Honors English 10: Literature of Identity

Upper School

Grade 10


Open to Grade 10 with department approval

Credits: 1

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 an identity that can withstand the slings and arrows of the world outside of itself. We present the students with works by authors from various continents 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, Murakami’s The Elephant Vanishes, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Tagore’s A Wife’s Letter, Chopin’s The Awakening, Wharton’s Sanctuary, Woolf’s The Death of the Moth, Allende’s House of the Spirits, Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles’ film Central do Brasil, Roy’s The God of Small Things, Morrison’s Sula, and poetry by Giovanni, Mistral, Du Fu, Szymborska, Amichai, Neruda, Lorca, and Akhmatova.

The Honors 10th grade English course will require lengthier and more challenging readings, essay topics, oral presentations, and original research. Students in honors are expected to read with interest and intellectual curiosity.