American Literature explores what it means to be an American through the study of American thought and literature. Through close reading of the works of major American writers, students will explore typical American conflicts such as individualism vs. conformity, materialism vs. spirituality, and personal desires vs. social responsibility, placing these conflicts in their historical context. Juniors must select either American Literature or the Advanced Placement English Language and Composition Course.
American Literature is a college readiness course designed to explore the idea of what it means to be an American. The American Dream, core American values, and American culture are integral themes of the course. Novels, short stories, essays and plays may include, but are not limited to, The Great Gatsby, The Crucible, several works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, readings from the transcendentalists, The Awakening, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and The Catcher in the Rye, and Everything I Never Told You. Students will deepen their understanding of these literary works by exploring their historical contexts. The writing component emphasizes the need to approach writing as a three-part process of pre-writing, preliminary draft, and final revised copy. Research will be a major component of the course, and students will write a literary criticism research paper. Writing assignments are designed to prepare students for the level of language maturity needed in college.