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- Encourage students to compare their personal views on happiness to those presented in these stories.
- Use these stories to teach students about symbolism.
- Ask students to research the historical periods and events in these stories, and then determine what these stories "say" about their respective periods via their themes, characterizations, conflicts, etc.
- Ask students to research the authors of these stories and explore connections between the author's biographies and the stories. Bloom's Literary Reference Online is a great database for short author biographies.
- With a little research, student can explore cultural and/or historical contexts with these stories. Modern History Online and American History Online contain many short articles from specialized encyclopedias and other reference texts. Using these databases is a great way for students to branch out beyond GALILEO's "DISCOVER" search box.
- Prompt students to compare the narration of each of the stories, and the effects of that narration.
- Want to do a unit on Madness in literature? Add "A Rose for Emily" from the Love section of this page.
- In each of these stories, at least one character is staring death in the face. Have students compare these stories with non-fiction accounts of death and dying.
- How are these stories impacted by their style of narration?
- Have students compare the portrayals of despair in Chekhov's dramatic, almost comical, story with Hemingway's more subtle, journalistic style of prose.
- The brief segment on Hemingway in the video, Paris 1928, succinctly describes his famous prose style and includes a well read excerpt from A Farewell to Arms as an example.
- Why are so many literary works about love?
- Medical ethics, IRB's, and all the other trappings of modern scientific study are missing from "The Birthmark," which can lead to lively discussions about the place of such things in our modern world, and in our institution specifically.
- Checkov's "Verochka" twists its plot with flashbacks and recollections. This story can be used to discuss a narrative arch, and is a great companion to "A Rose for Emily."
Open Source Textbooks
Writing the Nation
A Concise Introduction to American Literature: 1865 to Present
An online collection of short stories and poems that also includes MP3's for many of the works and teaching suggestions.