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Making Literature Matter An Anthology for Readers and Writers

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  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-12-28
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Become a better writer by writing about what interests you as Making Literature Matter clusters recent fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction around issues relevant to you today.

Table of Contents

* New material is starred


Chapter 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"?

      Maxine Kumin, Woodchucks (poem)

      *Ted Chiang, The Great Silence

Why Study Literature in a College Writing Course?

What Can You Do to Make Literature Matter to Others?

Summing Up

Chapter 2: How to Read Closely

Basic Strategies for Close Reading

Close Readings of a Poem

      Sharon Olds, Summer Solstice, New York City (poem)

Applying the Strategies

Reading Closely by Annotating

      X.J. Kennedy, Death of a Window Washer (poem)

Further Strategies for Close Reading

      Identify Characters’ Emotions to Get Ideas

      Edward Hirsch, Execution (poem)

      Identify Speech Acts

Daniel Orozco, Orientation (story)

Use Topics of Literary Studies to Get Ideas

      Lynda Hull, Night Waitress (poem)

      T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (poem)
      *Allison Alsup, Old Houses (story)

Summing Up

Chapter 3: How to Make Arguments about Literature

What Is Argument?

Jamaica Kincaid, Girl (story)

Strategies for Making Arguments about Literature

Identify an Issue

Make a Claim

Aim to Persuade

Consider Your Audience

Gather and Present Evidence

Explain Your Reasoning

Identify Your Assumptions

Make Use of Appeals

A Sample Student Argument about Literature

Ann Schumwalt, The Mother’s Mixed Messages in "Girl"

Looking at Literature as Argument

      John Milton, When I Consider How My Light Is Spent (poem)

      Robert Frost, Mending Wall (poem)

      *W.H. Auden, Refugee Blues (poem)

Literature and Current Issues

      *Rivka Galchen, Usl at the Stadium (story)

      *Jon Ronson, from "How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life (argument)

      *Jennifer Jacquet, from Is Shame Necessary? (argument)

Summing Up

Chapter 4: The Writing Process

William Wordsworth, The Solitary Reaper (poem)

Strategies for Exploring

Strategies for Planning

Choose a Text

Identify Your Audience

Identify Your Issue, Claim, and Evidence

Identify Your Assumptions

Determine Your Organization

Strategies for Composing

First Draft of a Student Paper

      Abby Hazelton, The Passage of Time in "The Solitary Reaper"

Strategies for Revising

      A Checklist 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)

      List Similarities and Differences

      Consider "Weighting" Your Comparison

A Student Comparative Paper

      Jeremy Cooper, Don Paterson's Criticism of Nature's Owners

Summing Up

Chapter 5: Writing about Literary Genres

Writing about Stories

      Eudora Welty, A Visit of Charity

The Elements of Short Fiction

Final Draft of a Student Paper

      Tanya Vincent, The Real Meaning of  "Charity" in "A Visit of Charity"

Summing Up: Writing about Short Stories

Writing about Poems

      Mary Oliver, Singapore

      Yusef Komunyakaa, Blackberries

      Edwin Arlington Robinson, The Mill

A Student’s Personal Responses to the Poems

First Draft of a Student Paper

Michaela Fiorucci, Boundaries in Robinson, Komunyakaa, and Oliver

The Elements of Poetry

Revised Draft of a Student Paper

      Michaela Fiorucci, Negotiationg Boundaries

Summing Up: Writing about Poems

Writing about Plays

August Strindberg, The Stronger

A Student’s Personal Response to the Play

The Elements of Drama

Plot and Structure


Stage Directions and Setting




Final Draft of a Student Paper

      Trish Carlisle, Which Is the Stronger Actress in August Strindberg's Play?

Summing Up: Writing about Plays

Writing about Essays

      June Jordan, Many Rivers to Cross

A Student’s Personal Response to the Essay

The Elements of Essays

Final Draft of a Student Paper

      Isla Bravo, Resisting Women's Roles

Summing Up: Writing about Essays

Portfolio: Comparing Poems and Pictures

Analyzing Visual Art

Writing an Essay That Compares Literature and Art

A Sample Paper Comparing a Poem and a Picture

      Karl Magnusson, Lack of Motion and Speech in Rolando Perez’s "Office at Night"

      Edward Hopper, Office at Night (picture) / Rolando Perez, Office at Night (prose poem)

      Edward Hopper, Conference at Night (picture) / Victoria Chang, Edward Hopper’s Conference at Night (poem)

      Gustav Klimt, The Kiss (picture) / Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Short Story on a Painting of Gustav Klimt (poem)

      Edvard Munch, The Scream (picture) / May Miller, The Scream (poem)

      Frida Kahlo, Frida and Diego Rivera (picture) / David Dominguez, Wedding Portrait (poem)

      Rembrandt van Rjin, Self-Portrait at the Age of 63 (painting) / Linda Pastan, Ethics (poem)

      *Diane Arbus, Old Woman with Hands Raised in the Ocean, Coney Island, NY, 1960 (painting) /Stevie Smith, Not Waving But Drowning (poem)

      *Jacob Lawrence, They Were Very Poor (painting)/Sandra Gilbert, Jacob Lawrence’s They Were Very Poor (poem)

Chapter 6: Writing Researched Arguments

*Begin Your Research by Giving It Direction

Search for Sources in the Library and Online

Evaluate the Sources

*Record Your Sources’ Key Details

Strategies for Integrating Sources

*Avoid Plagiarism

*Strategies for Documenting Sources (2016 MLA Format)

MLA In-Text Citation

      MLA Works Cited

Five Annotated Student Researched Arguments

A Researched Argument that Uses a Literary Work to Examine Social Issues

      Sarah Michaels, "The Yellow Wallpaper" as a Guide to Social Factors in Postpartum Depression

How Sarah Uses Her Sources

A Researched Argument that Deals with Existing Interpretations of a Literary Work

      Katie Johnson, The Meaning of the Husband's Fainting in "The Yellow Wall-Paper"

How Katie Uses Her Sources

A Researched Argument 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 Wall-Paper"

*How Jacob Uses His Sources

A Researched Argument that Places a Literary Work in Historical and Cultural Context

      Brittany Thomas, The Relative Absence of teh Human Touch in "The Yellow Wall-Paper"

How Brittany Uses Her Sources

A Researched Argument that Places a Literary Work in a Multimedia Context

      Kyra Blaylock, Different Kinds of Horrifying Images in "The Yellow Wallpaper" and "A Salem Witch"

*How Kyra Uses Her Sources

Making a Multimedia Presentation about a Literary WorkSumming Up

Cultural Contexts: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s "The Yellow Wallpaper"

      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

*Chapter 7: Writing with Critical Approaches to Literature

Contemporary Schools of Criticism

New Criticism; Feminist Criticism; Psychoanalytic Criticism;

Marxist Criticism; Deconstruction; Reader-Response Criticism; Postcolonial Criticism; New Historicism; Queer Theory; *Affect Theory; *Performance Theory; *Cognitive Theory; *Thing Theory

      Working with the Critical Approaches

      James Joyce, Counterparts (story)

      Molly Frye, A Refugee at Home (student paper)

      James Joyce, Eveline


Chapter 8: FamiliesReconciling 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

Grandparents and Legacies: Poems

      Nikki Giovanni, Legacies

      Linda Hogan, Heritage

      Gary Soto, Behind Grandma's House

      Alberto Ríos, Mi Abuelo

      Judith Ortiz Cofer, Claims

Gays and Lesbians in Families: Poems

      Essex Hemphill, Commitments

      Audre Lorde, Who Said It Was Simple

      Minnie Bruce Pratt, Two Small-Sized Girls

      Richard Blanco, Queer Theory: According to My Grandmother

Exorcising the Dead: Critical Commentaries on a Poem

      Sylvia Plath, Daddy

Critical Commentaries:

      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

Longing for a Father: Stories

      John Cheever, Reunion

      Dagoberto Gilb, Uncle Rock

A Troubled Freedom: Cultural Contexts for a Story

Ernest Hemingway, Soldier’s Home

Cultural Contexts:

      James M. Hutchisson, From Ernest Hemingway: A New Life

      Leicester Hemingway, From My Brother, Ernest Hemingway

      *Caroline Alexander, The Shock of War

*Literature and Current Issues: Why Do Children Rebel Against Parental Expectations?

      *Hanif Kureishi, My Son the Fanatic (story)

      *Arguments on the Issue

      *Roger Cohen, Why ISIS Trumps Freedom

      *Abdelkader Benali, From Teenage Angst to Jiha

Food in Families: Essays

      Ruth Reichl, The Queen of Mold

      David Sedaris, Tasteless

      *Geeta Kothari, If You Are What You Eat, Then What Am I?

Critical Decisions about Parenthood: Across Genres

      Maxine Hong Kingston, No Name Woman (essay)

      *David Foster Wallace, Good People (story)

Chapter 9: Love

True Love: Poems

      William Shakespeare, Let me not to the marriage of true minds

      John Keats, Bright Star

      Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How Do I Love Thee?

      e. e. cummings, somewhere i have never travelled

Passionate Love: Poems

      Michael S. Harper, Discovery

      Susan Minot, My Husband’s Back

      *Derek Walcott, Love After Love

Melancholy Loves: Poems

      Edna St. Vincent Millay, What My Lips Have Kissed, and Where, and Why

      *W.H. Auden, Funeral Blues

      Robin Becker, Morning Poem

Seductive Arguments: Poems

      John Donne, The Flea

      Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress

Love as a Haven: Cultural Contexts for a Poem

      Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach

Cultural Contexts:

      Charles Dickens, from Hard Times

      Friedrich Engels, from The Condition of the Working Class in England

      James Eli Adams, Narrating Nature: Darwin

* Literature and Current Issues: Are Millennials Narcissists?

      *Tony Hoagland, What Narcissism Means to Me

      *Arguments on the Issue

      *Brooke Lea Foster, The Persistent Myth of the Narcissistic Millennial

      *Emily Esfahani Smith and Jennifer Aaker, Millennial Searchers

      *Colson Whitehead, How ‘You do You’ Perfectly Captures Our Narcissistic Culture

      *Kelley/Parker "Dustin’ Cartoon

Romantic Dreams: Stories

      James Joyce, Araby

      John Updike, A & P

      Leslie Marmon Silko, Yellow Woman

Is This Love? Stories

      William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily

      Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

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 the Rival     

Arguments about Love: Essays

      Laura Kipnis, Against Love

      Meghan O'Rourke, The Marriage Trap

*Impossible Love: Across Genres

      Seamus Heaney, Punishment (poem)

      *Karen Russell, Bog Girl (story)

Chapter 10: Freedom and Confinement

Struggling against Stereotypes: Poems

      Chrystos, Today Was a Bad Day Like TB

      Dwight Okita, In Response to Executive Order 9066

      Pat Mora, Legal Alien

      Toi Derricotte, Black Boys Play the Classics

      Naomi Shihab Nye, Blood

      *David Hernandez, "Words without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go"

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

A Creative Confinement: A Collection of Poems by Emily Dickinson

      Emily Dickinson, Wild Nights--Wild Nights!

      Emily Dickinson, Tell all the Truth but tell it slant--

      *Emily Dickinson, Success is counted sweetest

      *Emily Dickinson, My Life had stood—a Loaded Gun*

Where Tradition Is a Trap: Stories

      Shirly Jackson, The Lottery

      *Alexander Weinstein, Rocket Night*

Dreams of Escape: Stories

      Kate chopin, The Story of an Hour

      *Kirstin Valdez Quade, The Manzanos     

*Escaping Confinement: Critical Commentaries on a Story

      *Vladimir Nabokov, "Signs and Symbols"

Critical Commentaries:

      *Wayne Goodman, from "Forum: High Pressure: Psychosis, Performance, Schizophrenia, Literature"

      *Brian Boyd, from Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years

      *Michael Wood, from "Consulting the Oracle"

*Literature and Current Issues: Does Our Happiness Depend on Others’ Misery?

Ursula LeGuin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

      *Arguments on the Issue

      *David Brooks, The Child in the Basement

      *John R. Ehrenfeld, The Error of Trying to Measure Good and Bad

A Door to Freedom: Cultural Contexts for a Play

      Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House

Cultural Contexts:

      August Strindberg, On A Doll’s House

      Emma Goldman, Review of  A Doll’s House

      Joan Templeton, The Doll House Backlash: Criticism, Feminism, and Ibsen

      Susanna Rustin, Why A Doll’s House Is More Relevant than Ever

*Confining Surveillance: Essays

      *Michel Foucault, Panopticon

      *Jeffrey Toobin, Edward Snowden’s Real Impact

      *Peter Ludlow, The Banality of Systemic Evil

*Surrendering Freedom on Principle: Across Genres

      Sophocles, Antigone (play)

      *T.C. Boyle, Balto (story)

Chapter 11: Crime and Justice

Justice for Animals: Poems

      D. H. Lawrence, Snake

      Elizabeth Bishop, The Fish

      William Stafford, Traveling through the Dark

      *Christopher Gilbert, On the Way Back Home

Justice for Workers: Poems

      William Blake, The Chimney Sweeper

      Philip Levine, What Work Is

      *Deborah Garrison, Worked Late on a Tuesday Night

Injustice for Communities: Poems

      Philip Shultz, Gree

      *Chad Abushnab, Dead Town

      Maurice Manning, The Hill People      

He Said/She Said: Poems      

      Robert Browning, My Last Duchess

      Gabriel Spera, My Ex-Husband

Racial Injustice: Poems

      Countee Cullen, Incident

      Natasha Trethewey, Incident

A Dream of Justice: Poems

      *Langston Hughes, Open Letter to the South

      Langston Hughes, Theme for English B

      Langston Hughes, Harlem

*Literature and Current Issues: How Just Is Capital Punishment?

      Sherman Alexie, Capital Punishment (poem)

Arguments on the Issue

      *George Will, "Capital Punishment's Slow Death"

      *Bill Otis, George Will's Limp Case Against the Death Penalty

      *Charles J. Ogletree, "Condemned to Die Because He's Black"

Discovering Injustice: Stories

      Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown

      Toni Cade Bambara, The Lesson

      *Ha Jin, Saboteur

Secret Crimes: Stories

      *Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Herat

      Andre Dubus, Killings

      Edward J. Delaney, Clean

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"

A Menacing Stalker: Cultural Contexts for a Story

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

Cultural Contexts

      Don Moser, The Pied Piper of Tucson

      Joyce Carol Oates, Smooth Talk: Short Story into Film

      *Meghan Daum, Jaycee Dugard and the Feel-Good Imperative

Trials of Marriage: Plays

      Susan Glaspell, Trifles

      Lynn Nottage, POOF!

Recalling a Violent Crime: Essays

      Bruce Shapiro, One Violent Crive

      Emily Bernard, Scar Tissue

New Across Genres: Eyewitness Testimony

      *Ida Fink, The Table (play)

      *Ry?nosuke Akutagawa, In a Bamboo Grove (short story)

Chapter 12: Journeys

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

      *Robert Frost, Birches

Visionary Journeys: Poems

      Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan

      Percy Bysshe Shelly, Ozymandias

      William Butler Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium      

Mythic Journeys: Poems

      Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses

      Adrienne Rich, Divisng into the WreckA

 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

      Emily Dickinson, Because I could not stop for Death

*Literature and Current Issues: Do Immigrants Take Jobs from Native-Born Workers?

      Jimmy Santiago Baca, So Mexicans Are Taking Jobs from Americans (poem)

Arguments on the Issue

      *Steven Camarota, Unskilled Workers Lose Out to Immigrants

      *Maria E. Enchautegui, Immigrants Are Replacing, Not Displacing, Workers

      *Ted Widmer, The Immigration Dividend

Wartime Journeys: Stories

      *Ambrose Bierce, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

      Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

Journeys to the Future: Stories

      Arthur C. Clarke, The Nine Billion Names of God

      Kurt Vonnegut, Harrison Bergeron

      *Joanna Russ, When It Changed

      *Octavia Butler, Human Evolution

Fairy Tale Journeys: Re-Visions of a Story

      Charles Perrault, Little Red Riding Hood

      Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, Little Red Cap

      Angela Carter, The Company of Wolves

Keep This Boy Running: Cultural Contexts for a Story

      Ralph Ellison, Battle Royal

Cultural Contexts:

      Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Exposition Address (The Atlanta Compromise)

      W.E. B. DuBois, Of Mr. Booker T. Washington

      Gunnar Myrdal, Social Equality

From City to Country: Critical Commentaries on a Play

      Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest      

Critical Commentaries:

      Sol Eltis, from Revising Wilde: Society and Subversion in the Plays of Oscar Wilde

      Tirthankar Bose, from "Oscar Wilde’s Game of Being Earnest"

      Patricia Flanagan Behrendt, from Oscar Wilde: Eros and Aesthetics

Crossing Boundaries: Essays

      Richard Rodriguez, Aria

      Jose Antonio Vargas, My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant

Traumatic Journeys: Across Genres

      Wilfred Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est (poem)

      Michael Herr, Scream a Lot (essay)

      *Thomas Lux, The People of Other Village (poem)

Index of Authors, Titles, and First Lines

Index of Key Terms

Supplemental Materials

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