Literature of the New World

Course Description


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. 

Example Syllabus (Download the PDF)

Required texts:

  • Selected Poems by Anne Bradstreet
    • To My Husband and Other Poems, ed. Robert Hutchinson, Dover Thrift Editions, Dover Publications, 2011. ISBN 9780486414089
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
    • Dover Thrift Editions, Dover Publications, 1996. ISBN 9780486290737
  • Common Sense by Thomas Paine
    • Dover Thrift Editions, Dover Publications, 1997. ISBN 9780486296029
  • Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
    • Bantam Classics, Bantam, 1982. ISBN 9780120000302
  • Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
    • Democracy in America: The Complete and Unabridged Volumes I and II, Bantam Classics, Bantam, 2000. ISBN 9780553214642
  • Selected Poems and Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe
    • The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Barnes & Noble Classics, Barnes & Noble, 2004. ISBN 9781593080648
  • Billy Budd by Herman Melville
    • Billy Budd and Other Tales, Signet Classics, Signet, 2009. ISBN 9780451530813
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    • Bantam Classics, Bantam, 1981. ISBN 9780553210095
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    • Bantam Classics, Bantam, 1981. ISBN 9780553212266
  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
    • The Red Badge of Courage, ed. Stanley Applebaum, Dover Thrift Editions, Dover Publications, 1990. ISBN 9780486264653
  • Up from Slavery by Booker T Washington
    • Dover Thrift Editions, Dover Publications, 1995. ISBN 9780486287386
  • Selected Poems by Walt Whitman
    • Complete Poems of Walt Whitman (Wordsworth Poetry Library), Wordsworth Editions Ltd., rev. ed., 1998. ISBN 9781853264337
  • Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
    • Dover Thrift Editions, Dover Publications, 1993. ISBN 9780486275420
  • Selected Poems by Robert Frost
    • The Road Not Taken and Other Poems, ed. David Orr Penguin Classics, 2015. ISBN 9780143107392
  • Selected Short Stories by Flannery O’Connor
    • The Complete Stories, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1971. ISBN 9780374515362
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    • Simon & Schuster, 2012. ISBN 9781451673319
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    • Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2002. ISBN 9780060935467
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    • Scribner, 1995. ISBN 9780684801223

Class meets once per week for 50-55 minutes.

Class cap: 20 students.

Designed for grades 9-12.

Students in grades 9-12 may be awarded 1 Language Arts credit upon completion of this course.

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