Monologue.

Robert Browning, My Last Duchess

Diction and Tone.

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

Thomas Hardy, The Man He Killed

Countee Cullen, For a Lady I Know

The Voice of the Satirist.

E.E. Cummings, next to of course god America i

Marge Piercy, Barbie Doll



15 Figurative Language: Simile, Metaphor, Personification, and Apostrophe.

Robert Burns, A Red, Red Rose.

Sylvia Plath, Metaphor


Richard Wilbur, A Simile for Her Smile


John Keats, On First Looking into Chapman's Homer


            Michael Drayton, Since There’s No Help


Edmund Waller, Song

William Carlos Williams, The Red Wheelbarrow

Dana Gioia, Money

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 130 

Lorna Dee Cervantes, Refugee Ship


16 Imagery and Symbolism

William Blake, The Sick Rose

Walt Whitman, I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan

Claude McKay, The Tropics in New York

Adrienne Rich, Diving into the Wreck

Christina Rossetti, Uphill


17 Irony

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias

Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress

John Donne, Holy Sonnet XIV (“Batter my heart, three-personed God”)

Martin Espada, Tony Went to the Bodega but He Didn't Buy Anything

Edna St. Vincent Millay, Love Is Not All: It Is Not Meat nor Drink

Henry Reed, Naming of Parts


18 Rhythm and Versification

Ezra Pound, An Immorality

William Carlos Williams, The Dance

Robert Francis, The Pitcher

Versification: A Glossary for Reference.


Patterns of Sound.

            A Note about Poetic Forms

            Stanzaic Patterns

            Three Complex Forms: The Sonnet, The Villanelle, and the Sestina

The Sonnet

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 73 (“That time of year thou mayst in me behold”)

John Crowe Ransom, Piazza Piece

Billy Collins, Sonnet

The Villanelle

Dylan Thomas, Do Not go Gentle into that Good Night

Wendy Cope, Reading Scheme

The Sestina

            Elizabeth Bishop, Sestina

Shaped Poetry or Pattern Poetry

George Herbert, Easter Wings

Lillian Morrison, The Sidewalk Racer

Blank Verse and Free Verse.

            Walt Whitman, When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer

The Prose Poem

            Carolyn Forché, The Colonel


19 In Brief: Writing Arguments About Poetry

First Response

Speaker and Tone


Structure and Form

Center of Interest and Theme  


Sound Effects

A Note on Explication

A Student's Written Response to a Poem

Louise Glück, Gretel in Darkness

Student Essay


20 American Voices: Poems for a Diverse Nation

 Aurora Levins Morales, Child of the Americas

Mitsuye Yamada, To the Lady

Yusef Komunyakaa, Facing It 

Claude McKay, America

Dudley Randall, The Melting Pot

Martin Espada, Bully

Jimmy Santiago Baca, So Mexicans Are Taking Jobs from Americans

Sherman Alexie, On the Amtrak from Boston to New York City

Laureen Mar, My Mother, Who Came from China, Where She Never Saw Snow

Robert Frost, The Vanishing Red

Nila northSun, Moving Camp Too Far


21 Two Poets in Depth: Robert Frost, and Langston Hughes.


On Reading Authors Represented in Depth.

Robert Frost.

The Pasture

Mending Wall

The Road Not Taken

The Aim Was Song

The Need of Being Versed in Country Things

Acquainted with the Night


The Silken Tent

Come In

 The Most of It

Robert Frost on Poetry

The Figure a Poem Makes

From The Constant Symbol

Langston Hughes

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Mother to Son

The Weary Blues

The South

Too Blue

Harlem [1].

Theme for English B

Langston Hughes on Poetry

The Negro and the Racial Mountain

On the Cultural Achievement of African-Americans


22  Poetry and Translation

A Poem Translated from Spanish, in an Essay by a Student

Federico García Lorca, Despedida

A Note on Using the First-Person Singular Pronoun in Essays

Translating a Poem of your Choice, and Commenting on the Translation

Last-Minute Help: Three Spanish Poems

Anonymous, Ya se van los pastores

Anonymous,  Una gallina con pollos  

Gabriela Mistral, El Pensador de Rodin


23 A Collection of Poems.

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

John Donne, A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

John Donne, The Flea .

Ben Jonson, Still to be Neat

Robert Herrick, Delight in Disorder

 William Blake, The Lamb

William Blake, The Tyger

William Blake, London

William Wordsworth, I Wondered Lonely as a Cloud

Phillis Wheatley, On Being Brought from Africa to America

Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach : A Criticism of Life

Emily Dickinson, Papa above!

Emily Dickinson, Wild Nights--Wild Nights!

Emily Dickinson,  I heard a fly buzz--when I died,

Gerard Manley Hopkins, God's Grandeur

Gerard Manly Hopkins, Pied Beauty

William Butler Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium

James Weldon Johnson, To America

Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sonnet xli

e.e. cummings, anyone lived in a pretty how town

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

Archibald MacLeish, Ars Poetica

W. H. Auden, The Unknown Citizen

Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays

Gwendolyn Brooks, The Bean Eaters

Gwendolyn Brooks, Martin Luther King Jr

Anthony Hecht, The Dover Bitch

Robert Bly, Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter

Allen Ginsberg, A Supermarket in California 1956

James Wright, Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota

Anne Sexton, Her Kind

Adrienne Rich, For the Felling of an Elm in the Harvard Yard

Sylvia Plath, Daddy

John Updike, Ex-Basketball Player

Pat Mora, Illegal Alien

Pat Mora, Legal Alien’

Sharon Olds, Rites of Passage

Nikki Giovanni, Master Charge Blues

Louise Glück, School Children

Carol Muske, Chivalry

Wendy Rose, Three Thousand Dollar Death Song

Judith Ortiz Cofer, My Father in the Navy: A Childhood Memory

Rita Dove, Daystar

Kitty Tsui, A Chinese Banquet




24 How to Read a Play

Thinking About the Language of Drama

Plot and Character

A Note on Tragedy

A Note on Comedy

Susan Glaspell, Trifles

Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie


25 In Brief: Writing Arguments About Drama

Plot and Conflict.


Nonverbal Language

The Play in Performance

A Sample Student Essay, Using Sources


26 American Voice s: Plays for a Diverse Nation

Jane Martin, Rodeo

Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller, A Note on Death of a Salesman

David Henry Hwang, Trying to Find Chinatown

Luis Valdez, Los Vendidos

August Wilson, Fences

Terrence McNally, Andre’s Mother


27 A Play  about Marriage

Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House


28 Two Classic Tragedies

A Note on the Greek Theater

Sophocles, Oedipus the King

A Note on the Elizabethan Theater

William Shakespeare, Othello, The Moor of Venice




Appendix A: Remarks About Manuscript Form

Basic Manuscript Form

Corrections in the Final Copy.

Quotations and Quotation Marks.

Quotation Marks or Underlining?

A Note on the Possessive.


Appendix B: Writing a Research Paper.

What Research Is Not, and What Research Is

Primary and Secondary Materials

Locating Materials: First Steps

Other Bibliographic Aids

What Does Your Own Institution Offer?

Checklist: Evaluating Sources on the World  Wide Web

Taking Notes

Two Mechanical Aids: The Photocopier and the Word Processor

A Guide to Note-taking

Drafting the Paper

Keeping a Sense of Proportion

Focus on Primary Sources

Checklist: Reviewing a Revised Draft


What to Document: Avoiding Plagiarism

Checklist:  Avoiding Plagiarism

How to Document: Footnotes, Internal Parenthetic Citations, and a List of Works Cited (MLA Format)

Citing Sources on the World wide Web

Checklist: Citing Sources on the World Wide Web


Appendix C: Writing Essay Examinations


Appendix D: The Pleasures of Re-Reading




Rewards Program

Write a Review