Reading Famous American Fiction

December 1, 2012


Students in Mrs. Garrelts' English classes have been focused on reading pieces of famous American fiction.  Examining character drive, non-standard plot lines, and multiple and cross-barrier conflicts has been a main focus on the unit. 

English III students have been studying the themes of government restrictions on early settlers, redemption, and family connections with pieces like the short story "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne and the drama "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller.  Soon they will be examining poems and short stories by Edgar Allan Poe as they move into the Gothic Literature portion of the unit. 

English III Honors students have focused on examining motifs, themes, and symbols during their reading of "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  Some of these studied include the motifs of revealed sin versus hidden sin and wilderness versus civilization.  One of the themes examined has been that of repentance.  Soon they will focus on poems and short stories by Poe, Emerson, Bradstreet, and others from the American lexicon of authors.

The students have enjoyed reading multiple genres of American fiction and connecting these pieces of literature to life events both past and present.  It is very interesting that one student finds a personal connection to Elizabeth Proctor of "The Crucible" while another student admonishes her; one student finds a modern connection to Hester Prynne of "The Scarlet Letter" while other students find it difficult to connect with her in a technological age.  Truly, the students have been asked to connect to literature on a personal and professional manner.