English Class-2nd Hour (using Elements of Literature, 2nd course, Holt, Rinehart and Winston)
Short Story Collections to be read
The Monkey's Paw p185-198
by W.W. Jacobs
"The Monkey's Paw" is a masterpiece of suspense that keeps the reader guessing--and dreading--what will happen next. It is an unimaginable idea, to receive three wishes and have anything that is desired. However, considering what may be lost in getting those three wishes is rarely considered...
"The Monkey's Paw" is W.W. Jacobs' most famous story and is considered to be a classic of horror fiction. It first appeared in Harper's Monthly magazine in 1902, and was reprinted in his third collection of short stories, The Lady of the Barge, also published in 1902. The story has since been published in many anthologies, adapted for the stage, and made into films. "The Monkey's Paw" was well received when Jacobs first published it; the story garnered rave reviews from some of the most important critics writing at the turn of the century. The story was also very popular with read
Like O. Henry, Jacobs was famous during his lifetime for writing a particular type of story rather than for any particular work. Similar to O. Henry's stories, Jacobs' tales are tightly constructed, humorous stories that usually revolve around simple surprise-ending plots Many of his stories are set and docks of London, which Jacobs knew from his own childhood.
In addition to humor, Jacobs explored the macabre in several of his tales. "The Monkey's Paw" is probably the best example of this. The story opens with the White family spending a cozy evening together around the hearth. An old friend of Mr. White's comes to visit them. Sergeant-Major Morris, home after more than twenty years in India, entertains his hosts with exotic stories of life abroad. He also sells to Mr. White a mummified monkey's paw, said to have had a spell put on it by a holy man that will grant its owner three wishes. Morris warns the Whites not to wish on it at all—but of course they do, with horrible consequences.
Jacobs uses foreshadowing, imagery and symbolism in this story to explore the consequences of tempting fate. His careful, economical creation of setting and atmosphere add suspense to the tale, while his use of dialogue and slang (another Jacobs trademark) help readers to feel that the characters are genuine.
Literary Terms: Suspense, Internal/External Conflict, Situational Irony, Foreshadowing, Predictions
Words to Own:Placidly, Presumptuous, Credulity, Prosaic, Avaricious, Averted, Inaudible, Apathy, Resounded, Reverberated
The Tell-Tale Heart p201-209
by Edgar Allen Poe
One of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous short stories, ‘‘The Tell-Tale Heart,’’ was first published in the January, 1843 edition of James Russell Lowell’s The Pioneer and was reprinted in the August 23, 1845 issue of The Broadway Journal. The story is a psychological portrait of a mad narrator who kills a man and afterward hears his victim’s relentless heartbeat. While ‘‘The Tell-Tale Heart’’ and his other short stories were not critically acclaimed during his lifetime, Poe earned respect among his peers as a competent writer, insightful literary critic, and gifted poet, particularly after the publication of his famous poem, ‘‘The Raven,’’ in 1845.
After Poe’s death in 1849, some critics faulted his obsession with dark and depraved themes. Other critics, like George Woodberry in his 1885 study of Poe, considered ‘‘The Tell-Tale Heart’’ merely a ‘‘tale of conscience.’’ But this simplistic view has changed over the years as more complex views of Poe and his works have emerged. Poe is now considered a forefather of two literary genres, detective stories and science fiction, and is regarded as an important writer of psychological thrillers and horror.
‘‘The Tell-Tale Heart’’ is simultaneously a horror story and psychological thriller told from a first-person perspective. It is admired as an excellent example of how a short story can produce an effect on the reader. Poe believed that all good literature must create a unity of effect on the reader and this effect must reveal truth or evoke emotions. ‘‘The Tell-Tale Heart’’ exemplifies Poe’s ability to expose the dark side of humankind and is a harbinger of novels and films dealing with psychological realism. Poe’s work has influenced genres as diverse as French symbolist poetry and Hollywood horror films, and writers as diverse as Ambrose Bierce and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Literary Terms: Narrator, Predictions, Preview,
Words to Own: Acute, Vexed, Sagacity, Refrained, Wary, Suavity, Audacity, Vehemently, Gesticulations, Derision
There Will Come Soft Rains p215-223
by Ray Bradbury
The irony of the story "There Will Come Soft Rains" is strong. The poem within the story describes how happy nature will be when man has destroyed himself, but the truth is that nature has been decimated by the war. The dog that comes in to die is lean and covered with sores. The rest of the city is "rubble and ashes." Radiation hangs in the air. Yet nature lives on in a mechanical form. Mechanical mice scurry about the house. The closest thing to soft rains that fall are the mechanical rains of the sprinkler system that goes off when the house catches fire. The poem, which seems pessimistic, is actually very optimistic compared to the reality. In this penultimate story, Bradbury shows his final example of the folly of thoughtless technological development. It is no wonder that some in the Science Fiction community accuse him of being anti-science.
"There Will Come Soft Rains" brings Bradbury's criticisms of heedless advancement to a climax.
There Will Come Soft Rains (August 4, 2026/2057)
Main article: There Will Come Soft Rains (short story)
First published in Collier's, May 6, 1950.
The story concerns a household in Allendale, California after the nuclear war has wiped out the population. Though the family is dead, the automated house which took care of the family still functions.
The reader learns a great deal about what the family was like from how the robots continue on in their functions. Breakfast is automatically made, clothes are laid out, voice reminders of daily activities are called out, but no one is there. Robotic mice vacuum the home and tidy up. As the day progresses, the rain quits, and the house prepares lunch and opens like a flower to the warm weather. Outside, a vivid image is given: the family's silhouettes which are permanently burned onto the side of the house (as was exemplified at Hiroshima) when they were vaporized by the nuclear explosion. The most disturbing is of two children playing catch. That night, a storm crashes a tree into the home, starting a fire that the house cannot combat, as the municipal water supply has dried up and failed.
The title of the story comes from a poem, randomly selected by the house to read at bedtime, also titled "There Will Come Soft Rains." The theme of the poem is that nature will survive after humanity is gone, reflecting the theme of the story; that even the vast cities of humanity will eventually be reclaimed by nature. In the original story in Collier's, the story took place 35 years into the future, on April 28, 1985.
This is one of the most famous short stories in science fiction.
Literary Terms: Personification
Words to Own: paranoia, tremulous, oblivious, sublime
The Inn of Lost Time p227-243
by Lensey Namioka
A haunting, supernatural mystery set in medieval Japan, "The Inn of Lost Time" by Lensey Namioka, reveals an elaborate hoax.
Literary Terms: Framework story (frame story, inner story), hoax
Words to Own: desolate, decrepit, poignant, ruefully, parasites, grueling, ravenous, elapsed, traumatic, remit
The Ransom of Red Chief p481-493
by O. Henry
This story tells of a young boy held for ransom by two petty criminals, Bill Driscoll and Sam Howard. The two men are fugitives who have escaped to the deep South searching for an easy way to get their hands on $2,000 they need in order to launch a land fraud scheme in Illinois. They set their sights on the quiet town of Summit, Alabama because of the philoprogenitiveness - love for one's own children - that they believe is common in rural communities.
Bill and Sam decide they will kidnap the son of a prominent citizen named Ebenezer Dorset, demand a ransom of $2,000, quickly collect the payoff, and be on their way. However, once they actually kidnap the boy and make their way to a hideout in the nearby hills, their plan quickly begins to unravel. Their young captive, a malevolent, red-headed brat who calls himself "Red Chief", actually enjoys his stay with his kidnappers, and thinks he's on a camping trip.
Red Chief proceeds to drive his captors to distraction with pranks and demands that they play wearying games with him, such as pretending to be a scout and using Bill as his horse. Bill and Sam are soon desperate to be rid of the little terror, they lower the price to $1,500 but still receive no answer. When they receive a reply to their ransom letter from Red Chief's father offering to take the boy off their hands for $250, they quickly return him and flee town as fast as they can.
Literary Terms: Irony (Verbal, Situational, Dramatic), Exaggeration, Understatement
Words to Own: diatribe, somnolent, peremptory, acceded, surreptitiously, renegade, proclivities, palatable, ineffable, proposition
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County p501-509
by Mark Twain
Mark Twain's "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" was first published in the November 18, 1865, edition of The New York Saturday Press, under the title "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog." The story, which has also been published as "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," is set in a gold-mining camp in Calaveras County, California, and has its origins in the folklore of the Gold Rush era. It was one of Twain's earliest writings, and helped establish his reputation as a humorist. He eventually included it as the title story in his first collection of tales.
"Jumping Frog" was originally told in epistolary form—that is, as a letter—though some reprints of the tale have since omitted this letter-frame convention. In the story, Twain recounts his visit, made at the request of a friend back East, to an old man named Simon Wheeler in a California mining camp. Wheeler tells Twain a colorful story about another miner, Jim Smiley. According to Wheeler, Smiley loved to make bets; he would bet on nearly anything. Wheeler relates some of Smiley's more famous gambling escapades, one of which concerns a pet frog. Critics frequently cite this story as an example of a tall tale and note Twain's use of humor and exaggeration. They also emphasize the tale's satirical focus on storytelling and existing cultural differences between the western and eastern regions of the United States.
Literary Terms: Dialect, Context clues,
Words to Own: garrulous, conjectured, infamous, dilapidated, interminable
Flowers for Algernon (in two parts) p45-74
by Daniel Keyes
Part One p45-61
Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction short story and subsequent novel written by Daniel Keyes. The short story was first published in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1960.The novel was published in 1966 and was joint winner of that year's Nebula Award for Best Novel (with Babel-17).
The titular Algernon is a laboratory mouse who has undergone surgery to increase his intelligence. The story is told as a series of "progress reports" written by Charlie, the first human test subject for the surgery, and touches upon many different ethical and moral themes such as the treatment of the mentally disabled.
Although the book has often been "challenged" for removal from libraries in the US and Canada, sometimes successfully, it is regularly taught in schools around the worldand has been adapted numerous times for television, theatre, radio and as the Academy Award-winning film, Charly.
When you read "Flowers for Algernon," you will notice that Charlie, the narrator, has trouble with his spelling. If you get stuck on a misspelled word, try sounding it out to see whether it is a word you know. Some of the misspellings are clarified in the footnotes (at the bottom of the page).
Literary Terms: Narrator, Simile, Metaphor (Extended), Figures of Speech, Personification, Symbol
Words to Own: misled
Part Two p62-74
The novel opens with an epigraph discouraging people from laughing at those who are perplexed or weak of vision.The epigraph is taken from Plato's The Republic, part of which reads:
"Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eye are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye." At the start of the novel, Charlie Gordon is a 32-year-old man with an IQ of 68 who works as a janitor and deliveryman for Donner's Bakery. His uncle got him a job there 17 years previously so that Charlie would not have to be sent to an institution: the Warren State Home. Wanting to improve himself, Charlie attends reading and writing classes at the Beekman University Center for Retarded Adults taught by Alice Kinnian, a young, attractive woman. Professor Nemur and Doctor Strauss of Beekman University are looking for a human subject on whom they can test an experimental surgical technique for increasing intelligence; they have already successfully performed the surgery on a mouse, Algernon. Alice recommends Charlie for the procedure. His motivation to learn makes him the prime candidate and he undergoes the procedure.
The procedure is a success; Charlie's IQ goes up to 185.As his intelligence, education and understanding of the world around him increases, his relationships with people deteriorate; he is fired from his job at the bakery because his colleagues there are scared and resentful of his increased intelligence. Charlie also has a troubled romance with Alice. Even though they develop strong feelings for each other, he is prevented from having a physical relationship by the spectre of a younger Charlie whom the older Charlie feels is always watching. Unable to get close to Alice, Charlie starts a relationship with Fay Lillman, a vivacious and promiscuous artist.
Charlie notices a flaw in the theories that led Nemur and Strauss to develop their intelligence-enhancing procedure. Shortly thereafter, Algernon starts behaving erratically, his intelligence fades and he dies. Charlie starts working on the project himself and discovers that his own increased intelligence is also only temporary. As Charlie regresses intellectually, Fay becomes scared by the change and stops talking to him. However, Charlie finally attains sufficient emotional maturity to have a brief but fulfilling relationship with Alice. Despite regressing back to his former self, he still remembers that he was once a genius and cannot bear everyone feeling sorry for him. Consequently, he decides to go to live at the Warren State Home where nobody knows about the operation. In a final letter to his friends he asks them to put flowers on Algernon's grave.
Words to Own: tangible, refute, invariably, regression, verified, obscure, deterioration, hypothesis, introspective
Modern Drama (from World War II)
The Diary of Anne Frank (Play in Two Acts) p342-412
"In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." ---Anne Frank
In "The Diary of Anne Frank," several characters are in a dangerous situation. They are hiding from the Nazis in a small attic in Amsterdam, Holland during World War II. This attempt to survive has become one of the most powerful stories of the Twentieth-Century.
The diary itself was written by a thirteen year old Jewish girl named Anne Frank. Anne's writing opens in 1942 with stories of parties, boyfriends and school life. It closes just two years later, just days before Anne is imprisoned and sent to a Nazi Concentration Camp.
The time covered in the diary is the time spent in the "Secret Annex" as it is now called. It was a location behind and in the attic of Mr. Frank's office and warehouse. Anne didn't intend to show the diary to anyone unless she found a "real friend". Through its dozens of translations and the stage adaptation cover in the Literature book, Anne's diary has found her generations of friends all over the world.
Literary Terms: Conflict (Internal/External); Basic Dramatic Principles (Conflict, Complications, Climax, Resolution); Crisis, Irony (Dramatic); Flashback
Words to Own (Act One): conspicuous, unabashed, loathe, indignantly, fortify
Words to Own (Act Two): disgruntled, inarticulate, forlorn, animation, remorse
A Tragedy Revealed: A Heroine's Last Days (Anne Frank) p419-436
by Ernst Schnabel
Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank (pronunciation (help·info)) (June 12, 1929–early March 1945) was a Jewish girl born in the city of Frankfurt am Main in Weimar Germany. She gained international fame posthumously following the publication of her diary which documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II.
Anne and her family moved to Amsterdam in 1933 after the Nazis gained power in Germany, and were trapped by the occupation of the Netherlands, which began in 1940. As persecutions against the Jewish population increased, the family went into hiding in July 1942 in hidden rooms in her father Otto Frank's office building. After two years, the group was betrayed and transported to concentration camps. Seven months after her arrest, Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, within days of the death of her sister, Margot Frank. Her father Otto, the only survivor of the group, returned to Amsterdam after the war to find that her diary had been saved, and his efforts led to its publication in 1947. It was translated from its original Dutch and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl.
The diary, which was given to Anne on her 13th birthday, chronicles her life from June 12, 1942 until August 1, 1944. It has been translated into many languages, has become one of the world's most widely read books, and has been the basis for several plays and films. Anne Frank has been acknowledged for the quality of her writing, and has become one of the most renowned and most discussed victims of the Holocaust.
The article was published in Life magazine in 1958, and stars where the diary leaves off--with the discovery of the secret annex and the arrest of its occupants.
Literary Terms: Theme, Plot, Setting, Characterization, Conflict Resolution, Paradox
Words to Own: indomitable, annihilation, refuge, reconciliations, gaunt, inexplicable, dispirited, premonition, emaciated, raucous
Paul Revere's Ride p537-542
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The role for which he is most remembered today was as a night-time messenger on horseback just before the battles of Lexington and Concord. His famous "Midnight Ride" occurred on the night of April 18/April 19, 1775, when he and William Dawes were instructed by Dr. Joseph Warren to ride from Boston to Lexington to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams of the movements of the British Army, which was beginning a march from Boston to Lexington, ostensibly to arrest Hancock and Adams and seize the weapons stores in Concord.
The British army (the King's "regulars"), which had been stationed in Boston since the ports were closed in the wake of the Boston Tea Party, was under constant surveillance by Revere and other patriots as word began to spread that they were planning a move. On the night of April 18, 1775, the army began its move across the Charles River toward Lexington, and the Sons of Liberty immediately went into action. At about 11 pm, Revere was sent by Dr. Warren across the Charles River to Charlestown, on the opposite shore, where he could begin a ride to Lexington, while Dawes was sent the long way around, via the Boston Neck and the land route to Lexington.
In the days before April 18, Revere had instructed Robert Newman, the sexton of the Old North Church, to send a signal by lantern to colonists in Charlestown as to the movements of the troops when the information became known; one lantern in the steeple would signal the army's choice of the land route, while two lanterns would signal the route "by water" across the Charles River.This was done to get the message through to Charlestown in the event that both Revere and Dawes were captured. Newman and Captain John Pulling momentarily held two lanterns in the Old North Church as Revere himself set out on his ride, to indicate that the British soldiers were in fact crossing the Charles River that night. Revere rode a horse loaned to him by John Larkin, Deacon of the Old North Church.
Riding through present-day Somerville, Medford, and Arlington, Revere warned patriots along his route - many of whom set out on horseback to deliver warnings of their own. By the end of the night there were probably as many as 40 riders throughout Middlesex County carrying the news of the army's advancement. Revere certainly did not shout the famous phrase later attributed to him ("The British are coming!"), largely because the mission depended on secrecy and the countryside was filled with British army patrols; also, most colonial residents at the time considered themselves British as they were all legally British subjects. Revere's warning, according to eyewitness accounts of the ride and Revere's own descriptions, was "the regulars are coming out." Revere arrived in Lexington around midnight, with Dawes arriving about a half hour later. Samuel Adams and John Hancock were spending the night at the Hancock-Clarke House in Lexington and, upon receiving the news, spent a great deal of time discussing plans of action. Revere and Dawes, meanwhile, decided to ride on toward Concord, where the militia's arsenal was hidden. They were joined by Samuel Prescott, a doctor who happened to be in Lexington "returning from a lady friend's house at the awkward hour of 1 a.m."
Paul Revere's ride. Revere, Dawes, and Prescott were detained by British troops in Lincoln at a roadblock on the way to nearby Concord. Prescott jumped his horse over a wall and escaped into the woods; Dawes also escaped though soon after he fell off his horse and did not complete the ride. Revere was detained and questioned and then escorted at gunpoint by three British officers back toward Lexington. As morning broke and they neared Lexington Meeting-house, shots were heard. The British officers became alarmed, confiscated Revere's horse and rode toward the Meeting-house. Revere was horseless and walked through a cemetery and pastures until he came to Rev. Clarke's house where Hancock and Adams were staying. As the battle on Lexington Green continued, Revere helped John Hancock and his family escape from Lexington with their possessions, including a trunk of Hancock's papers. The warning delivered by the three riders successfully allowed the militia to repel the British troops in Concord, who were harried by guerrilla fire along the road back to Boston. Prescott, who knew the countryside well even in the dark, arrived at Concord in time to warn the people there. Maps showing the routes on which Revere, Dawes, and Prescott rode can be found at this web site:
Revere's role was not particularly noted during his life. In 1861, over 40 years after his death, the ride became the subject of "Paul Revere's Ride", a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem has become one of the best known in American history and was memorized by generations of schoolchildren. Its famous opening lines are:
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
Today, parts of the ride are posted with signs marked "Revere's Ride". The full ride used Main Street in Charlestown, Broadway and Main Street in Somerville, Main Street and High Street in Medford, to Arlington center, and Massachusetts Avenue the rest of the way (an old alignment through Arlington Heights is called "Paul Revere Road").
"I love the ride of Paul Revere, whether he rode or not." ---President Warren G. Harding
Literary Term: Rhythm
Use this video to help learn the tale of Paul Revere
Casey at the Bat p606-608
by Ernest Lawrence Thayer
subtitled "A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888", is a baseball poem written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer. First published in the San Francisco Examiner on June 3, 1888, it was later popularized by DeWolf Hopper in many vaudeville performances. In the poem, a baseball team from the fictional town of Mudville (implied to be the home team) is losing by two runs with two outs in their last at bats, but they think they can win "if only" they could somehow get "mighty Casey" up to bat. Two weak hitters manage to get on base, and Casey comes to bat with the tying run in scoring position. The beloved Casey, Mudville's star player, is so confident in his abilities that he doesn't swing at the first two pitches, both strikes. On the last pitch, the overconfident Casey strikes out, ending the game and sending the crowd home unhappy.
The poem is filled with references to baseball as it was in 1888, which in many ways is not far removed from today's version. As a work, the poem encapsulates much of the appeal of baseball, including the involvement of the crowd. It also has a fair amount of baseball jargon that can pose challenges for translators.
For a relatively short poem apparently dashed off quickly (and denied by its author for years—see below), "Casey at the Bat" has had a profound effect on American popular culture. It has been recited, re-enacted, adapted, dissected, parodied, and subjected to just about every other treatment one could imagine.
The poem was originally published anonymously (under the pen name "Phin"). Thayer was so embarrassed by what he considered to be doggerel that he kept his identity secret for years. It was only after others claimed to have written the poem that he finally came forth, although he remained embarrassed by its success in the face of what he considered to be its low merit.