Literature of the New World

Full-year course. A survey of the most important works of literature from the early settling of America to the modern day. Students will consider the rise of the novel and how it shapes modern stories; the use of a dystopian future setting to criticize the current age; and how literature can both reflect and shape the culture around it. When taken in combination with our U.S. History or Advanced U.S. History courses, this provides the integrated Great Books and History coverage recommended in The Well-Trained Mind. 

Please note: We suggest you review the proposed readings so that you are aware of the literature we are teaching and that your student’s level of maturity matches it. In this course, a number of narratives deal with slavery and racial injustice. Please make sure you are comfortable with your student taking part in discussion regarding these topics.

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Literature of the New World Information

  • Example Syllabus
  • Class meets once per week for 50-55 minutes.
  • Class cap: 20 students.
  • Designed for grades 10-12.
  • High school students may be awarded 1 Language Arts credit upon completion of this course.

Course Materials

  • Click here to purchase the course texts.
    • To My Husband and Other Poems, Anne Bradstreet
    • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin
    • Common Sense, Thomas Paine
    • Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper
    • Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville
    • The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Edgar Allan Poe
    • Billy Budd and Other Tales, Herman Melville
    • The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
    • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
    • The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane
    • Up from Slavery, Booker T Washington
    • Complete Poems of Walt Whitman, Walt Whitman
    • Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce
    • The Road Not Taken and Other Poems, Robert Frost
    • The Complete Stories, Flannery O’Connor
    • Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
    • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
    • The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

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