American Lit 1/9 – Clybourne Park

Today we read two long excerpts from the play Clybourne Park, which Bruce Norris wrote in 2011 as a bookend to A Raisin in the Sun. Remember, Act I takes place in the home that the Younger family will move into but features the white family that’s living there (and Karl Lindner’s pitch to keep them there). Act II takes place 50 years later after the neighborhood has become a predominately black neighborhood and a white couple wants to move into the former Younger home (and demolish it and build a new one).

Please get a copy of Clybourn Park from me if you missed class. For Thursday, please have Clybourne Park read and answer one of the following three questions:

1) Does Clybourne Park serve as an appropriate continuation of A Raisin in the Sun?

2) Compare/contrast Clybourne Park to A Raisin in the Sun (and even Death of Salesman). Does Clybourne Park demonstrate that there is one universal American struggle or American Dream?

3) Think back to our question from the beginning of the course: what should American Literature be or do in the 21st century? Does Clybourne Park do/show/reveal/ poke/ reflect what you want to see American Lit do in our time period?

As always, use evidence and specific references to the texts to make comparisons and contrasts? This response should be between 3/4 to 1 full page.

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American Lit 1/3 – Modern day segregation continued

Today we’re going to finish “The Problem We All Live With” part 1 and then we’ll read part 2. In groups, you’ll look for ideas to answer one of the following questions:

a) Where does literature reveal a disconnect between our words, actions and values as Americans?
b) What should the American government take away from American literature?
c) Is there a universal American experience or struggle?

Links handouts available in the post below.

Have that sheet filled out for Thursday.

American Lit 12/22 – Discussing modern day segregation

Today we started off class discussing what segregation looks like today. We wrote it down on this handout: the-problem-we-all-live-with-worksheet

That work sheet also has you looking at three of our over-arching questions for the semester:
a) Where does literature reveal a disconnect between our words, actions and values as Americans?
b) What should the American government take away from American literature?
c) Is there a universal American experience or struggle?

Then we listened to “The Problem We All Live With” part 1. You can listen to it here: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/562/the-problem-we-all-live-with and you can find a transcript here: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/562/transcript

Please listen to part 1 on your own if you missed class today. We’ll listen to part 2 tomorrow (and connect it to the questions afterwards).

American Lit 12/13 – A Raisin in the Sun Act I Scene ii

For Thursday please make sure you’ve finished Act I (it ends on page 74 in most of your copies of the book). In class today we filled out a T-chart about dreams and identity. Here’s a copy if you don’t want to redraw it in your notebook: dreams-v-identity-act-2-scene-1

For Thursday be prepared to put some thoughts down on paper about how we’re seeing dreams and identity intersect in this book, like we did with MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech.