English 10: Literature of Identity

Upper School

Grade 10


Credits: 1

Honors level also available

In all cultures on earth, people discover their own individual identities in the contexts familial, cultural, linguistic, religious, political, and historical. The job of the individual, in many of the greatest works of literature, is to construct, and often, to protect a self, the identity that can withstand the slings and arrows of the world outside of itself. With an eye toward introducing works from each of the continents and in a wide variety of genres, we present the students with works in which cultures reflect and are reflected by compelling individual selves. A major poetry project prompts students to discover the poems from a place of their own interest, and we work through the challenges of poetic and cultural translation. Works may include: Shakespeare’s Othello or Macbeth, Murakami’s The Elephant Vanishes, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Sagan’s Bonjour, Tristesse, Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus, Mishima’s The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, Roy’s The God of Small Things, and poetry by Du Fu, Szymborska, Amichai, Neruda, Lorca, and Akhmatova.