If ever there were a piece of literature that reflected the American Dream gone badly, it is Death of a Salesman. Willy Loman has all of the characteristics of a Shakespearian tragic hero – a man unable to find success and, in that despair, a man who descends into mental illness and suicide. Any student in an American literature or drama course will find this play required reading.
Most people do not know that Frankenstein was written during a snowed-in weekend in Switzerland. It was conceived and produced as a part of a contest the Mary Shelley had with her husband and two friends. Obviously, that quickly produced book became a classic of early science fiction. Most kids and teens laugh at the terrible film versions of Frankenstein and its sequel, Bride of Frankenstein.
Brave New World was Aldous Huxley’s most famous novel. Published in 1932 it as to serve as a warning to society of the dangers of technology and the use of technology by governments to control its citizens. In the new World State, science has resulted in the technology that is used to “grow” test tube babies that are programmed for their stations in society and to remove all desire for strong emotion or knowledge.
When the year 1984 arrived, people in the Western world revised discussion of Orwell’s 1984, primarily being amused about the things he predicted that would occur by that year but which, of course, had not. Still, Orwell was not incorrect in many of the things he predicted – surveillance cameras, the use of technology to “spy” on people, etc., except those things did not arrive until the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century.
Appreciation of poetry is not something that most students have. In fact, of all the literary genres, poetry is usually listed as the least favorite by students – those who are majoring in literature and those who are not. Aside from epic poems (e.g., Beowulf, Iliad) and Shakespeare (poetic drama), most poetry is rather short in comparison with other literary forms.
To analyze anything, whether a piece of literature or anything else, means that you will break it down into its component parts, look at each of those parts critically, and then put it back together and give an overall evaluation or judgment. Students are often nervous about the term “analysis,” but it really is probably not as scary as they may think.
You are not writing a report. That is the first thing you must remember if you have been assigned a literature review – whether of fiction or non-fiction. While a report is a rather objective presentation of the content of a piece of literature, writing a literature review means going deeper and speaking to other things.
Elementary teachers long ago developed a method of teaching the writing process for kids. By late elementary school years and certainly by middle school years, all students should have been taught this process and should have had lots of opportunities to practice that process by short essays they wrote. Things did not change much in high school.
Have you noticed that studying more doesn't cause you to learn more? In fact, studying for long periods time often results in frustration and fatigue rather than increased knowledge. Have you also noticed that some students seem to never study at all, yet manage to retain information, and ace tests and quizzes?
If you are preparing to launch a new blog, get ready. You are about to take on a huge task. Not only do you have to come up with an overall concept for your blog, you have to select a platform, create your initial posts, and, most importantly, create an audience from an initial following of zero. Can it be done? Of course it can.