KITCHEN TABLE CHATS
Pull up a chair in my domestic church and let's chat!
I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.
All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Bring Back Some Works by the Dead White Males (and Females)
My daughter, a high school senior, is taking AP English. This class focuses on the study of literature. Unfortunately, the curriculum is so infected with political correctness and multiculturalism, the choice of literature leaves a great deal to be desired. My daughter, who has been an avid reader since her early elementary school years, finds this survey of literature abysmal. The books celebrate African, Asian, and Native American cultures while condemning all that belongs to Western Civilization. She started off reading Ceremony to raise her consciousness of Native Americans. She then went on to read The Road and see nuclear holocaust as the fruit of American policy. Next is When Things Fall Apart where she reads how Western colonialism destroyed African culture and drove the African protagonist to suicide. Upcoming titles include a Latin American drama, House of Spirits and the Oprah special, Beloved by Toni Morrison. Each of these may be interesting well-written books. However, in an introductory literature survey course, the selection should be focused on literature and not on making a political statement of inclusivity. How many of the aforementioned titles will still be in print after fifty or more years? Why don’t we focus on books that have withstood the test of time in order to learn the qualities of timeless literature? Once the basic tenets literary analysis are established, go ahead and design your ethnic or gender based literature surveys. How does the writing of Toni Morrison stack up against the writing of Jane Austen or Louisa May Alcott? There are reasons some books become classics. Study those so that you have a metric by which to judge the works that follow.