Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Novels, Stories, and Poems Read Most Often in Schools

Litlove's post about Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" got me thinking about pieces of writing that I had to read repeatedly in the American school system. Now, I think some of these may have been regional, others national, and perhaps others the product of particular teachers I had, but I'm curious: what are the most commonly read works of literature in schools, and why?

In my own experience, these are the writings I have been asked to read more than once in school:

1. "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor

2. "Much Ado About Nothing" by William Shakespeare

3. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot

4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

5. Elizabeth I's Armada speech

6. Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech

7. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

8. The Odyssey by Homer

9. "Ode to a Grecian Urn" by John Keats

10. "The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury

11. "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury

Other readings that I did not have to read, but gather were common:

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

3. "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

4. "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin

5. "The Lady or the Tiger" by Frank Stockton

6. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

7. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

What books did you have to read in school, what books did you get assigned in more than one class (feel free to include college), and do you have any thoughts on why those were popular readings?

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