9-1 Literary Texts—Literary Elements and the Short Story

Short Stories
§ “The Gift of the Magi” (O. Henry) (E)
§ “The Overcoat” (Nikolai Gogol) (EA)
§ “The Most Dangerous Game” (Richard Connell)
§ “The Kitchen Boy” (Alaa Al Aswany)
§ “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (James Thurber) (EA)
§ “The Cask of Amontillado” (Edgar Allan Poe) (EA)
§ “The Black Cat” (Edgar Allan Poe) (EA)
§ “The Tell-Tale Heart” (Edgar Allan Poe) (EA)
§ “The Scarlet Ibis” (James Hurst)
§ “Everyday Use” (Alice Walker) (EA)
§ “The Minister’s Black Veil” (Nathaniel Hawthorne) (EA)
§ “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” (Leo Tolstoy)
§ Drinking Coffee Elsewhere: Stories// (ZZ Packer)

Informational Texts
None for this unit

Art, Music, and Media
Prompt: How do artists create visual narratives in photography and painting?

§ Michelangelo, The Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel (1482)
§ Sultan Muhammad, From a Khamsa of Nizami (1539-43)
§ Jacob Lawrence, On The Way (1990)
§ Emanuel Leutze, //Washington Crossing The Delaware (1851)
§ Pablo Picasso, Young Acrobat on a Ball (1905)
§ Tina Barney, Marina’s Room (1987)
§ Roy DeCarava, Untitled (1950)

§ Brooklyn Bridge (documentary film, Ken Burns, director)
§ BMW short films (e.g., “Chosen,” Ang Lee, director)

9-2 Literary Texts—The Novel–Honor

§ To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
Alternate Selections
§ The Killer Angels (Michael Shaara) (E)
§ All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Maria Remarque)
§ The Color Purple (Alice Walker) (IB)
§ Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck) (EA)
§ Black Boy (Richard Wright)

Informational Texts

Additional Resources
§ Famous American Trials: “The Scottsboro Boys” Trials (1931-37) (University of Missouri-Kansas School of Law) (Note: This website contains primary and secondary source accounts of “The Scottsboro Boys” trial.)

Art, Music, and Media

Art (Photographs)
§ Dorothea Lange, selected photographs taken for the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression
§ “America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945” (Library of Congress)

§ To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) (Robert Mulligan, director)

9-3 Literary Texts—Poetry–Beauty


Informational Texts

Informational Text

  • Excerpts from Faulkner in the University: Class Conferences at the University of Virginia 1957-1958 (William Faulkner, Frederick L. Gwynn, ed.)
  • Excerpts from “Crediting Poetry,” the Nobel Prize Lecture, 1995 (Seamus Heaney)

Art, Music, and Media

Prompt: “What similarities can we find between great poems and masterpieces of other kinds?”


  • Giacomo Puccini, “Un bel di, vedremo” (Madama Butterfly, 1904)
  • Giacomo Puccini, “O mio babbino caro” (Gianni Schicchi, 1918)

Art and Architecture

  • Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa (1503-06)
  • Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus (1486)
  • Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night (1889)
  • Michelangelo, David (1504)
  • The Parthenon (447-432 BC)
  • Frank Lloyd Wright, Frederick C. Robie House (1909)
  • Chartres Cathedral (begun around 1200)

9-4 Literary Texts—Drama–Fate


  • Romeo and Juliet (William Shakespeare) (E)
  • Antigone (Sophocles) (E)
  • Oedipus the King (Sophocles)

Informational Texts

Informational Text

  • Excerpt on comedy and tragedy from Poetics (Aristotle)

Art, Music, and Media

Prompt: What similarities exist between how playwrights and painters depict tragedy?

9-5 Literary Texts—Epic Poetry–Heroism


  • Mythology (Edith Hamilton)


  • The Odyssey (Homer) (E)
  • The Aeneid (Virgil)
  • “The Lotos-Eaters” (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
  • Excerpts from “Endymion” (John Keats) (EA)
  • “The Song of Hiawatha” (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) (EA)
  • Excerpts from the Ramayana (attributed to the Hindu sage Valmiki)

Informational Texts

Informational Text

  • Excerpts from The Gold of Troy (Robert Payne)
  • Excerpts from Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming (Jonathan Shay)
  • Excerpts from Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War (William Manchester)
  • Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point (Elizabeth D. Samet)
  • Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families (Andrew Carroll, ed.)
  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Joseph Campbell)

Art, Music, and Media

  • Henry Purcell, Dido and Aeneas (1689)

9-6 Literary Texts—Literary Nonfiction—Reflection (The Memoir, The Essay, and The Speech)


  • One Writer’s Beginnings (Eudora Welty)
  • A Childhood: The Biography of a Place (Harry E. Crews)
  • Running in the Family (Michael Ondaatje)
  • “A Four Hundred Year Old Woman” (Bharati Mukherjee)
  • In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens (Alice Walker) (EA)
  • The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (Maxine Hong Kingston)
  • “Learning to Read and Write” (Frederick Douglass) (EA)
  • Notes of a Native Son (James Baldwin)
  • “A Sketch of the Past” (Virginia Woolf)


  • Excerpts from Life on the Mississippi (Mark Twain) (EA)

Informational Texts


  • “Second Inaugural Address” (E) and/or “The Gettysburg Address” (Abraham Lincoln) (E)
  • “Address at the March on Washington” and/or “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (Martin Luther King, Jr.) (E)
  • Nobel Prize in Literature Acceptance Speech 1949 (William Faulkner) (EA)
  • “Sinews of Peace Address” (Winston Churchill) and/or “Brandenburg Gate Address” (Ronald Reagan)


  • “Politics and the English Language” (George Orwell) (E)
  • “The Lost Childhood” (Graham Greene)
  • Excerpts from The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written: The History of Thought from Ancient Times to Today (Martin Seymour-Smith)
  • “Lear, Tolstoy, and The Fool” (George Orwell)
  • “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” (Clement Greenberg)
  • “Preface to Lyrical Ballads” (William Wordsworth)

Art, Music, and Media

Prompt: How is a self-portrait like a memoir?