After teaching Abraham Cahan’s “A Sweat-shop Romance” this semester, I decided that I needed to read The Rise of David Levinsky. I think this description of America is very interesting:

She said, in substance, that America was a land of dollars, not of education, and that she wanted me to be an educated man. (72)


Poems for the Semester

Today, I wrapped up the poetry unit with my Literature and the Liberal Arts class. I asked students to name a poem or two they found surprising or memorable. This semester, that poem for me was Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus,” particularly the ending stanza:

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air


So far this summer, I’ve read Middlemarch, which I last read nine years ago. I found it enriching to experience this story again, which one of my friends has called “the ultimate story about being an adult.” Here’s a wonderful line from Dorothea Brooke:

“I believe that people are almost always better than their neighbours think they are” (698).


Mrs. Dalloway

I loved reading Mrs. Dalloway with my English novel class this week.

Mrs Dalloway

“[A]nd no one in the whole world would know how she had loved it all; how every instant…” (122)

“[H]ad he plunged holding his treasure?” (184)

The Scarlet Letter’s Ending

Recently, I have been thinking about the following passage near the end of The Scarlet Letter:

But there was a more real life for Hester Prynne, here, in New England […] Here had been her sin; here, her sorrow; and here was yet to be her penitence. She had returned, therefore, and resumed,–of her own free will, for not the sternest magistrate of that iron period would have imposed it,–resumed the symbol of which we have related so dark a tale. (165)

Reading Jane Austen

I finished Sense and Sensibility in my History of the Novel in English course this week. We admired the following sentence and the description that follows, expressing change in one of the characters:

Marianne Dashwood was born to an extraordinary fate. (352)